Is this real life? No, it’s just the news for November 1st.
How much of your day do you spend on your phone? Do you ever count it anymore? I do this for a living, so my usage may be disproportionately high, but I’d venture to say that most of you spend more time looking at your phone’s screen than any other single activity. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — though phone addiction is a growing concern, especially among young people — but it’s interesting when put in the context of today’s news that worldwide mobile usage has eclipsed desktop for the first time ever.
Certainly makes that “Screen on time” metric a little more important, huh?
And with that, today’s news!
Mobile usage exceeds desktop for the first time ever
According to StatCounter, mobile usage in October exceeded desktop for the first time ever. The analytics company noted that the climb has been slow and steady since it began measuring in 2009, and favors the desktop in most developed countries like the U.S. by a small margin. Still, overall mobile usage was 51.3% compared to 48.7% for desktop, and the disparity will only grow from there as more developing nations like India, China and parts of Africa adopt a mobile-first computing paradigm.
ZTE Axon 7 update cleans up the stupid home screen bell
In my (Daniel’s) review of the ZTE Axon 7, I neglected to criticize the lock screen bell, that ridiculous extra step necessary for showing notifications. It was an oversight on my part, and on ZTE’s — and we’ve both corrected the mistake (go us!) ZTE has released an update for the phone that makes the lock screen bell optional, allowing you to see every darn notification you receive, for better or worse.
To get this new version, which also improves battery life and fixes a number of bugs, head to the phone’s settings and check for updates.
Xperia X Performance getting Nougat beta update
According to XperiaBlog, Sony’s Android 7.0 Xperia beta program is about to get underway, with pre-release Nougat firmware for the Xperia X Performance beginning to roll out to participants. Successful applicants can expect an email confirming their place in the program, followed by an over-the-air update within the next couple of days.
Daydream View coming to retailers on Nov 10
If you want to check one out Daydream View in person before buying you can do so in the U.S. (Verizon, Best Buy; $ 79), Canada (Bell, Rogers, Telus, Best Buy; $ 99), UK: (EE, Carphone Warehouse; £69), Germany (Deutsche Telekom; €69) and Australia (Telstra, JB Hi-Fi; $ 119). If you’d prefer to order online, the Google Store has you covered. More
Sonos and Spotify are now better together
As promised back in August, Sonos speakers can now be controlled through Spotify’s Android app. You’ll need to be on the Android beta, but it’s a great addition to an already-powerful media platform. More
The first Tango phone is now available, and there are 35 AR apps to choose from
First shown in June alongside the Moto Z, Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro is officially the first Google Tango phone, a monstrous 6.4-inch behemoth that integrates all of the necessary sensors to do proper room-scale augmented reality. Our own Florence Ion got to spend some time with the phone and its first set of apps (35 in total), and came away impressed. More
Fantastic Beasts, fantastic tie-in
Google is well known for its brand tie-ins, but this one goes incredibly deep. As part of an integration with Fantastic Beasts, a new fantasy film by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and David Yates, the director of the last four Harry Potter films, Google has updated Assistant with some movie-specific voice terms, including “Lumos” and “Nox” to turn the flashlight on and off, respectively. There’s also an upcoming Allo sticker pack, some retro Street View scenes from 1920s New York City, and perhaps most excitingly, a Daydream View experience when the headset is released on November 10. More
Google may bring the Pixel’s ‘Move’ fingerprint swipe gesture to the Nexus 5X and 6P
Most Pixel owners will know that one of the more useful features is its ability to swipe up or down on the fingerprint sensor to activate the notification shade. It’s a small thing, sure, but it’s invaluable. Now, Google says that despite firmware differences, it will try to bring this feature to the Nexus 5X and 6P, which have the same physical sensor. That’s a nice piece of good news!
That’s it from us today, see you tomorrow!