We’ve seen a number of historic announcements regarding the future of autonomous flight this week. Amazon promised 30-minute deliveries via its fleet of flying horses. DHL tried its best to demonstrate its delivery drone (but was itself bested by the weather). The University of Oslo set a world record by picking up boulders with a team of drones. And Arizona’s building an exo-atmospheric balloon port because people are clearly willing to travel into space if it means getting out of that state.
Hello Android fans! This week, we published our exclusive CAD render of the LG G5, details about the Xiaomi Mi 5 release date surfaced, Samsung was sued over its lack of updates, the uber-popular Whatsapp went free, we learned how much money Google made from Android, several manufacturers released Marshmallow updates, and Google rolled out updates to some of its apps.
Inside AA HQ
We’re trying something fresh with our reviews, starting with our impressions of the Huawei Mate 8. Basically, we’re splitting the task in two, with one person handling the video and another the written post. Of course, the two reviewers discuss and coordinate their reporting, but the idea is to give you more than just one perspective – and more depth – on the devices we’re evaluating. Quality reviews require a ton of time, so having two reviewers should allow us to produce in-depth, top-notch reviews faster than ever. We realize not everyone will enjoy this format, and things are far from set in stone. We just want to give you the best product we can, so one way or another, expect a deeper focus on reviews in 2016.
Don’t miss our weekly Sunday Giveaway, going live later today! Good luck, guys!
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
- Review: The Huawei Mate 8 is definitely impressive, but there are some flaws
- Feature: Where is LG heading in 2016?
- Feature: The stakes are high for Samsung: what to expect in 2016?
- Hands-on: The Galaxy A7 (2016) is a surprisingly attractive device, thinks Matt
- Tech talk: Interested in mobile audio? Don’t miss Rob’s deep dive on why 32-bit audio is overkill on mobile
- Hands-on: We go hands-on with Oppo’s new photo-centric device, the F1
- For developers: So you want to develop Android apps – these are the languages you should study
- Review: Gary takes the minute Raspberry Pi Zero for a spin
News of the week
How much money does Android make for Google?
- Google has reportedly made $31 billion from Android
- Why making $31 billion off Android sucks for Google
- How does Google make money from Android?
Xiaomi Mi 5 release
- Xiaomi Mi 5 could launch this February 24th
- (Update: available one week after launch) Xiaomi Mi 5 arriving in February with Snapdragon 820
Samsung sued over updates
LG G5 exclusive render
- HTC rolling out Marshmallow to several North American carriers next week
- HTC announces UK One M8 Marshmallow update, M9 to “follow shortly” (UPDATE: rest of Europe too)
- Marshmallow lands for the Moto G Turbo Edition in India
- Marshmallow beta test kicks off for the Huawei Mate 7
- Moto G (2nd gen) Marshmallow soak test begins in Brazil and India
- Xiaomi starts pushing out Android 6.0.1 to the Mi 4
Whatsapp goes free
Google apps updates
- Photos shortcut in Google Camera now rolling out
- Google’s Brotli compression squashes web data by 26 percent
- Google now rolling out a redesigned weather experience on Android
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Some new, leaked images have surfaced on the Internet claiming to be the forthcoming LG G5 housed in a dummy cover to help conceal the overall look as well as details of the device. The presence of a dummy cover means no identifying marks are visible to help verify whether the device is even from LG. The details that are visible appear to be consistent with previous information we have learned about LG’s new flagship smartphone.
The biggest clue to the device in the images being the LG G5 are the details from the back of the device. They show a dual camera setup with flash and focusing system components in between the lenses. Located immediately below that is what appears to be a round button thought to be a fingerprint scanner. All of this is consistent with renders generated after an individual was able to view an actual prototype from LG.
The other pictures of this mystery device focus on the edges. One shows a microSD card slot accessed on one side while a shot of the bottom shows a USB-C connector and a speaker opening. In one big change for LG, one image shows the volume rocker being located to the side of the device instead of being located in the middle of the back.
LG is expected to reveal the LG G5 in February, likely at MWC 2016.
source: Droid Life
Come comment on this article: Latest images may be LG G5 under cover
Architects are constantly pushing boundaries to redefine what buildings can do. Baca Architects just unveiled the UK’s first “amphibious house,” which is able to rise up and float when floods strike. Designer Michael Weeks has developed a self-sufficient dome home called the Life Pod that can be transported virtually anywhere. In Kazakhstan, architects are proposing the world’s first apartment building topped with a ski slope. And Franek Architects just unveiled a spiraling mountaintop walkway in Czech Republic that features a 330-foot slide.
