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Showing posts from February, 2016

HTC Vive pre-orders just went live

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Frothing at the mouth for a killer VR experience? Have $800 burning a hole in your pocket? Have we got news for you! Today HTC launched pre-orders for theirVivevirtual reality headset. The pack comes with three games including Google’s jaw-dropping Tilt Brush, which is a 3D painting program. You’ll also get all you need to transform a room into your house into a VR den of the future: wireless lightboxes, two wireless controllers, and all the components necessary to jack yourself Matrix-style into your ferociously specced computer. All this for the low, low price of $800.Did I saw low? Yeowch! That price tag might be a bit painful, but this is some top of the line consumer grade VR equipment, and of all the gadgets we’ve tried in the field, it’s handedly one of the best. Still, it’s better than the$1500 stickerthe product was once rumored to have. Unfortunately, it looks like only US residents are eligible for pre-orders so far, but we can cross our fingers that they will expand to oth…

Leaked screenshot of Android N show new notifications shade and quick settings panel

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The notifications shade is no stranger to change, and it seems to undergo tweaks and modifications with just about every major update to Android. In a leaked image discovered byAndroid Police, we get our first glimpse at what changes it can expect when Android N rolls around.As you can see, the notifications shade looks like it’ll provide quite a bit more info per notifications, and the height of each notification has been stretched to accommodate this. In Lollipop, notifications on the shade have a card-like feel with gaps of negative space between each one. N looks like it’s filling up these gaps. While both have a very sleek, Material Design look, N opts for a lengthy sheet of contiguous paper over the card layout. We assume they will still be swipe-able.See also: (Update: no app drawer) Android N features: everything confirmed, rumored and expected155 Moreover, the quick settings panel seems to be one tap quicker than it is on Lollipop. What appear to be quick toggle buttons ride a…

Google self driving car hits a bus, Google bears the responsibility

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Google’sself driving carinitiative is one of the most ambitious and controversial projects currently under the scrutiny of the public eye. Although the search giant has had six years of experience under their belt with only 17 minor accidents occurring across over two million miles of test driving, this month marks the first time that a self-driving vehicle bore any culpability in a traffic incident.On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2016, a self-driving Lexus RX450h attempted to navigate around some sandbags placed in a wide lane. A bus traveling at 15 mph approached the Google car from behind, occupying same wide lane as the smart car. The Lexus attempted to re-enter the center of the lane while moving at a speed of 2 mph.See also: Google partners with car manufacturers to create self driving cars3 Google reported in a statement last week that the smart car anticipated that the bus would slow down to allow the self driving car to continue, but the bus did not. When the smart car re-ent…

Android celebrates device diversity with Rock, Paper, Scissors ad

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What sets the Android ecosystem apart from the iOS is, among other things, the sheer diversity of devices running the operating system. It’s true that this can lead to problems, like the ever-increasingfragmentation of the Android ecosystem, and there are clearly merits to Apple’s methodology thatGoogle is looking to adopt for their operating system. Nevertheless, the fact that different manufacturers with wildly different device designs can all run the same operating system means that users have a broad array of options to choose from if they want to pick a device that’s just right for them.In the spirit of this individualism linking hand in hand with community, Google has been running a marketing campaign under the slogan, “Be together, not the same.” That last part is something of a jab at iPhones. The latest addition to this marketing parade is pretty cute little commercial that involves a googly-eye adorned scrap of paper attempting to find its place in a school full of scissors.

Best unlocked Android phones (February 2016)

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Now that an increasing amount of smartphone manufacturers are selling their phones at cheaper price points, it’s much easier for consumers to afford an off-contract device rather than purchasing one with a two-year contract. At least in the United States, the way smartphones are priced has changed dramatically, and that’s a good thing.Best Android phonesBest cheap Android phonesSo, what are the best smartphones out there for those who’d like to forgo the standard contract and buy unlocked? We’re here to take you through the best unlocked Android smartphones for under $250, under $500 and over $500. As always, if you have anything you’d like to suggest, be sure to speak up in the comment section at the bottom of the post.Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list regularly as new devices launch. It’s also worth noting that this article is written for a U.S.-centric point of view, though (since they are unlocked) pretty much all of these devices are available outside of the U.S., at lea…