Ryan Whitwam
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

19
Jun
a

Intel might have finally cracked the video messaging code. See, you'd probably send more video messages to people if you looked like a giant anthropomorphized puffer fish. Heck, you might even pay for the privilege of looking like George Washington in said video message. So obviously, there's now an Intel app called Pocket Avatars that does just that.

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19
Jun
wf

Perhaps you recall the abrupt closure of online phone dealer Wirefly a few months ago. Its parent company Simplexity LLC filed for bankruptcy, and is currently being chopped up and sold as part of debt reorganization. The Wirefly name and website have emerged from this under new ownership with a focus on comparing devices and plans to help you find the best deal.

18
Jun
x

Google has chosen to keep the on-screen navigation bar simple ever since it was introduced back in Honeycomb. It's changed a little bit over the years, but Xtended NavBar lets you change the way it works without screwing up the UI. When you need you navigation buttons, they're in the usual spot, but you can swipe to access more functions.

18
Jun
moto-g

Motorola's littlest smartphone is getting a little present today in the form of a custom recovery. There is now an official build of TWRP for this super-low cost smartphone, which will make flashing ZIPs and backing up a breeze.

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18
Jun
d

With all that excitement (sort of) around the announcement of the Fire Phone, you might have forgotten it was update Wednesday. Well Google didn't forget. Google never forgets anything... ever. The Drive app is hitting version 1.3.222.29 today with a few little UI tweaks of note.

2014-06-18 20.52.31 55 66

What’s New

  • Google-colored refresh animation (was plain blue before)
  • Multi-user switcher now expands in-line instead of opens a drop-down
  • Doc creation shortcuts at the bottom of the screen in floating bar
  • Settings now links Program Policies

That's what we've got so far.

18
Jun
gp_avatar

Google has not only posted that Play Books is now available in 12 more nations, but it also took the opportunity to test our knowledge of geography. Rather than simply list the countries, the Google Play G+ account posted an image of 13 flags (Norway actually went live the other day, hence 12 new ones). Thanks, guys.

18
Jun
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Samsung is sending an update out to all the owners of its new wearables in the US. Surely there are some of them, right? So yes, that Gear 2, Gear2 Neo, or Gear Fit on your wrist is about to get slightly better. I mean, it's still a Gear, but you know.

nexusae0_wm_DSC022321

18
Jun
google-plus

After over 1300 Face-Off contest submissions, Motorola has chosen its 10 favorites Moto 360 face designs to go on to final voting. You can cast your vote(s) now for the design you want to see as an option on the Moto 360 when it comes out later this year. The images run the gamut from clean and simple, to rather complex for a smart watch.

vanishing hour2 will rodriguez Moto-360-Product_flyingrhinocmg_concept2_a_v3

18
Jun
w

Google might own Waze, but thankfully Mountain View isn't shutting down the social navigation service to bring it all in-house. In fact, Waze just got an update on Android to v3.8 with a few new features. Waze calls itself a social GPS app, so yeah, most of these features are social things.

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17
Jun
2014-06-17 17_41_50-01_intro.mp4 - VLC media player

Motorola's newer phones have a lot of little touches that improve the overall experience, one of which is the boot services app. Sounds boring, right? Well, it is most of the time. The exception being days like today when Motorola uses boot services to push out a new boot animation. This time it's got a World Cup theme.

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