We should've seen this coming. Really, Samsung, it's our fault. We should've stopped you when you put on that incredibly sexist Broadway show. We didn't. We argued that it was funny and then even enabled you by saying you have better marketing than HTC. We set you up for this. What could we have expected except a Gangnam Style parody that touts the virtues of the Galaxy S4?
Ever since the WSJ dropped a hint about the mythical 'X Phone' back in December, the rumors have not stopped flowing. Which is great because, according to Motorola's CFO, the 18 months of product pipeline that Google acquired weren't exactly wow-ing anyone. However, according to Moto's design chief Jim Wicks, the next generation of hardware will be fantastic.
The handsets have been in the works for the last eight months (so since around August, for those counting), and will target the segments of the market that's looking for a "just right" screen size.
Yesterday, we finally decided to get to the bottom of Google Keep's new font, Roboto Slab. Shortly before that, however, we had an internal discussion about Keep's strange UI/UX. The app is beautiful – there's no denying that – but weird when considered alongside Google's other in-house apps. What's more, I'm of the opinion that the app isn't just a one-off in terms of design – I think that Keep, along with a few other hints, could give us some insight into what we'll see in the next version of Android (which we might see in May at Google I/O).
A few months ago I wrote "Stock Android Isn't Perfect," an article where I turned my usual harsh UX critique on stock Android, instead of justpicking onTouchWiz and Sense all the time in my reviews. The article went over pretty well, and even got a few responses from Googlers! I didn't cover everything that was wrong with Android, though, and there have been a bunch of updates since the original article, so it's about time I wrote a sequel.
Au's Infobar phone line has been around since 2001, always featuring plenty of color and hoping to bring innovative ideas to the smartphone world through eye-popping, unique design. Bringing another stylized entry to the lineup, Au has posted a brief dossier on the new Infobar A02, designed by Naoto Fukasawa and manufactured by HTC.
One of the device's main claims to fame is its apparent use of HTC's ImageSense chip, allowing for smooth burst capture.
Titanium Backup, one of the most powerful – and popular – backup utilities available for Android, got an update to version 6.0 today. Don't get too excited though – the version bump consists primarily of bug fixes and optimizations, along with a few updated translations. Oh, and a redesigned menu. Yes, Titanium Backup's design is finally getting some attention, but not quite in the way we'd hoped – take a look at the before and after screens below.
Mobile advertising is an unavoidable part of the Android experience - in fact, some would make the case that it's the whole reason for Android coming to exist in its current form. But that doesn't meant that it can't be improved. So Google's AdMob team has been looking at ways of making delivered ads both less intrusive and more functional, namely by cutting down on unwanted activations.
According to the post on Google's Mobile Ads Blog, accidental and non-intentional taps on the ad space are one of the biggest problems they've had to deal with.
The most important phone of the year has arrived. We not only geta new version of Android, but a new approach to hardware design, too. This isn't just any new piece of hardware; this is (hopefully) the start of a revolution in design and materials for Android phones. This Nexus 4 hardware is so good, so well-built, and made with such attention to detail, that it is the new high bar for any hardware - not just Android hardware.
Finally. Since Hurricane Sandy flooded out New York and canceled Google's press event, we've been trying everything we can think of to get a review unit. Late yesterday we got an email back from an awesome Googler (thanks!), and I immediately flew out the door to go rescue a Nexus 4 from New York. We got one! Mission accomplished!
I have a million things to work on now: a full review, a bunch of GTKAs, and teardowns of everything.
Skitch, a popular annotation and sharing app, received an update to version 2.0 today with a redesigned interface, a handful of useful markup tools, and improved Evernote integration.
For those unaware, Skitch is an app that allows users to "communicate visually with friends, co-workers, or anyone." Essentially, it can draw in resources like notes, photos, screenshots, or maps, and then add markup to convey ideas or highlight important aspects of the document for later reference or sharing.