The AT&T Galaxy S6 Active began receiving its first software update over the weekend. The update, which weighs in at 146MB and as software version G890AUCU2AOF3 (or “OF3″), only includes “Find My Mobile with Reactivation Mode.” That’s it. There could be some bug fixes in there as well, but AT&T isn’t telling us.
The update is still Android 5.0.2 and should be available if you cruise into Settings>About device>Software update>Check for updates.
Sundar Pichai is a senior vice president at Google in charge of Android, Chrome, and Google Apps. As such he has a lot of influence over some of Google’s most important consumer products. He is also considered to be the righthand man of Google’s chief executive, Larry Page. In a recent NY Times interview Sundar was grilled about the intrusiveness of smartphones, the dangers of anti-social phone use, and the possible solutions.
When asked if smartphones will eventually become socially unacceptable because of overuse, Sundar noted that people get a lot from their Android smartphones however they are probably more “interruptive” than they need to be, however ultimately it is the user who is in control, they use their phones how much they want to.
That was the first question in the interview and throughout the rest of the questioning the idea of individual choice was repeated again and again. When asked about checking emails during dinner, Sundar said that if parent allow their children to do that then it is a parent choice. If the parent themselves are doing it then that isn’t a technology question, as their are people who watch TV during dinner and nobody is blaming the TV manufacturers for that!
It’s their choice, and I want to be careful not to be prescriptive about what is OK to do and what is not OK to do.
At this point the interviewer changed tack and pointed out that people are making apps that turn your phone off for a while indicating that consumers see the need for way to reduce the temptation to constantly use a smartphone. Sundar pointed out that this isn’t a unique problem for smartphones, consumers want the same thing for email or for social media. “I also don’t know how much of these are like something that is just happening at the margin versus what’s happening at the core,” he added.
He then went on to repeat that how consumer’s user their phones is up to them. “To me, we need to design products which are genuinely centered around users. And then there is a line by which how users choose to live their lives. It’s their choice, and I want to be careful not to be prescriptive about what is OK to do and what is not OK to do.”
One area where Sundar is prepared for Google to be more prescriptive is with Android Auto. When you are driving it is important that a user only get the information that is critical, mainly because pulling out your phone while driving is dangerous.
He points out that he makes everyone on the team put all their phones in a basket so that they can all have a good dinner together.
“So if you look at how we are thinking through something like Android Auto, we are trying to thoughtfully figure out how you get what you want at the right time,” said Pichai. “Can you just speak and get your answer so that you don’t have to open up a phone? These are all experiences we think through.”
The conversation then shifts a little to personal policies with regards to smartphone use. Sundar revealed that on the evening before a Google I/O keynote speech he goes out for a meal with his team. He points out that he makes “everyone on the team put all their phones in a basket” so that they can all have a good dinner together.
Often when people compare iOS and Android, the mantra seems to be that Apple care about the end experience, it just needs to work. However to think that only Apple worrys about that is a little naive. As Pichai said, “the point is not to present the technology to the user. The point is to build a user experience.”
What do you think, are smartphones becoming too intrusive? Are they tearing away at the social fabric of life? Let me know in the comments below.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, along with the Galaxy Note Edge on Sprint are all receiving updates this morning. The S6 and S6 Edge are only expected to see “various bug fixes and enhancements” in their minor bumps, but the Note Edge is jumping from Android 5.0 to 5.1.
After the update, the Galaxy S6 will land on software version G920PVPU2BOFE, while the S6 Edge will be on G925PVPU2BOFE. As for the Note Edge, you are looking at a software version of N915PVPU4COFE, post update.
Sprint’s changelog doesn’t mention new features with the 5.1 update for the Note Edge, but on stock Android, we did see easier/quicker WiFi and Bluetooth management, plus HD Voice integration and device protection. Tough to say if any of that made it into this phone, since Samsung does as it pleases with Android.
To grab the updates, head into Settings>About phone.
With tools, especially cordless tools, you’re going to pay now or pay later. On one hand, you can spend a bunch of money up front and get a quality tool that will last a long time. The other option is purchasing a cheap cordless tool that won’t last long, having to replace it later and thus spending more money. With cheap cordless tools it is common for the battery to fail before the physical tool making that tool completely unusable. Sure, another battery could be purchased but sometimes they cost just as much as the tool and battery combo originally did. So what’s a cordless tool user to do?
[EngergySaver] had a set of DeWalt cordless tools with a bunch of working batteries. He also had a cheap drill where the battery had died. His bundle of tools included two flashlights, one of which the case physically broke in half, probably from a clumsy drop. Instead of tossing the broken flashlight pieces in the garbage, [EngergySaver] kept them around for a while. Then one day he had the idea of combining the base of the broken DeWalt flashlight with the top of the old battery-less drill. He had the parts so why not?
The battery pack was 18 volt and the cheap drill expected 16.8 volts. [EngergySaver] figured the voltages were close enough and decided not to worry about the difference during his hack. He started by disassembling both the drill and flashlight down to the bare plastic housings. He marked an appropriate place to splice the handles and made some cuts. After the wiring was spliced together and the tool casings reassembled, a piece of sheet metal was cut and bent around the handle at the joint between flashlight and drill. Hose clamps hold the sheet metal tight around the handles, keeping the new hybrid tool together. And although we’re not crazy about the sheet metal and hose clamp method, it seems to be working just fine. With a little work and ingenuity [EngergySaver] resurrected an old tool for our favorite price; $0.
