Android Pay getting festive for the holidays, especially in the UK

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Google has been seeing good success with their Android Pay framework and service since rolling it out last May. According to Google, it is especially popular in the UK and to help celebrate the progress, timed nicely with the holiday season, Android Pay users have some special features and opportunities they can take advantage of through the end of the year. Read more

Fitbit Blaze review

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By now, Fitbit is coming close to being synonymous with “activity tracker” and the brand name is occasionally tossed around as a generic term to describe any similar device. That does mean the company has a lot to live up to in terms of delivering solid devices that meet the expectations of buyers. One of those devices that was released this past year was the Fitbit Blaze which is ostensibly the company’s top of the line device and probably comes closest to merging the Fitbit activity tracking expertise with pseudo-smartwatch capabilities.

After spending some time with the Fitbit Blaze, we put together this review to help you decide whether this might be the trail you want to blaze for an activity tracker purchase. Read more

What’s in a name? HMD Global hopes a lot in Nokia

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Though it seems hard to imagine in this day and age, there once was a time when almost everyone who walked into a cellular phone store did so to buy a Nokia phone. The company once ruled the market – until they missed the boat on the shift to smartphones. Since then it has been an up and down, but mostly down, ride for the company. With a new deal and funding in place from HMD Global to use the Nokia name on new Android powered devices, there is hope that the company will make a comeback in 2017. Read more

Ghost Push re-appears as Gooligan malware in biggest theft of Google accounts yet

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Some old malware that targets older versions of the Android operating system was implicated in the biggest theft of Google account data yet. The malware is called Ghost Push and has been in the wild for a few years now as Google and other security firms have battled to minimize its impact. However, a new variant called Gooligan was determined this past summer, in public statements made today by security firm Check Point and Google, to be implicated in the theft of around 1.3 million Google account credentials. Read more

Xiaomi making no profit on smartphone sales, but that is not a problem

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With big smartphone players like Samsung and LG dropping the ball on some high profile products this past year, the door seems to be opened for other players to jump in and establish a strong foothold in the smartphone market. One of those companies may have been Xiaomi, which received a lot of press in 2014 when it was valued at $46 billion during a round of fund-raising. However, Hugo Barra revealed in a new interview that the company is not making any profit on smartphone sales and is actually focused on other connected devices and their software services and ecosystem to help make the company profitable. Read more

Gingerbread and Honeycomb to lose Google Play Services support in next update

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It may be hard to believe, but there are actually still some devices out there in the world running older versions of Android like Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The numbers are small at less that 1.5% and things may get a little bit more challenging for those users in early 2017. Google has announced they will be discontinuing support for those platforms with the next release of Google Play Services. The minimum version, or API level, will jump from 9 to 14, which corresponds to the Ice Cream Sandwich release. Read more

Nest Aware gets several upgrades for Nest Cams

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Google’s Nest unit announced several updates to the Nest Cam and their Nest Aware platform, their framework and app for making advanced use of Nest Cam devices. Leading the way is a new feature to make it possible to share clips on social media. Nest is also making it easier to view content from Nest Cams by adding support for platforms like Android TV, Apple TV and iPhones to go along with the Android platform support. Read more

4K UHD movies ready to appear on Google Play Movies

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Google has provided the market with an upgraded Chromecast device this year, the Chromecast Ultra, that supports 4K video streaming. There is also a decent chance that you may be in the market for a new television this year that supports 4K resolutions and retailers certain seem to be hoping those will be a big seller this holiday shopping season. With all of this hardware now available, users will be looking for 4K content and Google appears to be just about ready to supply that as well through the Play Store on their Google Play Movies & TV platform based on some reports that are starting to surface. Read more

OnePlus 3T on its way, but don’t count out the OnePlus 3

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Yesterday OnePlus launched the new OnePlus 3T as the updated successor to the OnePlus 3 that was released earlier this year. Outside of a new color option, externally the new device appears the same as the old device, but comes packed with new internal hardware. The OnePlus 3 is currently showing as not being available for order, which makes sense since everyone assumed the OnePlus 3T is replacing the OnePlus 3. OnePlus support on Twitter indicates that is not true though and both phones will be available. Read more