The preview release of Android M has shown magnificent growth in the platform. There are new things for everybody to enjoy. While we're always excited to see new APIs and cool features – not to mention some pretty important bug fixes – we shouldn't overlook the interesting changes that have also come to the tools we use to work with Android and our devices on a different level. The preview SDK brings an updated version of ADB with a few new commands, including a handy new shortcut to reboot directly into Sideload Mode.
After paying a lot of attention to the mobile and connected TV experience, Netflix has announced a major overhaul of their browser interface. Before you sign in and get confused, today is just the beginning of the rollout, which they say will complete in a couple of weeks. Netflix bills this as the first major update in four years, though its look has certainly gone through several iterations over that time span. For a refresher, here's a side-by-side comparison of old and new (click to embiggen):
Left: current/old Right: new
Orange is the new black? Maybe, but black is the new white.
So you were at a party or on a trip, and you want to share the photos of the event with everyone else who was there. Better upload them, make an album, send links, and so on. Right? Wrong! Or so says Facebook. The new Moments app lets you create synced albums that are shared only with the people you choose so they can view and save the photos.
Mozilla is a champion of the web, and a core part of its mission has been supplying the open source Firefox browser. These days competitors like Chrome are eroding at its userbase, but they're doing so using many of the bullet points Mozilla emphasized—open source underpinnings, customization through add-ons, and speed.
Now Mozilla is pursuing its mission statement in other ways. One of the more well-known efforts would be the push to develop and sell Firefox phones. Another would be the lesser-known Webmaker initiative that empowers more people create material for the web and mobile devices. A beta version has made its way onto Google Play.
Building a smartphone is not easy even for established companies like LG and Samsung. So you have to maintain healthy skepticism when a company like Saygus rolls into town and says it's going to beat the big guys at their own game. The dual-SD card Saygus V-Squared was announced back at CES, but the ship date has slipped a few times already. Now the company has hit another major snag and decided to start a shady Indiegogo campaign. Yikes.
Adobe, would you just pick a version of Photoshop for Android and stick with it? After unceremoniously dumping the conventional image editor Photoshop Touch last month and leaving us with the more Instagram-style Photoshop Express, Adobe has now released Photoshop Mix on the Play Store after a period of iOS exclusivity. This app is more powerful than Express, but less powerful than Touch, and attempts to bring a more manageable interface to phones.
In particular the new app has selection tools and basic layer functionality, meaning it's suitable for at least some advanced image editing functions beyond mere touch-ups and filters.
Razer, a PC and gaming accessory manufacturer with ecosystem fantasies, recently launched its Forge Android TV "console" to outright terrible customer reviews on Amazon largely because the box shipped without Netflix support or the promised PC game streaming feature meant to compete with NVIDIA's GameStream technology. Basically, it's junk at the moment - buggy and incomplete.
Ouya, a Kickstarter Cinderella story if Cinderella ended with the protagonist being sold into human bondage as a mannequin model at a moderately successful but tasteless high-end garment and shoe factory, also shipped a console box thing at one point, and we thought it was also pretty much terrible.
The Moto Maker customization tool, first introduced with the original Moto X and later expanded to the second-gen model and (technically) the Moto 360, has been one of the company's more unique offerings. It's been slowly expanding since its launch in 2013, from the US to the UK, Germany, France, and China. Next up on the schedule is probably India, presumably starting with the second generation Moto X.