Looking back on HTC Vive’s first year

HTC Vive

One year ago HTC Vive started arriving for buyers. It was $200 more expensive than its chief competition, the Oculus Rift, but the headset also did a lot more than the initial PC-powered headset from Facebook when it first released.

HTC Vive

At the heart of Vive’s leap is a fundamentally different tracking technology which involves mounting little boxes to the walls just like you would speakers. These boxes just need to be plugged into power to track objects with pinpoint accuracy across a 5 meter-wide space — for roomscale, it’s much cleaner than the Rift’s multiple USB cords running back to the PC. These boxes disappear when wearing the headset and you find yourself with the freedom to walk several steps around a virtual world and use your hands to interact with it.

The tracking innovation made by Bellevue-based Valve Software and manufactured by HTC gave the Vive headset and controllers a six month headstart on Facebook’s VR team in the roomscale race. In some ways this lead was actually quite a bit longer, because HTC and Valve started telegraphing to developers pretty early on that this was the plan. Oculus, however, went to market without hand controllers readied, supporting a single sensor for a forward-facing experience.

“We told [developers] there were going to be two sensors in the box and two controllers in the box,” said Dan O’Brien, HTC Vive’s top leader in the America’s. “That removed the guesswork for them.”

What’s more, HTC and Valve put these free developer kits in the hands of skilled creators spread across the globe. Oculus gets credit for kickstarting interest in VR with its 2012 crowdfunding campaign, and Facebook gets credit for convincing investors the technology was a sound bet for the future with its $2 billion acquisition, but these free Vive kits accelerated VR development in fundamental ways.

The Gift of Freedom

Vive kits were given free to programmers, artists, and eventually press. This giveaway of advanced technology helped accelerate VR development into a new phase with greater freedom.

The Vive Pre and the kits that came before it allowed for the development of groundbreaking software seen in apps like Job Simulator and The Gallery. Compared with Rift, Vive was offered with fewer restrictions imposed on developers for a longer length of time. Vive creators could share their discoveries with others for much of 2016 while Oculus largely locked down discussion of the Touch controllers for much of the year.

“We didn’t want to put any controls on people,” O’Brien said.

While Oculus was advising developers to focus on forward-facing VR experiences and shipping a Rift and gamepad to consumers, Valve and HTC were shipping this:

Above: Fancy.Image Credit: UploadVR
This moment taken from Valve’s launch video published one year ago captures the essence of Vive’s contribution to VR. It is a piece of marketing, sure, but in one second it shows the quality of the tracking, the freedom it allows, and the use of mixed reality to show exactly what a person is experiencing.

Given the Rift’s required USB cords to connect the sensors, it is reasonable for Oculus to assume most people will set up two of these sensors at either end of a desk to experience VR with Touch in a 180-degree configuration. So this simple act of turning around repeated in a Rift could easily block a controller from the view of the sensors, causing your hand to fly off or disappear. It is so natural as a human to move around as a way of exploring and interacting with the world around you, but in lots of Rift software the developers have carefully designed their worlds to keep visitors from wanting to do it. Oculus assumes that with its recent price drop to $600 for a Rift, two sensors and two controllers, that new buyers drawn in now will actually have less space allotted for VR than the earliest adopters. This might well be true but I think it glosses over something fundamental I believe about VR’s adoption long-term — something Vive got right from the get-go.

Source: https://venturebeat.com/2017/04/09/looking-back-on-htc-vives-first-year/

Moto G features

Moto G features

You don’t have to pick and choose these Moto G features – you get them all

Smartphones are capable of some spectacular things these days. They’ve replaced cameras, planners and, in some cases, personal computers.

These little machines can tackle a lot. So much, in fact, you probably don’t even know the power of the device in your pocket. This is especially true if you have a Moto G smartphone from Motorola.

Moto G features

These phones are not only incredibly sleek and attractive, they’re also the Swiss Army knife of mobile technology.

The two models – Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus – each have their own benefits, but they’re equally impressive.

