Android Pay just recently rolled out in the United States, and to celebrate, Google is running a contest where one lucky winner and three of his or her friends a VIP trip to Mexico City for the premiere of the upcoming James Bond film, Spectre.
Entering the contest is easy! All you have to do is use Android Pay between today, September 28, and October 15 to qualify. Each day that you use Android Pay will earn you one entry, and contestants will be able to earn 18 entries total during the promotional period.
Google will select the winner on October 19.
If you haven’t setup Android Pay yet, Talk Android’s very own Joseph Proffer put together a handy guide on setting up Android Pay for the first time.
Anyone hoping to win the VIP trip to Mexico City for the Spectre premiere?
Come comment on this article: Google holding Android Pay contest, one lucky winner will see the premiere of ‘Spectre’
According to a new rumor, Google is planning on launching an Android-powered tablet variant of its Pixel Chromebooks. The new device will be called the Pixel C, currently codenamed Ryu, and will sport a 10.2″ display at 308ppi, and will be powered by the NVIDIA X1 quad-core processor and Maxwell GPU with 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM.
The tablet will also come with two attachable keyboard accessories to chose from, one made out of leather and one aluminum. The tablet will have the same aluminum frame that current Pixel Chromebooks have to keep that premium feel, and will keep the glowing lightbar on the back to show remaining battery life. Finally, the Pixel C will come with a USB Type-C charger, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow pre-installed.
Although this is just a rumor, it seems like a very smart move for Google to be developing a new Android-powered premium tablet with an attachable keyboard. This will definitely be a great competitor to other tablets, such as the recently released iPad Pro that focus on productivity. As discussed in a previous post, the iPad has a big price tag, while you can get the same productivity for less elsewhere. In fact, the Pencil and Smart Keyboard cost $99 and $169, and there isn’t a point of getting the iPad Pro if you’re not getting those heavily priced accessories (You might as well get the iPad Air 2 if you’re not planning on getting these accessories). Anyhow, the point is if you’re thinking of getting a tablet to increase productivity, the Pixel C is just an example of what you could get alternatively.
Nothing has been officially confirmed yet, and more details will come as the end of the year approaches.
Source: Android Police
Come comment on this article: Google reportedly launching the Pixel C 10.2″ Tablet with Android 6.0 Marshmallow later this year
They may take a lot of flak from standup comics and late show hosts, but BuzzFeed has no doubt developed a popular news service, especially with the 18-34 year old crowd that is their core audience. Earlier this year they released a dedicated app for the iOS platform so their audience no longer had to use their mobile web browser. Now BuzzFeed has released the Android version of their app and you can grab it in the Google Play Store.
If you are not a fan of BuzzFeed or the stories they choose to publish, the app may not be for you. However, they did try to stay true to their roots of making news easy to share. Being on Android, they also took steps to stick close to Google’s Material design philosophy. So it may just be worth a look to see how well they developed their app.
When BuzzFeed launched in Apple’s App Store, it quickly rocketed to the number 1 position for a news app during the week it launched. Do you think they can do the same thing in the Android world?
You can get the BuzzFeed app free from the Play Store using the link below.
Come comment on this article: BuzzFeed News now available for Android devices
So it turns out that three features that consumers often expect in a flagship phone will not be included with the upcoming Nexus phones. Android Police, the publication that has been the source of just about every Nexus-related piece of information surfacing in recent weeks and months, has clarified that both the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will lack a microSD card slot, optical image stabilization (OIS), and wireless charging. It was originally reported that Google would implement these features in its latest round of Nexus hardware; however, that has ended up not being the case.
When it comes to storage, buyers of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will have to work with internal storage and Google Drive to keep items stored on their phone. This may not be a problem for those who buy the Nexus 6P as that phone will come with up to 128GB of internal storage, but the starting 16GB within the Nexus 5X could be an issue for many (and it only goes up to 32GB). Google clearly wants to transition people to be more reliant on the cloud.
Honestly, this isn’t that big of a deal. Many companies (even Samsung) are letting go of microSD card slots.
