Another week, another free music album on Google Play. This time it's something a little more contemplative: a classical instrumental album from Yo-Yo Ma, probably the best-known concert cellist on the planet. You can grab The Sound of Yo-Yo Ma, which incidentally is exclusive to Google Play Music, for free right now. The deal is available in the United States and probably a few other places, though we can't be sure exactly where it is and isn't valid.
Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris, and his family moved to New York City when he was five years old. His talent for the cello and other instruments earned him a place at the prestigious Julliard School.
But Motorola isn't the only stylish watch game in town anymore. The Huawei Watch is anticipated to launch at some point this year, and Fossil teased a brand-new Intel-based smartwatch last week (... that also has a flat tire screen).
But the Moto 360 was easily the crowd favorite among the first generation of Wear devices, and it stands to reason that the second iteration will likely keep some of that hype moving forward, deflated circular display or otherwise.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here. As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: Android Marshmallow 6.0 is official! We also go back and take a look at Gingerbread in our ongoing Android history series, chat about Google's new OnHub Wi-Fi router, and BlackBerry's rumored Android slide phone.
64GB? Kid's stuff. 128GB? Paltry. Real smartphone spec-hounds will settle for nothing less than 256GB of local onboard storage (which, incidentally, is more than many laptops these days). At least they'd settle for nothing less if any of those phones were actually available. There will be one soon, in at least one location: the ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition. It's coming to Brazil sometime in the future for an unspecified price, though "quite a lot" would be a safe bet. The model was shown off on the official ASUS Brazil blog.
The Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition is identical to the high-end version of the original Zenfone 2, with 4GB of RAM and a faster Atom Z3580 processor, with the obvious exception of the greater storage capacity.
The CyanogenMod ROM development team continues to add to its ever-expanding range of officially-supported devices. Today we get a little-known variant from a huge manufacturer and a huge phone from a little-known manufacturer (outside of China, anyway): the dual-SIM version of HTC's 2014 flagship One M8, and Xiaomi's Mi4, respectively.
As has been its habit over the past couple of years, HTC is slowly uploading its own apps that come preloaded on its devices to the Play Store. This allows the company easier and faster updates and bug fixes to these individual apps, without having to resort to a full software update.
The latest to join the ranks is Motion Launch, which lets you perform a couple of actions before you even turn your display on. These include swiping to unlock or voice dial, double tapping to wake, and launching to some specific apps directly like the home screen, BlinkFeed, or the camera.
HTC Motion Launch appears to be compatible with the One M9 on our huge list of Android Police devices, but do let us know if you can install it on other HTC phones.
It's that time of the year again, when a new Android version spawns an avalanche of third-party app updates from developers rushing to add compatibility and new features to their software. Today we're talking about Talon for Twitter, the beautiful Material designed Twitter client. Its version 3.1 update has been released with Marshmallow compatibility, a new Android Wear app, and a few other useful additions.
First, the app is now compatible with Marshmallow-running devices, so all of you with Preview 3 on your Nexus devices can start using it again, and it also includes M's new app permissions.
Second, the Android Wear component has been revamped. You can now check unread tweets from your wrist, and then retweet, favorite, or reply to them (via voice).
Something interesting is happening on the Play Store this evening. Users are reporting mysterious "Play Daily" and "Dogfood Apps" buttons appearing on the store's home and apps pages, respectively.
The Play Daily button - at the time of writing - leads to an error page (the app gets a 500 error trying to reach https://android.clients.google.com/fdfe/daily), while the "Dogfood Apps" button leads somewhat predictably to a special apps collection called "Google Apps for Googlers." Inside the collection is, well, a bunch of Google apps including apps from Google Samples like Pie Noon and VoltAir. Worth noting is that the Play Store is not dispensing actual dogfood apps from this collection, just the normal variants that are always exposed to the public.
One of the greatest problems in stock Android since the debut of Lollipop last year has been the volume slider - putting aside Lollipop's initially confusing volume modes, the slider unceremoniously pops into place when the user hits the volume keys on their device. Of course I'm kidding, but nevertheless it looks like Google has enhanced the volume controls in the latest Marshmallow dev preview with some motion design love.
Now, when users hit a volume key, the panel slides into place from off canvas. The slider's current position is highlighted with its own translucent halo (which may or may not really be necessary).
Google continues to tweak Android 6.0's visual interface with the latest Developer Preview, in ways both big and small. The default Google launcher has been seeing subtle changes since the M Preview was introduced, and the latest one is... interesting. The Preview 3 version of the app drawer includes a little "pop" effect when scrolling, highlighting the first app that begins with each successive letter in the alphabet. It's a little hard to describe verbally - check out the video below from YouTube user Zaid Salem.
If you'll recall, Developer Preview 1 separated apps by beginning a new drawer row for each new letter of the alphabet.