Do you remember how happy everyone was when the first Android M developer preview had a dark system UI mode? Get ready for the exact opposite of that feeling. A reply to the issue tracker thread indicates that Google won't be making the dark theme available in Android 6.0. It might still happen in the future, though. Read More
Google+ is a pretty great social media platform - it allows content of all lengths, many types, and it presents in a readable, ad-free way. But not everybody uses Google+, and that's understandable, we've all got plenty of social media in our lives at this point, and Google+ is just another platform to keep track of. But sometimes you want to share a great Google+ post, and if you were to do that on your Android device, that meant just copying a link to the post to your device's clipboard. Not ideal, necessarily, given that Android has literally been built upon sharing content between various apps seamlessly and with as few taps as possible. Read More
Google has been branching out into new areas of hardware in recent years. It bought Nest and Dropcam, and now the Google Store acts as a storefront for Google to push its own hardware, as well as products made by others. The OnHub was an unexpected twist for Google's hardware aspirations, though. It does make some sense when you think about it. Routers are usually ugly and annoying to use, but is the $200 OnHub the best way to fix that? Read More
Google famously pulled out of China in 2010 following a data breach that it traced back to the Chinese government. It was the final straw as Google had already been irked by China's strict censorship laws. The explosion of cheap Android handsets in China changes the equation, though. Now The Information reports that Google is set to come back to China with a special version of the Play Store and other Google services that will play nice with the Chinese government. Read More
August was light on new Android apps, but there's one new arrival that might change things in a big way: Amazon Underground. Aside from that, Google's new push towards streaming games and a new translator service from Microsoft make up the more interesting apps from the big publishers. That said, there are a few indie gems in both our primary lineup and the Honorable Mentions sections, so check them out below. Read More
It's always fun to have the latest and greatest version of the gadgets we love, but sometimes the previous generation is nearly as good and a better overall value. Such may be the case with the new Nest Learning Thermostat.
The 3rd generation of the popular temperature controller was announced yesterday and boasts a few minor improvements over the now "old" 2nd generation Nest. The display is larger, it's a bit thinner, and sports a couple of new features and sensors. If you want to read the full breakdown of changes you can read Cameron's article about the product announcement here. Read More
Google Street View has always been a part of Google Maps on Android, even though it was technically a separate APK. Everything is changing today with the big v2.0 Street View update. For the first time ever, Street View is a standalone app in your app drawer with its own distinct functionality. There's a lot to sort through here, so let's dig in. Read More
Amidst news that Google has adopted a new logo (and everything that comes along with that), Sundar Pichai let slip that Google is joining the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and others to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). The organization's goal is to collaborate on open and royalty-free digital formats for "next-generation ultra high definition media." In other words, it will develop new image, audio, and video codecs and container formats that are totally free for non-commercial and commercial use.
The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
- Interoperable and open;
- Optimized for the web;
- Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
- Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
- Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
- Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.