Apr 27, 2016 - 9:07 AM - by dgstorm
Here's a story from yesterday that we didn't quite get to at the end of the day. YouTube just announced they are planning to implement their new 6 second un-skippable micro-ads. They are called bumper ads and Project Manager Zach Lupei described them as — “a new six-second video format […] ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency, especially on mobile, where “snackable videos” perform well.”
Luepi also shared, “We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads – and we’re excited to see what the creative community will do with them." While we appreciate his passion for his job, we can imagine that being un-skippable might irritate YouTube users. You can check out an example of the Bumper ads above. Let us know what you think of them.
Apr 22, 2016 - 11:27 AM - by dgstorm
Project Fi, for those who have tried the service, is easily one of the best values for many consumers. Not only does it offer excellent and reliable service in most areas of the country now, it also is very affordable. In fact, for moderate to light data users, it's easily the least expensive option in the entire U.S. market (assuming it's in your area).
Besides the excellent and affordable service, the Project Fi app happens to bring extra value as well with some slick and useful features. As of today, there is even more extra value to be found in the Project Fi app. Two new features are being added in an update to the app. The first is a widget which gives you a handy dial displaying your data usage. Not only does it display how much data used in your current billing cycle, it even shows you how many days you have left before it resets.
The second slick feature that Google added to the Project Fi app is a call forwarding toggle. This feature lets you easily activate or deactivate call forwarding for any number you have with just the touch of a button. You don't even need to reverify anything each time you reenable it. Nice!
Apr 21, 2016 - 11:23 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like the Nexus owners will not be the only folks who get to try out the Android N Developer Preview early. Sony has released it for consumers to try it out on specific Xperia Z3 models. The Android N Developer Preview for Sony devices will only work on the D6603 and D6653 models of the Xperia Z3.
Here's a breakdown of the steps if you have one of these devices and would like to try out Android N Developer preview on it:
- Connect your compatible Z3 device to a computer with a USB cable.
- Xperia Companion will open automatically
- Make sure you have Xperia Companion version 1.1.24 or later. If not, download the latest version from here.
- Hold down the ALT key on your computer and click on Software repair on the home screen, then follow the guide.
- You’ll be asked to disconnect and turn off your device, then to reconnect whilst holding down the volume down key to start the software flashing.
- You can return to factory settings at any time by connecting back to Xperia Companion and following the Software repair
For more info, here's Sony's landing page on the subject: Android N Developer Preview – Xperia Z3 Series | Sony Developer World
Apr 20, 2016 - 10:31 AM - by dgstorm
The European Union has moved from investigating Google to charging them for supposedly violating anti-trust regulations. This charge is in reference to the way Google has bundled apps with Android, and for the aggressive contracts with Android OEMs which forced them to do so.
Margrethe Vestager, EU's commissioner for competition, specifically explained that Google violated EU anti-trust laws by "requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google's Chrome browser and requiring them to set Google Search as the default search service on their devices, as a condition to license certain Google proprietary apps;" and by "preventing manufacturers from selling smart mobile devices running on competing operating systems based on the Android open source code;" and finally by "giving financial incentives to manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-install Google Search on their devices."
Basically, the EU contends that Google's contracts force Android OEMs to bundle Google's Apps, like Chrome and Google Search by creating a host of requirements in order to use and license these apps. The EU believes this hurts competition by taking away choices from the OEMs to bundle apps from other developers besides Google.
The EU's other main problem is that they believe Google made it nearly impossible for any potential rivals to design a competing search engine, app store, or browser for Android. They claim Google did this by requiring the Play Store installed in order for Chrome or Google Search to be installed.
Of course, Google has a counter-argument which is pretty convincing. Google points out that OEMs are only required to agree to design their device to ensure that Android apps will function properly on any device which uses the Android base OS. Google explains their intent is to make sure the user experience is good if customers choose to use their apps on an Android device.
Google highlighted Amazon as the prime example of this, since they use the base Android OS for their Fire tablets, yet do not feature any Google apps prominently as the primary choice for users of the tablets. Owners of Amazon Fire tablets can side-load Google apps on their device, if they choose to.
Google's final argument pointed out that any OEM who chooses to use Android can choose to load the suite of Google apps to their device at any time, and they are perfectly free to add other apps as well. For example, phones today come loaded with a plethora of of pre-installed apps from various sources, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and even the mobile carriers themselves. The gist of Google's argument is that they provide the Android OS (and support for it) for FREE, and all they ask in return is that OEMs that choose to use it make sure that Google apps will function properly on the device which uses it.
What do you think of Google's chances of beating the EU in court?
Source: Google Blog & Europa.eu
Apr 19, 2016 - 10:13 AM - by dgstorm
The video above shows off the silliest (and perhaps funniest) method for activating Siri ever. We will let you decide if this is a clever or crazy way to get your various digital assistants to work together. Perhaps he could have added Cortana to this loop, somehow? :D
Apr 14, 2016 - 10:30 AM - by dgstorm
This news is so exciting we stopped what we were doing to create a new forum section for it and then tell you folks about it! Huawei just filed a trademark for a device called the Nexus 7P! We have no idea what it is. It could be a new smartphone, a tablet, or something else entirely. Either way, it's thrilling news because the Huawei Nexus 6P is easily considered the best Nexus phone ever created, and some consider it to be one of the best Android phones ever made too!
Obviously this is more likely to be a tablet device, but we would only be mildly surprised if it turned out to be a giant smartphone. Larger sizes in smartphones has been the trend lately. What is especially curious about this is that HTC was rumored to be the big Nexus creator for 2016, so that leaves us wondering if this is a device which will come out this year or next year.
Please share your speculation on what this device will be and when we will see it (if at all). Here's a link to our new forum section for the Nexus 7P: Huawei Nexus 7P
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