Report: Google to Take Top-To-Bottom “Apple-Like” Control Over Nexus Line

Ever since the launch of the Nexus 6P and 5X at the end of 2015, we have begun to see this narrative arise suggesting that Google needs to stop partnering with companies like LG, Samsung, HTC, and Huawei to build its Nexus devices and instead take the Apple approach, where they handle everything from top to bottom and simply contract out companies to help build devices. That essentially means going the Pixel route, where we see products like the Pixel C that were designed and essentially, manufactured, by Google. In other words, Google takes control over everything from the software to hardware design to make a tablet or computer (or phone) that is 100% Google. Sure, they are sourcing chipsets and RAM and displays and all of that, plus they need someone to physically build everything, but they aren’t asking someone like LG or HTC to add their name to it.

While this “Apple-like” control over the Nexus program seems to be the opposite of what the Nexus program was designed for, a report out of The Information this morning, suggests that’s what Google plans to do going forward.  (more…)

Ford’s 2016 and 2017 Models With SYNC 3 Get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay

After doing its best to ignore Google and Apple’s attempts to enter its cars, Ford is giving in and will add Android Auto and CarPlay to its 2016 and 2017 line-up of rides that are equipped with SYNC 3, their newest infotainment system. All of its 2017 cars will arrive with Android Auto and CarPlay out of the gate (again if they have SYNC 3 on board), while its 2016 models with SYNC 3 will have the option to upgrade.  (more…)

Instagram Update Brings “Long Press” Peek Feature to Android

In an update made available to Instagram’s beta users, a new feature has been baked in, which may have you thinking you are using an iPhone. Much like Apple’s 3D Touch, which allows users to long press on items and peek into them, when you are on a profile page or the search menu of the updated Instagram app, you can now long press on thumbnails of photos and videos, peaking into what they have to offer.  (more…)

Apple Music Now Available on Google Play

Apple Music is now available for Android devices through Google Play. Yup, this is a pretty momentous day for all in Silicon Valley, as Cupertino begins to acknowledge the importance of porting its luxurious iOS experiences to Mountain View.

The Apple Music app is currently listed as a beta, but if you do decide to check it out, you will be able to begin a 3-month trial for free, granting you access to over 30 million song titles. The service features catered recommendations, a way to “connect” with artists (on their own terms, of course), and create custom playlists for whatever mood you are feeling.  (more…)

Report: Samsung Will Offer Own Phone Leasing Program, Like the One Apple Just Announced

According to a report out of Forbes, who spoke with an anonymous “industry executive with knowledge of Samsung’s plans,” the Korean electronics giant plans to introduce a phone leasing program similar to the one Apple just announced at its iPhone 6s event. Their exact plans or launch timing are not known at this time, but with Apple making this move and Samsung potentially on the verge of announcing another disappointing quarter, they could “accelerate” the new program.  (more…)

Thoughts on the Galaxy Note 5 from an iPhone User [Opinion]

Late last year I was sitting in my car playing with my tiny iPhone 5c. I had just finished reviewing the Sony Z3v and it dawned on me. I missed Android. I started messaging with everyone at Droid Life and within a few minutes I decided I was going to switch to Android. I have an upgrade coming up in October so I figured I would upgrade to the Note 5 since it would be the latest phone out then. Then I got to spend some time with the Galaxy S6. It was a great phone with some shortcomings, but surely the Note 5 would be the phone for me.

More time passed and I continued to evaluate. Would the Note 5 meet my needs? Can I live with a more advanced OS that doesn’t get apps or updates first? Can I give up iMessage for SMS? I had lots of questions and few answers. Read on to get my impressions of the Galaxy Note 5 and what I decided.  (more…)