This year’s Nexus 6P is a whole new ballgame for the Nexus line. Last year’s Nexus 6, which was made by Motorola, had a large bulky body that felt massive in the hand for many. The Nexus 6P changes that by featuring a slightly smaller display and a better screen-to-body ratio. It actually feels compact in the hand. And perhaps more importantly, the device comes with specifications that best or match other flagships while being packed within an all-metal design.
The Nexus 6P runs Google’s newest version of Android — Android 6.0 Marshmallow — right out of the box. It has an improved 12.3MP camera, a 5.7-inch Quad HD (2560×1440) AMOLED display, a snappy Snapdragon 810 v2.1 processor, and a slew of new software tricks. The Nexus 6P is a worthy update over its predecessor, and brings a whole new sense of hardware to the market. But, as always, a phone can never be perfect and really depends on one’s personal preferences. So here are six features that Google and Huawei left out of the Nexus 6P.
A non-protruding camera
The Nexus 6P features an all-metal unibody design that’s nice excluding one part. On the rear of the device lies a black strip covered in Gorilla Glass containing various sensors as well as a protruding camera. Although great that Google included all these various types of sensors, the company apparently had no other place to put them but along the top rear side of the device. Along the black strip, you’ll see the camera lens, dual-LED tone flash and laser auto-focus sensor. The strip is also reported to include a number of other sensors. Other than the top bar which can’t be covered with a case, the design is pretty elegant and attractive. Let’s hope next time Google finds how to integrate these various sensors without having to create a large hump at the back.
Additional color options
Moto Maker allows buyers to customize their Motorola device with different designs by changing colors, materials, and textures. So why can’t Google do this? Currently for the Nexus 6P, there only three color options — Graphite, Frost and Aluminum. In Japan, buyers will get an additional gold color option. Hopefully further down the road we’ll see Google do something along the lines of Motorola and create a bevy of design choices.
Dual-SIM card compatibility
The ability to use two SIM cards in a single device is becoming more common among recent handsets. Unfortunately, for the Nexus 6P, Google decided one was enough. This has been a welcoming feature among some new devices and would have been a real treat if Google decided to provide us with it. But for now, if you have a work phone and a personal cell and want to the Nexus 6P, you’ll have to deal with carrying two phones around.
The Nexus 6P includes 3GB of RAM; however, extra RAM is always convenient. Soon 4GB of RAM will become the norm for Android flagships. I have a feeling that many upgrading early next year may discredit the Nexus 6P for having only 3GB. Luckily, with Marshmallow, Google has implemented improvements regarding RAM management and we hope this makes a noticeable difference.
Water and dust resistance
Google has been silent when it comes to IP ratings. I’m sure more users would jump on the Nexus train if they found out the devices had included water and dust resistance. While this is yet to become mainstream with Android flagships, many are trying it out with separate rugged variants so why not give it a try?
Built-in IR blaster
Built-in IR blasters aren’t getting as much attention as they used to, but it would still be a nice addition to the Nexus lineup. With a built-in IR blaster, users can control their televisions or other equipment with their smartphone. We haven’t seen this features appear on a Nexus device yet, but heck, you never know when Google may include it.
Overall, the Nexus 6P is a great flagship for anyone looking to get a clean and simplified experience. The Nexus 6P doesn’t go overboard and focuses more on perfecting what matters. Although the features mentioned above may have been great additions, it’s the lack of them that makes the Nexus series what it is. Any of them being added to the Nexus 6P would have likely raised its starting price of $499.
Come comment on this article: What could have improved the Nexus 6P?
Android fans, this week brought us a ton of exciting stuff, starting of course with the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. The general impression is great, but the new Nexuses are not without controversy. Moving on, Google also brought us the intriguing Pixel C, a revamped Chromecast, and the Chromecast Audio. In non-Google news, we went hands-on with the futuristic Wove band; HTC introduced a refreshed One M9+ and announced the launch event for the Aero; and LG introduced the durable V10 and LTE-enabled Watch Urbane 2nd edition.
