If you're outside the UK, you're unlikely to have heard of Monzo. It's a so-called challenger bank, one of the several startups attempting to disrupt the banking industry in the UK. It's all based around its excellent app – there are no branches. It's pretty popular, too, with the majority of my London-based friends seemingly signed up for the service.
To begin with it was just a prepaid MasterCard that you would need to top up from your normal bank account. The benefit of doing so is that the Monzo app is great for budgeting, monitoring spending, and quickly paying friends.
London has a pretty advanced transport system by most metrics, and payments are pretty easy these days, either with a special pay-as-you-go pass called an Oyster Card or with almost any contactless bank card. Most Londoners (like myself) have long been clamoring for a better way to manage our Oysters, as you currently have to queue for a machine or go to the website if you want to check your balance or make a top-up. Thankfully, Transport for London (TfL) has joined forces with a developer called Cubic to finally bring us an official Oyster Card app for Android.
If there’s one thing Samsung can never be accused of, it’s being shy when it comes to marketing its products. The release of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ wasn't going to be any different. To celebrate the imminent launch of the devices in the UK, Samsung's marketing bods have sent a huge 7x3m sculpture made to look like the front face of the phone around the UK, framing the view behind as though you were taking a giant photo.
The campaign is part of a study to find the 20 greatest British views. Samsung commissioned a survey of 2500 people to make up the list, which is accompanied by stunning images of each location from Landscape Photographer of the year Matthew Cattell, all taken with the Galaxy S8.
So here's the scenario: you're in San Francisco for the first time. You're starving, but have no idea where to go, what's good, or where to even start. What do you do?
Now, you can open Google Maps, hit the Explore link, and get all the recommendations you could ever hope for. But not just "hey, here's some stuff near you" - starting now, Google is offering curated results in San Francisco, New York City, and London. Basically, this will make it easier to find exactly what you're looking for around your location. That's pretty awesome.
If you're not in any of those areas, though, you can still get the "hey, here's some stuff near you" recommendations, and it looks better than ever thanks to the new interface (in the US and UK only, though).
Have you ever wished that Google would just open its equivalent of an Apple Store, so you could have a one-stop-shop for your favorite phones, tablets, and Chromebooks? The company has dabbled with the idea before, and Americans can kinda-sorta experience this in the corner of a local Best Buy, but now the Big G is taking things to the next level by opening its first branded shop. It just happens to be at Currys PC World in London.
I hear you, London is an awfully long ways away. You could pay for a plane ticket and ditch work or school just to stroll around for a few obscenely reckless minutes—or you could simply download the Google Cardboard app that's now available in the Play Store.
Despite the behind-the-scenes drama with Google and Lenovo, Motorola has been on a roll when it comes to hardware. The Moto X, Moto G, and Verizon's 2013 DROIDs are all well-regarded, so naturally people are wondering what's coming next. We'll find out in a little less than two weeks: Motorola will show off its next smartphone in London on May 13th.
It's only been 8 months since the release of the company's flagship Moto X, so a follow-up is possible, if a little early. Evleaks (whose pre-release info is generally very reliable) posted a logo for the "Moto X+1" earlier this month.
And so it begins. While HTC hasn't announced anything specific for the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it looks like the company is planning its own shindig roughly one month later. Earlier this morning press invitations were issued for a March 25th media event scheduled for both London and New York City.
Since the event comes a year after the release of the HTC One and we're just about drowning in photo and spec leaks for its successor, there's little doubt that the upcoming event is for the "M8." In addition to a spec and software bump, the new model is expected to use dual rear cameras and virtual navigation buttons.
Since Samsung is prone to have big, glitzy events for their flagship products, we had a feeling that "Premiere 2013" would include a few of their more sedate offerings. According to the the Wall Street Journal, at least one of those will probably be the Galaxy S4 Mini, which we previously saw in a pairof leaks detailing most of the details of the mid-range phone. The Journal reports that a "person with knowledge of the matter" told them the S4 Mini would be one of several new devices revealed at the event.
The Galaxy S4 mini is shaping up to be a something of a misnomer, just like the S III Mini before it.
Samsung just won't let anybody catch their breath when it comes to hardware releases. Just a few weeks after the worldwide release of the Galaxy S4, the company has posted public information for a new press event, explicitly declaring that new Galaxy and ATIV devices will be on display. Galaxy is of course Samsung's everything, everywhere brand for Android, and for those not in the know, ATIV is their newer generation of Windows products. The Samsung Premiere event is set for Thursday, June 20th, at the Earl's Court Exhibition Centre in London.
Gentlemen, start your speculation. There are any number of new Android products that might be revealed, but for my money, a new generation of the 10-inch Galaxy Tab is right at the top of the list (the underwhelming 7-inch version of the Galaxy Tab 3 has already been shown).
There's a good chance that the bulk of you completely missed the RAZR i announcement. Why? Because it was held in London and happened in the middle of the night for those of us in the US. Never fear, though, if you simply must see Moto talk up the RAZR i and all of its 2GHz glory, the full event is now available for streaming on YouTube.