The Nexus 6P is a product of the perfect marriage between a relatively unknown Chinese company, Huawei, and a well known company, Google. Before this year, very few people in the U.S. knew of Huawei as a consumer product company, but they have been a leader in the communications industry since the 80’s. In 2014, Huawei generated a record profit of $5.5 by becoming one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers among many other consumer products.
Google and Huawei partnered to bring us the most “premium” Nexus in the 6P. The Nexus 6P has been my daily driver, on the AT&T network for the last two months, and has genuinely made me a fan of stock Android and Huawei. The Nexus 6P is a device designed and built to impress: it is a representation of how much pride, research, and countless hours went into making one of the best smartphones ever. Let’s take a look.
Without question the Huawei made Nexus 6P is a device that stands apart from the crowd. It’s really difficult to stand above a crowded market of great looking devices, but the 6P manages with its clean lines, all metal build, premium colors, chamfered edges and perfect size.
The Nexus 6P is a sturdy all metal phone, and comes in three colors: Aluminum, Frost(white) and Graphite. There is a circular fingerprint reader on the back, a power button with a volume rocker on the right side of the phone, a 3.5mm audio jack up top, with dual speakers on the front.
On the back of the device is a glass strip near the top which houses the flash and camera. Some may think it looks out of place, but on my Graphite colored 6P I don’t even notice it. After two months of daily usage without a case, my 6P is scratch free and looks the same as the day I got it. The chamfered edges hold up well and do not chip or scratch like some devices with similar edges have been known to do.
The all metal build is a nice change from the Samsung Galaxy Note5 which has a glass back. That glass back looks nice, but is a fingerprint magnet and also feels extremely fragile. The Nexus 6P is extremely well balanced, which is very important for a device with a 5.7″ display and using it one-handed.
I’m sure many of you Android fans have heard Apple loyalists say the iPhone “just works.” It is one of the most annoying statements that Apple fanboys can possibly say, because there’s an implication that all other software does not work. And as much as I hate to admit it, there is a little bit of truth to “it just works”, even though iOS has its fair share of issues. With all of the freedom Google allows manufacturers, many companies like Samsung and LG have completely changed what Google intended with Android. By doing so, Android sometimes gets a bad reputation as buggy and slow.
Samsung and LG heavily customize Android by adding in features like S-Voice(Samsung’s own OK Google), Samsung Pay, split-screen, a customized skin, and much more. Some of the features are great, and some are downright terrible. But the main issue with customization comes when Google releases an update to Android. Samsung and LG have to modify every update Google releases, which creates fragmentation. By having fragmentation, some users of Samsung’s Note Edge and Note 4, waited six months longer than those on stock Android, to receive Android 5.1 which was a huge improvement over 5.0. Android 5.0 was riddled with bugs like poor battery life and memory leaks, and those users were left hanging with $800 devices that “just didn’t work.”
The solution for some is to “root” which allows those users to install their own versions of software and fix those bugs, but voids the manufacturer warranty at the same time. And the vast majority of users will not root their devices as they simply do not know how.
In addition to fragmentation, Samsung and LG also partner with companies like AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon to add in their own software. My last count of AT&T fpre-installed apps on my last Samsung Galaxy Note5 was an astounding 25, all of which could be deactivated but not deleted. Those apps took up an incredible 1.5GB of space, and when I paid for 32GB of internal memory, I should hope that I would have the freedom to delete AT&T’s junk ware.
I know many of you already have been fans of stock Android, but for those of you who weren’t, now is the time to consider it. Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the best version of Android to date. Google has built in new features such as Doze, which is designed to improve battery life when your phone is not in use. It also brings built-in fingerprint reading for unlocking and waking your smartphone, while also being verification for Android Pay.
With Android 6.0 there is far greater control in what you share with new permission controls. There’s deeper integration with Google Now ,and Android is there to help you search phrases and words with much greater ease.
Better yet, there is no carrier bloatware. While one, two, or even five apps aren’t bad to come pre-installed from AT&T, I cannot condone AT&T’s behavior with its incredible amount of bloatware they install on its devices. Not only do they waste space, but they frequently ask for updates, and I simply do not want them. Seriously, how many people actually use the Yellow Pages app that AT&T installs on every device?
