If you are into home security as well as technology, Alarm.com is a popular choice to fill that niche. It is a smart home solution that, as you would expect, allows you to control your security system as well as things like cameras, lights, doors, and thermostats. It even supports Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Think home automation with a security slant, and you've basically got what Alarm.com is about. Initially, this post only set out to talk about the new features in the most recent update, but one of the changes was so incredibly well done that we couldn't help but diverge in our discussion of it.
In the age-old comparison between Android and iOS, one of the biggest talking points for Google's mobile OS is the level of customization it offers. No matter what Android phone you buy, you can make it look like your very own through different launchers, widgets, icons, and much more. To capitalize on this, Google has released a strange quiz of sorts that aims to curate homescreens for users.
You've decorated your house, you've put on a festive watch face, you can't help but see red and green Christmas stuff everywhere you go, so what about decorating your phone's messenger app? After all, this is probably the thing you look at most during the day, so adding some jolly good spirit would go a long way in making the holiday charm follow you all the time. Facebook agrees and so it has updated its Messenger application with lots of customization options and some end-of-year themed options.
Way back in August of 2014, we got a peek at a service Google was experimenting with, at the time called "Workshop." The service would allow users to create customized cases for their Nexus 5, featuring either photos or map imagery of their choice. The cases would come with a special live wallpaper, also customized around the user's preferences.
After that post, though, everything was quiet. We didn't hear or see any new motion on Workshop until last month, when a customized Google Maps case popped up on a Googler's Google+ profile. The case was on a Nexus 6, and looked really similar to the cases we'd seen before.
It's going to stick stylish engravings on limited edition phones. For the launch of HTC INK, the company has partnered with model Jourdan Dunn (who herself partnered with ink-er Cally Jo Pothecary) to produce the design below.
Google hasn't exactly had a spotless track record when it comes to official Nexus accessories. Accessories have been teased or shown off only to arrive months later or not at all (remember that Nexus 10 dock?).
Recently, though, Google has done a much better job - there are a bevy of case options available for both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) in a variety of colors, catering to almost all tastes (though at times the quality may not be ideal).
Motorola has really been pumping up the customization option for the newer model of the Moto X, and the exotic wood and leather backs are probably the most interesting part. Today the Moto Maker website in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Mexico has added an option for red Horween leather on the back panel, just in case you want to match up with the soles of your designer shoes.
The upgrade is the same $25 charge (in the US) as the other leather and wood options, and engraving is still available. You can also add a 32GB or 64GB storage option for $50 or $100, respectively.
Sony's recent Xperia phones and tablets have included themable skins for the proprietary Sony UI that runs on top of Android. Now Sony wants you (yes, you!) to make themes for its devices using a custom Java desktop program. The company has released a beta version of the application for aspiring theme makers, available from the Sony Developer site.
The program allows you to apply different colors and graphical elements to the various bits and pieces of Sony's themes. It's basically a streamlined setup process - anyone who's made themes for the CyanogenMod engine or a custom Android launcher will feel pretty comfortable.
Motorola apparently intends to expand Moto Maker out to more than just smartphones. According to Wired, the company will start offering the ability to customize your own Moto 360 next month.
Before you get too excited, Motorola isn't rolling out new color options or anything particularly fancy. Instead, it's letting you mix and match the components already available off the shelf. So you can get the watch casing or metal band in silver, black, or champagne gold; or opt for a leather strap instead. Metal bands come in two sizes (18mm and 23mm). The standard leather straps are 22mm.