Google finally releases the Android Wear 2.0 along with new LG Watches

watch-sport-and-style

The long awaited Android Wear 2.0 update is finally here. The LG Watch Sport and Style are the first devices to launch with it. 

The Android Wear 2.0 update is the first major update since the launch of the OS. It brings many new features and promises to make the most of every minute. Possibly the biggest new feature is the new way to use apps. There is now a Play Store app for the watch and the apps are installed directly to the watch. That means way better app experience for the iPhone users.

The watch faces also get new features. They now bring more information and actions from apps. The Google Fit can now – finally – really track your pace, calories, distance and heart rate. The messaging has been improved drastically as the new Android Wear 2.0 brings keyboard, handwriting, emoji drawing and Smart Reply alongside the voice dictating. Google Assistant is also built into the OS as is Android Pay.

The new LG Watch Sport and Style are the first devices to launch with Android Wear 2.0. The Sport variant is the more high-end one with a larger 1.38″ P-OLED display, 768 MB of RAM, 430 mAh battery and IP68 certification.

The Style has a 1.2″ P-OLED display, 512 MB of RAM, 240 mAh battery and IP67 protection. Both watches are made out of metal and have Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC, 4 GB of Storage and a bunch of sensors. Although, the Style doesn’t get the heart rate sensor.

The LG Watch Sport is priced at $349 and Style at $249. Sales will start on 10 February in the US.

The Android Wear 2.0 will be available for the supported watches in the coming weeks.

Current watches getting Android Wear 2.0 include: ASUS ZenWatch 2 & 3, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Casio PRO TREK Smart, Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Wander, Huawei Watch, LG G Watch R, LG Watch Urbane & 2nd Edition LTE, Michael Kors Access Smartwatches, Moto 360 2nd Gen, Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 Sport, New Balance RunIQ, Nixon Mission, Polar M600 and TAG Heuer Connected.

Source: Google

Upcoming Nexus Launcher leaks

 

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Android Police has released leaked images and animations that show upcoming changes to the home screen of Nexus devices. 

Android Police reminds that the leak is not absolutely sure but is at the same time very confident. This is the very first leak so we have no idea how correct it is.

According to the leaks, Google will remove the app drawer icon and replace it with a sliding gesture and a tiny arrow. The search bar would also be replaced by a G button on the top left and a date information widget on the right.

If the leak is correct, the new home screen design would be available for the 2016 Nexus phones first as a Nexus Launcher. There’s no information if it would became available for non-Nexus devices later.

Source and the animation: Android Police

Upcoming smartphone trends of 2016

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Finally Superzeppo is back and we take a look at the upcoming smartphones of 2016. Prepare your reading muscles.

The 2016 smartphone market looks quite stagnant at the moment. The best seller seems to be the Samsung Galaxy S7, a mild update to last year’s S6. iPhone 6s (& Plus) is, of course, selling well despite its age. HTC doesn’t seem to do to bad either with HTC 10, possibly the best smartphone of 2016 so far.

Lenovo just launched their flagship Moto Z phones and is getting great response. OnePlus 3 stepped up the company’s game in build quality category and still offers excellent price-to-features ratio costing half of the other flagships.

Trends

The year 2016 pretty much continues the trends of 2015. From the mid-range to the absolute flagships, consumers can expect brilliant build quality and excellent materials. The flagship phones are expected to be better than the phones that cost half as much and that’s how modularity has popped up this year. LG G5 brought the replaceable battery / module slot and Lenovo’s Moto Mods take the modularity to easier level.

Processors seem to finally be powerful enough that pretty much no one cares to talk too much about them. However this year seems to be the year of Qualcomm again as the Snapdragon 820 easily beats Samsung competing chip.

Dual cameras are the thing of 2016. Next iPhone will have some kind of dual camera setup and for example the Huawei P9 has dual cameras to let more light to the sensor.

Thickness and battery capacity continue their fight. Lenovo decided to make both with Moto Z and Moto Z Force. The first is ridiculously thin and has smaller battery and the latter has some thickness and much more powerful battery.

There are a lot of new smartphones coming up this year. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

iPhone 7 or 6SE

iphone-7-leak

Rumor mill around the next iPhone is huge and no one is even sure about its name. Because the design is going to be very similar to the one’s before, the latest rumors even suggest the 6SE name, a change to Apple’s Tick-Tock just like Intel is doing.

Possibly the biggest talking point of the upcoming iPhone is the headphone jack. Even though some leaked chip images still suggest a 3.5 mm headphone jack, most of the renders, leaks and rumors claim that Apple will ditch the ancient audio connector and run the audio through the Lightning port instead.

Lenovo out-Appled Apple with their Moto Z devices but unlike the upcoming iPhone, the Moto Z is razor thin at 5.3 mm. Thickness should not be a reason to drop the headphone jack as the iPhone is rumored to be almost the same thickness as its predecessor. However, the headphone jack uses a lot of space inside the phone and we are also rumored to get a larger battery this year.

The iPhone 6SE or 7 is also rumored to say goodbye to the ugly antenna bands and add a new color, blue. The larger Plus or Pro version is going to have some kind of a dual camera setup but cameras in all renders are protruding. According to Evan Bass, the next iPhones will be released on September 16th.

