US Unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Finally Get First Updates

Just last week, I spent a good minute complaining about Android software updates and how we can’t even expect unlocked phones from the biggest manufacturer in the world (that would be Samsung) to receive them in a timely manner most of the time. I talked about the fact that carrier-tied phones seem to be getting updates more regularly than unlocked phones, even if unlocked phones don’t have that extra party (the anal carrier) meddling in update affairs. And then this morning, almost as if Samsung reads Droid Life (not likely that they do), updates popped up on both US unlocked variants of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge!  (more…)

Verizon’s Galaxy Note 7 Another Example of Carriers Interfering for No Good Reason

Before I signed-off for the weekend, I took part in a bit of a tweetstorm about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from Verizon, as it just-so-happened to arrive on my doorstep during the DL Show. The tweetstorm’s focus, in case you missed it, was about all of the unnecessary changes that Verizon had made to the phone that immediately pissed me off as I went about setting the phone up. I’m not talking about bloatware (though that is a part of it) as much as I’m talking about UI changes and feature removals for no good reason. Well, unless that reason is for Verizon to push an agenda or package of services I want absolutely no part of, then I get it.

Now, I don’t mean to throw a fit just for the sake of throwing a fit on a Monday where we were killing time in hopes that we may see the launch of Android Nougat to the stable channel (which happened), it’s just that in 2016, I don’t see why what I had to deal with on Friday is still happening. Samsung, the biggest smartphone seller in the world is essentially still being told how to setup and tweak a phone by Verizon. How is that still a thing? How is Samsung not just selling the phone they made, setup the way they want it setup, everywhere across the globe? (more…)

Reminder: Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013) Won’t Receive Nougat Update

For those holding onto a Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 (2013), asking if now would be a good time to upgrade, that’s affirmative. With the launch of Android 7.0, it is now official that the Nexus 7 (2013), as well as the Nexus 5, will not receive the latest update to the Android OS.

Should this move shock or dismay anyone? Absolutely not. Google listed the death date for the Nexus 5 as October, 2015 earlier this year. However, even with that date long gone, the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 are still receiving monthly security updates. According to Google, those updates will last three years from time of release.  (more…)

With Android Nougat Google Introduces Scheduled Maintenance Releases, First Arrives This Fall as a Preview

Buried inside today’s announcement that Android 7.0 Nougat (feature list) was rolling out to Nexus devices, Google also subtly announced that they are introducing a new maintenance release program “over the coming quarters.” This new maintenance schedule will bring “continued refinements and polish” to the platform throughout a year and will be available as a developer preview first, so that those who live on the edge of Android software will be able to test it.  (more…)

Here’s Everything That’s New in Android 7.0 “Nougat”

It’s official, Android 7.0 “Nougat” arrives today. With the announcement, we already have a fantastic sense of what the latest major update to Android offers, thanks to Developer Previews, but now we have the official changelog straight from Google.

Inside this list of new features, highlights include Split-Screen support, native Vulkan API support, VR mode, enhanced Doze, Picture-in-Picture mode (Android TV), as well as a fully redesigned Quick Settings bar. For anyone who ran the developer preview, or has at least been listening to those who have been running the previews, nothing shines as crazy new or unexpected.

Below, we have made available the entire list of changes and new features. Prepare yourself, it’s a pretty big list.  (more…)

Official Android 7.0 Nougat Site Goes Live! (Updated)

The Android 7.0 Nougat site just went live! That’s a thing that we care about, because well, we also think that Google may push out stable Nougat today to Nexus phones.

Also note, at the bottom, that Google confirms that the LG V20 will be the first to run Android Nougat out of the box. In other words, the new HTC Nexus phones aren’t going to be here until after that phone arrives.  (more…)