Google hyped up Android One, its initiative to get Android-powered phones into the hands of more people in the developing world, back at Google I/O. They made good on their promises today in India, launching new phones in partnership with local hardware vendors Spice, Micromax, and Karbonn. The first three Android One phones are available today starting at Rs. 6299 ($103 USD at current currency rates) without a contract at major online Indian retailers. More countries, as well as more hardware partners, are planned for future rollouts.
The three original Android One devices are the Dream UNO Mo-498 from Spice for Rs.
Samsung, I get it: you are not Apple, and you like making fun of Apple. But in its latest slew of iAds, Samsung basically throws any semblance of taste and humor out the window to make fun of Apple mostly for the sake of doing it. Behold.
In this ad we see Samsung making fun of the fact that Apple's livestream of the iPhone 6 event sucked. It did - it was terrible. Like, as bad as Samsung's Wi-Fi at a press conference terrible. Ever been to a Samsung press conference? They hand out a Wi-Fi password with, I believe, the sole purpose of stopping people asking if there's a Wi-Fi network.
It's been said that you can never be too young, too skinny, or too rich. A similar aphorism for smartphones might be, "they can never be too fast, too hi-res, or have too long a battery life." The user in search of longer untethered battery life has a few options including external packs or extended batteries for phones that support them. And today, Galaxy S5 owners get a new option in the form of Mophie's $99.95 Juice Pack.
Recent expatriates from the Nation of iPhone might be more familiar with the Juice Pack design than most Android users, who might prefer removable batteries.
T-Mobile doesn't have the most expansive network, so while it's doing its part to rapidly roll out LTE to many of the country's largest markets, it's also coming up with other ways to fill in the gaps where its connection is weak. Today the company made a series of Un-Carrier 7.0 announcements that all concern using Wi-Fi to make calls or send texts, even from 30,000 feet (texting and voicemail only). They're calling their plan "Wi-Fi Unleashed."
For starters, the company is now enabling Wi-Fi calling and texting on nearly every smartphone it sells to Simple Choice customers (Nexus devices not included, since they don't come with carrier modifications).
Dear Egyptian readers: yes, we know you're out there. We're sorry to report that Google Street View still isn't available for the vast majority of your country. And while you'd surely prefer Street View in Cairo or Alexandria for the sake of convenience, at least Google has made a small stop in Egypt... at the place where all the other Americans go first, the Giza Necropolis. Street View is now available in and around the pyramid complex.
Google has taken its trademark Street View rigs around the Great Pyramid, the Pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, the Great Sphinx, and the various smaller pyramids, tombs, and monuments that still stand in the area.
Autodesk's mobile offerings for Android are almost always impressive or useful, often both. From SketchBook to Pixlr Express, the company has consistently provided Android users with great apps. Today, there's a new entry in Autodesk's catalog that lives up to that reputation - 123D Catch. In a nutshell, the app lets users create 3D models of real objects using just their smartphone camera.
To get started, the app suggests capturing 20-40 photos all around your chosen object, most at even level with the object, plus some from a top angle. The capture interface gives a handy ring guide to let you know how completely you've captured the object, and once you hit the check mark, the app will ask you to sign in in order to put together and share the finished model.
So, last week was IFA. Since there was all sorts of crazy device announcements and whatnot happening, we didn't have a ton of time to cover app updates. No fear, we still had eyes on everything that was happening on the Play Store (or at least most). Among those things was a Flickr update.
This bumps the app up to 3.1.2 and brings some new stuff. Since "stuff" is pretty vague, here's a more detailed list:
Search your photos, albums, groups, and people you follow.
Edit your cover photo on phone, and edit description, website, cover photo on tablet.
The HTC Desire 820 is all about appealing to specification geeks, there really isn't any point in hiding it. Android's first 64-bit, octa-core chipset (Snapdragon 615), a 13MP camera, an 8MP selfie camera, and a big 5.5" screen. This is a phone for the hardware geek on a budget, and budget it is: the 820 will retail in Europe for just 329 Euros.
We had the opportunity to sit down with the 820 at IFA, and while the numbers are big, the phone still feels well-within its price bracket. The plastic, shiny casing of the 820 definitely doesn't evoke much "premium" sentiment, if anything it's a bit cheap to the touch, reminding me that this is, indeed, a phone built to a price.
The LG G3 Stylus is, frankly, LG's attempt to hit Samsung below the [pricing] belt for consumers in the market for a Note 4. The G3 Stylus, though, is a hell of lot cheaper, and for good reason: it's not a very impressive device. With a 5.5" qHD display and a quad-core Snapdragon 400 paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, the G3 Stylus panders shamelessly to a price point, down to the capacitive rubber-tipped stylus that feels supremely disposable.
Who would consider this device? Someone who really, really wants a big, cheap phone with a mediocre stylus that goes in a slot, I guess.
Lenovo is an up-and-coming player in the Android world, having taken the Chinese smartphone market by storm in the last couple of years. Now that it owns Motorola, we'll likely be hearing the Lenovo name even more often over here in the US as the company seeks to expand the presence of its Android portfolio across the world.
This is probably especially true of tablets, which Lenovo has consistently been creating for a number of years now, and an area where Motorola has generally fallen flat. The Tab S8 is Lenovo's latest slate to run Android, and on paper it's a pretty beastly piece of kit.