Inside AA HQ
Nexus, Nexus, Nexus! We’re all true Android fans, but what’s the role of Nexus phones, besides fan service? There are a lot of theories. From taking Google’s words at face value (“a phone for developers,” “pushing the ecosystem forward”) to the more outlandish ideas (“Nexus phones are just ads”), people don’t seem to agree what the Nexus program’s role is today. That said, Nexus devices are, without doubt, important for the Android community, and that is why they hold a special place in our coverage. Check out Josh’s excellent hands-on and comparisons starring the Nexus 5X and 6P (and the Pixel C) and let us know what you think.
With the Nexus event over, it looks like the biggest releases of the year are behind us. HTC is still trying to save a bad year with the Aero, coming October 20. But as far as big phones come, we’re pretty much done. Keep an eye for our updated best smartphones ranking.
This week’s giveaway is special. We have three prizes up for grabs, and they are all extremely appealing: Galaxy Note 5, OnePlus 2, and Moto X Pure. Head over here to enter the contest and good luck!
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
- Comparison: Big phone comparison: Note 5 or Mate S – Gary weighs in
- Review: Smartwatches don’t have to be round to be cool. The ZenWatch 2 is proof
- Comparison: Mate S or Mate 7: two generations of the Mate series compared
- Video: Joe demoes Google Now on Tap, the biggest feature in Marshmallow
- Feature: The pricing of the Nexus got Europeans up in arms. Nirave looks for an explanation
- Tech talk: We’re already used to octa-core processors, but will the Snapdragon 820 end the madness?
- Review: Ash did a masterful review of the Moto X Play. Don’t miss it!
- How to: Is your battery charging too slowly? Here are some tips that might help
Top news of the week
Wove band: the future is flexible
- Video: Wove band puts a truly flexible e-ink display on your wrist
- Hands-on with the futuristic Wove Band
Nexus 5X: everything you need to know
- Nexus 5X officially announced: everything you need to know
- Nexus 5X vs Nexus 5 – quick look
- Nexus 6P vs Nexus 6 quick look
- Nexus 6P and 5X vs the competition
- Nexus 5X hands-on: a look at Google’s new affordable phone
Nexus 6P: everything you need to know
- Nexus 6P officially announced: everything you need to know
- Nexus 6P will cost just $500 in US, 650 Euros in Europe!
- Nexus 6P has the second best mobile camera (according to DxOMark)
- Googlers share impressive 240-fps slow-mo video and photos shot with Nexus 6P
Pixel C: out of the left field
- Google announces the Pixel C, a new 10.2-inch premium Android tablet aimed at productivity
- Google Pixel C hands-on and first look
HTC: a new hero is coming
- HTC announces One M9+ “Supreme Camera” Edition
- HTC launches the Butterfly 3 for international markets
- HTC says the One M9 and One M8 will see Android 6.0 Marshmallow by year’s end
- HTC’s next hero phone is launching October 20th, Marshmallow onboard
Chromecast: new and improved
- New Chromecast and Chromecast Audio: new features and design, for the same $35 price
- Chromecast support is finally making its way to Spotify
- Latest Chromecast app update brings content discovery, search functionality and more
LG V10: drop it like it’s hot
- LG V10 officially announced: everything you need to know
- LG V10 hands-on and first impressions
- LG V10 vs LG G4: quick look
- LG V10 durability drop test
Watch Urbane 2: Android Wear, now with LTE
- LG Watch Urbane 2 official: first Android Wear watch with cellular connectivity
- LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition first look
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If you consider yourself an Android fan, this was probably one of the most exciting weeks of the year for you.
Google finally unveiled the heavily-rumored Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X smartphones, and we even got a first hand look at the new Pixel C tablet. Just because Google took the wraps off two smartphones, though, doesn’t mean the rest of the Android world stopped for a breather. LG announced the brand new V10 smartphone, which actually seems to be getting some great feedback so far. We’ve also managed to bring you full reviews of the Moto X Play and ASUS ZenWatch 2, and pit the Huawei Mate S up against some fierce competition.
