I know, US only polls do exclude a lot of our most loyal followers, but today's poll is about taking a head count in a turbulent time for the US wireless industry. Dan Hesse was just ousted as CEO of Sprint, and the carrier's parent company SoftBank has allegedly ended its plans for a takeover-merger of competitor T-Mobile. T-Mobile is also poised to surpass Sprint as America's #3 wireless carrier by postpaid subscribers, with CEO John Legere predicting it will happen before the year is out.
To the excitement of many, Google has finally made the Google Now Launcher available for all Android devices running Android 4.1 or later.
The GNL is what Google thinks your Android device should look like, in a basic sense. A dedicated Google Now homescreen pane, a permanent Google Search shortcut at the top of every screen, and a very bare-bones app drawer. It's simple, fast, and Google-y. What's interesting is that, despite some degree of love for the GNL in the wider Android community, it's really not an enthusiast's launcher at all.
We've come to have reason to believe that Motorola and possibly Google are working on a 5.9" phone codenamed Shamu. That's about all we know. We know it showed up in Google's issue tracker, and that the issue was created by a known testing company who check prerelease hardware for just this sort of thing. We know the device is running a Google-built kernel and that this points to a Nexus or, at least, something Nexus-like.
On Friday, the proverbial whole kit and caboodle of NVIDIA Shield Tablet information leaked to the public ahead of the device's seemingly imminent announcement. It goes on sale, allegedly, in less than two weeks, and will cost $299 or $399, depending on which storage model and connectivity (Wi-Fi 16GB, LTE 32GB) you want.
It's also the first widely-available device to be released with NVIDIA's Tegra K1 chip, albeit a quad-core A15 CPU and not the upcoming Denver 64-bit dual-core architecture, and that's kind of exciting.
About two years ago, we asked you the same question we're asking today. But two years ago is a long, long time in Android terms. A lot has changed in that time, and there are substantially more software keyboards to choose from (respectable ones, at least) than there were then. At least, I think so.
SwiftKey is likely still the most popular third-party keyboard on Android, that much we can probably assume, but I have to wonder: how much headway have Google, Swype, GO, Fleksy, and others made in the last two years?
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.