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Jun 30, 2016 - 11:40 AM - by dgstorm
"The best just got better" is a worn out phrase in marketing, but that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't true. In this case, that is the best description possible for the news we have. Google Maps on Android just added a super-handy feature that most users have been wishing it had for some time: you can now add multiple locations when getting directions.
This means that you can map out your route with several stops if you have multiple different errands to run along the way to your destination. While this feature has been available on the desktop version of Google Maps for some-time, it's rather baffling that Google has taken so long to include it on their Android version of the app.
Here's how it works. You now set waypoints along the way when adding a destination in Maps. You just have to enter a destination, and the select "Add stop" in the overflow menu. After that, every destination along the route will be assigned a letter of the alphabet. This will show up on the displayed route after you hit "Done," and you can add any number of waypoints that you want. You can even rearrange their order.
Jun 29, 2016 - 11:50 AM - by dgstorm
Just as we shared a few weeks ago, NVIDIA was working on a big update for their Shield Android TV console. The 3.2 update started rolling out today and it includes a number of cool new features. The biggest new doodad is the Plex media server support, although there are quite a few other nifty gizmo add-ons as well. here's a summary of several of them:
Netflix in HDR
YouTube 4K in 60fps
VUDU in 4K
Dolby Atmos surround sound
Option to turn off your TV when SHIELD goes to sleep
Mounting of a network attached storage device (NAS)
Accessibility of SHIELD folders from network PCs with drag-and-drop sharing (Settings>Storage & reset>Access SHIELD folders on PC)
Picture improvements to RGB TVs
Latest Android security patch
For all the details, here's a link to NVIDIA's update release notes: NVIDIA Support
Jun 15, 2016 - 10:11 AM - by dgstorm
One of Google's VPs, Hiroshi Lockheimer, keeps dropping hints that the final dessert name for Android N will be Nutella. His latest "tease" posted on Twitter above is pretty obvious. In the past he has made it known that he likes Nutella and wants it to be the Android N name. The answer to his clue in the Tweet is more than likely the Nutella Pizzetta. This time, Google created a contest in which Android fans will vote on the final name, so Lockheimer may not get his wish.
Lockheimer is also infamous as an online joker, so it's entirely possible that he is simply trolling us with this teasing. Android N could end up being called Nougat or Navy Bean. Alternatively, the ultimate back-flip "trolling" would be if he convinced us that the name was NOT going to be Nutella by spamming us with it, but then it really ends up being named Nutella. Perhaps we are getting trolled either way...
Jun 13, 2016 - 10:16 AM - by dgstorm
Here's a play from out of left field that comes as a surprise. Microsoft is acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion USD. Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella believes that LinkedIn is a prefect for Microsoft, and we can see his point. Microsoft has been focusing on the enterprise market more and more lately, and LinkedIn is the dominate social media website for remaining professionally connected.
Microsoft has promised to give LinkedIn the room to keep running independently. They will even keep the company CEO, Jeff Weiner, in place. Furthermore, Microsoft intends to integrate the LinkedIn network into its other services and apps. This includes Office, Skype and Cortana.
This is a brilliant way for Microsoft to push into the social networking industry in a more impactful way than they have been able to previously. The company plans to finish the acquisition before the close of 2016. What do you think?
Check out the video below with Weiner and Nadella discussing the buyout.
Jun 10, 2016 - 11:16 AM - by dgstorm
Just in case you want to create even more videos to share across the interwebs, now Facebook will let you add them to your comments and replies to other folks' Facebook posts. Here's a quote from the Facebook blog post on the subject:
"Yesterday marked my 7th “Faceversary” (annual anniversary working at Facebook). I’m celebrating the best way I know how: by launching a brand new feature a few of us started at a hackathon.
At Facebook’s 50th Hackathon early this year, we prototyped the ability to upload a video into comments and replies on posts, because we wanted enable more engaging and immersive conversations. This adds to the suite of multimedia features within comments including: links, photos, stickers, emoji, and starting today video.
Videos in Comments are now available worldwide! You can upload them as replies to posts by people and pages, as well as within groups and events. It’s supported on desktop web, iOS, and Android. To try it out, click the camera icon next to the comment field!" ~ Facebook
Now folks can post that umpteenth cat video in response to your best friend's cat video Facebook post... :rolleyes:
Jun 09, 2016 - 11:01 AM - by dgstorm
The latest (version 3.2) update to the NVIDIA Shield Pro Android TV will offer up several cool new features. The biggest game-changer included in the update is that you can now use your Shield Pro Android TV as a Plex Media Server. The Plex server on the SHIELD will be capable of the same things the current version is. You will even be able to stream remote devices across the Internet using your Android TV interface. Of course, to take advantage of the Plex server functionality, you will either want to have the larger 500GB version of the device, or attach an additional external USB Hard Drive to the Shield.
There's a second big feature that this update brings and that is the ability to browse the SHIELD's file storage from a local PC. This remote file access works with the SHIELD's internal storage or any volume added to adoptable storage, although a MicroSD card or any other external storage will not be available over the network. However, The SHIELD can now mount any drives on your local network-attached storage (NAS), which is handy.
That's not all the update included. Here's a breakdown of a few other features worth highlighting:
- VUDU video app on the homescreen
- Dolby Atmos sound pass-through
- Netflix HDR and in-app voice search*
- 4K 60FPS support for YouTube
- CEC TV-off support
The update was announced, but isn't forthcoming at the moment. We will let you folks know when it finally lands. In the mean-time, check out the video in the thread below for more info.
