Google wants your honest opinion on Allo

Remember Allo? It is Google’s latest instant messaging app and it was supposed to supersede Hangouts and bring the delights of using iMessage over to Android. Instead, it launched in a bare-bones state, thoroughly failing to excite users and deliver on its promises, and after a handful of updates that also didn’t bring anything substantial or exciting to the table, the Allo promptly slipped into vast void of apps no one cares about.

All is not lost, however! Google is intent on pulling Allo out of life support and bringing it back into the limelight, and it needs …

Google Assistant and Siri fails: 20 instances when our smart assistants were not that smart at all

Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant are two of the more popular chatty virtual smart assistant out there. The former’s available on any iPhone since the 4s, whereas the latter is pre-loaded and available on Google’s new Pixel devices, though you can also use a certain portion of its features by chatting with it in Google’s Allo app. 
 Both assistants are proactive assistants that are able to conversate with you on the base level, though they are still a far cry from being those smart AI assistant we’ve seen in kits if popular movies and TV shows. …

Oracle won't let go, still demands its $9.3 billion from Google

It’s been seven years already. Oracle is suing Google for unfair use of Java in the Android OS. The case has visited many different courtrooms, including the Supreme Court, and Oracle is getting shut down left, right and center, but it won’t give up.

Last year, a federal jury ruled in Google’s favor, stating that the use of Java in Android is, in fact, covered by the fair use doctrine. Then Oracle promised to appeal, and on Friday it did just that. The appeal consists 155 pages, and it claims that the use of its software by Google is “classic unfair use”, while also saying that “Google reaped …

Accidental Google alpha roll out adds Google Assistant to some non-Pixel phones

An alpha version of the Google app (version 6.13) has been accidentally making the rounds. Some of those who have been able to sideload the update on their Android phone have discovered that a surprising new feature has been added to their device, mainly Google Assistant. The more conversational version of Google Now is currently offered on the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL handsets, and is available through the Google Allo messaging app. If you have the opportunity to install the alpha on your phone, keep in mind that not everyone who loads it will receive Google Assistant. In addition, it …

Google restocks; some Pixel XL models are available again from the Google Store

At Google, the guys with the spreadsheets and calculators have had a problem matching supply with demand for the Google Pixel XL. The larger 5.5-inch version of the first Google designed smartphone has been out of stock for weeks at the Google Store, and those who ordered from Verizon have had to wait weeks if not months for certain versions of the device (namely the 128GB model). Big Red has tried to make nice to those who have ordered the handset and are still waiting for it by sending them a free Google Daydream View VR headset valued at $79 (although on sale now for $49 by Google).

The …

LG Watch Sport and Style manuals leaked: Google Assistant and Android Pay confirmed

With Android Wear 2.0 allegedly coming tomorrow, everyone expects that the new LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style devices will also be unveiled at the same event. And considering the manuals for both of them were just leaked, we’re willing to bet that the South Korean company will indeed present its new wearable flagships the same day Android Wear 2.0 sees the light of day.

But said manuals give us more info than the approaching release date. According to the PDF files, the LG Watch Sport will come with Android Pay built-in. You will be able to add cards through …

Check out the Super Bowl 51 ad starring Google Home; it's Deja Vu

Just the other day, we told you that Google had spent some serious cash in order to run at least one ad during tomorrow’s Super Bowl 51. While we figured that the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL would be starring in the commercial, it turns out that the Google Home will be the subject matter of at least one spot. The problem is, the ad is the exact same video clip that Google posted on YouTube back in October. That means the ad will not mention the new Netflix integration that allows users to select a movie or television show to stream over a Chromecast device.

It seems a bit odd …

Google Home to star in $5 million Super Bowl Ad this Sunday

Virtual assistant Google Home will be a big celebrity by the time next Monday rolls around. The day before, which is this coming Sunday, the device will star in a $5 million ad during the Super Bowl. The game kicks off at 6:30pm Eastern time as the Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots. While Google has been mum about the ad, on YouTube the most popular spot for the device is one that show how Google Home can help consumers by turning on or off their house lights by simply stating a command.

