Items tagged with Android

Users of the Chrome beta for Android are in for a bit of a treat, as the latest version has added support for "Physical Web" beacons. Don't worry if you've never heard of these, because most haven't. Google did talk about it a bit last summer, and it seems like a feature that could be incredibly useful at times. The logic behind the name of "Physical Web" is that data is distributed locally; not over the Internet. The goal is to relay information to those nearby that would prove useful. Say, for example, you're in a restaurant, and as you wait for a seat, a beacon beams the menu to your phone so... Read more...
In the fall of 2014, Google lost a valuable man: Andy Rubin. While Rubin had his hands in a number of important projects at the big G, none were more important than his creation of Android in 2003. Today, Android is the most widely-used mobile OS; one that's even making its way to convertible PCs. To call that particular project a success would be a gross understatement. We learned just two months ago that Rubin has eyed making a return to smartphones, something he hasn't talked too much about openly. What he has talked about, though, is dashcams. Yup -- Rubin sees the lowly dashcam as... Read more...
If there's to be an era of virtual reality, it likely begins this year, coinciding with the launch of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the two most high-profile VR headsets up to this point. However, Oculus and HTC aren't the only players—it's said that Google is working on a higher-end successor to Cardboard, it's cheap and chintzy (but effective) viewer for experiencing virtual reality on mobile devices.The next version will be an upgrade in every way, including form factor (it will be a headset instead of a handheld viewer) and additional support for Android. It will feature a plastic chassis instead... Read more...
When ASUS released the ZenFone 2 Laser, the company’s goal was to offer a premium smartphone experience with strong camera performance at an affordable price. On the surface the ZenFone 2 Laser has many of the key features of a premium phone, including an octa-core SoC with Adreno graphics, dual active SIM capabilities, a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera, and a removable battery. Given that many flagship Android phones sell for $599 and up for an unlocked version, ASUS’s price of $249 for the high-end 32GB model of the ZenFone 2 Laser is very reasonable. If you want to save some cash,... Read more...
If you like the idea of using a stylus with your mobile device, then you probably prefer the precision and additional functionality over the convenience of a fingertip. That, or you've picked up a brand-new HP Pro Slate 8, a tablet targeted at working professionals that includes a rather useful and unique accessory dubbed the "Duet Pen" that enables some pretty interesting features. In the HP Pro Slate 8's case, you can still poke its 7.9-inch screen all you want with a finger. The stylus, an accessory that ships with the $470 tablet, isn't an absolute necessity. You don't need it for everyday... Read more...
Did you recently buy a fancy new flagship Android smartphone with a capacious battery onboard only to find that you’re still getting relatively poor battery life? Before you start throwing arrows at your smartphone’s manufacturer, perhaps you should look closer to home as to why your battery life is coming up short; specifically, your installed apps. Redditors have done some experimenting and found that one of the biggest battery hogs among Android apps is the official Facebook app. We’ve all known for quite some time that the Facebook app (for both iOS and Android) has grown into a bloated beast... Read more...
Give BlackBerry credit, the company put forth the good old college effort and tried anything it could think of to regain relevance in the mobile world—changing its name from Research In Motion (RIM), dissing the iPhone, shaking up top-level management, launching new handsets—all to no avail. In a last ditch effort, BlackBerry earlier this month suggested it was going all-in with Android, a notion the company reinforced during its recent Priv launch in India. "The Priv device is essentially our transition to Android ecosystem. As we secure Android, over a period of time, we would not have two platforms... Read more...
These days, smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. Many of us can’t even go a few hours without a smartphones attached to our hip, so it stands to reason that a lost smartphone is enough to send someone over the edge. Luckily, smartphones running popular operating systems like Android and iOS have built-in apps that make it easy to locate a lost or stolen smartphone. And wouldn’t you know it, people actually take advantage of the features to track down their lost digital appendages. However, one Atlanta couple’s home has become an unwanted destination for people looking for their lost... Read more...
Do you have a tough time getting up in the morning? If your routine involves hitting the snooze button on your alarm only to go right back to sleep and repeat the cycle half a dozen times, then you might want to give Microsoft's latest app a try. It's called Mimicker Alarm, and it's one of a growing list of Microsoft-made apps for Android. Mimicker Alarm takes a different approach to waking you up. It essentials annoys the snot of you with silly tasks that take the place of hitting the off or snooze button. For example, the app might ask you to take a selife with a specific facial expression in... Read more...
While companies like Apple are actually reducing the battery capacity across the board for its flagship smartphones (and in the process, maintaining the status quo with respects to battery life), we’re happy to see that other manufactures are willing to give customers more when it comes to runtimes. One such company is Chinese smartphone OEM Xiaomi, which recently took the wraps of its Redmi 3. The most impressive feature about the Redmi 3 is that it seems to be mostly battery — inside, you’ll find a massive 4100mAh lithium-ion power source with quick charging support. For comparison, the previous... Read more...
Back in September, Apple released a tool to the Google Play Store that helped users transfer all of their important information from an Android device over to an iOS one. To date, that app hasn't garnered the greatest of reviews, with most of the ire coming from fans of the less restrictive platform. While Apple allows users to move from Android to iOS, though, it hasn't up to this point made it easy for those who want to switch from its side over to Android. According to the EU, this could be one of the biggest reasons why we don't see many users switch from the iPhone to an Android device,... Read more...
We can’t say that we didn’t see this one coming. BlackBerry has been circling the drain for quite some time, and its Blackberry 10 (BB10) operating system — which was supposed to be its savior in the face of immense pressure from iOS and Android — has proven to be anything but. That became even more clear when BlackBerry announced its flagship Priv smartphone last year, which just so happens to run the Android operating system. In an interview conducted during CES, BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed that it will no longer develop smartphones running on its own BB10 operating system. Instead, like... Read more...
For some, one of the most useful updates to hit Android 5.0 'Lollipop' was the notification tweaker. With it, you can block different types of communications when you don't want to be disturbed, but still let important stuff through. Making this feature even more useful is the ability to lift the blocks automatically at a certain time, such as in the early AM when you are getting ready for your day. This "Set until next alarm" feature is undoubtedly useful, and perhaps even important, for many. So you can imagine the faces of those who need it when they load up the notification pane and see that... Read more...
Well, this isn't something we see too often. Hot on the heels of the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow for its Moto X Pure 2015, Motorola has decided to release the smartphone's kernel sources to the wild. As you might imagine, this isn't a move that's going to affect end-users right now. Instead, access to these sources is ideal for developers looking to do a variety of different things, including adjusting the OS, optimizing it, or overhauling the ROM entirely. With sources simply handed out like this, it makes a developer's job a bit easier. In time, this release can affect end-users once developers... Read more...
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