Monday, May 16, 2016

WATCH: Moto G (4th Gen) Unveiling Live Stream! (2:30AM Pacific, 5:30AM Eastern)

At 2:30AM Pacific (5:30AM Eastern), Motorola will unveil new products during an event in India, products that we assume will include at least one Moto G (4th gen) variant. While there is no guarantee that tonight’s event is for the Moto G, Moto’s India arm has been teasing a phone for weeks upon weeks now with a mostly cheesy Twitter campaign based around the hashtag #MissingOut that hypes a phone with a better camera, battery life, performance, and security. Is it the new Moto G? I can’t imagine what else it would be.

For some reason, Moto has decided to make a big deal about the upcoming Moto G (4th gen) in India alone while ignoring the rest of the world that cares about the Moto G line. We are fully expecting the new Moto G to be sold here (and elsewhere) after it’s made official, thanks to an FCC listing that shows a model primed for our GSM networks, but it feels like we are missing out on the splashy launch of the next version of Moto’s most successful of all time. Maybe that’s Moto’s intent.

Either way, the fun happens tonight and we’ll be ready to share it all with you once Moto gives us the goods.

To learn the latest on the Moto G (4th gen) saga, hit up this post from earlier.

WATCH: Moto G (4th Gen) Unveiling Live Stream! (2:30AM Pacific, 5:30AM Eastern) is a post from: Droid Life

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Sign Up to Field Test Pokémon GO in the US

The Pokémon GO launch for the US is right around the corner, but before that can happen, the game must be field tested. Sure to be a hit game across the globe, Niantic Labs needs willing testers out in the field to put features through the paces, and if you play your cards right, that could be you.

Much like Ingress, the other uber-popular title from Niantic Labs, players will trot around their neighborhoods, but instead of capturing portals, you capture Pokémon. The overall objective, at least from what we can tell, is to become the biggest and baddest Pokémon trainer in your area. There are Gyms to train and battle your Pokémon, as well as different Poké Balls to capture new creatures. 

Signing up is very easy. All you need is a working Gmail address, know which mobile OS you use (Android or iOS), and optionally, provide your Ingress agent name. Once complete, you are done. Niantic shed no light onto how they are selecting volunteers, but fingers crossed they select a lot of people. Full disclosure, yes, I signed up.

If testing isn’t your thing, once the game is available for all on Google Play, we will inform you.

Sign up by following the link below.

Sign-up Here

Via: Pokémon

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Twitter May Soon Stop Counting Links and Images Against Your 140 Character Limit

According to a source familiar with Twitter’s upcoming plan who spoke with Bloomberg, the company will soon stop counting links to the web and images against your 140-character tweet limit. For the longest time, Twitter has counted any added links and photos against your limit, leaving less room for actual words. In a change that could happen within the next couple of weeks, folks may soon see more words, links, and photos. 

As of right now, when a link is added or a photo is embedded into a tweet, it takes up 24 characters. If multiple links are required in a tweet, that’s an additional 24 characters for each link. However, if adding multiple images (up to four), only the first 24 characters are counted and the photos are assembled into the same album with a single link.

With that being said, the process has gotten better over the years, but if Twitter does change how images and links are counted, you should begin to see more words with tweets that are accompanied by images and links.

According to Bloomberg, Twitter even contemplated lifting the character limit to 10,000, but apparently, that wasn’t seen as a good idea. Limiting a tweet’s size is one of the main reasons people flock to Twitter. Topics and headlines are easily digestible in 140 characters, so here’s hoping that the 140 character limit never vanishes.

In the comments, feel free to express how much you hate Twitter and all social media. We know you will.

Via: Bloomberg

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Google Spaces Now Available on Android and the Web

Google Spaces, the new group sharing app from Google that seems to be an app created specifically for Google I/O sessions later in the week and maybe not much more, is now live for all to use or…look at! The app can be downloaded on Android or experienced via the web in all of its Material Design glory.

