The Fire Phone is a tough sell when there are so many great Android devices available with Google services, and it looks like AT&T agrees. After just a few months of (reportedly) poor sales, the Fire Phone has dropped to just $0.99 with a new 2-year contract. I'm seeing shades of the HTC First here.
Google is continually tweaking its search engine to make getting information just that little bit easier. The latest addition to the far-reaching Knowledge Graph system appears to be additional inline information that will show up beneath some broad search results. Search for a historical figure or something relating to geography, and you'll see basic facts beneath the entry. The new feature was spotted by the Google Operating System blog, and it appears to be limited to Wikipedia results for the time being.
WatchON is a Samsung-exclusive offering that serves as a universal remote and TV guide all bundled up into one place. When the Galaxy S5 launched earlier this year, the Korean conglomerate released an updated version of WatchON for its new flagship device and introduced the app to the Play Store for the first time. Yet despite this Google Play presence, the updated version remained exclusively available to the Galaxy S5, and Samsung's other handsets were left with an older version of the pre-installed software.
There are a lot of smartphone trade-in programs from both retailers and carriers, and to be frank, they suck. In just about every situation you can get more for your current gadgets by selling them yourself on secondary markets like Craigslist, eBay, or Swappa. The only reason to sell gadgets to carriers (or any retailer) is the convenience factor. But T-Mobile is positioning itself as the self-styled people's champion of smartphone trade-ins, or at the very least, the best option among its competitors.
It's still pretty common for OEMs to make 16GB the default storage option in phones, but you don't always have to live with that. If there's a microSD card slot, you can dump a ton of data on it—you just need to buy one first. Luckily, Amazon Goldbox has some killer deals on SanDisk storage products today only.
We knew Motorola was planning to sell the Moto 360 with a metal band later this fall, but Verizon already has a pre-order page up. That's the good news. The not so good news is that it won't ship until November 11th, according to the site. Ouch.
Earlier this week, the following crane lift project notice was posted around the famous Android statue lawn next to building 44 on Google's Mountain View campus:
Of course, this sighting sparked a variety of rumors - after all, it would only be natural to assume that any work requiring a crane lift involved a new statue being installed, which would mean we'd finally find out the name of the L release.
Regular followers of the Android world know that manufacturers love to skin Google's mobile operating system for the sake of differentiation. As dramatic as Samsung and HTC can get, the Chinese OEMs sometimes take it even further, perhaps because Chinese users don't have official access to the Play Store and Google apps (making compatibility and certification less problematic). OPPO seems to be going even further than that: a new post on the company forum is recruiting testers for ColorOS on, of all things, the LG G2.
Root addicts and ROM flashers on Verizon, prepare to lose it. According to a short question and answer session with Motorola Mobility's VP of Product Management Punit Soni, there will be no Developer Edition of the swanky second-gen Moto X for Verizon. Google+ user Shane Barone asked Mr. Soni about the availability of a developer edition and got this apologetic reply:
Developer Editions are special carrier editions of phones sold without a contract and with an unlockable bootloader, made available for customers on carriers that permanently lock bootloaders as a matter of course.
It really is staggering how much customization you can do with the flexible Xposed Framework, even on a stock phone or tablet. The latest interesting Xposed module adds some much-needed options to Chrome for Android, at least if you're a root user who knows your way around the tool. ChromePIE is not a delicious browser-flavored snack cake, it's a module that adds swiping controls to Chrome, modeled after the popular LMT-PIE navigation bar replacement.