Video Stories April 20, 2017

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…

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Video Stories October 18, 2016

Unboxing the Google Pixel XL [Video]

Yes, we just published our full review of the Google Pixel, but we thought you might want to see what’s in the box. Besides the phone, you’ll find the USB-C power brick, a USB-C to USB-C cable for charging the phone, a USB-C to USB-A cable, the SIM tool, the OTG dongle, and more…

Here’s the official list from Google:

  • Pixel or Pixel XL
  • USB-C 18W adapter with USB-PD
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • USB-C to USB Standard-A plug cable
  • SIM tool
  • OTG Dongle
  • Safety and Warranty information
  • Quick start guide
  • Google Play Music promo card
  • Google Assistant card
  • Google Social promo card

Check out our quick unboxing video below, and if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our full review as well.

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We didn’t expect it to come as soon as it did, but Google’s first solely self-branded smartphone, the Google Pixel, is finally here. In light of how mature the smartphone market has become in the last few years, it’s hard for a new phone to stand out as something that takes anything more than a few baby steps forward. This phone isn’t that much different. But what is different is that it isn’t just any Android phone made by one of Google’s partners. This one is Google’s, and that’s special.

It’s special because Google really has made an effort at building a good top-to-bottom user experience. It’s special because Google has made some clear — in some cases major — improvements to its software and how it works with the hardware. It’s special because it has a great camera. It’s special because it’s the first Android phone to ship with the Google Assistant. It’s special because it’s the first Daydream-ready smartphone. It’s special because it’s the best portal to Google’s services, full stop.

But most of all, I think the Pixel is special because it seems to me that Google’s newly-rebirthed smartphone line has a lot of potential. Yes, there are some things that this phone doesn’t have. But what phone doesn’t? Let’s talk about what the Pixel has going for it.

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Video Stories October 5, 2016

daydream-view

While debuting the Daydream VR platform at I/O earlier this year, Google said that it was working on its own VR headset to accompany what would be the first Daydream-ready phones. On October 4th, Google showed off both the Pixel and Pixel XL, as well as Daydream View, its promised VR hardware…

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Video Stories September 30, 2016

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I tried the HTC Vive for the first time last year, and one of the most memorable parts of that first dive into VR was Google’s Tilt Brush. Basically, it’s a VR version of “paint” that lets you doodle in 3D space and create insanely cool virtual worlds of pretty much anything you can imagine. It’s magical.

Now it appears that Google is set to make the experience even better, allowing multiple Tilt Brush players to create together in real time…

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Video Stories September 6, 2016

Hands-on with LG’s flagship V20 [Video]

LG just announced its new flagship V20, and luckily we were at IFA 2016 last week to get some early hands-on time with the device at LG’s booth. I was a fan of the — in my opinion, underrated — LG V10, but I don’t necessarily think it was the best phone of last year. This one, though, I think is going to be hard to beat — especially since the Galaxy Note 7 has been having some trouble lately…

Video Stories September 3, 2016

hands on lenovo

Lenovo had a lot to show us at IFA this year — perhaps more than expected. We heard quite a while ago that the company was planning more Moto Mods and a “Play” version of the Moto Z, but the company’s Android-powered convertible and tablet caught many by surprise. Unfortunately, despite the external attractiveness of pretty much everything the company announced, there’s nothing that screams sure-fire hit with consumers. Watch our hands-on video for more…

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Video Stories August 17, 2016

OSC Overlay Window 2016-08-17 09-45-31

Late last evening Honor announced the Honor 8 for the United States market, and we finally got a chance to go hands-on with the phone. As you may already know, the phone is basically the Huawei P9 on the inside, albeit aimed at millennial consumers and given a completely new external aesthetic. This phone has a glass back, a fingerprint sensor that you can press for app shortcuts, a dual-camera setup, and more…

