Google’s New Pixel Device Lineup 2016

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Google’s New Pixel Device Lineup 2016

pixelxl

 

Googles Key Notes took place today October 4th 2016 and there was a lot of new tech devices announced everything from a New Chromecast with 4K capabilities to the new long awaited Pixel phones. The Key Note live stream was really good and if you missed it because you were working like me you can watch it HERE.

Google is really diving into Daydream which is Googles VR environment along with Google assistant. You can already get a great feel for how Google Assistant can help you with everyday task by trying out Googles new app ALLO. Google Assistant is driven by machine learning making it possible to have conversation with Google just like you are talking with a real person. Google Assistant understand the context of the conversation by understand past interactions and what you are currently doing on your device.

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Google Pixel

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ok ok enough about the software lets talk about all these new devices starting with Googles new flagship devices the Pixel and Pixel XL. Both device are basically the same spec sheet with the only major differences being battery 2,770-3450 mAh and display 5.0-5.5 inches. Base models start at $649.99 for the pixel and $769.99 for the Pixel XL. If you look at the specs below you will find that there are many comparable devices on the market right now that you can get for just 400.00 I think Google has priced there devices a little high this year. But if you are like me and have to have the latest and the greatest then you can pre-order your device HERE 

Glass supervisor with Gorilla® Glass 4 coating
Memory 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
Storage 32 or 128Gb
Processor Snapdragon 821; MSM8996 pro AB Quad Core 2+2 Kryo 2.15GHz / 1.6GHz
Main Camera 12.3MP IMX378 1.55μm PDAF + LDAF f/2.0 Aperture
Front Camera 8MP IMX179 1.4µm f/2.4 Aperture Fixed focus
Video 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps 4K @ 30fps
Ports and Slots
USB Type-C USB 3.0
3.5mm headset jack
Single SIM
Media
Single bottom-firing speaker
 GPS
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO
BT 4.2
NFC
Works on all Major US carriers
switch
Google also introduce the Quick Switch Adapter. Just connect your old iPhone® or Android device to your new Pixel with the Quick Switch Adapter.* Then follow the on screen directions and all your content will get copied over to your new Pixel device. Look out Apple Google just joined the game.!!!

 Google Home

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Google Home is a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own Google, always ready to help. Just start with, “Ok Google”.  This device is Googles attempt to compete with The Amazon Echo powered by alexa and I think Google is going to brings some stiff competition. Google Home can automate many task around your house, here are some examples.

Alarm, Calculator, Calendar, Delight, Dictionary, Easter eggs, Facts & Info, Finance, Flight information, Games, IFTTT, Learn more, Light control, Local guide, Mobile app audio streaming, Multi-room audio, Music, My day, News, Nutrition, Podcasts, Radio, Shopping list, Smart plugs and switch control, Speaker streaming and control, Sports, Thermostat control, Timer, Traffic, Translation, TV streaming and control, & Weather
I am really looking forward to getting at least 3 Google Home device in my home and start the conversation with Google. If you are interesting in this kind of home automation then you can pre-order Google Home HERE

Google Home WIFI

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Google’s new home wifi device was also announced in the Key Note. Home WIFI from Google can be paired up with as many Home WIFI routers as need to create the coverage you need for from house.  you can control these routers with a simple app. The Google Wifi app gives you total control over your network. Easily share your Wi-Fi password, see what devices are online, and prioritize them for better performance. Google Wifi’s family controls allow you to pause the signal to your children’s devices, like at bedtime or dinnertime. Google Home WIFI isnt available at yet but should becoming later this year so keep a look out. I am planning on picking up 3 of them for amazing coverage in my home as soon as they become available.

Chromecast Ultra

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The Chromecast Ultra stream up to 4K Ultra HD & HDR picture quality over your WiFi network with Chromecast Ultra, a streaming device that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. Chromecast Ultra provides fast, reliable performance with minimal buffering and smoother streaming. you can also use your iPhone®, iPad®, Android device, or laptop to stream thousands of Cast-enabled apps. If you loved last years model of chromecast then you will love this one with better hardware and 4K video. Google currently has this device marked as Coming Soon so check it out HEREI do think that at $69.99 it is priced a little high but I am sure Google will drop the price in a couple months down to 50 bucks and that will be the time to pick up a couple. If you dont need 4k you can still pick up the Normal Chromecast for just $35.

