Stop misplacing it!
Tile has announced new versions of its Mate and Pro trackers which build upon the successes the company has seen with the previous generation, while fixing some of its complaints. These trackers no longer have to be disposed of once the battery is depleted, as Tile now offers battery replacements and each one is guaranteed to last for a full year. Additionally, both new trackers are louder than previous generations and have an increased Bluetooth range, with the Mate working at up to 150 feet and the Pro reaching up to 300 feet.
Alongside the new hardware, Tile is also introducing a new service to make the trackers even more useful. Tile Premium, the company’s new subscription service, offers a couple key benefits with its $30 per year (or $3 per month) cost. First up is free battery replacements. Tile will automatically ship batteries ahead of the one-year mark for as many trackers as you have on your account, so you never need to go out and search for a battery to work with it. Additionally, Premium includes smart alerts to help keep a proactive approach to not misplacing things, unlimited sharing to allow your friends and family to view your device, and 30 days worth of location history.
Tile Premium also includes an extended warranty which covers your devices for three years instead of one, and premium customer care, so should you see an issue you can get it resolved quickly. Tile is offering a free one-month trial to all new Premium customers, and after that you can decide whether you’d like to pay annually or monthly.
The new Tile Mate is priced at $25 and the Tile Pro will cost $10 more at $35. Both will be available from Tile direct, along with other major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and more.
If you don’t absolutely need a replaceable battery, and have more than one device that you want to affordably track, you may want to consider picking up a four pack of the previous-gen Tile Mates for just $35, or two Tile Mate and two Tile Slim for $50. You may think that these are silly now, but the next time you’re late leaving the house because you can’t find your keys or wallet, just remember that you didn’t opt to buy these right now.
A new version of Android means it’s once again time to peer into my crystal ball.
Did you hear? Android Pie is a thing now. And we know that everyone will want it and want it as soon as possible. That’s how it works and that’s how we are wired. We want updates, we want them to be spectacular and we want them right now.
The reality of the situation is a bit different. Most phones made in the last 18 months will see Android Pie, but some of them will only get updated when we see the first developer preview for Android Q (Quince Jelly or gtfo, Google!) come along. It’s a lot easier for manufacturers to update their phones to a newer version, but it’s still not any better. That’s another article for another time, though. This one is where I guess which phones will get updated sometime in the next 12 months.
Predicting anything Android-related is 10% science and 90% interpretation.
It’s not as easy as you think and many sudsy cold beverages worth of thought goes into my guesses each and every year. About one-third of them are no-brainers, but some of the others are basically the same odds as a coin flip. It seems like manufacturers only care about a few models that get a lot of press time. But I do have to toot my own hat (or something) and say I have a pretty good track record. Luck or skill? You decide. (It’s totally skill.)
Let’s break it down by the major manufacturers of the phones we love and make a few predictions. Remeber, these are just predictions and not any official word on anything from any company unless otherwise noted.
- Android Beta Program Partners
Still waiting for Oreo? Check to see whether your phone will be upgraded!
I always start with Google because it’s easy and I’ll get it right every time. That’s what I want at the top of the page. I say it’s easy because Google has already told us which phones get updated and which won’t.
- The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have already been updated to Pie.
- The Pixel and Pixel XL have already been updated to Android Pie.
- While not actually from Google, any Android One phones manufactured since October 2017 will also be updated to Pie “later this fall.”
And that’s it. Prior to the Pixel, Google promised two years of full support and three years of security updates for phones they sell under their own brand. The Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X are just about three years old. Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu, Adios, Good Bye. They were great phones.
More: It’s time to say goodbye to the Nexus program for good
Android Beta Program Partners
For the first time ever other companies have joined Google in supporting the Android Beta Program. When it was started for Android Pie (then known simply as P) the following phones joined Google’s Pixel and Pixel 2 family in supporting it:
- Sony Xperia XZ2
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
- Nokia 7 Plus
- Oppo R15 Pro
- Vivo X21
- OnePlus 6
- Essential PH‑1
That means that every one of these phones should see a full-on update to Android Pie in the very near future. In fact, the Essential PH-1 is saw its update at the same time the Pixel and Pixel 2 did.
