Recent Articles | Android Central

Shop: Insanely Cheap Wireless Plans | Chromebooks: Asus Flip | Acer R13

Headlines

4 days ago

Google News & Weather now gives you way more headlines, because content

13

The app's new motto is "just keep scrolling."

If you're already Googling your news every morning, maybe it's time to consider downloading Google's News & Weather app instead. The app received a feature bump from its maker. You can now peruse through 200 news stories at a time with More Headlines by simply scrolling on and on.

The More Headlines section loads as you scroll, offering a seemingly endless stream of articles. The News & Weather app will prioritize displaying AMP articles since more websites have adopted the format. Google also mentioned that the displayed content in the app will "stay algorithmic," meaning that everything from which articles are shown to the sources chosen will depend on an algorithm churning in the background. The more you use it, the better it gets at finding you news.

The Google News & Weather app is available for both Android and iOS. Quickly, now — this may be your only chance to get an iPhone-loving friend on the Google bandwagon.

The app update will roll out over the next few days.

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

Mass Effect: Andromeda Tips and Tricks

40

It's so easy to wind up dead in this game...

Mass Effect: Andromeda can be downright brutal sometimes. Everything on these planets are trying to kill you! Most of the enemies hit just as hard as you do, and that doesn't really get better as you gain more armor and better weapons. The terrain is rough, and sometimes your squad AI can be kind of... bad.

If you're having trouble making all of the planets viable while trying to balance ridiculous Milky Way politics and figuring out what the Remnant have done, this guide should help!

See at Amazon

Go looking for subquests

This one should be obvious, especially if you've played the other Mass Effect games, but don't try to burn through the main story. Everything will be so much easier if you frontload your game with sidequests, so you're at least a level or two ahead of the average player when you step into the next puzzle.

Always stop and check for sidequests, from the moment you first dock with the Nexus. There are several available well before you reach ESO, and the experience from those side jobs are way more than you get for completing the initial tutorial. It's a nice edge to have when going down into the first Vault, and you can keep that lead as you travel from planer to planet.

Use your Nomad driving modes

As soon as you touch down on a planet you're in a sandbox, and these mostly open worlds are best traveled inside your six-wheeled space car that totally isn't a less awesome Mako. The Nomad can cross dangerous areas quickly, which is a big deal as you try to make planets viable throughout the game, and the key to really enjoying this experience is remembering to constantly switch between drive modes.

Your Nomad has a fast driving mode and an all-terrain mode, and you can quickly switch between them with a tap on L1. This ends up being really important, because the all-terrain mode can climb up almost anything that isn't perfectly vertical and the speed mode will get you through an area twice as fast as long as it's mostly flat. Switching between these modes at speed makes it much easier to climb around areas instead of taking the long way around with the roads you see in the game.

Switch Profiles as often as possible

You may have been too busy trying to not get shot to notice, but Alec Ryder actually gives you a pretty good demonstration of the best way to use Profiles in the fight for Habitat 7. As simple as it may seem to pick a Profile that best suits your play style and level it up until it's the most awesome thing ever, things get a lot easier for you later in the game if you're regularly switching between Profiles based on your immediate needs.

Make sure you're jumping between Profiles on a regular basis. If you're out in the open and being ambushed by Kett, the Infiltrator profile will keep you from being pinned down and overwhelmed. If you're staring down a massive Fiend with nowhere to run, the Siphoning Strike in the Vanguard Profile will keep its attacks from destroying you in one hit. Even if you aren't loading up on weapon proficiency in your skill tree, the Soldier Profile keeps your aim steady when you need it most.

The most important thing is to practice switching quickly, so you're able to jump in and out of tough situations with ease later on.

Go to hazardous areas first

The open world aspect to Mass Effect: Andromeda is curbed by making some areas more hazardous when you approach them. In the Habitat 7 mission, for example, lightning strikes got worse when you drifted "off mission" in places. Sometimes it's a biohazard warning, sometimes it's a big hovering troop carrier, but the end result is the same for most people. You turn and run, not looking back until you've earned some Viability points to make the area less terrible.

