As Google Now's features and reach expand, it's become increasingly clear that Google has great ambitions for the project that was initially announced over two years ago (hard to believe, right?) at I/O 2012. When Google Now launched, it was little more than a context-aware monitor for your location to tell you how long it would take to get somewhere or show you the weather. But it was immediately clear that Google planned on expanding Now into something much more powerful, and it's made good on that promise.
|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.|
Update 9/19/14: The bill reminders feature of Google Now seems to have been in a pretty limited rollout since May when this article was originally published - nobody on the Android Police team has seen one personally. But starting earlier this month, many of us have started seeing them all of a sudden, which seems to indicate a much wider availability. Perhaps Google took the time to iron out all the kinks before expanding bill reminders to everyone.
If you've never heard of a smartphone maker by the name of Meizu, that's understandable. (Even though we actually reviewed their first Android smartphone about 2 years ago.) That's because Meizu, despite selling some phones outside of its home market - China - does no advertising and has very little press outreach in the western world.
Meizu's latest phone, the MX4, sells in mainland China for under $300 (1,799 Chinese Yuan) in 16GB trim.
We first reported on Android Silver back in April this year as an attempt by Google to premiumify Android phones with more Google branding and stock software in partnership with OEMs and US carriers. The program was supposed to launch early next year, and according to our source, would even entail custom retail booths in carrier stores, supplied and funded by Google. Google would also provide marketing assistance, customer support, and help carriers with sell-through, providing employees training on selling and teaching customers how to use Silver devices.
Update: Because there is apparent confusion about this, Nexus TV is not Android TV. Nexus TV, a cancelled project which is now known as ADT-1, is hardware. Android TV is software. Nexus TV would have run Android TV, as the ADT-1 does. Android TV is not directly implicated in this news, but it is obviously relevant. This is about a hardware team at Google - not a software one.
It's always interesting to hear internal Google gossip, and The Information's got a couple of tidbits this morning that are worth looking over.
Update: As confirmed by Verizon, to check your eligibility simply log in to your MyVerizon account and see if your upgrade date has changed - this is supposedly all automatic. If you're not seeing it, give it a couple of days and maybe phone up Verizon to see what the deal is.
You probably suspected as much, but as many carriers do during iPhone season, Verizon has rolled up its handset upgrade schedule to "now" for customers who would have otherwise become eligible for new phones in the next 2 months.
Samsung, I get it: you are not Apple, and you like making fun of Apple. But in its latest slew of iAds, Samsung basically throws any semblance of taste and humor out the window to make fun of Apple mostly for the sake of doing it. Behold.
In this ad we see Samsung making fun of the fact that Apple's livestream of the iPhone 6 event sucked. It did - it was terrible.
The monthly Android version distribution numbers are up for September on the Android Developers site, and things appear to be moving just the way you'd expect.
Month over month, we saw a 2.2% decline in share for Gingerbread, a drop of 1% for Ice Cream Sandwich, 1.4% for Jelly Bean 4.1, and small gains of 0.9% and 0.1% for Jelly Bean 4.2 and 4.3, respectively. KitKat was this month's biggest mover, adding 3.6% to its share of the pie, bringing it to 24.5% of all Android devices active in the last week.
Update: This article stated that Republic previously offered unlimited domestic roaming - this is not correct. Republic previously offered 100MB of domestic roaming, and is dropping that to 25MB. Republic hasn't made this policy super clear in the past, so this information wasn't exactly easy to come by.
One of the more innovative low-cost MVNOs in the smartphone era has undoubtedly been Republic Wireless, a Sprint-powered carrier that offers extremely competitive pricing on the philosophy that, if people are given a good deal on wireless service, they will try to do whatever they can to keep that service afloat.