Android Wear 2.0 has finally come, and it brings with it a lot of enhancements that were sorely needed in Google’s wearable platform. But before we even get to the new bits in the software, let’s talk about one of the first smartwatches that bring Android Wear 2.0 to the masses. Both are able to leverage certain features from the new platform, making them a good showcase for the future of wearables in Google’s perspective. This is a review of the LG Watch Sport and the LG Watch Style. See also: Android Wear 2.0 announced – everything you need to know 2 weeks ago Quick note: This review and its score focuses on the LG Watch Sport, as it is the more featured-packed watch and it showcases all of the features that Wear 2.0 brings to the table. The LG Watch Style lacks a few of these features, but we will only touch upon it where applicable. Design The LG Watch Sport is definitely the chunkier of the two devices, and its size is likely to put off some of the more casual users of Android Wear. Its larger body helps to house a number of additions, like an upgraded microphone/speaker combo compared to the Style, a SIM card for cellular network activity outside of just Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the heart rate monitor, and a couple extra buttons. Those buttons come alongside the new rotating crown, which is a wonderful new way of navigating around the interface. While it is not a new idea, it is an addition that Wear has sorely needed. Much of the navigation still relies on touching and swiping on the screen, but the crown is great where it counts – scrolling through different elements and reading long notifications. The two buttons that flank the […]
In the latest Google Play Music update, Google has added a “recents” option to the menu where you’ll find all your last played songs. The feature isn’t new as far as music apps are concerned but it is the first time it has appeared in Google’s music streaming service. What’s more, Google Play Music now boasts 40 million songs, up five million on the previous count. The update comes as part of the Google Play Music version 7.4 update, which should be rolling out in the Play Store soon, and also brings a handful of other small tweaks, such as a new animation when you press play. It’s not a huge update but it’s Google’s small refinements that helped form our decision when deciding upon the best music streaming service back in December. And if you’re considering getting a Google Play Music subscription, now is a good time — the current offer is $9.99 per month with the first four months free. Download Google Play Music Previous Updates Google Play Music UI overhaul November 16, 2017: Google has rolled out a complete upgrade to the UI of its Google Play Music streaming service. The changes make it easier to search and discover new music, with clearer recommendations, but it has also improved the algorithms used to make suggestions. What’s more, Google has added offline streaming playlists which are loaded with your most recently played tracks.
This post originally appeared on our sister site, TabTimes. If you’re a photographer or videographer looking for a new SD card, listen up! Sony has just announced its new SF-G Series of SD cards, which the company claims are the fastest in the world. Claiming anything is “the fastest in the world” is pretty big talk, so let’s go over the specifics of these new cards. See also: Best microSD cards December 13, 2016 The new SF-G Series cards – which come in 32, 64 and 128GB storage sizes – feature write speeds of up to 299MB/s, which is made possible with Sony’s proprietary firmware. With Sony’s algorithm, these cards are able to prevent the decrease of data-writing speeds, and ultimately help enable the camera to shoot successive photos as fast as possible. What’s more, they’re also waterproof and sport anti-static capabilities. The new cards also sport read speeds of up to 300MB/s, which, paired with a memory card reader, will help the new cards to transfer large volumes and file sizes to a computer extremely quickly. The company is launching a new MRW-S1 high-speed SD card reader that will be compatible with the new SF-G cards. The cards are compatible with Sony’s free File Rescue software, which allows users to recover photos and videos, including RAW images and 4K XAVC-S videos, that may have accidentally been deleted or damaged. The new SF-G Series of SD cards will be available sometime in Spring 2017, though no pricing details have been revealed. Next: High capacity microSD cards and Android – Gary explains
Samsung‘s Exynos 9 series 8895 chips have now entered mass production. The octa-core Exynos 8895, expected to be housed in one variant of the Galaxy S8, is Samsung’s first to make use of 10-nanometer FinFET process technology, which could contribute to “up to 27% higher performance” while consuming “40% less power” when compared to previous 14nm technology. The Exynos 8895 should allow for faster LTE speeds thanks to its gigabit modem that supports five carrier aggregation (5CA) — providing “max.1Gbps (Cat.16) downlink with 5CA and 150 Mbps (Cat.13) uplink with 2CA,” according to Samsung. The Exynos 8895 is also said to provide deliver “next level” graphical performance, including reduced latency from 4K VR, thanks to a Mali-G71 GPU. Samsung says performs 60% better than its predecessor and the 8895’s advanced Multi-Format Codec (MFC) enables recording and playback of video content up to 4K at 120 fps. See also: Forecast: Samsung’s operating profit to increase by 40 percent in Q1 1 day ago Support for 28 MP cameras is also included and a dual image signal processor will help create a “DSLR-like photography experience,” says Samsung. Enhanced security features, and better infrastructure for AI and deep learning, round off the core details. The new chipset will go up against the Snapdragon 835 SoC from Qualcomm they arrive later this year. As both chips are likely to ship in different versions of the Galaxy S8, a like-for-like comparison shouldn’t be too difficult. For more on the Exynos 8895, visit the official Samsung semiconductor site at the link, and let us know your thoughts on it in the comments.
