Again we are overflowing with Android Wear apps—both the kind built entirely for Wear, and other apps that have embraced Google's approach to smart watches. So naturally, here we are to bring you the best selections that have popped up in the last week. Strap on your watch and get ready to check out some apps. Alternatively, if you don't have an Android Wear watch, please draw a watch on your wrist with a marker and follow along.
When a large tech company starts to fail, there's a real downside regardless of how we feel about its product. People lose their jobs. Often, thousands do. Many of these people then find themselves having to move to another state or country to continue working in their chosen field.
But there's an upside as well. A large layoff means there are plenty of qualified workers who are looking for work, and what better way is there for a company to acquire hot talent than to move to where the people are?
A couple of days ago, Google fulfilled its obligation to prevent me from sleeping by releasing a stack of newly updated apps for me to examine. Some of them were pretty straight forward, like the latest version of Android Device Manager, and others turned out to be pretty mind-boggling. That's how the YouTube update turned out. The apk grew by 2 MB, and Google certainly packed in quite a bit, but many of the additions don't make much sense.
Wearable Widgets rolled out support for Android Wear pretty quickly after the first devices hit the streets, and now there's another big update to the app. In addition to mirroring widgets from the phone, the new version can set any widget as your watch face. There are a few drawbacks, but it's a neat option.
Do you remember when Windows Vista came with a pre-installed 3D version of chess? It was a good way to show off what computers were capable of, and it sure beat playing another tired round of 2D, pixelated solitaire (if only for a few moments). Aside from that, there aren't many modern examples of digital chess being all that impressive. Even in a high resolution and covered in great textures, it's still a slow-moving board game.
Cartoon Network has released Time Tangle into the Play Store, another game based on the Adventure Time cartoon. Instead of skiing, players are now tasked with punching. Lots and lots of punching.
In Time Tangle, there really isn't much that players can't fix just by swinging their fists. It's not exactly the best message to send to children, but they're smart enough to know better, right? Besides, this game is all about punching cute things, so it's okay.
LG responded to concerns over corrosion of the G Watch charging pins by making a few tweaks with the KMV78Y update. Now the same build is rolling out to the Samsung Gear live, which as far as I'm aware, doesn't have the same charging pin issues. How curious.
Sony has shared in a blog post the beginning of its KitKat rollout for the Xperia E1 and E1 Dual. The update will include the usual goodies that come with Android 4.4 along with some changes to Sony's exclusive software. The company has provided a changelog of what to expect, and it's identical to the one it posted for the Xperia T2 Ultra.
To briefly recap what may soon hit an Xperia device near you, this update contains a tweaked status bar, revisions to quick settings, a theme that matches that of the PlayStation 4, and an improved ability to move files from internal memory to a micro SD card.
T-Mobile is really taking a run at this whole kinder, gentler carrier thing. Among its many initiatives is the Samsung Galaxy Avant, a modestly specced phone that you can unlock (to use on other carriers) with the newly released SIM unlock app. It might come to more phones later, but it's a step in the right direction anyway.
If you're in the market for a mid-range AT&T handset that kind of looks like the LG G3 but not really, today may be your lucky day. Well, August 22nd may be your lucky day, because that's when AT&T is going to start offering the LG G Vista. Not familiar with the Vista? No worries, here's the rundown:
5.7-inch 1280x800 display
1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
8GB storage, microSD card slot
8MP rear shooter
Removable 3,200mAh battery
It's a pretty run-of-the-mill mid-ranger spec-wise, but it's packing several of LG's G3 features, like Mini View, Dual Window, KnockOn and KnockCode, and several others.