This weekend's question is an easy one: did you put down your cash for one of the newly-available Android Wear devices, the Samsung Gear Live or the LG G Watch? Both devices are available on Google Play in a handful of countries around the world right now, and are priced to compete. The G Watch comes in around 10% pricier than the Gear Live, though it has a larger battery than its Samsung counterpart.
Yesterday, we dropped a leaked image and render of Volantis, an alleged upcoming Nexus tablet built by HTC. We also dropped specification info and pricing - and that's really what this weekend's poll is about.
This new Nexus tablet isn't messing around - it will sport an NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-bit processor utilizing the company's proprietary Denver CPU core, a very powerful desktop-architecture GPU, 2GB of RAM, an 8.9" display with 2048x1440 resolution (that's 4:3 aspect ratio), aluminum construction, and will likely launch with one of the biggest Android releases (the "L" release) to date.
LG's G3 has a lot of pixels. Like, a lot a lot. 534 of them per inch, if you want to get precise. How sharp is it? It's pretty damn sharp.
Yes, this actually is the G3's screen. Wowzers.
But is there any practical, even technical, reason to keep pushing on the pixel density front in smartphones? Or will QHD finally be our stopping point? Should 1080p have been? Do you care?
As we near the end of spring, so too nears the end of the mainstream release cycle for four of the biggest Android OEMs on the planet. Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony all have competitive flagship devices on the market now, and none of them clearly edges out the others in a holistic sense. They're all very good smartphones in an extremely competitive product category.
Not pictured: Xperia Z2, because I don't have one to picture.
Over the past week, Google's exposed a handful of new and useful voice-activated features on the Now app for Android. Whether it be figuring out information about your booked car rentals, setting reminders, or finally handling timer queries properly, Google really seems to want you to talk to your phone more. Our question today, though, is just how much do you talk to your phone or tablet?
Now, this a kind of hard question to answer scientifically, I know.
Earlier this week, Google rolled out a Play Store update and announced support for billing via PayPal on the Play Store. While the list of initial countries supported is relatively small compared to the overall number of countries with access to paid content on the store, it seems inevitable that this list will grow as time goes on.
In many countries, consumers have limited access to credit cards, and Google Play gift cards are either unavailable or inconvenient as an alternative.
Yesterday, we shared detailed mockups of what we believe to be a UI in testing that will likely come alongside a new release of Android. This UI basically seems to be a replacement for the existing Google Experience Launcher - and it is differenty. As we all know, change tends to spark controversy, and this story sparked like a Fox body Mustang riding on rims down the highway at 60MPH full of illegal fireworks and cheap power strips.
A growing number of sources are corroborating our initial report on a project known as Android Silver - a premium retail and branding effort orchestrated by Google to encourage manufacturers and consumers alike to get on board with handsets certified by Google as meeting certain criteria.
We know, for example, that one of the goals of this program is pinning down the Android software experience: Silver devices would be required to run the latest version of Android with little to no modification of the software experience (a la Motorola, for example).
With more and more smartphones featuring water resistance as standard, particularly Samsung's Galaxy S5, it seems like weatherproofing may be on the uptrend in the smartphone world. It's easy to see why - countless phones are lost to moisture-related incidents, whether it be a pool, toilet, or washing machine. Building phones designed to withstand the elements only makes sense, as nearly ever-present companions in our daily lives, our phones are bound to end up exposed to some less than electronic-friendly conditions during their lifetime.
It's the Googliest time of the year again - I/O is on the horizon. Registration closed as of yesterday (Friday), and I/O 2014 brought a whole new system in to deal with the demand for tickets: a lottery.
While it may seem a bit odd to some to have to be randomly selected for the right to spend $900 (or $300 for students / faculty) to go to a developer (and designer!) conference, Google I/O registration has sold out in minutes in previous years - even after Google has raised the cost of attendance substantially.