Google Maps Updated With Improved Typography, Areas of Interest

An update for Google Maps will affect users on Android, desktop, as well as iOS, bringing a cleaner look, improved typography, and much more. As you would assume, when looking over a city in Maps, there is a lot of information, all condensed until you zoom in. Because of this, Google is redesigning the layout of Maps, but don’t expect anything too drastic. Google will be providing a “cleaner” look, plus improving the typography to make things a bit easier to read.  (more…)

Google’s Phone App for Nexus Devices Gets Spam Calling Protection

Google is updating the Phone app that is included on their Nexus devices to include spam protection against unwanted calls. The newest version of the app will alert you as a call is coming in if it may be a “suspected” spam caller (see below) and then let you take additional actions on it.

With Caller ID & spam protection turned on, users will be able to both block and report spam calls. From within the Recent calls log, a tap on a call you’d like to report will offer up an option to “Block / report spam.” You should see options to both report as spam and then block, assuming you want to do both.  (more…)

Cyanogen CEO Refutes Claims of Company’s Pivot to Apps, “We are an OS Company”

Kirt McMaster, the current CEO of Cyanogen Inc., took to Twitter this last Saturday and this morning to briefly discuss last week’s news of the company laying off a large portion of its workforce. McMaster confirmed that the company had to “let go of some wonderful people,” but cited that disruption and startups are “brutal.”

Furthermore, McMaster spent 136 characters of his allotted 140 on Twitter to refute last week’s claims that Cyanogen Inc would be making a pivot. Said pivot would be from OS to applications. According to McMaster, “We are an OS company and our mission of creating an open Android stands.”  (more…)

DEAL: Amazon has the Refurbished Echo Priced at Just $140

Amazon is currently selling the Amazon Echo for just $139.99 as a “certified refurbished” unit. That’s a good $40 discount off a brand new unit, which Amazon describes as being “refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new.” So in other words, you are basically getting a unit that has had any issues fixed and then made new again.

In case you need a recap on the Echo, you could think of it has a decent room-filling speaker for playing music from from a variety of sources or via Bluetooth. But on top of that, you can ask Alexa (the brains behind Echo) for answers to questions, about the weather, to set timers, control lights and thermostats, read the news, share sports scores, re-purchase products on Amazon, and even order an Uber or pizza. It’s a bit like a home assistant.

Amazon Link

Pokémon GO SDCC Panel: Game is Only 10% of Final Product, More Features on the Way

At this year’s SDCC, a lot of attention was paid to the Pokémon GO panel, featuring members of the Niantic Lab’s team. A lot of details were revealed, but most importantly, it should be known that no legendary Pokémon were released for those in attendance to catch. That would have really chapped my hide.

According to what was discussed, Pokémon GO is hardly finished, with the developers stating that the game is at about 10% of what they want it to be. Yes, you read that right, only 10%. As for which features we can expect in the future, Niantic wants to bring more Pokémon (as in later generation Pokémon), release legendaries (but only when everyone in the world has access to the game), as well as new functionality for Gyms.  (more…)

OnePlus 3 in Soft Gold Arrives Tomorrow

On the day OnePlus announced the OnePlus 3, there was a bit of confusion surrounding the available color choices out of the gate. In promo imagery, we saw both silver and gold models, yet only the silver has ever been up for purchase. Tomorrow that changes, as OnePlus will make the “Soft Gold” variant available in the US before rolling it out to other countries.

OnePlus says that Soft Gold is only available in limited quantities, so if you are interested, you may want to be ready the minute it goes live in their store. Tonight at noon Eastern (9AM Pacific) is your time if you live in the States.  (more…)

Sprint Posts Best Postpaid Additions in Nine Years, Says LTE Plus is Getting Faster

Sprint is reporting excellent fiscal Q1 numbers, detailing its best postpaid phone net additions in nine years. According to Sprint, the company’s “focus on delivering the best value proposition in wireless,” resulted in the fourth consecutive quarter of positive net additions with 173,000 in the quarter, compared to net losses of 12,000 in fiscal Q1 of 2015. To put that in layman’s, Sprint is now gaining more postpaid customers than it is losing, and for this company, that’s a major victory. (more…)

Prisma is Now Available on Android

Prisma, the photo filtering app thats is apparently a huge, huge, huge deal on iOS, has come to Android as of today. Apologies for not being in the know on popular iOS-only apps, but word has it that people are really into the filters offered through Prisma.

With Prisma, you get the opportunity to use existing pictures on your phone or new ones taken through the app, to create “awesome artworks.” The app works a lot like Instagram, in that you choose or take photos, crop and adjust to your liking, then apply a filter. The filters here aren’t just auto tunes or brightness and vibrance enhancements, though, they are instead “modern art filters,” where your photos take on the essence of artwork from Picasso, Munk, etc.  (more…)