So the Moto X "Lazy Phone" ads are the best smartphone-related ones out right now. They're both funny and memorable, which is basically 90% of what a commercial really needs to be a success. The remaining 10% consists of reasons to choose one product over another. The original Lazy Phone videos showed how competitors' phones could ruin a romantic night, cause you to miss taking a photo of your child's stellar performance, or be the person whose phone won't stop buzzing during a meeting.
An Android app for Google Shopping Express has landed in the Play Store, and while it's available for anyone to download, it still only works in the San Francisco Bay area. I know, that blows, but if you live in the region and take part in Google's trial same-day shopping program, this new app gives you a quicker means to make purchases when your computer isn't within reach. Google has also extended access out to San Jose, so if you're a newly eligible resident who hasn't already signed up for the service, now may be a good time to do so.
It's update Wednesday, and Google is making good use of this one. Earlier today the company showed off the new version of Gmail with a card-based UI in the conversation list, and now it's Hangouts' turn to get a nice little feature bump.
The Hangouts update – which brings the app up to version 1.2 for those who like to keep count – brings about some mighty useful (and oft-requested) features:
It's time again to crack open your wallet and give to some worthy charities. Unlike the regular kind of charity, you get more than a warm fuzzy feeling from giving to the Humble Bundle. The new Humble Mobile Bundle 2 offers up to six great Android titles, including two debuts.
The Humble Bundle (in case you don't know) is a pay-what-you-want, DRM-free game pack that benefits charities like the EFF and Child's Play.
When the LG Lucid first hit store shelves, it was one of the best mid-range handsets available at the time. It served as a shining example that a budget phone didn't have to feel like it was a budget phone. Now an OTA update is rolling out to the handset over a year after its release, further evidence that not all budget phones are destined for neglect. This new software version doesn't fundamentally change things, but it's nice to have security patches and a newer version of Google Map Services, among other things.
Google started rolling out a nifty update to Gmail with the Card UI earlier today, but since the update is staged, it may take a while to get to a device near you. Not to worry - we've gotten a hold of the APK (thanks, Kevin!) and verified it's indeed legitimate. You can find it below on several mirrors. As always, just download and install - simple as that.
The T-Mobile Moto X got it's surprise update the other day with a couple nice fixes and enhancements, and now it's Sprint's turn to get the update. It's rolling out in stages, so mashing the update button won't do any good. Not that anyone's stopping you from trying.
The software, with the easy to remember version number 13.9.0Q2.X-116-MX-17-57-1, appears to have the same changelog we got with the T-mobile update, but here it is again anyway:
Camera – Improved Photo Quality: Improved capture of natural light (auto-white balance) and color accuracy for more precise exposure in outdoor and backlit scenes.
Manufacturers are continuously pushing out improvements to their latest products, but many of the new selling points require a minor in mathematics to keep up with. Should you get the phone that's four times faster than last year's offering, or merely two? Is a 1080p display really necessary on a 5-inch screen? Well, Samsung's planning to roll out an innovation that even non-enthusiasts will be able to pick up on. The electronics giant will launch a phone with a curved display in South Korea sometime next month, and we can reasonably expect them price it lower than their $9,000 curved OLED TVs.
Cards, cards everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Or something like that.
That seems to be Google's mantra these days, as everything is getting card-ified. Not to say that's a bad thing, because cards are clean, simple, and effective. All three of those things have been a clear goal in Android in the Duarte era, so it makes sense that cards have been so widely adopted.
There's a certain comfort in keeping your video library privately tucked away on local storage. Few things are as personal as that video of grandma's surprise 60th birthday party, that time your little league team won its first game, and the day you got married (or the night that followed). There's also those couple dozen movies that you may or may not have ripped off DVDs that you may or may not own.