This week we dive deep into the Matrix and discuss the state of virtual reality and Android, and where things stand going forward. And that includes Russell's interview and Google Cardboard demo with the one and only Bill Nye The Science Guy!
Plus: Motorola and OnePlus have launches on the horizon, and we answer more of your questions live!
If you're looking for a large device without a hefty price tag, Boost Mobile's latest offering might be worth a gander. Following up on last year's Boost MAX, Boost Mobile has launched the 5.7-inch Boost MAX+ by ZTE for a cool $200.
Google Photos has turned into a wonderful repository for every photo you take, and also works as a nice stand-in gallery replacement app on many phones. A gallery app isn't just about holding photos though, it's also about editing pictures before sharing them out anywhere you want.
Astute Google Photos users will recognize its editing powers aren't as strong as those found in Google+ previously or in many favorite editing apps, but that doesn't mean there isn't value to be had from making quick edits in Photos. Let us show you how.
A few hours after a private beta of Cortana for Android was leaked to the Internet, Microsoft has now sent out a new statement saying that the official public beta for the digital assistant will be made available for Android owners sometime "in the next few weeks".
A recent update for the Alcatel Idol 3 — one of our favorite budget-friendly Android phones of 2015 — came in to address some minor issues like double-tap to unlock sensitivity, and general performance. Like many minor (this one was only 46MB in size) updates, it also told us to expect "refinements to camera performance."
I'm usually pretty skeptical when it comes to mystery updates that claim to make the camera better. But this time, I was pleased to be wrong. The update really does make the Idol 3 camera better.
Smartphone maker Oppo has announced a partnership with Spanish soccer team FC Barcelona. The three-year deal will see Oppo serve as the team's official mobile phone partner through the current season until 2018.
Streaming service Hulu is said to be exploring an ad-free streaming option. The new tier would reportedly cost somewhere between $12 and $14 per month, and may debut later this year, according to The Wall Street Journal:
Keep all your mobile devices juiced up with this 4-port car charger that packs a single Quick Charge 2.0 option.
We're always after a solid charging solution that offers fast and efficient power to a variety of devices simultaneously. The Tronsmart 4-port car charger stands up to the challenge of keeping every passenger's device at 100%. And most of us can agree that a quiet car is a happy car.
T-Mobile has agreed to pay a $17.5 million fine to the US Federal Communications Commission. The fine will settle an investigation of the wireless carrier by the FCC due to two separate nationwide 911 outages on T-Mobile's network that happened on August 8, 2014.
Ever wanted to just go crazy in the Android Central store and buy a whole bunch of new accessories? Or maybe stock up on presents for the family, or just splurge and buy something really nice that you wouldn't normally get for yourself? Well, here's your shot at doing just that, on us!
We have something for all sorts of Android users in the store. Need a new case? Whether it's a rugged OtterBox-style case, slim skin case or a simple bumper case, we've got you covered. Maybe your headset could use an upgrade? We hear you! How about something to make your commute a bit safer, like a hands-free car kit? You can find all of this and more in the Android Central store.
To enter to win a $200 shopping spree at the Android Central store, just log in and leave a comment below. Tell us what you'd buy if you were given the $200 and who knows, maybe your wish will be granted! This contest is open worldwide, so everyone can enter. One entry per person please! If we catch you spamming you will be eliminated from the contest, and no one wants that to happen. We'll leave it open until the end of the month, and post the winner sometime after the first of August.
During the launch event for the recent XPrize collaboration with Disney Junior through the popular Miles from Tomorrowland series, we took a few minutes to chat with Bill Nye about getting kids involved in science through Google Cardboard. As you might expect, he had plenty to say about the history of using interactive experiences to get kids involved in science, which led to an entirely different conversation about all of the excitement surrounding Pluto this week.
We also snagged Adrian Grenier, the voice of Captain Joe in the show, to ask him about the new experiences being created by VR today. It's a quick interview, but well worth a few minutes of your time.
There should be no illusions about the reality of distracted driving. It's a terrible part of our day to day driving experience, and there are a lot of folks out there who place the blame on smartphones for what seems to be an increase in distraction-related incidents. While it's not necessarily Google's job to point out what distracted driving looks like, one of the benefits of the self-driving car program is the ability to go back after an accident and see — from a top-down 360° vision perspective, no less — exactly what happened in an accident.
As a result, Google is able to report today that their self-driving cars have been in 14 accidents since they started hitting the same roads we drive on every day. Perhaps even more interesting, the computer-controlled vehicles have been responsible for zero of those accidents.
This video, captured from one of the accidents Google's cars have encountered, shows someone who didn't even bother decelerating as they approached and intersection full of cars. According to Google's Chris Urmson, being rear-ended accounts for 11 of the 14 accidents their vehicles have encountered so far. That data furthers the suspicion that many such incidents go unreported every year, and are a significant portion of the total number of accidents that happen on our roads every year.
You may not be ready to hand your keys over to a robot just yet, but it couldn't be more clear with data like this that driving distracted is a serious problem. It's not hard to imagine significantly safer streets with fewer people operating the vehicles they are currently occupying, but at the same time data like this points to a serious general need to apply more focus when on the road.
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