- Google I/O session reveals ‘Voice Access’ feature coming soon to Android
- Woman uses Pizza Hut app to escape hostage crisis [VIDEO]
- Motorola Keylink (phone and key finder) is finally back in stock, only $25
- Gold Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are so popular, supply is almost completely exhausted
- The full Google I/O 2015 schedule is now live, includes a 2.5-hour Day 1 keynote + hints of Android M
- Oculus Rift consumer launch confirmed for Q1 2016, pre-sale later this year
- Sony empowers selfie lovers with the new Sony Xperia C4
- Latest Oppo R7 details reveal full metal unibody design
- Watch these 12 tips for every new Galaxy S6 owner [VIDEO]
- Xiaomi Mi Note Pro launches May 12th with 4GB of RAM, 5.7-inch Quad HD display and Snapdragon 810
- Check your inboxes: Project Fi invites are starting to roll out
- Threes! abruptly removed from Google Play over policy violation
- Motorola readies Android 5.1 for Moto X 1st and 2nd Gen, Moto E 2nd Gen – changelog now available
- HTC Re discounted to $150 for Mother’s Day, comes with $60 in free accessories
- While waiting for Android 5.1.1, the Nexus 9 receives over-the-air update to 5.0.2 Lollipop
Earlier today, Google posted the official Google IO 2015 schedule. The schedule simply highlighted a list of the day's events taking place during the developer convention. We already know Android M will be making an appearance at the event with Google officially making mention of the next version of Android during their "Android at Work" session. But it seems the schedule is also revealing a few other tidbits as well. A "Voice Access" talk is also scheduled, described as "Your app, now available hands-free." The description doesn't reveal specifics, just that developers will be able to take advantage of the new service, presumably a feature set to debut in Android M. It sounds a bit like Google's Voice Actions, only Voice Access wont be confined to only the Google app. Instead, Voice Access will allow developers to add voice actions inside their own apps, for truly hands-free use. Although it wasn't mentioned in the sessions description, it's easy to imagine Google planning some sort of global voice actions throughout the entire Android OS, something Android M could finally bring. The convenience angle is clear, but it could be a great option for handicapped users who otherwise wouldn't be able to interact with a touch screen device. [Google I/O 2015]
It's hard to even imagine what one would do in a hostage situation. For one Florida woman, she used a combination of wits and the all too familiar Pizza Hut app to call for help. Held at knife point all day by her ex-boyfriend, the woman persuaded her ex to let her quickly order pizza for her 3 children using the Pizza Hut app. The man, who had initially taken her phone from her agreed, and it was then the woman used the app's "special instructions" field to request help. The Pizza Hut where the order was placed quickly notified local law enforcement who was able to show up at the home and defuse the situation. The boyfriend was eventually arrested and is now being held on a $45,000 bond. [ABC News]
It's been awhile since we last saw the Motorola Keylink, Motorola's handy Bluetooth enabled key fob. It seemed Motorola sent all of their stock to actual carrier retail stores, as their official site has been sold out of the Keylink since it debuted back in November. Today, Motorola finally has some in stock, although there's no saying for how long. Uses for the Keylink are twofold: not only does it help you locate lost keys or a misplaced phone, but it can also be used as a trusted Bluetooth device to keep your Android device unlocked while it's in range (Lollipop only). At $25 ($5 for shipping), it's the perfect gift for yourself, or the absent minded Android user in your life. You can find the Motorola Keylink direct from Motorola via the link below.
