Sony is ready to take its Android phones to the next Lollipop level. The company is sticking to its previous word that the Z series devices will start getting Android 5.1 in July and is starting the roll-out today with the Z3 and Z2 series. So consider yourself lucky if you have an Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z3 Tablet Compact, Z2, or Z2 Tablet, because you're among the first Sony owners to get Android 5.1...
It's one thing to claim you have an open approach and another thing to make it easier to use your competitor's product. Google is putting their money where their mouth is as they release a Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office, though there is still some work to do. While on one hand you can see this as a way to help users avoid Docs, Sheets, and Slides, it also provides feature parity with Drive's own competitors OneDrive and Dropbox, both of whom enjoy deep integration with the office suite.
Vertical videos are terrible for many reasons, but we may have to come to terms with the fact that people just won't stop recording videos vertically. This inescapable foible of humanity is made slightly less galling by a new feature in YouTube 10.28 (which you can grab from APK Mirror). Vertical videos are now displayed properly (i.e. vertically) when made full screen - something we didn't quite notice until today.
The Galaxy S6 Edge may be the prettiest and most futuristic device ever made by Samsung. The two things that really set it apart from the normal S6 are the sexy curved screen on the front, and the sizeable price bump of $100 or more.
Today though, you can pick up the S6 Edge for considerably less than a standard S6. Ebay has the unlocked AT&T version of the S6 Edge on sale for the lowest ever price of $599, a full $70 less than the last time we posted about it. Cheaper and sexier?
Pixate is a tool that helps designers prototype native mobile applications without pulling their hair out. Now it's a part of Google.
The first immediate impact of this acquisition is that Pixate Studio is now free to use. You can go download the software to a Windows PC or Mac right away to create interfaces for your Android or iOS device. Then, if you want to share your prototypes with teammates online, Pixate's new cloud plan goes for $5 a month or $50 a year. The desktop software integrates seamlessly with cloud accounts.
The app updates from the last week seem to be all about where you are, where you've been, and where you're going. It has only been a few days since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out with a couple of location-related bits hidden inside, and now a new version of Maps is hitting the scene with a host of new features centered around our location history. We can now look back through the places we've visited, when we were last at certain spots, and the routes we've taken.
Nokia, in their continuing withdrawal from the mobile phone and software industry, appears close to selling off their best remaining asset in that market: HERE Maps. According to a report by Bloomberg, Nokia will sell their mapping technology and know-how to Germany's three biggest automakers, BMW, Audi (owned by Volkswagen), and Mercedes-Benz. Though they typically compete against one another, each shares common concerns about Google's market position and privacy policies.
The report estimates the asking price of HERE to be nearing $4 billion USD, though the final offer may be closer to $2.5 billion. While that sounds like a big number, HERE is a product of Nokia's acquisition of NAVTEQ for $8.1 billion in 2008.
Don't think I'll find where a show is available online? Just watch me. There's an app or two for that, and now that JustWatch has brought its search engine to Android and iOS, there's another one. And it's capable of searching through Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, HBO Now, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, Play Movies, PlayStation, Showtime, Vudu, Xbox, and a couple other online streaming services.
JustWatch's grid layout looks like those of the services it interacts with, and it feels like a natural companion, like the modern-day equivalent of a TV guide. You can create a watchlist without having to create an account or provide any credentials.
Doorknobs. Keyboards. Mobile electronics of all kinds. I'll take "things that are always covered in germs and crap, and which I really prefer not to think about" for $400, Alex. Yes, all the things you touch every day have a nasty habit of leaving gunk on your touchscreen phone - it's kind of part and parcel of the whole "touch" thing. But Corning wants to make you feel a little less gross when you think about that with its new version of the ubiquitous Gorilla Glass.
There are a lot of puzzle games on Android. It makes sense: a touch-based interface is perfect for games that have a lot of active elements on screen at once and don't need quick responses. But that ideal setup means that years after the explosion of mobile gaming, we don't often see new ideas. Prismatica is a hexagonal puzzle game that bucks that trend. It's kind of like a two dimensional Rubik's cube, plus some color theory and twinkly music.
Each Prismatica stage is made up of a series of hexagonal wheels that are interconnected. Every wheel uses a colored spoke which "assigns" the color to its surrounding tiles, which overlap onto another wheel at at least one point, combining their colors.