With stock Android, you have the basic apps that Google provides you with and nothing more. Google gives you the freedom to install whatever apps your heart desires.
And most importantly, when Google does release an update, Nexus devices are the first to receive them and that will keep them up to date. I never truly appreciated how important updates were until I was stuck on Android 5.0, and dealing with all of its awful bugs on my Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. I truly felt ripped off by Samsung for charging me over $900 dollars and then making me wait six months to get simple bug fixes.
Pure Android 6.0 just works and it works well. After two solid months, I have yet to experience a slow down, random closing app or any other common software issues.
The Nexus 6P comes with one of the largest batteries available in a mainstream U.S. smartphone at 3450mAh. Phones of a very similar size, the Samsung Galaxy Note5, Moto X Pure and LG V10 all come with a 3000mAh battery, over 10% smaller. After two months, those devices have still yet to update to Android 6.0 which has the Doze feature that dramatically improves battery life.
Doze is defined below:
“If a user leaves a device unplugged and stationary for a period of time, with the screen off, the device enters Doze mode. In Doze mode, the system attempts to conserve battery by restricting apps’ access to network and CPU-intensive services. It also prevents apps from accessing the network and defers their jobs, syncs, and standard alarms.
Periodically, the system exits Doze for a brief time to let apps complete their deferred activities. During this maintenance window, the system runs all pending syncs, jobs, and alarms, and lets apps access the network.”
In day to day terms, this means, the Nexus 6P has damn good battery life. You can imagine most of us phone enthusiasts push our smartphones pretty hard, and I am no exception. I frequently take pictures, take notes, text friends and family, message Androidguys colleagues, email, play games and listen to music.
I will admit before Android 6.0 and the Nexus 6P, I plugged my phone in to charge whenever and wherever I could. There is no shortage of micro USB cables, and I hate having anxiety over low battery life. For a phone enthusiast, there are very few things worse than running out of power. Doze, app-standby and a 3450mAh, make this one of the best performing devices when it comes to battery life.
I know without question that the Nexus 6P has the best battery of any phone I have used before, because I do not have a compatible charger at my work. My typical work day starts between 5-6am, and runs until 5-6pm. Once I get home, I immediately take my super cute dog to the park for an hour, and when I get home I exercise for 45-60 minutes before dinner. At no point in my day am I connected to a charger, because Huawei and Google decided to go with USB type-C, the latest standard in USB cables. The main benefits of USB type-C are a completely reversible plug, and faster data rates. And I’m too cheap to buy more USB type-C cables for my office, so there literally is one place to charge my phone which is at home. At the end of my day, I am typically left with 40-50% power and that’s with heavy usage. I never charge my phone during the daytime.
As much as I hate having a new USB standard, the trade-off is well worth it and I hope USB type-C does take over as the new standard. It is so much easier to not have to worry about making sure I plug the charging cable in the correct direction, and it still provides fast-charging capabilities.
With a 3450mAh battery, Android 6.0 and USB type-C, the Nexus 6P is the next generation in battery life performance.
I have been a huge fan of AMOLED displays ever since I started using Samsung phones. Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode(AMOLED) differs from Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) by how they light up the screen. (I’m not a display expert so I apologize for my ignorance but if you want to learn more click here for a comparison). Many LG and Sony smartphones use LCD displays, which in my eyes, show back-light bleed and don’t show true blacks because of the nature of the back-light.
AMOLED displays on the other hand offer super high-contrast ratios, as every pixel is controllable, and has saturated and rich colors. Some may prefer LCD due to better color representation, but I simply love AMOLED displays and that is the technology that the Nexus 6P uses for its display.
With a QHD resolution, 1440 x 2560 pixels, the Nexus 6P has a very clear and easy to read display. The only phones I have come across with a similar performing display are the Galaxy Note 4 and 5, Blackberry PRIV, and Galaxy S6 and variants.
The Nexus 6P has one of the best performing displays on the market.
Powering the Nexus 6P is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1, 2.0 GHz octa-core 64-bit with 3GB of RAM. The first generation Snapdragon 810 was riddled with issues like over heating and throttling causing Samsung to go with their own Exynos octa-core processor for the first time in the U.S. Many feared the Nexus 6P would suffer from performance issues with the Snapdragon 810, but Qualcomm solved the issues in the v2.1 processor and my day to day experiences would prove that to be true.