Instead of avoiding those areas, grab your Nomad and barrel in quickly. Do a quick pass, and look for things to mine. These areas frequently offer the harder to get minerals, which makes the better weapons and armor easier to get much earlier in the game. You have to be very careful not to get yourself stranded or killed in the process, but it's so very worth it when you find those materials you've been hunting for.

Don't bother balancing your team

When you level up, your team members gain some experience points to spend as well. Team skill trees aren't nearly as complex as your own, which means you can choose between balancing your team members so they're all around more effective or focusing on one specific ability and jacking it all the way up as early as possible. I recommend that second one, especially early on in the game.

Your AI-based squad mates are blunt instruments, use them as such. If you're planning to let them run out and attack without a lot of instruction from you, focus on doing the most damage with their special abilities. If you plan offer a guiding hand to your team, or you plan to have them always by your side to keep you alive, don't bother spending points on special abilities initially. As you play the game it will you'll have enough skill points to focus on that kind of thing, but initially it's far more worth it to specialize and let each team member be very good at one thing.

How are you surviving?

Have you found that "one weird trick" for dealing the most damage or making the best decisions in Mass Effect: Andromeda? Share them with us in the comments, and we'll add the best ones to this guide!

PlayStation 4

See on Amazon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

OnePlus arrives in Denmark via exclusive partnership with 3

2

Get your OnePlus 3T from 3!

Calling all Danes! The OnePlus 3T is now available in your country, exclusively available through 3. Both the 64GB and 128 GB models are available in Gunmetal. You can buy in-store or online with pricing starting at 99 kr./month for 30 months when you sign up for one of three service plans, or can be bought outright for as low as 4270 kr.

In its advertising, 3 is calling the OnePlus 3T "probably the best smartphone in the world right now", which isn't too far off from our thoughts — the OnePlus 3T is the best Android phone you can get if you're on a budget.

Including Denmark, this means OnePlus 3T is now officially offered in over 31 countries around the world.

OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3

OnePlus Amazon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

How to enjoy March Madness live in VR

Watch the brackets fill out as though you were really there.

The NCAA March Madness Live VR app for your Gear VR is now offering courtside seats to six of the NCAA games happening from now until the Championship Game, making it possible for you to sit down and enjoy the game live. As long as you have your Samsung phone and a Gear VR, you're able to jump in and enjoy!

Here's everything you need to know in order to be fully prepared for each of these amazing games.

Read more at VR Heads!

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

T-Mobile HTC One M9 Nougat update rolling out now

18

Better late than never, we always say.

The HTC One M9 on T-Mobile has started to receive its Nougat update, landing over three months after the unlocked model. No matter the timing, owners of the carrier version of the One M9 will be happy to see a large update land two years after the phone was released.

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

Mint SIM vs. Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you?

44

How does Mint SIM stack up against Cricket Wireless? Here's our comparison!

Mint SIM and Cricket Wireless are mobile virtual network operators or MVNOs for short. At the end of the day, they're "alternative carriers", meaning that they're not the Big Four (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint).

Switching to an MVNO can save you money because they simply lease coverage from one of the larger networks and resell it to customers. Plans are often prepaid, so you don't have to worry about overages.

Let's take a look at two major players — Mint SIM and Cricket Wireless — and see how they compare to one another.

Mint SIM background

Who owns it? Ultra Mobile

Which network does it use? T-Mobile 4G LTE

How long has it been around? Since 2016

Tethering allowed? No

Cheapest plan: $35 for 1 month: 2GB 4G LTE, unlimited nationwide talk, text, and 2G data

Cricket Wireless background

Who owns it? AT&T

Which network does it use? AT&T 4G LTE

How long has it been around? Since 1999

Tethering allowed? Yes, $10/month

Cheapest plan: $30/month: 1GB 4G LTE, unlimited talk, text, and 2G data


Mint SIM plans

Mint SIM doesn't operate with traditional contracts. You pay upfront for your term, which can be 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months, with "buying in bulk" saving you more money in the long run. All plans include unlimited nationwide talk, text, and data, though you only get so much 4G LTE per month. Unlimited international texting is included in all plans.