I’ve been jumping around in the app for a few minutes now and am not sure that I, personally, have much use for it. These types of group sharing like apps are probably great within bigger organizations or fraternities or something, not a 2-man shop like DL. Also, if I were to use this with friends and family, well, it would be a hard sell when they already use apps like Hangouts or Google Keep. Sure, those aren’t apps aren’t designed with this same purpose, but they can be used in a group sharing sort of way. 

Will you want to use it? Maybe! You’ll be able to create “spaces” for all sorts of things, add people to them, quickly add items to them through Chrome or YouTube or Photos or Search, leave comments and have a good chat about your space topics, and easily find it all later on with built-in search. It’s a slick little app worth checking out if group sharing apps were missing from your life.

Give it a go!

Play Link | Web

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 1.18.38 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 1.19.30 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 1.19.38 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 1.19.51 PM

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Google I/O 2016 is This Week! What Should We Expect?

Assuming you are any sort of Android or Google nerd, you know that Google I/O starts later this week – Wednesday, to be exact. At Google I/O, which is Google’s yearly developer conference, we get to find out just what Google has been working on and what their plans are for the near and distant future. They almost always show off the newest version of Android (even if it is only in preview form), share refreshed design guidelines, and talk about their different product focuses (from Auto to Chrome and Chromebooks, to Google Photos, Play, and even pet projects, like the crazy stuff from Google’s ATAP team).

We typically go into I/O thinking we have a good vision for what Google will talk about, but then they almost always toss in some surprises even if they do layout a preview of sorts through each year’s schedule that hits the I/O website well ahead of the conference…err “festival.” This year, though, Google is changing locations and taking the show closer to home, so the whole thing is very much up in the air. Sure, we know VR will be a big part of it, as will Android Pay, and Android N, but what else?

Let’s talk about it and make some dumb predictions.

google io 2015 third floor android

New Location, Lots of Streaming

For those planning to attend (and yes, we’ll be there), part of the appeal to this year’s I/O will be the location change to Mountain View, right across the street from Google’s campus at the Shoreline Amphitheater. Yep, this is an outdoor “festival,” not just a developer conference. Google will do a lot of work from the main stage of the amphitheater, including the live-streamed keynote, but they’ll have another dozen or so stages setup for smaller sessions that developers can actually learn something from.

There will be tents and areas to relax, I would imagine, but the weather is looking like it could be quite lovely once the festival starts. What does that mean? Burned nerds, everywhere. Seriously, Google better have barrels of sunscreen on hand or it could get ugly in a hurry. Remember, we’re almost all basement-dwelling, never-see-the-sunlight keyboard warriors around these Android parts, and this pearly white flesh isn’t equipped for sun rays.

Thankfully, for those not in attendance or those who want to save their skin, a majority of the show will be live-streamed, plus Google will record almost every session and post it later to YouTube for viewing. You can find all of the live and post-event video at the Google Developers channel.

Android VR and Project Tango

A couple of years back, Google introduced Cardboard, a $5-10 apparatus that instantly brought a cheap virtual reality (VR) experience to your life, by using your phone. We may not have predicted it at the time, but this was the first step towards Google getting itself heavily involved in VR. While we haven’t seen much happen since that initial introduction, Google’s behind-the-scenes work appears to have reached the point where they are ready to share big news.

At this week’s festival, Google has at least 11 sessions setup to talk about VR on some level, not including whatever they announce during the keynote. Recent rumors (and a quick appearance in the Android developer console) suggest that Google will introduce Android VR, a system-level VR experience that will be accompanied by a much higher-end headset, similar to Samsung’s Gear VR, only “better.”

Don’t be shocked if they announce gaming and app partnerships surrounding VR announcements, a platform for more hardware or other hardware partners (think 3rd party headsets, like what they did with Cardboard), and VR cinematic experiences.

Not only that, but Google has big plans for Project Tango that will co-exist in this VR world, at least, that’s what the sessions are leading us to believe. Project Tango, for those not familiar, is a technology that started out in tablets but will move to consumer phones within the next month, that allows you to in real-time, map rooms and render them in 3D. A pairing with Android VR could take a Tango phone, slot it into the Android VR headset, and let you game or digitally experience a real-world environment in real-time. Think about that for a second. Sure, the processing power needed to accomplish this seems a bit much for a phone, but Google could at least get the idea started with some simple applications.

