The Amazon Echo, as a sort of physical embodiment of the functionality that voice-controlled services like Google Now offer, is an interesting idea. But without a screen or much in the way of direct input, its utility is limited by the number of services that it ties into. For example, before today the Echo could only access music from iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon's own cloud music service. The latest software update enables much-needed support for Pandora.
Steven Universe is one of the four Crystal Gems that fight to keep the world safe from evil. Except in this case, Steven kind of screwed the pooch, accidentally unleashing a huge monster that threatens the exact planet he's trying to keep safe. So now, in a new mobile game available on Google Play, he and the other three Gems (Amethyst, Garnet, and Pearl―but you can think of them as people) must journey forth to defeat it and the light creatures they've inadvertently summoned.
It should come as no surprise that Android is due for a v5.1.1 release at some point, even if only to fix a particularly well-known memory leak. Now, thanks to an SDK update, we've got good reason to anticipate the new version is probably due out in the very near future. If developers check the SDK Manager for updates, they should see a new revision to the Platform SDK with a product description that reads "Android SDK Platform 5.1.1."
Now that the 5.1.1 version number is out there, it stands to reason Google has finalized the code and is either running some final tests or preparing for a release.
OK, so maybe HTC's 2015 flagship isn't exactly sizzling hot (in the figurative sense, anyway). If you're in Europe, you'll soon have a less expensive option that has a lot in common with last year's model. HTC has announced the One M8s, a re-heated (sorry) take on the original One M8 from 2014. It's almost identical to its predecessor, both inside and outside, save for two major changes: the processor and the camera.
I've used the two large quadricopters Parrot has released to date - the AR.Drone and AR.Drone 2.0 - but ever since I saw the Bebop at CES earlier this year, I knew I had to give it a try. The Bebop attacks two of the biggest issues of its predecessors head on; namely, size and video quality.
Parrot has stepped up to a full 1080p-ready video sensor (it also takes 14MP stills) with an f2.2 wide-angle fisheye lens on the Bebop, and also reduced the size of the drone itself dramatically.
BlinkFeed debuted with the HTC One M7, and while not everyone appreciates a Flipboard-style home screen with limited news sources, it has its fans. HTC uploaded the launcher into the Play Store last year in time for the M8 launch, and for the M9's release it has renamed the app to Sense Home.
HTC's new homescreen implements a few predictive capabilities that we've seen pop up over the past year or two in apps such as Aviate and EverythingMe.
OnePlus has made some missteps in the last year as it slowly rolled out the OnePlus One. For those who were able to buy the invite-only phone, the lacking customer service was a common complaint. According to a new post on the OnePlus blog, they've been working to fix that and have made good progress. So if you could please stop yelling at them, they'd appreciate it.
Google's animated commercials filled with dozens of avatars from the Androidify app are always fun to watch. The latest ad specifically targets the booming smartphone market in India, by showing off the Android One series of low-cost devices and highlighting their recent upgrade to Lollipop 5.1. (Breathe it in, One owners: you get 5.1 before the Nexus 9.) The new ad was posted to Google India's YouTube page this morning.
The commercial is pretty basic, following the formula from previous entries in the series: start off slow, rude interruption, rock out.
Reddit is a great resource for casual news browsing and/or wasting hours and hours of time, but the website is still hell to view on a small screen. That's probably why reddit clients are such a popular niche on Android, and one of the more popular entries in said niche is the third party app Reddit News. Today it's getting a new name and a bit of a facelift: say hello to Relay for reddit.