Google's messaging situation has been a mess. When Hangouts first appeared, it replaced Google+ Messenger and Google Talk, bringing the company's list of similarly-named Android apps from four down to three. Once Hangouts gained SMS support and replaced Messenger, that dropped the number down to two. Voice is all that remains, and if a report by 9to5 Google is to be believed, we only have a handful of months to wait for it to kick the bucket, with a possible Google I/O announcement seeming increasingly likely.
|Bertel King, Jr.||Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.|
Last December, Google announced LiquidFun, a cross-platform physics engine developers could use to create realistic gaming experiences. Now, as a part of Google Developer Day at this year's Game Developers Conference, the company has released version 1.0 out into the wild. It's also provided no shortage of videos demoing what the project is capable of.
Using Dayframe to turn an Android tablet into a digital photo frame may not sound like the most affordable option out there, but at this point in time, more than a few of us have a couple old Honeycomb-era Android tablets lying around that aren't good for too much else. Following the introduction of Chromecast support in version 2.0 last month, it's pretty simple to turn your TV into one as well.
Sony's released another Xperia-exclusive app into the Play Store, and while this piece of software does extend what your phone's camera is capable of, it isn't quite the Zperia Z1's Timeshift Burst feature that the company posted to Google Play a few months back. This one's just for laughs. Voice Balloon Photo is a dedicated camera app, but rather than improving the quality of your shots, it adds character by capturing the voices around you and turning them into speech bubbles in real-time.
Last month Facebook bought WhatsApp for way too much money, making the app's developers very wealthy individuals. This deal, theoretically, gives Facebook access to the data provided by the app's nearly half a billion users. The companies behind the social network and the instant messenger have both promised that WhatsApp will continue to operate autonomously, but this hasn't completely alleviated privacy concerns. Thus WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has shared a blog post aimed at "setting the record straight."
In it he states:
There are many reasons to pick up a Google Play gift card. Whether someone's birthday is coming up, you don't have your own credit card, or just you want to force yourself to stick to a budget, gift cards can make it easier to scratch a Google Play itch. Google's gradually rolled out availability to a handful of countries around the world, and it looks like the latest locale to make the list will be Hong Kong.
That new smartwatch may not be the first platform that comes to mind when the urge comes to kill time gaming, but Pebble wants to change that. Today at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, the company announced three games that it's immediately making available for its smartwatch. The three titles - Mr. Runner, Icon Pop Quiz, and Hatchi - all come from different developers, and as you can see below, they're now just a tap away in the Pebble appstore.
People who have used Duolingo on the web or on iOS may have grown accustomed to a virtual shop where they're encouraged to spend hard-earned points on cool stuff. Now that engaging feature has come to Android. Whenever you complete an achievement going forward, Duolingo will reward you with Lingots that you can spend on all sorts of items ranging from power-ups to bonus language skills.
Duolingo already turns language-learning into a game by breaking down lessons into achievements and giving players a limited number of hearts.
When Samsung announced the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo last month, the news came with the confirmation that the company was dropping Android from both devices. Instead, both smart watches are powered by Tizen. This may not mean all that much for consumers in the short term, but it does impact developers. For you, Samsung has just shared the first version of the Tizen SDK aimed at wearables. This is what you need to grab if you intend to build apps for the company's two intelligent wristwatches.
Sprint's 4G LTE network continues to trudge along, slowly growing both larger and faster at the same time. Now the carrier has upgraded the data speeds available in 20 new markets across the country. Consumers benefiting from this news range from California and Arizona in the west across the US to Connecticut and New Jersey in the east. Down south, Sprint's boosting things for residents and visitors of Hot Springs, Arkansas and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.