So here's the latest Android Wear... fine, I'll say it: RUMINT from Evan Blass. May I present the latest (probably) leaked pictures of Google's own Android Wear smartwatches. How he gets the stats correct so often is crazy. According to Evan, this is coming in 2 different versions. The Sport version features everything (NFC, Wifi, BT, 3G, LTE, GPS & heart rate monitor) while the cheaper, smaller Style version will have just WiFi & BT. The Sport model looks to be pretty thick @ 14.2 mm (compared to the Moto 360 Gen 2 @ 11.4mm for comparison sake) and the Style a more svelte 10.8 mm. I don't understand leaving NFC out of the smaller one, but it is still a rumor for now.
Can we talk a bit about the current sad state of Android Wear affairs? Motorola has publicly said "we're done with AW for now". The Moto 360 Gen2 was recently pulled from Google's store. The Moto 360 Sport lasted a mere 2 months in the Store. In the last few months, the Sony Smartwatch 3, Huawei's Watch, and Fossil's entire lineup have all been pulled from the store. The last watch announced, the Asus Zenwatch 3 was supposedly available for pre-order in November, promptly "sold out" and hasn't been available anywhere since. I question if it was ever even sold. It was never available in the Store. There are currently 4, count them 4, smart watches available direct from Google.
Is it over? It sure seems that way to me. Smart...
Samsung told us following the final Note 7 recall that they would be launching an internal investigation to find out the exact cause of the Note 7 fires. After extensive investigation it would appear that Samsung is prepared to place most of the blame on faulty batteries. This is somewhat troubling as Samsung had found "good batteries", and then those phones ended up being faulty as well. This seemed to point to other issues like possibly an issue with software or design.
Reuters is reporting that Samsung will soon put most of the blame on faulty batteries. This could also mean that there are a combination of issues and that they battery was the main culprit. Samsung was able to replicate battery files during the investigation. If batteries end up being the main culprit this is good news for Samsung as they can simply fix the battery production process or just buy batteries from another factory. This would mean that their design won't have to be reimagined from scratch. We will have the official reports from Samsung in the coming weeks.
Cell phones are just like little pocket PC's. The only difference between a desktop PC and a cell phone is the fact that you are carrying around a volatile mix of chemicals which power the phone in the form of a battery. We learned just how volatile this part of a cell phone can be thanks to the Note 7. If you remember the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge actually included a heat sink. This is one feature the Note 7 missed and could have been the actual cause of the Note 7 defects.
LG has promised to doe their best to make sure that this does not happen with any of their future devices. LG will adopt new technologies and testing practices to be sure their devices remain safe. The LG G6 will include a "heat pipe" which will be used to conduct heat away from areas that would otherwise concentrate heat. LG will also utilize more rigorous battery test to learn how their devices will age when mistreated to hopefully prevent mishaps when customers use third party chargers. LG probably won't be the only OEM to take these sorts of measures. It's always best to learn from someone else's mistake.
As far as Android tablets are concerned there really have not been any big releases. It seems that the tablet revolution didn't really take off the way that many thought it would. Phone's have large enough screens these days that tablet's can seem redundant. Tablets were only really ever good for media consumption as they have never truly been great productivity devices. The Nvidia Shield Tablet was one of the most unique tablets out there when it released a few years back. It's focus was on gaming and to this day it remains one of the best tablets for gaming.
According to Nvidia's SHIELD Hub Google+ account Nougat will be rolling out the SHIELD tablet and the K1 tablet in the coming weeks. This is great because it breathes a bit of life into these older devices. The K1 should be the first to receive the update while the K1 SHIELD tablet will likely get the update a while later.
Today is the official last day of Vine. This is likely due to the fact that twitter now natively supports video and can actually be monotized for twitter. The end of Vine means you will need to go and download any vines you want to keep. The vine app will be rebranded to "Vine Camera". The new camera app is available for both iOS and Android. The app allows you to record 6 second videos from your camera or you can import videos you already have. The app basically just gives you a place to edit videos. Otherwise you can just upload your 6 second or less videos directly to Twitter and they will loop just like a vine. It is a sad day for Vine users, but at least the main functionality will remain.
We have seen companies fund their device manufacturing in many different ways. OnePlus had their notorious invite system while other manufacturers have simply utilized pre-orders to gauge how many devices they needed to build. ZTE has decided to go a whole new route. They crowdfunded the Hawkeye on Kickstarter. The Hawkeye gets its name from its main feature which is hands free eye tracking. With the feature you are able to scroll through pages based on your eyes movement. You can also stick the phone to a wall so you can use it completely hands free.
The kickstarter has 31 days to go. So far ZTE has only been able to raise $30,000 of a $500,000 goal. Today they decided to go ahead and reveal the specs for the phone in hopes to drum up some excitement. The phone will release with Android Nougat, dual lens rear camera, 5.5" 1080p display, snapdragon 625, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 3,000mah battery, USB-C with quick charge 2.0, and rear mounted fingerprint scanner. The phone will only set you back $199. Head to the link below to back this unique kickstarter.
There are so many "rumor" and "leaks" for the Galaxy S8 most of which contradict one another. We have heard the S8 will be bezeless, it will have stereo speakers, it will drop the 3.5 mm headphone jack, it will drop the physical home button, and the list just goes on and on. A new set of Galaxy S8 case pictures suggest some major changes are coming to the S8 and S8 Plus. I can imagine some very unhappy campers if these latest rumors turn out to be true.
According to sources the images above show three ports. Those ports being for a speaker, a mic, and an S-Pen. Yes you heard that right and S-Pen. This doesn't make much sense to me as Samsung stands to lose sales of the Note 8 at a more expensive price point in the fall if this ends up being the case. We also don't see a headphone jack here. If that port is for the S-Pen we are also missing a usb port. The source is saying that Qi wireless charging will be the primary method of charging and there won't be a charge port. That is a red flag to me. Surely Samsung wouldn't remove the usb port. That port serves as a data transfer port as well as a fast charge port. I just can't see Samsung removing it. According to the cases there is no 3.5mm headphone jack. The circular port is to small for that and is more fitting of a microphone hole. This case seems to just be way off. What do you guys think?
It looks like the Note 7 on Verizon is coming to an end very soon, Like I was told by an Verizon Rep the end will come not by update but by cutting off the phone and making the holdouts pay full price..
A few years ago, despite my early excitement, I passed on the Nvidia Shield Android TV box. At the time I was debating paying $200 for an android gaming system that lacked Madden or some of the other top games. But over the years I ended up not getting any of those top gaming systems (PS4 or XBOX One) because I just did not have the time to commit to playing games.
And that leads me to my point about the Nvidia Shield Android TV set top box. If you are a person who want a set top box that can do just a little more than what you can do on a tablet or nexus player then this is the device for you.
The Nvidia Shield Android TV is powerful enough to handle some of your top title games plus being just a little more than what the Nexus Player had to offer. I was playing Ultra Street Fighter IV and was amazed at how fluid the game play was. And for me I know that I will spend at most 2 hours a month playing games if that. So buying a ps4 or xbox would be just a waste of money knowing it will just sit on the shelf. The Nvidia Shield TV however would be a great replacement for my aging roku and nexus player, as the apps that were missing from my nexus player,ie amazon video, are present on my shield with the added bonus of a nice gaming controller.
So this day I officially retired my Nexus player but frankly it was retired months ago and I could not think of a better device to take its place. For me the shield combines the versatility of a chromecast,...