Earlier this week Ookla teased their revised and updated Speedtest.net app for Android, and now it's live in the Play Store for anyone to download. The go-to network test for end users and reviewers alike has been completely redesigned, with a new interface, new options, and the ability to remove the advertising with a $.99 in-app purchase. That's a nice perk for frequent users.
The old interface wasn't exactly awful, but it had been going for several years without any sort of refresh.
A lot of people are excited for Google Glass right now. The first Explorer units began rolling into the happy embrace of those selected for the exclusive pilot program just last week, and we've already seen a ton of feedback. Combined with decent pre-release coverage, it's clear that Glass has the potential to shake things up once more people have it in their hands. Of course press coverage and user excitement only form part of the story.
HTC needs to get the message out about the One. This probably isn't the best way to go about it.
The 3.5-minute ad on Funny Or Die has some genuine guffaws, but they're buried in awkward pauses, cringe-inducing costumes, and James Van Der Beek's grizzled chin. The Beek has been making a quiet, enjoyable comeback lately (see his meta self-performance on Apartment 23), but this baffling display of wannabe viral marketing can only hurt both his and HTC's image.
As we all know, Facebook had an announcement earlier this week. The most pervasive social media outlet on the planet announced Facebook Home – a product that essentially amounts to a highly integrated launcher for your Android phone. It also announced the HTC First, a phone optimized for Home, offering a fully Facebook-ed experience.
The launcher is actually pretty nice – features like the unfortunately-named Chat Heads are almost enough to sell this writer on the idea of making an Android hamburger out of a phone, with Facebook Home serving as the top bun (or maybe the lettuce).
I've been using (and loving) Google's Chrome browser daily on my laptop, desktop, phone, and tablet for quite some time now. Heck, I'd probably install it on my toaster if it were possible. And despite any of the complaints I routinely hear about Chrome's mobile iteration (ahem, where's the "full screen" option, again?), there are a few great reasons I keep it on all my devices.
Touching on each and every one of those, the Google Chrome YouTube channel today uploaded a one-minute ad spot touting the fact that Chrome is "For Everyone, Now Everywhere," and can enhance your life with auto-filled addresses, remembered passwords, and cross-device sync.
There are a few surefire ways to get straight to a consumer's heart, and one of them is nostalgia. People love to be reminded of the good old days, and Sony has done just that, uploading a new Xperia Z spot that will take viewers back to the moon mission, the Berlin wall, roller skating on the beach, and playing video games, all with Sony products.
The ad then continues with a young couple joining in a Holi celebration using the Xperia Z, showing that Sony hasn't abandoned its iconic role in capturing or enhancing your most memorable moments.
Reactions have been mixed to Samsung's somewhat understated Superbowl big game commercial, featuring comedy B-listers Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. If you couldn't get enough of the pair trading jabs while pitching a meta Galaxy ad, Samsung has posted the full 4:40 cut to YouTube. The ad follows the plot and pacing of the shorter version, but there's a few extra punch lines in there. Just in case ninety seconds of middle-aged verbal jousting wasn't enough for you.
A few days ago, Samsung published their "El Plato Supreme" promo video in which Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen try to develop a pitch for Samsung's don't-call-it-the-Super-Bowl ad. Rounding out the story, a full two-minute video was uploaded earlier today which shows how the two ended up working together on the pitch, throwing in a few more self-aware marketing gags along the way.
In the deliciously meta ad, Rogen and Rudd bicker over who's "the next big thing" before finding out that they're working together not in the ad, but on the pitch.
In a pair of new thirty-second ad spots, Google is showing off what it does best – search. The spots both feature Google's Search app for Android, using the same cozy, refined aesthetic as Google's other ads in recent memory, even showing off Search's new "search with camera" functionality.
The first spot follows the story of a nervous job candidate, gaining some insight into his prospective employer's interests with a last-minute Google search, while the second spot shows us a "smart Dad" who uses Google Search as a cheat sheet to answer his inquisitive son's astronomical questions.
Last year, Samsung revolutionized parodies of revolutions. Now, they've revolutionized the revolutionizing of making fun of revolutionizing revolutions. The Korean manufacturer has released the newest iteration of its "Next Big Thing" series of ads. This model has 50% more runtime than last year's model. New features include "the iPhone is for your parents," "we've had 4G for a while," and the totally not subtext-laden "my screen is bigger than your screen."
The new 90-second spot will be available tonight on national TV.