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Android M's Stand-Out Features

May 28, 2015 - 4:41 PM - by dgstorm

Of course, it wouldn't be Google I/O without info on the newest Android OS. This time around Android M is on the pedestal as the folks at Google showed off its fresh new innovations. Here's a breakdown highlight of its most stand-out changes in a quote from BGR,

Google Now on Tap: Google Now has always been a fantastic feature that gives you important contextual information before you even think to ask for it. Google taking it to the next level with Google Now on Tap, a new update that will offer you even more contextual information than ever before.

How good is Now on Tap? If you’re playing a song by Rihanna and you ask “What’s her full name?”, Google will be able to tell you that it’s “Robyn Rihanna Fenty.” Or if you’re driving a rental car, Google might let you know about nearby gas stations when you’re close to the end of your trip so you don’t drop it off with an empty tank.

Granular app permissions: Have you ever gone to download a cheap Flappy Bird knockoff and been horrified that it wants access to your contacts list, camera and microphone? Well Google’s aiming to put a stop to shady app permissions requests with a new system that will let you grant permissions for apps individually instead of giving them to you as an all-or-nothing proposition in the Google Play Store.

So let’s say you’re playing your Flappy Bird knockoff and the app wants access to your microphone to enable a certain feature you’re trying to use. Now it will ask you for permission to do so and you can deny its request while still being able to play the game as you were before.

Support for fingerprint scanning: Many Android phones already have fingerprint scanners installed but now Google is adding universal support for fingerprint scanning across its entire platform. This likely means we should expect fingerprint scanners to be features in all major flagship Android phones going forward, which should certainly help Google push our next exciting feature…

Android Pay: Yes, Google tried the digital wallet once before with Google Wallet but that never really caught on. Now with the addition of fingerprint scanner support in Android M, Google is giving it another shot with Android Pay. Google says that 700,000 retail locations will support Android Pay when it releases this fall, although whether mobile payments will really ever catch on is still an open question.

Doze: Finally, this feature is designed to combat the ever-present problem of battery drain on Android devices. Doze will use your device’s sensors to tell when you haven’t been using it for a while and it will shut off all your phone’s background activity until you pick it up again. At the very least this should significantly increase the standby battery life of your device even if it doesn’t do much to improve your device’s battery consumption during actual use.
What do you guys think of Android M's biggest changes?
  0 Replies | 117 Views


Google I/O 2015 Keynote New Technology Round-Up

May 28, 2015 - 4:19 PM - by dgstorm

The image above is the new Google & GoPro Array camera for creating VR content.

Google I/O 2015 just held its first day Keynote earlier today. Even though we shared a couple of the releases which kicked off from the event, we thought it would be worthwhile to give you a one stop shop to check out most of the main highlights from the event.

The following is a round-up of the biggest new innovations revealed at Google I/O 2015's KeyNote:
  • Expeditions - new virtual reality tool - much cheaper (yet still effective) cardboard version of VR than the competition from Oculus Rift and Microsoft's HoloLens - this is basically the evolution of the cardboard concept they shared previously.
  • Google Photos - a brand new app to help users manage their digital images - smart enough to automatically organize your photos - offers easier control of photo collections and albums - automatically backs up all your pictures from multiple devices - offers a slew of new and easy to use sharing functions - support for storing unlimited photos (up to 16-megapixel) and videos (up to 1080p) in the cloud - all free to the user.
  • Google Maps improvements - even without an active Internet connection, Google Maps will let you search inside Google Maps - this includes access to reviews and open hours for businesses - turn-by-turn voice navigation will become available offline.
  • "Secret VR Weapon" - Google and GoPro teamed-up to create a special Array camera which can capture 360-degree footage, and records video with 16 cameras to create a more immersive VR experience that can be uploaded to a VR version of YouTube.

