Write this down: Here's the news for Monday, October 31.
Do you write anymore? I mean physically, on paper. It recently occurred to me that I often go weeks without writing more than a signature on a contract or an incoming delivery (or a check, another anachronism).
In our Note 7 recall survey, the number one answer people gave to "What feature will you miss most on the Note 7?" was the S Pen. And I miss it, too: I always prefer to take written notes in meetings instead of typing on a screen, especially if it's a one-on-one interview or a small group. Pen-and-paper just feels more personal, and closer to the subject matter. As someone who spends his whole day writing, I often miss that connection. And yet even at my most studious, back in college, I probably couldn't have written by hand all the essays and papers I was expected to turn in. If I had, they would have been shorter and, conversely, more succinct. The keyboard (and to a lesser extent the typewriter) gave us the opportunity to be more verbose, and considerably more long-winded.
I think that's been both a blessing and a curse.
ARM's new Mali combo promises better graphics and video streaming in cheaper phones
The company unveiled the mid-range Mali-G51 GPU alongside its V61 video processing unit. The former is based on the same Bifrost architecture as its more expensive counterpart, but will be aimed at cheaper phones that still want to meet those 60fps goals on 1080p displays. The V61 on the other hand promises less bandwidth-intensive 4K streaming video through more efficient codecs. Both promise power savings over their predecessors, and will be available in phones next year.
Twitter tries some Nougat, likes it
Over the weekend (remember those, workaholics?) Twitter added a bunch of Android Nougat-based features to its alpha client. Specifically, support for multi window (Android 7.0+) and app shortcuts (Android 7.1+). Oh, and there's also a rounded icon for those running 7.1, too. Want in? Sign up for the Twitter Alpha.
Android Pay now supported by more banks
The list of banks supporting Android Pay has grown again. Android Police notes that the official list of banks has been updated once again and now First Flight FCU, Bristol County Savings Bank, Capitol One and others have been added. Earlier this year Capitol One showed up on the list but it was then removed, so hopefully it is here to stay this time.
Google handing out $50 Play Store credits for late Pixel deliveries
Google is reportedly sending emails to Pixel owners, particularly those who wanted the larger Pixel XL, whose delivery dates were pushed back due to manufacturing delays.
BlackBerry inks deal with Ford to improve connected cars
"We have the best embedded software and security engineers in the world, and Canada is pretty great!" That's how Marty Beard, BlackBerry's Chief Operating Officer, closed his blog post last week after debunking rumors that Apple was raiding QNX's staff to work on its car platform.
Today, BlackBerry made a significant announcement to reinforce that claim, inking a deal with Ford to continue powering the technology behind its SYNC dashboard. Specifically, BlackBerry will dedicate a portion of its QNX team to work only on Ford products going forward. No terms were disclosed for the deal, but it's certainly going to help BlackBerry reach its revenue targets for FY17.
Sony's newest flagship is now $50 less ridiculously overpriced
I kid, I kid. Sony's Xperia XZ flagship, which arrived in September, now sells for $649 USD on Amazon, a nice $50 reduction. We liked the device when it debuted, but have trouble recommending it over the similarly-priced Pixel. See at Amazon
Samsung is going to sell its weirdest mobile accessories in the U.S.
A wireless, water bottle-shaped speaker? Sure, why not? Samsung has announced that it will bring a number of its formerly Korean-only accessories, such as the aforementioned Wireless Speaker Bottle, a dual Wireless Charger Tray, and a USB-based LED light, to the U.S. They're all coming to Samsung's online store, and will be available in brick-and-mortar equivalents in early November.
Motorola cuts $150 from its Moto Z line, for now
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Happy Halloween, everyone! Be safe out there. Oh, and if you haven't played today's Google Doodle game, do so immediately. It's amazing.