Duration Small (2GB LTE) Medium (5GB LTE) Large (10GB LTE) 1 month $35 $50 $60 3 months $23/month ($69 upfront) $33/month ($99 upfront) $39.67/month ($119 upfront) 6 months $19.83/month ($119 upfront) $28.17/month ($169 upfront) $34.83/month ($209 upfront) 12 months $16.58/month ($199 upfront) $24.92/month ($299 upfront) $33.25/month ($399 upfront)

Advertisement

Add-ons

As far as add-ons are concerned, Mint SIM's selection is very slim:

Extra data:

  • 1GB/month: $10
  • 3GB/month: $20

International credit:

Mint SIM's plans contain no international calling, though unlimited international texting is included. You can add international calling credit to your account in $5, $10, or $20 increments.

You can see a list of international rates here.

Cricket plans

All Cricket Wireless plans include unlimited talk, text, and data, but your 4G LTE access is metered and you can choose how much you want, per month. There are no annual contracts with Cricket; you pay on a month-to-month basis.

1GB Basic (3GB LTE) Smart (8GB LTE) Unlimited (22GB LTE) Price (monthly) $30 $40 $50 $60 With Auto Pay $25 $35 $45 $55 Extras Eligible for Group Save Discount International texting, roaming in Canada and Mexico, eligible for Group Save Discount International texting, roaming in Canada and Mexico, eligible for Group Save Discount

Add-ons

1GB of 4G LTE data:

$10/month. All remaining data expires at the end of your monthly plan cycle.

Tethering: N/A

Turn your phone into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for $10/month. Uses data from your monthly high-speed allowance. Not all phones are compatible, so double-check first.

Cricket Protect:

For $7/month, Cricket protect covers you if your phone is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged physically or by liquid. You're also covered for in-warranty exchanges and out-of-warranty mechanical/electrical problems. Deductibles vary from $10 to $250, depending on your phone model.

Click here for more info.

Deezer free trial:

Get a free trial to the music streaming service. Length of free trial is at least 15 days and depends on when you sign up and when your next monthly bill date falls. After the free trial, it's $6/month.

Terms and conditions

Group Save Discount: Cricket gives you a monthly discount for each line you add to your account. Each line must have a plan of at least $40 a month. Lines with the $30 per month plan are ineligible.

  • 2 lines: $10 monthly discount
  • 3 lines: $20 monthly discount
  • 4 lines: $30 monthly discount
  • 5 lines: $40 monthly discount
  • Up to $100 in total monthly savings

International texting: This only covered text messages to select countries and does not cover picture or video messaging.

Mexico and Canada roaming: Calling and texting while in Mexico and Canada are included, as well as calling between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Usage in Canada and Mexico cannot exceed 50% for texts, voice minutes, and data usage sent, received, or used. For example, if you send 100 texts in a month, no more than 50 can be sent to or received from Mexico and Canada.

Best phones available from Cricket Wireless

You can bring an unlocked phone to Cricket Wireless; just check compatibility first. If you don't have a phone to bring, we recommend the following:

  • Samsung Galaxy S7: $649.99
  • iPhone 7 32GB: $649.99
  • iPhone 7 128GB: $749.99
  • iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: $769.99
  • iPhone 7 Plus: 128GB: $869.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S6: $499.99

Which should I go with? Mint SIM

From a purely price-conscious perspective, Mint SIM is the better option, especially if you have an unlocked phone of your own. T-Mobile's network is solid and Mint SIM's plans are straightforward. So long as you sign up for 3 months or longer at a time, you get a lot more data for your money.

If discounted phones and roaming in Canada and Mexico are important to you, then you'll have to go with Cricket (if you're choosing between the two). It just sucks that Cricket charges $10 a month for tethering, though Mint SIM doesn't offer it at all.

