Back at Google I/O we were introduced to Android One, an initiative from Google to give smartphone manufacturers guidance on how to build quality Android experiences using affordable hardware and updates directly from the Google mothership. At the time, Sundar Pichai explained that the program would be launched in India with three hardware partners - Spice, Micromax, and Karbonn "this fall," with other territories coming later.
|Liam Spradlin||Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.|
Back at the Google I/O keynote this summer, we saw a very interesting demonstration - as Sundar Pichai explained, Google wants to make the experience between Android devices and Chromebooks seamless by allowing Android apps to run natively on Chrome (using App Runtime for Chrome, currently in beta). Evernote, Vine, and Flipboard were demonstrated on stage, and today Google has announced the first batch of Android apps that will run on Chrome right now.
Amazon has finally (finally!) brought its Prime Instant Video service to Android devices with an Instant Video app available through its own app store.
The news comes as part of an update to version 5.0 of Amazon's own app in the Play Store, which sees a broader content shift - the new Amazon app allows users to access Amazon's entire digital catalog, meaning that - besides instant video content - users can shop for (and install) apps from Amazon's app store.
For its first foray into the nascent Android Wear platform, ASUS created the ZenWatch. It aims to be the more fashionable and appealing alternative to the other square watches from LG and Samsung, and I think it largely accomplishes that.
Whether you prefer a square smart watch to a round one is a matter of personal opinion, but there's little denying that ASUS has made probably the most compelling square smart watch of the current Android Wear generation.
You may remember Google's launch of the Glass explorer program in the UK, which saw the device listed in the Play Store just before I/O. This seemed a little odd at the time, given that the Glass shopping experience in the US has always had its own dedicated checkout process and interface, separate from the Play Store, but bringing the hardware to Google's main store makes sense in the long-run, as the eyeball computer tiptoes toward an inevitable final launch.
Now that we've seen new videos for the Moto 360, Moto Hint, and the new Moto X and G, there's one more promo video to watch - this one, revolving around the "Choose Choice" tagline, gives some behind-the-scenes looks at the "choices" that went into the other videos, including some of the construction work that went into the crazy set used in the other four videos. Like the other videos, it's around a minute long, so it's worth checking out while we wait for more updates to Motorola's website.
LG says it has been working on the G Watch R for two years. Whether this is true or not, the manufacturer now positions the original G Watch as a "reference device," which makes sense given their partnership with Google on the product and its speedy release after Google I/O. At any rate, the G Watch R is positioned as a product more in keeping with LG's design philosophy and the key elements the company (and more specifically its designers) believe make a good, compelling smart watch.
If you're a customer of Chase Bank, you probably know the pain of opening the bank's crusty old app and dealing with legacy menus and other interface nonsense. But you probably also got an email in late August letting you know that the app would be completely redesigned, and that Chase planned to launch the redesign in September. Well, that redesign is finally a reality, and available in the Play Store right now.
Just a couple of days ago, Reddit launched an official app specifically geared toward helping users read "Ask Me Anything" threads, but the app was only available for iOS users through the App Store. It was promised, however, that the app would be available for Android "later this week." A mere two days later the app has been released.