One of the biggest challenges to creating good apps for Android Auto has been actually testing the experience. Many independent developers can't afford to purchase brand new cars with Auto built-in, and aftermarket head units won't fit in most recently manufactured cars without heavy modification, and most of those units aren't very good anyway. When the Auto SDK came out, it included simulators that could be used for basic testing of just the messaging and media browser interfaces, but even these weren't good substitutes for the real thing. Today, Google released the Android Auto Desktop Head Unit, a functioning implementation of the Android Auto platform that runs right on a desktop or laptop. Read More
A dedicated app typically provides a better experience than a mobile site, but there are still plenty of instances where we end up inside the Android version of Chrome. Heck, that's one of the major benefits of owning a smartphone—the entire web is accessible to you throughout most of the day.
If you've been using Android for long enough, you might remember the days when the only swiping keyboard in existence was Swype, and you had to sign up for a weird private beta program to use it. Well, it's been in the Play Store for a few years now, and it's getting a big v2.0 update today. It's going where no man has gone before. Read More
You already know what the next Moto 360 will look like. We know you do. You may also be aware that Motorola plans to ship the device in two sizes this time around. Well, HelloMoto HK has shared two photos of the upcoming device, and in one of them, we get to see how much smaller one version of the new Moto 360 will be. In the image above you can see it side-by-side with the current model.
One complaint with the existing Moto 360 was that, stylish as it was, the device was still a bit on the bulky side, especially for female wrists. Read More
We're entering into an era where you no longer have to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a good, usable smartphone. Manufacturers like Blu have done a lot for the budget smartphone, and more mainstream phone makers like Motorola have brought the words "budget" and "flagship" together in a way we didn't think would ever be possible.
I've been messing with a new affordable device from a relatively new manufacturer to the scene here lately: the Nuu Z8. Nuu currently has a couple of other budget devices on the market, but the Z8 is what the company is calling its flagship device. Read More
Instagram has a reputation. It's true. Whether it's the users who constantly snap pictures of their food or the ubiquitous use of filters, something immediately comes to mind when someone mentions the social network. One major aspect of its identity, for better or worse, is about to disappear. Instagram will no longer exclusively support square imagery.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Instagram is finally acknowledging that cameras don't take pictures in squares. Yes, cropping is a thing, but good cropping is also part of taking a decent shot in the first place. It can be a pain to have to crop things down again. Read More
The touchscreen issues that plagued the OnePlus One are well known at this point, but what about the OnePlus 2? This device is still trickling out to the illustrious recipients of invites, and it appears to have a different grounding issue. Rather than affecting the screen, this one affects the capacitive home button. Maybe I'm holding it wrong? Read More
The new Moto X is set to come out in a week or two, but the 2014 model is still a fine device. It's even more fine if you can get one for a mere $180, as you can today on eBay. This is the Verizon model of the phone (XT1096), but that means it's unlocked and should work fine on GSM carriers. Read More
Whispering Willows is the kind of game we'd like to see more of on any platform. The art style alone shows how much care and attention the designers approached the game with. That it happens to be fun is almost a perk.
The hand-drawn experience centers on Elena, a girl who can project her spirit outside of her body. Controlling her astral projection to solve puzzles forms the crux of the gameplay. Read More
Amazon's Fire Phone, the logical smartphone extension of its Kindle Fire tablet series, is a dud. A combination of lackluster reviews, carrier semi-exclusivity, and most of all being tied into Amazon's app and service environment have made it more or less a total failure. The company never publishes hard data for its hardware sales, but casual observation and constant discounts (sometimes more than $500 off of the original $650 off-contract price) imply that the product has been a wash.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon isn't eager to continue in the phone market. According to the paper, "dozens" of engineers in the Lab126 hardware team have been laid off. Read More