features Stories June 13, 2016

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Apple took the stage today at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California to announce the latest new features — for developers and consumers alike — for its four main platforms: watchOS, tvOS, macOS (previously called OS X), and iOS. There is tons of new stuff in these releases set to go public later this year, but one thing that became increasingly clear as the event progressed was that the Cupertino company is playing a lot of catch up.

It’s not a new trend, really. Google has always introduced features and potential products to the public not long after they become barely workable experiments, leaving other companies like Apple to appear behind at times — whether or not they actually are “behind” in reality. It goes without saying that there are always things being worked on in the background (that’s why I put “copied” in quotes), but with many of today’s announcements, Apple brought those things to light.

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features Stories March 24, 2016

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A new report (paywalled) from The Information today told us that Google is working on a competitor to the Amazon Echo, but it also detailed in-depth Nest’s struggle as an Alphabet subsidiary and the apparent horror that was its acquisition of smart home security camera company Dropcam. Before eventually ending his time at the Alphabet company, Dropcam co-founder Greg Duffy apparently told Nest CEO Tony Fadell that he runs the company like a “tyrant bureaucrat”…

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features Stories March 9, 2016

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Today marked the release of the first Android N developer preview, and factory images are now available if you want to install the update on your device. If you’re anything like me, though, you would rather not completely wipe your daily driver (Nexus 6P, in my case), just to get some hands-on time with some buggy software. That’s why we’ve compiled this huge list of new features and a gallery of Android N screenshots for your perusal…

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features Stories November 2, 2015

It’s certainly not the only connected-security camera, but following Google’s acquisition of popular security cam maker Dropcam last year, the company has just launched a second-generation product with new features. The new product was re-envisioned by Google’s Nest team— the people building smart home accessories like the Nest thermostat and fire alarm— and in the process dropped the Dropcam branding and gained a few notable enhancements.

But is the new Nest Cam worth an upgrade from your current Dropcam setup? And how does the product compare to the other connected home security-cam and all-in-one security devices on the market? We’ve been testing out Nest Cam since its release a few weeks back to find out. expand full story

features Stories October 29, 2015

BlackBerry details the features of its upcoming PRIV slider phone [Video]

BlackBerry’s PRIV handset is getting a lot of attention, and there’s many reasons for that. The most obvious is that it’s a slider phone — something that we haven’t seen on Android for quite a while. BlackBerry was known for their sliders and holding onto the physical keyboard when the rest of the industry moved on, and now they’re bringing that back in a secure package that seems to be more than decent. Many won’t bat an eye, but there are others who might notice some of its unique features.

To highlight those features and hopefully catch those potential customers, BlackBerry has uploaded a video demonstrating what the PRIV has to offer: it’s physical keyboard, BlackBerry Hub, Pop-up widgets, its curved 5.4-inch screen, and more:

The PRIV is also bringing a lot to the table for those more interested in getting great specifications. The phone has a 5.4-inch, 2560 x 1440 resolution AMOLED display at 540ppi, a Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor, 3 GB RAM, and 32 GB of expandable storage. You’ll find an 18-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front camera, dual-LED flash, and a 3,410 mAh battery. Sadly, though, it looks like the phone is going to launch with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

You can pre-order the BlackBerry PRIV from the company’s website.

features Stories September 24, 2015

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The Huawei Watch is definitely an Android Wear watch, but it does have a few features that set it apart from its competitors. Even though it may be priced a little on the steep side compared to other offerings in the space, Huawei has truly seized this opportunity to further prove that it is serious about building hardware for Android platforms. The Huawei Watch is the watch to beat right now, and there are at least 5 reasons that’s the case… expand full story

features Stories August 14, 2015

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 is officially official, but what makes it such a great upgrade over its predecessor? Some may argue there’s not much, but Samsung has made improvements in some areas and compromises in others that you may want to know about before buying one. These are the top 5 features on the Galaxy Note 5…

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features Stories July 22, 2015

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Pebble has announced today an update to the firmware of the company’s smartwatch, bringing several features that the community has oft-requested. Most notably, the new firmware brings settings for adjusting font size, backlight, and vibration. Pebble also released an updated version of the Pebble Time’s Android app counterpart, bumping it to version 3.2.0, which brings a new search bar, preserved notification preferences, and other minor changes… expand full story

features Stories June 15, 2015

Google Sheets web app updated with new features, filters, and more

Google is updating its Google Sheets spreadsheet app on the web today with a few new features and improvements. First up, the updated app now includes new customization options for charts including the ability to add data labels as well as shapes to denote data points including stars, triangles, and pentagons.

