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Archive for the ‘Android News’ Category

Google may release its own headphones with Assistant built-in

Monday, August 21st, 2017

A recent teardown of the Google app suggests the company on its own wireless headset.

While a lot of headphones have the ability to activate Google Assistant, what this really does is activated Assistant on the phone. While that's all well and good, being able to process commands on the headphones would also be useful. According to 9to5Google, some Assistant headphones may be on their way.

9to5Google decompiled the APK file of the most recent version of the Google app. In it, they found references to the ability for the user to hear and reply to notifications, how to app will handle the Assistant button on the headphones being toggled, and the ability for the headphones to receive firmware updates.

Given that the next Pixel phones won't include a 3.5mm headphone jack, it's safe to assume the headphones would connect wirelessly via Bluetooth. Other than the inclusion of Assistant, there's not much that would separate Google's headphones from more established devices like the Bose QC-35's or the Sony MDR-1000X.

Would you buy a pair of headphones if it included Google Assistant! Let us know down below?

Learn more about Google Assistant!

Microsoft Office Lens updated with ability to scan multiple images

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Like many of Microsoft's apps, Office Lens displayed some cool technology at launch but was lacking in features. With today's update, Microsoft is addressing one very obvious shortcoming of the app. You can now capture multiple items at once and merge them into a single document.

The changelog only has one new item on it: "Our top requested feature is here. Scan more than one image and save them all as single PDF, a Word or PowerPoint file on OneDrive, or simply export them as images to the same OneNote location." Office Lens includes multiple capture modes, like whiteboard and business card.

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Microsoft Office Lens updated with ability to scan multiple images was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google to revamp Chromebook Pixel lineup with new convertible this year

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Google will likely announce the next Chromebook Pixel at the same time as this year's Pixel phones.

While there are plenty of great Chromebooks out there from third-party partners, Google looks to be gearing up to release another Chromebook Pixel. The first Chromebook Pixel was released in 2013, refreshed in 2015, then put on hold earlier this year. It seems the line is no longer on hold, because a new Chromebook Pixel may be just around the corner.

Android Police reports that Google will be announcing another first party Pixel laptop at the same time as the next Pixel phones. The device might be related to Google's earlier Project Bison, which allegedly featured a 32GB or 128GB of internal storage, 8GB or 16GB of RAM, a 12.3-inch screen, and a Wacom stylus.

The laptop may also feature the wacky keyboard that showed up in recent patents. Those patents showed a second hinge for the keyboard area, so there would be a smooth surface when you first open the laptop. The patents didn't suggest what the smooth area would be used for, but it could be used as somewhere for the user to grip when the device is in tablet mode.

The device may also be related (or, the same device as) the "Eve" device that ChromeUnboxed has been tracking for the better part of this year. That model is said to feature a new keyboard layout and the first fingerprint sensor on a Chromebook. Given these are pretty big changes for the Chrome market, it makes sense Google would want to showcase them on a first party device.

Android Police specifically notes the upcoming laptop will run Chrome, not Andromeda, the rumored OS that was going to be a hybrid of Android and Chrome. Given that newer Chrome devices already run Android applications, there's not much benefit to a full combining of both operating systems. While there may be a point in the future where it does make sense for Chrome and Android to combine, for now they be the separate and wonderful operating systems we've come to know and love.

Android Police also noted Google would release a smaller Google Home, similar in concept to Amazon's Echo Dot. At $130 each, outfitting your entire house in Google Home's can get expensive quickly, so it will be great for buyers to have a less expensive option. The smaller Google Home's would be similar to the NVIDIA Spot, a small microphone that would connect to a NVIDIA SHIELD TV and let users tap into Google Assistant. The Spot was supposed to cost $49 each, the same price as the Echo Dot. Since being announced at CES this year, we still haven't heard anything about the Spot's availability.

Would you be interested in another Chromebook Pixel? Let us know down below!

Hell has officially frozen over, Taito just released a premium Bust-A-Move game onto the Play Store

Monday, August 21st, 2017

I thought I would never see the day. There is an official Bust-A-Move game from Taito Corporation on the Play Store, and it's a premium release. While some of you may know the franchise by its Japanese name Puzzle Bobble, this classic bubble shooter is better known in the west as Bust-A-Move. And while I am sure absolutely no one has asked for yet another bubble shooter to be released on the Play Store, trust me when I say that this series is the originator of such gameplay and it is the best.

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Hell has officially frozen over, Taito just released a premium Bust-A-Move game onto the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

The Nest Cam indoor security camera works great with smart homes and is down to $144

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, and this deal on the Nest Cam is a doozy!

Get this Nest Cam indoor security camera for just $144 at Lowe's with the ridiculous coupon code 470000000074228. Lowe's has discounted the Nest Cam down to $169 this week, which puts it just a little higher than other retailers like Amazon. The coupon code drops it down to its lowest price anywhere since last year's Black Friday sales. Be sure to select "Parcel Shipping" for free 1-3 day shipping.

