Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in London, UK, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

Nexus Player Review – Android TV’s awkward debut

Nexus Player Review – Android TV’s awkward debut

The living room has proved to be a challenge for Google. The company which has been so successful in dominating so many of the screens we interact with on a daily basis - our computers, phones, and tablets - has perversely struggled for that most traditional of displays, the humble TV. Google TV was flabby and confusing; the axe fell on the Nexus Q before it even went on sale. Only the Chromecast has had any measure of success, and yet just when we thought Google might have a strategy, along comes a different platform again, Android TV. Running first on the Nexus Player, but set to spread to smart TVs from numerous manufacturers, it’s Google’s fourth lounge reboot, but is it really necessary?

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Southwest Airlines starts streaming Beats Music

Southwest Airlines starts streaming Beats Music

Southwest Airlines has inked a deal with Beats Music that will see specially-customized playlists from the streaming service piped straight into select flights. Available on Southwest's WiFi-enabled routes, the Beats Music integration will see both pre-curated playlists offered for streaming, as well as tap into the Apple-owned system's ability to piece together a uniquely tailored playlist of tracks based on a few individual preferences of the listener themselves. Users won't have to cough up for internet access, however.

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Not just 1989: Taylor Swift pulls Spotify back catalog

Not just 1989: Taylor Swift pulls Spotify back catalog

Taylor Swift has yanked all of her music from streaming service Spotify, ditching the ad-supported music platform for reasons unknown. The decision has left Spotify without one of its most popular artists; according to an open letter to the singer posted by the company, Swift's music has been played by almost sixteen million users in the past thirty days, and is to be found on over nineteen million playlists. It's not the first time in the past week or so that Swift has shunned Spotify, however.

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Samsung’s futuristic Galaxy Note Edge on show in US November 7th

Samsung’s futuristic Galaxy Note Edge on show in US November 7th

Samsung's curved OLED variant of the Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy Note Edge, worried us a little with chatter of a "limited edition" device with minimal availability. Now, though AT&T has confirmed that curious US buyers will be able to snap up the wrapped-screen smartphone from November 7th, bringing the key specifications of the Note 4 but tweaking them by bending the AMOLED display around one side of the handset to use as an alert ticker or status display. However, as you might expect when you're dealing with new screen technologies, it doesn't come cheap.

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Virgin Galactic’s Branson vows “the dream lives on”

Virgin Galactic’s Branson vows “the dream lives on”

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, has spoken publicly on the crash of SpaceShipTwo, promising to not only figure out what brought down the craft during a test flight last week, but hopefully continue working toward the dream of space tourism. The incident, on Friday, saw SpaceShipTwo explode over the Mojave desert in California during a test of the new engine, killing one pilot in the process and leaving the other with major injuries. Second explosion of a private space endeavor in the space of a week, it has renewed questions around commercial space flight.

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Nexus 6 hands-on – A whole lot of Lollipop

Nexus 6 hands-on – A whole lot of Lollipop

A new Nexus is always a big deal, but the Nexus 6 is big in every sense. Google and Motorola opted to go large for the latest pure-Android smartphone, giving Lollipop a vast 5.96-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad HD touchscreen in which to ply its "Material Design" wares. In fact, the Moto X stylings carried over from Motorola's own-brand flagship are deceptive, and side-by-side there's a considerable difference between the two. Google has kept the real magic for itself, nonetheless, and the Nexus 6 is shaping up to be as capable as it's coveted.

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo has crashed during today's test flight, with the high-speed rocket plane coming down east of Mojave. Virgin Galactic first confirmed an incident had taken place via Twitter, with a terse message saying the space plane "has experienced an in-flight anomaly," and promising additional information on the situation to follow. According to local reports, which also confirmed the crash, there has been one fatality and one injury, with SpaceShipTwo itself in pieces on the Californian desert.

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Microsoft Band vs the Wearable Competition

Microsoft Band vs the Wearable Competition

You'd need a very big wrist to wear this year's crop of fitness bands and smartwatches, but Microsoft believes the new Microsoft Band can elbow out the competition. Straddling the line between smartwatch and health tracker - not to mention spanning not only Windows Phone but iPhone and Android, in a play for cross-compatibility that rivals could learn a lesson from - the sensor-packed wearable claims to deliver the best of both worlds. In the process, though, Microsoft has arguably given itself double the challenge, so I pulled up my sleeves to see how the Microsoft Band holds up.

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Starbucks delivery in 2015 teases coffee chain

Starbucks delivery in 2015 teases coffee chain

A periodic trip to Starbucks is a daily grind for many, but the coffee chain is looking to streamline that with the ability to not only order a drink through its app, but have it delivered too. The service - which will include both drinks and food items - is expected to launch in the second half of 2015, Starbucks confirmed, with chief exec Howard Schultz describing it as "our version of e-commerce on steroids." It's not the first attempt to use the Starbucks app in non-traditional ways, though the heat is on with the company failing to meet investor expectations.

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Sonos for Android Wear will put controls on your wrist

Sonos for Android Wear will put controls on your wrist

Sonos is testing Android Wear support for its whole-home music platform, allowing wearers of smartwatches running Google's platform to quickly control playback. The new functionality would mean listeners could access play/pause controls as well as skip tracks forward and back from their wrist, and is currently being trialled for participants of the Sonos Beta program who also have an Android Wear device such as the Moto 360.

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