Material Design was the driving force behind a Google+ update that began rolling out on Friday. But while there may be a newer look, there's very little to speak of in the department of functional changes. Naturally, I had to poke around to see if there were any surprises buried underneath the fresh coat of paint. As it turns out, there are a few things worth talking about. It's time for a Teardown!
Remember that guy who coaxed the Android version of Minecraft to run on his Samsung Gear Live? It looks like YouTube user Corbin Davenport has found a new hobby. In addition to running the ancient PC shooter Doom on Android Wear (respect the classics), he's now managed to get Windows 95 to boot on the thing.
Warning: techno music.
Well, sort of. Windows 95 is running in ADosBox, one of several DOS emulators available on the Google Play Store.
It's amazing that more than a decade after the rise of "gadget blogs," gigantic international corporations still don't tick the little "confidential" mark when submitting their gadgets for certification by the Federal Communications Commission. Keep it up, folks, it gives us peeks at upcoming hardware like the Lenovo SW-B100 Smartband. This wearable was previously spotted going through the Bluetooth SIG's series of tests, and rumored for an IFA debut, which didn't happen.
Netflix version 3.8 for Android is now available, and it has some considerable improvements over the previous edition. The one you'll probably notice first is that the search function has been revamped: instead of a standard vertical list of movies, television shows, and actors/directors/what have you, you'll now see a grid of results. This mirrors Netflix on the web, though it might be a little slower, since the preview images tend to be a little pokey when they're loading up.
Remember RedBox Instant, the Netflix competitor from Those Guys Who Are Still Renting DVDs and Verizon? No? Well you're not alone, and a lack of brand awareness seems to have led to the streaming video platform's relatively quick downfall. A short message on the RedBox Instant page notified users that the service will be shut down on Tuesday, October 7th, just before midnight Pacific. That's only one year and ten months after its debut in preview form.
HTC is set to unveil some new hardware at a New York City event on Wednesday. The company itself has already given us some clues to a GoPro-style sports camera (including a couple of unintended product images), and a few less reliable sources claim there will be a phone with a 13-megapixel Duo camera. This weekend the Twitter leak account @Upleaks showed some images of an alleged "HTC Desire Eye," a phone that embraces the selfie craze (ugh) in a big way.
Nexus season is in full swing, and as rumors and leaks continue to pile up around Motorola's Nexus 6 (Shamu), we've been wondering when more news might emerge about Volantis (or Flounder, or T1, take your pick) - HTC's 9" Nexus tablet that we first learned of back in spring.
As Blog of Mobile reports, it looks like the Nexus 9 has passed through the FCC for certification, with the relevant documents becoming available just yesterday.
Go to the Play Store on your Android device and look for Tiny Death Star, the Star Wars-themed version of Nimblebit's smash hit casual game Tiny Tower, and you won't find it. If that's surprising, you're not half as shocked as Nimblebit. According to a report from Pocket Gamer, Lucasfilm's new owners at Disney decided to un-publish the game without even telling the developers their plans. Disney also pulled a Star Wars card game, Assault Team, though that me-too CCG title is hard to get upset about.
There are a lot of good deals to be had in the world of Android tablets, and on first glance, the shiny new HP 10 Plus would seem to be among them. HP introduced its latest Android-powered device with no pomp and circumstance yesterday, highlighting its 1920x1200 10-inch display, 2GB of RAM, and KitKat 4.4.2 operating system. All that in a package for $279.99, now shipping from both HP's own store and Amazon in the US.
We first got an indication that Google Now would begin to include election-based content in late September, thanks to the handy UnleashTheGoogle root tool. Now it looks like the "Election Information" cards are appearing for users based in the United States, where the midterm elections will be held next month. (For international readers: those are the ones that elect all the members of the House of Representatives, some members of the Senate, and various state and local offices, but not the President.)
Like most of the content that appears on the Google Now page, you can activate the Election Information card just by searching for relevant pages via the Google Search application.