And you’ll never have to pick and choose which features you want with these smartphones. All the things you’d want your phone to do, these ones are capable of.

Here are just a few of the essential features that come with the fifth generation of this amazing phone, ensuring that you’ll never have to compromise on these necessities again.

1. A need for speed
There’s almost no limit to what you can get done using these phones. With powerful processors, 4G LTE speed and four gigs of RAM, you can do everything from streaming the newest Bollywood movie or the big cricket match, to looking up info for that big presentation you have to give.

2. Battery life and charging
No one ever wants to be without their phone. That’s why Moto G phones make sure you have enough juice in your device to get you through even the toughest days.

Both the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus have all-day battery life, so you can rely on them to stick with you through it all.

But when you do need a charge, you won’t need it for long. The Moto G5 has Rapid Charging, and the Moto G5 Plus is capable of a 15-minute Turbo Charge, which will give you six hours of battery life.

3. Impressive photography
Rapid focus capabilities exist on both of these models, so you can kiss blurry photos goodbye. The 12 megapixel camera on the Moto G5 Plus has Dual Autofocus Pixels. This makes the camera so quick, the autofocus happens in the blink of an eye. It’s the first phone in its class to have this capability.

Additionally, the five megapixel front camera on the Moto G5 phone is ideal for taking group selfies.

You won’t have to worry about storing these photos, either. Motorola and Google are running a promotion in which users will get two years of storage, without having to decrease the quality of your photos.

4. Ease of access
Controlling your phone is literally as easy as waving your hand.

There are a variety of hand gestures and motions that allow you to navigate your lock screen and activate other features. For example, you need only flip your phone over to set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode.

You can also unlock your device with the built-in fingerprint reader, which stores up to five of your fingerprints.

In the Moto G5, with a Single Sign-On capability, you’ll only need one login to access all of your Amazon apps.

5. Entertainment at your fingertips
The Moto G5 is an Amazon Alpha device – the first in India, in fact.

These phones come with a suite of pre-installed apps, like Prime video and the Kindle app. This means that you can take your favorite entertainment with you anywhere. And because of that three gigabytes of RAM, you know your show won’t be interrupted because of a slow machine.

There is also a “Deals” widget for those who consider shopping their favorite form of entertainment. This widget shows you the best deals available on Amazon.

Whether you’re using it for work or play, these Moto G phones can help you tackle anything that comes your way.

Source: http://mashable.com/2017/03/31/moto-g-features/#evbDFRQrvPq5

Stick with iPhone 7, here’s why

stick with iPhone 7

I have been using the iPhone 7 for the last 6 months and I have used it without a case. And it has been brutalised by my extreme usage. And yet, besides a few dings here and there, one would find it very hard to imagine the type of abuse this phone has gone through. A couple of my friends who also use the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus as their daily driver will also attest to this.

stick with iPhone 7

For the record Apple uses series 7000 aluminium to chisel out the frame of the iPhone. Apple shifted to this high grade aluminium in 2015 when it launched the iPhone 6S in the wake of the bend-gate fiasco in 2014 when it had launched the iPhone 6. Numerous videos of the iPhone 6 had surfaced on the Internet in which the phone showed an uncanny propensity to bend, which was at odds with Apple’s exacting standards of quality.

This meant Apple was the first mainstream manufacturer to move to series 7000 aluminium. Typically, this is the type of alloy which is used in the construction of transport vehicles like aircrafts and even weapons like machine guns, glock handguns amongst many others.

Now many wouldn’t have probably known this fact, but this is one of the reasons why if you fling your iPhone 7 it will likely come unscathed with just a minor scuff mark. This trait is of course also true of the iPhone 6S which also uses the same type of metal, but it seems to me Apple has stepped up its game with the iPhone 7.

This advantage gets further amplified when compared with phones that have glass backs, because the iPhone 7 is one of the few phones in the market which is fully metal from top to bottom, right to left, corner to corner. The iPhone 7 will at max get scratched or dented in case of a severe bump, some of the other phones like Samsung’s Galaxies while more gorgeous will get cracked or shattered.