Daydream View

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Daydream View is a VR headset and controller by Google that lets you explore new worlds, kick back in your personal VR cinema, and play games that put you at the center of action. This is Google’s take on VR headset I and really like it. I have owned a couple Samsung VR headsets and while they are fun for a while they are a little uncomfortable. The fact that Google made the Daydream View out of mostly fabrics is really nice and the included controller implementation looks sick. Now that Google is entering the realm of VR I am really excited to see where they will take us. If you pre-order a Google Pixel then you will get a email to claim a free Daydream View and I for one cant wait to play with mine. If you want to see more on these products please subscribe to my YOUTUBE channel to catch all the coverage. what are your thoughts on these new products and price points? Please leave your comments below.

 

RootJunky out.

Android Nougat 7.0 Official

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Android Nougat 7.0 Official

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OTA UPDATES AND FIRMWARE

Google has finally released the latest installment of there OS, Android Nougat 7.0 and if you are looking for the firmware and ota update files then you can come to the right place. First lets talk about the firmware update files that we have and how to install them. Check out all the latest features at Googles official page HERE

There are 2 options to install these ota update files which is really nice.

  1. copy the update.zip to your sdcard then boot into stock Android recovery with holding volume down and power and then selecting apply update from sdcard.
  2. Boot into stock Android recovery with holding volume down and power and then selecting apply update from adb. Then from the computer run command adb sideload (nameofotaupdate.zip)

Note: you can use these ota updates from either being on Android N developer preview or from being on stock Marshmallow the latest firmware and the ota update will work just fine. The Reason the the ota update will work is because it contains a full system flash and all the files needed.

OTA UPDATE REQUIREMENT

1. bootloader unlocked or locked either will work

2. device on stock firmware with stock recovery

3. they will not work with TWRP or a custom rom installed.

DOWNLOAD LINKS BUILD NRD90M

Nexus 5X

Nexus 6

Nexus 6P

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Nexus Player

More files will be added once they are available.

Official Firmware With Fixed Flash Files

These files are the stock Android Nougat Firmware but they have been update to work correctly with .bat flash files for windows and .sh flash files for mac or linux. These repackaged firmwares also includes a No wipe options which will allow you to keep your app data on the device and not wipe it. you can use these file to update or restore your nexus device even coming from a different rom should work.

How to Flash these files

  1. Boot into bootloader mode by holding volume down and power
  2. plug device into the computer and double click on the .bat file you want to use.  For Mac and Linux use the .sh files by opening Terminal and cd to the director then use ./nameofflashfile.sh to run the script.
  3. watch the script and follow its instructions. thats it.

DOWNLOAD LINKS TO FIRMWARE BUILD NRD90M

Nexus 5X

Nexus 6

Nexus 6P

Nexus 9

Nexus Player

More files will be added once they are available.

You can also download the firmware straight from Google HERE

Discovering the Hidden Power of Android

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How to harness the full power of your Android devices.

 

Android Devices today are very powerful; many of them have faster processors than your 5 year old laptop, and a higher screen resolution than that old 480p tv you bought 10 years ago. But even today, we are still faced with the fact that there are just some things that you cannot do on a smartphone that you can do on a laptop. Things like using a keyboard and mouse, or a wired controller, or being able to get into the main filesystem of your device etc. But today I am going to be showing you a few neat tricks that you can use to make these things possible.

 

Keyboard and mouse support using an OTG cable

Have you ever wanted to use your phone like a computer, to write that book report, or important document you are working on? But then you realize that your phone does not have a usb port to actually support this feature? Well all is not lost, because there is a way to make this possible. You can use a USB OTG cable to harness the power of using a keyboard, and mouse and to plug in usb drives to Android. Not only are these cables very useful, they are very cheap, some selling for just a few dollars depending where you get them from. They are very easy to find on Ebay.com and Amazon.com.

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Best of all, you do not have to do much of anything to get this working, since android already has this support of keyboards and mice built in. As for usb support, all phones are different and some phones require root and a root file browser, such as ES File Explorer, or Solid File Explorer to take advantage of using USB OTG storage.