Some of the other new features arriving today include a preview for formula results in real-time when typing, the ability to filter rows and columns by “greater than” and “text contains”, and an option to add calculated fields “to pivot tables when you want to apply formulas to pivot table data.”

Google adds that you’ll also now be able to “Use the GETPIVOTDATA function to more easily retrieve data from your pivot table.”

Lastly, Google has a new option to present a customized warning message to collaborators that attempt to edit something they shouldn’t (pictured below):

You can check out the updated Google Sheets web app now.

features Stories June 4, 2015

Android M is now available in developer preview, but only for those that own a modern Nexus device. Specifically, owners of the Nexus 5, 6, 9, and Player can grab the latest developer build of Android M, and the dozens of new visual and functional features that the operating system brings.

But while Google spent a while at I/O going over the big-picture changes it hopes to bring with M (granular app permissions, fingerprint support, better battery life, and more), there are a lot of smaller changes coming to the OS as well that reimagine how some of the most basic user-facing functions of the OS work. In many cases, these changes are more than welcome.

Google said at I/O last week that they’re putting a “big focus on quality end-to-end” with Android M, so let’s find out what that means in terms of the general user experience… expand full story

features Stories April 20, 2015

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Google this morning announced a huge update to its Android Wear wearable operating system, but we’ve noticed a few things that Google might have forgotten to touch on in its release notes. The company has of course confirmed that WiFi support, always-on screen support for apps, and more features that are on the way. But there are other features, including what looks to be an actual Google Maps app and pop-up notifications, that might be coming to Android Wear as well… expand full story

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Update: Various reports have confirmed that certain Android Wear devices, including the LG G Watch and G Watch R as well as the Asus ZenWatch, will not be getting WiFi support.

Android Wear is getting a pretty big update. Over at the official Android blog, Google this morning showed off the latest version of its mobile OS, packing several useful new features including wrist gestures for flicking through cards hands-free, WiFi support to free your watch from needing to be directly connected to your phone, support for quickly drawing emoji replies to messages, always-on screen support in apps, and a lot more… expand full story

features Stories April 2, 2015

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Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge is a very interesting device when compared to the Galaxy S6. This device has a dual-curved display and may easily be the most unique smartphone we’ve seen in 2015. There are several features that come along with the Galaxy S6 Edge and today we’re taking a look at all of them…

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features Stories March 31, 2015

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Google has today announced that it’s bringing new sharing controls, alerts and “audit events” to both Google Drive for Work and Google for Education over the coming weeks. Security is one of the biggest concerns that companies have about moving their data to the cloud, and Google hopes these new features will help make the transition just a little bit easier…

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features Stories February 4, 2015

Lollipop Forest Google has this morning announced that Android One is coming to Indonesia, and with that updated their splash page for the initiative. Alongside detailing the three new phones that are soon coming to Indonesia, Google also mentions the latest official build of Android, the previously unannounced version 5.1 Lollipop. Keep an eye on this article between now and the official rollout of the software as we learn more about what the next version of Lollipop has to offer…

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features Stories December 9, 2014

The Blackphone

Blackphone, the Android-powered smartphone that aims to be the most secure handset in the world, has announced a slew of new features for an upcoming revamp of its PrivatOS operating system. Most notable is the addition of “Spaces,” which will provide users an easy way to separate apps and secure accounts & data between multiple “environments.” Blackphone has also announced the launch of what it claims is the world’s very first privacy-focused app marketplace…

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features Stories October 28, 2014