When it comes to cars, the latest and greatest vehicles get most of the attention, but there’s plenty of older autos worth a second look. Case in point: You can now buy a Fisker Karma at half of its original price — and the plug-in electric supercar still shines years after its initial release. In other transportation news, BMW announced plans to boost the i3’s electric driving range by 50 percent to help compete against the Chevy Bolt. And researchers developed an innovative hydrogen fuel nano reactor that could make fuel cell cars much cheaper.
If you still haven’t recovered from the fact that Pluto is no longer a planet, take heart: Astronomers believe they’ve found a new ninth planet in our solar system. “Planet X” is believed to exist in the far reaches of space where it circles the sun once ever 15,000 years. Meanwhile, a group of Belgian astronomers payed tribute to David Bowie by outlining a new constellation in the shape of a lightning bolt. Here on earth, Denmark has broken a renewable energy record by using wind turbines to produce 42.1 percent of its energy. We also showcased several clever pollution-fighting designs: a magnetic wand that cleans up oil spills like magic, and a plant backpack that provides you with fresh air wherever you are. And if it’s freezing in your neck of the woods, you’ll be glad to know that researchers are working on clothes that convert solar energy into heat.
As the clock ticks down to the mid-February time frame when Samsung is rumored to be unveiling its latest and greatest Galaxy phones, the rumors and leaks continue to flow in a more free fashion. This weekend brought forth two specific topics of interest: a possible release date and some purported pictures of the device’s front panel and camera. Let’s address the launch day first:
Veteran leaker Evan Blass, better known by his Twitter handle @evleaks, has taken to Twitter to tell the world that the U.S. release date of the Galaxy S7 (and presumably Galaxy S7 Edge) will is “starting to look like” Friday, March 11th.
This would not come as a big surprise given that the S6 and S6 Edge launched in the USA just a few weeks after the pair was unveiled for MWC 2015 timing. It is unknown as to just what device(s) might be hitting stores however, as there are conflicting reports about the screen size of the Galaxy S7 Edge, with some suggesting it will be a phablet device, while other leaks indicate that – at least for one carrier – it will be a more mainstream sized smartphone.
This, in addition to rumors that suggest Samsung will be unveiling a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge as well as a Galaxy S7+ and Galaxy S7 Edge+ serving to release the two sizes simultaneously as opposed to the “surprise” announcement of the S6 Edge+ at last August’s Unpacked event.
The screen story
The second leak of the weekend is a pair of purported pictures that claim to portray the front panel and front camera for the Galaxy S7. Take a look:
The picture above – which ironically looks to be captured with an HTC device no less – claims to be the front display panel of the Galaxy S7. Despite the fact that it is encased in a protective shell which SamMobile has referred to as a “camouflaged unit” to prevent leakage of the final design, there are several take away points:
- The top and bezel looks to be quite tall, almost unnecessarily so.
- The home button/fingerprint sensor – which looks slightly misaligned – is seemingly much larger and “rounded” than the thin rectangles which had been seen in earlier leaks.
Again, as this is a prototype assuming it’s a genuine image to begin with, the final model may indeed look quite different.
With respect to the above image, claiming to be the front camera display, SamMobile has pointed out that the connector tab below the module is off-center, whereas with the S6 it was positioned directly below the unit. The other take away here is that the model number “SM-G930F” can clearly be seen printed on the sheet, which is allegedly the model number of the upcoming Galaxy S7.
With the prospect of a March 11th release date for the Galaxy S7 in the USA, this would leave less than two months until Samsung’s next big thing hits stores. Given that the company is predicting a difficult year in 2016, the sales of said device – and its siblings – will no doubt be heavily monitored and scrutinized by the public and the press, as well as the company’s management and stakeholders.
Have you ever wondered what code would look like if it were dictated by a presidential candidate’s grandiose statements rather than such radical concepts as accuracy and logic? No? Well, you’re going to find out regardless. Rice University students Chris Brown and Sam Shadwell have created TrumpScript, a Python-based programming language that takes Donald Trump’s philosophy a little too literally. For a start, it won’t deal with either floating point numbers or any number smaller than 1 million — America doesn’t do anything halfway or deal with the small stuff, you see. It also won’t allow users from China or Mexico (you can’t even use import statements), insists on ending programs with “America is great” and refuses to admit to most of its failures.
You can tinker with the TrumpScript code right now, although the creators warn that it might not work properly. That’s not surprising given that it was whipped up in less than 20 hours as part of a hackathon. However, the presence of source code lets you not only fix flaws yourself, but add your own features — you don’t have to wait to slip Trump’s latest audacious soundbite into your syntax. Whatever you think of the man, it’s clear that Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t the only well-known political figure with his own computer code.
[Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images]
Being an Android fan I have recently begun my path into accumulating Android collectibles from Dead Zebra, Inc. Dead Zebra has been making official Android figurines for quite a few years now and has a huge following.
There really isn’t much to these collectibles except they’re fun, whimsical and a great way to show your love for Android. The Dead Zebra collection is always limited in production, but you can buy one starting at $7.50 while working your way up to $10. The collectibles aren’t expensive, and the limited production runs sometimes make them highly valuable with some selling over several hundred dollars.
While I love collecting the Android collectibles from Dead Zebra, I recently came across a designer from California who makes custom Andrew Bell Android collectibles. Matthew Stephens has been a designer in the Vinyl community for almost 10 years now and has a storefront on Etsy.com. His store, StephensDesignStudio is where he offers one of a kind figurines where he gets to use his incredible artistic creativity. I ordered a custom 3″ Android for $65, just $55 more than your standard Dead Zebra Androids, and I asked him to create an AndroidGuys figurine of myself.
Within two weeks Matthew had sent me this incredible creation. He even added a Nexus phone in my hand for free! I felt a little bad because I took away his artistic creativity when I ordered my custom figurine, but you can see it is a cool way to be unique. If you are getting married, imagine getting two made of yourselves as a cake topper. Or you can ask for your favorite characters like Batman, Ironman, The Hulk, etc. and Matthew will make them for you. The possibilities are endless with what he can create.
I asked him to do another creation for me with 100% creative freedom. What he did was create the coolest Android I have ever seen based on the character “Anger” from Inside Out.
If you like collecting figurines from Dead Zebra Inc, you need to give Matthew Stephens a look at Etsy.com. All of his products are hand painted by him and are of the highest quality.
The Androids he made for me will be in my collection forever, and I appreciate his ability to make me smile through a piece of Android art. If you want a custom 3″ Android, make sure to check out StephensDesignStudio at Etsy.com.
The post Get a custom 3″ Android from StephensDesignStudio at Etsy appeared first on AndroidGuys.
The whole point of Microsoft’s Selfie app for iPhones is to share your pretty face (albeit an ideal, algorithmically-modified version of it) with the world, but you haven’t had an easy way to make that happen for most of the app’s existence. A bit ironic, don’t you think? Microsoft agrees. It quietly updated Selfie with a sharing feature that makes it almost trivial to indulge in a little public vanity. You can tap one button to post your latest shot directly on Facebook, or another to bring up the iOS sharing dialogue and spread the joy through other apps.
The app also brings in a few interface tweaks, although you aren’t about to get lost if you’ve been trying Selfie already. As for versions on Android or (logically) Windows 10 Mobile? There’s still nothing concrete, but Microsoft is promising to bring Selfie to “more platforms.” The iOS edition was just the first app out of the gate.
The Android Apple Music App: Good looking, but like the iPhone lacks features and value (App Review)
Apple is notorious for locking down its software and ecosystem by keeping things all to themselves. Apple doesn’t readily share its software and for the most part and has only released three apps into the Google Play Store, one of which is a very poorly two star rated Move to iOS app. A change occurred last year when Apple decided to release its music app, in beta form, to Android users where it offered a free 90-day subscription.
Naturally being a huge fan of music, and intrigued by Apple joining Android, I decided to give the Apple Music app a try. And for the last month I’ve realized the app is representative of what an iPhone is – good looking, over-priced, and definitely lacking in features.
Apple Music was released to the Google Play Store in November of 2015. Apple has decided to call it a beta release, seemingly as an excuse to make up for its shortcomings on Android devices. At $9.99 Apple Music is identically priced to Google Play Music, but offers a smaller library at 30 million songs to Google’s 35 million.
Google and Apple both released Family Subscription plans last year, where you can pay just $14.99 for unlimited music streaming and downloading for a household of six. Pathetically, if you do subscribe to Apple Music on Android and want to join as a family, you’ll need to a Mac OS computer or iOS device.
In order to use the Apple Music App, you will need to create an Apple ID just to get started. The app will not let you past the sign in page to access free music without going through the painstaking process of dropping in your credit card information just for a free trial. You will need to give your full address, credit card information and phone number just to be able to listen to music. And you cannot use other payment services like your Google Wallet or Paypal. Just to start using the app is a painful process.
Just like the iOS app, Apple Music for Android is full of musical recommendations, human-curated playlists and radio. You can create your own playlists and access music you’ve purchased through iTunes on the My Music page. You can download songs, playlists and full albums for offline listening when you don’t have a connection. The Connect tab lets you follow your favorite artists and see photos, songs and other updates they share.