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

Android O Dev Preview 2 won't land until mid-May, with final release in Q3

2

Google is increasingly transparent about its software releases.

With the Developer Preview program, we get a super early look at what Google's working on in Android O — the only downside is it takes several months then to get all of the information. With the release of Android O Developer Preview 1 we don't have a complete look at all of Android O's new features, but we do have a timeline for when updates to the Dev Preview program will land.

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

What will Android O be called?

177
Bugdroid

Android O is coming — and with it a confectionary reckoning.

Android O is now available in Developer Preview, but Google isn't divulging its true name — and won't until much later in the summer.

But as hard as Google's job was finding a decent N-related dessert, that's nothing compared to the dilemma Android will face this year. There's a real shortage of desserts starting with the letter O, and that could lead to some unusual dishes emerging as candidates for the Android 8.0 nickname.

Let's take a look.

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

How to get Android O on your Pixel or Nexus (and how to roll back to Nougat)

9

Here's how to get the Android O Developer Preview on your Nexus or Pixel device.

The Android O Developer Preview is here, and if you're one such developer (or just a person who doesn't listen to good advice!) here's how to install it onto your phone or tablet.

Which devices support the Android O Developer Preview?

The preview is supported on the following phones and tablets:

  • Pixel
  • Pixel XL
  • Pixel C
  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus Player

What you need to know beforehand

The Android O Developer Preview is being released only as a factory image, which means you can't just go to Android's beta page and get the update as an over-the-air release. This is because O, in its current form, is very early, and isn't intended to be installed by the general population — just by developers.

In order to update a phone or tablet to Android O, you need to first unlock your bootloader.

Before we go into these steps, it is strongly recommended that you have previous knowledge of working with the Android SDK (software development kit) and Terminal (OS X or Linux) or Command Prompt (Windows), as it is possible to harm your device if something were to go wrong in the following process.

You'll need to download an updated Android SDK that has the latest Android O tools and images, and you can grab it from the Android Development website and follow their instructions on how to install it correctly. For the following process all you will need is the adb and fastboot files which are located in the Platform Tools folder.

Additionally, all the following commands are written as they would be in Terminal on a Linux or OS X platform. If you are following this guide and using a Windows machine, you will not need to use the "./" seen in the guide.

Enable developer settings and USB debugging

Before you begin, you'll need to have a compatible Nexus or Pixel device running Android 7.x Nougat.

  1. Go to your Settings and scroll down to About Phone/Tablet
  2. Tap on the Build number seven times until the dialog box says you are now a developer
  3. Go back to the Settings menu and you should find a new option called Developer options. Click into the Developer options
  4. Make sure that the developer options are turned on and that USB debugging is checked on
  5. Make sure Enable OEM unlock is checked.
  6. Plug your device into your computer and click "OK" on the dialog box asking you to Allow USB debugging while connected to the computer. You can also select to always allow access on that computer

If done correctly, this will be everything you will need to do on your phone or tablet for the moment.

Unlocking your bootloader

Nexus devices and Pixel phones bought from Google directly have a bootloader you can unlock. If you want to manually flash software, you'll need to do this.

To do this you must first boot into your bootloader. You can either manually turn off your phone or tablet and hold down the power button and the volume down button to enter your device's Bootloader Menu or you can enter the following commands into your terminal or command prompt.

Run the following command to make sure your device is properly connected to your computer. If it returns a string of characters it means that you are all set to start updating your device.

./adb devices

Now to enter into the Bootloader menu just run the following command.

./adb reboot bootloader

At the bottom of the screen there will be several things listed including the lock state of the device. This should say locked unless you have unlocked your bootloader in the past and never went back and locked it again.

To unlock your bootloader, which is required only when flashing a stock firmware image (not sideloading and update, which we'll get to soon), you must enter the following commands. Remember that when unlocking your Nexus' bootloader it will factory reset your device, so you will lose everything stored on it. If you have not yet backed up anything important on your device you can hit the power button while Start is highlighted in the Bootloader menu and this will boot you back into your device like normal. Now back to unlocking your bootloader.

