Google Search received a pretty significant update this morning, adding yet more Google Now cards, speed enhancements, and three new voice actions. The now cards include nearby events, "suggestions to help you with your research" (whatever that means), QR code boarding passes (!) from Gmail, location-sensitive search by camera (aka Google Goggles), weather at places Now thinks you're travelling to based on Calendar and Gmail, and monthly summaries of your walking and biking activity.
|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.|
For the last few weeks, I’ve had the fortuitous opportunity to spend some time with the Microsoft Surface RT. I have a few thoughts I’d like to share about that experience.
Productivity (Office vs. Drive)
Drive / document editing and creation at large on Android sucks. Office on the Surface RT blows it away. Not even close. Office RT still has its quirks, but Microsoft continues to show that it dominates the spreadsheet and document ecosystem for a reason: it’s had nearly 30 years of experience perfecting it.
If you're a Verizon Wireless customer, and you're not looking to spend over $100 or so on an Android smartphone, your options aren't exactly limited at this point. If you want one that's relatively current, though, the RAZR M and Incredible 4G are basically your choices, one of which we actually really liked.
Both of those phones, though, by modern Android smartphone standards, are relatively small, with 4-4.3" qHD displays.
Amazon just did some price slashing on a scale we rarely see, cutting costs for all sorts of new smartphones across the board. Hit up the list to see what's up for grabs. All of these deals are for both new customers and upgrades.
One X+ (AT&T) - $139.99 ($70 savings)
What more can you say about the One X+ than it's a One X but better? 64GB of internal storage, LTE, and Android 4.1, all on the most beautiful smartphone display I've ever seen.
Hey, have you heard? Gamepads for smartphones and tablets are a thing. A thing that is quickly becoming the Android equivalent of the many ridiculous iPhone plug-in accessories you'll find all across the web.
So, we're covering another one. It's called PhoneJoy Play. It does this:
You can fit a phone up to the size of a One X in the PhoneJoy Play horizontally, presumably. It connects (hold your applause, please) via Bluetooth, it requires games to implement compatibility (likely through an SDK to get full, native functionality), and you can fold it up into a more compact shape for play on televisions or tablets.
OK, stay with me here - APIs are important. Case in point, ever notice how whenever one of your favorite apps uses a built-in Google Maps viewer, you suddenly want to open up the real Maps app? (Read: because the web maps viewer is old and ugly and terrible.) Today, that's all about to start changing. With Google Play Services 2.0[.10], Google's introduced a brand-new vector-based embeddable Google Maps view.
- Pinch to zoom: You need to go into the General settings menu and enable "Auto-fit messages" to use pinch zooming. Pinch zoom only works when this feature is enabled.
- Swipe to delete / archive: The swipe action can be configured from the General settings area as well, look for "Swiping conversation list." You can choose "Archive or delete" - which archives from the Inbox (or strips a label from a non-inbox message and sends it to All Mail), but will only delete a messages from the All Mail / Spam folders (it does nothing in Trash), "Delete only" which deletes from everywhere, or "Do nothing" ...
If you're itching to ROM up your Nexus 10, now's probably the time to start - CyanogenMod 10 nightlies have officially landed for Google's large Nexus slate, available now at the CM website.
Not much else to say about that - other than hoping it'll solve some of the various issues we've been seeing with Android 4.2, like the Nexus 10's delightful little random reboots. Head to the source link to grab it.
Welcome to the Android Police Week In Review - your source for the biggest Android stories of the week. Don't forget, you can catch a lot of these stories (and more) on our weekly podcast.
- I talk about my enlightening, lovely experience with the Note II, fanboys zero in on and freak out about my comments suggesting even though it's great, it doesn't feel particularly well-made.
- Getting to Know Android 4.2, Part 2: The Gallery
- No Nexus 4 You - Anatomy of a Smartphone Launch Disaster
Android at Arms
- Oracle is appealing that lawsuit they lost really badly, and you should probably care at least a little bit about the issues going before the court.
In a sight all too familiar to would-be Nexus owners this morning, the Nexus 4 8GB model has once again been listed as "out of stock" on the Play Store. This comes after Google opened up a second round of Nexus sales, which were basically glorified pre-orders, particularly when it came to the 8GB model, which quickly hit a 5-6 week shipping estimate.
Earlier this week, that estimate stretched all the way to 9-10 weeks, and presumably anything past 10 was the tipping point.