If you measure the success of a product release by the element of surprise, Huawei might not score too well. We found official product videos for the new Huawei Watch yesterday, ahead of today's announcement. Huawei's TalkBand devices showed up in ads days ago and in their own wearables app yesterday.
Amazon recently had to remove its main application from the Play Store because it included a parallel and competing app store. It replaced it with "Amazon Shopping," which is basically the same thing minus the Amazon Appstore. This new app has received a minor facelift today that improves one of the first things you see when you launch it.
Old loading animation
New loading animation with a subtle orange bar
The pesky grey loading circle, a relic from Android's past, has finally disappeared, to be replaced by a cool, pulsating, and minimal orange loading bar.
IKEA is jumping on the wireless charging bandwagon. The world's largest furniture maker and retailer understands the demands of the modern home. In a bid to streamline your interior's design as much as possible, remove redundant elements, and get rid of the cable clutter everywhere, it has designed a collection of bedside tables, lamps, and desks, with integrated wireless charging spots.
The collection, which is designed by David Wahl, employs the most common standard, Qi. If your Android device has wireless charging built-in, like the LG G3, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and dozens of others, chances are it uses Qi. If it doesn't, IKEA plans to make charging cases available for select smartphones, including some Samsung models.
But, in case you want further confirmation that this is what HTC will indeed unwrap later today at its MWC conference, Best Buy has let its own M9 product page go live. It's a listing for the AT&T-compatible grey variant of the phone, with 32GB of storage and priced at $649.99.
Huawei can't seem to keep its MWC goodies under wraps. Its gorgeous Huawei Watch leaked earlier thanks to two lengthy product videos, showing a Moto 360-like round watch with small steel bezels and an elegant design. But that won't be the only wearable the company is working on (and presumably announcing at MWC in a few hours). After showing up prematurely in a few public ads, the TalkBand B2 has made an appearance in none other than Huawei's own Wear application.
Huawei Wear, the companion app to the OEM's bands, has received an update. When picking out a new device to connect to, the app suggests the TalkBand B1, the ColorBand, and a yet-unannounced TalkBand B2.
Watch the video below. Watch it several times if you need to. Try to figure out what it's trying to promote. A remote and exclusive European ski resort? An auction house for classic Mercedes cars? Champagne intended only for use in questionably phallic gestures? Nope, it's Huawei's Watch. That's not a typo, it's actually called the Huawei Watch. Let's... um, watch.
The design of the Android Wear device looks more or less like the Moto 360, with its metal housing and thin bezels but without its signature "flat tire" screen cutout. The Huawei Watch also has conventional lugs (presumably making for easy watch band swaps) and a single "crown" button at the 2:00 position.
The folks over at YouTube have had a busy week after launching YouTube For Kids, and then turning on video trimming a few days later. To keep the ball rolling, the YouTube team shipped a brand new update to its primary app last night that finally enables stats for nerds. After examining the apk in a teardown, it turns out that there's also a big improvement to the upcoming audio swapping feature, and it seems there may even be some new search filters on the way.
Stats For Nerds
The "big" new feature probably isn't going to get too many people excited, but Stats For Nerds is finally live.
Ah, the leadup to Mobile World Congress, where high-end device leaks flow like milk and honey. After Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have been almost entirely revealed, we've now got a video demo'ing HTC's next One flagship, the M9. The video below from YouTube user Samia Lou shows off the unreleased M9 next to its One series predecessors, the One M8 and M7 from 2014 and 2013, respectively. Nothing's official until it's official, but this removes pretty much all doubt about the M9's physical design.
The M9 keeps the same basic One family traits including the metal unibody and dual front-facing speakers, with an added piece of gold-colored metal trim around the bezel, iPhone 4-style.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you a selection of lesser known music players for locally stored media that had some special powers and functions. However, playback and streaming aren't the only functions a music aficionado looks for, especially when your favorite app sometimes lacks a certain functionality. So how do you fill this void, or how do you improve on your basic listening experience? Here are 10 utilities that can be used in conjunction with your preferred music apps to complement them.
Viper4Android (Root only)
This entire article stemmed from the comments mentioning Viper4Android that we received on the original music player selection post.
We're all looking forward to Google I/O. Some of us frequently check the official website to count the days until registrations are open, so we are familiar with the cool font and animations used for the event's hashtag and countdown. They're all about Material Design — layers, colors, shadows, FABs, and all the design elements that have populated our conscious and subconscious dreams for the past months.
Now you can count the time until I/O more accurately and with the same style, thanks to this IO 2015 Watch Face. It uses the same font, works on both round and square watches, has cool animations and transitions when turning on and off, switches to a battery-friendly ambient mode, offers the choice between 12h and 24h formats, and comes in 7 colors to satiate the Material junkie inside us all.