We’re proud to bring Android 9 Pie to Essential Phone the same day it’s released! Check your phone now for the update. 🥧 pic.twitter.com/pniUDl9yr8
— Essential (@essential) August 6, 2018
Samsung makes more models of a single flagship line like the Galaxy S each year than Google has made in total, but it’s also pretty easy to know which phones Samsung will update because they’re predictable. Samsung offers four “premium” models each year. like 2018’s Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, the Galaxy S9 Active that we all know is coming, and the Galaxy Note 9. Even when Samsung sold 15 different models of the Galaxy S6, they were all treated the same when it came to expecting an update.
When to expect it is just as predictable, and it will happen about a year from the date this was first published (March 2018). Some models in Europe will see it first, about a month later it will show up somewhere else, and once Samsung is satisfied it’s not going to totally wreck about a gazillion phones they will give it the green light. Add in whatever time your carrier needs and the final result is just about a year from its initial release.
- The Galaxy S9 and S9+ (and any S9 Active that comes in the future) will be updated to Android Pie.
- The Galaxy Note 9 will be updated to Android Pie.
- The Galaxy S8 and S8+, and the Galaxy S8 Active, will be updated to Android Pie.
- The Galaxy Note 8 will be updated to Android Pie.
Here’s where it gets interesting. there are a handful of other Galaxy phones that have a huge regional fanbase. In India, for example, the Galaxy J models are huge hits because they offer most of the same experience you find in a Galaxy S at a lower price. Samsung will give them the same treatment the Galaxy S and Note lines receive. That’s not the most interesting part, though. That would be the seemingly random phones that Samsung decides to update. We don’t know why we see this every year (Carrier requests? Developer favorites? Aliens?) we just like seeing it. And we all wish we saw more of it.
LG has always been a wildcard when I write this post every year. Like Samsung, there are a few “important” models that get all the press coverage and plenty of other more inexpensive models that most of us aren’t talking about.
LG also mentioned some streamlining in the release cycle, which hopefully gives the development teams time to get an update out the door and have it be a good update.
- The LG G7 ThinQ will be updated to Android Pie.
- The LG V30 (including the V30S or whatever models we have seen or will see) will be updated to Android Pie.
- The LG V20 will be updated to Android Pie.
- The LG G6 will see Android Pie.
Older models like the G5 and V10 are done seeing any attention and won’t see any updates. LG makes a handful of phones that aren’t quite flagship material, and we know it is willing to spend the time and money on updating some of them even if your carrier isn’t and you never see it. That means nothing is a given.
I also think LG consolidating things and releasing phones when they think it’s time for a new model rather than by looking at a calendar will make a difference here and lead to longer support.
Huawei is tough to read. It hasn’t abandoned the Asian way of doing smartphones like LG and Samsung have for their U.S. divisions and sometimes that means the things the company does can be puzzling to those of us used to the Western way of thinking. Just when I think I have figured out exactly which phones are the company’s flagship models that will get the lion’s share of time and money spent, they change it all up. That’s a good thing.
Something made Huawei change the way it redistributes and maintains phones running the EMUI operating system (Huawei’s version of Android) in 2017 and I think that’s going to be reflected when it comes to Android P updates.
- The Huawei Mate 10 will be updated to Android Pie.
- The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is being updated to Android Pie while this article was being revised on October first.
- The Honor 9 and Honor View 10 series will be updated to Android Pie. I’m hoping, but less confident, about the Honor 8 Pro and 7X.
- The Huawei Mate 9 will probably be updated to Android Pie, but we’ll see.
This includes the various Plus, Pro, and Porsche models (I want a Porsche phone) as well, and because EMUI is so different than every other smartphone software available users will have no idea which version of Android they are running unless they look.
Besides, if the things a handful of little birds are saying happen to be true, EMUI 9 isn’t going to be able to run on any hardware older than what comes in these phones.
Motorola had a weird 2017. That’s putting it mildly. They released like 100 phones in the Americas and Western Europe (Editor’s note: it was actually 9) and they ranged from the surprisingly great $100 Moto E4 to the Moto X4, the first of hopefully many non-Google phones you can use on Project Fi, and all the Z and Force you can handle in between.. And they did it without compromising the G series which has been a company staple for years from the smartphone division.
