It’s been a fun week in Android, we had a new phone launch in Melbourne, a bit of Google news, some new apps and of course you can now see how Google is going to setup Shoreline Amphitheatre for Google I/O later this month. We understand that life is busy so every week we round up the news so you can get an idea of what happened this week.
LG goes Modular with the G5
Chris has had some time with the LG G5 and the companion ‘Friends’ and broken it down in the Ausdroid style in the full review. The phone has some good, great and bad things about it and you can find out all about his thoughts in the review. Also check out our new review layout as well, it’s really cool
A reversible microUSB cable?
This week Duncan checked out the Micflip reversible microUSB cable. The cable has a higher price than your average microUSB cable, but it also has double the flexibility with the ability to be plugged in first time, no more flipping them upside down three times before plugging it in. You can read all about it here.
Android apps on Chrome OS for realsies this time
It’s been a stop/start launch of Android apps on Chrome OS, but it looks like we could finally get the full Google Play experience in Chrome OS. Some users are seeing brief glimpses of the option in Settings, so perhaps look out for this one to be launched at Google I/O.
Warning, developers make money from ads
Google this week started showing a warning on Google Play for Android that the app you’re about to download contains advertising. These days it’s pretty much accepted that developers deserve to be compensated for their work, with many choosing the ad-supported model. It’s nothing to worry about, but now you’ll know if the app that you or your child is about to download contains ads.
Google I/O looks like a giant music festival
Google I/O is happening this month (18 days and counting) and with the developer conference running across three days, Google is relying on the great California weather by holding it outside at Shorline Amphitheatre. Exactly how Google would set the conference up has been revealed with Google releasing a custom MyMap laying out the 10 stages.
Google Calendar is taking over scheduling for Apps customers
Google Apps customers finally get a feature first, with Google announcing that Calendar will now be able to schedule your meetings for you.
SkynetYouTube is getting smarter
Google updated their YouTube for Android this week with a new layout, but the bigger news is that they’re now using deep neural networks to recommend videos it thinks you’ll like. The machines are pretty good, because I’ve noticed I`m watching more YouTube these days.
Google hates Australia for hardware launches
Want to get a new watch band for you watch that’s easy to change? Well, you can’t. Google launched their new ‘MODE’ watch bands this week on the Google Store in the US, the bands are available in Silicon and Leather, look great and are easy to put on and take off. There’s no word on when or if we’ll see these in Australia, but we can hope it will be soon.
Oppo scores big with a JB HiFi partnership for the launch of the R9
With their partnership with DSE dissolving due to insolvency of the retailer, Oppo has scored big with an even better partnership with JB Hifi. The retailer will stock Oppo’s latest and greatest handset the R9 as well as other phones and accessories from the Oppo Range from May 9th. The Oppo R9 will cost $599 and we’ll have a review unit soon to check out.
LG mixes old and new school with a DAB+ Radio packing phone
LG launched the LG Stylus DAB+ a handset which integrates a digital radio receiver into the handset. It’s a big phone with a 5.7″ screen and a decent spec list. You can get your hands on it this week from a range of retailers or from Virgin Mobile if you’re after a contract.
Telstra loves HTC
After announcing their new Signature range, which uses a HTC handset, Telstra has continued the love affair by launching the Desire 530 as a pre-paid handset. At $229 it’s a decently priced handset so if you’re in the market check it out.
HTC 10 is coming this week
HTC will launch the HTC 10 this week, and yes, before you ask the review should be up shortly. The pricing has been released for all carriers except Telstra who will start selling the phone on Tuesday. You can check out what you’re up for in our roundup.
Oprus PrePaid is the place for music streaming
Optus Pre-Paid customers this week got a nice surprise when the telco announced they will no longer count data used to stream music from selected services against your data cap. There’s no word on when or if the bonus will come to post-paid customers but it’s a good deal if you’re on pre-paid. For all the details, including which services, check out it out here.
Kogan goes 4G
In the wake of Telstra wholesale customers Aldi and Woolworths mobile offering their customers 4G, Kogan Mobile, who uses Vodafone to supply mobile service, finally announced their customers will be getting 4G service in June.
Gotta catch ’em all
Niantic Labs and Nintendo this week began their field tests of their location based game Pokemon Go. The game is amazingly fun and will be a hit for anyone interested in the cute little pocket monsters. Unfortunately availability is limited to selected beta testers, but it looks good.
Going on a holiday? Let Google organise it for you
Google has been bundling up all your trip information in Inbox for a while, but not everyone uses the GMail replacement. To allow people to benefit from the bundles, they’re working on a new app called Google Trips and a selection of Google Local Guides is now beta testing it. We’ve got a few shots from it and it looks great.
Qantas Assure acknowledges the dominant mobile platform in Australia
Only a couple of months after they launched a new health care service and companion app which lets you earn Qantas Frequent Flyers points for each step you take, Qantas has advised they will launch an Android app. Called Qantas Assure, the health care component is an NIB product, and to claim points you have to buy a health care policy from them.
All the GIFs
GIF creation or sharing can be hard, but Gyfcat wants to make it easy as well as look good with high quality animated GIFs you can share from their brand new Android app. The app isn’t available in the US, and we’re lucky to have access to it as one of the launch countries. It’s a nicely Material Designed app, so it’s worth a look.
Get texting with the Lifeline Collection
The Google Play app and game deal of the week is live again, with a full collection of games this week with the Lifeline Collection on sale for just $0.50 for all three games. You can also get Enhanced SMS & Caller ID for just 20c. You can check them out here.
The full sphere but not live
With LG’s 360 CAM launching this week, we’re finding out some of the nitty gritty details of the launch. A component of 360-degree video is the ability to live stream, which Google announced last week. Unfortunately LG advised that the LG 360 CAM won’t support live streaming to YouTube and they don’t intend to down the track.
Gear 360 launching soon?
Samsung has launched their 360-degree camera, the Gear 360 in Korea for about $460AUD – no details on the Australian launch date or pricing, but you can check out how to set the camera up thanks to a new intro video.