In recent years, Google hasn’t exactly been known as particularly hospitable toward SD cards with regard to its Android operating system. This theme is most often associated with the Nexus line of devices - the Nexus One was the only such handset to ever offer expandable storage. But despite arguments from Dan Morrill and Matias Duarte suggesting this stance is about keeping the Android interface simple and file picker-free, people still want more space.
When Flappy Bird left the Play Store and Apple's App Store, it left a vacuum. And since it was pulled, that vacuum has been pulling in all kinds of lint, in the form of knockoffs, clones, or games that simply want to use Flappy Bird's success as promotion for their own games.
It would seem, though, that Google (along with Apple) has begun taking steps to prevent the store from becoming overrun with such entries.
It's not exactly news that HTC will be updating its flagship phone for 2014, but more and more leaks seem to indicate that we can expect a phone that looks a lot like the current HTC One. Yet another leaked photo, this time from M Helal on Google+, shows what looks like a One with the dual cameras and a dual flash module that we've seen on a previous leak.
Google's had fun creating new Auto-Awesome animations that match the theme of every holiday season these days, but this latest one is rather amusing. For Valentines Day, Google has rolled out animated hearts that will automatically appear on any photos of people kissing. This can add a little extra spark to that loving picture of you and that special someone. As usual, the animation may not appear immediately, but Google+ will shoot you a notification when it's ready.
Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and you know what that means: bitter disappointment fruitlessly displaced with technology. (That might just be me.) Google's got you covered on the second part, at least if you have a Chromecast. A new visualizer option for Google Play Music ditches the bars and equalizers in favor of a looped video of a cozy fireplace. You'll have to supply your own music, of course.
The visualizer isn't on by default, but it's easy enough to enable.
We've been trying to keep our heads up about the Lenovo-Motorola deal, but let's be honest: news like this is not encouraging. A Wall Street Journal report claims that Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, whom many had credited with the company's impressive new product lines in 2013, is leaving for Dropbox. Woodside began working for Motorola after more than ten years at Google, succeeding Sanjay Jha after Google acquired the company.
The Wall Street Journal cites three anonymous sources in its detailed report, but Google confirmed the news shortly thereafter.
The cards have been creeping into more apps as of late, and now it looks like Google is testing a new mobile web interface for YouTube with some of that card-based Android flavor. There are more cards, a cleaner video pages, and a slide-out navigation drawer that could have been ripped right from Android.
The new web UI could easily be mistaken for the YouTube app at first glance.
Google was previously just testing Chromecasting from embedded YouTube videos (as opposed to those on YouTube.com), but it looks like the feature has now been rolled out to virtually all videos. Google's support page has been updated to say that "most embedded YouTube videos" are now supported for casting.
Companies file for new patents all the time with nothing ever coming of it, so Google's application shouldn't be taken as evidence that such a device is coming down the pipeline. Nevertheless, some concepts are just plain cool. Google has designed a computing device with dual e-ink displays that folds as though it were an actual book, according to a patent application that the US Patent and Trademark Office recently published.