Use the command:

./fastboot flashing unlock

A dialog will appear on the device asking if you are sure about unlocking. Again this will factory reset your device, so if you want to back out of the process you just need to select no with the power button. If you are ready to unlock your bootloader you press the volume up button and then the power button to confirm that you wish to unlock your bootloader.

./fastboot reboot-bootloader

It is recommended to reboot the bootloader just to give itself a check to make sure everything is working correctly before moving onto the next step.

Flashing the stock firmware image

Now that your bootloader is unlocked, it's time to flash the Android O image. To find the system images, head on over to the Factory Images page, find your device, and download the latest factory image available. It is easiest to then uncompress the file in the Platform Tools folder where the adb and fastboot files are so that you don't have to type the path to the different files when flashing the firmware. (Or if you know that you can drag a file into a terminal window to copy the path, just do that.)

To begin, make sure you are still in the bootloader menu on your device and double check that your bootloader is in fact unlocked.

First, make sure that your computer is communicating correctly with your phone or tablet. As long as your device's serial number comes back as a connected device you are ready to begin updating your device.

./fastboot devices

Now it is time to flash the updated bootloader with the following command.

./fastboot flash bootloader [bootloader file].img

You will not see anything on the screen of your device but there should be a dialog in your terminal or command prompt. When it is done flashing the bootloader you should reboot back into the bootloader as to make sure everything is still working correctly.

./fastboot reboot-bootloader

Next you flash the updated radios. This step is only necessary if you are updating the firmware of a phone or tablet that has cellular radios built into it.

./fastboot flash radio [radio file].img

./fastboot reboot-bootloader

Finally, it's time to flash the actual system image to your phone or tablet.

Warning: The following line of code will wipe your device. If you do **not* want your device to be wiped, remove the "-w" from the command. The update should still take just fine, and it will not wipe your user data.

./fastboot -w update [image file].zip

When this is done, your phone will restart itself and boot up normally. As this process clears all data from your device, it will take slightly longer for your device to boot up into Android O for the first time. Once you have been greeted with the device setup walkthrough process, you know you have successfully flashed a new version of the firmware.

If you do not want to enter the commands manually there are scripts included inside the compressed folder containing the system image that will do most but not all of the heavy lifting for you. The flash-all script files will automate the flashing of the bootloader, radios (if needed), and the system image. The problem with this process is that you must first make sure that your phone is in the bootloader menu and its bootloader must be unlocked before starting the script. Of course if these are not already done the script will fail to run and nothing will happen.

How to revert back to Nougat from the Android O Developer Preview

So you ignored our advice (or you're a developer who needs his or her phone or tablet back) and need to re-install Nougat. That's pretty easy! All you need to do is find the right system image compatible with your handset or slate and run the same procedures as above but with the Android Nougat image.

When finding your Nougat image, make sure you are downloading the correct one that corresponds with your device. If you're running a Verizon or Rogers Pixel, for instance, you'll have to make sure you download the right one.

Problems? Confused?

If you're having issues or want to ask a question, come join us in our forums for all the tips, tricks and advice you can handle!

Android O

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

Android O isn't available in the Android Beta Program yet, will likely join in mid-May

3

Everyone with a Pixel or modern Nexus will get their opportunity to use Android O soon.

With Android O entering Developer Preview status, this is our first opportunity to download and run a preview version of the latest OS. Unfortunately for those who became accustomed to simply enrolling in the Android Beta Program and getting builds over-the-air, this first Developer Preview of Android O isn't available in the Beta Program.

If you want Android O right now, your only way to get it will be through manually flashing an image of the Developer Preview.

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

Should you install Android O developer preview on your Pixel or Nexus?

5

Android O is now available to download as a developer preview. But that doesn't mean you should do it.

