Hayato has been blogging about mobile technology for over five years, and following for many more. In the past, he’s worked for Pocketnow and Tech4Geeks, reviewing smartphones and covering trade shows such as CES and IFA. Hayato now provides coverage for 9to5Google, including news, editorials, and videos on the latest mobile technology.
With the launch of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, Samsung finally made the switch to on-screen navigation controls. A lot of users were excited for the added versatility and screen size this change allowed, but the unique new iconography used has been met with mixed reactions.
Thanks to this thread on the XDA Developers forums, however, it’s now possible to replace the default navigation keys with the ones found on stock Android devices … with a few minor setbacks.
Smartwatches have always been somewhat of a hard sell for average consumers. Some just plain don’t want them — they see no reason to carry and charge yet another device just for notifications that they can see by just pulling their phone out of their pocket.
Others are less put off by the concept of smartwatches, and more dissuaded by the execution of them. They don’t look as fashionable as a traditional watch, and they’re just too expensive.
While the ZTE Quartz doesn’t do anything to dispel complaints of unattractive design, it’s the most affordable smartwatch we’ve seen running Android Wear 2.0 for just $192. That low price doesn’t come without compromise … but the right user might not mind.
Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!
Two-in-one laptops and large phones have all but killed the standalone tablet market. Android tablet sales have been stagnant for a while now, and Apple is even rumored to be discontinuing the iPad mini. Samsung, on the other hand, seems more hesitant to throw in the towel.
The Galaxy Tab S3 is the company’s gorgeous new tablet, blending a modern design with superb build quality, stylus support, and Android 7 Nougat. It’s an attractive device, but carrying a hefty $600 price tag, it’s going to have to be special to be worth a second glance on store shelves.
Google’s popular education-focused Expeditions program has allowed over two million students to immerse themselves in new environments and get a close look at monuments and other items of interest using the Cardboard VR headsets. Now the program is moving from virtual to augmented reality.
It’s no secret that Android runs less than optimally on low-end hardware, and Google is attempting to tackle that problem with a new platform called Android Go. Go is a trimmed down version of Android built upon three keys ideas: OS, apps, and Play Store.
The original Huawei Watch was a hugely popular Android Wear smartwatch, largely thanks to its elegant design that worked well with anything from casual to formal wear. It was one of the first smartwatches to feature a circular display without a “flat tire” underneath (a la Moto 360), and the fairly high screen-to-bezel ratio made for a relatively small watch.
Two years later, the Huawei Watch 2 abandons nearly every design trait of its predecessor and instead offers a more rugged, sporty look. The shifted design paradigm has been polarizing among potential buyers, but there’s more to a good smartwatch than a pretty design.
No matter how much Samsung improves the UI on its wildly popular Galaxy phones (and no matter how many times its name changes), there’s always going to be a collective of Google purists (admittedly, I’m one of them) who just aren’t satisfied with the default experience.
Some of the features Samsung brings to the table are nice — they were the first to introduce split screen apps to Android, after all. But some find the heavy use of white backgrounds on the Galaxy S8 a bit of an eyesore, and quickly install a darker theme.
Others find the home screen layout a little too limited in customizability, and for those people we’ve highlighted some of the best custom launchers you can download on your Galaxy S8 to bring a personal touch to one of the most common phones on the market.
Working remotely is one of those things that always sounds great to the people that don’t do it, but it has its drawbacks, particularly for those who struggle to keep themselves on task. Thankfully some apps aim to help you tackle procrastination head on, and 5217 is one of the sleekest to do so.
5217 was built based on research suggesting that you’re most productive when working in 52-minute intervals with 17-minute breaks in-between.
Google has grabbed some attention lately with its new mobile operating system, dubbed Fuchsia. Unlike Android, Fuchsia isn’t built on Linux, but rather on Google’s own Magenta kernel, and utilizes their in-house Flutter SDK as well.
All of this means that Fuchsia is an entirely different platform than Android, which raises the question — what is Google planning on doing with it? It could be anything from an eventual replacement for Android, to just a testing platform for Flutter apps; it’s really anyone’s guess at this point.
Still, we wanted to take a first-hand look and see what this mystery OS is all about.
Google Assistant is a powerful voice assistant platform that I personally use every day on my phone and my Google Home. Among other things, I use Assistant to turn on my music, change the brightness or colors of my LIFX connected lightbulbs, add items to a grocery list, ask random trivia questions, and more, all using just my voice.
It’s been rolling out to Android Nougat devices over the past few months, and to put it into even more users’ hands Google has recently released the Google Assistant SDK. Thanks to this extensive post by Mishaal Rahman on XDA Developers, many enthusiasts, including myself, have gotten it up and running on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers.
Keep reading to find out how you can install it as well…
Ever since stepping into the smartwatch game, Fossil has always been a fashionable alternative to fan favorites like the Moto 360 or G Watch R. The new Q, collaboratively designed with acclaimed National Geographic photographer Cory Richards, keeps in that tradition and runs Android Wear 2.0 to boot.
The Acer C731T, otherwise known as the Chromebook 11 N7, is an education-focused laptop targeted towards students with simple needs and an eye for durability. Powered by Chrome OS, it won’t run professional-grade software like Photoshop or After Effects, but it still makes a good companion for those living within Google’s ecosystem.
It seems like flagship phones get all the media coverage. Everybody wants to fawn over the latest superphones and see what crazy new design element or software gimmick their favorite OEM has to offer. But not everybody needs a phone with all of the highest-end features — and more importantly, not everybody can afford one.
Luckily for those people, the Moto G series has always been a great way to get flagship-like performance without the flagship price. The G5 Plus is the latest addition to the series, but does it hold true to its family’s reputation?
The Galaxy S8 launches tomorrow, and if you preordered one you might already have it by now. It’s Samsung’s latest flagship, and as such it packs a myriad of new and improved features. But Samsung has a tendency to overload its users with excessive features and settings. Here are a few tips to make setting up your Galaxy S8 a bit easier…
Every year, reviewers and tech bloggers have all the same things to say when a new Huawei phone comes out; great hardware and camera performance brought down by less than ideal software. Last year’s Mate 9 attempted to address the software complaints a bit with a new version of the company’s EMUI interface, but with a screen at 5.9-inches it was too big for a lot of consumers.
The P10 is Huawei’s latest flagship — in essence a smaller Mate 9 with a more comfortable design — but is it enough to stand out against this year’s aggressive competition?
Alongside the Moto G5 and G5 Plus announcements, Lenovo unveiled some new Moto Mods at its MWC event today. The company stressed during its presentation that Mods have become hugely important to the Moto brand since their launch with the Moto Z, and it’s introduced new partners to bring even more features to its flagship-tier devices.
Following a number of leaks, including specs, hardware, and even the retail packaging, Lenovo finally announced the Moto G5 and G5 Plus today at MWC 2017. The Moto G5 continues the company’s successful G series of affordable smartphones, now bringing even more premium features like a metal design and a fingerprint sensor previously found only on the G Plus and Z series.