Last Super Bowl, Amazon first introduced its Alexa virtual assistant through televised …

2017 Best Cell Phones Upcoming

2017 is upon us, bringing with it a flurry of new top-end smartphones to get excited about. The tenth anniversary of the original iPhone means Apple may have something special in store for us this year, while Samsung will probably come out all guns blazing in order to soundly recover from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. There’s a chance that Google will bring the second-generation of Pixel smartphones, while the likes of OnePlus and Xiaomi will continue to introduce high-quality, affordable flagship smartphones.

best-cell-smartphones-2017-coming

If you are on the lookout for a new smartphone, you might to hold on to your money a little while longer, as the market will soon be filled with a number of great models. Check out our pick of smartphones to look forward to in 2017 for more details.

1. Apple iPhone 8
2017 will be the year of the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone, the smartphone that upended and revolutionised the whole mobile phone industry. So it is no surprise that all eyes are on Apple and what it does to commemorate the occasion. And, of course, hopes are high that iPhone 8 will bring a number of changes to the table, enough to make up for the iterative updates we have had over the past two years.

Leaks point to three different versions of iPhone 8: one featuring all the new features, and the other two being the successors of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with only a few upgrades. Apple is reportedly developing more than 10 iPhone 8 prototypes, and working on a “radical redesign” of the smartphone. Rumour has it that at least the top-end version of the iPhone 8 will not have the Home button; instead, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the front camera will be integrated into the touchscreen. Apple is also said to be testing flexible OLED panels for the iPhone 8.

Wireless charging is widely expected to be integrated in iPhone 8, along with iris or facial scanning. iPhone 8 is said to be powered by the A11 chip manufactured on the 10nm process, the glass body will reportedly make a comeback. The top-end iPhone 8 model will reportedly also have optical image stabilisation in both cameras on the back, which may be vertically aligned rather than horizontally.

The screen size of this new top-end smartphone is not yet known, though the tech grapevine pegs it anywhere between 4.7-inches and 5.8-inches. The wait for iPhone 8 will be long, of course, as the next Apple flagship smartphone is likely to be unveiled only in September next year.

2. Samsung Galaxy X
Galaxy X is said to be the foldable smartphone that Samsung is planning to launch in 2017. Not much is known about the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy X so far, except that it may have a 4K screen and be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (likely to be Snapdragon 835). It is expected to feature a single flexible OLED display and a body that will fold at the middle. A patent filed by Samsung shows that users will be able to fold the smartphone at various angles and that it will feature physical buttons at the bottom.

A report back in June this year said that Samsung is likely to unveil the foldable Galaxy X smartphone at the Mobile World Congress, but the shift in focus to finding the cause of Galaxy Note 7 explosions may have put in spanner in that, likely delaying the launch by a few months.

3. Samsung Galaxy S8
Galaxy S8 will have the burden of expectations as it is Samsung’s first flagship smartphone to be launched after the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S8 will have an Artificial Intelligence-powered virtual assistant, and a great camera. Rumours say Galaxy S8 will not have an earphone jack, or Home button – instead, it is said to come with wireless earphones, and feature optical fingerprint sensor that will be embedded in the touchscreen.

Reportedly, the Galaxy S8 smartphone will have a 4K display with ultra-thin bezels, dual 13-megapixel and 9-megapixel cameras on the back, fingerprint sensor on the back, USB Type-C port, selfie camera with autofocus and VR support. A recent report suggests that the smartphone may feature a massive 8GB of RAM, along with faster UFS 2.1 storage. Rumours also say that the Samsung Galaxy S8 may not feature any physical keys in the front, and pack two variants of the Exynos 8895 chipset.

Samsung was earlier rumoured to be planning to launch the Galaxy S8 at the Mobile World Congress in late February, but a new report says that the company has delayed the unveiling till April. Apparently, the South Korean titan will focus on regaining consumer confidence in the time till April. Samsung Galaxy S8 may cost 15-20 percent more than its predecessor. The AI-based virtual assistant will apparently be integrated with apps that come preloaded on the smartphone.

