Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

20
Mar
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Astronomers can identify distant galaxies beyond the reach of our telescopes by the light they emit, focusing around other galaxies and stars closer to us. The developers of popular iOS game God of Light use some of the same (if somewhat exaggerated) gravitational properties of photons to craft an addictive and endearing puzzler. Observe:

In God of Light, you're a benevolent space being called Shiny, and the description is pretty apt.

19
Mar
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It's been just over three months since we gave you an exclusive look at EnergySense, Google's attempt to jump start their home management offerings. Now it looks like they're ending support for the project, closing down the web and Android apps that are currently in the test phase. This is the email sent to the EnergySense testers from Google.

Subject: EnergySense program winddown
Greetings Trusted Testers,

Our Trusted Tester trial has come to an official close, and in the next two weeks Google will stop actively supporting EnergySense.

19
Mar
z1

Sony has been doing an admirable job keeping its Android hardware on the latest releases, and today they're bringing KitKat to three of the newest phones in their lineup. The flagship Xperia Z1, the slightly smaller Xperia Z1 Compact, and the super-sized Xperia Z Ultra all get an Android 4.4 upgrade starting now, according to this Sony Mobile blog post.

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We haven't actually seen any updated devices from tipsters, and Sony makes the usual disclaimer that the rollout may vary by location and carrier.

19
Mar
eplus

Carrier billing for the Play Store is slowly, slowly making its way across Europe, which probably isn't much comfort for those who want it and still can't access it. If you happen to be in Germany and use the third-largest carrier in the country, you no longer have to wait. German carrier E-Plus was added to the list of carrier billing supporters yesterday.

For the uninitiated, carrier billing allows users to buy apps, songs, books, movies, and in-app purchases by charging the amount to their carrier bill instead of a credit or debit card.

18
Mar
bonza

Sometimes Android fans outside of the US feel a bit left out by Google. Not without good reason (and not without telling us and everyone else about it) - Google tends to focus on America for major products and features and expand them to the rest of the world at their leisure. Well Android users down under can now use the voice activation in Google Search and Google Now, or at least use it with a little more ease.

18
Mar
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Google threw the tech world a curveball today with its new Android Wear platform, a wearable version of Android that's starting with "smart" watches. Digging through some of the developer documentation reveals even more information on the upcoming platform than what's in the consumer-facing videos. After reading through the developer site, a rough image of Android Wear begins to take shape.

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There are three major functions of Wear: a Google Now-style "homescreen" with a a scrollable list of cards, a notification system that alerts you to information from your smartphone, and a series of contextual tools that pop up during certain activities.

18
Mar
india

OK, Indian readers, we know you've been waiting a long time for this. Earlier today Indian online retailer Flipkart posted an ad for the Moto X, announcing that it would be available starting tomorrow, March 19th. The price starts at 23,999 rupees for the 16GB in five colors, according to this Flipkart tweet. That's at least in the same ballpark as the US version - it's just north of $390 USD.

18
Mar
das chromecast

Update: at least one German gadget site has more evidence of an eminent Chromecast release, including retailers Amazon and Media Mart.

Our European readers have been waiting to get their hands on the Chromecast ever since Google announced its diminutive streaming gadget, and at least some of them will be able to soon - the UK is getting it on Wednesday. But what about the rest of the continent?

18
Mar
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Between Titanfall, Dark Souls II, and a new Metal Gear game, employers across the globe can probably plot a decline in efficiency around recent high-profile video game releases. But only one of them has the obligatory mobile tie-in app, and that's Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (a.k.a. MGSV: Appetizer). Konami's companion app is now available in the Play Store as a free download.

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The companion app basically pretends to be Big Boss's personal PDA, labeled as "iDROID" in a tongue-in-cheek and somewhat anachronistic fashion.

18
Mar
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Last Updated: March 25th, 2014

Those of you who've ben lamenting the GoodNews reader, especially its tight integration with podcasts, now have a new alternative to consider. The developer of the aforesaid app has finally published a replacement that doesn't depend on Google Reader, and the wait has not been for naught: uPod crams in just about every feature a podcast fan could want. A free trial version of uPod and a $4.49 license are now available in the Play Store.

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