Our video team has been hard at work to bring you the best Android-related video coverage this week, so let’s take a quick look at some of the videos you may have missed.
Hands-on with Google’s newest devices
Nexus 6P first look
Want to see just what Google’s flagship Nexus device, the Nexus 6P, is all about? We go hands on with the brand new Huawei-made device.
Nexus 5X first look
Everyone loved 2013’s Nexus 5, so it’s no surprise that Google would want to bring it back in an even better iteration. Let’s take a quick look at the new Nexus 5X.
Nexus 6P vs Nexus 6 – quick look
The battle of the two giant Nexus phones – Josh takes a quick look at the newly-announced Nexus 6P and 2014’s Nexus 6.
Nexus 5X vs Nexus 5 – quick look
The Nexus 5 was arguably the most loved Nexus device Google has ever built. So how does the successor compare to 2013’s inexpensive Nexus smartphone? Josh goes hands-on to find out.
Pixel C first look
Google surprised us with the announcement of the Pixel C tablet. What does this new Android-powered tablet have to offer? Let’s find out in this quick hands-on video.
Everything you need to know about the latest from LG
LG V10 hands-on
LG’s latest flagship smartphone, the V10, is one hell of a smartphone. With its durable design, awesome video features and unique Second Screen, this may be LG’s best smartphone to date.
LG V10 vs LG G4 quick look
Wondering how the brand new LG V10 fares against the LG G4? Lanh goes hands-on to give you that answer.
LG V10 durability drop test
The LG V10 is incredibly durable. Just how durable, you ask? Lanh puts it through a realistic drop and durability test to find out.
LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition first look
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LG’s Watch Urbane has been one of our favorite Android Wear smartwatches so far. Can the cellular-connected Watch Urbane 2nd Edition do the same? Krystal goes hands-on to find out.
Motorola Moto X Play review
The Moto X Play is Motorola’s most recent mid-range offering. Is this the budget-friendly handset we’ve all been waiting for? Check out Ash’s full review for more info.
ASUS ZenWatch 2 review
This could be the best entry-level Android Wear smartwatch ever. Check out Krystal’s full review of the ASUS ZenWatch 2.
Google Now on Tap quick look
We got the chance to go hands-on with Now on Tap at Google I/O 2015, but now the feature has finally rolled out to devices running the Android 6.0 Marshmallow preview. What can you expect from this new feature? Joe takes a quick look.
Apps, games and more!
Android Apps Weekly
GeForce NOW, Need for Speed: No Limits, Legend of the Brofist – you don’t want to miss Joe’s newest episode of Android Apps Weekly!
The very best Android apps – September 2015 edition
Wondering what new and notable applications and games you should try out? Check out Joe’s big app roundup for September 2015!
More videos you don’t want to miss!
- Huawei Mate S vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5
- Huawei Mate S vs Huawei Mate 7
- Wove Band flexible display wearable first look
- Wove Band flexible display wearable first details
- Someone bought Google.com?!
So that wraps up our video coverage for this week. Out of all the devices that were announced, which is your favorite? One of Google’s Nexus phones, or the new LG V10? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Battery life – it’s one of those things every single one of us wants more of. And while it’s understandable apps will make that juice trickle out of your phone little by little, it seems some are just punching a whole through the battery and letting all the goods stream out.
Even more annoying is when you check your energy stats and find out Google Maps can be one of the biggest battery hogs around, as it’s not only a very important application, but it’s one that comes stock with every Android handset out there!
It’s true that Maps is a pretty heavy piece of software. It uses a significant amounts of data, processing power and battery. It’s always rendering new maps, grabbing business information, looking for your location and more. Is there even a way to fight this necessary evil? Not completely, but there are some tricks for improving the situation, and we are here to give you all those valuable tips!
Turn GPS off!