Project Tango could also be used for helping you navigate retail environments or airports or cities and possibly ramp up Google Maps to another, ridiculously awesome level.

Prediction: So we’re expecting major VR announcements during the keynote, which takes place Wednesday morning at 10AM Pacific. We are guessing that Google will announce that Android VR has been built into Android N Developer Preview 3 and that we’ll be able to take some of it for a spin using a VR headset of some time.

Android N, the Next Preview

We have already been introduced to Android N and two developer previews, so it’s not like Android N is going to surprise us at Google I/O this week. With that said, the timing is right for Google to release Developer Preview 3 to the world and bake in anything new that was absent from the first two rounds. As I just mentioned, that could mean Android VR, but it could also mean a more polished multi-window experience too.

There are sessions laid out for helping developers improve battery life and performance, high-performance audio, notifications, ART, multi-window, UI and layouts, etc. As of right now, nothing is standing out as something huge, outside of a potential VR introduction.

Prediction:  Google isn’t going to tell us what Android N stands for yet – I think they wait until later.

google io 2015 android be together

The Google Amazon Echo

A report last week suggested that Google has an Amazon Echo-like product in the works that will take over your home in a way that Alexa and the Echo already have. That report also said that we shouldn’t expect Google to launch it at Google I/O, but that doesn’t mean Google won’t preview it, the technology behind it, or at least make it known.

Currently codenamed “Chirp,” I’m just wondering why Google needs a separate product and doesn’t instead just update their Google OnHub routers to do what Amazon’s Echo does. I wrote up a piece last week talking about the possibilities of OnHub and the secrecy that has surrounded them since launching in the summer of last year. They just seem so ready for their moment in the spotlight.

Prediction: Will Google show us this Echo product? Honestly, I kind of doubt it. That report feels like Google reached out “off the record” to set us up to not be disappointed by the product not making an appearance and that they’ll instead show something off down the road, maybe even at this year’s Nexus event, if there is one.

Google’s Next Messaging Client

Back at MWC in February, Google announced that it was teaming up with a number of industry players to create a rich communication service (RCS) messenger that should become a standard on all Android phones. Think of it in a way like iMessage in that all Android phones would have access to it and be able to use new advanced messaging capabilities, instead of having to choose Hangouts or WhatsApp or some other service.

Google hasn’t said when this app could launch, but Google I/O is a good place to start talking more about it. I don’t know that they will, especially with no sessions currently scheduled to focus on RCS messaging.

Prediction: No death to Hangouts just yet.

Android Wear

There are at least five Android Wear sessions planned, so expect a big update to Android Wear in the near future. Google says that it wants to talk about plans for the future (a big update), work on getting developers to build more Wear apps and watch faces, and how to make sure they all connect to devices seamlessly.

Prediction: HTC watch appearance, anyone?

Android Pay

I know that Android Pay isn’t typically thought of as a major headlining topic, but Google seems poised for major announcements here. There are a number of Android Pay sessions, including one called “Android Pay everywhere: New developments.” I think it’s a safe bet to say that Google is going to announce a whole bunch of new Android Pay countries, including the UK.

There is also a session where Google will explain new ways for retailers to get their loyalty cards in Pay, as well as ways for banks to get onboard with Android Pay “through their mobile banking apps.”

Prediction: I wish Google would announce that it has licensed Samsung Pay’s MST technology for making payments at all credit card machines, but they probably won’t. The “everywhere” in that session probably just refers to a global rollout of Pay.

google io 2015 session


There has been some drama recently involving Google’s Nest, the smart home product maker that Google acquired a couple of years back, so we were curious to know if they would have any sort of presence at I/O. The drama mostly involves turmoil on the inside between employees and leaders, but it may also have to do with the fact that Nest hasn’t delivered a new product in quite some time, other than the Nest Cam, which was really just a rebranded Dropcam HD.

As of right now, Nest has a single session on the final afternoon at “Tables 3&4” that will last an hour. That’s right, Google isn’t even giving Nest a stage to talk about anything, they are just getting a couple of tables to maybe, potentially, talk about Works with Nest. You have to imagine that at 2PM on Friday, the last day of the festival, that all of seven developers will still be around to attend the chat. It’s like Nest has been put in timeout.

