The Galaxy S5. The One M8. The LG G3. All very good phones - all phones that I like, for various reasons, and dislike in certain respects for others! HTC, Samsung, and LG have generally been the de facto leaders of the high-end Android smartphone market here in the US. But what about Sony? I'll freely admit that I've never been much of a Sony smartphone fan. I didn't like the Xperia ZL as well as its competitors.
|David Ruddock||David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.|
Welcome to the Android Police Podcast Live for Thursday, October 30th! We'll be starting soon - if you don't see a YouTube player, we haven't begun.
Welcome to the home of the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast. We're live every Thursday (unless otherwise noted on the official calendar below) at 5:30PM PST (8:30PM EST) - or perhaps a few minutes after that - every week. This post will be stickied on the Android Police homepage whenever we're broadcasting, so if you see it, we're either live right now, or about to be!
Carrier bloatware apps are quite an issue in the US, where many smartphones ship with almost as much useless junk as they do genuinely necessary applications. This junk is lovingly called "crapware," "bloatware," or "shit" interchangeably by those in the smartphone community. Because it is. This disdain largely stems from the fact that many bloatware apps can't be fully uninstalled, only disabled (some can't even manage to do that).
In Android 5.0, Google is hoping to give everyone another option: don't be so awful about it.
Nest has apparently just acquired home automation firm Revolv for an undisclosed figure.
If you've not heard of Revolv, the company was an all-in-one smarthome "hub" solution that wanted to operate as communication nexus for all the stuff in your house. Sprinklers, lights, door locks, stereos, TVs, you name it. If you want an example, you can watch this incredibly awkward video.
According to Re/code, an organizational reorganization will see Sundar Pichai, head of Chrome and Android, appointed as "czar" of all Google's major products. This includes ads, Search, research, Google+, Maps, commerce, and infrastructure. These duties previously fell on CEO Larry Page. Page will retain his leadership positions, though, at Nest, Calico, Google X, corporate development, finance, and business. Page will also most likely retain final say in most decisions he chooses to be involved in, being CEO and all.
The G Watch R is LG's first circular-display smartwatch, following up on the original G Watch that launched alongside Android Wear earlier this year. While the original G Watch looked like a proof-of-concept brick out of an engineer's garage at some angles, the G Watch R very clearly got the full design and style treatment from LG - it looks nothing like its kind-of-predecessor.
A 1.3" circular P-OLED (plastic organic LED) 320x320 screen gives it the densest display of any Android Wear device yet announced, and its ability to stay always-on without drastically cutting into battery life provides it a clear edge on competitors that are struggling with longevity issues.
Have you signed up to for an invite to Inbox by Gmail? It looks like public invitations to the service have begun rolling out en masse.
Be sure to check your Gmail if you signed up. If you haven't, email email@example.com to get put on the waitlist, but if you signed up yesterday you should probably be seeing an invite shortly. You can check out our quick hands-on here for a primer.
Google has promised standalone music playback over Bluetooth as part of Android Wear for some time, and it appears with Wear version 4.4W2 we're finally getting it, at least if you use Play Music (you're also getting new playback controls). If you're using the latest Play Music APK on your Android phone and have the Android 4.4W2 update on your smartwatch, you can now download your pinned music from your smartphone to your watch.
We spotted it in a teardown of the new material Play Music app this morning, but it looks like a new set of media controls in Android Wear are live - and here's exactly what they look like.
The new controls get a red-themed makeover and volume +/- buttons, plus a nifty kind of physical remote key animation. It's nice. For Play Music, these new controls require two things: the material version of Play Music (which contains an updated mini APK for Wear with these controls) and the 4.4W2 update to Wear, which is rolling out to some devices now, like the LG G Watch.