Nothing's Ear 2 are now here, showing that sometimes all you need is a solid pair of earphones.
Nothing has been making some waves since its inception in 2020, following the advent of both a set of earphones and a smartphone. The Nothing Ear 1 were well received at launch, and the Nothing Phone 1 was a good phone with even better marketing. Now, the Nothing Ear 2 are here, and they double down on a lot of what worked with the original Ear 1 while bringing in some key improvements that make them a much better product overall.
Qualcomm's own aptX encoders are now available for usage in AOSP-related projects.
Wireless headphones and earphones typically use a variety of different codecs to connect to your smartphone. There's SBC, which pretty much all devices support as a baseline, AAC, which is a higher quality licensed codec, and a litany of proprietary formats such as LDAC. One such codec that was also proprietary and required licensing to incorporate into a smartphone was aptX, a codec developed by Qualcomm. That's changing though, as Qualcomm recently open-sourced its aptX and aptX HD encoders by submitting them to the Android Open Source Project.
If you use your PlayStation 3 as a Plex media player, you'll have to consider alternatives.
If you have a PlayStation 3 that you still use as a media player, you're not alone. I know a few people who use one, and up until semi-recently, I used to use one too with my Plex media server. Now that functionality is going away, as six years after the official PlayStation 3 Plex app was deprecated, the application is no longer going to be supported. Users who use one are being encouraged to switch to another device such as a Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, or a Chromecast. Plex will stop working on the PlayStation 3 from the 24th of March, 2023.
Can't decide which of Samsung's newest devices is for you? There are a lot of small differences that'll help with your decision.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is finally here, and just like in previous years, there are three models to pick from. If you want a basic smartphone with no extra bells and whistles, the Galaxy S23 is for you. If you want just a little bit extra, then the Galaxy S23+ might be up your alley. However, if you want to go all out (and even get an S Pen), you'll want to settle for no less than the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
If you don't have the March 2023 security update, you should probably disable Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE.
We trust our smartphones with pretty much everything in our lives, and in return, we expect them to be secure and safeguarded against attacks. That's usually the case, and monthly security updates go a long way in protecting our data. However, if you have a Google Pixel or a Samsung phone, you should probably be wary. Google's Project Zero, its bug-hunting team, has identified eighteen security vulnerabilities that affect Exynos modems, and combining them can give an attacker full control over your smartphone without you even knowing.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 looks to be a downgraded Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 at a lower price.
Qualcomm's biggest release of the year is always its flagship chipsets, but arguably the most important release is its range of mid-range chips. Most people aren't buying flagship phones, but they want a device that will still last a number of years and be reasonably powerful for most of what they want to do. That's why the Snapdragon 7 series exists, and the company has just announced the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2.
ARCore is a pretty cool technology that allows for augmented reality wizardry on any Android phone. Learn more about it here!
Google has tried to tap into the augmented reality world several times. Augmented reality, commonly known as AR, when used properly, can potentially be life-changing technology, but no tech company has yet managed to master it. Apple has taken the approach of using dedicated hardware, such as the LiDAR scanner included in iPads and iPhones, while other companies, like Google, are pulling everything off through software only. We're definitely getting closer to perfect AR, however, and Google is one of the companies leading the pack, with their augmented reality SDK and technology, which is dubbed 'ARCore'.
Google Play Games for PC is getting even better.
Google has been working on an official way to play Android games on PC for quite a while now, with it first coming to fruition over a year ago in the form of a limited beta. The company then rolled out the Google Play Games desktop application in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and it's designed for downloading and playing Android games from the Play Store. Now at the company's "Google for Games Developer Summit", the company announced a few upcoming improvements to the platform, including a wider Japanese and European release with more games to come, too.
The Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 has officially hit the consumer market with the Razer Edge. But what exactly is this mobile gaming chipset?
When Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in 2021 with its 30% GPU improvement and other energy efficiency gains, the company had another interesting announcement the following day. It revealed the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 gaming platform, with a large focus on, you guessed it, gaming. At the time, Qualcomm also rolled out a development kit created by Razer, and since then, the Razer Edge with the G3x Gen 1 has been released for portable mobile gaming.
Android 14 will come to a Google Pixel smartphone near you in early 2023.
The most exciting thing about a big Android update is being able to follow a pattern to get a taste of all the new features. Google's Android 12 update marked the biggest visual redesign of the operating system since Android 5 Lollipop thanks to Material You. The new design philosophy, along with an exhaustive list of new features, made Android 12 look and feel radically different from previous iterations. Android 13 then came along and doubled down on many of the same aesthetic choices. Now we're moving on to Android 14, and there will likely be even more under-the-hood changes.