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Google has outlined several of the new security enhancements that have been added to Android Lollipop, the latest version of its mobile operating system, such as encryption enabled by default and a new lock screen that is more convenient and powerful to use than ever before. Read ahead for a closer look at some of the new security features. expand full story

features Stories August 8, 2014

Sony rolling out Android 4.4 update for Xperia E1 & E1 Dual

Sony just announced that users of its Xperia E1 and Xperia E1 Dual smartphones will soon get access to Android 4.4 KitKat as the update begins rolling out today. As it has already done with some of its other devices, the update to KitKat also comes with other Sony specific features including new Status Bar and Quick Settings features, animations and live wallpapers similar to the PlayStation 4, and much more:

  • Google’s Android 4.4; KitKat as standard – bringing performance & UI optimisation…
  • We’ve added our tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (and pretty easy on the eye)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
  • If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and livewallpaper across the lock and home screens
  • Better storage choice – you now have the option to easily move applications from internal memory to SD card – we recognised the need to have more control over your content… as something particularly useful for devices with slightly less space
  • We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, Smart Connect, TrackID, Sony Select, and Battery STAMINA Mode, Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies
  • And proving pretty popular, now totaling over 2 million downloads (!) – our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…

Sony notes that its next device to get the update will be the Xperia M2 & M2 Dual. As always, the update will hit users at different times depending on your carrier and market.

features Stories March 25, 2014

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After unveiling its new flagship second-generation HTC One, the company just announced availability for the device on stage at its event in New York. The device will arrive in the US and Canada in the first couple of weeks of April through all major carrier partners, but starting today at 1PM EST you can pick one up online through HTC as previously revealed. It will also be available through select Verizon stores starting today.

The company announced the phone will be coming to a handful of countries before the end of April including Australia, Taiwan, UK, Germany, France, China, and the US. HTC didn’t mention a timeframe for the 100+ countries and 230+ carriers shown in the image above, but it did say the new HTC One M8 would be “the single largest product rollout in HTC’s history.”

Sense 6 will arrive for the last generation HTC One lineup, including the One mini and Max, this Spring. In addition, HTC Advantage is getting the free screen replacement program (as well as the latest version of Android promised for two years) that was previously rumored.

If you’re planning on picking up the new HTC One today, you can do so here starting at 1PM EST.

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We’re live from New York at HTC’s unveiling of the new HTC One (M8) and the company has now officially unveiled the new flagship smartphone. The company has spent the starting of its presentation talking about the HTC One’s high-quality metal construction that it described as “like a premium watch,” as well as the new Gunmetal Gray Hairline Finish pictured above. It also shared a few specs for the device (below) before moving on to its new customized version of Android, Sense 6 (or 6th Sense).

One of the big announcements for Sense 6 is that HTC is opening up its Blinkfeed homescreen to developers with a new SDK releasing today. Foursquare will be the first partner to support the feature and will publish, for example, lunch recommendations into the Blinkfeed homescreen, while Fitbit will display activity milestones in the feed. HTC is hoping other app developers will follow with support.

We have most of the hardware specs below (no huge surprises), but HTC also spent a lot of time talking about small tweaks you might not see in the specs list like much improved sound quality through a combination of redesigned speaker chambers and software tweaks. HTC also mentioned some big improvements for the camera including a new camera switcher (pictured in the gallery below) with new “dual capture”, “selfie”, and “customizable manual” shooting modes. The M8 also features a 300 millisecond focus time that’s 50% faster than the previous generation.

Sales for the new HTC One (M8) will kick off today in the US and Canada. Details on availability for other countries and carriers are available here.

Check out the official specs from HTC and some shots from the event below:

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HTC’s event is about to kick off at 11AM ET, and it looks like the company just revealed that its new flagship second-ten HTC One (M8) smartphone will go on sale starting 1PM EDT today. A page for the device on HTC’s online store not only confirms the device goes on sale at 1PM, but also that Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint will all be partners at launch. Purchases through HTC’s site will get free express shipping and the company is also giving away 65GB Google Drive storage for two years with every purchase. The page also makes mention of the Google Play Edition we told you about earlier and four color variants including “gun metal gray, silver, gold, and black.”

