Sep 14

Google billboard teases potential Pixel 2 event date of Oct 4

Well, it doesn’t get much clearer than that.

Initial reports pegged the Google Pixel 2 announcement for October 5, but it doesn’t get much clearer than this image sent to Droid-Life: a billboard, spotted in Boston, with the phrase “ask more of your phone” accompanied by a Google logo the date of October 4. Barring some weird coincidence, it seems like that’s the date for the next Pixel event.

Last year’s Google Pixel event, which was held in San Francisco, was (not so) coincidentally held on October 4 as well. It wouldn’t be surprising if Google wanted to keep that date going, and initial rumors only being off by one day isn’t too shabby.

Now, what exactly could “ask more of your phone” actually manifest itself as in the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2? Well, we don’t really know — that’s a pretty vague statement. Initially it could be taken literally in terms of what Google Assistant could do on the phones, but it could also be a figurative statement — we all want more from our phones.

But we do know what current leaks and rumors are pointing to: two phones from different manufacturers, with the smaller Pixel sticking with a design closer to the original and the larger phone going with something closer to an LG V30. Expect a slightly newer version of Android Oreo with a few extra features, and of course some app and service updates that make it all sing.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL review
  • Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective
  • Google Pixel FAQ: Should you upgrade?
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  • Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Join the discussion in the forums!

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Sep 09

Best Samsung Galaxy Note 8 cases

Now that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is beginning to arrive on doorsteps, we take a look at some of the best case options to keep your device protected.

Aug 31

Capcom re-releasing Street Fighter 2 on a SNES cartridge

Celebrate Street Fighter’s 30th anniversary in style

Continue reading…

Aug 27

Littlstar VR might be the best app you can add to your PlayStation VR

Having access to your favorite content is now as simple as using a USB stick.

Littlstar VR isn’t a new app to enter the PlayStation VR sphere. It’s been here for months already, delivering some awesome videos. Now the developers have gone above and beyond to bring you the type of features that are pretty exciting. They’ve increased their versatility in which videos can be played from within the app, along with adding USB support. You read that right, you can now load up your favorite VR movies on a USB stick, and then open and watch them from inside Littlstar VR.

Read more at VRHeads.com

Aug 10

Best Google Pixel Cases

Whether you’re looking for something low-key or high-protection, these are the best cases for the Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

Not everyone uses a case on their phone, and those who do may not even use a case every day. But one thing is certain: your Google Pixel or Pixel XL is a very expensive piece of hardware, and that means you should consider the options for protecting it.

We’re not just talking about a drop from shoulder height onto concrete. There are also just little bits of daily life that can leave your phone looking less than pristine after a few months or a year. Now that the Pixels have been out for a while you have plenty of great case options that can help you keep your phone looking great for longer. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Maxboost mSnap Thin Case
  • X-Level Vintage Series PU Leather
  • Otterbox Commuter
  • Tauri Ultra Slim
  • Spigen Rugged Armor

Maxboost mSnap Thin Case

Maxboost has made a great and super minimal offering with the mSnap Thin Case. Available in turquoise, black and rose gold, the mSnap case offers complete protection of all edges without adding any unnecessary bulk. Little slits at the corners let the case stay super rigid but still fit around your Pixel.

The case cuts out relatively large holes around the camera, fingerprint sensor, USB port and headphone jack so you don’t have to worry about compatibility with other accessories or issues with not being able to access basic functions. Starting at $13, this is a great minimalist choice.

See at Amazon

X-Level Vintage Series PU Leather

If you’re looking for a case that has a bit more style and a natural feel, but don’t want to spend the big bucks on a proper leather case, check out the X-Level Vintage Series PU Leather case. For just $13 you can get a black, brown or pink-colored synthetic leather case that gives a bit of cushion to your Pixel or Pixel XL.

Sure it’s not “genuine” leather and the bottom of the phone isn’t completely protected, but this case will definitely provide daily protection from bumps and scrapes while also looking nicer than a generic rubber case.

See at Amazon

Otterbox Commuter

Otterbox is a company that is well-known for its protective offerings, but many are turned away by how bulky that can make your Pixel. The Commuter series is a great balance of protection and bulk, all while looking pretty great. Thanks to its inner synthetic rubber slipcover and the polycarbonate outer shell, you’ll have awesome protection in the event of a drop or fall.

The case allows for easy access to the ports and fingerprint sensor, and the buttons are raised so you can easily find them. Coming in at just $21 (regularly $40 MSRP), it is more expensive than many of the other options, but worth every penny for the protection it provides.

See at Amazon

Tauri Ultra Slim

The Pixel is a great looking phone, and you may not want to hide it under a case. That doesn’t mean you should leave your phone completely unprotected to show it off, and instead you should consider a great clear case. Tauri offers its Ultra Slim case in a variety of tinted colors, most of which can be seen through to still show off the beauty of the phone.

You won’t get extreme protection with this case, but it will prevent some dings and scratches from making your phone look older than it really is. Priced at only $8 there is very little reason to not pick one up for your Pixel to keep it safe.

See at Amazon

Spigen Rugged Armor

If you’re looking to protect your Google Pixel but don’t want to make it super big and bulky, Spigen’s Rugged Armor is a solid pick for you. The case combines Military Grade protection with Air Cushion Technology for all of its corners, and the TPU material is flexible but protective.