In 2012, the Nexus 4 debuted as one of the first devices on the market to feature wireless charging. The Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 also followed up with the same technology, too. But now, three years after the release of the Nexus 4, neither of the two newest members of the Nexus family are going to have wireless charging. It could be that Google wants to really push the USB Type-C port (as it has with another device) or the Doze feature from Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Unlike ditching expandable storage, Google not including wireless charging is quite surprising. Even if the bodies of both devices are indeed metal, Qualcomm has a new technology that nixes a potential conflict for wireless charging.
Finally, the optical image stabilization (OIS) that the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 had in their respective rear cameras is also gone. This means that Google is leaving out a technology that disregards a bit of shakiness when the user is taking pictures. Cost is perhaps to blame for the decision to not have OIS in the phones. But Android Police has confirmed that the 1.55µm pixels in the image sensor makes it impossible to have OIS. Because of that, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P could each have more dense sensor.
Google is holding an event tomorrow, September 29, in San Francisco where a myriad of new hardware and software will be revealed to the public. The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are expected to be made available exclusively through Google right after the event’s end.
Come comment on this article: A microSD card slot, OIS, and wireless charging will be absent from the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P
Motorola’s newly announced second generation Moto 360 smartwatch is one of the hottest out there. Unfortunately, Motorola has send out a message regarding a slowing in production.
Pre-orders have nearly began and Motorola is experiencing “technical difficulties” causing a delay in production of its new 360 smartwatch. Buyers who have pre-ordered the device should have received an email explaining the cause for the delay. According to Motorola’s VP of E-Commerce, Bjorn Kilburn, the company is having issues with its order process and shipping system. Perhaps the company is having a hard time keeping up with all the customized units.
Hopefully Motorola makes some adjustments and gets back on track so people can get their hands on the latest smartwatch shortly.
Come comment on this article: Moto 360 2nd gen experiencing production issues
Apple recently removed older versions of OS X and other discontinued software from the Purchased tab of users who had previously purchased or downloaded them. With the change, it is no longer possible for users to download Aperture, iPhoto, OS X Lion, OS X Mountain Lion, and OS X Mavericks from the Mac App Store.
The decision to disallow users from downloading the older software is not going over well on reddit, where commenters are calling Apple’s decision “user-hostile.”
That’s really unfortunate and hostile by Apple. What about people who use older operating systems due to compatibility problems with specific software?
I recently had to re-install Mavericks, but didn’t keep the “Install OS X Mavericks” app. Now my only chance of getting it again is to download it from another location, and I don’t know whether that image has been compromised.
It is not clear if Apple’s decision to prevent users from downloading older software from the Mac App Store is a temporary bug or a permanent change. The software has, however, been unavailable for several days now.
It’s possible Apple is aiming to prevent people from downloading software that is outdated and unsupported, but at least one of the now-inaccessible apps, Aperture, continues to work on OS X El Capitan.
Earlier this month, developer James Addyman got his emulator, Provenance, working on the Apple TV Developer Kit provided to developers via lottery, and now developer Kevin Smith has gotten the popular MAME game emulator running on the device.
In the video below, a tvOS version of the MAME emulator is demonstrated on the fourth-generation Apple TV. For those unfamiliar with MAME, it stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Over the years, several apps with the MAME code have snuck into the iOS App Store, letting people illicitly run old arcade games.
In the video, Smith shows several old arcade games running on the Apple TV, including Donkey Kong, Galaga, Street Fighter II, Raiden, and Metal Slug – Super Vehicle. All of the games are said to run well, though there are some lingering sound issues with a few of the titles.
The video’s description includes some of the technical hurdles that had to be overcome to get the emulator working on tvOS.
I created a target for tvOS and set about getting the code to compile for arm64 (Mandatory for AppleTV), fixed a variety of compiler and linker errors. Removed code which was incompatible with tvOS frameworks and simplified code to work on tvOS. Added a basic icon compatible with tvOS. I added some tweaks to the source to allow the pause button to exit the game and supporting the resolution for the 1080p display.