Even more interesting is the solution that Apple uses as a part of its cover glass. Most Android phones and even some of the earlier generation of the iPhone used to depend on Corning’s Gorilla Glass . Samsung’s latest Galaxy S8 uses Gorilla Glass 5, which is thinner and more solid, but the iPhone 7 which is a good 6 months older is highly likely to be infinitely sturdier.

Again I’ve dropped my iPhone many times in the last few months. Only a couple of days ago I dropped it flat on the screen on a hard Kota Stone surface from a height of at least 4 feet. Guess what, not even a scratch. Of course, there are numerous permutations and combinations that result in the breakage of a screen one of them being the exacting angle of impact. Maybe, I’ve been lucky.
Regardless, the iPhone 7 will remain sturdier than Samsung’s new hotness. Why? Because it doesn’t have them curved screens which are more susceptible to damage. If you manhandle the iPhone will likely be the one that will come to your rescue.

Water resistance

One of the few things Apple’s iPhone didn’t do till the introduction of the iPhone 7 was protect the device against water damage. With the iPhone 7 having IP 67 certifications in place, it is one the phones which can be dunked in water and come out unscathed. Of course, there are other phones which also do this and in the case of the Samsung Galaxy S8, it does it better than the iPhone 7 because of its better IP68 technical rating, but in real world use the difference isn’t much.

Source: http://www.gizmodo.in/indiamodo/if-you-manhandle-your-phone-stick-with-iphone-7-heres-why/articleshow/58066490.cms

Mevo Review by Livestream

Mevo Review

If you’re hosting your own live raw foods cooking show or DIY watch repair series on the web, you’re going to need a quality video streaming device. Makers, artists, thinkers, and tinkerers have started capitalizing in on the power of live video to bring their audiences into their studios and into their minds.

Mevo Review

As the in-house social video producer here at WIRED, I’ve used livestreaming to showcase our editors testing new games, nerding out about new headphones, and following established artists.

Most live video producers these days use a smartphone rig, which involves cables, mounts, mics, and a handheld stabilizer. The Livestream Mevo ($399) makes the experience simpler, primarily because it’s a dedicated camera made just for broadcasting live video. You can set it in the room, pair it with the app on your phone, turn on auto-editing mode, and stream straight to the websites it supports. For now, that list includes Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, and the company’s own web-based platform, Livestream.

While the Mevo has a bit of feature catch-up to do, it’s a great tool for the blooming solo artist or entrepreneur—mostly because it’s an all-in-one package.

WIRED
With the Mevo, Livestream is clearly pushing the boundaries of how a camera should look and feel. It’s a rather un-camera-like cylinder under three inches tall, making it perfect for hiding within a scene and for getting people to forget a camera is watching them. The sleek black exterior is made of a sturdy, water-resistant material which encases the camera lens, so you don’t have to worry about dropping the camera, shooting in drizzle, or getting the lens dirty. A colored light around the top rim of the cylinder indicates the camera modes: charging, recording, low battery, Wi-Fi status, on and off. You can place the camera anywhere, or slot it into the included mount that screws onto a tripod.

The Mevo is very simple to use. Once you connect the camera to your phone and your social media profile, you can start streaming within minutes. The app allows you to cut between medium and close-up shots, and it even smooths out pans and zooms. This is the perfect introductory camera for those who want a straightforward livestream setup.

TIRED
While this was a great first iteration, Mevo will definitely benefit from updates. The camera itself can capture a 4K video image, but the streaming video image maxes out at 720p. The image also has a slight fish-eye effect, and doesn’t look as good as an image from my iPhone’s camera. The Mevo is also outperformed by the iPhone in low-light situations. The audio, unfortunately, is also not great. The sound can be improved, but only with additional devices.

The Mevo app must be running at all times in order for the livestream to function. This is extremely limiting. If you exit the Mevo app, it will stop your livestream. Unfortunately, I learned this from experience.

