You can now play around with Google Assistant, HTC is working a couple of interesting phones, and LeEco's Snapdragon 821 monster is here.
Today's turning out to be a wacky Wednesday, in large part thanks to the launch of Allo. The messaging service is giving us a first look at what's capable with the Google Assistant, and thus far, I'm liking what's on offer. In other Google news, Maps and Drive have received usability updates, and the company has managed to secure an extra three weeks to respond to EU's antitrust charges.
It looks like HTC is readying a tweaked variant of the HTC 10 for Sprint called the Bolt, which will likely make its debut next month. Another leak reveals that HTC is working on three new phones containing the Ocean codename. Meanwhile in China, LeEco unveiled the Le Pro 3, which is the second handset (after the ZenFone 3) to be powered by the Snapdragon 821 SoC.
Xiaomi is finally bringing its Mi Ecosystem products to India, starting with the Mi Air Purifier 2. Considering the deteriorating air quality levels in most parts of the country, the product could not have come at a better time. It's time for the news!
Allo is here!
Allo is now available for download from the Play Store. Based on your region, the service may not be available just yet, but in the meantime, you can take a look at our coverage to see what you're getting with the service.
HTC Bolt revealed, headed to Sprint next month
Evan Blass has posted a render of what appears to be a slightly modified HTC 10 dressed in Sprint's branding. A previous tweet by Blass points to an October release window. As for likely launch dates, the clock in the screenshot reads October 18.
More 'HTC Ocean' codenames emerge
Adding fuel to recent 'HTC 11' leaks, prominent HTC leaker LlabTooFeR tweets that the device codenamed "Ocean" actually consists of three variants: Ocean Master, Ocean Note and Ocean Smart. Of the three, "Ocean Note" hints at a larger form factor HTC phone, something we haven't really seen since 2013's One Max.
Xiaomi brings its air purifier to India
Xiaomi's Mi Air Purifier 2 is all set to go on sale in India from September 26 on Mi.com. The device features a triple-layered filter that consists of a PET pre-filter, an EPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. The air purifier has a built-in air quality monitor, and can be controlled through the Mi Home app. It'll be available for ₹9,999 ($150).
Xiaomi's latest fitness band also coming to India
Xiaomi has also launched its latest fitness tracker in India. The Mi Band 2 will be available for ₹1,999 ($30), and will go on sale from September 27. Unlike the first-gen Mi Band, the latest iteration of the budget fitness tracker sports a 0.74-inch OLED screen and a heart rate sensor. The 70mAh battery is touted to last 20 days, and the band syncs with your phone over Bluetooth LE.
Google Maps now shows the direction you're facing
Google is making it easier to orient yourself in Maps. The direction arrow is gone, and in its place you'll find a shrinking blue beam on your blue dot that shows the direction you're facing. The narrower the beam, the more accurate your direction. Oh, and Google says that you should move your phone in a figure 8 motion a few times to improve the compass calibration.
Google Drive search gets a lot smarter
Google has added its search smarts to Drive. The service now supports Natural Language Processing queries, which means that you can search for things like "find my budget spreadsheet from last December," and Drive will surface the relevant results. Search also gets autocorrect, and Google is adding new features into Drive as well: you'll be able to split your document into multiple columns, and when you edit edit non-Google files, a copy of the original is saved.
LeEco Le Pro 3 unveiled with Snapdragon 821, 6GB RAM
After a spate of rumors, the LeEco Le Pro 3 is now official in China. The handset eschews the 3.5mm port (much like the Le Max 2), and features a 5.5-inch Full HD display. It comes with a Snapdragon 821 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 64GB storage, 16MP camera, 8MP front shooter, and a 4070mAh battery. No word on international availability yet.
Google has until Oct. 7 to respond to EU antitrust charge
Google has been given a three-week extension to respond to the EU's antitrust charges. The company now has until October 7 to show that it has not misused its dominant position with Android by pre-installing its own services like Google Search and Chrome. If found guilty, Google could face a €3 billion fine.