Prediction: Yikes.

Other Nuggets

Google has sessions for Android Auto, Games, Android TV and Chromecast, and Google Play as well, but they just don’t seem like they’ll be the major focuses this year. I could be way off on that, but each has a limited number of sessions.

There is one wild card, and that’s whether or not Google will go live with Google Play store access to Chromebooks and ChromeOS. We saw hints of it being on the verge of happening not long ago and I/O would be the perfect place to make it official, but again, there aren’t really any hints of that happening in the current I/O schedule. Things could change, obviously, over the next day or two.


And that’s it for now! Google I/O officially kicks off with a keynote on Wednesday morning at 10AM Pacific. The opening keynote, which is always filled with more goodies than our brains can handle, lasts for two hours. After that, it’s onto sessions and us trying our best to share everything new with you that we can.

Both Tim and I will be in Mountain View for the fun, so be sure to follow us everywhere, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram!

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Rumor Roundup: OnePlus 3

We have yet to receive an official unveiling date for the OnePlus 3 from OnePlus, but recently, Carl Pei, CEO of OnePlus, stated we should expect release before the end of Q2. For 2016, the last day of Q2 is June 30, so we must be getting close. Over the course of the past couple of weeks, many apparent leaks and rumors have been swirling around, and before OnePlus makes anything official, we wanted to update you on what we should expect from the company in 2016.

The leaks have focused on specifications we can expect to see inside of the device, photos showing off its design, and much more. If you are at all interested in this year’s OnePlus device, take a look.


Thanks to reported benchmarks posted online, we have a pretty good understanding of where this device (possibly devices) will sit alongside other flagship phones. Inside, it is expected that the OnePlus 3 will feature a Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM, although, a more “premium” model of the device is rumored to feature 6GB of RAM. The display is reported to be 5″ in size, with a resolution of 1080p (FHD). Other specifications include a 16MP rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera, USB Type-C port, 32GB of onboard storage (64GB for the premium model), fingerprint reader on the front chin, and OxygenOS running atop Android 6.0.1.

OnePlus 3 3OnePlus 3 2


At this time, not many details have been leaked concerning OnePlus’ proprietary software changes, but it’s safe to assume we can expect more of the same customization options that were baked into the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X. Additionally, it is also unknown if the OnePlus 3 will feature NFC (Near Field Communication), which was sort of a big deal with the OnePlus 2. With mobile payments becoming pretty much the norm across many parts of the world, it would be foolish of OnePlus to leave NFC off of its upcoming flagship device.


According to a leak out of OPPO, the OnePlus 3 is also reported to feature an extremely fast charging feature, which would get the phone from 0% to 100% battery in just 15 minutes. Known as VOOC Charging, it is said to be 5x faster than conventional smartphone charging methods. At MWC, OPPO did showcase this technology, but it was used on a 2,500mAh battery. It is reported that the OnePlus 3 will feature a 3,500mAh battery.

OnePlus 3 4 OnePlus 3 1


As for pricing, the latest intel suggests that the premium OnePlus 3 (6GB RAM, 64GB storage) will cost around $400, while the 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage model will be about $310. As always, OnePlus has made its devices very competitive in the pricing department. We should expect the same in 2016.

Is the OnePlus 3 shaping up to a smartphone you are interested in? Would a possible invite-only release completely turn you off? What about NFC, is that still a big deal? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Via: Tech Radar | @the_maligant | GizmoChina

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AT&T Includes New North America Roaming Benefits for Select Plans

In what might be considered a humorous and topical usage of a metaphor, AT&T wants to “break down wireless walls” between the US and its neighbors to the north and south. To clarify, right in time for any summer traveling, AT&T is bundling a Mexico roaming feature into its existing Mobile Share Value plans of 15GB and higher. With this plan, customers receive unlimited calling, texting, and use of their data in and between Mexico and the US. This roaming feature will start being included in the Mobile Share Value plans on May 20. 

