Friday, September 26, 2014

Dynamic and custom colors on a Zooper Widget Battery indicator

This past week on my Android customization series over at Android Authority, I took a quick look at a way to dynamically change the color of a battery element in a Zooper Widget.

The idea is simple, if your battery level is below a certain threshold, the icon or text turns red, if you have your device plugged in, it is all green and the rest of the time your icon and text is simply white.

Zooper Widget is great for this sort of advanced operation, and we didn't even need to tie into Tasker to get the job done. The only downside is that Zooper Widget's Advanced Parameters can be a little much to swallow the first time you dive in. That is why I not only go through the steps and the thought process, but simply give you the string that will make it all work for you.

Friday, September 19, 2014

It is still early days for Android Wear, here are a few difficulties you may face

I have been researching Android Wear devices. As a tech enthusiast, I can't wait to get my hands on one of the latest smartwatches like the Moto 360, LG G Watch R or the ASUS Zenwatch. On the other hand, I haven't worn a watch in years, and I am worried that that trend will continue. Nonetheless, if, like me, you want to know all there is to know about the devices and systems, read on.

While I am not crazy enough to stuff all there is to know about Android Wear into a single article, I would like to take a quick look at some of the difficulties that Android Wear powered smartwatch owners are facing with their devices right now. Just a few minor things to be aware of for when you bite the bullet and dive into the wearable technology.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Android design guidelines - a quick overview of Android L and Material Design

As we move ever closer to the official release of Android L, more and more developers are updating their apps with Material Design. Material Design is the name given to Google's latest design principles, which you will see in full force not only in Android L, but across most platforms, at least for Google's apps and services.

We've talked about this before, especially when Google opened their Google I/O app and code for all to use as a development reference.

Monday, August 25, 2014

LG G2 to get G3 UI and Android L, G3 has a flaw and G Watch 2 will be round

Welcome to the LG news hour. Let me run through things super quick: LG is launching a couple new budget line devices at IFA, the L Fino and L Bello, they will also be launching a new smartwatch, the G Watch 2 or possibly G Watch R, for 'round', be careful plugging in your G3, you might crack the casing, the G2 is to get an updated UI by the end of the year and LG promises the G2 will get the Android L update into 2015.

That is a lot to digest. Let's break it down:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Control music and more straight from your Notification bar, Tasker is just that good

Are you getting tired of Tasker yet? I'm not. I let you know about a big update that pushed out recently to Tasker, it included a lengthy list of updates and new features. One of the most up front new features that is either powerful or annoying, depending on your point of view, is the ability to place up to three buttons within the permanent Tasker notification, that fire off your favorite Tasks.

Whether you like the feature, or hate it, this tutorial will help you out.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Make your music charge your phone

While most of us are struggling to keep a charge on our phones and other mobile devices, we often turn to bigger batteries, extra power sources and software power saving measures to get through our day. While all of these measure satisfy our needs, researchers in London have another approach in mind, charging a device with sound.

The premise is simple, kinetic energy is harnessed to produce electricity, we've heard about this in numerous Japanese roads and walkways, and even old wrist watches that shake to charge. Sure, the tech is a little different, but the idea remains the same, physical actions performed on an object can be converted into electricity.

In the case of Queen Mary University in London, the devices are made to be not much larger than a couple quarters in size, small enough to fit inside the average smartphone, and accepts the vibration from sounds to do all the dirty work.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Humble Bundle adds dedicated Mobile section, launches SEGA bundle to kick it off

Fans of Humble Bundle rejoice! Well, Android users that are fans of Humble Bundle, anyway.

Continuing to rock the Android world, the folks behind Humble Bundle are topping off a whirlwind tour of a new Android app and a great mobile bundle with another great mobile bundle and a full dedicated mobile section on their website.

The new bundle is called the Humble SEGA Mobile Bundle, packed with your favorite SEGA games, so mostly just Sonic the wedgehog stuff. Sorry, hedgehog. The Mobile tab on the website is really the exciting thing here, as it brings with it the promise of a continual stream of Android games, apps, books, comics, music and more.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

YouTube Music Key and Google Play Music Key to unite audio and video

It is only just a leak so far, but we have it on good authority that Google's YouTube will be launching a service called YouTube Music Key, which will be a paid subscription service to provide ad-free, curated music videos, recorded concerts and more. In addition, Google Play Music All Access is to be renamed Google Play Music Key and add 20 million new tracks to their collection.

