The Samsung Galaxy S7 will be announced on February 21 in Barcelona. So far, from what we have seen from leaks, this year’s Galaxy S will look very similar in size and style to last year’s Galaxy S6. I don’t know that I would consider that to be a bad thing, since Samsung happened to make one of the most beautiful line-ups of smartphones ever last year. Actually, you could take that a step further and say that they made not only some of the best looking phones ever released, but they should be considered some of the best all-around as well. Come on, how can you not love the Note 5?
With that said, the Galaxy S6 had its issues – namely with battery life. I think I’m still in a bit of shock as to how bad the battery life on that phone was. Also, even though Samsung greatly improved the software experience on the S6, it wasn’t exactly something we would prefer to use for a 2-year period. There were serious lag issues for a while, the icons are still…ugly, and there are so many settings and Samsung-created apps that most of us could live without. Let’s not forget that the back of the S6 has a camera hump, there wasn’t SD storage or waterproofing, and that single bottom-facing speaker is far too easy to cover.
With the Galaxy S7 just around the corner and leaks pouring in from all angles, let’s talk about what you were hoping Samsung would do this year. What were you hoping to see change from the S6 to the S7 (or S7 Edge)? (more…)
Security is an important topic in today’s mobile heavy world. It’s starting to feel as if we are almost always under some form of attack from this or that spyware or virus or backdoor. Well, security companies are certainly trying to make us believe that, especially those who have attached their livelihood to Android. This isn’t me completely dismissing potential threats on Android, it’s just that most of these “67% of Android users at risk!” types of headline-grabbing reports almost always contain a big asterisk that involves some form of, “This doesn’t concern you if you install everything through Google Play.” In other words, if you own a legitimate Android phone that has Google services and aren’t installing pirated apps through scary-as-hell 3rd party app stores, you are fine. (more…)
Bringing them big questions today, eh? Yes, yes, we are.
In all semi-seriousness, it’s time to talk about it (again). I can’t remember the last time (or if ever) we talked about this subject, but I’d love to hear some specific (or general) thoughts on why you have chosen Android as your mobile operating system. This isn’t meant to be a “Down with Apple!” post; we’re genuinely curious in 2016 why you continue to stick with Android.
While Android has evolved over the years, iOS has as well, even adopting plenty of early Android features that once made this the easy operating system of choice for many of us. Is it about control, still? Is it the “openness” to everything (like apps talking to each other and a file manager)? Is it about choice? Is it because you just flat out love HTC or Samsung or Motorola or LG? Is it because you need the best Google app experiences (sans Hangouts of course)? Or maybe, you really just do despise all that is Apple?
Let’s hear it.
Smartphones can be quite the investment, so of course, folks want to protect them. There are hundreds of different cases for your smartphone on the market, so how is one supposed to choose the right option? Should they choose one that doesn’t make the device too bulky? Is added bulk okay as long as it protects your device from all of the elements of life? (more…)
Yesterday, we asked if you are all using a secure lock screen after reading a report that said 1 in 3 Android users go without one. Our results turned up with slightly better numbers, showing that 77% of you utilize some form of a secure lock screen. That means about 1 in 4 aren’t, which isn’t amazing news, but is certainly not as bad as 1 in 3.
Today, we want to see which percentage of you who are using a secure lock screen, are unlocking with a fingerprint reader. More and more phones seem to be including fingerprint readers at this point, which to us, is a good sign. I say that because a number of you mentioned yesterday that you probably wouldn’t use a secure lock screen if Android Pay didn’t force you to, but also that it hasn’t been that big of an issue thanks to your fingerprint readers. Bring on more fingerprint readers! Secure lock screens are a good thing.
So tell us, are you unlocking your phone with a fingerprint?
Earlier today, I caught wind of a recently published report from Duo Labs that talked about the state of Android device security and the usage numbers surrounding things like secure lock screens. The report – which of course is from a security company – claims that about 1 in 3 Android users don’t use a secure lock screen, which is a pretty terrible percentage when you consider that their data showed that only 1 in 20 Apple users go without some form of security up front.
Because I’m always curious how numbers like these compare to the crew here at Droid Life, we thought we would straight up ask you guys. Do you use some form of a secure lock screen?
The stock options in Android are PIN, password, pattern, swipe, and none. The poll below doesn’t include fingerprint unlocking, because well, fingerprint unlocking is a secondary add-on to the lock screen you have to set. We’ll probably do another poll tomorrow asking about fingerprint usage.
Edit: We switched to a “Yes” or “No” poll and will let you all specify in the comments how you are unlocking. We did this because the stock secure lock options are PIN, password, pattern, swipe, and none. But some phones, like Samsung phones, actually offer Fingerprint in that area, even though fingerprint is basically an add-on to a secure lock screen. We’ll still probably do another poll tomorrow asking for fingerprint usage. Also, we totaled up the the number of votes we had for specific secure locks and tossed them into the “Yes” vote below. The numbers are accurate, but in case you were wondering where they came from.
So, do you use a secure lock screen?
It’s only January, but already, Nexus rumors for 2016 are getting interesting. In the latest rumor, it is said that HTC will create two Nexus smartphones in partnership with Google, bringing the company right back to the forefront of the Android community.
In 2015, we received two Nexus smartphones, one from LG and one from Huawei, which allowed US consumers to really embrace what Huawei, as an Android OEM, is capable of. If we gave all OEMs a fair shot, it seems that 2016 should be Samsung or HTC’s year to show off what they can do with vanilla Android. However, that’s not how the Nexus program works.
If it was up to you, who would you want to create the Nexus smartphone for 2016?
Tim and I just wrapped up our special CES 2016 edition of the Droid Life Show, where we talked about a bunch of takeaways from the conference, including our thoughts on VR. We strapped on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift in their newest forms. They were cool. Were they completely mind blowing experiences that will forever change our lives? Eh, not really. Again, they were very cool and we both see how under the right circumstances (read: with the right game and powerful enough setup) VR could be a hell of a time; I just don’t think we have sipped enough of that hype Kool-Aid surrounding each.
That sort of brings me to today’s poll. We’re – obviously – interested to see where VR goes on at least some level. There is a mobile tie-in, thanks to Samsung with Gear VR, but even the PC-powered versions like Vive and Oculus have at least captured our attention after demoing them. What about you? Has all of the overblown VR hype caught your attention? Are you interested in any implementation, whether that be in conjunction with your phone or as a full-blown room-required gaming experience?
Let us know. Feel free to explain why.