Furthermore, any new or existing AT&T customer on an Unlimited Plan will have unlimited talk, text, and data in both Mexico and Canada. This change also takes place on May 20. AT&T Unlimited Plan customers will need to separately add the AT&T Roam North America feature to each smartphone and the Roam North America Data feature to each tablet.

For those interested in these upgraded plans, note that AT&T is adding the benefit free of charge. However, to activate the change, customers will need to do so via AT&T’s online portal, in a retail location, or via the myAT&T application on your mobile device.

Business customers on a Mobile Share Value plan of 15GB or higher can get the new features, too. Those who activate on a new Mobile Select plan priced $20/month or higher will automatically receive Mexico roaming benefits.

These changes begin May 20, so if you plan on dipping into Cabo, or snowmobiling your way up to Canada this summer, mark it on your calendar.

Via: AT&T

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Google Spaces is a New Group Sharing App With Built-In Chrome, Search, and YouTube

To kick off Monday, Google went ahead and gave us a new app to try out, called Google Spaces. As the name sort of suggests, it’s a bit of group messaging or sharing app that revolves around specific “spaces” or topics that you’d like to discuss with friends or family or co-workers. Google is calling it a “better group sharing experience,” so again, the goal is to get you sharing information with others about topics. Did we need an app like this? I don’t know! 

With Spaces, which we are still waiting to go live on Android, iOS, and Chrome, Google has built-in Search, YouTube, and Chrome to allow you to find items (like videos or web pages) to be shared and then quickly searched through to find other or older items too, perhaps mentioned topics deep in the past of a Space.

In the screenshots currently available from Google, they are suggesting spaces for topics like group trips to Paris, study sessions with fellow students, a comic book club, kitchen remodels, a space for college buddies to bro-out in, or parenting tips. It’s not a difficult idea to understand, right? You have this app for sharing topics with others who have interest in a topic.

google spaces1

google spaces2

If you are attending Google I/O, Google says to install Spaces because they plan to create a space for each I/O session so that “developers can connect with each other and Googlers around topics” at the conference.

Once Spaces goes live, we’ll be sure to share those direct links to Android and iOS. For now, feel free to cruise around the Chrome landing page and preview some of the fun.

Via: Google Blog

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Moto G (4th Gen) Hits FCC Looking Ready for the US

Lenovo and Moto are expected to officially announce new a new Moto G phone tomorrow in India, likely called the Moto G (4th Gen). We aren’t sure why they are specifically targeting India for the launch while ignoring the rest of the world, but it does appear that the new Moto G will show up here eventually, if not right away. According to listings for new Motorola phones that hit the FCC at the end of last week, we indeed show a couple of model numbers with full US connectivity on AT&T and T-Mobile that have long-been attached to this new Moto G. 

At least four new Moto phones are listed at the FCC from Thursday and Friday, with model numbers including XT1620, XT1621, XT1622, XT1624, XT1640, XT1641, XT1642, and XT1643. The two we care about are XT1620 and XT1640, both of which show carrier support here in the US. All of those other models are quite limited in terms of connectivity, but the XT1620 and XT1640 models have all the right GSM support, along with LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, and 17.

Here is the general info chart from the FCC for those two models:

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 7.25.40 AM

What’s a bit odd is the fact that the FCC listings all show an XT1620 numbers with an XT1640 number together, along with a single set of device dimensions. For months now, there has been talk of a Moto G (4th gen) and a Moto G Plus (4th gen), which one would think would mean smaller and bigger versions. That may not be the case, though, and we may just see lower and higher end versions with the “Plus” moniker differentiating the two.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 7.18.56 AM

The most recent set of rumors pegs the Moto G Plus (4th gen) as having a Snapdragon 617 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 16MP camera, 5.5-inch FHD (1080p) display, and a fingerprint sensor. The regular Moto G (4th gen) should have the same size, but slightly lesser specs, like a Snapdragon 400-range processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 13MP camera, and no fingerprint sensor.

Also, that new image at the top is from @evleaks, who referred to this as the “little bro” to another version of the Moto G.

Excited for the new Moto G?

Via:  FCC [2] [3] [4] | @evleaks | PhoneArena

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