What do you guys think? Can Google deliver on these exciting ideas?
  0 Replies | 94 Views


NVIDIA Officially Launches Shield TV at Google I/O

May 28, 2015 - 3:31 PM - by dgstorm

We have an intriguing press release to share with you guys today. This announcement was made at Google I/O earlier today, and comes from the folks at NVIDIA. They are officially launching their NVIDIA Shield TV device, and it comes with a huge array of features and functions. Here's a big chunk of the press release and a video above:

Today at Google I/O, NVIDIA announced the availability of its first living room entertainment device — the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV device.

Consumers are increasingly moving away from the traditional television experience toward online viewing; NVIDIA SHIELD ensures that whether you’re cutting the cord to pay TV, diving into the wild world of web video or looking for a way bring great games to your living room, you have control.

Initially announced at GDC in March, SHIELD is Android TV’s flagship device – the most powerful smart TV platform ever built. From instant access to movies, TV shows and music, to a world of apps and games and Google’s voice search, SHIELD is more than a streamer; it allows you to play TV.

Packing the world’s most advanced processor, Tegra X1 — with its 256-core NVIDIA GPU and a 64-bit CPU — NVIDIA SHIELD offers up to 30x the performance of competing devices, making a new class of games possible on Android. What’s more, SHIELD connects you to your content in 4K, and it delivers blazing-fast streaming performance, along with a range of exciting new features, including:

·Brand-new TV apps with movies and shows

oUltra HD streaming is now available on Netflix; 4K content is also available on SHIELD through YouTube 4K

oLive TV over the internet instantly via Sling TV and Google’s Live Channels app, which permits access to news, sports, movies, and TV shows from various channel sources such as built-in tuner, IP-based tuners and more

oNew TV apps on Android TV – Major broadcasters are bringing new video and viewing apps to Android TV, such as HBO NOW, CBS and FOX family of apps, Twitch, Vimeo and more


·Games, NVIDIA SHIELD makes a new class of Android games possible

oOver 200 games on Android TV, and almost 20 titles are coming only to SHIELD

oAAA games like Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, Remastered classics like Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Indie hits — including The Talos Principle, Retro-inspired titles to fulfill your old school gaming fix and Family games for everyone in your home to enjoy


NVIDIA SHIELD launches today in the U.S. and Canada in two versions: SHIELD ($199) and SHIELD Pro ($299), which comes with an integrated 500 GB HD and bundled with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!. Both models include a SHIELD controller and a high-speed HDMI cable. Accessories include a remote control with voice search for $49.99, a stand for $29.99, and additional controllers for $59.99 each.
... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 191 Views


Nexus Rumors: Two New Phones, but No New Tablets

May 26, 2015 - 3:57 PM - by dgstorm

It's that time of the year again... time for tons of new Nexus rumors. The latest intel basically echoes reports we shared previously... namely that a new Nexus 5 will be coming from LG and that a new Nexus 6 will be coming from Huawei. However, we do have a few new details to go along with this.

First, it looks like Google will not be making a new Nexus tablet this year, and will instead stick with the current Nexus 9 until next year. Second, we now have a couple of extra specific tidbits regarding the two devices. Here's a breakdown:

The Nexus 5 is the LG Angler (internal codename) -
  • 5.2-inch
  • Battery (around) 2700mAh
  • Snapdragon 808

The Nexus 6 is the Huawei Bullhead (internal codename) -
  • 5.7-inch screen
  • Snapdragon 810
  • Battery (around) 3500mAh

As you can see, a few of these details are repeated from previous leaks. The main new info is the internal codenames of these devices. These included names offer a bit more credibility to the leak overall. Of course, you should still take this report with a grain of salt as with all rumors.

Source: AndroidPolice
  0 Replies | 197 Views


Android M Release Time, Internal Code-name & Other Details Revealed

May 26, 2015 - 10:33 AM - by dgstorm

Get ready for this folks... Android M's internal codename is rather unwieldy... Macadamia Nut Cookie (MNC). Of course, sometimes the internal codename for Android doesn't end up mirroring the retail marketing name that the OS is finally dubbed, so it is entirely possible that name will change.