BUY FROM MOTOROLA: MOTOROLA KEYLINK $25
We took a look at every single color option of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge back during Mobile World Congress. While not normally partial to gold color options when it comes to our smartphones, we have to admit, the Gold Platinum Samsung Galaxy S6 looked surprisingly classy. Turns out, many of you felt the same way. Samsung sent out a press release earlier today announcing that the gold version of their flagship device has been their most popular version, so much in fact that they're having trouble keeping up with demand. According to Samsung, 1 out of every 4 Galaxy S6 colors sold is the gold version, creating shortages of the option in markets like Europe. In fact, Samsung notes that stock in Europe has almost been completely exhausted and although they'll soon be ramping up production to compensate, you may want to consider going with your second color pick if you had your heart set on the phone. For anyone that recently picked up a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge -- which color did you get? Take Our Poll
Google has released the full schedule for Google I/O 2015. It takes place May 28th through May 29th, as we've previously known, and the festivities will kick off with a whopping 2.5-hour keynote speech. That seems like a lot, but it's important to remember that Google I/O used to be a 3-day event and Google would split keynotes between the first two days. Regardless, they'll be sure to have a lot to talk about as they always do. What are we expecting? There are no crazy predictions to be had just yet, but we can think of a few: * More details about Project Fi and the future of Google's wireless carrier experiment * A focus on the connected home and Internet of Things. * New features for upcoming versions of both Android and Chrome OS -- we're not necessarily expecting a huge Lollipop-esque update to be ready for some massive showing but Google will definitely want to give us a sneak peak at what they're looking to introduce at some point in the near future. (NOTE: GOOGLE'S "ANDROID AT WORK" SESSION MADE MENTION OF ANDROID M, BUT THE SCHEDULE HAS SINCE BEEN UPDATED TO REMOVE IT.) * More details about the future of Google Glass? That would be ideal, especially since they're sick of everyone proclaiming Glass is dead. * New Android Wear goods to show, possibly including new product types. * Free stuff for attendees, because history. * Awesomeness, fun and excitement aplenty. And, you know, your typical geeky developer sessions to help attendees understand what goes into developing for Android, Chrome and the mobile web. Phandroid will be right there in San Francisco to see it all go down so keep that in mind if you're yearning for coverage once the day arrives. Be sure to check out the full schedule details right here.
The folks at Oculus Rift have confirmed a final shipping window for the consumer edition of their virtual reality headset. It'll be out at some point in Q1 2016, with pre-sales for the device commencing this Wednesday, they've announced. With that, the company released some final renders of what the consumer product will look like once it touches ground next year. You'll find that it's a refined version of the Crescent Bay prototype that they've been worked on largely throughout its entire development, which is great considering that design was already pretty slick. Developers have had their hands dipped in the Oculus Rift SDK for quite some time now, and the company has assured us that the earliest efforts will be showcased at their big E3 showing next month. While other companies have already started introducing viable virtual reality solutions -- either through the use of smartphone-augmented units like the Samsung Gear VR or standalone goodness such as HTC's Re Vive -- but Oculus Rift still seems poised to present one of the most ambitious consumer-ready virtual reality experiences to date. We'll have to wait until June to find out what, exactly, they're looking to do to make that happen. [via Oculus Rift]
We knew the Oppo R7 would have a fair bit of metal in its skeletal makeup, but new details reveal that this thing is metallic all around. The Oppo R7 will have a metal unibody design, according to recent information that has come to light. Oppo will tout the fact that the device has been put through a whopping 48 finishing processes to make for a nice metallic look and feel. The device will also still have some slight curvature to it, we're told. It'll improve looks, naturally, but should also make it a lot more comfortable to hold in the hand. Oppo isn't the first company to accomplish this, but we're appreciative of it nevertheless. Other known specs and features of the Oppo R7 are a 4.7-inch 1080p display, 20.7-megapixel rear camera, Octa-core MediaTek processor, 2000mAh battery with VOOC fast charging, "2.5D" curved glass and that it'll be just 4.85mm thin. All is scheduled to be told at some point later this month.
When you get a new phone, like the Samsung Galaxy S6, there are a bunch of things you should do first. Some of the things are obvious, but others you may have overlooked. At the launch of the Galaxy S6 we wrote about 13 things every Galaxy S6 owner should do, and now we're back with a video version of the list. Below you will find 12 things in about 7 minutes that you should do right now.
READ THE FULL STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS: 13 THINGS EVERY SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 OWNER SHOULD DOKeep in mind that all of these things will also work on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. If you have the Edge you'll also want to check out our guide (and video) for all the special Edge Screen features. Whether you have the regular Galaxy S6, or the fancy Galaxy S6 Edge, we've got you covered. CHECK THE LIST BELOW FOR EVEN MORE GALAXY S6 RESOURCES: * Samsung Galaxy S6 Review * 13 things every Samsung Galaxy S6 owner should do * Best Samsung Galaxy S6 cases * Buyers Guide: Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge? * 50+ Samsung Galaxy S6 Tips & Tricks
Xiaomi today officially unveiled that their Mi Note Pro, a 5.7-inch Quad HD device with a line of specs that will make any participant of the mobile arms race sweat, will launch May 12th. Here's the spec sheet being touted in case you needed a refrsher of what's inside: * 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor * 4GB LPDDR4 RAM * 64GB eMMC 5.0 flash storage * 5.7″ 2K (2560 x 1440) display from Sharp/JDI (515 PPI) * Sunlight Display technology for unparalleled outdoor visibility * 13MP camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) * 4G Dual SIM * Supports LTE CAT 9 for up to 450Mbps download speeds * Hardware-optimized Hi-Fi audio for incredible sound quality * High-capacity 3090mAh battery, supports Quick Charge 2.0 (charges up to 70% in 1 hour) * Incredible craftsmanship with an aluminum frame and curved 2.5D and 3D glass on the front and back All of that is coming in at an incredible price point of RMB2999 (about US$483). That's a lot of bang for that amount of buck so it certainly has our attention. Unfortunately it does appear you'll have to import this thing as Xiaomi has only announced plans to make the Mi Note Pro available online in their home base of China starting May 12th.