While developers have been able to get emulators running on the developer versions of the fourth-generation Apple TV, which were handed out to help developers create Apple TV apps, emulators won’t be available on the tvOS App Store. Apple doesn’t allow emulators on iOS and will likely adopt the same policy for tvOS.
There is a possibility that emulators will be able to sneak into the tvOS App Store in the future, buried deep within legitimate apps, but as on iOS, such apps will only survive for hours before being pulled once discovered by Apple.
Tomorrow is shaping up to be a pretty big day for Google fans, with the introduction of two new Nexus phones, final details on Android 6.0, new Chromecast hardware, and perhaps a few other tricks and surprises. Now according to a new report, we could also be seeing a brand new tablet from Google.
Unlike the Nexus tablet family, this tablet won’t be made with a partnering company and will be directly produced under the Google brand name. Furthermore, this won’t be branded as part of the Nexus family either. Instead, the new tablet will allegedly be called the Google Pixel C.
Before you start jumping to conclusions, no, just because it shares the same Pixel sub-brand as two Chromebooks doesn’t mean this is a Chrome OS device. The rumor, first reported by Android Police, says the tablet will offer Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It’s unclear if Google will make any changes to the OS, though we’d say (coming directly from Google) it should be pretty near-stock if not completely vanilla. Other specs will include an Nvidia X1 processor with 3GB of LPRDDR4 RAM, a 10.2-inch display with 308ppi, and USB Type C.
The overall build quality should be similar to existing Pixel laptops, meaning a metallic design with a glowing light bar on the back. The Pixel C will also reportedly have two keyboard accessories, one in aluminum and one in leather, that attach to the tablet, making it sort of the Google version of the Microsoft Surface.
For fans of 10-inch tablets, the Pixel C could certainly be exciting news. Of course, we imagine that this particular tablet won’t come cheap. It’s also important to note that we can’t confirm the legitimacy of this rumor, and so we’d take it all with a grain of salt. Thankfully, we should know more about the upcoming tablet by tomorrow, though the tablet won’t actually ship until sometime in November if the rumor proves correct.
What better way to close out the busy month of September than with a Google event? Nearly three weeks after Apple announced its latest smartphones, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the search giant is preparing to do the same, with a keynote of its own tomorrow in San Francisco. But while the event will likely focus on a refreshed set of Nexus handsets and the upcoming public release of Android Marshmallow, there are signs that Google is also planning to deliver a couple new Chromecast products — including one that’s all about audio. We also wouldn’t be surprised to hear more about Android Wear, especially since we’ve seen a number of new devices introduced over the past month, like Motorola’s second-generation 360 and the Huawei Watch. All will be revealed tomorrow, but for now, let’s break down the leaks and rumors.
The Nexus 5X and 6P
Almost a year after its release, Google’s Nexus 6 isn’t exactly what we’d call a hit. The reasons? Its battery life was nothing to write home about, while the camera left much to be desired. Also, some people weren’t willing to give up a comfortable one-handed experience in exchange for a large screen. Google might’ve been better off having a smaller option for them, rather than a single massive phone. But now, the company seems to want to get back to the days of the successful, LG-made Nexus 5, one of its best smartphones to date — both in terms of software and hardware. To do so, it appears the company is teaming up with LG yet again, this time on a device called the Nexus 5X, which actually looks a lot like the Nexus 5, if these leaked images are to be believed.
Under the hood, the 5X reportedly packs a 5.2-inch (1080p) display, Snapdragon 808 processor, up to 3GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, fingerprint sensor and a USB Type-C port. It also looks like you’ll have a variety of colors to choose from, including black, white and a less traditional (but pretty) mint green. According to multiple news outlets, the Nexus 5X is also said to be priced starting at $380 for the 16GB model, or $100 more for 32GB.