The combined YouTube Music Key and Google Play Music Key is expected to sell for $9.99 per month. That's the same price as All Access runs for now. 

The resulting service provided here is one that is ultimately unparalleled in the media streaming world right now. Google is effectively providing a one stop shop for all of our musical desires. No longer will we have to go to Play Music to listen to tunes, then kill it off and open up YouTube to be able to catch the video for that same artist we were just listening too.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Should your car block you from talking on the phone behind the wheel?

MIT recently outlined research taking place in Brazil that can track and identify when you are talking on the phone behind the wheel of your car. The research is out of the Santa Catarina State University and is a hardware/software solution that lives in the car itself, operating completely independent of the cell phone in hand.

I think this opens a major conversation about what distracted driving laws and measures should exist.

While the general idea is that driving while using your phone is a terrible idea, vendors like Google, with their upcoming Android Auto system, are looking to integrate mobility into the car itself. Developing a custom interface that is embedded into the dashboard is accepted as a legal usage of your phone, mainly because it keeps your hands free for driving.

Friday, August 15, 2014

KeepScreen, a free tool to control your display timeout on a per app basis

Everyone loves Tasker, right? Hold on, I think I heard someone in the back say no. They think Tasker is too complicated and, well, expensive. Fair enough, over on my Android customization series on Android Authority I'll beginning to look at free alternatives for common Tasker task.

To that end, KeepScreen is quick and cheap, let's you decide which apps keep your display turned on and when to let your phone go to sleep.

KeepScreen is free, but it is really old and has had no updates in a while. It still works, and well, but if you prefer an active developer, perhaps there are other options out there for you. (Like Tasker... Sorry, I had to.)

You may know ZTE as that low-end phone maker, but they are actually a big deal!

I would like to make a confession: I knew that ZTE was a fairly large company, but I didn't realize it was this large! Fourth largest phone manufacturer around the globe is not a trivial thing, and, as a major contributor to the LTE standards that keep us connected, make for a company that we should all respect.

I had originally titled the article "Why I think you should love ZTE, and their low-end phones." Those words resound strongly for me, as they sum up my realizations in researching ZTE and all they've done for the industry as a whole.

Bottom line, ZTE is a major phone manufacturer, whether you like their gear or not, they are out there. They shipped their five hundred millionth device last year, not bad, and are getting more and more into the Android game as they move along.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chromebook sales are up, PC sales down

Look at that, just after I go out and purchase a Chromebook of my own, sales numbers for 2013 and first quarter 2014 are hitting the web. The results are straightforward, PC sales continue to decline and Chromebook sales are on track to possibly double over last year.

Mixed into the numbers are some dramatic numbers out of the Microsoft camp, where the Surface division is reported to have accrued losses upwards of $2 billion in the last couple years.

As for the Chromebooks, they clocked in for a little over 2 million unit sales last year, not bad, but they rang up over 1 million sales in the first quarter of this year alone, on track to 4 million then?

There is no doubt that mobile and Chromebooks are taking over the majority of sales these days, these numbers only prove it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Nvidia 64-bit Tegra K1 processor information released

The next generation of mobile devices is looking to be a powerful adventure in computing. Nvidia has just released a good bunch of information about their upcoming 64-bit Tegra K1 processor. If you've been following the news, you may know this processor as the beast expected in the upcoming Nexus 8 tablet.

So, what's all the hype? Before I get into the details, let's just say that Nvidia is all but promising the 64-bit  Tegra K1 to produce PC-like performance. That's right, your next mobile device will have as much computing horsepower as a similarly spec'd laptop or desktop computer.

Best of all, all of this horsepower will be available to you requiring no more power to perform as your current Android powered phone or tablet.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Canada may soon be home to another smartphone manufacturer, Yota Devices

Like it or not, BlackBerry is not doing so well as a company and, if nothing changes soon, destined for complete failure. I am not here to suggest that BlackBerry is doomed for failure, just that they've never impressed me and have been shedding good employees for several years now.

The great news here is that Yota Devices, maker of the dual-display YotaPhone, is reportedly looking to move to town and get those good people back to work.

YotaPhone, as I mentioned, has two displays, one on each side. What you see in the image above is the second generation YotaPhone equipped with e-ink on one side and a 5-inch AMOLED panel on the other. In all other regards, this is a mid-range Android phone by today's standards, due to ship by the end of the year.

