Size showdown: Apple iPhone 6 Plus versus the Android competition
By Nick Gray
Over the past two years, Android phones were the only real option if you wanted a device with a large display. Yes, Nokia has had a few larger devices recently, but it’s nearly impossible to buy those phones unless you’re willing to import them from Europe. Despite the rumors, I think we were all a bit surprised to see Apple introduce the iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch display. Apple had us all convinced that a 4-inch display was the perfect size for one-handed use. Going to 4.7-inches was a big enough leap, but 5.5-inches? Preposterous!
But we’re not here to talk about Apple’s change of heart. We’re here to talk phone sizes. The iPhone and its minuscule 4-inch display has always been small when compared to Android devices. Now that the iPhone has been bigified (pretty sure that’s not a word), we can truly see how the Apple iPhone 6 Plus sizes up to its Android competitors. Fortunately, there are plenty of new Android phones with 5.5-inch displays that we can compare Apple’s new phone to.
The new HTC Desire 820 is probably the biggest Android phone with a 5.5-inch display. The device had front-facing stereo speakers above and below the display and an unsightly black bar with HTC’s logo. Despite all that, the Desire 820′s length is .4mm shorter than that of the iPhone 6 Plus. Things get even worse when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which has a 5.7-inch display, and we probably shouldn’t even mention the LG G3, which is 11.8mm shorter that the iPhone 6 Plus.
Google Hangouts now offers free voice calls and MMS
By Sean Riley
The inexorable death of Google Voice is almost complete with the announcement today that Google is bringing voice calls to the Hangouts app.
The functionality is rolling out today to Android, iOS and on the web. It’s a staggered rollout on Android, so if you don’t have the Hangouts 2.3 update available yet, it should show up in the next couple days (or if you are feeling impatient you can track down the .apk pretty easily). On Android you’ll need to download the Hangouts Dialer as well.
Calls to other Hangouts users regardless of their location are naturally free and calls to phone lines in the US and Canada are free as well. If you insist on calling internationally and not just having the person on the other side install Hangouts, those rates can be found here.
MMS support is also available to all for the first time, although it’s not exactly seamless yet, with the images coming through as URLs that you have to click to view. Hopefully they clean this implementation up in the coming months, but it’s good to see it finally arrive regardless.
If you have downloaded the update and given it a shot already, we’d love to hear your experiences.
Size showdown: Apple iPhone 6 versus the Android competition
By Nick Gray
The new Apple iPhone 6 has quite a few of the same features found in most flagship Android phones, but how does the phone and its larger 4.7-inch display fare when it’s sized up against the Android competition. While Android phones come in many shapes and sizes, there are no new flagship phones that have a 4.7-inch display.
The image and chart below show how large the Apple iPhone 6 is when compared to the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, the new Motorola Moto X and the HTC One (M8). The iPhone 6 is the second smallest of the bunch, but that’s not because Apple has found a way to reduce the bezels around the 4.7-inch display. In fact, our measurements show that the HTC One (M8) would be roughly the same size as the Apple iPhone 6 if it had a 4.7-inch display – despite the fact that it has front-facing stereo speakers and that despised black bar below the screen.
Android 4.4.4 hitting the T-Mobile Galaxy S 4 today
By Alex Wagner
Is there a better way to get over the mid-week hump than with a fresh Android update? I’d say no, and soon I’m sure that T-Mobile Galaxy S 4 owners will agree.
T-Mobile is pushing an Android 4.4.4 update to its flavor of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 starting today. Along with an upgrade to 4.4.4 and the security upgrades that that brings, the T-Mo GS4 is getting Wi-Fi calling enhancements and a bump to build M919UVUFNH7.
Android L may be on the horizon, but right now Android 4.4.4 is the latest version of Google’s mobile OS that’s available to the public, and it’s nice to see another major Android device getting this bump. If you’ve got a T-Mobile GS4 that you call your daily driver, you can check for the update by going into Settings > More > About device > Software update.