This is one of the weirdest, coolest products I've ever reviewed.
Huawei has been pivoting into the weird, wonderful world of accessories in recent months, with excellent products popping up left and right. The Huawei Freebuds Pro 2 are some of the best wireless earphones you can get at the moment and the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro is a fantastic smartwatch, but what if you could combine the two? That's the idea behind the Huawei Watch Buds, and it's a combination that works really, really well.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and MediaTek Dimensity 9200 are the best smartphone chipsets to date, but only one is victorious.
For years when it came to flagships, Qualcomm was the undisputed number one when it came to flagship chipsets. At times the company would trade blows with Samsung's Exynos chips, but in recent years Samsung's chipset prowess has come to a halt. The Samsung Galaxy S23 series now carries the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and the Exynos 2200 in the S22 series was a complete mess. However, MediaTek has now taken up the mantle as the primary Qualcomm competitor, and the chipset battle is heating up.
Vivaldi's co-founder doesn't think that the Android Privacy Sandbox changes anything, either.
Smartphones are everywhere, and they give us so much access. We can find information instantly, purchase products online for arrival mere hours later, and communicate over countless messaging services. It's a double-edged sword, though, and being able to do all of that online means that advertisers can learn your habits and track you.
Android 14 Developer Preview 2 is now here, and there are some pretty cool changes.
The first developer preview of Android 14 dropped last month, and it packed all of the groundwork for the next iteration of the world's largest operating system. The first developer preview had customization options and better battery life promises, and the second developer preview doubles down on some of those changes. As well, it also introduces new ways to protect your security and privacy, such as by allowing you to select what photos an app can access on your device.
Google's I/O 2023 puzzle is here, and it'll take place on May 10.
Google I/O is a yearly event targeted mainly at developers, which is usually where we get our first good look at the yearly Android release, changes for developers, and, sometimes, upcoming hardware products. Google generally creates a teaser in the form of a puzzle first so that people can try and guess what the dates will be, and this year's puzzle has now been published. Since then, Google has announced that it will take place on May 10.
MediaTek has a bright future ahead of it, following a few rocky years of fumbling.
MediaTek has had a fairly rocky reputation in the world of Android chipsets. The company was known for its lower-end and mid-range offerings for years, and its "flagship offering" Helio X series wasn't really seen as up to par. That led the company away from flagships for quite a long time, though two years ago had a surprising return to the premium segment with the Dimensity 9000. MediaTek went from being a smaller chipset maker with decent budget and mid-range offerings to the biggest chipset maker in the world by market share, and with its own actually flagship-quality chipset, too.
If you want an SD card for your Steam Deck but aren't sure which to pick, then we have a list of some of the best around for you.
If you're looking to pick up a Steam Deck, you might be considering saving some money and getting one of the lower storage options. If that's the case, then you'll definitely need a microSD card to go with it as well. These are some of the best ones that we've picked out from the best microSD brands around. They all support the UHS-I speed standard which is a requirement to work with the Deck, though pretty much all SD cards can meet that pretty easily.
Foldable phones? They're so last generation.
Foldable phones are so last generation, and companies are starting to test out rollable devices. TCL tested one a couple of years ago, and companies like LG were said to be developing them behind closed doors, too. Now Motorola is here to play and had one to show off at this year's Mobile World Congress.
If you want to emulate PS2 or PS1 games, you'll need a BIOS. Here's a quick and easy way to get one legally.
The PlayStation 2 is a nostalgic console to many people, but emulating it can be difficult. If you don't mod your console and dump the BIOS, you won't be able to emulate games through the likes of AetherSX2. Now, it turns out that it's possible to download and extract a BIOS from the official PS3 firmware with just a little bit of work.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the latest flagship SoC from Qualcomm, but how much better is it than the phenomenal 8 Plus Gen 1?
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the latest and greatest flagship chipset, and it's the clear winner compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It beats the 8 Gen 1 in efficiency, CPU, and GPU — it's not a contest, really. It was clearly due to energy efficiency that the 8 Gen 1 did so poorly, but as we noted last year, the 8 Plus Gen 1 came along and righted many wrongs. We knew the 8 Gen 2 would handily dispatch of the 8 Gen 1, but how does it fare against the 8 Plus Gen 1?