Microsoft Bookings, an appointment booking tool, has officially been released for Android users. Functionality includes access to a calendar, customer lists, contact details and a manual booking page. Read more…
While Nougat hasn’t shown up for Samsung’s S6 devices yet, the February security patch, based on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 has now started rolling out in India. It weighs in at just over 134 MB. Read more…
For as long as Instagram has been around, users have only been able to upload one photo per post at a time. If you happened to have multiple photos or videos that you wanted to share, there unfortunately has never been an easy way to do that. Well, until now. In the latest Instagram update, users will be able to share up to 10 photos and videos in one post. Now, you’ll no longer have to choose the best photo or video from the experience you want to share. When uploading photos or videos to your feed, you’ll see a new icon that will let you select multiple photos and videos from your library. You can even customize the order in which each photo shows up. Just tap and hold to change the order, apply a filter to everything at once, or edit them one at a time. Instagram says these posts have a single caption and are square-only for now, but we’d imagine support for non-square posts will be added in the future. If you haven’t yet, be sure to head to the Play Store link below to grab the latest Instagram update. Download Instagram from Google Play Recent updates Instagram Live Stories now available January 25: Instagram Live Stories, which have been rumored to launch for a few weeks now, are now available to all users globally. This rollout is following a limited regional release in December. Hands-free mode and new stickers December 21: In this holiday-themed update to version 10.3, Instagram introduced several new features including a hands-free recording mode, more stickers and holiday content. The new camera interface lets users record a video by tapping the record button once, rather than pressing and holding it like previously. You can also now add customizable weather, time and location stickers to snaps. Limited-time-only Christmas-themed stickers and plans […]
After AT&T announced its 5G Evolution network, we knew it was only a matter of time before its wireless rivals chimed in with their own plans. It seems that Verizon is now up to the plate. In partnership with Samsung, Big Red is nearly ready to pilot test its new gigabit-class wireless service in 11 cities. According to Samsung, the first markets to offer fixed 5G wireless will be New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington, D.C., with a fifth location in Michigan starting trials later in Q2 2017. The remaining cities will probably be rolled out sometime shortly after that. Verizon says that the entire network should be up and running by the middle of the year. Keep in mind this is a “pre-commercial” network service that will only be offered to select consumers in the 11 chosen cities. It is hard to say how long this pilot will go on before it becomes commercially available, though its very possible that they could launch it to more consumers by the year’s end. It’s hard to believe that we are already nearing the age of 5G, a standard that seemed like a fairy tale concept not that terribly long ago. Of course, networks like Verizon’s 5G and AT&T’s 5G Evolution aren’t quite ‘real 5G’ at this stage, especially since no formal standard has yet to be announced. Still, we’ve come a long way and AT&T and Verizon’s latest moves bring us just one more step closer.
We’d probably all thought that we’d heard the last of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, but up popped speculation yesterday that the company may end up selling refitted Note 7 models in a selection of countries. Vietnam and India were among the names suggested, however Samsung India has since stated that “the report on Samsung planning to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7 smartphone[s] in India is incorrect.” Done and dusted? Well perhaps not quite. While we may not see the Galaxy Note 7 reappear under the same branding, or even with the same aesthetic design, there are still some merits to the argument that Samsung will seek to recover some of its losses through reclaiming and reselling handsets and/or components. According to The Korean Economic Daily’s sources, such a device could have its 3,500mAh battery swapped with a smaller 3,000 to 3,200mAh cell, and could even feature a new case, look, and branding. So, it wouldn’t really be a Note 7 relaunch at all then? See also: Korean government confirms Samsung’s Note 7 investigation results 2 weeks ago Wasted materials and costs We don’t really want to see the return of another set of Note 7’s with battery replacements, but otherwise the handset was full of perfectly serviceable AMOLED display and main-board parts, which had nothing to do with the defect. Samsung may be eyeing up using these components for use in a new device, especially as mainboards are the most expensive portion of a phone. They house processor, memory, radio, and other expensive integrated circuits on them, which the company will already have ordered in bulk. Furthermore, Samsung produced many of these components itself, including PoP flash and RAM, and the Exynos 8890 SoC found in some regional Note 7’s. The recall was a double hit for Samsung in this sense, and there’s a strong incentive to repurpose these parts for another phone. […]
Huawei, which officially announced its Honor V9 phone in China earlier this week, has also revealed plans to release a 360-degree camera add-on device. It’s called simply the Honor VR Camera, and it was developed in partnership with Insta360, which has previously released similar add-ons for smartphones. See also: Interview with Honor VP Zack Zhang at CES 2017 January 10, 2017 According to a statement from Insta360, the Honor VR Camera will support “3K photography and seamless livestreaming”. The company also helped to develop the app for the camera, which it says will allow users to “download to capture, share and livestream their 360-degree creations.” That’s pretty much all we know so far about the Honor VR Camera in terms of its hardware specs. Huawei and Insta360 did not reveal a price or release date for the product. The press release said Huawei does plan to begin international sales of the add-on sometime soon. That likely means the camera will be available outside Huawei’s home country. Insta360 is already selling a consumer camera add-on, the Insta360 Nano, which is available for the iPhone 6 and 7 for $195. It can take 360-degree videos at up to 3040 x 1520 resolution at 30 frames per second. The company recently announced another product, the Insta360 Pro, that is aimed at the professional photographer. It will have six lenses that can take 360-degree videos in up to 8K resolution, along with support for high-def livestreaming and 3D video. It will be released later this year, but it will have a much higher price tag of $2,999. Since we know so little about this new Honor VR Camera, it’s hard to tell if its capabilities will be similar to the Insta360 Nano, or closer to the Insta360 Pro, but without the super-high price tag. Hopefully Huawei will reveal […]