The camera is battery-powered and rather efficient—it lasts about an hour per charge—but the Mevo app will guzzle up your iPhone’s battery. The app will also make your phone very hot; during shoots, the iPhone grew uncomfortably warm in my hands.

Because the quality of the video, I am still using my iPhone over the Mevo. Also, while the Mevo works best when stationary, a smartphone on a hand-held stabilizer allows me to move fluidly within a scene and to go in for a close-up. However, I would still recommend the Mevo for its ease of use. Beyond connecting it to the app, there’s little technical savvy required to stream live video to a global audience.

Source: https://www.wired.com/2017/04/review-mevo-livestream/

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro launched

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro

After the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy C9 Pro phablet, Samsung Mobile India has today launched a smaller model of its C Series called the Galaxy C7 Pro. The Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro which recently became official in China sports mid-range hardware, but it all comes packaged in a premium metal body that is priced at Rs 27,999. The Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro will be available exclusively on Amazon from 11 April in Navy Blue and Gold colours.

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro

The design and construction of the Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro is similar to what we have on the Galaxy C9 Pro, save for its smaller overall size. This would consist of a metal and glass construction with the back featuring an all-metal unibody design.

There’s a 5.7-inch display on the front covered with 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4. It is a Super Amoled display featuring Full HD resolution.

Inside, the hardware is mostly mid-range. You get the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC clocked at 2.2 GHz that is also available on handsets like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, the Moto G5 Plus and more. It is a capable processor built using the 14 nm manufacturing process that makes power efficient as well.

Samsung has also included 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of internal storage that can be expanded further using a microSD hybrid card slot up to 256 GB.

At the back there is a 16 MP camera with Dual LED Flash along with phase detection for autofocus and even the front has a similar unit with a f/1.9 aperture. Rest of the specs include 4G LTE connectivity, dual-SIM support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, Samsung Pay, USB Type-C port, 3,300mAh battery and Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

The company has added accelerometer, gyroscope, fingerprint, gyroscope, geomagnetic, proximity and RGB light sensors in the smartphone. It comes equipped with Fast charging and Samsung claims that the it can charge from 0 to 100 percent in 100 minutes.

Sandeep Singh Arora, the Vice President for Online Business, Samsung India added, “At Samsung, we are committed to meaningful innovations that delight our consumers. Galaxy C7 Pro is a slim and stunning device, which comes packed with powerful features for unparalleled multi-tasking and multimedia experience making it a Lean and Mean machine for the millennials.”

Source: http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/samsung-galaxy-c7-pro-launched-in-india-at-rs-27999-available-on-amazon-from-11-april-370590.html

Canon’s latest compact puts a big zoom in your pocket

PowerShot SX730 HS

In a bid to prove compact cameras can still do some things smartphones can’t (namely zoom in without sacrificing too much image quality) Canon has revealed the PowerShot SX730 HS. The main attraction of the pocketable shooter is a 40x zoom lens which lets photographers get close to a subject in a way smartphone cameras simply can’t. Also announced is a new macro lens for Canon DSLRs which features built-in LED lights around the front element of the lens.

PowerShot SX730 HS

The Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM is designed for use with Canon’s APS-C DSLRs The two lights on the front of the Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM can be controlled independantly The rear monitor on the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS can be tilted upwards for easier selfie shooting The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS uses a 20.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

The compact PowerShot SX730 HS appears to be designed for photographers who are generally happy with the image quality from their smartphone, but want the ability to zoom in, too. It offers the focal range equivalent to a 24-960-mm optic on a full frame camera, and uses a relatively small 20.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor.

As with its SX720 HS predecessor, this big zoom camera is going to let users get close to the action, but isn’t without compromise. It has a variable F3.3-F6.9 maximum aperture, which limits the amount of light you can use when at telephoto focal lengths. An ISO range of 80-3,200 is also quite limited by modern camera standards.

