Whether you call them UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), RPAs (remotely piloted aircraft), or drones, there's no denying that they are making waves. It's hard to bring up the subject without specifically talking about the DJI Phantom series. In the year since it was announced, the Phantom 3 has become the crowd favorite among photographers. Today, DJI announced the brand new Phantom 4, and it includes a boatload of improvements and new technology over earlier models.
The Phantom 4 looks a lot like its predecessors, but almost every aspect has been touched up or completely redesigned. The chassis is both stronger and lighter thanks to a new magnesium core, which should help in the event of a collision and hopefully bring up the flight time just a bit.
The most cost-effective way to experience Android TV is to buy a set-top box, but if you don't want something else taking up space near your TV, getting the software baked in does just that. Sony's latest line of 4K TVs run Android TV, and after going on pre-sale in the middle of February, they're starting to become actually available.
Google's various flavors of voice control are neat, not to mention extremely useful thanks to deep integration with Android. But Mountain View doesn't have a monopoly on speech interpretation: Microsoft has made a pretty compelling case for its cross-platform Cortana system, to say nothing of the similar entries from Apple and Amazon. SoundHound threw its hat in the ring last year with the semi-proprietary Hound app, though you had to be part of the beta to check it out. Today Hound gets a public launch, and everyone can play with it with no prerequisites.
Back in 2005, video games really wanted to be movies. "Cinematic" was the buzzword of the day, though it usually translated to "a whole lot of cutscenes." Games still haven't quite gotten over their movie crush, but one of the distinct styles of games to emerge from that era was the narrative-focused 3D adventure. These games mixed the traditional inventory puzzles and story-focused dialogue of adventure games with big-budget production and quick-time controls. The works of director David Cage, including games like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, are the primary examples of the genre.
Samsung's commercials are often a mixed bag. Sometimes they stumble on a smart idea and execute it well, other times they get stuck repeating themselves and seeming rather petty about it. Luckily, this latest set of commercials for the Galaxy S7 is in the former category. Because if you're going to suffer through these ads for the next few months, they better be good ones, right?
The first commercial, Why? debuted at the Oscars on Sunday and shows a number of celebrities and people asking why can't their phones have a specific feature. Among them is Wesley Snipes who wants to store all of his movies, Lil' Wayne who'd rather seem reckless pouring champagne on his phone but know it'll survive, James Harden who's grumpy for his late cameo appearance in the video, Doc Rivers who only cares about pick and roll defense, and finally William H.
Android's ads for the past several months have highlighted the diversity within the ecosystem as a whole, extending into the diversity between users as well. In fact, Android's de facto slogan is now "Be together. Not the same," implying that the platform benefits more from the collective differences between its users, devices, and manufacturers than the plain, boring homogeneity of other mobile operating systems.
Android's latest ad highlights how different people can have complementing strengths by telling the story of White Sheet of Paper, the new kid at school that's having a hard time fitting in. Yellow Sheet of Paper, the local school bully, takes a disliking to our protagonist and decides to beat him up with the help of his two goons, Pink Sheet and Failed Exam with Coffee Stains.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a Monument Valley-style puzzle game, a two-player board game, a cyberpunk point-and-click adventure, two stylized "retro" games, a Risk-style strategy title, and a SHIELD-only extreme sports sequel. Without further ado:
Evo Explores is a puzzle game by way of MC Escher.
Google's "Monotune" Android commercial is pretty cool. The musical analogy is interesting (and it ties in well with Google's "be together, not the same" marketing campaign), but there's an impressive technical aspect to it as well. The producers modified a grand piano so that all 88 keys were turned to middle C, so that pianist Ji-Yong Kim could really play the music using a single note. As cool as that commercial is, they might have taken things a bit too far with the latest promotion: an entire album of music played with that one-note piano.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's show: Our MWC special! Galaxy S7, LG G5, Xperia X series, Xiaomi Mi 5, and more - it's all here. Strap in for all the new phone news you can handle.