Amazon is continuing to fiddle with the Fire Phone's software even after it became apparent that the device isn't selling terribly well. An OTA is going out right now to the AT&T and GSM unlocked devices with a ton of improvements to the camera, battery life, lock screen, and more.
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
Google made some sweeping changes after it acquired restaurant review indexer Zagat, including limiting the cities in which it would work. The app itself was updated a few times, but it's been sitting neglected for a year until today. Zagat is going material in this update, but there are a few functionality tweaks too.
If OnePlus is good at anything, it's building hype. We experienced months of that early this year during the lead up to the OnePlus One announcement. The company started playing up a "Go Further" announcement the other day for 12/17. Well, here we are and guess what... it's a battery. An external battery with USB ports and stuff called the OnePlus Power Bank. Oh.
The phone that's causing all those headaches for OnePlus in India appears to be just a day away from launch. The Micromax Yu will be available only from Amazon, and it will apparently be somehow divine. I mean, look at that halo. Truly this is the Zeus of phones... wait, what?
The dust has barely settled after the bombshell announcement that Cyanogen Inc. quietly signed an exclusive deal with OEM Micromax in India. That left the OnePlus One with an uncertain future in India without a software partner, and now things are getting even worse. The OnePlus One has been banned in India after legal action by Micromax.
Google pushed a new version of its Text-to-Speech app a few days ago, and it actually removed a feature. Updates usually add new things, so what's the deal? You can no longer download the high-quality voice models on your device. However, Google has updated the changelog to explain that you don't need them anymore. The regular voice is even better now.
Sony hasn't always been the best at updating its phones, but the company does have a commitment to AOSP unlike most others. It contributes a lot of code to Android, and developers are encouraged to tinker with unlocked devices. In fact, Sony has just announced support for AOSP on the Xperia E3 and Xperia T3, meaning all Qualcomm-based phones from 2014 can run pure Android with very little hassle.
The Moto 360 was supposed to be the one. The watch that would rule all other watches with their pitiful square screens and plastic housings. I was excited for the Moto 360, but I couldn't help thinking the hype was out of control. We were expecting too much, and indeed, when I reviewed the Moto 360, the verdict was okay, but not amazing. At the time it was the best Android Wear watch, but that was due largely to the aesthetics.