Hands On

This is the Incredible Hulk Galaxy S6

This is the Incredible Hulk Galaxy S6

What you're about to see is not another Avengers Edition Galaxy S6 from Samsung. Instead, it's the Samsung Galaxy S6 with a SkinIt skin on it, straight from their newest Marvel Comics collection. Much like we saw with the Spider-Man skin for the MacBook Pro, this release has a comic cover retro-fitted - or future-fitted - onto the Samsung smartphone. This device is the same Galaxy S6 you've seen in our full Samsung Galaxy S6 / Edge review, only now it's far more Hulk-ified and super strange.

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Project Soli could be Google’s riposte to Apple’s Digital Crown

Project Soli could be Google’s riposte to Apple’s Digital Crown

Wearables may bring your digital life to your wrist but that doesn't make it any easier to interact with, a problem Google believes it may have solved. Handiwork of the Google ATAP team, the internal skunkworks cooking up new and innovative hardware and software like Jacquard and Ara, Project Soli is the first ever radar chip capable of tracking gestures while also small enough to fit into a smartwatch or a phone. While it may only be eight months old, it's already poised to dramatically shake-up how we use small-screen devices.

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Animated Gifs on Facebook: now you can too!

Animated Gifs on Facebook: now you can too!

Facebook opens the doors to animated .GIF image postings on the vast social network - through 3rd party servers. While you'll be able to see animated gifs on Facebook from this point forward (fingers crossed), Facebook isn't shouldering the burden themselves. Instead they - and you - will be relying on image hosts from around the web, and continued hosting from those sites remotely. Facebook's policy with gifs remains the same - but showing images from other sites is about to become just fine.

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This is Android M: what has changed so far

This is Android M: what has changed so far

Google has just released preview images of Android M, so naturally everyone tries to get their hands on the latest and would be greatest Android version, regardless of being in a stable state or not. And although this super early version is not yet in its final state, or even in its semi-final state, it is already showing some promise, some interesting changes, and even some rather strange ones. So buckle up while we take a cursory look at some of those changes to Android right now.

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Android Pay hands-on: Google wants your money

Android Pay hands-on: Google wants your money

Android Pay is coming, and it's impressively streamlined compared to the overly-complicated and feature-bulging Google Wallet. Officially revealed alongside Android M at Google I/O today, the mobile payments system supports both NFC for dropping virtual cash out in the wild, and in-app integration for retailers wanting to enable easy payments. I grabbed a Nexus 6 and a Nexus 5, both equipped with pre-release versions of Android Pay, to go shopping on Google's dime.

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Inside Google Photos: A super-smart cloud for your memories

Inside Google Photos: A super-smart cloud for your memories

Google Photos isn’t the first cloud photo storage service, or the first media management platform, but first impressions suggest Google has raised the stakes with its smart new system. Announced at Google I/O today, and further detailed in a later session by Bradley Horowitz along with the rest of the Google Photos team, much of the near-magic is what’s going on behind the scenes, such as how it uses landmark recognition to fill in missing geotags, intelligently deals with diminishing storage on smartphones, and even differentiates dogs.

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Hands-on with Google’s VR headset Cardboard for iPhone

Hands-on with Google’s VR headset Cardboard for iPhone

Google gives away their second virtual reality headset Cardboard at Google I/O 2015, the first to officially support Apple's iPhone. What you're going to see here is a simple piece of equipment, one made of cardboard (literally), glass, and a bit of conductive foam. No more magnets. Still velcro, but a little bit different use of metal than before. This allows not just Android devices to work, but any smartphone. Even devices that aren't necessarily running iOS, if you want to be especially explorative with it.

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This is GoPro’s crazy 16-camera Google Jump rig

This is GoPro’s crazy 16-camera Google Jump rig

GoPro has been busy lately, first showing off a spherical rig yesterday and then following up today with this, a 16-camera 360 Array to work with Google Jump. The first example of a Jump-compatible rig for recording entire panoramas of footage, the 3D-printed framework holds more than a dozen GoPro cameras and, optionally, a microphone with them, so that users can capture everything going on around them and share it on the new YouTube service.

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Chevrolet fits 14 cars with Android Auto and CarPlay

Chevrolet fits 14 cars with Android Auto and CarPlay

Chevrolet has announced the most ambitious Android Auto and Apple CarPlay roll-out so far, with a full fourteen of the GM brand’s 2016 line-up supporting the infotainment systems. “There are a lot of smartphones out there today,” Dan Kinney, director of user experience at Chevrolet pointed out, “and not all of them are being used responsibly.” Unlike rival manufacturers, Chevy will be making the advanced smartphone connectivity a standard-fit item, not charging more for it.

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Xiaomi did something interesting with Snapdragon 810

Xiaomi did something interesting with Snapdragon 810

If you're a smartphone company that doesn't make its own mobile processors, you're at a disadvantage. Xiaomi isn't at the scale to follow Apple and Samsung and dive into quite silicon yet - though the increasingly popular manufacturer is growing rapidly - but that doesn't mean the latest Mi Note Pro doesn't have a performance edge over Snapdragon 810-powered rivals like the HTC One M9. Usually they're rarer than hen's teeth in North America, so you can consider me curious when I had the opportunity to do some benchmarking with the fettled phone.

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