LG's G2 was one of the most cultishly-loved smartphones of 2013, to an extent that, frankly, befuddled me. It had a terribly ugly software layer, felt cheaply built, and ticked almost no boxes in terms of innovation. The G2 was a specification junkie's wet dream, and that's exactly the sort of buyer the phone ended up attracting. Appearance, software features, and design aren't high on such people's lists.
Even in the face of criticism, though, success with a group like that isn't something you just let go.
I don't know about you, but when I first experienced Facebook chat heads, I wanted bubbles for all the things. Paranoid Android's Halo offered this, but it didn't do anything for people with unrooted devices. So when Chris Lacy later released Link Bubble, a web browser that creates a floating bubble every time you click on a link, my desire started to look less like a pipe dream.
We've all dealt with it before: you hand someone your phone to show them a photo, and the jackass swipes forward and/or backward to look at your other photos. That's a huge no-no, but unfortunately there are still people out there who didn't get the memo (or are just too damn rude to care). Fortunately, there's a way to keep this scenario from happening ever again.
It's a simple app called Focus, and it basically puts other photos under a PIN code, so when someone tries to swipe left or right, they're greeted with this message:
There are two versions of Focus: an ad-supported, free variant; and a paid version that costs a dollar.
Google's burgeoning live how-to service, Helpouts, got a brand new version of its Android app yesterday, bringing it up to version 1.3. The service, for those unaware, pairs those who know how to do things with those who do not know how to do things, connecting the two over video. Those doing the helping can charge or offer their insight for free.
At any rate, the updated app offers users improved Helpouts listings, the ability to share Helpouts, refer friends, and manage referrals.
Version 5.7 of the YouTube Android app introduced the ability to select precisely which quality level you want to stream a video in, as long as that level was 720p or lower. Even then, the options skipped from 360p to 720p. Since that release, users have apparently started to see 480p appear in between the two. Not only that, 1080p has shown up as well.
We haven't been able to get the settings to load on our devices, but some of you have reported having better luck.
Google's own launcher lacks many customization features you'd get with third-party options, but it has that cool Google Now panel that makes it that much easier to see your cards. Because that's part of the closed-source Google Search app, other launchers have thus far been unable to implement it. However, the newest 0613 nightlies of CyanogenMod 11 include this feature in the default Trebuchet launcher. Well, mostly.
Glass Explorers have faced an unyielding torrent of discrimination from their clear-faced peers ever since Google first introduced the device to its first batch of eager early adopters. Wearers have been banned from certain restaurants and public areas, with people expressing concern over the ease with which Glass allows people to record others. With such a glaring civil rights issue taking place in modern day America, The Daily Show sent correspondent Jason Jones to investigate for its June 12th episode.
Update: Google has since shared a list of retailers from which Canadians can pick up the Chromecast and take advantage of the offer. The options include Amazon, Best Buy, Future Shop, and Google Play.
Canadians, don't say Google's never done anything for you. The Big G is now tossing in $20 CAD worth of Play Store credit with the purchase of a Chromecast. This deal applies whether you pick one of the affordable media sticks up from Google Play or opt to hit up another authorized retailer such as Amazon instead.
Wireless charging is one of the cooler advances we've seen in smartphone tech in recent years, and truth be told, it isn't all that expensive if you know where to get a charger (such as, in the past, here, here, or here... or right now, here, here, or here). No, it's not nearly as fast as Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology or even as rapid as a standard 2.1A wall wart, but it's just so dang convenient.