Moto phones under Lenovo are slowly becoming like the Thinkpad — quietly chugging along in the background doing their thing. And doing it well.
On August 15, Motorola published a blog post outlining the handsets that’ll receive the official Pie update starting this fall. They include:
- Moto Z3
- Moto Z3 Play
- Moto Z2 Force
- Moto Z2 Play
- Moto X4
- Moto G6 Plus
- Moto G6
- Moto G6 Play
While that’s a strong list, the notable omissions include the Moto E5, E5 Plus, and E5 Play.
OnePlus is on the verge of becoming more than just a niche brand. But it won’t forget where its early success came from — providing fast updates because its customers wanted them. And just because it is never as fast as we wanted doesn’t mean it wasn’t as fast as possible. Sometimes, too fast even …
Here’s the list of phones OnePlus is going to update to Android P.
- OnePlus 3
- OnePlus 3T
- OnePlus 5
- OnePlus 5T
- OnePlus 6
Hi, Android Pie will be available for the Nokia 3, 5, 6 and 8. Roll-out will be phased as usual to secure quality delivery. Nokia 7 Plus is part of the Android One program, which guarantees two years of software updates, including Pie.
— Nokia Mobile (@NokiaMobile) August 8, 2018
Nokia seems to understand that a substantial portion of its own customer base wants fast updates. Like OnePlus, they should listen to their current customers while trying to find new ones if they are to be successful. Here’s a list of phones expected to see Android Pie from Nokia.
- Nokia 3
- Nokia 5
- Nokia 6
- Nokia 6.1
- Nokia 7 Plus
- Nokia 8
- Nokia 8 Sirocco
Disappointing sales have left the future of HTC’s smartphone business in uncertainty, but assuming the company doesn’t go under in the next few months, it’s announced that it’ll be updating four of its smartphones to Android 9 Pie. The list is as follows:
- HTC U12+
- HTC U11
- HTC U11+
- HTC U11 Life (Android One version)
We’re pleased as pie to confirm updates to Android Pie for the HTC U12+, U11+, U11, and U11 life (Android One). Timeframes for roll-out will be announced in due course. We can’t wait to know what you think of Google’s freshest slice of Android! pic.twitter.com/mPJePFegne
— HTC (@htc) August 10, 2018
HTC says that it’ll release timeframes for its Pie updates “in due course”, and as those announcements are made, we’ll update this article accordingly.
Sony announced its Pie update plans on August 16, 2018, and as expected, the phones that’ll be the first to get the new software treatment are the company’s high-end flagships. Starting this November, the following phones will get Android 9 Pie:
- Sony Xperia XZ2
- Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
- Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
- Sony Xperia XZ Premium
- Sony Xperia XZ1
- Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
But wait, there’s more!
If you own a Sony Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, or XA2 Plus, you can expect Pie to land on your phone by “early 2019.”
These may be the companies we’re most familiar with in the west that sell Android phones, but they aren’t the only companies doing it. Out of the literally hundreds of models available, a few stand out and need mentioning.
- Any phone running the Android Go version will probably see an update once Google gets Pie optimized for the meager specs these devices have.
- The BlackBerry KEYone probably won’t be upgraded to Android Pie, but we know the KEY2 will be.
- Someone at XDA will update their Nexus One to Android Pie and I am going to do my best to get Google to send that person a brand new Pixel 3 NotchXL.
Like mentioned earlier, these are just educated guesses at this point. but one thing I know for certain is that no matter what the phone, any updates will feel like they took too long to make it into our hands. That’s just how we’re wired.
Android 9 Pie
- Android 9 Pie review: Greater than the sum of its slices
- Everything you need to know about Android 9 Pie!
- Will my phone get Android Pie?
- How to get Android 9 Pie on your Pixel right now
- Join the Discussion
Updated October, 2018: Filled in Nokia’s plans based on the latest information from the company.
New security has arrived.
Yesterday, October 1, Google began to roll out its October 2018 Android security patch.
In addition to the regular assortment of bug fixes, there are also some Pixel-specific changes — including better Android Auto performance for the Pixel 2 series and increased fast charging on the original Pixel line.
