Update, 10:30PM CST: Wow, it looks like Google really dropped the ball on this one. While previous Play Store launches have been problematic, today's Nexus 6 pre-order has left the vast majority of prospective buyers high and dry. Google seems to have sold out of a low initial stock almost instantly, and there was never a single point in the afternoon where you could reliably go to the Play Store and pay for a phone.
Chinese manufacturer Oppo has been making a name for itself thanks to some unconventional designs on top solid hardware (on paper, at least). The latest round of upgrades for the company's product lines are novel, to be certain: the new Oppo R5 is the latest phone to steal the coveted "world's thinnest" title, and the N3 uses a new rotating camera that's positively unique. But do these features actually make the phones desirable, or are they mere gimmicks?
Believe it or not, a lot of Android fans were happy to see Apple announce its new Apple Pay system with the iPhone 6. Thanks to its reliance on NFC technology (welcome to 2011, Cupertino!) and Apple's famous marketing muscle, it meant that NFC payments might finally start taking off, particularly in the US. The same NFC-equipped registers that work with Apple Pay generally work with Google Wallet as well.
Then popular drugstores CVS and Rite-Aid started blocking Apple Pay, which apparently means blocking all NFC payments, including Google Wallet.
I've been writing about Android phones for over three years, and I'm going to be honest: I still think I'm pronouncing "Huawei" wrong. (Wah-way. WAA-whey. Hoo-waa-way.) Huawei is perfectly aware that their branding outside of Asia isn't exactly stellar, and it looks like they're taking steps to improve it. Say hello to "Honor," a new Huawei sub-brand introduced to Europe this week. The first phone launched under the label will be the Honor 6.
The new DROID Turbo for Verizon is a beast of a phone, but Motorola isn't letting it stand alone. The company also announced a proprietary see-through case for the device, with the somewhat benign name "Droid Turbo Flip Case." It's a pretty standard full-body flip case offered in either leather or nylon, but it includes a screen cutout and a transparent cover that lets you view the phone's active notifications, or even answer a call or take a photo, without opening the case.
Most watches don't have much in the way of accessories beyond straps and winders. But then most watches don't hold a ton of electronic guts, and most watches aren't owned by gadget fans with an obsessive need to keep their toys in pristine condition. To fill that need, a merchant on the 3D printing marketplace Shapeways is selling custom-made bumper cases for the Moto 360. Yeah, really.
"Raelx" is offering the $8 cases in a variety of colors and styles.
Ah, Developer Editions, what would we do without you? Probably suck it up and buy the retail versions, since anyone who's actually in the market for a Developer Edition phone on Verizon doesn't have a choice of GSM carriers with unlocked phones. If you've been drooling over the Galaxy Note 4's high-end hardware but lamenting Verizon's locked bootloader policy, Samsung is ready to sell you an unlockable phone. That will be $699.99, please.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Sentinels of the Multiverse
Android Police coverage: Faithful Adaptation Of The 'Sentinels Of The Multiverse' Card Game Comes To Android Tablets
As we continue to wait...
AT&T unlimited data users, your champion has arrived. Today the United States Federal Trade Commission announced that it has filed a federal court complaint against AT&T Wireless, alleging that the company misled customers by offering "unlimited" cellular data service that was severely reduced in speed at some times and places. The FTC's complaint takes issue with AT&T's failure to inform customers that the unlimited data they were paying for could be "throttled," often cutting data speeds to specific customers by up to 90 percent.