Like other music streaming apps, Apple Music does have human-curated playlists and radio stations. And like other subscription based services, you are free to create your own playlists and download music for off-line use.
I am a subscriber to TIDAL which offers true HiFi audio that streams at much higher bit-rates than anything else available. The main downside to TIDAL is its much smaller library of music.
I’m also a subscriber to Google Play Music which offers a family plan that doesn’t require an iOS device, includes a free subscription to YouTube Red and allows me access to over 35 million songs. Being a subscriber to both of these services gives me a good foundation for what a good music streaming app should be.
When I first installed the Apple Music app on my Android device, I was hoping to get started by just downloading the app. I was annoyed that I had to go through the entire sign-up process – luckily I had an Apple ID from my iPhone days, but I still had to type in all of my information again like my address and credit card information. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just login with my Apple ID and get going. The sign process is downright cumbersome.
Moving past the sign-up process and getting into the app was a pleasant experience. Apple Music, while being a tad busy looking, is still really good looking. The images it uses are very clear and the layout looks great.
Once I started to use the app I noticed that the app severely lagged at times when trying to load my downloaded playlists. It didn’t do it all of the time, but you can definitely tell Apple Music for Android is still in beta form. I experienced app crashes too – I gave the app a spin on my Nexus 6P, Note5 and LG V10 so there would be no performance issues blamed on hardware. I was also very disappointed to learn that I could not stream music to my Chromecasts I have setup on my TV and home stereo system.
A feature that I am a huge fan of on all mobile devices is the ability to use voice control, especially while driving or when cooking. Voice control is an absolute must have feature. Apple Music for Android is missing any voice control or the ability to even search the library with voice commands. You can’t even use Google’s voice recognition system in the Apple Music app which is mind boggling.
When it came to music, I could select and listen to most songs that I already have on my other subscription services. In that sense, Apple Music performed as described where it at least delivered music to my smartphone.
Other than the superficial aspect of the app, Apple Music failed to win me over in anyway. Instead it just validated what I think of the Apple iPhone – it looks great, does a “good enough” job, lacks features, and is highly over-priced.
What I liked
- The look and layout of the app
What I didn’t like
- Sign up process
- Smaller library than Google Play Music
- No integration to the Chromecast
- Lack of HiFi audio
- Inability to install on Nexus 9
- App slowness and crashes
- Lack of music videos
Apple Music for Android is a pathetic attempt by Apple for sharing its software with Android. It lacks features, is highly over priced for what you get, and offers no additional features over Google Play Music or Spotify. You don’t even get music videos with a full subscription to Apple Music, which is a feature found on other music streaming services. Apple’s music app is so bad it almost seems like it was intended to be that way as an insult to Android users. I honestly hope Apple sticks to keeping its software to themselves and staying within its own ecosystem if its going to give us inadequate attempts like Apple Music.
For now, I will be cancelling my subscription before Apple charges me $9.99. I do not recommend the Apple Music app.
Google Play Store – LINK
The post The Android Apple Music App: Good looking, but like the iPhone lacks features and value (App Review) appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Imagine having the power to tweak your windows’ opacity depending on the weather. That’s one application a group of MIT scientists believe they’ve made possible by conjuring up an equation that can predict how light goes through a rubber-like polymer structure. The rubbery material they used called polydimethylsiloxane has dark regions when at rest but gets more and more transparent as you stretch it. One of the researchers, Francisco López Jiménez, says the decision to undertake the project was a happy accident. “We were just playing with the material, and we soon got interested in how we can predict this and get the numbers right.”
They prepared some small pieces of material for their experiments, adding color to them by mixing in micron-sized dye particles.
MIT describes the group’s process as follows:
In initial experiments, the researchers shone a light through the polymer structure infused with dye particles and characterized the amount of light transmitted through the material, without any deformation. They then stretched the polymer perpendicular to the direction of light and measured both the thickness of the polymer and the light coming through.
They compared their measurements with predictions from their equation, which they devised using the Beer-Lambert Law, a classical optics theory that describes the way light travels through a material with given properties. The team combined this theory with their experimental analysis, and derived a simple equation to predict the amount of light transmitted through a mechanically deformed PDMS structure.
López Jiménez says in the future, manufacturers can create smart windows much more affordable than see-through screens being developed by some companies today. That’s possible by putting layers of the polymer on top of each other. Any manufacturer can find out how much pressure to apply on windows to turn them transparent by using the group’s equation. He expects the smart windows to ultimately lower heating and air conditioning bills since a house’s or building’s residents can control how much sunlight to let in.