Friday, August 8, 2014

WiFi File Transfer Pro - transfer files between your computer and your Android device with no wires

When it comes to transferring files between your Android devices and your desktop and laptop computers, there are a number of great tools out there. One of my favorite, and most reliable, is called WiFi File Transfer Pro.

WiFi File Transfer Pro costs a little over $1 in the Google Play Store, but I believe it is totally worth it. There is also a free version, it has all the same functionality, it just comes with a 5MB file size limit.

I've talked briefly about WiFi File Transfer Pro before, it was covered in my brainstorming article on transferring files wirelessly, but it was slightly overshadowed by ES File Explorer and how to use ES as an FTP server.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Google will now take you to the Moon, and Mars, if you know how to ask

A long, long time ago, in a computer near you, you may have had Google Earth installed and used it to explore the Moon. Google is bringing that now to almost all of us, regardless our installed operating system and applications, through the Google Maps website. If the Moon is not enough, let's explore Mars as well.

Immediately, we dream of having street view of the planets, but the NASA Mars Rover has not yest returned enough imagery that Google can get it's hands on it for our pleasure. That's ok, there is still some amazing imagery available, you can zoom in an impressive amount in your attempts to find the perfect valley to live in.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Google improves your security, adds SSL to Chrome Extensions

Google has improved security but ensuring your connection from your Android device all the way to the browser on your computer is secured using normal HTTPS connections. Specifically, Google has added TLS/SSL to their chrome.sockets API.

You may be wondering if all Chrome extensions are secure or not, and for the most part, I think you will find that they are. Standard websockets have been in play for years, and they are fully SSL compliant. This news simply provides developers an alternative, Google-built for Google-products, tool to secure Chrome extensions.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Humble Mobile Bundle 6 is out - the best way to get great Android games and give to charity

Today, Humble Mobile Bundle 6 was launched, the bundle comes with six Android games, you get the first three no matter what price you pay, but if you pay more than the average, you'll get in on three more games, plus have access to any additional games that may be added to the bundle later in the two week offering.

Humble Bundle has a great thing going, they've been selling bundles of games, books, comics and more for a couple years now. For each bundle you purchase, you get to decide not only the price that you wish to pay, but how that money is split up. If, you wanted every last penny to go to charity, just move the sliders, but by default, charity gets some, a little goes to the developer of the game/comic/book and a tip goes to Humble Bundle themselves, just enough to keep the lights on and continue to provide us these awesome bundles.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 coming soon - Update: September 3rd is official

This could be the biggest phone of the year! Samsung looks set to launch the Galaxy Note 4 on September 3rd in Germany, just a few days before this years IFA technology fair in the same place.

Samsung has seen a major drop in sales so far this year. This may be because many users are gradually considering the world's largest phone manufacturer to be a producer of cheap plastic, knock-offs or even thoughtless devices in every conceivable configuration hoping to be everything to everyone. This poor opinion of the brand has been present in discussion around almost every Samsung device with the exception of the Note line.

Despite the original Samsung Galaxy Note taking flak for being too big, and not breaking any sales records, it was rarely spoken of with negativity. This has held through to the current Note 3, which is a nearly 6-inch device that is beloved by those that use it.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

IFTTT - If This Then That is an automation web service that has migrated to Android

IFTTT is not exactly a Tasker killer, but it is pretty slick in its own right. If This Then That is its name, and how it operates. Create recipes for your favorite online tasks and more based on a simple If This happens, Then do That. You can see an example in the image, when you post new images to Instagram, IFTTT can automatically get a copy of them into your Dropbox account.

I've spent a lot of time working with Tasker to automate many of the systems on my Android devices. I've also spent a good amount of time working with IFTTT through the web interface to streamline my online world. It is only recent that IFTTT released their Android app, introducing their own set of Android customization tools.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Google Play Store sale, games up to 85% off, magazines for half price and a Comic-Con inspired movie collection

Hurry, you can get Assassin's Creed Pirates for just $0.10!!!

It must be time for summer app sales, both Google and Amazon have apps and more on sale in their respective app stores. Google also has movie and magazine sales, but we don't want to talk about that, we want to talk about games!

First an foremost, this is the first time in a long, long time that I've seen paid apps in the Google Play Store for less than $0.99. Do you remember back in 2011 when there were $0.10 and $0.25 app sales, those were good times. That is why I am talking about this sales now, I mean, there are often sales in the Google Play Store, but this one has several games for less than $0.99, and like I mentioned, Assassin's Creed Pirates is just ten cents.

