Sprint would really like you to buy a phone. Really. So much so that they're willing to throw a salesperson and a bunch of phones in a branded car and drive to your door to sell it to you, preferably along with a service contract and a $30 case. The new Direct 2 You service will also offer assistance to existing Sprint customers; the example given in the press release is moving data from one phone to the other. Read More
Large companies have a hard time keeping secrets, especially when multiple partners and countless employees become involved. Bits and pieces are bound to leak out, both intentionally and accidentally, and sometimes a wealth of information can be discovered about unannounced plans. It appears that an app designed for Google's much anticipated MVNO has turned up in an unofficial Nexus 6 firmware image. If legitimate, the app not only confirms the service, but it may reveal some details about service plans, billing, and even a previously unheard-of name, "Project Fi."
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
The music industry has changed a great deal over the course of the past decade, and Spotify is one of the most well-known brands leading the transition. The company announced today that going into 2015, its music-streaming service has 15 million paying users, with another 45 million who consume content for free. This is an increase from the 12.5 million subscribers (over 50 million total) announced in November.
Pandora wooed millions of users over the past ten years through Internet radio stations that catered to each listener's tastes. Spotify gives users more control, allowing them to explicitly select what they want to listen to, manually create playlists, and build their own libraries. Read More
Google's been updating apps left and right recently to fall in line with its new material design philosophy, and the results have been impressive. There are a few apps it appears Google's saving for the final Lollipop release though - Gmail 5.0 among them.
While we won't be distributing the updated Gmail app until the official update is released, we will be sharing a goody from the new onboarding process, which shows some of the new awesomeness coming to the app in its overhaul.
Specifically, it looks like Google's gearing up to handle all your email with Gmail, not just your Gmail account. Read More
Google Glass is inviting users to "stay connected to your favorite phone apps with notification sync on Glass." The new feature, as you might have guessed by now, grants Google's MyGlass app notification access, relaying all your Android notifications up to your eyeball for quick and easy viewing/interaction. Previously, only apps compatible with Glass (like Gmail and Hangouts) could send up notifications.
The Glass team says the new feature (which the team admits you "may have already seen" on Android Wear) will come in an update to the MyGlass app that will be available tomorrow (an already jam-packed day from the looks of it), and posted a quick tutorial video to show what the setup process is like. Read More
Right now, in the slide-out "hamburger" menu of most Google apps, there's a Help button, with a tiny circled question mark icon. If a user needs help with the app (or anything else), this button will pull up a web page. Once on the web page, users can browse through categories for help articles and potential solutions or, if all else fails, request a support call from Google.
It looks like Google wants to make that experience a little more elegant, though.
In recent updates to both YouTube and Wallet, we've seen code suggesting a new app-level feature called Google Help. Read More
We have heard tell (from Forbes) that Google is preparing a new service called Google Fit, supposedly for debut at I/O, where the company is expected to also announce partnerships with certain wearables manufacturers. The report says that Google Fit will provide developers with APIs to plug into the service, and that the overall goal is a second take at the quantified health data space.
With Apple recently unveiling HealthKit, the iron is hot. We have independently received information (as mentioned in our coverage of the Forbes report) indicating that Google is indeed working on a fitness effort, but there's just a little bit more to the story. Read More
Google's reinvention of the Chrome bookmark system, called Google Stars, was first spotted by Florian Kiersch nearly a month ago. Today, it looks like the Chrome extension and web interface are already live for the public, preceding any official word from Google about the burgeoning bookmarking service. For now, it looks like Stars is still in a dogfooding or testing phase.
Users who install the Chrome extension (linked at the bottom of the post) will be able to access the service's web interface, which will automatically "add the Google magic to your data," collecting a history of topics you're interested in or things you've bookmarked, arranged automatically by date. Read More
One of the fundamental differences between Android and every other mobile operating system is the practically unrestricted capability to run services. Without this freedom we could not enjoy something as powerful as a homescreen widget or as straight-forward as a Twitter client with background updates. Aside from games and very simple utilities, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find an app that doesn’t run a service, at least for a short span of time. However, a bug has snuck into recent versions of Android and it can cripple background processing in some apps and widgets.
Note: There are some technical details ahead, some of which may only matter to developers. Read More