Benchmark tests are designed to test hardware and the latest Samsung processors usually win those tests by a long shot. The Nexus 6P won’t win first place in benchmark tests, but it will win in day to day usage as it does not stutter or have memory issues. On a perceived performance level, I have yet to use a faster phone. 3GB of RAM is more than enough memory when paired with stock Android 6.0 and the Snapdragon 810.
Gaming, multi-tasking, photo editing, emailing, video watching was all smooth sailing with the Nexus 6P.
The Nexus 6P comes with a 12.3MP rear camera, f/2.o aperture, with IR laser-assisted auto-focus and an 8MP front facing camera. The pictures I took look great to me, but I will let you decide in the gallery I have listed below. As for the speed of the camera, it loads super quickly with a double-click of the power button and snaps pictures just as quickly.
For a camera in a smartphone, I am more than happy with it and desire nothing more. The Samsung Galaxy Note5 is still has the best camera, but the Nexus 6P is a close second. Decide for yourself if you like the camera in the pictures I have in the gallery.
The new fingerprint reader is going to be something everyone uses going forward. Google developed “Nexus Imprint” as a way to unlock your phone, turn on your screen on and breeze through checkout lines using Android Pay. The Nexus 6P asks you to set up a fingerprint, you can do more than one, when you set-up the device. All you have to do is place the same finger on the fingerprint reader five or six times so it can accurately read your fingerprint without worrying about placement.
The fingerprint reader is so easy to use, I don’t see anyone leaving their phones unlocked anymore. I was one of those users who hated to type in pass codes, and also hated Samsung’s fingerprint reader because of the failure rate. I always thought Apple did the fingerprint reading the best on its iPhone, but I can now proudly say that Google OWNS every other fingerprint reader on the market.
One downside, after two months of usage I have seen an increase in the failure rate with the fingerprint reader. I attribute the failure rate in the fingerprint reader accumulating smudges and oil from my hands. When I clean the back of my phone with a damp cloth, performance improves, but this is something I hope Google and Huawei address in the future.
The Nexus 6P comes with dual front-facing speakers which get loud. They are definitely clear at the highest volume, but do lack depth and bass if I were to judge it against the HTC One. If I were to judge it against the Nexus 6 or Note 5, I would choose the 6P in a blind test as the best performer every time. Speakers should not be on the back or bottom of a phone as it does not make sense to point sound away from your ears.
I wish all phone manufacturers would stop putting speakers on the bottom or rear of the phone and make it a general rule that they should be placed in the front. Having two speakers is always better than one as well. It may not be important to most, but dual-front facing speakers are a must have for me and the Nexus 6P delivers.
The best Android phone of 2015
I know choosing the best Android of 2015 is highly subjective and there are worthy contenders like the LG V10 and the Samsung Galaxy Note5. But I choose the Nexus 6P as the best phone of 2015 – it is cheaper than the Note 5 and V10, and is equal to or wins in almost every head to head category. Most importantly it wins in the software department with no carrier bloat and gets the first updates from Google.
Thanks to Huawei and Google, I have become a true fan of stock Android and simply do not desire to change to another smartphone which is a first for me. The Nexus 6P truly is premium and is a product that both should be tremendously proud of. Both companies should take a bow and we all should stand and applaud this device. With superior software, gorgeous and durable build, a super high resolution display, fantastic camera, a new fingerprint reader, dual-front facing speakers and incredible battery life, the Nexus 6P leaves no detail behind.
The Nexus 6P has set the bar for all other Android devices. I highly recommend the Nexus 6P.
Buy the Nexus 6P at the Google Play Store.
The post The Nexus 6P takes Android smartphones to new heights (Review) appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Google’s playful side is well known to the world: everything from the endless supply of Doodles to the very name of its new parent company, Alphabet, seemingly exist to shake up society from too much seriousness. The latest – and for some what may be the greatest – is none other than adding the language of Star War’s universe to Google Translate. Yes, that’s right, Aurebesh is now an officially recognized option:
According to Slash Gear‘s Chris Burns, “this set of letters works much like a standard 1:1 code, where each letter of our Alphabet has its own unique character in the Aurebesh. There are also characters for basic punctuation and the numbers 1 through 9 and zero, too.”
