Samsung and The Weather Channel aren't two companies you would naturally pair together, but they've done just that: the two have partnered up to produce a specialized version of the weather app, exclusive to Samsung's S6 edge, S7 edge, and Note 5.
As it's produced by The Weather Channel, the main function is to tell the user the weather conditions. This works well enough: currently, conditions are 49°F outside, according to the app, although it feels like 44°F apparently. I also know sunrise is due at 5:52 this morning. Scrolling down, there is more detailed weather information, such as wind speed and direction, humidity, dew point, pressure, and UV index.
A few days ago, we reported about Twitter's undergoing works on a more Material Design interface for its Android app, which was showing up for some users as part of an A/B test. But Twitter's efforts in modernizing its UI don't seem limited to the native app, as a very similar white and blue look has shown up on the Twitter mobile site.
Hype Machine isn't your typical music discovery service. It relies on music blogs to aggregate the most recent and talked about music tracks across the internet and from various genres. You can only listen to songs when the original blog has posted a link to SoundCloud, Bandcamp, or Official.fm for example, but the track itself isn't hosted on Hype Machine.
The service is more geared toward the music blogging scene, providing links to the articles where each song was shared and letting you favorite blogs and users to follow what they've been posting. Essentially, it's a heavily curated music social network and it works very well for those who like that approach.
One of the biggest problems with TV news is that if you're not interested in a particular story – say, sports or celebrities – you have no option but to sit through it. Haystack TV aims to solve that by turning the news into personalized streams which are curated through artificial intelligence, big data, and editorial decision-making. The idea being that if you're especially interested in finance or international affairs, you can create a TV channel just about that.
In addition to being available through the browser and as a downloadable application for most major smartphone and Internet TV platforms, it is also available for Google's nascent Android TV platform, which can be found running on the latest-and-greatest Sony Smart TVs.
The first Developer Preview of Android N was a pretty big hit with a boatload of new features for both users and developers. Unlike last year, Google didn't ship the second preview with just a series of bug fixes–there are already new APIs for developers. One such addition is called Launcher Shortcuts and it promises to bring a new interaction model to the homescreen. The simple icons we've always known will soon be able to expose easily glanceable information, quick actions, and clever shortcuts into various parts of an app.
Launcher Shortcuts have a lot in common with the regular shortcuts supported by Android since the beginning.
For years, Samsung has generally not sold its top-tier smartphones SIM unlocked to US customers. The reason for that is basically left to us to speculate: be it collusion with or demands from carriers, cost issues, or simple lack of demand, it's not exactly clear. But the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge may be the most readily available unlocked of any major Samsung smartphones in the US yet.
Currently, Best Buy will sell you - with what appears to be a factory Samsung warranty - an unlocked North American model Galaxy S7 or S7 edge. They aren't cheap... at all: $709.99 for the S7 and $819.99 for the S7 edge.
Google's in-house Project Fi has a great app compared to what you get from other carriers. Not that it would be hard to make that happen, but it is pretty good. It's getting even better today with an update (version I.2.1) that adds a new widget and better control over call forwarding.
The Sprint Galaxy Note 5 got Android 6.0 a month ago. Now it's the Note Edge's turn. The carrier has announced an over-the-air update delivering Marshmallow, security patches from Google and Samsung, and bug fixes. The OTA is going out as verison number N915PVPU4DPD.
Amazon Fire tablets are not devices geared towards stock Android-loving enthusiasts with an unquenchable thirst for whatever they can get from Google Play. They're more casual devices aimed at people who enjoy a simpler experience and Amazon services. New models are also very cheap—buy six for $250 cheap. The 8GB 7-inch tablet starts at $49.99.
The simple gameplay of Crossy Road has made it a hugely popular casual game on Android, but now it's a bit more competitive with the addition of multiplayer mode. Up to four players can cross the road (and other things) at the same time and do their best to sabotage each other.