That said, use of a DIGIC 6 image processor enables a top shooting speed of 5.9 fps (frames per second) and Full HD 1080p video recording at 60 fps. This means that while the camera isn’t going to suit pixel-peeping enthusiasts, it could do the job for a parent who just wants to get a better photo from their kids’ sporting event, without having to invest in an interchangeable lens system.

Other factors which will help the PowerShot SX730 HS appeal to these users include the compact 110 x 64 x 40 mm (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 inch) size and 300 g (10.6 oz) weight. The camera also boasts a tilting rear monitor, and improved wireless connectivity compared to previous models, which now includes Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth for quick and easy sharing.

Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM

Also announced is a new LED-toting macro lens, which goes by the catchy title of Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM. This isn’t the first Canon lens we’ve seen with built-in LED lights (that was the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM) but the fact that the new optic is designed for use with Canon’s DSLRs, and uses the EF-S mount, makes it notable.

When used on the APS-C sensor cameras it’s designed for, the 35-mm lens will give the equivalent view as a 56 mm lens on a full frame camera, making it a versatile option for day-to-day use. However, its macro credentials are the more interesting, including the ability to focus as close as 30 mm from the end of the lens, and image stabilization offering up to four stops of shake correction.

There’s also those built-in LED lights, or “Macro Lites” as Canon likes to call them. With one on either side of the lens, and with the ability to control them independently, users can turn them on or off, and adjust the intensity, to illuminate small subjects, or minimize shadows.

Source: http://newatlas.com/canon-sx730-hs-big-zoom-compact/48838/

Next-gen Google Home

Next-gen Google Home

Next-gen Google Home could control your lights and fix your bad Wi-Fi

It’s barely been five months since Google Home arrived to take over homes and there are already whispers of version 2.0.

According to a report from The Information, Google’s working on an upgraded version of Home that’ll also double as a Wi-Fi router and mesh network.

Next-gen Google Home

To put it in simpler terms, the next-gen Google Home could be half speaker/Google Assistant (what it currently is) and half Google Wifi. Instead of buying and setting up two devices, you’d only need one.

By including Wi-Fi router capabilities, Google would be able to “make its Assistant service faster” the report claims. It’s unclear if faster means more responsive; I had no issues with using Google Assistant on Home when I reviewed it, and didn’t find it to be slow at all (at least on decent Wi-Fi connections).

Instead of just being another smart device on your home network, the next version of Home could be the network. And if you have, say, a Google OnHub router or a Google Wifi router, the next-gen Home could extend the Wi-Fi network and blanket deadzones, essentially fixing areas within your home that have poor connections.

Instead of just being another smart device on your home network, the next version of Home could be the network.
The report also claims Google wanted to include a microphone, speaker, and the Assistant on its Google Wifi routers, but decided against it as it could have created confusion with Home.

“They want to have complete coverage of Wi-Fi in the house,” an anonymous source told The Information. “Alphabet’s goal is to get more devices in the home that do more. Coverage of Wi-Fi is a huge pain point.”

If you’re a consumer looking to pick between the Echo and Google Home, you might find there’s very little one can do that the other can’t. Sure, Alexa has tens of thousands more “skills,” but Google Home’s quickly closing the gap when it comes to connecting to devices that matter. A Home that dishes out Wi-Fi could be the one thing that’ll help Google leapfrog Amazon. That is assuming, of course, Amazon isn’t working on the same exact thing and beats them first.

Source: http://mashable.com/2017/04/05/google-home-2-wifi-mesh-router/?utm_cid=mash-prod-nav-sub-st#tedOzjPxEOqs

YouTube TV is Here

YouTube TV is Here

This week, YouTube soft launched their new streaming TV offering, YouTube TV, eyeing the growing market of cord cutters. Starting this week, YouTube TV is available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City, with 40 channels and an estimated 10 more on the way. For those thinking about trying to game the system and get in early, unfortunately the registration site does check your location to ensure you’re in a supported city.

