Author Archives: Chris Davies

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

Facebook just got a €110m spanking over its WhatsApp deal

Facebook just got a €110m spanking over its WhatsApp deal

Facebook has been slapped with a 100 million Euro fine by the European Commission, after misleading an investigation into its acquisition of WhatsApp back in 2014. The fine comes after the EU deemed Facebook's staff as negligent in how it disclosed the company's abilities to automatically match Facebook and WhatsApp users. Still, it doesn't affect the EU's approval for the deal overall.

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2018 Acura TLX V6 A-Spec First Drive: Millennial-minded

2018 Acura TLX V6 A-Spec First Drive: Millennial-minded

Acura is three decades old, and with the 2018 TLX it's looking for like-minded Millennials. Latest in the automaker's line-up to bear the redesigned corporate grille, the new TLX also debuts an A-Spec version that builds on that nose-job with a sharper, more aggressive body kit. Acura's target is clear: it wants to be the sports sedan of choice for youthful drivers wanting bang-for-their-buck that the Germans just don't deliver.

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Coup’s Gogoro e-scooter rental rides into Paris this summer

Coup’s Gogoro e-scooter rental rides into Paris this summer

Electric scooter startup Gogoro is spreading to France, with Paris the next city to get its Coup network of battery-swappable, on-demand EVs. 600 of the Gogoro Smartscooters will be set loose on Parisian streets, the company says. While Paris is no stranger to two-wheeled transportation - indeed, Gogoro points out, it's one of the top scooter cities in the world - it hasn't seen anything quite like Coup.

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Google Photos’ new AI sharing may be creepy, but count me in

Google Photos’ new AI sharing may be creepy, but count me in

At a Google I/O where the Google Assistant held center stage, it was a service I'm already deeply committed to, Google Photos, which arguably made best mainstream use of the growing AI. Like Google's most successful products, the integration between the Assistant and the cloud photo service ignored technological showboating in favor of just plain useful features that address real sharing hassles users experience every day. Indeed, as nudges to sharing goes, it's hard to see how Google Photos could now make it any easier without bypassing the human user altogether.

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This is what Embedded Android is like in Audi’s Google I/O concept car

This is what Embedded Android is like in Audi’s Google I/O concept car

Android may have spread to the dashboard, but Google won't be happy until its OS fully colonizes the auto industry. At Google I/O 2017, it's showing off the next phase of that plan, cars from Audi and Volvo running the new Embedded Android for Automotive. In the case of this gleaming metallic orange Audi Q8 sport concept, that means the German automaker's regular MMI infotainment system has been cast out and replaced with a new, Android-based alternative. We clambered inside the hybrid SUV concept to check it out.

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It’s time to update your Twitter advert settings

It’s time to update your Twitter advert settings

You may be the product when you're using Twitter, but the social network is adding new privacy and advertising settings to help those tweeting adjust who gets their data. Launched today, and joined by an updated Privacy Policy, the suite of new tools will roll out to Twitter users over the next few days. It also allows some insight into what Twitter has decided your interests are.

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Finding and using Google Assistant apps is about to get a lot easier

Finding and using Google Assistant apps is about to get a lot easier

Google is launching a new Android Assistant App Directory, aiming to make Google Assistant-compatible apps easier to find as well as allow users to more seamlessly integrate their favorite apps with the AI. The new directory will serve as a highlight to the conversational services which use chat rather than traditional UIs, with Google telling I/O 2017 attendees that it believes this will significantly boost discoverability. However, it'll also allow those already taking advantage of the Assistant to streamline interactions with their most commonly-used services.

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Google Home adds free calls, proactive assistance, HBO NOW, more

Google Home adds free calls, proactive assistance, HBO NOW, more

Google Home is getting four new features, making the smart speaker's assistant more proactive and flexible, and throwing in free hands-free calling. Announced at Google I/O 2017 this morning, the company's annual developer event, the new functionality marks a significant upgrade on the connected speaker which is itself only six months old. It comes ahead of Apple's expected Siri speaker, which will embody the iPhone's virtual assistant in its own standalone device.

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ROLI BLOCKS get Android support as Noise app sneaks in at I/O 2017

ROLI BLOCKS get Android support as Noise app sneaks in at I/O 2017

ROLI's touch-sensitive BLOCKS have quietly added Android support today, with the portable modular music-makers showing up at Google's I/O 2017 keynote. The BLOCKS were launched last year, though initially only as an iPhone accessory; indeed, Apple sold them through its own stores. The rubbery top on each block acts as a pressure- and gesture-sensitive controller.

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Your Hue lights now play nicer (and smarter) with Xfinity Home

Your Hue lights now play nicer (and smarter) with Xfinity Home

If you've embraced the smart home with Philips' Hue connected lights, and you're an Xfinity Home subscriber, your fancy lighting options are now becoming even cleverer. The two companies have announced a deal this morning which sees Hue light control brought under the umbrella of the Xfinity Home app. There, it joins IoT gadgets like Nest's smart thermostat and August's connected locks.

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After 20 years, HTC reveals how the sausage is made

After 20 years, HTC reveals how the sausage is made

For a company whose tagline is "quietly brilliant", it's perhaps no surprise that it's taken some time for HTC to allow anyone behind the scenes of how its phones are designed and manufactured. That all changed this week, with two big milestones: the launch of the new HTC U11 flagship, and HTC's 20th anniversary. To mark the double-occasion, HTC invited media to Taipei, Taiwan, to see where the U11 was born.

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HTC U11: Everything you need to know

HTC U11: Everything you need to know

While you were probably sleeping, HTC took the covers off the new HTC U11. The company's latest flagship Android smartphone borrows the style of the U Ultra but promises to address the spec complaints many of us had about that phablet too. Here's what you need to know about the U11.

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