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How to gain access to the hidden parts of Android

For those of us who like to be able to tinker and tweak our devices, or to be able to see what makes our devices tick, there is a way for us to be able to do this. Since Android is a form of linux, we are able to gain what we call Root access to a device. This root access gives us the ability to do many advanced tasks on our phones that are not possible to for the average user to do. Things such as:

  • Access and change the main filesystem using a file browser
  • Access the terminal emulator
  • Add or remove system apps to free up space
  • Backup and restore apps using titanium backup
  • Change the color and look of many parts of the system, such as the status bar menu items etc.
  • Flash a custom recovery, and install custom roms
  • Overclock the processor to make the phone faster, or underclock it to save battery life
  • Use a custom audio driver such as Viper for Android
  • The possibilities are basically endless!

 

Rooting not only does all of this to your current device, but you can also do this with an older android device and give it a second life; the after life 🙂

 

Conclusion

So to sum it all up, the possible ways to use your Android device to the fullest are basically endless. The features that i have talked about here are just scratching the surface when it comes to the possibilities that Android holds. So before you go and think about buying that next Iphone, think to yourself what things can I do with an Android that i can’t do on Iphone.

 

By: Tristin L.

Google and Apple Hate Italians

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Google and Apple hate Italians, Samsung hates the British but One Plus likes everyone.

First the back story

For those that don’t know me, I started writing for the RootJunky website about a month ago. My last post was a review of the Nexus 6P, it’s a great device by the way. Check out the review here. I ended that post with:

“Well it (Nexus 6P) may be the best value for your dollar unless you are Italian. Why am I picking on the Italians? Well I’m not, but come back to view my next post and find out who is”

So who is picking on the Italians? Well it looks like Google and Apples are teaming up against the country that brought pizza to the world.

Ok there are a few things that I should say right off the bat. I am not an economist or an accountant. I am not even a professional journalist. I am just a guy that likes tech and has opinions to share. This week I would like to share some interesting thing that I found when reviewing the price for the Nexus 6P.

I live in Canada and my good friend Tom the RootJunky lives in the USofA. It is standard knowledge that technology items are cheaper south of the border but after you work out the exchange it is usually a wash. A few bucks here or there, no big deal. While writing my review I had watched an angry Damir Franc rant about the price of the Nexus in German. I decided to investigate further.

Investigating prices

I started my investigation by picking a few countries spread throughout our little planet. I looked at the rate of exchange; this was in early november, and compared prices. Have a look at what i found out below.

6p

 

nexus 6P

If you compare the prices for the 32gb, 64gb, and 128gb models, Italians are paying an average of $285.58 extra for their phones. That sucks! Small wonder why Damir was so upset. He lives in Germany not Italy, but i am sure that most countries that use the Euro are very close in price. Things are not much better in New Zealand or the United Kingdom. My fellow Canadians are doing ok but the pacific side of the world, not so much. Australia is overcharged by $160, Japan by $130 and India by about a hundred dollars. Why? I have not clue. Honestly i don’t know why this happens. I decided to investigate a little further.

I thought to myself that this may be a Google thing? Perhaps Apple does it differently? Nope have a look at there numbers below.

6s

iphone 6s

The iphone 6s had nearly identical overcharges when compared to the 6p. Uk, Italy, Australia and New Zealand were within $15 dollars of the Nexus overcharge amount. Again, my hockey playing brethren had the best deal at $65 overcharge but those iphones are so damned expensive already. Japan did ok but India got treated like an Italian stepson by accounting department at Apple. Again I am asking why? Perhaps both companies have some long standing vendetta against spaghetti and are now planning to make the entire country suffer?

Did samsung come out any better? Not really. Their chart and numbers are below. Samsung was a little nicer to the Italians and India but they seem to dislike the people that brought us Dr. Who. Your average Brit is paying over $200 more than an american for the same phone. The south Korean company seems to like Canadians, as we are pay about $3 less than anyone else. As a Canadian all I can say is “sorry about that, eh.”

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Galaxy 6 Edge

Throughout this entire time I was researching prices, the question of why kept on coming around and I had not found a solid answer. While looking for that answer I did question my methods. I was using a dollar conversion rate from a random day in November, the prices I used for the phones were just pulled off of websites that were easily translated. My Japanese and Hindi are a little rusty so perhaps I could have found better prices had I been able to do some comparison shopping. Even with all my possible errors in approaching there is a pattern. Pricing is not even across the globe. There has to be a reason.

