The wait is nearly over for anyone who kind of wants a tablet, but doesn't want to commit to having two whole devices. The Asus PadFone X has been "coming soon" for months now, but AT&T is finally setting a date – you can get your own phone/tablet hybrid on June 6th for $199, if you go for the traditional contract.
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
Language barriers might be a bit less insurmountable later this year when Microsoft releases the first beta of Skype Translator. As demoed last night at the Code Conference, Redmond is close to implementing near real-time voice translation of multiple languages in a Skype call. We might be getting close the the fabled babel fish.
Two more European nations are getting some Google love today. After rolling out Google Play devices to Norway and Switzerland, and making the Chromecast available in even more locales, Mountain View is making Google Play Music and All Access available in Poland and Denmark. That's pretty niesamowite/fantastisk, wouldn't you say?
The stuff that we do on a computer or mobile device right now is enabled, at some point, by the black magic worked by a class of modern sorcerers known as the Holy Order of Server Administrators. Or actually, just server admins, but the point is that it can be a hard job to keep all these applications and services working properly, and New Relic is one of the more popular tools to make it happen.
Google doesn't so much hate Europe as it seems to be woefully indifferent to the plight of Android users in many of those nations who often lack choices in awesome devices. Well, things are looking up for a few more countries today. The Google Play device section is open to users in Norway and Switzerland starting now.
Norwegian Play Store
One of the cool things about Google Now is that Mountain View can tweak the way information is displayed by flipping a switch on its end. No action on your part is required to make the cards better and more informative. To that end, Google has been testing an updated version of the weather card for a few weeks, and judging by the barrage of tips we're getting, it looks like it's rolling out now.
As is common with smartphone announcements, LG's G3 event was pretty cringe-worthy, but the phone looks intriguing, right? Those of you in the US will probably be able to get it on all carriers eventually, but so far AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint have signaled their intention to carry the G3 this summer.
Sprint is touting HD voice and Spark (tri-band LTE) support. The Now network is also getting the gold version of the device as a US exclusive, which I know will make you all very excited.
Want to travel back to the golden age of fantasy strategy games? Well, maybe "golden age" is a bit dramatic, but the 90s brought all manner of well-crafted strategy games that focused on gameplay in place of graphics. Conquest of Elysium II was released in 1997, but the third incarnation came to Steam a while back with the same traditional vibe. Now it's on Android, but it won't come cheap.
The Nexus 5 introduced us to the Google Now Launcher, which is now available on a number of other devices. One of the headlining features of Google's launcher is the always-on home screen hotword detection. You can say "Okay Google" at any time to bring up voice search, but OmniROM is about to take it one step further with custom hotwords.