Last preview of Android O released

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The 4th and final developer preview of the newest version of the Android operating system was released on Monday, to little fanfare.  Many who are Android enthusiasts were waiting on this final “DP4” release and many others were probably unaware that we are probably only about a month out from a new version of Android hitting many phones.  While there are sure to be new features found in this release, the truth of Android updates is not as easily found.

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Essential phone pre-orders being told device coming “in a few weeks”

Screenshot (Jul 21, 2017 11_38_38 AM)

via Essential Twitter account

In a recent public communication from Andy Rubin, both those who pre-ordered the upcoming mobile phone from Essential and anyone else who asked (i.e. the standard Twitter feed response) are being told that the device should be “in your hands in a ew weeks.”

Considering that Essential has already missed their initial self declared deadline, this maybe sound like just more vague news for a product that is (for now) nothing more than vaporware.  But Andy Rubin has a track record and a bunch of venture capital behind him, so hopefully we will see this device being reviewed sooner rather than later.

HTC announces the U11 smartphone

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HTC today announced their newest flagship device, the HTC U11.  Building on the base of both the HTC 10 and the HTC U Ultra devices, the U11 at first blush appears to sport some of the best features of both.  If you are a Sprint (or potentially Verizon) user, this could be a phone that might interest you a great deal.  Click thru the jump for more details…

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Google I/O 2017 starts this week!

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In all the hustle and bustle of the weekend, I didn’t remember that the Google I/O event starts this Wednesday.  After I gave myself a slap upside the head, I got really, really excited.  Google I/O is mostly a software developers conference, and it centers around not only the Android operating system itself, but all of the component apps in the Google ecosystem.  If you are (like me) heavily invested in using Google services, this is one of the major events of the year.

On the schedule to be discussed (among countless other things no doubt) will be the Keynote Address, What’s New in Android, What’s New in Google’s IoT (internet of things) Platform, and Office Hours with Google Brain (on machine learning) – and that’s just the first day alone.  This is a 3 day long event with tons of stuff packed in.

Check out the whole schedule here and we will be covering the whole event with a special edition podcast later on this week.  Stay tuned for all of the Google things as they are announced!

Google’s VP in charge of the Pixel phones leaves…after just 6 months

David Foster was the Vice President of Hardware Product Development for Google, and oversaw the Google Home and Pixel devices, even though he came on board after the Pixel (phones by Google) were already well into their development.  Apparently it wasn’t the gig he was hoping for, because he has left Google and is moving on to whatever else is next.

He came to Google from Amazon, where he was working with the group that developed the hardware for the Kindle and Echo speakers.  He has also previously held hardware positions at both Microsoft and Apple.  We wish him good luck in his future endeavors – David Foster, as a Google fanboy, I can say “we hardly knew you.”

Source:  Android Authority

Google confirms 2 and 3 year software support timeline for their Pixel phones

Google has recently updated their “end of life” page, which details how long owners of the specific Google branded or made devices can expect software support.  This is useful for both buyers and current owners, as it gives a good idea of when you might want to consider investing in a new phone if software support and security patches are things that matter to you.

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Google adds YouTube TV to the growing list of cord cutting options

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Residents of New York, Los Angeles, SF Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia now have another option for those looking to cut the cord from their cable company.  Google made available yesterday their YouTube TV app and service, which allows users to stream local TV channels as well as a select group of other channels including ESPN, Fox Sports Disney Channel, and soon to be joining them additional channels like AMC and BBC America.  The service is currently being offered at $35/monthly, with additional add-ons (like Showtime) available for an extra charge.  But for your $35, you get an unlimited cloud based DVR that will store content for up to 9 months.

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[News] Mobile World Congress – All of the Things

Mobile World Congress is underway in Spain, and the news and announcements are in full swing.  We will be covering all the major events with both links the official highlights here, and we’ll have a podcast that touches on the things we liked and thought were flops in a day or two.

For now, check out all the official stuff after the jump for new devices from the likes of Huawei, LG, and even Samsung!

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[News] Verizon brings back unlimited data plans

Yes, you read the headline correctly and yes, you are seeing this logo correctly.  As most readers of our site will know, both Sean P. and I both have a well earned disdain for the largest mobile carrier in the U.S. and aren’t afraid to let it show.  One of our biggest criticisms was their forced migration of customers off of old school unlimited data plans.  As of Monday, things done changed.

One of the reasons I left Verizon (after many years) was because of their borderline harassment of those people including myself who had legacy unlimited data plans – because it was very much in favor of the consumer, and not the giant mega-corporation.  Out of nowhere and to many people’s surprise, Verizon made an announcement over the weekend that “you asked – we listened” and were bringing back the option to have a plan that offers “unlimited” data.  I put unlimited in quotes because there are a few restrictions on the plans – both Droid-Life and Android Police did a pretty good and thorough write up on what to expect if you are looking into one of these newly offered plans.  To get the skinny, look here for the DL review and here for the AP one.

Check those out, and check out the newest episode of the Silicon Theory podcast as well!

[News] New pod(s) coming soon!

Greetings fellow tech seekers!  Just a quick word that we may have as many as two new podcasts incoming, wherein we discuss our thoughts on the OnePlus 3 device, and then move to the startling news that Verizon has agreed to acquire Yahoo for a lot of money.

We’ll explore whether you should consider buying the OnePlus 3 as well as what Verizon might be up to by spending billions with a “b” of dollars to make Yahoo a part of their organization.  Both should be up in the next few days, so keep an ear out for those.

As always, if you readers have a topic you’d like us to discuss, feel free to leave a comment or shoot us an email to silicontheory@gmail.com – thanks for checking us out!