Jun 06, 2016 - 11:04 AM - by dgstorm
"Can you hear me now?" That was the video commercial catch-phrase that made Verizon famous for quite a few years. For those who don't remember, actor Paul Marcarelli would show up in a strange and random area asking that question. The concept of the ad was brilliant and was meant to showcase how much more reliable Verizon's network was than any of their competitors. It was a simple and effective way to cement Verizon's reputation in the public consciousness.
The ad campaign worked so well, it has left a lasting impression that Verizon has the best network, regardless of whether that is true anymore. Marcarelli is back, but this time he is pitching for a different team. Apparently Sprint is paying him to claim that Sprint's network reliability is within 1% of Verizon's across the nation. Of course, he is just a paid spokesperson, so there's not guarantee what he is saying is completely accurate. Despite that, it could be an effective ad strategy for Sprint to bring him out of "retirement" for their team. What do you folks think?
May 27, 2016 - 2:22 PM - by dgstorm
Check announcements It looks like the first fight between Oracle and Google over Android's alleged infringement on Oracle patents has ended in the defeat of Oracle. The judge ruled in favor of Google and basically came to the conclusion that Google did not infringe on any of Oracle''s Java APIs because they were considered fair use. The verdict basically means that Google will not be required to pay any of the $9.3 Billion that Oracle was demanding for supposed Android duplication of functions from Oracle's Java software. More than likely, Oracle will appeal this first verdict, so this is really a case which will drag on for years just the way the Apple v Samsung case did. Despite this likely going into the appeals process for long into the future, this is still a landmark case and a solid verdict for the cause of software development. Here are a couple of links with more of the details,
May 27, 2016 - 2:08 PM - by dgstorm
The latest rumors surrounding the next version of Android suggest the final dessert name could be a tough one for some of us to pronounce. Supposedly, an East Indian dessert called Neyyappam is at the top of the list of potentials at the moment. Neyyappam is a popular deep-fried dessert in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is made of rice and jaggery. Google opened up the naming of this year's new version of Google to the public. You can submit what you think would be the best dessert name on the following web-landing page: Help name Android N. Entries will be tallied right up until June 9th. We live in an increasingly more globally focused world, and it makes sense that at least some of the dessert names starting with letters from the English alphabet will need to be from a country other than a Western one. What do you folks think?
May 26, 2016 - 4:18 PM - by dgstorm
We aren't sure if this strategy would work, but we are all for Google trying just about anything to get Android device vendors to release Android updates in a more timely fashion. The latest rumors suggests Google is considering a "name and shame" to light a fire under the proverbial butts of any lagging vendors *cough*rhymes with horizon*cough*.
Apparently, Google actually keeps a detailed database on the Android releases from the various Android vendors and OEMs, but they have always kept it to themselves. Google execs are considering making that list public to see if PR shaming will spur faster work. Google has supposedly also been pushing vendors to automatically release any security updates and skip tests entirely.
Of course, all of this is just rumor at this point, so who knows if it will actually happen. What do you folks think? Is this something Google should do, or would it be bad etiquette?
May 25, 2016 - 12:41 PM - by dgstorm
Owners of the LTE version of the NVIDIA Shield Android tablet might be pleased to know that their device will soon have a tasty and fluffy, white treat on it. Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow has started pushing out to that version of the device. The NVIDIA Shield K1 and the WiFi version already received the update, so it's good to see that NVIDIA finally finished up with Marshmallow for all of their Shield tablet devices.
Here's a breakdown of some of the highlighted features included in this update:
- Updated Emojis
- Better button layout in landscape mode
- Fixed compass issues
- Shifted Lasso Capture icons
- Fixed Gamepad mapper issues
- Fixed SD card app issues
- Android Doze support
- Doom 3 HDMI-out fix
- USB MIDI support
- Do Not Disturb Until Next Alarm
- Various performance and functionality fixes
The LTE Shield Tablet now also includes full support for NVIDIA's own Vulkan Graphics API, which is their latest 3D computing API designed to enhance your gaming experience. Even if you don't like real life Marshmallows, this is one Marshmallow it's easy to enjoy!
May 18, 2016 - 4:34 PM - by dgstorm
It looks like Google is having a hard time settling on a name for Android N. Despite that hiccup, actual development is moving along rapidly. Here's a highlight of just a few of the deep improvements in Android N:
- Performance improvements from the new graphics API called Vulcan - lower GPU overhead - software’s JIT compiler will make apps install 75% faster and the code size is reduced by 50%.
- Improved security - includes file-based encryption, media-hardening framework and seamless updates (this means system images will download automatically without a dialog notification (should you leave that option on).
- The apps carousel has been overhauled - recent apps beyond the last seven you used will be added to a list.
- A ‘Clear All’ button
- Split screen mode coming to both Android phones and tablets
- A long tap on the square button lets Android N users open two screens at a time
- A Picture-in-Picture for Android TV.
- Direct replies will let users respond to notifications, and they won't even need to open the app
- Unicode 9 emoji support - emoji that look much better
That's just a small smattering of the over 250 new features which will be added in Android N. The new OS from Google is already available to beta test, and will launch sometime this summer.
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