After looking at these three phones I started to think that this must be some kind of tariff effect. The taxes in these countries are set up to penalize technology. Not being an economist, I don’t understand the full workings of trade tariffs and taxes but we have all read about them from time to time and know that they exist and their basic workings. This was a pill I could swallow. It was not a perfect answer but the UK and European Union seem to pay higher rates for phones while Canadia seems to remain on par with the US. This pattern seemed repeatable. This seemed to make sense until i looked at OnePlus. Check out their numbers below.

1+2

OnePlus 2

OnePlus can somehow manage to be “fair” to everyone’s wallet, never mind what kind of bills you put into it. Looking at this kind of blows that tariff/tax idea out of the water. If OnePlus can keep their phones to within $107, why can’t everyone else? With OnePlus there are even some countries that are paying less than the United States. Canada, Japan and India pay less for the OnePlus 2 after conversation to US OnePlus .

 

Conclusion

I would like to know what others think but here is my two sense. Samsung, Google and Apple charge more because…… well I think it is because they can.  I don’t really think that any company would have it our for one country or another.  That is not how the world works, but the world does run on money.  OnePlus is a new company that is trying gain a reputation for giving its customers the best bang for your buck. You can’t do that and ask Italians to pay $280 more, all at the same time. OnePlus wants and needs the sale and that is reflected in the price. These other three phones are vying for premium spots in the market. They want you to associate them as top end. One way to do that is increase the price. If it is expensive lots of people will assume that it has value. That is my best guess.

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts on this, especial if you are from any of the listed countries.  Have you been able to find better deal?  Area you leaning toward other OEMs like OnePlus because they are giving you a fair deal?  I would be interested in hearing what you think.

 

Until next time

E. Tuesday

Nexus 6P

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Nexus 6 P

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What does it mean to be a nexus phone? Is it a cutting edge flagship? Perhaps something meant for developers and enthusiasts? A bang for your buck champion?  It should be easy but it is a hard thing to explain the nexus brand.  Nexus phones have meant a lot of different things to people over the years.  Even Google’s own vision has shifted a little after each year.  Each time trying to adjust, trying to find the perfect vision and never quite getting there.  Knowing that you can’t please all the people all of the time, Google decided to have two phones this year, two visions of perfection. We are going to look at the phone marked with a P, the Nexus 6P.

The one trait that has remained the same about nexus phones; they push the limits.  They try to take what is current and improve it.  They take new technology and implement it.  Has Google succeeded with this year’s vision? Let’s review a few key areas and find out.

 

Look and Feel

The first thing that I actually noticed about this phone was how thin it felt in my hand; then I notice how good it felt, sturdy and well built. That something that told my fingers “this phone needs to have some thickness to it” faded after using it for a while. The phone does have some heft (178g) and I like that.  Huawei has made a solid phone for Google and that is a feeling that has not faded.

 

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The speakers are on the front, the only place for speakers in my opinion, and they blend in very well with the front fascia.  The antenna lines on the four corners works well and I have even started to like the camera visor. Early leaks on the internet made the visor look as if it protruded out like an ugly growth.  Even now pictures don’t do it justice.  In the hand and in person the visor looks to be part of the phone, a natural extension.  The power and volume rocker are located on the right hand side.  They sit just above half way to allow some single handed use.  The SIM card slot can be found on the left side.  Look to the back for a fingerprint sensor.  Perfect placement!  I would like to see the volume and power back there as well.  LG really has something with their “Buttons on the back” phone design. I hope more companies take inspiration from their design. Overall this makes for a very elegant phone and I would like to stop there but I can’t.

On the bottom portion of the back side of the phone is a plastic cover.  The plastic cover is there for antenna signals access and covers a few screws used to keep this thing together. The plastic cover really hurts the phones look.  There is a lot of effort to match the plastic and aluminum but plastic is plastic and aluminum is aluminum. You can’t hide that. Most people will put a case over their phone and that will moot the point but I still find this to be a hard pill to swallow.  80% of the phone is beautiful; the plastic cover is the other 20%.

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Multimedia experience

At 5.7 inches this is a big and beautiful display.  The colours really pop and this is to be expected from an AMOLED screen.  If there is too much colour for your eyes to handle you do have a built in option.  You can use the sRGB colour mode found in the developer settings if you want the screen to pop a little less. The colours tend to be more true to life with the sRGB enabled.  I have used both settings and I have to admit that I prefer the default settings.  The popping colours look really great when playing any game.  It made the experience come alive, even if it looks to bold to be real.  The only fault I have with the display is the blue/purple haze that washes over the screen when viewing it on an angle. This is most evident when you have a complete white background.  The coloured background of various apps and games can make this effect nonexistent. Just make sure that you are viewing straight on when opening gmail.