If you signed up to be notified about Project Fi's availability and wanted to sign up as soon as the service was ready, you'll want to check your inbox -- Google is starting to send out the first batch of invites. If you aren't aware, Project Fi is the company's new wireless service built on the backs of Sprint and T-Mobile's networks. It features a simplified and sensible data plan, a flat rate for talk and text, and cellular technology that'll automatically and seamlessly make sure you're on the best available network. You can find out more in our original post about the official launch right here. So what's it like to be whisked into this new program? Things are as Google announced for the most part -- they ask you how much data you want (after reminding you that any unused data will be refunded to you) and ask you if you want to buy a Nexus 6 or use an existing one. You sign up with all your relevant details and once you receive your phone and / or SIM card you'll be good to go. There is one unfortunate caveat that we didn't foresee, though -- porting your Google Voice number over to Project Fi will essentially nuke your Google Voice account. There's a long list of features that won't be supported if you port your number: * Making and receiving calls using Google Talk, Google Voice apps, or Obihai devices * You won't be able to use Google Voice for texting or visual voicemail * Text, voicemail and call history is no longer saved in Google Voice * If you've already turned on Google Voice text messages and voicemails in Hangouts, they'll continue to be available only in Hangouts * These Google Voice settings aren’t available: spam filtering, call recording, call switch, conference calling on the fly, caller ID (incoming), and outgoing caller ID (anonymous Caller ID). * As part of signing up for Project Fi, Google Voice apps and the website won't be available. That's a pretty long list. What it does come with are the absolute basics you'd expect, which is an archive of your prior calls, texts, voicemails and voicemail greeting. That said, you aren't required to port your Google Voice number over to sign up for Project Fi so you're just as free to choose a new phone number while continuing to use Google Voice as you always have. It's important to remember that many of the aforementioned features are standard features of Project Fi so you're not actually losing much functionality -- you just won't have the functionality within the Google Voice bubble. We're not sure why Google had to make so many sacrifices to make this happen -- and you can be certain we'll ask -- but be sure to consider everything carefully before you make any sudden moves. Knowing all that, if you have an invite and have every intention of giving Project Fi a spin let us know in the comments below! [via Reddit]
If you're looking for the hit puzzle game Threes! on the Google Play Store -- you wont find it. It's gone. Threes! developer Asher Vollmer revealed today that his game has officially been removed from the Play Store over his use of the term "2048" (another popular puzzle game based off of Threes!) in the app's description. Also known as keyword stuffing or spam, the practice is strictly prohibited on Google Play, something we talked about in a previous post back when Google first introduced the changes to their developer policies late last year. While it's easy to feel little sympathy for the developer, the sudden take down of Threes! -- which had amassed hundreds of thousands of downloads worldwide -- seems to have occurred without warning. If nothing else, this high profile app/game suspension once again highlights Google's need for better developer relations. You can read more about our thoughts on that topic right HERE. Download on Google Play: Threes! (no longer available)
Around the Phandroid offices, we like to refer to Android 5.1 as the _real_ Lollipop update, patching up bugs and improving UI weirdness. It's the update Android 5.0 _should_ have been. For Motorola fans, it's been a sort of roller coaster with the company quick to push out updates to some devices (Moto X 2014), while leaving others out in the cold (Moto X 2013). It seems the manufacturer is finally ready to unleash a world of Lollipop lovin' to both versions of the Moto X, with new Android 5.1 release notes posted onto their support site. Even the Moto E (2nd Gen) is tagging along, with 5.1 notes for that device showing up as well. The changelog lists all sorts of changes and improvements, with new security features, performance enhancements, and of course, a healthy helping of bug fixes that were introduced in 5.1. The full list can be found below. NOTIFICATIONS & INTERRUPTIONS * Block interruptions until your