Today is Earth Day. It’s that time of the year when we consider the impact human behavior has on the environment and the changes we can make to better look after it. Well, some of us at least. Google Play Movies is marking the occasion by lowering the price of Independence Day – a movie where Earth is invaded and very nearly destroyed by extraterrestrials – to just $0.99.
Although almost twenty years old, Independence Day is an enduring timeless sci-fi classic which is still eminently watchable. It features a star-studded cast of Hollywood icons, including Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, and Bill Pullman, and probably the most egregious example of product placement ever seen in the cinema.
By now, you'll probably have heard that Prince died yesterday in his home in Minnesota at the age of 57. Today, Google is paying tribute to him with a 'Purple Rain' Google Doodle and by colouring Google Play Music's usually orange branding purple for the day.
Purple Rain was Prince's sixth studio album, as well as the last song on the record and also his debut film. Ever since, purple has been associated with Prince (he painted his rented house purple in 2006), so it is very fitting that Google has chosen to honor him in this way. It's a pity the Android version of Play Music hasn't gone purple for the day, though - the Android app surely gets more usage than the web version.
Adverts for tech products tend to range wildly from being excellent to being excruciatingly terrible. When executed properly, they have the potential to be charming, funny, and effusive, and demonstrate the features of the product well. The latest marketing campaign for the Samsung Galaxy S7, starring rapper Lil’ Wayne, is a great example of that. But when they go wrong, they go really wrong, as seen by the TV spot for the new Huawei P9.
The star-studded advert features English actor Henry Cavill, who recently portrayed the Man of Steel in the craptacular Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as Scarlett Johannson, who played a MacBook Pro in Her.
So many TV shows, so little time. And why does it have to be so incredibly difficult to choose a show and an episode to watch? Why do services expect you to know what you want to see, instead of throwing stuff at your screen and hoping you'll be hooked. Like... a regular TV. We've gone full circle people, and it turns out our old ways weren't that bad.
Random Flix makes this decision for you. It can pick a random episode from all of Netflix' TV shows or from a list of your favorite shows. It doesn't require a sign-in, it's just going through a public database of available Netflix shows and choosing stuff for you.
Bank of America's Android app has allowed fingerprint sign-ins since September 2015, or so it would like you to think. Support seems to have been limited to Samsung's fingerprint sensor and didn't work on the Nexus 5X or 6P with their Nexus Imprint. Reviewers on the Play Store complained about that and the developers finally updated the app to fix the issue.
The new version of the Bank of America app seems to support Android's native fingerprint APIs that were introduced in Marshmallow, and thus the Nexus Imprint sensor on Nexus devices. Artem successfully tested it on his Nexus 6P and several Play Store commenters are reporting it as working now.
When it comes to analyst firms, there are very few that I trust and even then, I rather look at all of their numbers and compare them together to get a better picture of the global smartphone market. TrendForce hasn't been on my radar — it could be very accurate, it could be all over the place. So I am going to tell you to take its report and numbers with a grain of salt, although the results couldn't be that far off.
So, according to TrendForce, Samsung shipped twice as many smartphones in Q1 2016 as Apple. I'll give you a few seconds to master your shock face and then a couple of minutes to cool off after screaming and celebrating / revolting and breaking everything around.
I don't understand a lot of things about design, but if you ask me, those Jonathan Adler designs for Motorola's X Pure Edition aren't that appealing. They're interesting, sure, and I might want them for a couple of days or weeks, but I'd get bored of the pattern pretty quickly.
If you don't agree with me or you just want an X Pure on the cheap and don't care about the back design of the phone, you might want to hear about Motorola's latest deal. The regular Moto X Pure Edition usually costs $399.99, but it's now being discounted to $349.99. That isn't the lowest you can pay though.
Social networks aiming to change the way we communicate are everywhere. Messaging applications that want to do it all are also spreading like wildfire. With Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat taking a big piece of the cake, it's hard for a service to differentiate itself, but Airtime manages to do just that.
The app started 4 years ago as a web service, but faced lots of technical difficulties so its founder Sean Parker shut it down and started working in the background on something better. Now Airtime is launching on both iOS and Android and it's doing a lot of cool things.
Google is on a crusade against search bars. Or so it seems to us at least. Late last year, the Play Store received an interface revamp that dumped the green search bar in favor of an overlaid grey bar with a hamburger menu, a voice search icon, and the words Google Play in grey that disappeared as soon as you started typing. Then a few days ago, it changed Play Books' search bar to a look that sits somewhere in the middle, with the blue bar switching into the grey one when you tapped to search.