Now, back to smartphones with big screens. This year, Google appears to be taking a slightly different approach than in years past, announcing two Nexus devices simultaneously. According to the rumor mill, Google is partnering with not only LG, but also Huawei. Leaks suggest that the Chinese firm is making the larger of the two Nexuses, the 6P. It reportedly features a 5.7-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 display, Snapdragon 810 processor, a fingerprint sensor on the back, dual front speakers, USB Type-C and a beefy 3,450mAh battery. Of the two, this would obviously be pegged as the higher-end model, but that’s not to say the Nexus 5X isn’t also appealing on paper. Android Police says pricing is set to be $500 for the 32GB version.
Not surprisingly, both will run Marshmallow at launch, although Google has yet to confirm a release date for its new software. Let’s not forget the fingerprint-reading scanners either: These will be the first Nexus devices to offer this feature, which you’ll need to take advantage of the soon-to-be released Android Pay. For the sake of all our impatient readers out there, let’s hope Google starts selling these new Nexus phones as soon as tomorrow, or at least puts them up for pre-order.
Speaking of Android Marshmallow, chances are we’ll learn more about its release date; other than revealing the OS’ official name, Google has been stingy on details. Still, we do know that one main feature Marshmallow brings to the table is support for fingerprint readers, so it’s nice (and unsurprising) to see that both Nexus 5X and 6P apparently support this kind of authentication.
Beyond that, there’s probably going to be talk about when Marshmallow is expected to hit existing devices. Of course, Google’s own Nexus smartphones will be first in line to receive the update, but here’s hoping carriers and OEMs don’t take their sweet time to bring it to as many handsets as possible.
Chromecast… for audio?
It’s safe to say the Chromecast is among Google’s most popular devices. The tiny dongle, which basically turns any dumb TV into a smart one, is affordable, functional and easy for anyone to use. Word on the street is that the second generation of the device will see a few modest changes inside and out. There’s talk of a new design, for instance, as well as support for faster 802.11ac WiFi and 5GHz networks. It’ll be interesting to find out if Google keeps it at $35 or decides to modify that insanely cheap price.
Surprisingly, Google reportedly wants to make that winning formula work for audio too, in addition to just video. According to 9to5Google, a device code-named “Hendrix” will be making its debut tomorrow, which is rumored to add wireless connectivity to any old speakers you may have lying around — so long as they have a 3.5mm headphone jack. If Chromecast Audio ends up being real, it would allow people to network their existing speakers with a simple dongle; think of it as a cheap way to upgrade to a Sonos-esque setup. No word on how much it’s going to cost, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Google chose to be aggressive and priced it around the same as the Chromecast.
Android Wear, Android TV and everything else
All signs point toward Nexus, Android and Chromecast being the standouts at tomorrow’s event. But, don’t be surprised if we hear more about Android Wear compatibility with Marshmallow, as well as upgrades to Android TV and Android Auto.
We’ll be liveblogging the action as it happens tomorrow, so be sure to tune into our dedicated page at 9 AM PT/12 PM ET.
[Image credits: AFP/Getty Images, Android Pit and Android Police.]
You may be jonesing for a follow-up to the PlayStation Vita, but Sony isn’t so sure that it’s a wise idea. The company’s Shuhei Yoshida told those at a recent developer session that the “climate is not healthy” for a Vita sequel. Simply put, he believes that smartphones have dampened enthusiasm for gaming handhelds. Why get a dedicated device and buy games when you can play free games on the device you already have? He hopes that the culture of portable gaming will live on, but he doesn’t currently see Sony fostering that culture with new hardware.
Yoshida is right in that mobile gaming has had an impact — even Nintendo has given in to pressure to develop phone games after saying that it wouldn’t. As Kotaku points out, though, Sony’s reluctance to make another Vita may stem more from its own troubles than the market. Sony hasn’t really given the Vita the blockbuster first-party games that sell systems (many of them are minor offshoots of existing franchises), and hasn’t lavished nearly as much marketing attention on the Vita as it has the PS3 and PS4. Why would you buy a handheld that perpetually lives in the shadow of its TV-based siblings? While there’s no guarantee that a Vita replacement would fare any better (even if it hits all the right marks), Sony would have a stronger argument if it had devoted more energy to the portable it’s already selling.