As part of the soft launch, YouTube TV will not be natively available on TV unless you use a Google Chromecast device or Android TV. For now, the service will only be accessible through the web client or the new iOS and Android apps.

YouTube TV is Here

Some of the initial lineup includes ESPN, FX, Syfy, Bravo, and Fox News. You can also add on Showtime or Fox Soccer for an additional cost. Supposedly AMC and BBC America are in the works, which can already be found on competing solutions, but there is no mention of CNN.

YouTube TV Initial Lineup

Priced at $35 per month (with a free month trial to start), YouTube TV will go head-to-head with the two largest offerings for cord cutters: Dish’s Sling TV ($20+) and Playstation Vue ($30+). More recently, AT&T also launched DirectTV Now, another streaming TV service, and Hulu is planning to release their rendition at the end of the year.

Similar to the competition, YouTube TV also features a plethora of on-demand content, but where the service stands out is that for each subscription, six users can access it and you gain unlimited cloud DVR storage. Technically the other platforms have a majority of their content on-demand as well, which plays the same role as the DVR spin, at least for now.

Viability of Cord Cutting
According to a recent Wired article, YouTube TV is not necessarily targeting those looking to ditch cable, but more so those who have never spent money on traditional cable, the ‘cord-nevers.’

“They love TV programming,” said Kelly Merryman, vice president of content partnerships at Youtube. “They just don’t love the distribution.”
With the vast amount of data available to YouTube, it should be interesting to see if they can truly target this segment and if there is a wider appeal, rather than just those who have decided to break away from the likes of Comcast. In the US, there are a reported 12.3 million homes that use over the air (OTA) broadcasts or TV using an antenna of some kind. In contrast, the largest cord cutting solution, Sling TV, reportedly only has about one million subscribers. If YouTube can in fact appeal to the OTA viewership, and combine it with revenue for advertising, there’s a lot of revenue to be made. However, that is also assuming Merryman is correct in thinking this is a distribution problem and not one of cost.

During the soft roll out, it will be hard for YouTube to make good on a viable product to solve cable distribution issues (watch any time, any where). According to the YouTube TV’s site, live TV will only be accessible while in those five cities, and DVR content accessible anywhere in the US. Availability to local networks such as CBS and ABC are also dependent on your zip code at the time of using the service. For the time being, the service is also not available internationally.

Big Business in Advertising
Still, between pricing and availability, YouTube TV can likely get away with the slightly higher price point purely due to their position as the largest online media platform in the US. According to YouTube, their existing platform pulls in more than a billion users per day, and also reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than traditional cable, which in turn could make the platform even more viable for marketers and advertisers.

Details regarding advertising on the platform are still hazy at best, but for now it would appear network ads will play on regular stations, and when YouTube videos play, those creators will also gain access to the ad revenue.

Source: http://tech.co/youtube-tv-launch-2017-04

Moto G5 Plus review

Moto G5 Plus review

Inexpensive smartphones have become more affordable and more capable over the past few years. When Motorola first unveiled the Moto G product line, the device targeted emerging markets such as Brazil. And in Brazil, Motorola found tremendous success with the G lineup.

As technology continues to evolve and get less expensive, and Motorola packs more into each Moto G iteration, the company has wound up with a smartphone that rivals devices costing much more.

I’ve spent the past week using the $299 Moto G5 Plus with 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage, a $70 bump over the $229 starting price for half the storage and memory, and it’s the best budget-friendly smartphone I’ve ever used.
Even the clock widget was borrowed from the Moto Z lineup.
The Moto G5 Plus looks a lot like the Moto Z, only it’s not nearly as thin. You either love or dislike (hate is too strong of a word) the circular camera hump on the back of the phone; I’m firmly in the dislike camp.

I didn’t like the look and feel of the bump in my hand on the Moto Z, and I still am not sold on it on the G5 Plus.

That said, the G5 Plus isn’t ugly by any means. A metal backing —either gray or gold—encases the 5.2-inch 1080p display. On the right side of the phone, you find the power and volume buttons. A microUSB port and 3.5mm headphone jack adorn the bottom.