Really though, as Shakespeare's own Juliet once queried... "What's in a name?" For most Android fans, what matters is what the OS can do for us, not whatever marketing slogan adorns its cover. Luckily, we have a few hints regarding that for you today as well, including the release timeframe, which is probably sometime in August. On top of that, Android M will supposedly be more memory and energy-efficient. Here's a quote with a few more details,

Google wants to cut location check-ins when possible, and reduce RAM usage as well by further limiting activity when a device’s screen is off. These moves should fix RAM issues on certain devices and improve battery life at the same time. Google will reportedly explain the new performance improvements in greater detail at Google I/O.

A developer preview of Android M will be available for testing after I/O, just like Android Lollipop last year. The final release date for Android M is now said to be sometime in August, which would be much earlier than Google’s usual fall launches for major Android updates.
What do you guys and gals think?

Source: BGR (1) & (2)
  0 Replies | 151 Views


Microsoft's Cortana Officially Announced for Android and iOS

May 26, 2015 - 10:11 AM - by dgstorm

This morning, Microsoft officially announced Cortana will be coming to Android and iOS. It's a brilliant move by Microsoft in a string of brilliant moves since the leadership changeover occurred. The personal digital assistant will obviously be in direct competition to both Siri and Google Now. The main difference will now be that you can get Cortana as an app for any mobile device.

Microsoft didn't share a specific time-frame for release, but left it with a vague "later this year." Cortana offer several of the same features you can find on Google Now or Siri, including contextually-aware reminders, routing and mapping, weather and traffic, sports scores, and more. When she launches, not all of Cortana's Windows 10 features will be immediately available for Android and iOS. This includes features toggling settings, opening apps or using the "Hey Cortana" hands-free options.



Windows 10 itself will include a free "Phone Companion" app which will do various things, including syncing up your devices with your PC and helping you install Cortana on other devices. You can check out more regarding the Windows 10 companion app in the video above.

For more info, here's Microsoft's full presser: https://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwi...vices-you-own/
  0 Replies | 150 Views


Asus Zenfone 2 Finally Arriving to US via Amazon & Newegg

May 18, 2015 - 4:09 PM - by dgstorm

Even though the Asus Zenfone 2 was first announced back in January at CES, it is only just now being released to the US market via online retailers. There will be two versions of the device which will be sold unlocked to be used on nearly any carrier, and they are remarkably powerful and affordable. Here's the breakdown:

Asus Zenfone 2 (2GB RAM version & 16GB Storage) = $199.99 Unlocked
  • 5.5-inch FHD (1080p) display (which accounts for 72% of the phone’s front) - with Gorilla Glass 3
  • 1.8GHz Z3560
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB Storage
  • A microSD slot
  • 3,000mAh battery with quick charging (60% in 39 mins)
  • 13MP rear camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Asus Zenfone 2 (4GB RAM version & 64GB Storage) = $299.99 Unlocked
  • 5.5-inch FHD (1080p) display (which accounts for 72% of the phone’s front) - with Gorilla Glass 3
  • 2.3GHz Intel Z3580
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB Storage
  • A microSD slot
  • 3,000mAh battery with quick charging (60% in 39 mins)
  • 13MP rear camera
  • 5MP front camera
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

The Asus Zenfone 2 will go on sale in the US tomorrow at Amazon, Newegg, B&H Photo, and Groupon. This seems like a pretty significant device for this small of a price. What do you guys think?

Here's our dedicated section for more discussions on the Asus Zenfone 2: ASUS Zenfone 2 Android Forum at DroidForums.net

Source: Asus Twitter
  0 Replies | 349 Views


Samsung Teases the Box for the Iron Man Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

May 15, 2015 - 10:26 AM - by dgstorm

Samsung's PR team took to Twitter this morning to tease the upcoming Iron Man Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. We don't actually get to see the device yet, but they did share an image of the box.