One of the biggest battery hogs in your phone is GPS. That thing will kill your battery so quick you won’t even notice! But that is only if you let it. Of course, one can limit the use of apps that require GPS access… or one could just turn the thing off when not in use!
Most Android devices will have a GPS toggle in the notification area. Alternatively, you can just go to the Location options in the Settings and turn it off.
Disable Google Access Location
If turning GPS off is not enough, you can really kill location features. The only issue is that this will affect other services that may need this information to function, but some of you obviously don’t see much worth in that anyways.
If you fall within this pool of users, just head over to your Settings, select “Location” and turn off the feature.
Clear the cache and data for Google Maps
App cache is usually a good thing. It stores data locally so your phone won’t have to load it from the internet every single time it’s needed. Cache can also misbehave or get old, though. It’s a good thing to clear it from time to time.
To do this, simply head over to your Settings app and hit on the “Apps” option. After accessing the App Manager, just look for the Google Maps app and tap on it. Inside you will find options to clear the cache and data.
Downgrade Google Maps
We are not very sure about this one, but plenty of online reports claim that Google Maps became an even bigger battery drainer recently. It might be worth a try, even if only to see if this works. Even if you will end up with an older version of Maps. Just keep in mind that when using an older version of Maps, the service probably won’t be as reliable as it would be if you were to use the latest version.
To do this, simply head over to the App Manager, find Google Maps and select it. There will be an option to “Uninstall updates”.
Disable Google Maps
If all else fails, and you really think Google Maps is the main cause of your battery woes, there’s always a last resort – disable Google Maps. In essence, this will make it as if the app is not even installed in your phone. Now, this is a stock application, so it can’t really be deleted. Google Maps will still be there, it just won’t be active. The icon, along with all its functionality, will disappear. This also means some other services that depend on Maps will fail to work.
Are you taking this step? Just head over to the App Manager and find Google Maps. Within the options there will be a “Disable” button. Tap on it and be on your way.
Sadly, Google Maps is one of those apps that we simply have to learn to live with (at least to a minimal degree). Hopefully these tips will help you keep it in check, though. Do hit the comments and tell us if you have tried any of these methods. Which one worked best for you?
Google Glass (aka Project Aura), as cool as it is, isn’t very immersive: you’re still looking at flat pictures superimposed on a 3D world. You may see some added depth in the future, though. Google has filed for a patent on a “head wearable display” that would show holograms. The hope is that this would create an augmented reality experience that’s more involving than what you get today, including a wider field of view a more efficient, easier-to-wear headset.
There’s no certainty that Google will do something with the technology, assuming the patent is granted. Microsoft’s HoloLens may not get fresh competition any time soon. However, it’s no secret that Google is not only working on the next version of Glass, but has poured lots of cash into augmented reality efforts like Magic Leap’s still-mysterious project. Don’t be surprised if you’re one day playing games against opponents who seem like they’re in the room, or driving a car where traffic alerts float above the road itself.
[Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images]
Waiting for the revamped Google Photos app to arrive on iOS? Well, the company has just rolled out an update on iTunes, but we’re afraid it doesn’t come with all the new features Mountain View promised at its Nexus event. The latest version for iPhones and iPads lets you share animations via Whatsapp, and if you’re in the US, it gives you the power to label people and merge face groups. Similar to the Android version, you can easily search for the names of the people you labeled or even combine search terms (say, name + location) to find particular photos. However, it has one glaring omission: it’s not Chromecast-enabled just yet. Google says that’s “coming soon!” in its announcement post — in the meantime, it has sprinkled in some bug fixes and added the ability to fire up the app faster.
Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you’ll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.
How Microsoft Got So Good at Predicting Who Will Win NFL Games
by Tim Stenovec
Have you been using Bing’s sports predictions to make “friendly wagers” and set your fantasy lineups this football season? Microsoft’s Bing Predicts team has been picking winners for NFL games, other sporting events, reality shows and elections for a while now. As it turns out, the small group of researchers employ machine learning to make the predictions and they’ve gotten better at it over time.