Moto G5 Plus review

It’s disappointing Motorola is still using microUSB for charging and syncing the G5 Plus, especially when you consider how common USB-C is becoming.

Just below the display is a touch sensitive home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor and a trackpad of sorts.

Moto software enhancements

I’m all for more screen real-estate, but converting the home button into a trackpad just isn’t for me.
Converting the home button into a trackpad is done through the pre-installed Moto app on the phone. Within that app, you can enable customizations and enhancements Motorola has long included in its nearly-vanilla version of Android.

With the G5 Plus, you can do things such as enable Moto Display to quickly check and triage notifications, or get rid of any onscreen navigation buttons — using gestures over the home button instead.

For example, when one-button navigation is enabled, swipe to the left over the home button replaces the back button, and swipe to the right displays recently used apps. A quick tap on the home button goes home, with a long press locking the phone.

Additionally, holding the G5 Plus and making a chopping motion as if you are holding an ax toggles the flashlight.

Overall, the features that Motorola includes with its Moto app are optional and in addition to the standard features found in Android 7.0 Nougat. Some of them I can’t live without when using a Moto device, such as the flashlight or camera shortcuts, while others (Ex: one button nav) is better left turned off.

Camera and performance
The hump is back, back again. The hump is back, it should be a sin.
I was in New York during my time testing the G5 Plus to learn more about Samsung’s Galaxy S8 launch. I had some free time one night, so I walked around Times Square and snapped some low light photos with the G5 Plus and its 12-megapixel camera. With an f/1.7 aperture, it should have excelled.

On the Moto G5 Plus display, I thought the photos came out clear and crisp. I was more than impressed with its performance. At least, that’s what I until I sat down at my computer to view the results.

Boy, this photo looked great on the phone’s display.
The picture of a taxi driving by, for example, has washed out colors in the signs over the shops and the people walking in the crosswalk are a little blurry.

It’s not a bad photo at all; it’s just not what I was expecting after viewing it on the phone’s display.

Under normal lighting conditions, the G5 Plus performs well. Color reproduction is accurate, and pixelation is minimal. What I love most about using the G5 Plus camera is the ability to quickly launch it with a turn of the wrist, regardless if the phone is locked or you’re in an app.

Source: http://www.greenbot.com/article/3186763/android/moto-g5-plus-review-inexpensive-doesnt-have-to-mean-cheap.html

Google’s Pixel phone Muskie

There are so many rumors rotating around the Google’s flagship phone which come under “Made by Google” tagline. Yes, once again we are speaking about Google Pixel phones which recently got the code names as ‘walleye’ and ‘muskie’. Google has confirmed that its new Pixel 2 devices will come this year though hardware details are not shared by them. But the rumors say that the Walleye and Muskie phones will somewhat be similar to the previous Pixel and Pixel XL devices wherein one will be smaller in size compared to the other. Also Read: Google’s new sign-in UI for Web Services will roll out soon When the specifications of this phone are not yet clearly stated by any rumors, now muskie is said to appear in AOSP.

Google’s Pixel phone Muskie

Few rumors say that the new pixel phones will focus on low-light photography and may offer water resistant feature in it. Some reports also give slightly more information such as the phone may come with a 5.5-inch display and powered by Snapdragon 835 processor. Also Read: Google to remove support for Gifts, Requests, and Quests on its Play Store There is a chance that it may be paired with 6GB RAM, 16MP main camera, and latest Android 8.0 in it. This phone may also ditch 3.5mm audio jack similar to Apple. Along with this confusion, there was also a rumor saying tech giant is working now on a third phone which is said to have the codename “Taimen”. Once this rumor was out, people started expecting a much larger phone this time because of the codename. Still, we are expecting some more information regarding the specs or other features of Pixel phones as only little is revealed about it.

Source:  http://www.gizbot.com/mobile/news/google-s-pixel-phone-muskie-appears-aosp-039657.html