The day that Google releases a new version of Android is one of the most exciting of the year, especially for early adopters like us who want to play with all the new features and see what's in store for the final release.

But unlike last year, when Google released its Android N preview alongside an easy-to-install beta program, the company is going decidedly old school with this one, reverting back to the tried-and-true method of factory images that require an unlocked bootloader and some knowledge of terminal commands. This isn't a surprise — Google has been doing this for both developer previews and final releases for years — but delaying an easy-for-consumers-to-install Android O version until later in the year speaks to the early nature of Android O right now. In other words...

You shouldn't install the Android O developer preview on any phone you need to use on a daily basis.

Things are going to be broken

We say this every year, but things are definitely going to be broken with the Android O developer preview. There are going to be lots and lots of bugs, and core features of the phone, from making calls to connecting to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, may be incomplete or completely not working.

Moreover, many of Google's own apps will not have been updated to take advantage of the new system APIs — things like Font Resources, Adaptive Icons, and Picture-in-Picture — potentially limiting its usefulness.

Third-party apps are not going to be compatible

Google doesn't usually allow developers to release public versions of their apps with support for the latest Android APIs until a few weeks before the final public release. In this case, that means we'll likely have to wait until late August or even into September — months after Google I/O — for anything resembling an interesting set of user interactions.

In the meantime, the Android O dev preview will likely have been updated at least three times with new versions that fix bugs and overcome some of the more core functionality issues we're seeing in the initial release. For something like Picture-in-Picture, for instance, you're not going to see a working version of YouTube — probably the most important app to support the feature — until close to the final release.

It's a pain in the butt to install

Finally, it's not easy to install the Android O developer preview, especially if you're not familiar with the commands that require you to unlock your bootloader and flash a system image.

Worse, even if you get there, you will have to factory reset your phone at some point in the process — when you unlock your bootloader in the first place, or when you flash your phone back to Nougat.

But we're not going to stop you

Obviously, if you want to install Android O on your phone or tablet, we can't stop you. So if you're going to do it, at least read up on the procedure, and know what you're getting yourself into.

How to get Android O on your Pixel or Nexus

There's lots more to come

Google promises that it will talk lots more about Android O at Google I/O in May, and that there will eventually be an easy-to-install beta, just like there was with the Android N beta in 2016. This is good news — the updates will likely come fast and furious — and we'd recommend waiting until then to install Android O on any phone or tablet you actually want to use on a daily basis.

Android O

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

Google announces Android O, Developer Preview image now available

12
Android O

Start getting ready for the latest version of Android.

Google is continuing its transparency of pre-releasing early builds of new versions of Android with the announcement of the Android O Developer Preview. As always, the Developer Preview is designed to give developers an early look at what's coming in Android O so they can start to make their apps compatible with the new APIs and design guidelines. It does, of course, give all of us fans of Android an early look at what Google has up its sleeve in terms of new features as well.

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

What's New in Android O?

57

See what the latest and greatest version of Android has in store for you!

Android O brings several changes to existing features as well as all new features. Since it first arrived in 2008, Android has been a very fluid bit of software. The mobile space is always evolving and Android has evolved along with it so it could meet the needs of people like us who use it every day.

With the first developer preview of Android O, we get a glimpse of some of the new features we can expect when it's released later this year. Google also tells us that this is just a few of the things we can expect with the next version of Android.

How to get Android O on your Pixel or Nexus (and how to roll back to Nougat)

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

Pre-register now for Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore, the latest sci-fi epic launching on Android

5

Can you save the world from impending destruction?

Fans of epic space battles rejoice — you can now pre-register to be informed of the official release of Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore, the latest sci-fi epic released by Deep Silver FISHLABS. You can sign up for pre-registration here to be notified once the game is available on select Android devices.

Check out the trailer below:

The game is a sequel to the well-recieved Galaxy on Fire 2 HD, which has been downloaded millions of times from the Google Play Store while maintaining a solid 4.4 user rating. You should certainly check it out if you haven't already.