Viewing angles aside, this phone seems to be made for Netflix.  The visuals come in clear and crisp with the 518 PPI (pixels per inch) screen and the speakers are great.  This combines to produce a fantastic multimedia experience.  Five minutes into any show or movie and you are hooked.  You will forget that you are watching this on a phone and just enjoy the entertainment.

The speakers were so good that I had to compare them with an HTC phone and their Boom Sound speakers.  I assumed the sound would have been closer but you can definitely perceive better sound emanating from the HTC.  I am not an Audiophile but even my dull ears noticed the depth of sound that came from One M9.  Both are great, both are loud, but HTC had a richer and fuller sound.  I hope that more OEMs bring front facing speakers to their designs; it really makes a world of difference to the multimedia experience.

Under the Hooddsc_0055

For those that like specs, the Nexus 6P does not disappoint.  Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 v2.1 is the chipset that powers this unit.  This Octa-core setup is split in two with a Quad-core 1.55 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57 64-bit setup, mated to an Adreno 430 GPU.   Memory comes in at 3 GB of DDR4 RAM and your choice or 32, 64 or 128 Gigabytes of storage.

Does that translate to a fast phone? Yep it sure does!  This phone is like a big block V8 with Android 6.0 Marshmallow at the wheel.  It handled almost anything that I could throw at it.  Even jumping from Clash of Clans to Star Wars Commander and back again, was handled thoroughly.  Marshmallow many not have come with a change in design language but it put a lot of grease in the gears.  Everything is silky smooth. The phone did get a little warm under heavy use but not noticeably warmer than any phone I have played with in the past.  The only thing that made the phone hiccup or stutter was the camera.  It was an odd thing for me; I tried to replicate the stutter but could not get a consistent result.  Sometime is just wanted to be a little slow getting in or out of the camera app.  Thankfully this was the exception and not the rule. Speaking of the camera…….

Camera

When I first read about DxO Labs giving the Nexus 6p a place beside the Galaxy s6 I was impressed.  The new Samsung combination of hardware and software has walked away with all the prices this year.  Even Apple and Microsoft (Nokia) fanboys have been forced to admit that it is the best Camera of 2015.  The new iPhone 6s may change that but early reviews don’t give me that impression.  Either way the 6P had something to prove.

Does it live up to the hype? In my opinion, no.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a very good camera.  I would even say great comparing it to other nexus phones but I personally do not think it can hang with the Galaxy s6 camera.  Over all the pictures come out rather nice, but there is a tendency to overexpose the whites.  It reminds me of the large megapixel camera HTC was pushing.  Both cameras are great in low light but both tend to overexpose or wash out bright whites.  This may be an effect of larger pixels.  The pixels size for the 6P is 1.55 microns which really isn’t that large considering the HTC’s were 2 microns across each length.  It has the ability to record 4k video but the results are not always great.  Too much motion with the camera or the subjects and things get pixelated, fast. It also suffers under poor lighting conditions compared to the 1080p videos.

That is the bad news and the good news is……. there is lots of good news.  The camera has an eloquent and simply designed interface.  Some have said that it is too simple but I disagree.  Most people want to just point and shoot.  If you are a shutterbug you already have a dSLR camera for adjusting exposure and ISO, etc.  If you really want to have the dSLR experience with a smartphone you could always download and app and have your fun.  Personally I really like the simple design, it make it easy.

The 8 megapixel front facing camera is a dream.  The photos are nice and crisp with great low light performance. The camera will focus quickly and keep the colour very true to life.  It is really one of the best selfie cameras that I have used.  It does not have the “beautification” mode that some cameras sport, but I find that a blessing.   I would rather have my ugly mug look crisp and clear than that waxy makeup image that comes from “beautification” mode.