In the world of indoor security cameras, Nest Cam is one of the best if you're into the whole Smart Home thing. It has 1080p HD video quality with 8x digital zoom, two-way audio, 24/7 live streaming capability, low-light capabilities, all kinds of customized alert settings, and easy setup. Add all that to the Works with Nest program, which ensures Nest devices are still compatible with more services than other devices, and you won't find a better security camera to connect to your Smart Home hub.

On Amazon, the Nest Cam has almost 6,000 user reviews and it has a 4.2-star rating.

See at Lowe's

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For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

Exclusive: Google plans to launch a new Chromebook Pixel, mini version of Google Home alongside new phones

Monday, August 21st, 2017

nexus2cee_chromebook-pixel-hero_thumb

According to a source familiar with the company's plans, Google will launch not just two new Google Pixel phones at a hardware event this fall, but an all-new Pixel-branded Chromebook - the first since the 2015 Chromebook Pixel pictured above - as well as a miniaturized version of its Google Home smart speaker.

At this time, we don't have any specifications for this laptop. However, it seems likely that it was born out of Google's mysterious Project Bison, which we exclusively detailed last year (and, at the time, was scheduled for a Q3 2017 launch).

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Exclusive: Google plans to launch a new Chromebook Pixel, mini version of Google Home alongside new phones was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

VitalSines’ iHeart health devices now compatible with Android

Monday, August 21st, 2017

The iHeart health-monitoring devices now have an Android companion app.

VitalSines' iHeart health monitoring devices now have an Android companion application, after the company released an iOS application near the end of last year. Rather than calculating exercise data that Android Wear would collect, the iHeart devices focus on calculating the internal age of a user's body.

The sensor itself clamps around a user's index finger and displays an approximate internal age, an average heart rate, blood oxygen level and other statistics. The data can be used to predict whether a user will suffer from heart diseases and dementia, so the user is able to adjust their daily patterns and stave off those diseases. The iHeart was released after a successful Indiegogo campaign for iOS users, and now Android users can get in on the action.

The iHeart monitor is available on the company's website for $195.

Are you interested in the VitalSines iHeart? Let us know down below!

See at iHeart

Android 8.0 OTAs are starting to roll out to devices in the beta program

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Google released final system images of Android 8.o earlier today, and now OTAs are starting to roll out. Although, I'm placing strong emphasis on "starting." The first wave of OTAs are targeting devices in the Android beta program, but already there have been reports of failed installations on certain phones. That's a Google launch for you.

Like last year, you can still join the beta program for Android O today.

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Android 8.0 OTAs are starting to roll out to devices in the beta program was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google says Oreo will roll out to some partner devices by the end of the year

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Google has been working with its partners to get the Oreo update out by the end of the year.

While Google's first party devices get new Android releases immediately, the same can't be said for partner devices. Since these devices comprise the vast majority of Android devices, we run into situations like Nougat only being available on 13% of all Android devices a year after release.

But there may be cause for hope: tucked in the Android Oreo announcement post was this quote:

We've also been working closely with our partners, and by the end of this year, hardware makers including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo.

Google has made vague promises like this before, but the fact that the company is naming specific partners is new. Google caveats that by stating the partners may be launching new devices with Oreo, not necessarily upgrading existing devices. We may see the LG V30 and Sony Xperia XZ1 launch with Oreo, but the rest of the devices are expected to be upgrades. Samsung is also expected to announce the Note 8 this week, but that will likely launch with Nougat. Time will tell if the partner companies make good on their word.

One of these Android Oreo statues is not like the other

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Google ordered two Android Oreo statues from two different companies this year.

There aren't many Android faithful who have been able to make the trip to Mountain View to see the impressive gathering of statues Google has commissioned to commemorate each launch of its OS, but those who have been are in for a treat. These larger than life statues are an amazing journey through the history of Android, and are a ton of fun to grab a photo while standing next to your favorite.

The new Android Oreo statue will make a nice addition to the collection, but this year some statue selfies will be different from others. That's because there are actually two different Android statues this year, and they are not as similar as you might think.

Get more Android Oreo in your life with our full 8.0 review!

Google's New York unveiling of Android Oreo revealed a statue that slid open and animated. The eyes were glowing, the head seemed to glide into place, and it was on a single pedestal to make the character look like it is flying. It's a fantastic statue, but the angular design and electronics seemed like a wild departure from the previous creations on display. This prompted a call to the mastermind behind all of the previous Android statues, who filled me in on the details.

Giovanni Calabrese has been building custom sculptures and props under the name Themendous for 23 years now, and his work on the Google Campus all have a similar look to them. The material he uses has survived years in every kind of weather, but they are all stationary and rigid statues on the Google Lawn. While Giovanni is responsible for the Android Oreo statue you see at Mountain View today, Themendous is not responsible for both statues.

So, how can you tell the difference? Well, aside from one being in New York and the other Mountain View, the Themedous Oreo has a more natural-looking round shape and is surrounded by giant Oreo cookies. The other statue is boxy and a little brighter, complete with lights in the eyes and a smaller stand to chill on.

Will you try to grab selfies with both statues? Sound off in the comments!

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