It's getting ridiculous at this point. Google Home has been available for over a year and despite the slow initial rollout of video services, things have picked up with Netflix being joined by CBS, HBO NOW, YouTube TV, CW, and most recently Viki. Now there's another one joining the fold of video partners and, no, again, it is not Google Play Movies. It's Crackle.
Crackle is an online streaming service owned by Sony and, according to Wikipedia, it is available in 21 countries. It's free and ad-supported, and it features original content as well as movies and TV shows from partners such as Miramax, MGM, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Company, and more. Read More
When HTC announced the HTC U11 Life about a month ago, it promised the device wouldn't be stuck on Nougat for long and would get Oreo soon. That was actually one of the positive points in favor of the U11 Life when David reviewed the phone, but as it turns out, many OEMs are using that strategy to avoid the requirements of Treble support when launching with Oreo directly. I don't know if HTC falls in that category, but it sure smells like that is the case.
Anyway, the good news is that the Oreo update is starting to roll out today to the unlocked HTC U11 Life in the US, according to Mo Versi. Read More
Not a dull moment passes by in the land of Google product issues. Not long after Google Assistant functionality was added to the Nexus Player, Google's digital media player has begun to put its remote to sleep. Many people are complaining about the problem on Google's Issue Tracker, and the culprit has been revealed to be a Play Services update. It's similar to an issue NVIDIA fixed with SHIELD Experience 6.1 on the SHIELD Android TV. Read More
Audiobooks are great, allowing busier people to listen to books while on the go. Google seems to sympathize with this notion, having just added new options for audiobooks in Google Search. This news comes not long after we discovered mentions of audiobooks in the Play Store v8.4 APK teardown. Read More
In spite of its fancy dual camera setup, the Essential Phone did not take great photos at the time of our review. Since then, Essential has been working hard on updating various aspects of the phone, including the camera software. Amidst Andy Rubin's leave of absence, the company has just released a new version of its Essential Camera app that adds portrait mode, reduced compression, and some other things. Read More
Not everyone has the luxury of an unlimited data plan. Google published a new app back in June, called 'Triangle,' designed to help users micromanage their cellular data usage. Now the app has left beta and become available worldwide, under the new name 'Datally.' Read More
Now that Google has added multi-user support, the ability to set reminders, and other key functionality to the Google Home, there's not much to complain about. One remaining issue was that you could only say one command at a time. If you wanted to turn off the lights and play something on your TV, you would have to say "turn off the lights," wait for the Home to respond, and then follow up with the casting command. Read More
USB Type-C is great, but not all Type-C batteries are created equal. There are a lot of different charging standards right now, so one battery might fast charge a phone with Qualcomm Quick Charge, but it won't fast charge a Pixel or work to power a Type-C laptop. The giant RAVpower 26,800mAh battery pack will, and it's on sale for $55.99, down from $79.99. Read More
Ah, Motorola. You were once one of the most enthusiast-friendly OEMs, yet you've now sunken down to a level deeper than possibly any other major phone manufacturer in this regard. Just a few years ago, your Moto X-series of phones were the absolute best phones on the market with updates: the Moto X (2013) beat the Nexus 4 out to 4.4 KitKat, and the Moto X (2014) did the same to the Nexus 5 with 5.0 Lollipop. These updates were rolled out mere days after Google officially launched them. However, it took over a year to update 2015's Moto X Pure Edition, the company's flagship at the time, to the now-dated Android 7.0 Nougat. Read More
Lately, we've been hearing reports of Pixel 2s and Pixel 2 XLs randomly rebooting. Having your phone restart itself multiple times throughout the day is obviously pretty infuriating, and many were dissatisfied when they heard that this would be fixed 'in the coming weeks.' However, the issue may have already been resolved in Android 8.1 Oreo's Developer Preview 2, according to a Google employee. Read More