Google’s custom self-driving car to begin testing in Austin, Texas

Google today has announced that it is expanding its custom self-driving car project to Austin, Texas. Previously, the company had only been allowing the car to roam the streets of California. Google now says, however, that it is brining “a few” of its self-driving cars to Texas. The cars will stay in the northern part of Austin, like its modified Lexus vehicles have been for the last several months.

more…

Sketchy report says Galaxy Note 6 is coming in July, with Android ‘N’

A report from The Bell in Korea suggests Samsung may be planning to launch its next S-Pen equipped phablet as early as July this year, less than 12 months after it launched the Galaxy Note 5. According to the site’s sources-in-the-know, Samsung will launch the device in mid-July, almost keeping with a tradition started last year of bringing the smartphone launch forwards and stepping away from a 12-month cycle.

more…

Instagram update adds built-in Boomerang mode, mentions, and more to Stories feature

After launching its new Snapchat-inspired ‘Stories’ feature earlier this year, which allows users to share a time-limited collection of videos and photos in a slideshow-like format, Instagram is today rolling out an update that adds new functionality to Stories. 

New in the update is a built-in “Boomerang” mode that lets you tap into some of the functionality from Instagram’s standalone app of the same name. That is, the ability to stitch together a burst of photos into a GIF-like video…

more…

Former Google employee was able to buy the google.com domain … for one minute

There have been other cases of huge companies forgetting to renew their domains, and inadvertantly making them available to others to purchase, but one domain you might have thought would be well-protected from such mistakes is google.com. Not so, it appears: a former Google employee noticed that the domain was available for purchase via Google’s own domain name service – and successfully bought it.

Sanmay Ved, former ad sales lead for the company in Australia and NZ, said that he was just exploring the Google Domains interface and entered google.com to see what domains it would suggest.

To my surprise, Google.com was showing as available! I clicked the add to cart icon beside the domain (which should not appear if the domain is not available for sale). The domain actually got added to my cart as seen by the green check-box, and the domain appeared in my cart.

The transaction successfully completed and he started receiving emails intended for Google’s webmaster.

The company didn’t take long to notice, however: Ved reports that Google cancelled the transaction one minute later, something it was able to do immediately only because the domain had been bought using Google’s own service. If he had bought it elsewhere, getting it back again would have taken rather longer.

Oh, and the cost of owning one of the world’s most valuable domains? . Refunded when Google took it back. Would have been totally worth it for the bragging rights (“Oh yeah, I used to own google.com”) even without the refund …

You can read the full story, complete with screengrabs, at Ved’s LinkedIn blog.

Via Business Insider

Huawei shipped an impressive 27 million phones in Q3

Huawei has announced its financial results for Q3 2015, and things are looking good for the Chinese smartphone maker. Having just surpassed Xiaomi as the top manufacturer in China, the company just announced that it shipped an impressive 27.4 million smartphones in Q3. That puts it on course to ship a total of 100 million smartphones in 2015, and represents a huge 63% jump on the same quarter in 2014. On a global scale, that puts it securely in third place, but it’s still some distance behind Samsung and Apple

more…

Here’s another hands-on look at the LG G6, this time showing its always-on display

Update: We’ve confirmed with two sources that the LG G6 production model in the US will have a 3,300 mAh battery, not a 3,200 mAh battery. We’re also told that the battery has “better layering between cells” to prevent Note 7-like disasters. There is at least one internal variant with a 3,200 mAh battery, but it’s not clear if that model will go public.


The LG G6 is far from being a secret at this point, with LG itself going as far as to confirm its ‘FullVision’ 18:9 5.7-inch displayoffer a peek at the new LG UX 6.0 software, and send out a few teasers to various media outlets suggesting that it will feature ‘resistance’ and ‘reliability’. LG has also itself confirmed that the phone will have a 32-bit Quad-DAC like the LG V20.

But we haven’t seen all that many photos of the phone in the flesh, so we thought we would share a couple images we recently obtained from a source.

more…

ZTE Axon 7 Mini officially announced w/ 5.2-inch display, 3GB RAM, coming this month

Update: We’ve updated this article with our hands-on video from IFA. Watch it below.

After the success of the ZTE Axon 7, ZTE is back with a new, slightly smaller and more affordable Android smartphone. The new ZTE Axon 7 Mini takes all of the best aspects of its older brother while cutting down just a bit to be an even more affordable unlocked option.

more…

Google Duo adds video calling support to Truecaller

For a few years now, Truecaller has been the go-to app for people wanting to take their Android dialer/caller ID beyond what Google’s stock option has to offer. Truecaller is currently a one-stop shop for contact information, SMS messaging, caller ID, and features for blocking spam calls. Today, Truecaller now has support for video calls thanks to a new integration with Google Duo.

more…