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Video Stories June 23, 2016

Introducing SpotMini - YouTube 2016-06-23 13-28-19

Boston Dynamics is still owned by Google/Alphabet as of today (as far as we know), and that means that the company’s latest developments are still relevant here at 9to5Google. That’s probably going to change soon, but for now, the latest creepy and unnerving robots that the company shows off in its videos are still attributable to the Mountain View company. The latest is a miniature version of its Spot robot with the addition of a giraffe-like neck. Yep, it’s not getting any less creepy…

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Video Stories June 20, 2016

One-Plus-3

Even with its 6GB of RAM, a YouTube comparison revealed last week that the OnePlus 3 still had a bit of trouble with multitasking. When compared with the Galaxy S7 Edge, the OnePlus 3 took marginally longer to store and reload apps from memory despite its supposed advantage on paper. Later the same week, the talents over at XDA developed a potential fix for this issue and now the same YouTuber who started this is back with the fix applied to show us how it improves things.

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Video Stories June 16, 2016

oneplus3_8

Over the past couple years our smartphones have turned into powerhouses we never would have imagined even a few years ago, but things took a step even further earlier this week with the announcement of the OnePlus 3. With 6GB of RAM under the hood you’d expect this phone to be an exception in a world of laggy Android phones with subpar performance, but that doesn’t seem to be the case just yet…

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Video Stories June 14, 2016

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Today we’re taking a look at the recently announced OnePlus 3. I’ve only had this phone for a couple of days, so don’t expect a full review just yet. But instead, our initial impressions with more to come…

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Video Stories June 10, 2016

moto mods 5

Yesterday we got our hands on Lenovo’s just-announced Moto Z and Phab2 Pro, but one of the most important new features of the former — the company’s true flagship this year — is support for new modular backplates called Moto Mods. Lenovo announced a slew of them yesterday, including speakers from JBL, a camera module from Hasselblad, a pico projector called the Moto Insta-Share, an Incopio battery pack, and more.

Let’s take a look…

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june_bestandroidapps_1

There are nearly 1.5 million applications currently on Google Play and with so many to choose from, finding interesting new experiences can be a hassle. That’s why today we’re kicking off a new series here at 9to5Google highlighting 5 different Android apps each month that are worth checking out.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at our picks for the month.

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youtube-smart-offline-page

Offline video is one of the main benefits of a YouTube Red subscription. In developing countries, downloads are actually available for free as a means to work around connectivity issues. Now YouTube is rolling out a new Smart Offline feature in India that downloads videos during late night hours when carriers offer discounted data.

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Video Stories June 9, 2016

IMG_2688 (2)

Lenovo announced the first line of Moto phones since its acquisition of Motorola today, and there was not a single mention of the company from which the new devices got their namesake. The Moto X is gone replaced by the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force — the former being the true flagship with a super-thin build and the latter being a more rugged version with a better camera, a little more thickness, and a shatterproof screen.

Let’s take a look at the regular Moto Z, which in my opinion is the nicest phone Lenovo announced today…

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Video Stories June 6, 2016

S7 Active Hero

Over the last fews days, I’ve had the chance to use the Samsung Galaxy S7 active as my daily driver. Like the previous entry into the “active” line, it’s the rugged version of Samsung’s current flagship, the Galaxy S7, and is an AT&T exclusive.

With this in mind, sleek design and visual appeal take a back seat to durability, battery life and tactile response. If you’re a Samsung fan who’s constantly subjected to harsh, rugged environments and terrain, then the Galaxy S7 active is the version of company’s flagship efforts that you’d be wise to consider.

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Video Stories June 3, 2016

Sony’s new Xperia X apparently suffers from overheating issues while video recording

Sony’s camera sensors are some of the best available today, but several of their devices have suffered when recording video. In a recent video, YouTube user Damir Franc showed in real-time (via Xperia Blog) how quickly the Xperia X would shut down the camera due to heat even when shooting nothing more than 1080p.

