Editor at 9to5Mac + 9to5Google
Zac covers Apple news and product reviews for 9to5Mac. Zac also contributes to 9to5Google.
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New data released this week from Strategy Analytics shows how global smartphone shipments and marketshare from major brands has changed between 2014 and 2015 as well as the holiday quarter from both years.
Insights that standout include Samsung remaining on top in both metrics, and regaining marketshare during the recent holiday quarter. Meanwhile, Huawei has hit a new milestone for the brand with its 2015 smartphone shipments.
December 15, 2015
Android Pay launched earlier this fall bringing a fresh approach to NFC payments in stores to Google’s mobile platform, and today Android Pay is taking payments virtual. Google announced that Android Pay will now support in-app payments in supported apps. This means you can easily make secure payments when making purchases on your phone without having to type in your credit card information. Google also shared that it expects Android Pay to go global in 2016 starting with a launch down under in Australia.
December 10, 2015
Back at Google’s big event in September, the company announced a new feature destined for Google Photos later this year: Shared Albums. This lets you invite friends and family to view albums that you create and add photos to, and you can optionally allow them to also add photos to these shared albums. As promised, Google will begin rolling out its new Shared Albums feature for Google Photos starting today.
December 3, 2015
Google is out today with an interesting new app for VR fans called Cardboard Camera for Android. The new camera app lets users shoot their very own virtual reality photos right from a smartphone. Simply launch the app, start shooting a photo and pan in a circular motion like you’re shooting a panorama image, and you’re set.
Then throw your phone in a Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer and you can experience the immersive shot as if you were back in the moment, adding a new dimension to still images. expand full story
December 1, 2015
A few weeks ago we noticed that Google has started testing pre-release versions of Chrome through Apple’s TestFlight beta distribution service, and today the version in testing then has been released to everyone through the App Store. The latest version of Chrome for iOS takes advantage of Apple’s new pressure sensitive iPhone 6s displays and offers even more hardware keyboard shortcuts that will benefit iPad users. expand full story
November 13, 2015
November 10, 2015
After first being announced and previewed in screenshots at WWDC in June, Apple has officially brought its subscription music service Apple Music to Google’s Android platform. Apple Music joins the iPhone maker’s other Android apps Move to iOS and the Beats Pill+ companion app on the Google Play Store.
Apple Music offers access to a large catalog of streaming music and music recommendations. Music and music videos can be saved for offline listening as well. Memberships costs $9.99/month for individuals, the same as Beats Music subscriptions which Apple Music replaces, after a three-month free trial period. Apple Music family plans for up to five different accounts is available through Family Sharing on iOS and Mac for $14.99/month. expand full story
Google is now rolling out a major new feature to its Maps app for Android: full offline support. Google Maps has some utility already when used offline, but an update coming as soon as today will make it much more robust when used without Internet access. For example, before you could see an area on Google Maps offline but not do much else with it. With the latest version, Google will enable features including navigation and business information lookup without requiring an active Internet connection. expand full story
November 4, 2015
Facebook is said to be planning to launch its standalone news app with a list of media partners on board sometime next week. That’s according to Financial Times, which reports the app will be called Notify and include content from a list of media partners including CBS, The Washington Post, and Vogue. Reports of Facebook working on a separate mobile app focused on news rather than the social network first surfaced in early August.
The news comes just as Facebook announced today in its earnings report that it’s currently serving an average 1.01 billion daily active users each month…
November 2, 2015
Officially offering a denial to a report last week claiming Chrome OS would merge into Android by 2017, Google has taken to its Chrome blog to say Chrome OS is here to stay. Chromebooks that run the Chrome operating system has taken off especially well in the classroom, giving Google added incentive to ensure Chrome OS users that the platform isn’t facing any dramatic changes in the near future. Hoping to convince users that recent reports of the future of Chrome OS are wrong, Google has shared some usage numbers and even offered a peek into the future of Chrome OS… expand full story
A few weeks ago AT&T announced an upcoming network-level feature called NumberSync, which will allow customers to use one phone number on multiple connected devices like smartwatches, tablets, and connected cars. As promised, the carrier is unveiling the first two devices that will work with NumberSync: the Samsung Gear S2 and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE. expand full story
Blackberry’s first Android-powered smartphone, the PRIV, is coming to the United States this Friday on November 6 through AT&T. The carrier revealed that it will be the first in the US to carry the privacy and productivity focused BlackBerry. AT&T will offer the BlackBerry PRIV both online and in stores at the end of the week from $249.99 on a traditional two-year contract or from $24.67/month on a financing plan. expand full story
October 14, 2015
AT&T is announcing a new network-level advancement called NumberSync capable of sharing one phone number with all connected devices. With NumberSync, AT&T customers will soon be able to use what’s called mobile twinning to share a single phone number with multiple SIM cards in smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other connected devices. The goal is to let you send and receive phone calls or messages from all your connected devices without relying on a specific app or operating system feature. expand full story
October 9, 2015
Update: Google says all services are restored!
Seeing Google Drive and other services unresponsive this afternoon? Rest assured that it’s not just you. Google has acknowledged the service disruption on its app status page with this message posted within the hour:
We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Drive. We will provide more information shortly.
October 8, 2015
October 7, 2015
Two years after the original Chromecast HDMI streaming stick, Google decided it was ready last week to unveil the sequel with a redesigned and more capable 2nd-gen Chromecast as well as an entirely new product for streaming audio to old speakers called Chromecast Audio. Readily standing by, the folks over at iFixit have already picked up and torn apart both new streamers. Both look remarkably similar on the inside at first glance, and iFixit has some praise for how Chromecast handles HDMI this year… expand full story
October 5, 2015
I’m an Apple guy. I have enough Apple hardware around my house to serve as a mini-museum and I use Apple’s software and services every single day. But when Google makes something interesting like Chromecast Audio, I can’t help but want to try out the new toy.
Sold for just $35 (Google Store, Best Buy), Chromecast Audio lets you stream audio over the Internet from services like Spotify and NPR to old speakers. This varies from Apple’s AirPlay in that audio streams directly to the Chromecast Audio rather than from device to device, using your iPhone or iPad only as the remote. In practice, Chromecast Audio is most similar to Sonos, but with Google’s accessory selling at a much lower, irresistible price as it relies on your existing speakers rather than all-in-one units.
So what exactly is Chromecast Audio and what can it do? Read on for details… expand full story
September 24, 2015
Samsung showed off a new Gear VR model at the Oculus Connect event today with a friendly price tag, wider compatibility, and an upcoming ship target. The virtual reality headset continues to be powered by Oculus but it’s considerably more affordable at $99 compared to the prior $199 version. Just in time for the holiday quarter, Samsung says its redesigned Gear VR will ship in November. It also boasts wider compatibility as it will work with all 2015 Samsung phones. expand full story
September 16, 2015
Sure, technically Apple’s first Android app was the now discontinued Beats Music which it picked up through acquisition last year and it’s developing Apple Music for Google’s platform, but it’s very fitting that Apple’s first in-house app is called Switch to iOS from Android. Apple first announced the new Android app this year alongside iOS 9 at its developer conference, and today with iOS 9’s official launch the Move to iOS app is officially available on the Google Play Store. Here’s how it works: expand full story