Are you eager to communicate your current hung-over status to your entire social circle without having to tell each and everyone of them to stop messaging you? Then you'll be thrilled at the latest update to Google's Hangouts messenger service. Actually, "update" might not be the right word - I suppose "retrofit" is more appropriate. On the Chrome app and the Hangouts portion of Google Plus, you can now set a semi-permanent status that appears to all interested parties.
Google made some sweeping changes after it acquired restaurant review indexer Zagat, including limiting the cities in which it would work. The app itself was updated a few times, but it's been sitting neglected for a year until today. Zagat is going material in this update, but there are a few functionality tweaks too.
If OnePlus is good at anything, it's building hype. We experienced months of that early this year during the lead up to the OnePlus One announcement. The company started playing up a "Go Further" announcement the other day for 12/17. Well, here we are and guess what... it's a battery. An external battery with USB ports and stuff called the OnePlus Power Bank. Oh.
Over the summer, Google bought Songza, a music streaming company that provides playlists suited for certain moods and times of day. The Big G has left the service running, but that didn't stop it from integrating the functionality with Play Music several months later. This brought recommended playlists to the "Listen Now" area of the Android app and website for listeners in the US and Canada. Now the functionality has expanded to the UK.
Google Glass still isn't lighting up the world almost two years after release, but it looks like at least one major electronics corporation has taken notice. Sony's primary production division announced its new Single-Lens Display Module today. It's a wearable device that's remarkably similar to Glass in basic structure, with the major difference being that it can be attached to any normal pair of glasses or sunglasses.
Don't pull out your wallet just yet.
A number of our readers have witnessed a change after opening up the Facebook app. The social network is apparently testing out an updated version of the user interface that sports a flatter look and more colorful, circular icons. We wouldn't call it a big Material redesign, but it does show signs of trying to better fit in.
Guys, the smartphone world is getting crazy. Phones just seem to keep growing, and Blu's Studio 7.0 is the biggest I've seen yet. Before we get into the meat and potatoes of what this massive phone is all about, I want to get one thing out of the way: this is not a tablet with telephone capabilities. Stylistically and functionally, the Studio 7.0 is a massive smartphone through and through.
I think the real appeal of the Studio 7 (you know, for those who are actually looking for a 7-inch smartphone), is the price: this oversized handset only costs $150.
That cool little HDMI stick that Google released more than a year ago got more useful and more awesome when the Cast API became available for developers. And while there are now hundreds of apps with Chromecast support on the Play Store, Google keeps a small curated list of some of them, kind of like a featured selection. Every now and then new entrants are let into this special club, and the latest addition is a trio of interesting apps: musiXmatch, Lyve, and Fitnet.