Looking through the AC forums, it would appear that most Pixel 2 owners are already rocking the new software.
10-01-2018 03:21 PM
Just got it now.
Pixel 2 project fi
took 45 minutes to install
last month it took 6 days to show up, month before 4 days
10-01-2018 03:32 PM
54.5MB on Verizon
10-01-2018 03:42 PM
Shocked to check for OTA and see it actually be there! Hopefully this trend continues!
10-01-2018 06:51 PM
Just checked and it automatically starting downloading…. Don’t remember that in the past
What about you? Does your Pixel 2 have the October 2018 security patch?
Join the conversation in the forums!
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 2 FAQ: Everything you need to know!
- Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL review: The new standard
- Google Pixel 2 specs
- Google Pixel 2 vs. Pixel 2 XL: What’s the difference?
- Join our Pixel 2 forums
You’re not just battling blindness; you’re battling inner demons
Blind is a virtual reality game that spans across the PlayStation VR, the Oculus Rift, and the HTC Vive. Tiny Bull Studios developed this title to take you through a story where after a series of unfortunate events, you finds herself blind and locked in a mysterious mansion that you’re desperately trying to find a way out of. While I have put a few hours of gameplay in I haven’t quite reached the ending yet, but it’s very obvious that you’re suffering from neurological vision loss due to trauma.
You can find this game on the PlayStation Store for $25, and I personally believe it’s worth the adventure. Aside from the fun of the game alone, Blind gives you a perspective of life that’s going to stay with you forever.
See on PlayStation Store
The controls are a force to be reckoned with
As far as actual button-mapping goes, Blind is set up like any average VR game that you will find on the market. What truly changes the VR experience is how it’s incorporated in the actual visuals. The whole idea of tapping a cane to get a quick glance of a scene around you through echolocation had me on the edge of my seat when Blind was first announced. But, after getting a chance to finally play it, I found myself to be more annoyed with the mechanics than I thought I would be. I think I would have much rather preferred to need to only use a systematic echolocation when it came to rooms with puzzles, and then maybe there was music playing throughout the rest of the house so that I kept a steady vision for the rest of the game.
This way it would have maintained the difficulty of the puzzles to get out, but not have been such a nuisance for the rest of the game.
Don’t get me wrong, I did make fun of throwing things around to watch my scenery appear and disappear. It was like playing a game of “Nighttime, daytime.” Yet, when it came down to me getting serious and actually wanting to move forward in the game I struggled quite a bit.
Also, if you used your cane too much you are basically punished because the impending darkness can find you. It wasn’t even a, “Wow, this game is hard and I love it,” kind of struggle. It was a, “Alright I’m annoyed because I know what I need is right there but I can’t grab it with these very specific VR point controls and — Oh. Great. If I tap my cane again to see what I’m doing then the big bad monster is gonna eat me and I’m screwed. Cool.”
Diving into the story
Jean wakes up from the crash inside of this mysterious and apparently haunted, mansion without any of her vision. The voice of a man, delivered through a gramophone, guides you through the first few puzzles while simultaneously creeping you out by knowing far too much about Jean’s life.
Your goal is to solve a number of puzzles that are all over this mansion in order to get out. There are no other people in this place with you, only remnants of memories and stories left behind traumatically like a soul stamp in this world.
Not only do they serve as physical puzzles, like toyetic locks, but mental ones as well. You have to piece together the story of these tortured people through the remnants of their memories in order to not only understand how to leave, but how you got there in the first place.
On top of all this, you are also learning about Jean’s story and all of the troubles she has had to endure herself. Overall it had a very “kindred souls connecting together” feel to it, and that had me diving into the story like a mad woman who just wanted to know more.
The final breakdown
Frustrations of mechanics aside, the overall experience of using echolocation and the story of Blind were the saving features of the game for me. They seeded the right about of keynotes at each checkpoint to give you just enough to understand but wanting more. In a way, it did make the game that much more immersive. Those who are playing the game have their full vision in the real world and, just like Jane, are dealing with losing it and relearning everything they know about navigation.
