Opinion: There are lots of great Android phones coming this fall, but I’m most excited about V30

Things are about to get exciting in the mobile landscape with just every Android OEM, as usual, prepping to release more new flagship smartphones. In the crowd there’s Google, Samsung, LG, Andy Rubin’s Essential, Huawei, Moto, and others prepping new releases. It goes without saying that there’s a lot to look forward to, but there is one I didn’t expect to be so excited about: the LG V30.

more…

Talking Schmidt: Google has so many companies lined up they are going to use names like ‘pi’ – you think I’m kidding?

Back in the summer, Google announced a major new restructure and rebranding, with Google itself just one of many companies now owned by Alphabet. The move caught us all by surprise, and seemingly, caught Eric Schmidt by surprise too. Re/code was able to get hold of some recordings where the former Apple man stated he was on vacation when the company announced the move.

I wake up, and I’m the chairman of Alphabet. We sort of announced it without actually knowing which companies it would be. So we’re still working the details.

With Alphabet, each company within the group is given its own letter. Google, for instance, is ‘G’, and ‘L’ stands for Life Sciences. With there only being 26 letters in the alphabet, you might wonder what they’ll do when they’ve used all 26 of them. Schmidt’s answer: “After 26, we’re going to probably transcendental numbers”. Numbers like pi… “You think I’m kidding?”

Alphabet may have to start using them soon if Schmidt’s other comments are to be taken seriously. We’re to expect “a lot” of new companies: ““I’ve been meeting with the current CEOs of the Alphabet companies and the proposed ones. So you’ll see a lot coming.” He didn’t say what those new companies would be, but he apparently praised the innovation within the self-driving car move.

Schmidt was talking at the Virtuous Circle conference in Menlo Park, California when he made the comments. He spoke on many matters, including policy issues like encryption, the ‘Right to be Forgotten‘ policies in Europe and bandwidth regulation among others.  Like many, he’s worried about the tech scene in Europe, especially the Safe Harbor ruling which sees each country have its own digital borders, and their own set of regulations.

Alphabet is still in its early days, and like many of us, it seems Schmidt is excited to see what lies in the future.

Google’s new ‘I’m feeling curious’ feature is really addicting

Google is definitely known for its hidden easter eggs and features in search, and this one is really going to keep you occupied: Searching for “I’m feeling curious” now shows you a widget that rotates through some random and interesting facts about just about everything — from how much a “lifetime airline pass” costed in the 80s to facts about Oprah.

After clicking the “Ask Another Question” a few times, it looks like the box pulls information from anywhere and everywhere on the web. A few facts were pulled from Wikipedia, and plenty of others were from History.com, Princeton.edu, People.com, and several other sources. As a bonus, it looks like “thefactsite.com” is going to get some nice extra traffic today.

If you want to check it out, head over to Google and search “I’m feeling curious“. Alternatively, it looks like other similar queries like “fun facts” will also show the widget.

Opinion: I’m a human that uses Google+ every day, and (maybe) you should too

Google+ has largely been heralded as dead, and that isn’t for no reason. Most recently, Google has decided that it’s time to stop pretending like people want it, and has started decoupling its other services from the infamous social network wannabe. For those that just couldn’t stand the fact that Google was pushing them into something they didn’t want, I guess that’s great. Google is listening to feedback, and they’re acting on it. But for me, Google+ is an invaluable part of my daily routine. There is so much interesting commentary and conversation that happens there that I can’t imagine a day without it. I’ve made friends on Google+. I’ve had some of my most viral social media postings go viral on Google+. I’ve talked with Google employees personally on Google+. I have the ability to write about Google and its products in-depth partly because of Google+. And no, this isn’t satire. more…

Opinion: I wasn’t convinced by the Nextbit Robin, but now I’m smitten

Nextbit didn’t have an official presence at MWC this week. There was no press event, or new release, just a small meeting room at the back of one of the halls. Members of the press could go and meet the company’s chiefs and PR team to get their hands on the Robin, the manufacturer’s breakthrough product which utilizes the power of the cloud to keep storage space free on the device. I tried the Nextbit Robin for a few minutes, and fell in love, but I’m not entirely sure why…

more…