next alarm. This choice will show only when you have an alarm set within the next 12 hours. It will prevent you from missing an alarm when you choose ‘No interruptions’. * You can choose to enter a scheduled downtime early. For example, if you are going to bed early and change your notification settings, you can choose “Until your downtime ends”. This option will be visible when within 4 hours of the scheduled start of your downtime. * Adds icons to the volume settings panel that match those that will show in the status bar (None, Priority). * You can now alter notification volume controls while media is playing. With the volume controls showing, a tap on the bell icon will bring up notification volume controls. HEADS-UP NOTIFICATIONS - In addition to dismissing a heads-up notification, you can now swipe it up to remove it from your screen. It will remain in your notifications tray and you can dismiss it later. QUICK SETTINGS - You can quickly select different Wi-Fi access points or different paired Bluetooth devices with a new pull-down menu on each tile. Conditional settings tiles that only show if you use the feature - like “Invert Colors” or “Hotspot” - can now be hidden via a long-press on the tile. CAMERA - Reduces noise in low-light shots and improves responsiveness of the viewfinder with the front-facing camera (selfie). DEVICE PROTECTION - Lost or stolen devices will remain locked until you sign in with your Google account, even if reset to factory settings. Note that you must have a Google account on the device to automatically enable this feature and set a PIN, password or pattern screen lock. PERFORMANCE - Improvements in the Android Runtime (ART) lead to faster application launch times. LOCKSCREEN - If you have enabled Ambient Display, the minimum swipe distance has increased to reduce accidental interactions. Bug Fixes ISSUES FIXED IN THIS RELEASE INCLUDE: * Clock in the status bar isn’t updating and alarms are not going off * Can’t delete SMS messages when the SIM card is full * No ringer audio while making an outgoing call * Calculator floating point calculations * Chrome crashes on launch * Frequent restarts while watching Netflix * Wi-Fi will not automatically reconnect to your home Wi-Fi * Wi-Fi not connecting after being idle all night * Wi-Fi connection issues with multiple routers in one location * Bluetooth discovery is not triggered when you refresh settings * CPU wakelocks that contribute to heavier battery drain * Connection and synchronization issues with MS Exchange servers * Incorrect default APN * Can’t unlock the SIM with a PIN/PUK code * Can’t play ‘pinned’ content * General stability improvements At the time of writing we have release notes for the original Motorola Moto X, Motorola Moto X 2014 (Pure Edition and AT&T models), and the Motorola Moto E 2015. It doesn't seem the rollout has started quite yet, but you can rest assured it's just around the corner. Anyone excited? [Motorola 1, 2, 3, 4]
If you're struggling to find the perfect gift for mom this Mother's Day, the HTC Re portable camera is just as good a gift as any. The go-anwhere camera is seeing a $50 discount, dropping from $200 to only $150 for a limited time. While that's not the lowest we've price we've seen the camera listed for (Best Buy was recently selling them for $100), HTC's deal does come with $60 in free accessories. It's nothing too crazy, just a protection pack, bar mount (for bikes and whatnot), and clip mount (backpacks) -- but it's enough that it'll make a complete gift. Or, pick up an HTC Re for yourself. Don't worry, we wont tell anyone. We were wary at first, but fell in love with ours during our recent trip to Barcelona. You'd better hurry, the deal is only available until May 10th. Link provided below. [HTC Re Deal]
It's not the software update Nexus 9 owners were expecting, but Google's 9-inch tablet is now receiving a small (23.3MB) update to 5.0.2. It's definitely surprising. A few days ago the Nexus 9 was the only Nexus Tablet that didn't have Android 5.1.1 factory images posted by Google. This seemed to hint at something dire, but later a Googler mentioned on Google+ that Android 5.1.1 was, in fact, soon headed to the tablet, only delayed because of a few last minute bugs. Buggy software isn't fun and Lollipop has been plagued with them since the initial 5.0 rollout. So, waiting a little longer for a bug-free update was definitely in everyone's best interest, no matter how frustrating. We know the Nexus 9 feels like the black sheep of the Nexus family and before you get too upset, it's entirely possible 5.0.2 is simply a necessary pit stop on the road to to 5.1.1. If nothing else, this could mean that Android 5.1 update is even closer than ever.