If the actual phone looks half as good as the box, it could be a real crowd-pleaser, especially for fans of Marvel or just Iron Man. At first it may seem odd that Sammy is only releasing an Iron Man version of the device when they could use Avengers: Age of Ultron fever in order to push out multiple different colored devices. It actually makes sense, however. Samsung and Marvel likely want to see what kind of response they get before they commit to a full lineup of Avengers themed devices.

Either way, the Iron Man Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is "coming soon," so stay tuned. We will share more details as they hit the web.
  0 Replies | 429 Views


More LG Nexus 5 2015 Edition Rumors Hit the Web

May 14, 2015 - 11:08 AM - by dgstorm

We've shared a new Nexus 5 rumor for you guys earlier in the week, and now we have a second rumor to serve as backup. In this rumor LG has supposedly "confirmed" it is considering making the next gen (2015 Edition) of the Nexus 5. Our previous rumor suggested the new Nexus 5 will have a slightly larger screen at 5.2-inches and come later in the Fall of this year. This new intel seemingly corroborates that.

What is really strange is how it was worded. An unnamed LG exec supposedly said, ''it's under consideration at LG.'' This suggests that the decision to take the Google contract hasn't yet been made, but that Google offered the contract to them. When Google was contacted for comment on the subject, they said they would, "not comment on rumors or speculations".

The important question to ask if LG takes the contract is whether LG would use the Snapdragon 808, the 810 or some newer Qualcomm chip in the near future. They obviously were concerned about the 810 and dropped it for the G4. Would Qualcomm be able to come out with their next-gen part (perhaps the 815 or 820) before LG needs to get the manufacturing process rolling?

Source: AndroidPit
  0 Replies | 444 Views


Yotaphone 2 Will Have a White Version with Lollipop and Improved E-Ink Display

May 13, 2015 - 4:07 PM - by dgstorm

Some new info just dropped on the latest Yotaphone 2. Apparently, the phone will see a new release (basically a refresh) with a few subtle differences. One is that there will now be a white colored version. Another is that the phone will now include Android 5. x Lollipop.

On top of that, there is also rumor that the newer version will include new software that will enhance its E-Ink display. Here's a quote with more of the details,

An update to Lollipop 5.0 is rolling out to all YotaPhone 2 devices and aside from all the improvements to Android that this new version packs, it also adds some significant changes to Yota's own software layer mostly affecting the E Ink side. It should be easier to set up a YotaCover (think of it like a widget-based lockscreen) and to switch between panels on the back display.
What do you guys think of the white version? Is this phone as intriguing as ever?

Source: AndroidPolice
  0 Replies | 428 Views


Moto 360 2nd Generation Passes Its Bluetooth Certs

May 13, 2015 - 1:23 PM - by dgstorm

A Motorola device with the BTMW03 model number recently passed its Bluetooth certification testing. Considering that the Moto 360 smartwatch held the model number BTMW01, the smart speculation is that this device is the next generation Moto 360.

If true, it does beg the question of what happened to the BTMW02. Perhaps it was a design that was scrapped during the development process, or maybe it will be a previously unnamed new device...

Source: Bluetooth SIG
  0 Replies | 432 Views


Sprint's Nexus 5 To Get Android 5.1.1 “LMY48B” Update Starting This Week

May 13, 2015 - 10:16 AM - by dgstorm

Folks on Sprint who own the Google/LG Nexus 5 will get another version of Lollipop later this week. Sprint themselves revealed that Android 5.1.1 “LMY48B” will be rolling out to the device very soon. According to their announcement, it should have already started pushing out on May 11th, but it's obviously a bit behind.

The only detail given on what this update does was labeled as “security enhancements.”

Source: Sprint
  0 Replies | 508 Views


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