Every time I found myself getting frustrated I would realize that I had put myself that much further into Jean’s shoes. I still wish general navigation of the mansion was easier with music in the hallways, though. The scenes of escaping the darkness and solving puzzles were really where the echolocation should have been heavily relied on to balance out the difficulty.
- Phenomenal story
- The experience of using echolocation
- Perfect execution of story for a mystery game
- Puzzles are difficultly specific
- Controls are shoddy when it comes to actually trying to beat the game and not messing around with echolocation
Overall, I give this game a 3 out of 5 stars. Have you got a chance to try out Blind? If so, tell me your thoughts in the comment section below, or shoot me a Tweet @OriginalSluggo.
See at PlayStation Store
- PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
- PlayStation VR Review
- Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome
The speaker costs the same $49 like usual.
In exactly one week, Google will be hosting an event in New York City to unveil its all-new Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones. Just ahead of that, the company’s announced a new color option for its Home Mini smart speaker.
Joining the Charcoal, Chalk, and Coral colors that have been available since the Home Mini’s launch last fall, the latest addition is Aqua — a cool, minty color that offers a great contrast to the warm, red-toned Coral.
Commenting on the new color, Google says that Aqua is “soothing yet bright and fresh allowing it to either contrast or blend into each unique home.”
You’ll be able to purchase the Aqua Google Home Mini starting October 29 for the usual $49 asking price.
Announcing a new color like this probably means we won’t see a new Home Mini announced alongside the Pixel 3 next week, but seeing as how we’re also expecting a new Chromecast, Home Hub, and Pixelbook 2, Google’s already got its hands plenty full.
Google Home Mini review, 6 months later: The smart speaker that should be in everybody’s home
- Google Home review
- Google Home Mini: Everything you need to know!
- Google Home Max review
- These services work with Google Home
- Google Home vs. Amazon Echo
- Join our Google Home forums!
Whether you’re looking for new tech gear or household items, we’ve got you covered.
We found plenty of great deals today on Casper mattresses, LEGO Star Wars and LEGO City advent calendars, Tile Bluetooth trackers, portable SSDs and much more!
View the rest of the deals
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The phone has a 6.5-inch screen and Kirin 710 processor.
In early September, Honor announced the Honor 8X and 8X Max as its new latest smartphones for the Chinese market. Now, just about a month later, the company’s bringing the former of those two handsets to other regions around the globe.
The Honor 8X boasts a large 6.5-inch FullView display with a notch at the top and a 91% screen-to-body ratio. The screen resolution is 1080 x 2340 and the display’s form factor is 19.5:9. The phone’s made out of 2.5D “double texture aurora glass”, and around back is a subtle two-tone design that looks rather striking.
Powering the 8X is the Kirin 710 processor, 4 or 6GB of RAM, 64 or 128GB of internal storage, and a 3.750 mAh battery. You’ll find dual 20MP cameras on the back, and similar to just about every phone that’s been released this year, Honor says that the camera setup is powered by AI. Other features include a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, face unlock, and NFC.
Exact pricing and availability info is still up in the air, but if the phone’s price tag in China is anything to go by, it should sell for around $200 – $300.
Honor 10 review: Iridescent, incredible, imperfect
Immersive, powerful, and convenient.
The Bose Soundwear Companion wearable wireless speaker is down to $249 on Amazon. That’s $50 off its regular price and the only discount we’ve ever seen on Amazon. Like most Bose gear, the Soundwear Companion does not go on sale very often. If you’ve ever been interested in this wearable speaker, now’s your chance.
This speaker gives you a way to listen to music and take calls without losing connection to the world around you. Its patented technology sends sound waves your way for an immersive experience that won’t disrupt people around you. You’ll also be able to use it to talk to Siri and Google Assistant. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 12 hours, and the speaker has a Bluetooth range of about 30 feet. It is sweat and weather resistant and uses a micro USB port.
See on Amazon
This will be the first mid-range Sony phone with an 18:9 display.
Following up on the Xperia XA2 mid-range phone from earlier this year year, new renders have surfaced to give us an early look at its successor — the Xperia XA3. These renders come by way of MySmartPrice, and should they turn out to be legit, we could be looking at Sony’s most exciting mid-ranger yet.