Being fingerprint-resistant, the case will not only protect your phone but keep it looking clean and great. The front has a small lip to it, so if you place the phone face down the screen won’t touch the surface to prevent scratches. At only $13, you can’t go wrong with this slim case that offers great protection.

See at Amazon

Updated August 2017: This list has been refreshed with updated pricing, links, and the latest information.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL review
  • Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective
  • Google Pixel FAQ: Should you upgrade?
  • Pixel + Pixel XL specs
  • Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Join the discussion in the forums!

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Aug 10

The Moto Gamepad Mod is now available for pre-order from Verizon

After being announced alongside the Moto Z2 Force, the new Moto Gamepad Mod is now available for pre-order from Verizon for $80, with shipping to commence on August 25th.

Jul 24

HTC U11 gets Alexa in the UK

App update brings Amazon’s virtual assistant to British U11 phones.

HTC has updated its Alexa app for the U11, bringing Amazon’s virtual assistant to UK models of the phone.

As we saw a week ago when the service launched in the U.S., the app effectively turns the HTC U11 into a portable Amazon echo, responding to voice commands, and living harmoniously alongside Google Assistant, which shipped on the phone at launch.

When it’s equipped with the HTC Alexa app, the U11 can access skills just like a full-blown Amazon Echo, including interfacing with any Alexa-enabled smart home devices you may have.

There are a few limitations in the app right now, as Andrew Martonik discovered in his time with Alexa on the U.S. unlocked HTC U11:

The fact that Alexa on the phone works just like your Echo at home is a big deal for those who are already familiar with it, but there are also clear limitations to this setup.

Nothing about Alexa on the phone takes advantage of the fact that it’s on the phone. Unlike Google Assistant, Alexa can’t control items on your phone like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, can’t give you directions to things that open up Google Maps, can’t transition to showing you things on the screen and perhaps most importantly can’t let you just type to it. It really is just an Echo virtualized into an app on your U11 — and that means at launch it lags behind Google Assistant in terms of raw capabilities and features that feel native to the phone.

British U11 owners can get Alexa on their devices by heading to Google Play and updating the preloaded HTC Alexa app: Go to Play Store > My apps and games and tap update. Once updated, you’ll need to open the HTC Alexa app to run through setup and get started.

If you’re playing around with Amazon Alexa on your HTC U11 for the first time today, hit the comments and let us know how you’re getting along. HTC says the next country to get Alexa will be Germany, though there’s no word on precise timings just yet.

More: Amazon Alexa on the HTC U11 Impressions

HTC U11

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  • Manufacturing the U11: Behind the scenes
  • Join our U11 forums
  • HTC U11 vs Galaxy S8
  • HTC U11 vs LG G6

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Jul 20

Nintendo trademark suggests Nintendo 64 Classic Edition

Could we use a different controller?

Continue reading…

Jul 09

What’s your favorite new Android app? [DISCUSS]

The Google Play store is filled with tons of well-known essential apps (See: 100 Best Apps) but it’s not always easy to find brand spanking new apps and games to tickle your fancy. Let’s help each other out!

Jul 06

Qualcomm files patent infringement complaints against Apple, aims to ban U.S. iPhone imports

Qualcomm says the iPhone uses six inventions that Apple isn’t paying for.

Qualcomm owns a lot of IP (intellectual property). Much of it is for things we don’t think about when we are using a phone powered by one of its processors, like network data transfer and battery management. Today, it has filed a complaint with the ITC (international trade commission) against Apple, which it says uses six patented technologies without offering the correct compensation to Qualcomm.

It makes it clear that these are not industry standard patents (which have different rules about how they are used and paid for) but still “play integral roles enabling both high-speed performance and extended battery life.” The patents in question are:

  • US Patent 8698558 (issued 2014) which extends battery life by offering intelligent antenna power management
  • US Patent 8838949 (issued 2014) which helps a phone connect to the network at first boot
  • US Patent 8633936 (issued 2014) which allows for graphic0intensive applications to use less battery power
  • US Patent 9535490 (issued 2017) which monitors and manages network traffic to and from applications
  • US Patent 9608675 (issued 2017) which aggregates multiple streams into a single “data super-highway”
  • US Patent 8487658 (issued 2013) which uses more efficient power interfacing for both high and low voltage circuits

Using a move from Apple’s own playbook, Qualcomm is petitioning the ITC to stop imports and sales of Apple products that use these patents.

“Qualcomm’s inventions are at the heart of every iPhone and extend well beyond modem technologies or cellular standards,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm. “The patents we are asserting represent six important technologies, out of a portfolio of thousands, and each is vital to iPhone functions. Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple’s infringement of six of our patented technologies.”

Apple and Qualcomm are already embroiled in a legal battle over standard-essential patents, and this just adds fuel to the existing fire. All we can say is that if the patents were fairly granted and any company is using them, it should pay for them. We’re not about to guess how the ITC will rule when it comes to banning iPhone sales, but we know it has not been afraid to do the same to other companies. We also know it’s simply a great bargaining chip to try and receive those backed royalties from Apple, which would naturally go to considerable lengths to keep an import ban from being imposed.

While not directly Android related, this news is important to follow as both companies involved have enough influence to shape the mobile landscape for us all.

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