Android Feature Request: Let Us “User-Initiate” App Updates on Google Play, Just Like System Updates

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The introduction of staged rollouts for Android apps is probably my least favorite Android happening in the history of covering this industry. While I’m fully aware of the reasoning for them to exist (act as a test group, catch bugs early before everyone gets them, don’t destroy everyone’s phone, etc.), they absolutely took almost all of the fun out of Android apps and the way we discovered new features and shared big changes with one another, all through the secure outlet that is Google Play. In ...

Google’s Project Jacquard jacket can now light up its tag and find your phone

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When it went on sale in late September, Levi's Commuter Trucker Jacket was the first piece of clothing to integrate Google's Project Jacquard touch-gesture functionality. At $350 a pop, it's not a surprise that the Jacquard by Google app (which is used to customize and control the jacket) shows just 100-500 installs. That means a few hundred people will be delighted to learn that the app just got its first major update, which lets wearers of the Jacquard-woven jacket use gestures that enable new light modes for the tag ...

Gear S3 Value Pack update brings UX changes, improved fitness tracking, and much more

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Considered to be one of the better smartwatches available, and my personal favorite, the Samsung Gear S3 received a substantial update today. Dubbed "Value Pack," it brings both the Classic and the Frontier to Tizen 3.0.0.1, as well as a bunch of new stuff. Here is the massive changelog: Samsung Connect: Monitor and manage smart devices the smarter way with Gear S3 Gear VR Controller: Easily control your Gear VR right from your wrist with the Gear S3 PPT Controller: Command the audience and the presentation with the ...

Cartoon Network app now works on Android TV

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Cartoon Network has an impressive legacy, with shows like Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog, The Amazing World of Gumball, and Regular Show under its belt. At this point it's mostly a 24/7 channel for Teen Titans GO, but you're into that, you might be excited to hear that the official app now supports Android TV. Like most applications for cable networks, the CN app allows you to watch select on-demand content from your mobile device (and now, your TV). There's even ...

Philips rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to its 2016 and 2017 TVs

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Google doesn't allow manufacturers to heavily customize Android TV, but that hasn't stopped some companies from delivering updates slowly (coughSonycough). Philips' smart TVs have been stuck on Marshmallow, but that appears to be changing. The company has now started rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to its 2016 and 2017 smart TVs. Android TV 7.0 includes a few notable features like picture-in-picture support, 4K casting, multi-account support, and app recording. Philips has added a few tweaks as well, including Amazon HDR/Dolby Digital+ support, and HLG (Hybrid ...

Android 8.0 Oreo finally arrives on Nexus Player

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The Nexus Player is getting pretty long in the tooth, as it was released in 2014. It's still supported with software updates though, and was one of the devices to receive Android O Developer Previews earlier this year. However, a nasty bug was discovered close to official release, which caused the Nexus Player to upload a massive amount of data for no apparent reason. The director of Android TV at Google later confirmed to us that because the problem was discovered so late in development, the ...

Sony’s latest 4K HDR Android TVs will work with Amazon’s Echo devices

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Today Sony has announced that the company's latest 4K HDR televisions, powered by Android TV, will soon be updated to work with Amazon's Echo devices. This new feature will arrive via a firmware update sometime this month. So the next time you yell at your TV, there might be some purpose to it.  You can see the complete list of compatible devices here, but the TL;DR is that the new feature is limited to 23 different 2017 and some 2016 XBR (Bravia) models with Android TV. ...

[Update: Link to Sony’s message] It looks like Sony might be prepping to push Nougat to their Android TVs soon

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Update 1: 2017/05/02 7:37am PDT Check out Sony's message for yourself here. We got a tip earlier today from a user whose Sony Android TV gave him a message about an upcoming update. The message does not explicitly mention Nougat, but among the features listed are some that are exclusive to Android 7.0. Unfortunately, we don't know exactly when the update will hit, but the included information says that it is scheduled to begin after 05/2017. Read More It looks like ...