High on Android Sunday Summary-5/31/15

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Whew, what a week!

Another week in Android has come and gone, but this was no ordinary week! Indeed, Google I/O consumed the spotlight for the majority of the week, from predictions to reactions, we had all the coverage here at HOA. In addition to all the awesome I/O stuff going on, we also saw T-Mobile drop the LG G4 online. I got my hands on one of the leather-backed G4s right away (check out my unboxing and comparisons video below)! We also learned that Google is planning two new Nexus phones this year, one made by Huawei, and a smaller one from LG. By now, you all know how this works, lets get right to the list, then I’ll sum up my thoughts on everything that went down!

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  1. Google Hosted a little show called I/O 2015 By most accounts, I/O 2015 wasn’t as sexy as years past. We didn’t see a lot of new hardware announcements. Actually, we didn’t really see any new phones, tablets, or Android Wear devices that you can buy right now. We did see NVIDIA put the Shield Android TV up for sale in both 16 GB and 500 GB Pro versions. I gave a pretty nice summary already of the I/O keynote, so check that out for the full list of interesting events. Some of them are sure to have their own spot in this list…
  2. Google released the new Photos app- See, I told you I/O consumed the news this week! Google announced the new Photos app during the keynote, and rolled it out to the Play Store within a few hours. The new interface and private linking features are really nice. This change gives Photos a separate space outside of Google+ and improves the usability in many ways. In addition to the interface changes, Google is also giving 100% free unlimited storage for high quality photos and up to 1080p video, that announcement itself made me giddy with excitement!nexus2cee_Screenshot_2015-05-23-12-14-13
  3. Android M developer preview is now available- If you own a Nexus 5,6, or 9 you can now download the Android M developer preview. All of us here at HOA have installed this on our Nexii (I’m jk by the way, the plural of Nexus is Nexuses silly rabbit!), and it actually runs pretty well. In sharp contrast to last year with the L preview, the M preview does not make your phone entirely unusable. We still don’t recommend installing this if you only have one phone to use for all your work and personal affairs, but if you feel bold, give it a try! Max covered the major features in his video on M, check it out at the link above.google-io-android-m-0112.0
  4. Google’s ATAP Group dropped some new tech- ATAP pretty much owned the second day of I/O this year. They introduced multiple new projects including Project Soli and Project Jacquard. Project Soli aims to bring a full doppler radar to phones and other mobile devices. The possibilities are endless with the motion sensing accuracy of radar. Project Jacquard wants to turn your shirt, shorts, or pants into a touch-sensitive controller for your phone and other devices connected to the Internet of Things. ATAP is also still working on Project Tango to bring 3D camera technology to mobile devices, at I/O they announced a partnership with Qualcomm to build a Project Tango reference phone. Qualcomm announced the phone will be available later this year, you can find details in my post on Project Tango.dsc_0202-2-2304x1536
  5. Go Buy an NVIDIA Shield Box! – The NVIDIA Shield Android TV went on sale on Thursday and it is pretty awesome. I bought one of the 16 GB versions on Amazon and it is undoubtedly one of the best Android TV devices on the planet right now. If you like playing games and enjoy consuming media on your TV, you can’t go wrong with this box. The 500 GB Pro version will also be available in a few weeks, you can preorder on Amazon.71tta6cPlDL._SL1500_
  6. Android Pay is coming in M- This is part of the Android M release, but deserves its own place on our list. Android Pay is coming later this year and has a slew of retail and bank partners on deck. It looks like Android Pay might be what Google wanted Wallet to be in the first place!V22Q8AR8SNVV_W
  7. OnePlus is Holding a Media Event, but no new devices- OnePlus invited the media to an event on June 1 where they plan to “shake up the tech industry.” Apparently, that statement has nothing to do with new hardware, according to OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei. What does the cryptic statement mean then? Really anyone’s guess, but my money is on something lame like a $50 price drop on the One.OnePlus-Time-To-Change
  8. Shane showed us a sweet battery case for the S6/S6 Edge– If battery life issues have you down, check out Shane’s post on a couple battery cases that will give you some extended juice. These cases do give some bulk to the phone, but they’re worth having on deck in an emergency!
  9. T-Mobile LG G4 is now available T-mobile dropped the LG G4 online this week, allowing orders as of 6 AM PDT on 5/27. You also get a free 128 GB micro SD card for ordering from T-Mobile! I ordered one early that morning and receive it on Thursday with overnight delivery. Check out my video unboxing of the retail T-Mobile G4 in brown leather!

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Jeff Springer

"I am currently a researcher and Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. I fell in love with Android with the Nexus One release and realized that it was superior to iOS in all the ways I care about. I still use a Mac (and an iPhone for the camera), but my Apple tech products pale in comparison to my number of Android devices (watches, tablets, and phones). When I’m not rooting/modding one of my many Android phones or doing math/programming, you can find me taking in Phoenix Suns/Arizona Diamondbacks games in downtown Phoenix, and drinking good beer!"

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