Get Caseology’s new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 cases 45% off + a chance to win the phone [Giveaway]

Caseology has launched its new and updated line of cases specifically for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and to celebrate the company is also giving 9to5Google readers 45% off and the chance to win the phone.

For the next month, grab any Caseology Note 8 case for 45% off with promo code F38CUVBO (expires 10/11).

Head below for a look at some hands-on time with the new case lineup and details on your shot at winning the Galaxy Note 8.

more…

Opinion: Is the Samsung Galaxy S7 the culmination of the ‘smartphone 1.0’ era?

For the past few years, most of the major manufacturers have embraced a war on specs — which ultimately led to an incredibly fast-paced evolution of the smartphone. Unlike any other tech-related market before it – think desktop computers or laptops – however, the smartphone has proven to be disruptive in a different kind of way; it became truly universal, and capable of becoming an intimate part of virtually every aspect of people’s lives, from their jobs to personal hobbies to more practical utilities and a myriad of other use cases enabled by its mobility.

We had mobile phones before, sure, but the smartphone arrived and put a small computer in our hands, one that would eventually allow us to do a million things on the go that we would have only dreamed of a few years prior, literally outgrowing the tech industry and making companies like Google, Amazon and Apple among the highest valued in the world. So naturally, with such a big, expanding and opportunity-rich market, manufacturers and other tech giants alike put all of their effort into improving and refining these experiences, ultimately taking us where we are now.

The spec-war has been furious: each year’s imperative was a constant impel to cram in the newest and best components on the market in the smallest, most elegant package possible. More pixels, more megapixels, more cores, more RAM, more everything. While users — at least on Android — most notably complained about the lack of a polished experience to match the sheer capabilities of these internals, looking at it in retrospect we can see just how far we have come…

more…

Report: Google will provide developers with tools to build bots for other messaging services

According to a report from The Information, Google is going to announce its take on messaging bots at I/O tomorrow. Unlike competing efforts from Facebook, developers will be able to build bots for different messaging services using Google’s tools.

more…

Opinion: Two months later, Google Pixel is still a worthy iPhone alternative for normal people

I’ve been using my Google Pixel for more than 2 months now (check out my full review in case you missed it), and I have to say it one more time: This is easily my pick for best Android phone of the year. If you’re looking to buy a phone for a friend or a loved one, I can’t recommend the Pixel enough…

more…

Wikipedia app update adds ‘Search Wikipedia’ option when selecting text in Marshmallow

In addition to improving cut/copy/paste, the redesigned text selection pop-up in Android 6.0 Marshmallow allows developers to take advantage of the new contextual selection feature. The Wikipedia app has been updated so that when text is selected there is now an option to ‘Search Wikipedia’.

more…

Acer Chromebook R11 review: Great laptop, but Chrome OS is questionable in tablet mode

Chromebooks are all the same, but in this case that’s a good thing. The minimum hardware mandated by Google results in an affordable computer that runs a capable operating system. Since its inception six years ago, Chrome OS has been continuously updated with useful features, while in parallel, Google’s services have become immensely powerful and feature-rich for just being web apps.

While Chromebooks with touchscreens are not new, convertible Chrome OS devices are just starting to arrive. The Chromebook R11 is Acer’s first contribution to this field and I try to predominantly use it as a tablet in this review.

more…

Developer preview page code suggests Android N beta might land on non-Nexus phones

Traditionally, when it comes to Android developer previews, Google only makes the pre-release software available to the Nexus smartphone and tablet lineup. This year, it’s already broken with tradition by releasing the first developer preview of Android N earlier than usual, and it could throw another curve ball by making a version available to non-Nexus owners.

more…