Video Stories May 31, 2016

Crystal Shell Spigen

Last week, Spigen sent over a few cases for the recently released HTC 10. That was great news for me, as I’ve been extremely hesitant to use the device as my daily driver without some sort of protection.

If the HTC 10 wasn’t so pretty and well designed it wouldn’t matter, but it’s a beautiful smartphone that I wish to keep in tip-top shape. As such, I was more than happy to take Spigen’s offerings for a test drive. Take a look at our hands-on video to see the cases in action. expand full story

Video Stories May 19, 2016

android instant apps

Android Instant Apps may be one of the coolest announcements that Google made during the I/O 2016 keynote yesterday, and now we had a chance to see the new feature up close…

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android-n-dev-preview-3-lead

Last night, in addition to launching the first public beta for Android N, Google pushed the third developer preview out and it includes some notable differences from the previous two…

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Video Stories May 18, 2016

lg-360-cam

When LG announced the new G5 at its launch event in Barcelona back in February, it also launched a handful of ‘Friends’ to work alongside the smartphone. One of them was the 360 CAM, which is essentially a 360-degree camera, and we’ve been sent a unit to check out.

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google i:o

Google’s annual I/O developers’ conference is set to be a big one this year, and that all starts with the keynote scheduled for 10 AM PT on Wednesday, May 18th. Of course we’re on the ground at the event, but Google is also providing live streams in both typical flat and 360 video.

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Video Stories May 5, 2016

Netflix for Android adds ‘Cellular Data Usage’ to control video quality

After announcing the ability to pay for a subscription using Google Play billing, Netflix is now rolling out cellular data usage controls so users don’t go over their monthly carrier caps. The feature requires an updated app with a global rollout starting today.

Video Stories May 4, 2016

youtube-logo-background

Bloomberg reports that YouTube is preparing to launch a new subscription video service called “Unplugged” that will see it stream bundled cable TV channel packages to users online. That compares to the company’s current subscription offerings that simply offer enhanced features like ad-free and offline playback for its regular video service.

The report claims YouTube is in talks with most major media companies that would be necessary to build such a service, some of which include Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, Viacom Inc., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and CBS Corp. And while it’s yet to secure rights with any, according to the report, it’s already started building out the tech necessary for the service ahead of a launch planned for as early as next year:

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Video Stories May 1, 2016

Samsung Gear VR Box

I’ve long be intrigued about the potential of virtual reality, and as such, I’ve been dying to try the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. Sadly, I’ve yet to have the opportunity to try either.

I humbly settled on Google Cardboard, which is a nice novelty, but a less than ideal experience. For all that Google Cardboard lacked, it made it clear that VR is more than just a passing fad, and that it features some serious potential.

Google Cardboard, for all of its merits, doesn’t do the idea of VR justice. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend ~$1500 to enjoy a proper VR experience. Samsung’s Gear VR, an idea brought to reality via a partnership with VR pioneer Oculus, is a legitimate VR experience that makes me downright excited about the future of this technology.

Gear VR is far from perfect, but it’s a huge upgrade over Google Cardboard, and cheap enough to where the masses can both experience and validate it. expand full story

Video Stories April 27, 2016

priv-marshmallow-lead

Yesterday, BlackBerry finally started pushing out the Android Marshmallow for the PRIV. And while it contains everything we already know about Marshmallow, BlackBerry added a few new useful and cool features of its own.

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 Samsung-Dev-Conference-2016

Samsung is starting its Developer Conference 2016 with live streams of the keynote addresses including the opening keynote scheduled to kick things off today at 9:30am PST/12:30pm EST.

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Video Stories April 26, 2016

youtube-home

YouTube is rolling out a redesigned Home interface for the Android and iOS app. The new design is cleaner and simpler, but also takes advantage of deep neural networks to better recommend videos for users to watch.

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After announcing a new ad platform for television last week, Google is launching a new six second “Bumper” video ad format for YouTube. Aimed at “snackable” videos consumed on smartphones, Bumpers cannot be skipped over.

