If You Care About Software Updates or Security, Stop Buying Motorola DROID Phones

Here’s a pro tip on a Wednesday – stop buying Motorola and Verizon’s exclusive DROID phones if you care at all about software updates or security. I say that because Motorola and Verizon don’t seem to care about keeping them up-to-date, even as Google and the rest of the Android industry are at least doing their best to provide timely security patches. Not only are owners of these phones missing out on new features, but they are susceptible to non-patched security vulnerabilities that most phones are protected from.

Marketed as the ultimate flagships when they launch, the DROID brand of phones have become laughing stocks in terms of support. At this point, we are well beyond blaming Motorola’s thinned out support staff and Verizon’s notoriously slow update approval or testing process. This is borderline offensive and should deter you from even considering a Turbo 3 or whatever robotic name these two cook up and sell you on later this year.  (more…)

Nextbit Robin Updated to Android 6.0.1, Offers Better Processor and Camera Performance

This morning, Nextbit announced the availability of a large update for Robin, bringing Android 6.0.1 to all owners. This Marshmallow update includes the April security patch, as well as the expanded emoji library for all of your texting needs.

Also inside of the update, the Robin will also feature an overhauled camera app, bringing a much faster experience, resulting in “better pictures.” This was accomplished by tuning the camera’s software. Additionally, Nextbit states that processor tuning was done, which should lead to better battery life and performance.  (more…)

If Your DROID Turbo 2 has Yet to Receive Marshmallow, It’s Now Arriving

After a couple of pump-fakes, a spin move, and a timeout or two, in between commercial breaks and a power outage, Motorola and Verizon are finally (maybe, but we think for real) pushing out the Marshmallow update to the DROID Turbo 2 for those who have still not seen the update after all these months. And even if you have, you will still probably get this latest update.

The update was approved last week on April 20. We tweeted about it, though most of you seem to have seen the update within the last day or so.  (more…)

Photos Detail Reported Samsung Gear Fit 2, Wireless IconX Earbuds

Samsung has apparently heard the cries of its customers, and before long, we may have a sequel to the Gear Fit smartband. Reportedly called the Gear Fit 2, this smartband will likely track your day-to-day outings by tracking steps, calories burned and more. As we can see in the photos, it heavily resembles the original Gear Fit, but given its small size, there is not much else to see. According to Venture Beat, the Gear Fit 2 will feature a 1.84″ Super AMOLED display, as well as GPS tracking.  (more…)

Buying an Unlocked Smartphone

I buy a lot of unlocked smartphones. In fact, as I type this, in front of me, there are eight smartphones on my desk and every single one of them is “unlocked.” Why do I buy them, you ask? For a number reasons, all of which I mentioned in this lengthy piece written about a year ago. The basics are this, though – they give me flexibility to test different networks, they often get faster software updates than carrier phones, they tend to be less expensive, and have far fewer bloatware apps than their relatives who are attached to carriers. They are the phones I will continue to choose time and time again.

With that in mind, I get the feeling that many of you are still confused as to what an unlocked smartphone is and may even need help in buying one. So today, let’s take a few minutes to talk through some of the things to look for when buying an unlocked smartphone.  (more…)

Google Introducing 6-Second “Bumper” Ads to YouTube, Like Cute Little Haikus of Video Ads

Because you watch a ton of “snackable” video on your smartphones, Google is introducing a new ad format for advertisers to use on YouTube that only lasts 6 seconds. These new ad styles are called “Bumper” ads and Google is hoping that advertisers will use them to get creative in showing you commercials in between video binges.  (more…)

YouTube App Refreshes Home Screen, Updated Recommendation System

Beginning today, users on Android and iOS will be treated to an updated Home screen experience when opening the YouTube app. While the overall layout does not appear to be changing drastically, users should notice larger video thumbnails while looking through search tabs, and YouTube details that its recommendation system has received a boost in intelligence.  (more…)