Developers: Google updated the I/O 2014 app with Material Design and you can have the source code

Instead of allowing the Google I/O 2014 app to go to waste now that the conference is over, Google has updated the app with full Material Design and Android L, and you can now download the full source code and use it as sample code for your own development.

This is great for developers that perhaps are new to Android, or just do not have a natural knack for design. Material Design, like it or not, is a very fluid and consistent experience that is meant to span your entire application, and, indeed, the entire Android operating system. I took a quick look at last month, and I must say, I think I like it.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Huawei reports H1 2014 numbers, and they're looking good

If you needed more proof that Chinese (and Taiwanese) smartphone manufacturers are on track to rock the Android world in 2014, Huawei has announced their first half 2014 numbers. In short, 62% growth, up to 34 million smartphones shipped around the globe.

Further, Huawei total business operations pushed out over 60 million device, including smartphones, WiFi hotspots and more.

We've been watching manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi for a while now. Xiaomi especially has been flying with Huggo Bara at the helm, recently launching into India and continually selling out batches of devices in a matter of minutes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Google using your data to help you travel, now helps you find your hotel

Google has expanded its services to now include natural language searches that use a hotel reservation in your Gmail as a point of reference.

Was that too much, too fast? Let's start at the end, you will now be able to ask Google to show you restaurants nearby your hotel with the simple phrase "Show me restaurants nearby my hotel." The value here is that Google is smart enough to know where your hotel is, allowing for the natural language support.

Taking it a step further, you are covered even if you forget the name of your hotel, or where it is, Google remembers this stuff and can get you directions to and from 'my hotel' as well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TouchPico, that's no ordinary pico projector

TouchPico is a new IndieGogo campaign that combines the cool factor of a pico projector with the power of its own built-in Android OS. That's a good start, but the real selling factor reaches into the realm of science fiction, with some smarts built into the provided stylus, the TouchPico can turn any surface, at any size, into a touch interface.

Let's run through the specs real quick: 80 Lumens, Android 4.2, Wireless operation, SD Card, Google Cast support and more. Yeah, it does stuff, let's get back to that touch anywhere thing:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lenovo to launch a 6-inch Android phone on Augus 5th, look out for the K920, or Vibe Z2 Pro

Here's the thing, Lenovo is not yet selling phones in North America, and their purchase of Motorola hasn't exactly seen Lenovo style gear hit stores either, but they still have a flagship competitor in the works that could make a stir in the Asian markets.

The K920, which will likely be named the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro when it ships to consumers, is a monstrous 6-inch device rocking the same sort of QHD display, Snapdragon 801 with 3GB of RAM and 16MP camera that many current flagships possess.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Netflix is testing out an incognito mode, so you don't have to be reminded of those poor viewing choices

It is too bad that Netflix is only in the testing stages of an incognito mode for their video streaming service. Worse yet, they are very hesitant to make any claims that the service will be available any time soon, if at all. One thing is for sure, we want this.

So, one's mind often goes to nefarious places when you say the word "incognito", for most of us, we are just looking to not be reminded of the cartoons that our children watch, or that one B-list horror flick we put on when our friends were over that one time.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Will the Nexus 6 actually be a 6-inch device? This is Shamu, built by Motorola

This is pretty big news, if it is accurate. It looks like Motorola may be building the next Nexus phone, code named Shamu, it is a 5.9-inch device with a fingerprint scanner.

Sounds like a major device for Google to launch their newest Android release on. We've discussed Android L already, but I am eager to see and learn more.

New contextually aware Explore button coming to Google Maps for Android

In its simplest form, you should soon expect to see a new Explore button pop up in the bottom right hand corner of your Maps screen. Do not always expect to see the new button, it will be contextually aware of not only your location, to show you relevant local information, but aspects like the time of the day, your preferences based on your Maps history and the weather.

Google offers the specific examples of taking note of the time of day so to not provide you info for breakfast spots at dinner time. They also explain that they will not promote a day in the park if there is bad weather rolling in.

How to use NFC Tags to fire off Tasker Tasks, using Trigger

Now we're getting into the good stuff. Let's take the Tasker projects that we've already built and use the program called Trigger to enable NFC Tags to fire off our Tasker Tasks.