Note 7

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Samsung is going to make a name change with this year’s Note. The company wants to clarify their device smartphone lineup by skipping the Note 6 and having the S and Note at the same number.

According to the rumors and leaks, Samsung will bring the curved display and the S-Pen back together after one two years. The QHD AMOLED display will measure at 5.7 or 5.8 inches and be curved on both sides. In the current Samsung way, the back will also be curved and made out of glass.

Reportedly, Samsung will also bump the base storage option up to 64 gigabytes. After a few smartphones with 6 GB of RAM, it will not come as a surprise that Samsung will fit the Note 7 with 6 gigs as well. The processor will be either Exynos 8893 or Snapdragon 821 but after the difference in performance between the Exynos and Snapdragon Galaxy S7s, Samsung might choose just one chip even though the performance of both of the chips is more than enough for the current TouchWiz.

Cameras will be taken from the Galaxy S7, which is not a bad thing at all as the S7 is still the camera to beat at least on the rear camera competition. What will be new, is the iris scanner. Somehow I’m personally not sold on that, as fingerprint will be much much easier and faster way to use to unlock the device. Battery will be either 3600 or 4000 mAh and the phone will be released on August 2nd.

HTC Nexie

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We have heard various stories about this year’s Nexus phones. Some say that Huawei will be updating the Nexus 6P and HTC will only make the smaller Nexus. The most trusted rumor at the moment is that HTC will make both Nexus phones, a 5.2 Nexus 5X successor and a 5.5″ one to replace the 6P.

Besides the display size, we know very little. According, again, to Evan Blass, the smaller HTC Nexus will have a 1080p display and a Snapdragon 820 SoC. The logical upgrade to the larger Nexus would be a QHD display and a Snapdragon 821 SoC.

Sources:

Android Police, Seeko, Android Authority

Google releases Android N developer preview

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Google has released the first developer preview of the Android N with Android Beta program. 

The next version of Android is now available for selected Nexus and Android One devices as a developer preview. It looks like the Nexus 5 will not receive the Android N update as it’s left out of the preview program.

There are two ways to update a Nexus device to the preview version. The image can be downloaded directly from Google and flashed to the phone with Android Studio. The second option is to join the beta program to receive updates over the air. The beta program site is currently down so we are not sure if it’s really an option.

The biggest new feature of the Android N is the multi-window or split-screen multitasking. The feature Samsung has had for ages is finally available in the stock Android. There are also some adjustments on the notifications and the Doze.

I’ll be joining the beta program when possible to be one of the firsts to try out the next Android.

Source: Google

HTC rumored to make 2016 Nexus phones

According to a Twitter rumor, HTC is going to manufacture the next Nexus phones later this year.

Rumors of HTC making the next Nexus phones started a while ago and now a trusted HTC leaker LlabTooFeR tweeted telling the codenames for the devices.

The codenames are T50 and T55. The closest codename to them is T6 which was sold as One Max, a 6″ phablet. If that is to be compared, the 2016 Nexus phones might have 5″ and 5.5″  displays.

So what to expect? Obviously HTC is known for its design and build quality as well as the Boomsound speakers. After two years Google probably doesn’t want to go back to LCD displays in its flagship so an AMOLED panel might be a necessity. Also the huge top and bottom bezels could be shrieked and the camera should possibly be made by someone else than HTC.

Source: LlabTooFeR on Twitter

Nexus 6P bends really easily

nexus-6p

Bendgate is back. This time it’s the Google’s flagship phone that gets destroyed completely.

A YouTuber called JerryRigEverything has released a video that reveals the weak structure of the Google Nexus 6P. The video shows that bending the Huawei built flagship phone doesn’t need too much force.

In the video Jerry points out that the 6P has a free floating aluminium back inside the outer case. They are held together by a plastic piece which is connected to the inner aluminium body with so called dovetail joints.

The other weak part is the positioning of the sleep and wake button. It’s placed perfectly at the place motherboard ends and the battery starts. As the aluminium is at its thinnest at the same point, it’s a natural place for the device to break in half.

The weakness of possibly the best Android phone of the year is alerting. Even though the phone needs to be bend just right to get it broke that spectacularly, smaller damage can be made more easily. Hopefully Google or Huawei steps up and explains the situation. Apple did replace some of the bent iPhone 6 Plus devices last year, will Google and Huawei do the same?

Pixel C brings Android to Pixel lineup

pixel-c

At the Nexus event, Google also unveiled an Android-based tablet called Pixel C. The premium tablet competes with Surface and iPad Pro. 

So there’s no Nexus tablet this year. Instead we get the Pixel C, a Google designed and built premium tablet running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It has a 10.2″ 2560x1800p LCD display, NVIDIA Tegra X1 SoC, 3GB of RAM and a USB Type-C charging port. The industrial design is inspired by previous Pixel products with boxy angles and understated details. The bezels are relatively large and the back has the light bar previously seen in Chromebook Pixel. The bar shows battery charge when double tapped.

The keyboard is a paid accessory but a major selling point. It connects with strong magnets and can be adjusted to an angle between 100° and 130° without a kickstand. The keyboard charges wirelessly when folded against the tablet and doesn’t need to be charged via cable.

The Pixel C starts at $499 and the keyboard costs $149. Both will be available for holidays.

Source: Google