Google is continually tweaking its search engine to make getting information just that little bit easier. The latest addition to the far-reaching Knowledge Graph system appears to be additional inline information that will show up beneath some broad search results. Search for a historical figure or something relating to geography, and you'll see basic facts beneath the entry. The new feature was spotted by the Google Operating System blog, and it appears to be limited to Wikipedia results for the time being.
There are a lot of smartphone trade-in programs from both retailers and carriers, and to be frank, they suck. In just about every situation you can get more for your current gadgets by selling them yourself on secondary markets like Craigslist, eBay, or Swappa. The only reason to sell gadgets to carriers (or any retailer) is the convenience factor. But T-Mobile is positioning itself as the self-styled people's champion of smartphone trade-ins, or at the very least, the best option among its competitors.
Regular followers of the Android world know that manufacturers love to skin Google's mobile operating system for the sake of differentiation. As dramatic as Samsung and HTC can get, the Chinese OEMs sometimes take it even further, perhaps because Chinese users don't have official access to the Play Store and Google apps (making compatibility and certification less problematic). OPPO seems to be going even further than that: a new post on the company forum is recruiting testers for ColorOS on, of all things, the LG G2.
Root addicts and ROM flashers on Verizon, prepare to lose it. According to a short question and answer session with Motorola Mobility's VP of Product Management Punit Soni, there will be no Developer Edition of the swanky second-gen Moto X for Verizon. Google+ user Shane Barone asked Mr. Soni about the availability of a developer edition and got this apologetic reply:
Developer Editions are special carrier editions of phones sold without a contract and with an unlockable bootloader, made available for customers on carriers that permanently lock bootloaders as a matter of course.
It really is staggering how much customization you can do with the flexible Xposed Framework, even on a stock phone or tablet. The latest interesting Xposed module adds some much-needed options to Chrome for Android, at least if you're a root user who knows your way around the tool. ChromePIE is not a delicious browser-flavored snack cake, it's a module that adds swiping controls to Chrome, modeled after the popular LMT-PIE navigation bar replacement.
Motorola Migrate always seemed a little unnecessary to me - if you're coming from an Android phone, all your contacts should already be saved with Google, and I never saw the point of hoarding years of text messages. But Migrate has allowed for easy contact transfers from Apple's iPhone line, and with the latest update, it can even grab them from other 'dumbphones' as well. (Sorry, I let some inner fanboy out there.)
According to the update text, Motorola Migrate can now import contacts from "non-smartphones," as long as they have Bluetooth and follow the standard contact transfer system that's been in place since before Android existed.
Although Facebook recently passed the 500 million download mark with their semi-detached Messenger app, it looks like they're not content to rest on their laurels. After adding full Android Wear support and video uploads to the app, Facebook's latest adjustment gives users the power to edit photos before sending them to chat contacts. Well, sort of - it's the kind of editing you can do with a Polaroid photo and a Sharpie marker.
Hello, European readers. Yes, we know you're there, and if we should ever forget, you're sure to let us know in the comments section for every cool new Google product you can't play with. If you live in Belgium, France, the Republic of Ireland, or the Netherlands, you'll soon be able to scratch at least one of those off your list. Nest is bringing its smart connected thermostat and Nest Protect smoke detector to these countries sometime in September.
Motorola has some new gadgets coming out soon that round out its consumer electronics lineup. You've probably heard of the Moto 360, which is speeding its way towards some of your mailboxes right now. Motorola also announced the Power Pack Micro, a portable battery pack/Bluetooth phone finder combo, along with the new models of the Moto X and Moto G. To make both of them work to their full potential, you'll need the new Motorola Connect app.
August is over, and as a resident of the southern United States, I say good riddance - we're now beginning the slow slide into the more bearable part of the year. But Android apps know no season, and while the crop of new apps from August was a little light, there are a few that you should definitely check out. Below are the Android Police writers' picks for the best new apps from the last month, plus a few honorable mentions.