To use the new language option, simply navigate to Google Translate and select it from the drop down menu(s). Note that it does not seem to be available on the Google Translate app for Android.
The update is part of the larger plan Google has unveiled with the Star Wars universe: earlier this week the search giant announced a tie-in where users can select which side of The Force they feel an affinity towards and watch as Google-related apps and sites are altered accordingly. In addition, further cross-promotions with Cardboard and even an easter egg were also presented.
It is suggested that the Translate language will be removed once the promotion-at-large ends on February 8th, so now is the best time to start sending and amusing your friends with an “unknown” language, then asking them to literally put it in Google Translate and find out what it means, much to their surprise.
Android fans, this week Xiaomi launched a metal-made smartphone for just $140; Huawei introduced its newest phablet flagship, the Mate8; we saw some great Black Friday deals; LG launched a new mid-ranger and revealed some of its plans for the future; the Fossil Q Android Wear smartwatch arrived to the market; and HTC launched its consumer preview program.
Inside AA HQ
Except for the Black Friday craziness, this week has been pretty quiet around AA HQ (and the entire tech scene), with our US team getting some well-deserved time off for Thanksgiving.
According to statistics, most people actually spend the most money on Cyber Monday (i.e. tomorrow). You can bet we’ll have roundups of all the best tech deals, so if you missed Black Friday, keep it tuned tomorrow for a shot at some great deals. Looking for gift ideas? Our Best Gifts under $100 guide has gone live this week.
This week we’re putting up for grabs three Blu Life One X smartphones in our international giveaway! Head over here for your shot at the prize.
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
- For developers: Do you want to make some money off your app developing skills? Here are some pitfalls to avoid
- Gift guide: Holidays are coming! Here are the best tech gifts under $100
- Review: The most stylish Pebble watch yet – Josh reviews the Pebble Time Round
- Comparison: Note 5 or iPhone 6S Plus? Big phone showdown!
- Review: The Priv is definitely unique, but just how good is it?
- Comparison: Battle of the Minis: Gary compares the OnePlus X, Xperia Z5 Compact and Moto G
- Review: A full-blown computer the size of a highlighter? Edgar looks at the Asus Chromebit
Top news of the week
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and new Mi Pad
- Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 announced – here are the details
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 launched: full metal body, fingerprint sensor, starting from $140
- Analyst expects Xiaomi Mi 5 in January, Lei Jun already using the phone
Huawei Mate 8 launched
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Amazon announces its Cyber Monday promo: 8 more days of deals
- Black Friday 2015 – best deals
- (Updated: Moto G 2014 for $99) Amazon deals: Nexus 6 for just $200, Nexus 5X $80 off, and more!
- Google Store deals: Nexus 9 $200 off, 2 Chromecasts for $50, Huawei Watch $80 off and more
HTC Consumer Preview
- LG restructures to focus on key business areas and growth
- Report: LG Electronics working on its second mobile processor
- LG announces substantial investment in next gen OLED production
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Do you have multiple Instagram accounts? Those of you who do can attest to the annoyance that it can be to switch between accounts. So far the only way to do this has been to sign in and out of separate accounts manually. Now we know this is something Instagram is definitely working on, and some of you are already lucky enough to have access to this feature.
The ability to log into multiple accounts and switch around is currently in beta, so you will either have to download the APK file or sign up for the Instagram Beta Program. The trick here is that it’s not just a matter of having the right app version (which would be 7.12.0). It seems the feature is going through a cloud-based rollout, so you have to get lucky too.
It will be easy to find out if you can use multiple Instagram accounts with the Android app. All you have to do to check is go into the settings and scroll all the way down. The option would read “Add Account”, and it would be located right under the button used to clear the search history.
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From the “Add Account” section you can go ahead and choose whether you want to sign in or create a whole new account. After you have logged into more than one account, a selector will show up where the nickname usually goes. Tap on it and you will be presented with the option to switch. A green notification will reassure you that the switch has gone through, if you opt to enter the other account.
I, for one, am glad to see that Instagram is working on this. Plenty of people need to use multiple accounts, whether it’s for work/media reasons or you just want to have a secret life. Is the multiple account option showing up for any of you? Please hit the comments and let us know!
