Dear international Android Police readers: thank you. Our staff is relatively small, so we can only be on the ground (so to speak) in a handful of countries... most of which are the US. So when a bunch of you from one particular place start telling us that something big is happening, we listen. The latest one is Google Now On Tap, the contextual screen-based search tool, which appears to be rolling out in Brazil right now. If you're in the country (and happen to be running Android M), give it a shot.
Update: Turns out Google Now on Tap is now enabled for the Portuguese locale rather than specific countries. Read More
Yesterday Brazil made headlines by once again blocking the function of mega-popular SMS replacement service WhatsApp for 72 hours. The reasons were... complicated. Apparently. We don't actually know the reason - the purpose of the ruling has been sealed by the court in the state of Sergipe which issued it. But fear not, Brazilian WhatsApp users: you now have access to the service once again, thanks to some quick work on the part of WhatsApp and the ruling of an appeals court. Read More
Oh Brazil, you magnificent country of beautiful landscapes, sexy women, excellent football players, and silly judges and judicial system. For the third time since 2015, a Brazilian state judge has ordered a complete shut down on WhatsApp by forcing operators to block the service nationwide for 72 hours, and thus killing the main means of communication of 91% of the country's mobile users.
The main question is why. Due to legal secrecy in the country, the details aren't released, but it appears that this isn't related to the first two bans in February of 2015 (issued by judge Luiz de Moura Correia from the state of Piauí) and December of 2015 (issued by a São Paulo judge). Read More
Of all the countries that get to enjoy Google Play Music access, only a select few have support for Play Music gifts. That means that there's a limited number of users who can send each other the gift of music, but that number is getting a bit larger now: Brazil, Mexico, and Switzerland have been added to the list of countries with access to Music gifts.
They join Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States in letting users purchase music subscriptions for their friends, family members, or maybe distant acquaintances (we won't judge). Prices are the same for a gifted subscription as a personally purchased one, but at least you can now get others hooked on the service even if they were reticent to try it out in the first place. Read More
There's a version of the latest Moto X that we here in the States can only get in the form of the DROID MAXX 2. The Moto X Play, as it's called, offers a weaker processor but increased battery life compared to the Moto X Pure Edition. Owners in Brazil and India have reached out to us with word that Android 6.0 is now rolling out to their devices. Read More
Telecom operators in Brazil have been working for months to undermine the legality of WhatsApp, and now a judge in Sao Paulo has apparently agreed with the arguments. Starting at 9PM ET this evening, WhatsApp was blocked in Brazil, and will continue to be blocked for 48 hours. Mobile operators have said they will enforce the block (probably while high fiving each other). What will happen in 48 hours is unclear, but you can bet Facebook has multiple planeloads of lawyers on their way to Brazil. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum is certainly not amused. Read More
As part of Google, Motorola garnished a reputation for speedy updates. These days the company has a new owner, and those OTAs don't seem to come out as reliably as they used to. But Motorola hasn't gone back on its promise to bring Marshmallow to something, and now it's beginning its rollout for the 2015 Moto X Style and the 2014 Moto X, according to Senior Director David Schuster. Read More
64GB? Kid's stuff. 128GB? Paltry. Real smartphone spec-hounds will settle for nothing less than 256GB of local onboard storage (which, incidentally, is more than many laptops these days). At least they'd settle for nothing less if any of those phones were actually available. There will be one soon, in at least one location: the ASUS Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition. It's coming to Brazil sometime in the future for an unspecified price, though "quite a lot" would be a safe bet. The model was shown off on the official ASUS Brazil blog.
The Zenfone 2 Deluxe Special Edition is identical to the high-end version of the original Zenfone 2, with 4GB of RAM and a faster Atom Z3580 processor, with the obvious exception of the greater storage capacity. Read More
We've seen a possible early look at the next version of Motorola's Moto 360 watch earlier today, and now it looks like there are new indications of multiple models for the Android Wear line. Anatel, Brazil's federal telecom regulator (the equivalent of the FCC in the US) has listed two new Motorola devices for certification: the 360S and 360L. The product names obviously point to new watch models, but it's the batteries that should really pique your interest. The listing was spotted by 9to5 Google.
In addition to standard radio documentation for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Anatel lists the 360S with a 270mAh battery and the 360L with a 375mAh battery. Read More