That was a mouthful. Let's walk through it a little slower. You know what NFC Tags are, of course. Those little tags that are usually about 1-inch circles that look a little like the RFID tags you used to see in all of your movie and cd purchases. Yes, those NFC Tags. Now, what if you could perform almost any action on your Android device just by tapping a NFC Tag to it? That's what I'm talking about!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Keeping connected when there is no connection, this is goTenna

Have you ever been in a crowded space, or off the beaten path to find that your mobile device has no connection? Chances are, you are not alone in these situations and you have need to communicate with your fellow travelers. Without WiFi or a solid cell connection, what options do you have? goTenna looks to solve this for you, bringing connectivity when none else is to be had.

Let's be straight up here guys, goTenna does not provide internet services, it provides communications tools that can operate even when your device has no WiFi or cell connection. Now that that is out of the way, goTenna is a slick Bluetooth connected two-way radio antenna that allows you to communicate with other goTenna users up to 50 miles away! Yes, 50.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chromecast website got a little update, significantly improved app discovery

On the eve of the first birthday of the Chromecast, Google has pushed out an update to the Chromecast website. The update brings much needed improvements to app discovery, and really nothing else of consequence.

App discovery used to be a static list of a small collection of apps that supported Chromecast. Of course, there are now hundreds of apps, for Android, iOS and the desktop, that were only really to be found in the Google Play Store.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Huge update to Tasker is rolling out

If you've spent any time at all on this site, you know full well that I am a huge Tasker user. I use Tasker to customize dozens of features and settings on all of my devices. The update is to Tasker version 4.4, which is aptly named as it has many Android 4.4.x KitKat optimization tweaks.

I will absolutely be bringing you new project ideas based on the new features, but for now, let's just overwhelm you with the whole list of updates:

New Chrome OS interface in the works

We don't know if this is going to be a permanent change, or just an option, but we've got a little view of a new user interface for Chrome OS. It is called Athena and there is little more to it at this point.

Thanks to Fran├žois Beaufort over on G+ or sharing the news and the screenshot.

This is certainly an early look at the new interface, but we are excited that it may offer some customization and is designed more to be touch friendly.

Hey look, the Sony Xperia Z2 is available in the US

We've been excited about this device for months. Seriously, my co-workers over on Android Authority first reviewed the Sony Xperia Z2 back in February. It has been available for a while in various countries around the globe, and now US consumers get their chance.

I wrote about some of the Xperia Z2's photo taking abilities way back then as well. If you didn't see that, check out what I had to share of its quick photo tour of Tokyo, there is images and a short 4K video piece.

Friday, July 18, 2014

HP Chromebook 14 - The touchpad

You may think it silly that I am about to commit an entire post to the touchpad of the Chromebook, specifically for the HP Chromebook 14, but I assure you there is enough to be said about it. Let's take a look at how it differs from other touchpads and what nifty tricks it has up its sleeve.

Fist and foremost, the Chromebook foregoes the traditional 3 piece model of a touch area, left and right buttons. In place is a single touch area with a single click action to it. The touch area moves the mouse cursor, as expected, and the click operates your primary mouse button click. From here, further actions are made possible through multi-touch capabilities and key combinations.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chromebooks - HP Chromebook 14

I just wanted to say quickly that I have a new HP Chromebook 14 in hand and will be bringing it to this blog. Is there anything you guys would like to know?

This unit has the 14-inch display with 2GB of RAM and the 1.4GHz Intel processor. The display itself runs at 1366 x 768 resolution, but it also has a mock 1536 x 864 mode to better utilize the screen size.

The battery is giving me about 6-7 hours of use for my blog writing / research needs. The dual speakers on either side on the bottom are a little easy to muffle in the lap, but provide decent enough sound, for a laptop. I have not yet tested connected headphones, will let you know later.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Google opens up Project Ara developer board applications

Google has some unique and exciting stuff on the go. Self driving cars, 3D environment aware phones and tablets and more. One of their cool projects is a phone with some assembly required called Project Ara.

Project Ara is an interesting design that should allows users to stand the test of time with their Android smartphone. The device is an exoskeleton to which you electromagnetically attach modules that provide the actual specs of the device. There are different display panels, processors, cameras, batteries and more. This is great, but we need more.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Use Tasker to control your Android display timeout and display rotation

I spoke of display timeout in the past, I still believe that display timeout is a crucial balancing act for mobile device user - if your display turns off too soon, there is anger, if it stays on too long, good bye battery life.