While many members of the tech community no doubt loved the idea of Google Glass, the wearable’s viability was arguably damaged by (1) the cost, (2) the availability, (3) the legality, and (4) the social norms. As such, the device was discontinued way back in January of this year. Mountain View then took to damage control in the aftermath.
While there was news the project will resurface as a tool of the trade – such as for use in medical environments – Google itself formally restarted the efforts as Project Aura several months ago. Today we have a possible look at what kind of new product might be pending in the pipeline:
On November 24th, the US Patent and Trademark Office awarded Google a patent (No. 9,195,067 B1) for “Wearable Device with Input and Output Structures.” As can be seen from the pictures, the device has a headband-type design to it that wraps around part of the rear of the user’s head:
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The next picture shows the inner components:
Additional images in the filing also illustrate how the HUD can be moved and adjusted to fit the wear’s field of vision.
For all these pictures and more, we recommend you consult the full filing here:
Time to celebrate?
It should be pointed out that intellectual property protection was submitted for consideration on September 28, 2012; this was shortly after Google Glass was first announced and well before it was released in 2013. As such, it’s difficult to say just how tangible this potential product actually is.
Now that the patent has been granted, Mountain View could go forward and make it into a proper purchasing proposition, but given the decision earlier this year it might also be such that the “next” Glass would have a different type of HUD unit or different design entirely.
Still, Google can now make the product described in the filing, and that alone speaks of many possibilities. Last week word broke about Project Aura possibly producing an version of of a “sport” device designed for audio-related purposes, along with two other devices that make use of screens.
Again though, given the actual age of this patent, only time will tell what comes to pass. This could ultimately turn into a real product, or it may just be one for the history books. Either way, it’s clear Google isn’t limiting itself to just one standard shape.
Current Google CEO Sundar Pichai once said he wanted to see Chrome and Android in every screen available, a goal that is now looking more real than ever. Android is obviously all over the spectrum, but there is a whole other beast Google has been very good at taking over the market with – Chrome OS.
This web-based operating system now exists on laptops, desktop computers and even all-in-one PCs. These are known as Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and Chromebases, but that is not where Google wants to let things end. This light, fast and affordable platform is now making its way into a new form-factor that allows more flexibility.
Today we are focusing on the ASUS Chromebit, a small dongle that can fit into any pocket and convert any HDMI-enabled screen into a full-fledged Chrome OS device. Yes, even your TV, likely the largest screen you own.
But what is the benefit here? That is something we will talk more about later in the review, but let me give you a little teaser here – the ASUS Chromebit is only $84.99. Interested? Keep reading for more details!
Design & build quality
Thinking back on how big computers needed to be just a decade ago, this thing does seem like a marvel. We used to own large boxes that took over a huge part of our desks. Now I find myself getting an ASUS Chromebit in the mail, in a box that could easily fit a glass. This thing fits right in the palm of my hand and can easily outperform my first desktop computer. If you want numbers, it measures in at 123 x 31 x 17 mm. That’s just digits, though, so I am better off telling you it is about the size of one of those wide highlighters we used to have back in school.
The ASUS Chromebit certainly doesn’t look bad, but it’s also nothing to write home about. And that’s a good thing! This is not a product you will be showing off to anyone. It will live behind your screen and stay hidden most of the time, something it does a very good job at. It is discrete, both in size and aesthetics.
What you probably will care about is whether it’s well-built or not. After all, this is a portable device of sorts. The idea is that you can use it at your living room, desk, work, presentations and even hotel room. This jack of all trades can do it all, so it needs to be built to withstand such lifestyle.
Hopefully the guys at ASUS never read this bit, but I actually dropped the Chromebit once. It fell out of my pocket and came out of this accident without a single scratch. Literally, the thing still looks new. This is pure testament of its good build quality, but you don’t need to mess up (like me) and put it to the test to know this. You can feel it right off the bat, the first time it lays on your hand.
Even if built mostly of plastic, the Chromebit definitely feels solid. It has a certain weight that let’s you know it’s definitely not a hollow product, a factor that gives off a level of security I never had with a Chromecast.
Hardware & specs
Let’s go through the externals first, shall we? Everything is pretty straight forward here. Uncover one end of the ASUS Chromebit and you will be presented with a full-sized HDMI connector. The box also includes an extension for those TVs that make it hard to connect this device directly to. On the other end we can find a USB 2.0 port for connecting all your peripherals and storage devices. There’s also a small power jack on the side, which is used to keep your mini PC alive.