It’s unclear if the new HTC One will be available at 1PM through all carrier partners or just HTC’s site, or if the Google Play Edition will launch alongside the standard model. You can catch HTC’s livestream of the event here at 11AM ET or stay tuned to 9to5Google for all the official details.

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Ahead of this morning’s official unveiling of the all new HTC One in New York, the company has confirmed that a Google Play Edition of the device will be on the way (via AndroidPolice). No word if it will get a release alongside the regular version of the device, but we’ll know for sure in a few short hours. The confirmation comes from a description for the new HTC Gallery app that notes “Support for HTC One(M8) Google Play Edition is limited to HTC Photo Edit.” 

The new HTC One (Codenamed M8) is the successor to HTC’s successful flagship HTC One smartphone from last year and has experienced a long list of leaks in recent months leading up to today’s unveiling. Yesterday we got a look at the device next to the previous generation in a lengthy comparison video.

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features Stories March 11, 2014

Announced today, Google is introducing a new layer of features to its Google Docs and Google Sheets productivity web apps. The word processor and spreadsheet editor will now support additional features through user-installed add-ons developed by select partners.

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The add-ons are accessible through a menu in the tool bar when editing a document or spreadsheet and include a number of partners like Mail Chimp and Avery. Once prompted from the tool bar, Docs and Sheets will present a store-like interface laying out the various supported add-ons allowing you to install them to your apps.

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features Stories October 31, 2013

Google releases Google Play Services 4.0 w/ Google Mobile Ads SDK and new APIs for devs

Google has decided to launch the new Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat today at a quiet press event and alongside those announcements is also releasing Google Play Services 4.0. The update to the developer services platform includes the integration of Google Mobile Ads SDK, and also offers new features for Google+, Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs, and geofencing.

Google says the new Google Mobile Ads SDK lets those using AdMob to monetize their apps provide “seamless improvements” to users. For example, pushing bug fixes automatically. The new Play Services also include new Maps and Location features:

You can save power by requesting larger latency values for notifications alerting your app to users entering or exiting geofences, or request that entry alerts are sent only after a user stays within a geofence for a specified period of time. Setting generous dwell times helps to eliminate unwanted notifications when a user passes near a geofence or their location is seen to move across a boundary. The Maps API enhances map customization features, letting you specify marker opacity, fade-in effects, and visibility of 3D buildings. It’s also now possible to change ground overlay images.

WIth Google Play Services 4.0, Google is offering Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs to everyone with a simplified API. New Wallet Objects means “you can award loyalty points to a user’s saved rewards program ID for each applicable Google Wallet Instant Buy purchase.”

The the new Google Play services SDK is available to download now for developers to start developing with the new Android 4.4 APIs. You can learn more in Google’s blog post here.

Google also noted that it’s dropping support for Froyo in this release now that “over 97% of devices now running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or newer platform versions.”

As expected, the rumors indicated Google would be making a silent Nexus 5 announcement today and now the device is officially available on Google Play in the US. Lining up with previous rumors, the device will sell for $349 for the 16GB model and $399 for a 32GB model. Google is currently quoting an estimated shipping time of 1-2 business days.

Google says the Nexus 5 will officially go up for sale unlocked and without a contract in the following countries starting today through Google Play: U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Korea. It also notes that the Sprint, T-Mobile, Amazon, Best Buy and RadioShack will get carry the device soon alongside retailers in India.

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Official specs for the device right from Google Play: 4.95″ 1920×1080 display (445 ppi), Full HD IPS and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800 processor, an 8MP rear facing camera, and a 1.3MP front facing camera. There’s also a 2,300 mAH battery, Adreno 330, 450MHz GPU, and Wireless Charging.

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features Stories September 14, 2011

YouTube has released a simple editor available on the web for users who want to make changes, before actually uploading a video. The editor isn’t anything ground breaking, but adds the ability to add small changes like stabilizing, color changes, and rotation. The new editing features also work on videos that have already been uploaded. If you don’t like changes you can revert back to the original, or upload the changes as a totally new video. We’re sure Google will add more editing features over time, but in the mean time give it a try!

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