A ‘Plus’ variant of Samsung Galaxy S8 featuring a 6-inch display, and support for the S-Pen stylus may also be in the works.

4. Nokia’s Android Phones
Nokia is rumoured to launch as many as five Android smartphones in the first half of 2017, starting with Mobile World Congress in late February. One of the devices expected at the event is the Nokia D1C, a budget Android 7.0 Nougat smartphone that is said to sport the Snapdragon 430 processor, and come in 2GB and 3GB RAM variants priced at $150 and $200, respectively. The smartphone will also have two options in screen size – 5-inch and 5.5-inch – and come with 16GB internal storage, 13-megapixel or 16-megapixel rear camera, and 8-megapixel front camera.

A high-end Android 7.0 Nougat smartphone by Nokia is also expected in early 2017, featuring a 5.2-inch or 5.5-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 23-megapixel camera with Zeiss optics, 6GB RAM, metal unibody design, and water-resistant body.

Along with these, an entry-level Nokia Android phone called Pixel may also be under development. This smartphone is said to run Android 7.0.1 Nougat operating system and may be powered by the 1.19GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor with 1GB RAM. Nokia Pixel Android phone’s battery is said to support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 fast-charging technology.

5. OnePlus 4
OnePlus 4 is another smartphone everyone will be excited about in 2017. The smartphone will reportedly have a ceramic body, come in 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM variants, sport the Snapdragon 835 chipset, dual-camera on the back, and may retain the 3.5mm earphone jack. However, OnePlus 4 may have a 5.3-inch display, smaller than that of the OnePlus One, 2, 3, and 3T, though resolution may increase to 4K.

6. Moto X 2017
Leaked photos of a smartphone expected to be the Moto X 2017 have sparked interest in the line, which did not make an appearance this year. The Moto X 2017 will have an all-metal body, images show, with the fingerprint sensor on the back. The smartphone in the leaked images does not have Moto Mod pins on the back, so Lenovo may add some other unique feature in Moto X 2017 to distinguish it from the competition.

7. Google Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2
Google Pixel is a flagship smartphone that boasts excellent software but is plagued by niggling hardware issues. We expect Google to iron out the kinks in the second-generation Pixel and Pixel XL models, and give us the smartphone everyone expects from a company of its size and reputation.

There are no leaks about Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 yet, but if these phones come out in 2017, then we expect big changes in the software department, bringing more features to the Google Assistant. On the hardware front, all the top features and specifications can be expected, such as 6GB RAM, big battery, and fast processor.

8. HTC 11/ Ocean
HTC 11, the flagship smartphone being developed under the codename Ocean, is said to have a metal body with chamfered edges. It will reportedly feature dual 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel cameras on the back with LED flash, 5.5-inch display with QHD resolution, Snapdragon 835 chipset, 3700mAh battery, and Android 7.0 Nougat.

9. LG G6
LG will reportedly not use the modular design with the G6, though the company itself has said that it will not do away with the swappable accessories for now. The rumour mill suggests that the LG G6 will have an aluminium body with water-resistant coating, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type C port, wireless charging, and removable battery. LG was reportedly planning to use curved display on the G6, but that plan has been shelved because of supply-chain constraints.

10. Microsoft Surface Phone
Everyone is a little unsure about this one as we have been hearing of the Microsoft Surface Phone for a couple of years now, but Satya Nadella in an interview recently said that the company is working on the “ultimate mobile device,” so there is some hope. Microsoft also owns the surfacephone.com Web domain, suggesting that a smartphone may be on the way. We will have to wait for 2017 for the rest of the details.

That’s our round-up of the smartphones to look forward to in 2017.

Google Maps for iOS gets an update that adds the 'Popular Times' feature

A new update to the iOS version of Google Maps adds a feature that Android users have been familiar with for some time. ‘Popular Times’ shows you when the location you’re heading to is supposed to be at its busiest. This information is based on data culled from users who have opted in to Google Location History. Armed with this data, you might decide to plan your schedule around a lull in activity at a particular destination.

The Popular Times feature also allows users to get a real time look at what is happening at a location right at the very minute you request the data. It appears as …