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Video Stories April 25, 2016

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As we told you would be the case, LeEco held an event in China last week to announce a few new Android phones, a new all-electric vehicle concept, the next-generation of its SuperTV line, and a VR headset. While the Le 2 and the Le 2Pro are great handsets for the price, the phone that really caught my eye was the highest-end Le Max2. The Le Max2 is also a great phone for the price, but it brings specs and performance comparable to the latest-and-greatest Android flagships from Samsung, LG, and others.

Follow after the break for our hands-on video…

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Video Stories April 20, 2016

doubleclick-tv

Following big Google Cloud announcements at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show earlier this week, the company is announcing a new ad platform to monetize and personalize video content, as well as that live TV listings are coming to Search results.

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Video Stories April 16, 2016

LG G5 Unboxing First Thoughts

After making a huge splash at this year’s Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona, the LG G5 is now available for purchase. Thanks to the handset’s modular design, which nabbed it an award for 2016’s best innovation of MWC, it stands out from the rest of this year’s flagship releases. Is the modular design enough to make the LG G5 a better buy than competing 2016 flagship offerings? expand full story

Video Stories April 15, 2016

huawei-p9-review

2015 was an incredible year for Huawei. No Chinese OEM made as big a dent on the western smartphone market as the Nexus 6P makers did. There’s no denying that it released some fantastic hardware last year, including one of the best Android Wear smartwatches. The year culminated in the launch of the first Chinese-made Nexus phone. With all that success, there’s a lot riding on this year and, arguably, its first flagship of 2016: The P9.

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Video Stories April 14, 2016

HTC 10 Review

As an “Apple guy” the HTC 10 has been the one smartphone that I’ve immediately identified with in the Android ecosystem. That’s not to say that there haven’t been other Android devices that I’ve enjoyed or wanted to use, but I’ve always connected with HTC.

That probably has something to do with the fact that the HTC Wizard was the first “smart” phone I’ve ever owned. That phone ran the now defunct Windows Mobile and featured a resistive touch screen. Needless to say, I’ve long been a fan of the Taiwanese company, and its passion and desire to put out well-designed products continues to resonate with me in 2016.

So it’s with great empathy and concern that HTC has been struggling as of late. To be honest, the HTC 10 feels like the company’s make or break — the major fork in the road, if you will.

It’s very possible that the HTC 10 will be the release that paves a path to one of two destinations. Fortunately, I can report that this is a phone that’s good enough to pave that path in the right direction. It’s a phone that lives up to its billing, and in many ways exceeds expectations. It’s definitely not perfect, but it’s the best-looking and most complete HTC offering that we’ve seen thus far. expand full story

Video Stories April 12, 2016

HTC 10 Review

We’ve had the HTC 10 all weekend, and wanted to share with you our first hands-on look. Of all of the flagship devices that we’ve seen in 2016, the HTC 10 is easily the prettiest.

The chamfered edges on the front of the HTC 10 lend a design reminiscent of jewelry, and the extra wide light-reflecting chamfer on the rear of the phone adds even more flair to the first impression. Have a look at our hands-on preview for a first-hand glimpse at HTC’s 2016 flagship. expand full story

Video Stories March 24, 2016

First look at gameplay from the upcoming Pokémon Go Android game

After announcing a deal in September to produce a Pokémon Go games with Nintendo and Alphabet-owned Niantic, the Pokémon people are today showing a little more about how gameplay will work and giving us a first look at the title coming to both Android and iOS devices.

The game uses augmented reality features to blend real world objects and locations with the gameplay, and the company today gave the run down and a look at how exactly that will work:

Video Stories March 16, 2016

Google Hangouts now lets App customers video chat with up to 25 participants

You’ll soon be able to hold video chat meetings with much larger groups as today Google begins increasing the number of participants Apps customers can have in a Google Hangouts video call at any one time. The old limit of 10 participants today gets increased to 25 users.

