Of the many cool goodies in Google Search, this must be one of the most interesting and useful ones. Simply open Google Now or Google Search in Chrome and look for "bubble level," and you'll get a, well, bubble level. Quite expectedly.
The level appears as the top search card and is interactive. It adapts to whether you're holding your phone in portrait or landscape, or laying it flat on a table. While you may not use this for some very precise work, it is super cool and could come handy if you want to hang a poster or painting and just need an average way to know it's not completely crooked without installing a third-party app. Read More
T-Mobile has made some big changes in the last few years, but the way it manages data caps has worried some net neutrality advocates. Its last big announcement was Binge On, which exempts services like Netflix, Hulu, and others from data caps, but YouTube has now started complaining that T-Mobile throttles all video regardless of its participation in the program. Read More
The dream of OUYA was not to be. It turns out that overturning a decades-old industry by disrupting it with mobile hardware and open-source software is a tough row to hoe, and adding on a semi-exclusive game market (you know, that thing that consoles do that's already universally hated) wasn't the best opening move. So OUYA floundered in the maturing set-top box market until Razer snapped it up in the hopes of bolstering its own Forge TV, which had been on the market for months and was already known as the worst option in an extremely limited field.
Huh. Maybe they just wanted some company to commiserate with.
In any case, the customers who bought and paid for OUYA hardware are getting a couple of dividends out of the deal. Read More
Google, for all its skill in the realms of mobile search, advertising, email, and even operating systems, has never been particularly good at the social thing. Even now, I suspect, someone at Google is fuming at the notion that the company "isn't very good" at messaging or social networks and pointing animatedly at the tens of millions of Google+ and Hangouts users. The problem is and has always been that for whatever success Google has had in social and messaging platforms, it is constantly undercut by the actions of Google itself that say otherwise. There is near-yearly reworking, redesigning, or branching off of these products in ways that very strongly suggest they aren't getting the results Google's Alphabet overlords consider acceptable. Read More
Google kept several parts of Motorola when it sold the remainder to Lenovo. It got a bunch of patents, Project Ara, and of course, Spotlight Stories. These used to be confined to an app, but today Google is bringing the 360-degree videos to YouTube. Read More
I can't think of a better gift than a Bluetooth speaker for someone that hasn't shared a list with you, you don't want to spend a ton of money on, but still want to be happy with their gift. A lot of people don't have them, but nearly everyone has a compatible device and it's easy to trump up uses for a speaker even if you had never thought of using one before.
This deal on a Kmashi model that also happens to be waterproof, has a built-in LED flashlight, and can work as a 4,800 mAh power bank in a pinch makes for a perfect gift if you can manage not to keep it for yourself. Read More
Motorola is swiftly making its way through its Moto X flagship series, upgrading all of them to Android 6.0. Today it's the Moto X 2014 Pure Edition's turn - that's the one that was sold carrier-free in the US on Motorola's website between last fall and this fall. Several Android Police readers, plus posters on Reddit and XDA, say they've been given the over-the-air update as of yesterday. To be clear, we haven't heard anything about the various carrier editions of the Moto X 2014; presumably those will be trickling in over the next few weeks as the carriers run their various tests and certifications. Read More
How festive is your phone? Cool Christmas wallpaper on? Definitely. Christmas watch face sent to your wrist? Check. Snowglobes all over your Facebook messenger? Sure. How about your keyboard? Uh. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! You tellin' me you ain't decked your keyboard with boughs of holly yet?! It's time we took care of that. Yes, right now. Don't tell me you'll do it tomorrow. That's 24 hours you could spend looking at jolly reindeers and gift packs and cold wintery landscapes in your keyboard's background. Type "yes." You can do it. Yes.
SwiftKey is taking care of you this season so you don't have to shell out any money to dress up your keyboard. Read More