The 12.3 megapixel Sony sensor is for your rear facing photos and even though it does occasionally overexpose like I mentioned earlier, it is still a great camera.  It is generally quick to launch, fast to focus and the colour representation is pretty good.   The AMOLED screen can throw you off a little but set it to sRGB or put you picture on your monitor to show your true colours shining through.  With an aperture of F2.0 you can get some nice effects playing with your depth of field.025024

 

With an aperture of F2.0 you can get some nice effects playing with your depth of field.  Notice the focus on the background and then the for ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The indoor or low light performance is better than most but still tends to pixelate when there are not enough photons buzzing around.  Optical Image Stabilization would have helped out in this area and could have taken this camera from very good to great.

The video quality is better than most but I recommend sticking to the 1080p resolution settings.  4K sound awesome but the results are for from superior.  It is acceptable for basic scenes with little motion but the camera seems to handle 1080p much cleaner when pushed to the limits.  Try chasing your kids around with the video on you will see lots of pixilation at 4k.  With most TVs and monitor still pushing 1080 I don’t see the need for the 4k video at this time.  I just wish Google would have done it better if they were going to offer it. Even with the nitpicking it is a great camera and great phone.

 

Conclusion

 

When I started to write the conclusion, I was looking at value for your dollar along with what it means to be a Nexus phone.  I am going to leave price off to the side for now and discuss it in a follow up article.  So, that leaves us with the question of what is means to be a nexus phone.  Does this phone push the limits? Is it a cutting edge flagship? Perhaps something meant for developers and enthusiasts?

What I know is the Nexus 6P is the best you can get from Google today.  Does it push limits?  Camera and Battery have never been so good with Nexus phone but others have pushed their limits further. Is it a cutting edge flagship?  Yes, it can run with the flagship crowd but it is part of the pack, not the leader.  Is it meant for developers and enthusiasts?  Despite the e-fuse that will let everyone know this phone’s bootloader has been unlocked, I would say yes.  There are already all kinds of support for this device in the libraries of XDA.  That will only grow over time.

So Google has succeeded? Yes! This is the best Nexus phone to date, as it should be, it the newest.  Is it a perfect phone? No, but it comes close and for the money it may be the best value for your dollar.  This is a phone that you can recommend to anyone, the power users or the casual Facebook viewer will both enjoy this phone.  I comes close to being all things to all people.

 

 

 

Until next time

E. Tuesday

 

P.S.

Well it may be the best value for your dollar unless you are Italian.  Why am I picking on the Italians?  Well I am not but come back to view my next post and find out who is.

 

 

 

 

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YouTube RED

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YouTube RED

October 28th is the day you have been dreaming of……youtube videos without any of those annoying ads for cars, toliet paper or viagara.  YouTube Red is a paid membership that lets members enjoy any video on YouTube without ads while still supporting creators.  It also lets members save videos to watch offline on mobile, play videos in the background, and offers members access to exclusive content, all for $9.99 a month.  This works on all devices, anywhere you can sign into youtube.  Free ad-supported youtube will still be available.

So whats your opinion on this?  I’m pretty excited about this new feature.  We are an impatient society, we don’t have time for slow wifi, tv commercials or youtube ads.   If you are a heavy youtube watcher, this feature is a must.  Think of this as a dvr for youtube 🙂

If you have a youtube account, check your email for further information on this new feature.

 

 

Android M Developer Preview

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Android M Developer Preview

Google has added a bunch of new features to Android M and today we will be covering some of them. I am really excited to get the official Android M release but for now lets check out Android M Developer Preview. If you are looking for the download link to this new firmware you can find it HERE.  Right now Android M is only available on the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player. Here is my review Video if you want to skip right to the good stuff 🙂

New Features

1.  New Look and feel of the Home launcher or should i say Google Now Lanucher. The main difference here is the Lock screen with the added Google now microphone button and new wallpaper.

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Also you get a new app drawer that some love and some hate. it scrolls vertically and has your 4 most recent apps on top. Widgets have been organized a little different also. They are vertical just like the app drawer but if a app has multiple widgets you can scroll through them horizontally. I really like this new widget organization.

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2.  Managing Volume and notifications sounds has finally become easier.  When you press your volume up and down buttons you will be greeted with these options. If you press volume down all the way you will be able to set alarms only mode or do not disturb mode which can also be found on your quick toggles.

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3. App Permissions has bee added to the mix and i really like this feature. With app permissions you have full control over what your apps have access to or not. If you dont want chrome to have access to your camera services then just turn it off in app permissions its that simple. you can look at individual app permissions of you can see every app that can access the camera. Long with app permissions you can app links what it does is links web links to apps that relate to that app so that when you click on a link to Google drive in Chrome browser it will open your Google drive app if installed.