Let me touch a bit on that energy system, though. It’s already bad enough that it uses a non-USB power port, but there are a couple other inconveniences I found here. For starters, you can’t plug this into the TV’s USB port and grab energy from there. This is justified, though, as it is a Chrome OS computer and needs more energy.
What really gets to me is that the included Power cable is uncomfortably short. I would say this cable is about 1.25 meters, which makes it a pain to plug in if your TV (or whatever screen you are using) is a tiny bit too far from an outlet.
How about them specs? Let’s go over them real quick.
- Chrome OS
- Rockchip quad-core RK3288C CPU
- ARM Mali-T624 GPU
- 2 GB of RAM
- 16 GB of internal storage
- 100 GB of Gogole Drive storage for 2 years
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 4.0
Performance and OS
Now, the moment of truth. How good is the ASUS Chromebit as a computer? Let’s begin with the OS, which will really be what most of you will care about. That is because, like most other Chrome OS devices, the Chromebit is very good at some things, but very bad at others.
Keep in mind this pretty much runs a glorified version of the Chrome browser. Google has added plenty of offline features and apps to Chrome OS, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it heavily relies on an internet connection. Regardless, most people use computers for the internet alone, which is the whole idea behind the very existence of this operating system.
The only thing to keep in mind is that you will have to sacrifice popular programs that any user would otherwise have at their disposal when working with Windows, Mac OS X or Linux. Say goodbye to Photoshop, Lightroom, Microsoft Office, most games and any other program you would usually run natively from a PC. Everything is web-based (or limited).
That’s not to say the OS is bad, as there are plenty of benefits to be had with it. Keep in mind that because it is a web-based OS, it is also very light. Super light. This thing will boot up faster than any other computer. In fact, the Chromebit was usually on by the time my TV decided to boot up. And because it doesn’t need much resources, it can run very well without crazy specs.
This takes us to the next point – how well does the ASUS Chromebit perform? Those who have used a lower-end Chromebook will find a very similar experience going on here. The computer runs perfectly if you are a basic user. I was streaming Full HD videos with no issue, and I never saw any hiccups with casual usage. Nor did I find any bugs or problems.
My only gripe with the Chromebit is that those 2 GB of RAM are definitely not enough for any multi-tasker out there. I found that even having 4 tabs open started slowing down the machine, something that is simply unacceptable in my line of work.
But if you never really open 4 tabs or more, this may not be an issue at all. I mean, this is an $84 computer, after all. If multi-tasking is the only thing I can complain about, in terms of performance, I say ASUS is doing a really good job.
Should you buy the ASUS Chromebit?
With that, we come back to the question you asked yourself at the beginning of this review – should you buy an ASUS Chromebit? As it goes with most devices, the answer is not as simple as a “yes” or “no”. I will tell you this device is not for everyone, though. Who is it for?
It’s portability and affordable price point make it a great secondary computer for those who move around frequently, are always on-the-go, or need a good presentation machine. It will take care of all your browsing needs, as long as you don’t go nuts with multi-tasking. Now, things may be a bit more complicated if you want to make this your primary computer, but it’s definitely doable depending on your needs.
A casual user who simply wants to browse the web, visit social networks and stream movies/music will be satisfied. I can also see it being a great tool for public places (schools, hotels, libraries, etc.), as it is affordable and very easy to manage for IT departments. If you only need to use the web, don’t multi-task much and won’t need your traditional programs, this little dongle is great.
And the Chromebit definitely has its market, which is something I happen to be fond of… it has its purpose and place in the wide ecosystem of devices we own. I personally wouldn’t say the same about Chromeboxes, which sacrifice portability, screen and keyboard, yet cost about the same as a Chromebook. I just don’t see the point in that. But for $84.99, I can definitely get behind something like the ASUS Chromebit.
If you fit the category described above, it’s certainly a great buy. And at this price you would be hard-pressed to find anything better.
Mozilla has previously relied on deals with Google to keep the company floating, but it looks like that’s changing. Google paid Mozilla to set Google Search as the default search engine in Firefox, but thanks to some other deals with companies like Yahoo, Baidu, and Yandex, Firefox is moving towards a less Google-influenced future.
