[Heads up: to use this application you'll need root permissions on your phone or tablet. If you don't have them, you can stop reading here. Now, we continue with our regularly scheduled blog post.] Yesterday we found out about a new Google Now card that can show you changes in the prices of airfare based on recent searches. At least one developer isn't interested in waiting for Google to rollout new Now cards, and found a way to switch them on manually - even the ones that aren't public just yet.
"Better late than never" is almost never said with real sincerity, and such is the case with the latest build of Android for the T-Mobile Moto X. All three of the other carrier versions of Motorola's 2013 flagship have already received the latest version of Android: Sprint, AT&T, and even Verizon. Perhaps the fact that T-Mobile doesn't actually sell the phone has something to do with it - it's only available in a non-contract, unlocked "T-Mobile" edition at full price from Motorola.
As a Dropcam user, I often wish I could get a little bit more than an activity notification on my Android Wear watch. I don't want to watch the video feed for 10 solid minutes, but the option to quickly see what my camera is seeing in an instant would be amazing. If you're a tinyCam user, you just got that luxury. I'm jealous.
As of version 5.6, you can now say "OK Google, start tinyCam monitor" to your Android Wear watch and get a quick glimpse of the video feed.
With the obvious exception of watch faces themselves, there aren't many parts of Android Wear that actually benefit from the round screens of the Moto 360 and the upcoming G Watch R - not even Google's official apps. A new and relatively humble tip calculator is the first Wear app I've seen that makes really excellent use of the extra radial space. It's called (appropriately) Wear Tip Calculator.
The app uses a circular design.
In a triumphant post to its blog today, Rackspace announced that Rotatable Technologies is now "an ex-patent troll." This new designation for Rotatable Technologies comes after the US Patent and Trademark Office declared its patent (6,326,978) unpatentable. Last year, Rotatable Technologies decided to go after Rackspace over the patent, demanding $75,000. Rackspace chose to fight not just the case but the patent itself.
What is patent 6,326,978? It was a patent covering "a display method for selectively rotating windows on a computer display including a window for a computer display having a frame and a display portion.
Imagine if the little robot guys from Batteries Not Included had their own videogame. Now imagine if that video game was produced in the current framework of indie games, which seem to favor the dark and somewhat creepy atmosphere of a Lorne Lanning title. Now you've got Unmechanical, a 2D platformer with Unreal 3D graphics that has just been published to the Google Play Store. You can pick it up for $3 with no in-app purchases.
Google Now is constantly gaining new abilities that are generally awesome, if a little bit creepy. One such feature, brought to our attention today, is the ability to keep track of flight prices.
This is another automatic feature whereby Google infers your intention and presents useful info on that basis. In this case, if you are eyeing a flight or itinerary through Google Flights (it does not appear that this works with other travel booking sites right now), Google will make a note of that and drop a helpful card into your Google Now screen to let you know when the price of that flight changes.
Much to the chagrin of cell carriers and hardware manufacturers, there are still many in the Android community that choose to delve into the world of hacking and modding their phones. Owners of the Verizon Moto G are certainly in this crowd, and they've been eagerly awaiting a reliable method for unlocking their bootloaders. It turns out that their wait ends today. Sunshine, a tool built by Justin Case, Beaups, and others to unlock HTC and Motorola phones, just gained support for the Moto G on Verizon.
Google's Play services are gradually working their way out to more countries around the globe, and the latest expansion we've spotted is occurring south of the Equator. Google has enabled Play Music access in the countries of Brazil and Uruguay. This way users can back up their albums to Google's servers and access them from a web browser or mobile device.
All Access has technically come to both countries as well, but in the case of Brazil, there appear to be some substantial caveats.