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

Google I/O 2014 livestream blog right here June 25 - 26, 2014

Be sure to check in June 25 at 9am PDT for the Google I/O 2014 keynote presentation.

Tasker makes sure you never miss an Alarm

Hey look, you can use Tasker to make sure you never miss an alarm. This sounds familiar...

I'll keep this one short too, I put together a step by step tutorial for using Tasker to create a Task and Profile. These are the key functions and steps to get any Tasker recipe up and rolling.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Android 4.4.4 is rolling out

If you are keeping tabs, you know that Android 4.4.3 is still in the stages of rolling out to phones around the globe. Why, then, would Google push out Android 4.4.4 so soon? In one word, security.

That's right, Android 4.4.4 KitKat is in the midst of pushing out, the major changes revolve around a security flaw related to that nasty HeartBleed debacle in OpenSSL that we are still cleaning up from. You have changed all of your passwords lately, right?!?

Samsung unleashes the Galaxy S5 LTE-A for South Korea

Good news - Samsung has unleashed a 2560x1440, 5.7-inch LTE-A variant of the Galaxy S5 with network speeds of up to 225Mbps. Bad news - (for most of us) it is for South Korea only.

There is not much to say about this one that was not previously said in my Android Authority post. There is a good chance that this Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A is what we've seen as the rumored S5 Prime before now. And, if we are lucky, the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 will offer practically the same specifications.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Updated Opera for Android web browser fixes URL spoofing

In our internet connected world, there is one tool that almost all of us use on a continual and daily basis, a web browser. Whether on a mobile device or back on our PCs, the web browser is the conduit to all of the great internet sites that we love (and hate.) It is important then that our browsers be fast, easy to navigate and, most importantly, secure.

Opera is pushing out an update to their Opera for Android web browser. The update includes the expected handful of bug fixes and small user improvements, but what we weren't expecting was to learn that the previous version of Opera had a URL spoofing vulnerability.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bring the power of your PC to your mobile device using a Remote Desktop application

The modern smartphone is a very capable computing device. The Android operating system paired with over one million apps in the Google Play Store leaves very little that cannot be done. With the addition of larger screens in the tablet sphere, it becomes even easier to tackle productivity tasks, and better enjoy entertainment.

For many, there are key functions that a PC can perform that a smartphone or tablet cannot yet do, at least with ease. Primary of which for many is to operate the full Microsoft Office suite or take out the enemy in one of the many games that have graced the Microsoft operating system over the years.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Zooper Widgets - Advanced Parameters, this is where the magic is

I know I've been pushing Zooper Widget a lot lately, this is because it is such a powerful design tool for the Homescreens of your Android devices. Zooper Widget becomes significantly more powerful when used as a front end for Tasker functionality, to control almost any aspect of your device.

Over on Android Authority, I've put together a relatively brief walk through of using Zooper Widget Advanced Parameters, I urge you to check it out. Don't get me wrong, I am not just trying to get you to read my stuff, the principles and core functionality that I present over there are absolutely core to getting the most out of Zooper Widget.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Google plans to make all of their stuff look and act the same, everywhere, and it's called Quantum Paper

This is all just rumors and well placed guesses, but the folks over at Android Police have pieced together what they think Google is planning for a major overhaul of design for all of their products. The basic idea is that each product, such as Gmail, would gain a similar look and feel no matter what operating system you use to access it. The project will be named Quantum Paper.

I'll keep it short, I covered the main points over on Android Authority, and the Android Police article goes even deeper, if you like the nitty gritty stuff. In short, the new Google+ app is said to represent much of what Quantum Paper stands for, check that out for some ideas.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How long until Chinese smartphone manufacturers like OPPO, Xiaomi and OnePlus take over the globe?

There are a good number of great smartphones coming out of China these days, they may not be world leaders just yet, but there are many that believe it is only a matter of time until they are. There is a lot of hype over phones like the OnePlus One, OPPO Find 7 and a handful of Xiaomi devices, but most of these can be hard to find on a global scale, especially missing out on one of the globes largest markets, North America.

Former Googler, now big dog over at Xiaomi, Hugo Barra, has been touring around launching Xiaomi products in a bunch of new countries. This is no big deal on its own, but Hugo boldly announced that Xiaomi plans to crack the U.S. market in 2015. In my opinion, having never personally touched a Xiaomi device, they are building Android smartphones that will have no problems delivering on the hardware expectations of most users.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Flexible displays, they're cool and they could prevent cracked screens

Last week was a pretty big week for flexible displays. The SID 2014 conference gave out some awards and saw some great new ideas come to light, then the University of Akron popped onto our radar with a new transparent display technology of their own, which promises a lower cost and no more cracked screens!

Cracked, smashed and shattered displays have been a nuisance to many users. Requiring a costly and problematic repair, if repair is even possible, a severely cracked screen could be the end of a device. Users take precautions, like installing a rugged OtterBox case, but accidents still happen.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Zooper Widget and Tasker, what a team. Learn how to pull system info from Tasker to display on Zooper Widget

Hey look, another great addition to my Android customization series over on Android Authority. It is just a rough example of integration between Zooper Widget and Tasker, showing how to collect system info in Tasker and display it on a Zooper Widget.

The series has been working on a custom built control panel for your Android Homescreen for a couple weeks now, and will extend into next week to finish it all off. The combined ideas, tools and instruction will empower you to move on to the next level of Zooper Widget design and functional implementation.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My, what a big phone you have there Samsung. New Galaxy W packs 7-inch display

Catering to the phablet market, Samsung is releasing a new phone that packs a whopping 7-inch display. Certainly, there are jokes to be made for putting such a large device to one's head, but I'll urge you to get past that and consider this device objectively with me.

As the smartphone industry again sees a change in the size of the average device, the trend is currently to build larger. This year's round of flagship smartphones by the major manufacturers is seeing devices in the 5 to 6-inch range. The 7-inch screen size is also not a breakthrough size, aside from the many Android tablets available at this size, there are a few phones already on the market.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Motorola at it again, 32GB Moto X for $349 today and tomorrow

You only have a day and a half left in this $100 off sale for the 32GB Moto X straight from Motorola with no contract. June 4th and 5th only, Motorola is holding a 'just because it's summer' flash sale. Of course, I think they are just clearing space to bring in their new rumored X+1, but that does not stop this from being a pretty good deal on a great device.

Hit the Motorola website to check out the deal U.S. only, sorry. Or head over to my post on Android Authority if you want the rundown on the device itself.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Moto G on sale for $50 for a limited time. Verizon model at Best Buy

It is not very often that we come across deals that are too good to be true. If you live in the U.S. and are willing to be a Verizon customer, this deal is about as good as it gets. Head over to the Best Buy website to pick up the Verizon Moto G for only $49.99.

For the rest of us, we still have a very capable handset here that can be put to use without a service contract. One commenter over on my full post at Android Authority plans to strictly use his as a Chromecast remote. I was thinking of using one as a Chromecast (Cheapcast) receiver, hooked up to the home stereo to play music. I also consider grabbing another that I can mess around with, Rooting, ROMing and all that 'dangerous' stuff.