Let’s face it. Even with all the portable power packs in your bag, there will come a time when you will inevitably reach out for a wall socket. When that day comes, you better be prepared. Not just with a wall charger that can juice up your mobile gadgets in a blink of an eye (OK, maybe a few dozen ones), but also with a cable that will bridge those two together. Forget those long, tangly USB cables that you either forget or lose. The ChargeIt! USB charger carries its own.
The 15-inch micro USB cable actually wraps around a groove of the wall charger so you have a place to keep it and never forget to bring it with you. And since the charger looks terribly off without the cable wrapped around it, you will always be reminded of it as well.
The charger itself features three charging ports, two USB and one micro USB. Unlike most wall chargers, this one comes with an LED light that indicates the charging status. The USB ports support 1A and 2.1A output rates, both with 5V. The charger also has failsafe mechanisms to protect you and your devices from surges, overheating, and other dangerous anomalies.
Normally $50, the ChargeIt! USB Wall Charger is now on a 54 percent discount. This means you can get this charger and cable combo for only $22.95.
Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.
Cable provider Comcast has thrown its hat into the streaming TV service ring with its announcement of Stream. Stream will allow Comcast’s Xfinity internet customers to watch live and on-demand TV programming without a cable subscription. Customers will have access to about a dozen channels at launch, including all of the major broadcast networks.
Security firm CrowdStrike has announced a $100 million investment from Google Capital. CrowdStrike was founded by ex-McAfee executives and utilizes cloud-based tools and security experts called “hunters” to actively combat hacking attempts, sometimes while they are in progress.
CrowdStrike has achieved some success in repelling attacks by Chinese based hacking groups, notably one group called Hurricane Panda. Earlier this year they claimed that the group had commenced an attack on a firm in January, but abandoned the attempt once they detected CrowdStrikes presence on the company’s network.
CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch believes Hurricane Panda abandoned the attempt based on an April 2014 incident involving another company protected by CrowdStrike. That successful response by CrowdStrike likely caused Hurricane Panda to realize “the cost and given the time and money wasted on the previous 0-day, decided it wasn’t worth it” to pursue their latest attack. Alperovitch says this was the first time they saw at attack abandoned in such a manner.
CrowdStrike also made a name for themselves recently by examining the Office of Personnel Management hack and determining it originated in China.
According to Gene Frantz, a partner at Google Capital,
“We were blown away by CrowdStrike’s incredible growth and impressive customer adoption. They have a truly unique SaaS-based endpoint security model, a highly scalable subscription revenue model, and a visionary technical approach that has huge potential to transform the industry, which is why we’re thrilled to make this investment.”
Google Capital is separate from Google Ventures, a largely independent venture capital firm setup by Google. Google Capital is an investment arm of Google.
Seagate has lowered its financial projections for Q2 2015, which ended July 3. The company expects $2.9 billion in revenue, down from earlier guidance of $3.2 billion to $3.3 billion. Non-GAAP gross margin is also expected to be lower than previously projected at 27%, down from 28.5%. Operating expenses are expected to be $530 million, $20 million lower than earlier forecasts of $555 million.
The company cites lower-than-expected demand as the key reason for the lowered forecast. Over the past quarter, Seagate says it shipped 45 million units, and estimates that it holds a …
Gamers everywhere have been relying on livestream sites like Twitch to enhance their gaming experience, particularly when it comes to playing on their mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, etc. But what if you wanted to both play and watch a broadcast from the app? While Android device have some multi-tasking features available, it’s still hard to do this. But now Twitch is adding a pop-out feature that would let you do both at the same time.
Even when you’re outside the Twitch app, as long as you enable the pop-out feature, you’ll be able to continue watching the broadcast that has caught your attention, even as you’re doing other tasks on your device. It doesn’t even have to be the game itself that you’re playing. You can text your friends, post on Facebook, scroll through your Instagram timeline and like pictures, all while the Twitch broadcast you’re watching is playing. We are after all living in the age of multi-tasking.
All you have to do to activate this is to click on the pop-out icon on the bottom right corner of the video you’re watching. Take note that if you’re doing this on your smartphone, you’ll only be able to see the icon if you’re on landscape mode. Once the video has already popped out, you can adjust its size by pinching and zooming with your fingers. If you’ve had enough of multi-tasking, you can just tap the icon on the left of the player, and it will bring you back to the app but still continue playing the video where you left off.
The update has already rolled out for Android devices, so just make sure your app is up to date. If you don’t have it yet, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store.
Over the weekend, an unannounced HTC-branded smartphone passed through China’s official certification database — TENAA. The mid-range handset, dubbed the Desire 728, carries the model number D728w and is believed to be targeted at the Asian market.
The device is rumored to pack a 5.5-inch 720p display, a 1.3GHz MediaTek octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter and a 2,600mAh non-removable battery.
Anonymous tipsters claim that the Desire 728 will be available in a multitude of different colours, including black, white, gold, grey, orange and red.
To view the full certification document over on TENAA’s website, hit the source link below.