One of the biggest things to take note of is that the XA3 will be the first mid-range Sony Xperia phone to have an 18:9 display. This makes it a lot narrower compared to the XA2 and the bezels surrounding the screen have been shrunk down substantially.
Also present on the XA3 are dual rear cameras. While the specs of the sensors are still unknown, expect them to be fairly high as the single rear shooter on the XA2 came in at 23MP. Other goodies include a 3.5mm headphone jack, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, Snapdragon 660 processor, and as much as 6GB RAM with 64GB of internal storage.
The Sony Xperia XA3 will likely be announced either later this year or at CES next January, so be sure to stay tuned for more info in the coming months.
Sony Xperia XZ3 hands-on: Damn fine hardware, with potential pain points lurking
Car repair can be costly (duh!) and that Check Engine light could mean myriad issues with your car. Or it could be a simple fix that you could do yourself — so why take it to your dealer or mechanic without knowing the problem first? Some places will charge you $100 or more just for the scan. Grab a home scanner, download an app, and become your own second opinion.
BAFX Products Bluetooth scanner
The BAFX Products 34t5 claims to work on all vehicles in the U.S. from 1996 or later, so chances are that if you’re driving, this will work with your vehicle. All you need is a third-party app (which range from free to rather expensive paid apps), and you can connect the 34t5 to your Android phone or tablet to read out diagnostic information.
$22 at Amazon
Panlong Bluetooth OBD2 car reader
Panlong’s small OBD II scanner is perfect for the do-it-yourselfer on a budget. This reader will work on any car sold in the U.S. from 1996 or later – it just might not work with some hybrids. All you need is a third-party app, like Torque or DashCommand and you’ll be able to read and clear trouble codes, while receiving real-time data readings – and you’ll be able to turn off that damn Check Engine light!
$11 at Amazon
ScanTool OBDLink LX
The ScanTool OBDLink LX is a professional-grade OBD II reader that features its own app, which allows you to scan, read, and clear trouble codes in all cars sold in the U.S. since 1996 (except hybrid or electric vehicles). Being a professional tool, the OBDLink LX claims to service a wider range of vehicles, given more complex algorithms, and the Amazon reviews seem to agree.
$50 at Amazon
iSaddle Super Mini Bluetooth OBD2 scanner
The iSaddle Super Mini supports all OBD II protocols and works on just about every car sold in the U.S. since 1996 (except hybrid and electric), and it works exclusively with the Torque app. All of the diagnostic information is fed to you via Bluetooth, so if you’re not sure if it’s worth a trip to the shop, you can check first for yourself.
$12 at Amazon
BlueDriver Professional-grade OBD2 reader
For $100, you’d hope this scanner would be professional-grade, and it certainly makes the cut, as one that’s even used by mechanics. This one does a lot more than the average scanner, showing you recall information, dynamic data, and it even offers repair suggestions in its companion Android app. As Tom’s Guide puts it, “BlueDriver is as close to a repair-shop diagnostic scanner as you can get for under $100.”
$100 at Amazon
Automatic PRO AUT-350 3G OBD2 car reader
The Automatic PRO tracks your car in real time, is Alexa-, Nest-, and IFTTT-compatible, and uses a 3G connection. You get an unlimited, 5-year 3G subscription from Automatic, and this thing will even detect serious crashes and automatically alert emergency services. It’s basically a total car monitor (yeah, it also diagnoses your check engine light problems).
$130 at Amazon
Carista OBD2 scanner
The Carista scanner does what you’d expect, but the OBD2 Pro app is what really makes it shine, showing you airbag information, ABS data, and even showing you specialty codes for eight car makers. The upgraded app also integrates with your key fob, allowing you to remotely control your power windows and other instruments. Many of these features only work with specific car models, which you can check on Carista’s site.
$20 at Amazon
Taking your car into the shop for a simple Check Engine light can wind up costing much more than may have been necessary. These easy-to-use Bluetooth readers can give you a picture of your car’s overall “health” and put you in control of diagnosing your vehicle’s issues.
Updated September 2018: These are still the absolute best OBD2 car readers around for Android. Plus, Carista’s once $40 app is now free!