Sure Looks Like Verizon has a Streaming TV Box on the Way

Sure Looks Like Verizon has a Streaming TV Box on the Way


Verizon might have plans to enter the streaming TV arena in the near future. This one slipped by me the other day, but an FCC filing revealed a Verizon “Stream TV” that could be a WiFi streaming box similar to an Android TV unit or AT&T’s various streaming box options for its numerous streaming TV services.

The device (model JS8V) features 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, Dolby Audio, and a controller. And again, it’s called the Verizon “Stream TV.” I mean, the name kind of sells it all, right?

The device is made by Wistron NeWeb, who just so happens to be the same company that makes AT&T’s custom Android TV box. While I haven’t found any definitive proof that this box runs Android TV, we do know that Google is up for customizing Android TV for customers like this who want a tailored experience for their services. Again, AT&T has … Read the rest

Android Auto UI Update We’ve All Been Waiting for has Arrived

Android Auto UI Update We’ve All Been Waiting for has Arrived


Back in May, Google announced a refreshed look for Android Auto, and this week, it’s rolling out.

There are a few major changes to take note of. The big change is a dedicated app drawer, which will lay out all of your Android Auto compatible apps for easy access. On some icons, you’ll notice a Google Assistant button. Pressing on it will have Assistant read out certain details, such as upcoming events should you tap on the Calendar icon.

Multitasking is also a major part of this update. For example, while inside of Google Maps and navigating where you need to go, music controls will be embedded directly onto the bottom of the UI, allowing you to control playback while still having your maps up. This was always a major frustration of previous interfaces.

There is also a dedicated section for notifications. In the bottom right you’ll see a … Read the rest

DIRECTV NOW Rebrands to AT&T TV NOW

DIRECTV NOW Rebrands to AT&T TV NOW


DIRECTV NOW is getting rebranded to AT&T TV NOW, with the change taking full effect sometime in the coming weeks.

According to AT&T, customers won’t need to do much, except to accept a new terms of service.

For the DIRECTV NOW app, it will be replaced by an updated AT&T TV app across all app stores, available in the coming weeks.

This is a much better announcement than a service price hike, yes?

// AT&T

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Samsung to Announce Galaxy Tab S6, Watch Active 2 Prior to Note 10 Event

Samsung to Announce Galaxy Tab S6, Watch Active 2 Prior to Note 10 Event


Samsung is going to spend a lot of time talking about the Galaxy Note 10 at its scheduled Unpacked event next week, so much that it’s going to announce two other products separately before we get to August 7. In a teaser posted this morning, Samsung said that it will preview two products at separate digital events prior to showing off the Note 10.

They didn’t name the products, but the video (below) shows a new tablet and watch floating about in the shadows. Because Samsung products leak in full weeks before they are ever official, we know these two products to be the Galaxy Tab S6 and Galaxy Watch Active 2.

If we take the video layout as its shown, we should see the Galaxy Tab S6 on July 31 followed by the Galaxy Watch Active 2 on August 5. Both products will be revealed on Samsung’s … Read the rest

Google, We Have Some Pixel 4 Soli Feature Suggestions

Google, We Have Some Pixel 4 Soli Feature Suggestions


Now that we know for certain that the Pixel 4 will come equipped with a Soli radar chip for recognizing hand movements, we’re curious how Google intends to improve it over time. In the company’s own words, the Motion Sense feature will “evolve” as it ages, so let’s allow this post to push Google in the right direction in terms of what we, the consumers, would like to see, yes?

As of right now, we know Motion Sense will be capable of skipping songs, snoozing alarms, and silence phone calls. For us, that’s not nearly enough functionality to warrant that much real estate on the device’s front side.

We would also like to see the ability to swipe through photos in gallery applications (Photos, Gallery, etc.), scrolling in Chrome or other applicable applications, switch camera modes or apply different filters in the Camera app, control a device’s volume output, a … Read the rest

RIP, Dual Selfie Camera Pixel Phones

RIP, Dual Selfie Camera Pixel Phones


Google is changing a lot about its Pixel program with the release of this year’s Pixel 4. For the first time, they are introducing a rear camera setup that has more than one camera. We also believe that they may ditch fingerprint readers altogether to instead focus on the Pixel 4’s advanced face unlock technology. That focus appears to have led to another change that drops the front camera setup down to a single selfie camera, after introducing a dual selfie camera last year.

With the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, we had dual 8MP selfie cameras, one with a standard field of view next to another that shot at a wide-angle. The wide-angle camera was a big selling feature for Google, as they promoted it to those who may take group selfies and want capture the entire scene. I can tell you that I certainly used it more … Read the rest

YouTube TV Getting PBS and PBS Kids Network Later This Year

YouTube TV Getting PBS and PBS Kids Network Later This Year


Later this year, YouTube TV customers will be treated to the PBS and PBS Kids network.

YouTube TV didn’t provide a specific launch date for when PBS shows will be streamed, but once it is, folks will be enjoying great programming like the ones listed here.

Thankfully, the addition of PBS doesn’t appear to have warranted a spike in the service’s $50/month pricing. I’d riot.

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Question: You Cool With No Fingerprint Sensor on the Pixel 4?

Question: You Cool With No Fingerprint Sensor on the Pixel 4?


Now that Google has confirmed an Apple-esque face unlock system for its next phone, we need to seriously consider the idea that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL may not have a fingerprint reader. If that’s the case, are you cool with that?

I bring it up because Google has now given us a view of the backside of the Pixel 4, along with today’s full write-up on face unlock and the various sensors used to make that magic happen. What Google hasn’t showed one bit of in either teaser is a fingerprint reader on the backside, frontside, or sides of the phone. While I’m sure they wanted to spend time today hyping the face unlock capabilities and the Soli chip, it would have been fitting to say, “Oh and since we’re talking front of the phone, we put this sweet in-display fingerprint reader in too.” They didn’t.… Read the rest

No Early Pixel 4 Launch This Year?

Google Shows Off Pixel 4 Soli-Powered Face Unlock, Gesture Controls


Google is continuing to hype the upcoming Pixel 4 via social media, this time showcasing the phone’s new face unlock feature, as well as Motion Sense gesture controls via the new Soli radar chip array.

In a brief video and a blog post, Google states that, “As you reach for Pixel 4, Soli proactively turns on the face unlock sensors, recognizing that you may want to unlock your phone. If the face unlock sensors and algorithms recognize you, the phone will open as you pick it up, all in one motion. Better yet, face unlock works in almost any orientation—even if you’re holding it upside down.”

The face unlock feature can be used for secure payments and app authentication, too.

Soli, as you may be aware, is the result of work that was first showcased at Google I/ORead the rest

OPPO’s Waterfall Display Makes Debut, Our Worst Nightmare

OPPO’s Waterfall Display Makes Debut, Our Worst Nightmare


We have been vocal as of late concerning our non-love for curved displays. Yes, they look sexy, but in terms of functionality, we aren’t major fans. Last night on Twitter, OPPO detailed its “Waterfall Screen,” which looks more extreme with regard to curves than Samsung’s Infinity displays.

OPPO doesn’t explain anything about the display in its tweet, but asks followers to guess the prototype device’s screen-to-body ratio. Considering the Galaxy S10+ features a 90% ratio, we’ll guess this is somewhere in the low to mid-90% range.

As you can see in the pictures, this display literally curves nearly all of the way around the phones left and right sides. If you are looking for an extremely immersive video viewing experience on a phone, this could be as good as it gets.

However, we have to discuss usability. For the most part, the curved sides of the phone would … Read the rest