Here it is, Moog’s Badass New Synth
Moog revealed the Mother-32 semi-modular analog synth this week and The Creator’s Project offers a bit of background on the new gear.
I Went to a Robot Cage Fight and Learned How to Be Human
Robot cage fighting? ‘Nuff said.
At Google, Breathing Room for New Ideas
The autonomy of Nest, even after Google bought the company, is being used as a model for new projects under Alphabet.
Carrie On: Making Peace With Five Seasons of ‘Homeland’
Homeland was a pretty good show… until it wasn’t. Grantland’s Andy Greenwald stuck it out, though, and offers a preview of the new season that begins this Sunday.
[Image credit: Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images]
In an effort to encourage better communication between developers and the users of applications developed for the Chrome web browser, Google has added the ability for developers and users to post replies to feedback left on the Reviews tab. Ideally, users should leave bug reports and feature suggestions on the Support Tab. However, Google has noted that many users continue to use the Reviews tab for that purpose. Without a mechanism to respond to this feedback, users may get the impression their issues are never addressed.
Google is suggesting developers take steps to ensure they are monitoring the Reviews tab for feedback that needs a response. Developers also need to be careful to respond in a constructive manner regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative. They should also notify users when issues have been addressed and thank users who are helping advocate for their apps.
Google reminds developers that their names and Google account information will be publicly available through the Reviews tab as a way to bring transparency to support efforts.
source: Chromium Blog
Come comment on this article: Google adds replies to Chrome Web Store reviews
Google has long used the phrase “Don’t be evil” as a sort of company motto, including it in the founder’s letter for its IPO in 2004, and at the top of its Code of Conduct. The Wall Street Journal noticed that as a part of today’s restructuring, Alphabet has exchanged that for something slightly more specific. The corporate code of conduct now entreats employees to “do the right thing – follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect.” It is unknown at press time if that includes a required viewing of Spike Lee’s 1989 film. For Google employees specifically, the “Don’t be evil” phrasing is still in full effect, so it’s hard to see anything specifically changing as a result. Of course, some have mocked the giant for how close it does or does not stick to that adage, including when Steve Jobs reportedly called it “bullshit” in 2010. Of course, as the search giant worms its way into our photos, cars and even bodies, maybe being a little more specific about its intentions is a good thing.
[Image credit: Moviestore collection Ltd / Alamy]
Via: Wall Street Journal
Former Google employee Sanmay Ved bought Google.com for $12 on September 29, 2015. He owned the domain for a full minute before somebody somewhere realized this probably wasn’t supposed to happen and revoked Ved’s backstage access.
No, this isn’t an Onion article, it apparently actually happened.
Ved said that he was up late browsing Google Domains, which is Google’s website buying service. While there, he saw that Google.com was available for purchase at the incredibly reasonable price of $12. Long-time readers may recall that Google.com is the most heavily trafficked domain in the world and is kind of a big deal.
“I thought it was some error,” said Ved, “but I could actually complete check out.”
Ved added Google.com to his shopping cart, completed the checkout process, and for all intents and purposes became the proud new owner of the internet as we know it. Rather than getting the usual email notifying him that he had completed a purchase, Ved’s Google Search Console dashboard was updated, and he began receiving messages intended for the Google.com domain owner. He also began receiving emails with internal information, which Ved says he later turned over to Google’s security team.
“The scary part was I had access to the webmaster controls for a minute,” said Ved.
He took a rapid series of screenshots and documented his whole experience on a LinkedIn post.
Ved’s tenure as God of the Internet was fleeting, however. Google Domains reversed the sale about a minute after the purchase went through and sent him a message that claimed someone had registered the site before he could. Ved was refunded the $12 the domain had cost him and went back to being mortal. However, if only for a moment, Ved flew.
“So for one minute I had access,” said Ved. “I can’t shake that feeling that I actually owned Google.com.”