Display rotation is one of those things that we each prefer differently. And that preference differs based on the device in hand as well. For myself, my Nexus 7 tablet is the perfect size for typing in portrait mode, but I cannot comfortably reach the entire keyboard in landscape mode. Pretty simple, the tablet stays in portrait mode except for a few apps.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Use Tasker to bypass silent mode on your Android phone, so you don't miss emergency calls

We walked you through setting up Tasker to automatically silence your phone at night, so you can sleep uninterrupted without ever having to manually silence your phone again. Whether you manually silence your device, use another app, a system setting or use Tasker, you may miss important calls while your phone is quiet.

We are working off of a basic premise today, that if specific contacts, like your parents, call you in the middle of the night, there is obviously something wrong. It's pretty simple, if you receive a call from specific contacts, Tasker simply increases the call volume to make sure you don't sleep through the call.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Custom Tasker sleep mode automatically silences your phone at night

I know I briefly showed you how to do this once before, but that was a long time ago with a different version of Tasker. Don't get me wrong, not much has changed, but this new tutorial is way better, so I figured I would post it.

As is usually the case these days, head on over to my post on Android Authority for the full step-by-step. Head back here afterward, I've got a few new ideas to share.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Heads Up! brings Android L style floating Notifications to your device

After Google introduced Android L at their Google I/O developer conference last week, Android users have been excited about getting their hands on the new release for their devices. As excited as we are to install the yet un-named "L___" release, most of us will have to wait until later this fall for the official release. However, small features of the release can be had today!

Android apps on Chrome OS, is it worth it?

I have been thinking about this for a couple days. I suspect I'll get some backlash for saying this, but I am not sure we need Android apps on Chrome OS.

Now hold on, before you start throwing things at me, please hear me out.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Private government network has speeds up to 100x faster than Google Fiber

A U.S. based shadow network called the ESnet, used by scientists at NASA and the like, is pushing real world, cross-country data speeds up to 91Gbps. That is about 100X faster that Google Fiber, which itself is about 100X faster than typical 'Broadband' speeds to most homes.

Over on Android Authority, I explain a bit about how this network operates, who gets to use it, how it compares to other high-speed networks and more. There is also some great ideas in the comments on what one could use these speeds for. Some intelligent stuff in there, some junk too.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

"OK, Google" hotword detection on any screen in Android! Even with the screen turned off?

During Google I/O, Google announced a slew of new designs, services and products to get us all through another year of computing. We've taken a look at their new design principles, had a peek at what their new apps and services may look like and more, but Google did not say a word about an update to Google Search.

The Google Search update, coupled with the updated Google Play Services, will allow most devices to activate the "OK Google" hotword from any screen, not just the Homescreens, or just the Google Now interface, as is currently available.

What will Google's new apps look like with the changes we're seeing for Android L?

Expanding on yesterday's post showing the design principles that Google in employing for Android L, here is a big post showing off just what Google's apps and services may look like with the new designs.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What will Android L look like? Google's new Material Design video gives us an idea

If you are reader of this, or any other Android or Google related website, you know that the Google I/O conference kicked off with the 2+ hour keynote presentation that ended just an hour ago. As you might imagine, one of the key topics was Android.

Never mind the fact that they are clocking over 90 million selfies every day from over 1 billion active users, they showed us a bunch of new design principles that will slowly roll out to all Google services across multiple platforms.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LG G3 will start its global domination this Friday

There is actually not much to say here, LG is rolling out their latest flagship device, the G3, to markets around the globe starting this Friday, that's June 27, 2014.

The 5.5-inch QHD device has been rocking it in South Korea and has many eagerly anticipating its release everywhere else. We think the G3 will be a great seller for LG, and a great device for users. At least, it will be a great device for those that can actually get their hands on it.

Google Chromecast has new competition, Mozilla Netcast powered by Firefox OS

This isn't the first time Google's Chromecast has seen competition in the streaming-stick set-top box segment. Chromecast is an HDMI dongle, not much larger than a USB flash drive, which you simply plug into the back of your TV and use your Android device to 'cast' videos and pictures to the big screen.

Roku has built a competing device. Google's own Google TV is a larger form factor, but many consider to be a competitor itself, not to mention the Android TV that we expect to learn about at Google I/O tomorrow. Amazon Fire TV is yet again a different classification of device, but offers competing streaming capabilities. This time, however, Mozilla and an unknown hardware manufacturer are looking at building a true competitor to Chromecast.

Friday, June 20, 2014