Android Wear is designed to keep you appraised of what's going on with your phone via notifications and cards, but that's not all it's good for. There are already a few apps that let you tweak settings on your phone, and now Wear Hotspot lets you toggle the hotspot functionality. It's actually a pretty good use of Wear.
Android Wear has a lot of fine points, but there are a few things missing from the first round of devices. One of the more annoying shortcomings is the lack of a light sensor on the G Watch or the Gear Live. The Moto 360, however, will have a light sensor built in, according to Motorola's Cathay Bi.
VR headsets are all the rage of late, and Samsung is one of the players expected to throw its virtual reality-producing
hat goggles into the ring. Earlier this month, SamMobile provided a shot of the upcoming Gear VR product and a small taste the companion smartphone app that will ship with it. Now the site is back with a more in-depth look at some of the software that will manage the device.
As Android L draws ever nearer, Google has promised that its apps would be updated to take advantage of the new design language. Today's Chrome Beta update comes with a Material Design interface, an updated icon, and the usual plethora of fixes and tweaks. But, you know Material Design!
Here's the changelog Google posted on the Chrome blog, plus a few more bits of note. We'll add anything else we come across, though.
In case you missed it, Jon Wiley hosted an AMA session on Reddit yesterday. Wiley, as the principal designer for Google Search, had plenty of insight to share on topics from specific product features to what roles a tech company should play in its local community.
Sifting through the whole thread can take a while, so we thought it'd be helpful to pick out just a few of the most interesting responses for those who just want a quick taste.
Just as promised, HTC is starting to update the One M8 Developer Edition to Android 4.4.3. The over-the-air update was first spotted by a member over at the XDA-Developers forum, who incidentally was rocking a developer edition of the device. According to forum posters, the update file is for both the developer edition (M8_UL_CA) and SIM unlocked (M8_UL) phones, though none of the latter seem to be getting the OTA at the moment.
Motorola loves discounting its flagship Moto X phone at every possible opportunity. The latest is the nebulous "back to school" season, but I think they were just getting itchy - it's been a whole week since the off-contract Moto Maker editions of the X went on sale. Right now you can pick up a standard 16GB Moto X for $299 ($100 off), the 32GB model for $324 ($125 off), and the 64GB model for $374 ($125 off).
The King of Fighters '98 was a special release from the very beginning. As the fifth game in SNK's popular fighting game series, it attracted players by bringing back brawlers who were killed off in previous versions. Future releases would return to the storyline, but '98 did not care and lacked a plot of its own. The game was all about the fighting, and now it's available for Android.
'98 is the fourth King of Fighters game SNK has brought to the platform, following last month's quirky fighting-rhythm hybrid.
Happy birthday, Chromecast. From your interesting but utilitarian beginnings you've turned into a streaming powerhouse, giving Android and Chrome users a ton of options for streaming music, video, and what have you. Just lately that also includes the super-cool capacity for transmitting mirrored audio and video from your phone or tablet right to your TV. It's been a good year, and to celebrate, Google is giving each and every Chromecast owner a free three-month subscription to Play Music All Access.
Microsoft may have its own smartphone platform, but when so many Xbox gamers walk around with Android phones in their pockets, it would be a shame to ignore them (or their wallets). So the company has rolled out another update to its Xbox One SmartGlass beta app, and this one introduces the ability to purchase games and add-ons for the console remotely. It's a nice feature for people who have run out to buy an Xbox One with or without Kinect.