Google Assistant rolls out to all recent Android devices

Google unveiled its new conversational assistant last year during the launch of its new Pixel phone. At the time, the assistant was launched as an exclusive to the Pixel, Home and its chat app Allo. Now Google is making the assistant available to anyone with an Android 6 or Android 7 based smartphone.

Most industry watchers did not expect the Google Assistant to be made publicly available to phones from other vendors so quickly. It was meant as a unique selling proposition for its Pixel line of smartphones. However, due in large part to the sudden increase in devices with Amazon’s Alexa, Google has been forced to change plans.

At CES 2017, Vendors announced Alexa support for smartphones, refrigerators, home appliances and even cars. The sudden spate of Alexa announcements caught everyone, including Google off-guard. These announcements meant that unless Google Assistant were made available, Alexa would be everywhere. Also, Alexa is open to third party developers. As a result, it has thousands of skills that users can apply to the device.

However, it is still not too late for Google.  It can push an update that activates the assistant on the Google application overnight. By leveraging its presence on Android, it can add more than a hundred million devices to its user base overnight. It would not be surprising to see several hundred million users by the end of the year.

This does pose a problem for its Pixel 2 smartphone, which will not have the assistant as an exclusive to boost sales.

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Top accessories for smartphones

thegadgetblogIn any market, the biggest attraction for people is the accessories you can get for each device. The Apple Watch for example, has different charges, bands, straps etc. The same is also true for smartphones. The primary difference is that sometimes an accessory for smartphones are actual devices themselves. Here are some of the more popular accessories:

Screen protector

Although considered an accessory this is actual a necessity. It protects your screen from scratching and damage in general. New generation screen guards are glass so there no loss of feel when using one.

Cover/Case

These serve two roles. First is personalization. You can make your phone reflect your personality simply by changing the cover. The other is protection. Some of the more durable cases can even handle drops from a decent height.

Activity tracker

These are devices in their own right, but in some cases need to be paired with smartphone to be effective. In that sense they are considered phone accessories. Take the mi band for example: it tracks sleep, walking etc but is useless without a phone.

Smart watch

This is where the Apple Watch and Android watches come in. They are mostly used for notifications from the phone, and to a lesser extent for the time. Most people buy them as fashion accessories.

VR

Last but not least are holders like Google cardboard which convert the phone to be able to act as a VR display device. The most popular version of this is the Gear VR sold by Samsung as accessories for their phones.

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What is a “Freemium” App?

A “freemium” app is a free download that rather than charging users a flat rate, uses in-app purchases to generate revenue.

There are usually a few tiers to an app. The first tier is always free. That’s what is referred to as “freemium”. You obtain the word “freemium” when you combine “free” and “premium”.

Mobile app developers Los Angeles—or any other city—offering freemium apps or services, bank on the idea that 1 or 2 percent of users will choose to pay for the full-featured app or service. More often than not, paying users cover the cost of freemium users. For any given app, power users pay for more functions or space.

The Pitfall

What if the app doesn’t attract 2 percent of users, who pay for the premium version? Or what if the charges aren’t enough to cover all costs? The owner of the app has two choices: get consumed in freemium flames, or charge everybody.

The Upside

As an iPhone app development company Los Angeles, you want your iPhone apps to generate at least some revenue. Here’s what you can do to realize success in your company: give the business enough time and more free users may just decide pay for your services.

Today, mobile app development Los Angeles has become more popular than ever. Companies looking to succeed in this industry need to know that a free app is downloaded more, compared to a paid app. Consequently, the number of in-app purchases exceed what a premium version could make.


Halcyon Innovation is a group of Android and iPhone app developers from Los Angeles. Halcyon makes applications for businesses around the globe.

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Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review

The Note Edge, very much like its predecessor, is a large thin phablet. The screen dimension is of 5.6 inch. Users will also be able to experience the Amoled Quad HD+ on this device. The highest HD resolution of its screen is 524 ppi. The size and weight do not differ much from the Note 4, only that the Note Edge is slightly longer, thinner and lighter by a few grams. Among the features of the Note Edge there are the heart sensor, fingerprint ID sensor and the popular S-Pen which can be slotted to the side.

Screen
The right side of the phablet’s screen curves around its side. This extension is not part of the main screen though. It constitutes of a second screen for other menus and alerts. The smaller screen has a resolution of 2560 x 160 px. The information featured on this screen can be customised.

Software & Processor
The Note Edge’s processor consists of a 2.7 GHz quad-core along with a 3GB RAM. For Operating System, quite surprisingly, rather than the most updated Android version, users will have the Android 4.4.4 KitKat. However, software upgrades might be on the way.

Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy Note Edge does not offer much of an improvement. The main noticeable feature on the Note Edge is the curved alert panels found on its side. This feature, apart from being aesthetically pleasing, is also genuinely useful. The phablet still does not bear waterproof features, which might be a let-down for the price.

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