Yahoo will be responsible for the default search queries in the US, while Baidu will handle things in China and Yandex handles Russian traffic. It’s probably better for the global internet to keep everything from going through Google by default, but with Chrome still eating up a ton of the desktop browser market and many users opting to use Google anyway, it’s hard to see this move affecting Google too much.
The Google/Mozilla deal accounted for about $330 million last year, which made up almost all of the organization’s revenue. They didn’t disclose how much the new set of deals would give the company, but Mozilla is positive about revenue for next year.
Come comment on this article: Mozilla doesn’t need Google’s financial support to keep going anymore
Although Google’s Project Loon is being developed as a way to bring Internet access to underserved markets around the world, Google is still deploying the technology in mature markets like the U.S. Thus far Google has limited Project Loon’s presence in the U.S. to testing, but a new filing seeking to expand authorization from the FCC suggests Google may have some larger plans in the works.
The filing with the FCC is heavily redacted and does not specifically name Project Loon in the parts publicly accessible, it was signed by Google’s Astro Teller who heads up Google X, home to Project Loon. In the application, Google indicates that it is seeking permission to test wireless radios in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico. Google has asked for permission to start this testing as soon as January 1, 2016 and for up to 24 months.
Besides the application coming out of Google X, the filing indicates the tests are a continuation and expansion of testing that Google has already been conducting. Google has tested Project Loon in Nevada, so the project is consistent with Google’s description.
There has been some suggestion that this may point toward Google deploying Project Loon over the U.S. despite not seeming to be the initial target market type. However, Project Loon could provide connectivity to areas impacted by widespread outages from things like natural disasters. Testing over such a widespread geographic area controlled by a single government entity may also be a benefit for Google as they move closer to actual deployment around the globe and need to ensure the system works on a large scale.
Come comment on this article: FCC filing suggests Google expanding Project Loon in U.S.
Google’s Project Loon is a rather surreal sounding project, but according to newly filed documents at the FCC, Google may be preparing to test its internet transmitting balloons at home in the US next year.
According to the document, Google has asked the FCC for a license to test experimental radios that use millimetre bandwidth for wireless transmission in all 50 US states and Puerto Rico. The application does not specifically mention Project Loon by name, but the document was filed by Astro Teller, who oversees the Google X Labs where Project Loon is based.
Originally, Google had pitched the idea as a way to bring internet access to new customers in countries with poor network infrastructure. The decision to launch its ballons in the US may seem a little odd then, other than for more expansive testing purposes. However, Google has also suggested that Project Loon could turn into a billion dollar business by partnering with telecommunications companies, and Google already has carrier ambitions and connections with Project Fi. Perhaps there is a bigger objective in mind?
Back in October, Google announced that it would conduct tests in Indonesia next year and is also testing the project in Sri Lanka. Carrier tests with Vodafone in New Zealand, Telstra in Australia, and Telefonica in Latin America have also been run in the past, so the project seems very much alive.
US testing could begin as early as January 1st and may last up to 24 months. Keep an eye out for those balloons next year.
Suffering from Black Friday fever? Deals addiction got you down? Well, Google has the fix, and its now dispensing treatment from its online store. Pain-easing discounts are now available on Google’s smartphone, tablets, Chromecast and other accessories.
Here’s what deals you can get from the Google Store right now:
- The Nexus 5X is available for $80 off. As covered in this post, the same deal can be had from Amazon, as well as B&H Photo, which offers an additional bonus in the form of $25 gift card.
- Get two Chromecasts (or one Chromecast and one Chromecast Audio) for $50. That’s a $20 discount.
- Nexus 9 for $200 off! Get an HTC-made Nexus 9 16GB for just $199.
- 50% on all cases!
- Huawei Watch $80 to $100 off, depending on the color.
- LG G Watch Urbane $70 off
- $50 off for select Chromebook models
- And, expanded return period for all purchases made through December 25. You can return these purchases through January 22.
The Nexus 9 deal in particular is pretty sweet if you ask us. For more deals on tablets, smartphones and a lot more, visit our big Black Friday roundup!
These deals are valid this weekend and on Cyber Monday. Stocks may be limited though. Happy shopping!