Oatmeal Cookie or Oreo? Android 8.0 name guessing heats up

With the official launch of Android 8.0 drawing closer, perhaps only a couple months away, there is not much not already known about where Google is going with the next version of their mobile operating system. Developer previews are already available for Android O with only one round left in July if all goes as planned. As in the past, one of the items that remains shrouded in mystery is what confectionary treat the new version will be named after. The next version should be named for something that starts with the letter O. A popular choice seems to be Oreo, but a new contender has emerged as the potential for Oatmeal Cookie gains some traction.

Samsung working on a super-high resolution Gear VR device

According to Korea Economy, Samsung has commissioned their Samsung Display business unit to develop a super-high resolution OLED display to be used in the next generation Gear VR. Reports indicate that device will be a standalone virtual reality headset as opposed to Samsung’s current method of having users insert their smartphone in a headset. The resolution for the new OLED screen is targeted at an eye-popping 2,000 pixels per inch.

PayPal adding an instant bank transfer option to platform

Last week Early Warning Systems announced their new Zelle payment processing system to enable nearly instantaneous transfers of funds for P2P transactions. This move seems to be a response to Apple’s steps to include better P2P features in their iMessage platform on iOS devices. Not to be outdone, PayPal announced today a new feature that will make it possible for users to move money from their PayPal account to their own bank account in mere minutes.

Android Market to shut down on June 30th

Google and Android fans who have watched the company and used their products over the years know that some platforms seem to get cut down despite being popular. In some cases though, Google products hang on long after you may have thought about them. In an announcement today, Google notified the world that they would be ending support for the Android Market effective June 30th. For those who are not aware, Android Market was the forerunner to Google Play.

LG announces G6+ along with updates, new colors for G6

LG announced today that they will be rolling out a major update for the LG G6 starting in July, producing the device in two new colors, and they will release an upgraded version of the smartphone to be dubbed the LG G6+. Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company says “LG’s G series has always been about offering innovation and technology that we believe will appeal to as many customers as possible. By expanding the G6 lineup with differentiating features and  colors, consumers will have even more options to consider when shopping for a new smartphone.”

Bixby sneak preview offered by Samsung, but more delays on tap

Last Friday Samsung issued a new update regarding their Bixby artificial intelligence/personal assistant software that is currently a Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ only feature. The good news, if you are willing to test things on behalf of a manufacturer, is Samsung is offering users an option to sign up for early access to test Bixby’s voice commands. The bad news is this move clearly reveals even more delays for Samsung in releasing a fully-baked Bixby product to the U.S. market.

Twitter preparing to roll out new look, features on most platforms

All of Twitter’s platforms will be getting an update over the next few days and weeks, although iOS users may see the most change as the iOS client incorporates more of an Android look. Headlining the changes and the leading example of how Twitter is bringing the Android experience to iOS is a new side navigation menu for profiles, accounts, settings and privacy. On iOS, the bottom menu bar is also being trimmed to be simpler, much like the Android menu bar.

New LG G6 Second Year Promise extends warranty coverage to 24 months

LG has announced a new program to try to improve the deal for consumers buying a new LG G6 smartphone. Extending the manufacturer’s warranty to a full two years, the new LG G6 Second Year Promise program is designed to shift “the definition of ‘quality’ to one that includes not only device specs and build, but also the peace of mind consumers experience using them, particularly during long term ownership” according to Chang Ma, President of LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A.

Google updating Drive to full-fledged backup system

Google has announced an update to their Google Drive for Mac/PC client giving it a new name and new capabilities. On June 28, 2017 the product will become Backup and Sync from Google. In addition to replacing the Google Drive for Mac/PC application, the Google Photos desktop uploader will also be integrated into the new platform. For users who already use Google Drive for Mac/PC, the new application will respect their existing settings.

Google Now may get a transparent background overhaul

Technically it is a product that no longer exists, but the Google Now pane that is available to users who make use of the Google Launcher could be getting an interesting update. Google Now has been replaced by the Google Assistant and for their own Pixel devices, Google switched the interface to the Pixel Launcher and now calls Google Now the Google Feed. Whatever the name may be, despite a lack of activity for the tool, it appears Google is testing a possible change to the interface to make the background transparent.

Sprint gets aggressive and offers free year of service to switch to their network

Sprint may be feeling a bit stressed out despite still being considered one of the big four wireless carriers in the U.S. Although they are a top carrier, in recent years they did see their position slip down to the fourth spot and where they used to be the potential buyer of T-Mobile, the roles have reversed. Sprint has taken to employing many of the same tactics as T-Mobile with unlimited data plans and aggressive pricing to try to overcome their relatively weaker network coverage. Their latest move though may be the most aggressive one yet as they target Verizon customers with free unlimited data for one year for customers who switch.

eero launches second generation of home WiFi devices

When it comes to setting up WiFi in a home, especially larger homes, consumers have a couple options. One is to invest in bigger WiFi access points with more antennas in an attempt to push the signal out as far as possible. The other option is to add more access points and create a mesh network where devices can connect to the closest unit. This latter option is one that eero has capitalized on with their product offerings. Today the company announced the launch of their second generation of the eero system which bring an improved base unit, new eero Beacon units, and a subscription service called eero Plus that is described as a “home security system” for your Internet connection.

New Zelle P2P payment system to provide new safe, fast platform to move money

Hot on the heels of Apple’s announcement of a new iMessage based payment processing framework to help Apple’s customers move money from person-to-person, a new bank-backed solution called Zelle was announced by Early Warning Services. The new Zelle system will be available to approximately 86-million mobile banking customers through their bank specific apps. Zelle promises to make it possible to transfer funds from one account to another in a matter of minutes as opposed to current systems that typically take 1-2 days for funds to clear and be available.

Huawei officially launches the Honor 9

Earlier today Huawei officially launched their latest device in their Honor line of smartphones which are intended to be their mid-tier phones for more budget-oriented consumers. Despite some downgrades to hardware to keep costs in check, the Honor phones typically include a nice mix of features and the new Honor 9 that was launched today is no exception.