The change comes to Apps customers only— Business, Government, and Education—  while all other Hangouts users will still have the old limit of 10 participants for video.

Google notes that it will only show “the 10 most active video call participants” along the bottom of the video chat to maintain quality, but it will switch on the fly between active users for the new limit of up to 25 participants.

All Apps customers should start to see the new participant limit increase roll out over the next few days.

Video Stories March 14, 2016

android-n-landscape-lead

The first Android N dev preview dropped last week, and since then, we’ve been digging in to the new operating system to find out what’s new. We’ve already covered the biggest changes, but here’s a list of 14 slightly less obvious and hidden ones.

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Video Stories March 12, 2016

IMG_2262

We told you a couple of days ago that Google was building a crane game for SXSW attendees, and last night we finally had a chance to try it out for ourselves. Appropriately dubbed “I’m Feeling Lucky,” the huge crane game offers some free swag from the variety of products the Mountain View company offers via its online retail presence (with no SXSW badge required!)…

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Video Stories March 1, 2016

youtube-logo-background

An update rolling out to the YouTube Android app revamps the upload workflow on mobile and makes it much more convenient to add a video to the service. The most immediate visual change is the video icon that replaces the generic file upload icon on the FAB in the Home tab.

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Video Stories February 29, 2016

Google Maps on Twitter: %22Run Forrest Run! Or walk, or drive, or bike. #MapsAtTheMovies https:::t.co:GocsZtDx9L https:::t.co:4iO… 2016-02-29 11-28-50

We might have had our first look at Android N late last week, but now it looks like we might already be getting another one. In a tweet from the official Google Maps Twitter account, a Nexus 6P is seemingly shown without an app drawer…

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Video Stories February 26, 2016

YouTube on a smartphone: the company is accused of playing Goliath to small indie music labels.

In the past weeks, several large YouTubers have been hit with apparent copyright violations that have led to video removals and loss of revenue. In response, YouTube has announced they are working on new initiatives to improve communications, starting with a dedicated team to minimize mistakes.

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Video Stories February 25, 2016

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Compared to the dozens of other Android Wear watches we’ve seen over the last couple of years, the Moto 360 Sport is both different and the same. It’s different because, unlike the more popular classy offerings in the form of the Huawei Watch, the Fossil Q, the Moto 360 (2nd gen.), and others, the Moto 360 was made from the ground up with an active lifestyle in mind. It’s the same, however, in pretty much every other way imaginable… expand full story

Video Stories February 23, 2016

Coca-cola-vr-viewer

Coca-Cola could easily equip just about everyone in the country with a free Google Cardboard-style VR viewer if the above experiment turns into reality.

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Video Stories February 16, 2016

Samsung just had a llama unbox, and then paint, the upcoming Galaxy S7 [Video]

In what may be one of the oddest (and funniest) marketing videos that Samsung has ever made, a llama is seen going into a room by itself, “unboxing” the upcoming Galaxy S7, and then painting a picture of what it saw. That’s all I need to say about this, right?..

Video Stories February 15, 2016

Google’s latest Android ad is just as beautiful as it is simple [Video]

Google has today uploaded its latest “Be together. Not the same.” ad to YouTube, and it’s a profound statement of how the company views its mobile platform, as well as how it views competitors. In the ad, dubbed “Monotune,” an unnamed pianist plays a tune in two versions: one using all the piano’s normal variety of keys, and the other on a special piano Google rigged to play the same note on all its keys…

Video Stories February 8, 2016

Super-bowl-ads-youtube

YouTube and its YouTube AdBlitz channel are always popular destinations for watching Super Bowl ads that will air on TV during and online leading up to the game– and this year even an alternative half-time show. Following yesterday’s Super Bowl 50 with the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, YouTube has now shared some data on what the most popular ads were this year based on views as of this morning, and we’ve embedded the list in video form below for easy viewing…

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