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You can also find this cool Memory tool in settings if you are into monitoring ram info.

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4. Google On Tap is activated by long pressing the home button on Android M. How Google on tap works is it looks at what is on your screen at the time you press the buttons and basically Google searches that info to bring you more information on it. Long pressing the home button also brings up the Google search bar for voice commands with OK Google if you want to use it. Right now Google On Tap isnt working in Android M developer preview but i am really excited to check it out when Android M is official later this year. Looks like there will be 3 different preview release of Android M before the official release in Q3. Hopefully we will see some of these features working in later previews.

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5. Doze is Android M new method of dealing with standby time. Basically Doze recognizes that your device isnt being used and starts shutting down serves that arent needed. Doze will give you 2 to 4 times the battery life in standby mode on Android M. Battery life and improvements like quick charging are huge for android and the mobile user. I hope to see many more big improvements on Battery life in the future.

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6. Android Settings theme is a new feature that has to be turned on in developer settings. To turn on developer settings you need to click on your build number in about phone 7 times then you will have developer settings and be able to turn on the dark theme that i love. 🙂 Also you can see that the Android M developer Preview has a Easter egg just like all the other android versions but it is lacking any game like lollipop can with Flappy Android.

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7. Again Google teases us with Android Pay showing of some of its awesome features and ease of use but doesnt include it in Android M. Google Pay is going to be great competition for Apple Pay and other payment methods available today.

 

If you are looking to install Android M on your Nexus device then you may want to check out this video. How to install Android M Developer Preview.

Note I edited all the Nexus Android M Firmware and uploaded it HERE so that the Flash-all.bat file will now work.

Links to Google Announcements on Android M with more great info

Android M Developer Blog

Android M Program overview and release info

Google is now a MVNO Carrier with Project Fi

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Google is now a MVNO Carrier with Project Fi

Fi

Google Just announced that they will be entering the mobile carrier game with a new network called Project Fi or just Fi for short. This is a MVNO network (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) and will be using T-mobile and Sprint towers and coverage. So if you already use these networks in your area then Project Fi might be a good fit for you. Lets take a look at some of the features that will come with this new MVNO Project Fi

Features

1. Your data is secured through encryption when we connect you to open Wi-Fi hotspots. It’s like your data has a private tunnel to drive through.

2. Never pay for unused data. At the end of each month, you’ll get your unused data credited in dollars and cents, so you only pay for what you use.

3. Wifi Calling and Text just like many of the carriers are doing. also if you move away from that wifi your call will transfer to cell service without dropping the call.

4. Using Google Hangouts your number can be used to make and receive calls from youe computer, tablet, or phone of course.

there are c couple other small features that you can read more about here 

 Data Plans

  • Unlimited domestic talk and text
  • Unlimited international texts
  • Low-cost international calls
  • Wi-Fi tethering
  • Coverage in 120+ countries

Above is the basic features of every plan for $20. but you have to at least add a 1GB $10 data plan as well so lowest cost at this time is $30 a month which isn’t that bad if you don’t use much data.

Data rate work this way $10 for 1GB of data tahts it pretty simple. Example if you want 10GB of date it will cost you $100 plus $20 for the basic call and text giving you a $120 total.

NOTE Project Fi is only available on the Nexus 6 at this time. And is set up as a invite only program. I am sure that Google will be rolling it out to more device as time passes. And yes you can port your current number over to Project Fi. 

 

MY THOUGHTS

Is Google’s New Project Fi the right package for me? Well the short answer is a BIG NO. Let me explain, I am what you might call a power user and go through a ton of data each month well over 10GB to say the least. This kind of data usage would make my bill over $120 so it is much cheaper for me to get T-mobile’s $80 a month unlimited plan which is what i am on right now. Speaking of unlimited, Google really should have offered an unlimited package at a low price too. If Google really wants to be a player in the cell phone carrier arena then they are really going to have to step up there game. Now if you are a 1GB a month kind of person and are always on wifi at home and work then you could get a plan for as low as $30 a month, thats a deal.  So is Project Fi right for you? It all boils down to how you use your phone and it could be a great cheap package for your kids or something along those lines. It will be interesting to watch and see  the direction Google will take with Project Fi.