The third installment of Motorola's Spotlight stories has arrived in the Spotlight Player, and it's called Duet. Like the last two videos, this is an interactive story that you experience by moving your device around to follow the characters. While the last stories (Windy Day and Buggy Night) were quirky and whimsical, Duet is one of those heartstring-tugging, Disney-esque shorts. If you don't want to see too much, go watch the story now before checking out the screenshots.
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.
He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM
Now that Lollipop is out in the wild to be abused in every which way, we're starting to see the bugs pop up. The latest one has to do with that new flashlight toggle in quick settings. If you turn it on and leave it like that until it times out and shuts off, the camera and flashlight will stop working until you reboot. This is confirmed at least on the Nexus 5.
The next time you're sending lurid photos to people on Snapchat, why not make things interesting by putting some money on it? No, wait. I'm sure that'll never happen. Snapchat's new Snapcash service was designed with help from Square to make sending money as easy as sharing photos. Unsure? Just watch this super-weird 2-minute song and dance explainer.
The Lollipop Smart Lock functionality is pretty cool. You can have the phone stay unlocked when it's connected to a trusted Bluetooth device, in range of a certain NFC tag, or when it sees a trusted face (presumably yours). Trusted Face mode in particular is quite cool, but it's not necessarily as secure as a PIN or pattern lock. You can, however, temporarily switch to the secure lock screen with a single tap.
This Nexus launch is without precedent—the Nexus 6 is big, expensive, and compatible with all the major US carriers. It seems like Google is trying to make nice with the carriers too. Case in point, AT&T is selling a Nexus directly at launch for the first time. However, an image of the Nexus 6 posted on AT&T's site shows the Nexus 6 with an AT&T globe logo on the back. Yikes.
Most of what Google has done in lollipop is great—better design, thoughtful features, and better developer support. However, there are few wonky things going on in this first release, and it's hard to know if they're intentional or not. Case in point, the lack of silent mode on phones. Lowering the volume only offers vibrate mode, and the new priority notification system isn't going to help you.