The latest entry in the franchise promises to be bigger than ever, with even better graphics than the previous titles and a variety of missions to unlock.The game will feature next-gen Vulkan graphics standard along with the legacy Open GL ES graphics standard to ensure the game is available across a wider range of devices. Reviews on Metacritic of the iOS version have been somewhat mixed, with some reviewers disappointed with the changes the developers made to some of the core gameplay elements compared to GoF2.

We'll just have to wait and see for ourselves. In the meantime, Galaxy on Fire 2 HD is a free download from the Google Play Store, with in-app purchases available to unlock the two story add-ons Valkyrie and Supernova.

Read more and comment

 
4 days ago

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Which works best with Philips Hue

16

Making the lights dim when you proclaim "It's movie time" to everyone in your house is kinda awesome.

There are a lot of fantastic things you can do with smart lighting, from subtle adjustments to mood and awareness to crazy color raves when you want to freak the dog out. It's a convenience for most, but it's becoming less expensive to set up in your home every day and well-worth checking out if you can.

A big part of that smarter experience can be control with your voice, and while Google Home and Amazon Echo both support the ability to control lights with your voice, the details are very different. Here's what you need to know!

Set up

Philips Hue bulbs, which are my favorite of the connected bulbs, offer an API for just about any app to reach in and give commands to your lights once you've given approval. As a result, both Google Home and Amazon Echo offer similar initial connection steps. You use the app on your phone to connect to the Hue bridge, which involves tapping the little button on the box near your router, and moments later you can control individual Hue lights through these services.

Once you've made that connection, things are wildly different. Amazon has its own system in the Alexa app for organizing smart home hardware into individual rooms, so you can say things like "turn off the bedroom lights" and have everything assigned to that room turn off. This isn't a huge deal, unless you have a lot of Hue lights and have already organized your bulbs by room in the Hue app. None of that information is imported by Alexa, so you have to basically set all of your lights up a second time.

Google Home, on the other hand, imports your room selections from the Hue app and adds them to the Home app. It also offers a simple tool from within the app for quickly moving lights to other rooms, instead of just a set of register/unregister check boxes. It's a great deal more user-friendly, especially if you've already spent a lot of time setting up your lights and exploring how you want those lights to work in your home.

Using your voice

Google and Amazon both earn high marks for performance when it comes to actually controlling the lights. There's no performance drop when compared to using the Hue app, and voice recognition on both Echo and Home is exceptional, so misfires are rare. That having been said, it's clear Google Home is a great deal more integrated with Hue than Echo is right now.

If you want to control whole rooms for brightness and darkness, the experiences between these two connected speakers is essentially identical. If you want to control individual bulbs and you've assigned personal names to those bulbs, you'll find Google Home is much better at finding the right single bulb and adjusting it as you see fit. The same goes for color changing; Google Home will quickly turn your lights whichever color you ask, where as Amazon Echo is really only built for on and off and dimming right now.

Neither connected speaker can replicate every single feature in the Philips Hue app, but through IFTTT, Google Home gets a great deal closer. The IFTTT channel for Google Home lets you create multiple phrases for individual commands, so you can be very flexible and occasionally downright silly with the things you want to do with these speakers.

On Google Home, I can say "OK Google, get those kids out of bed!" and have IFTTT start a multicolor light show in their rooms. With an Echo, I'd have to say "Alexa, trigger get those kids out of bed!" to accomplish the same. One is clearly not as natural as the other.

Which is better? Google Home

Google Home

If your goal is to add natural language commands to your Philips Hue bulbs with as little compromise as possible on features, it couldn't be more clear Google Home is what you want right now. It's just plain better for multiple users in a house full of Hue bulbs right now.

See at Best Buy

Amazon Echo

That having been said, if you're new to smart lighting or you only really want to control rooms with your voice, Alexa gets the job done. Amazon has also demonstrated an ability to rapidly improve Alexa when necessary, so it's possible these issues won't be around for very long.

See at Amazon

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages