LG's G2 was one of the most cultishly-loved smartphones of 2013, to an extent that, frankly, befuddled me. It had a terribly ugly software layer, felt cheaply built, and ticked almost no boxes in terms of innovation. The G2 was a specification junkie's wet dream, and that's exactly the sort of buyer the phone ended up attracting. Appearance, software features, and design aren't high on such people's lists.
Even in the face of criticism, though, success with a group like that isn't something you just let go.
In one of our early Google Now rumors, we described the possibility of "inferred events," or events that Google would grab from your Gmail (or other Google services) and present as a card in Google Now, with the option to add an entry to your calendar.
Today, it looks like the service is being switched on for some users, with Gmail being the first target (as we speculated previously).
When the time comes to shop for ebooks, Amazon's Kindle Store is one of the first online destinations that comes to mind. Likewise, Audible, a company now owned by Amazon, is an easy recommendation for audiobooks. Thus far, people who own both the ebook and audiobook versions of a novel have had to hop back and forth between mobile apps to switch between the two.
Reading a book using the Kindle app vs listening to it via Audible.
It's time to fire up that Sprint Galaxy Tab 3 and see what all the fuss is about with this KitKat thing everyone's been talking about... for months. Well, it's not like you bought the Sprint version of the Gtab because you wanted fast updates – it was just dirt cheap, and sometimes free. Consequently, there are probably a fair number of devices out there getting an update today.
The Logitech Harmony Android app has received an update to version 3.3 that enables users to take control of their Sonos wireless HiFi sound systems from the comfort of their Android devices without having to switch back and forth between apps. The software should work from anywhere in the home and gives users control over volume, tracks, and playlists. It will also work with Amazon's spiffy Fire TV.
This provided screenshot comes from an iPhone, but the Android UI shouldn't look too different.
Google's really been on a roll lately when it comes to Google Now... or at least our readers have been especially good at spotting features that we hadn't before. As the 2014 World Cup draws ever nearer, Google has added the various competing national soccer (all non-Americans, read: football) teams to the integrated sports updates already seen for most of the major league sports in the US. Now you don't need a separate app for score updates and news, unless you're the picky type who likes things like content or videos.
Kingsoft, makers of the popular productivity app Kingsoft Office, today announced that the Android app has reached 210 million users around the world. To mark the event, the app has been rebranded to WPS Office and given a new icon to match. The announcement comes on the heels of the app's update to version 6.0, which introduces "over 100 feature updates and enhancements," including a revitalized interface, support for 44 languages, and - in Kingsoft's words - "much more."
The app can view, create, and share office documents on any Android device running 2.1+, and offers collaboration features like edit tracking and comments.
With enough money, a collection of Z-Wave devices, and a Vera smart home controller, it doesn't take much to turn your home into an intelligent fortress. There's even an Android app by Vera that puts control of everything into the palm of your hand. But if we've learned anything over the years, it's that you're not impressing anyone until there's a Tasker plugin that can automate everything for you. Now there is.
Let's talk about money. We all seem to really like that stuff, but most of us never have enough of it. The best way to ensure our money goes further is, of course, through budgeting and planning. Sure, it's tedious and not a lot of fun (or no fun at all), but being broke four days before payday isn't any fun, either; sometimes you have to pick the lesser of two evils.