Google communicates some Allo and Duo updates in Brazilian remarks

The mass of updates for a wide variety of communication platforms continues for Google. In remarks today at an event in Brazil, Google revealed their latest focus for updates and improvements to their communications platforms targets the Allo and Duo apps. The pair of apps have been widely panned since their launch last year and while the new features revealed today are nice, they probably will not silence the critics wondering just what the purpose of these apps is within Google’s portfolio of messaging platforms.

Cyanogen may have ‘stuck it’ to Nintendo over use of OS for Nintendo Switch

Did spring fever get to Cyanogen’s Kirt McMaster today as evidenced by a tweet he sent out earlier – since pulled – in which he was virtually fist-bumping himself over not working with Nintendo to put together an operating system for the Nintendo Switch? As most of the replies on Twitter indicate, with the success of the Nintendo Switch crowing about how one did not partner with Nintendo may not reveal the most astute business acumen.

OnePlus upgrades OxygenOS 4.1 to Android 7.1.1 for OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

There are not many devices on the market yet that have made the step up to Android 7.1.1. OnePlus can now claim two of them after they announced the official upgrade to their OxygenOS 4.1 to incorporate the latest build of Android. The devices getting the update include the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T. That will be a nice added bonus for buyers interested in the special OnePlus 3T Colette Edition that will drop next week in France.

No love for tablets as Google skips them with Assistant

If you have an Android smartphone running either Nougat or Marshmallow, the odds are pretty good that you may already have access to the Google Assistant. This comes after Google started rolling the AI feature out to devices earlier this month. Unfortunately, it looks like one group of device owners is being left out in the cold as Android tablets are not receiving the Assistant and future access appears to be doubtful as well.

Codenames hooked while fishing for Pixel 2 devices?

Google has already revealed they plan to release new premium smartphones later this year as the successor devices to the Pixel and Pixel XL. Not much else is known about how Google may equip these devices, but Internet sleuths are hard at work trying to find clues and leaked information. The latest comes to us via the Android Open Source Project Gerrit and is combined with some knowledge from an inside source pointing to the codenames for the Pixel 2 devices.

New images reveal Samsung Galaxy S8 launcher and icons

As we inch closer to the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 we expect more bits of information about what Samsung has planned to continue to trickle out in the form of leaks and rumors. The latest is a set of images that claim to show the overall look of the Galaxy S8 launcher and app icons. Samsung’s user interface, including the launcher, has been panned and praised throughout the years as it moved from TouchWiz to Nature UX. The latest version, rolling out with Android 7.0 Nougat, is called Samsung Experience and the Galaxy S8 appears to continue on that path.

Do-nothing Google Carrier Services hits the Play Store

A mysterious app from Google has surfaced in the Play Store and odds are pretty good it may be updating itself to your Android device over the next several days. The app is called Carrier Services and despite the lack of any apparent actual functionality, it does point to Google continuing a trend of unbundling operating system components out to individual apps. The question probably remains as to whether this is part of a shell for some piece of Android getting ready to move out of the operating system or whether it is an entirely new component.

Did Motorola accidentally ‘leak’ the 2017 Moto Z at MWC?

MWC 2017 was full of new smartphone reveals including the launch of the new Motorola Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus. Motorola also took the opportunity during MWC 2017 to talk about and show off some forthcoming Moto Mods for their top of the line Z series of smartphones. Where LG flopped with modules, Motorola is still trying make it happen, but they clearly realize they need many more options on the market to keep consumers interested. In the course of hyping Moto Mods the company may have revealed their new 2017 flagship device.

Nest working on less expensive thermostat, home security systems

Anyone who has shopped for a smart thermostat or smart home security systems knows they are not cheap. This often forces consumers to make some decisions about long term returns on investments. Alphabet’s Nest division is hoping to make it a little easier for buyers to purchase several of these items according to new reports. Nest is working on a new, less expensive version of their Nest thermostat, a home security system and updates to their indoor security cameras.

Leak may indicate HTC Ocean still in play

Over the last few months HTC got some media coverage for some videos they released for a device called the HTC Ocean. In the videos, one of the intriguing features was some technology that appeared to make the side edges of the device capable of detecting touch input. Interest in the HTC Ocean concept slid from view though as HTC moved to release their new line of U phones. A new leaked screenshot showing a setting for something called “Edge Sense” may reveal the HTC Ocean is still somewhere in the pipeline on the way to market.

No more Pixel laptops, even brand expansion seems questionable

At Mobile World Congress 2017, Google met with several journalists to discuss ongoing and future initiatives for the giant tech company. One Google representative in attendance was Rick Osterloh who is the senior vice president for hardware and effectively runs the consumer hardware side of things. During the meeting and in subsequent comments, Osterloh revealed the Chromebook Pixel line of laptops has reached the end of its life and he also threw some doubt as to how committed to the Pixel brand Google may be.

Nokia to eliminate Withings brand starting this summer

It may not seem like it, but almost a year ago Nokia announced they were buying Withings for the price of $191 million. At the time of the announcement, there was no indication as to whether Nokia would stick with the Withings branding. In an announcement at MWC 2017, the company confirmed that starting this summer, hardware produced by the now former Withings division would be branded as Nokia devices. The rebranding will join some changes to apps and platforms that Nokia plans to introduce for the predominantly health-technology oriented products.