Google I/O was pretty amazing this year, right? We got the deets on Material design, a preview version of Android L, the formal release of Android Wear, the first manifestations of Android TV and Android Auto, and plenty of other bits and pieces. However, all of that content and all of those developer sessions can take forever to absorb, and professional developers just don't have time for that. Now that all of the videos have been posted, I've combed through every last one to narrow the list down to just the sessions that absolutely can't be missed.
While some of us doubtless ignored the iOS 8 hubbub this morning, it's safe to say that Apple's WWDC remains probably the closest-watched developer event in the industry, and likely has since the original iPhone made its debut way back in 2007. The WWDC keynote is where we see the world's most valuable consumer electronics company display how consumers and developers alike will interact with its new [usually software] products. It's a highly visual, buzzword-laden ritual that even many of the most ardent anti-Apple find themselves at least half paying attention to in the background, either on social media, blogs, or live video stream.
In recent years, Google hasn’t exactly been known as particularly hospitable toward SD cards with regard to its Android operating system. This theme is most often associated with the Nexus line of devices - the Nexus One was the only such handset to ever offer expandable storage. But despite arguments from Dan Morrill and Matias Duarte suggesting this stance is about keeping the Android interface simple and file picker-free, people still want more space.
There comes a time in every major tech corporation's life when it has to let its previously-acquired but only tangentially-related asset go as part of a complex transaction with a multinational electronics firm. For Google, that time came today, when it announced that it would sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.
I, too, feel your pain. The idea of a Google-run phone manufacturer was, to me, a kind of techno-nirvana.
Netflix now covers the first 5GB of mobile app streaming for AT&T customers at no cost to you.
Beats Music: no data charge, no worries - only on AT&T.
Amazon Prime Members now get free Instant Video streaming on AT&T.
When put in the right light - that is, the light AT&T wants you to see it in - the company's new "Sponsored Data" program doesn't sound all that bad. In fact, it actually sounds pretty good, in theory.
Yesterday, the CTIA (America's wireless carrier consortium / trade group) and the FCC announced that they'd come to an agreement on network unlocking of cell phones. Hooray! So, we're all getting unlocked phones from here on out, right? Obviously not - the CTIA has no interest in giving you that much freedom, so instead it's released a plodding, incremental evolution of most carriers' existing device unlock policies to satisfy people in Washington who apparently don't really understand the absurdity of network locking in the first place.
As it's getting close to Nexus season, the rumors about Google's next phone are really starting to pile up. As are the leaks. And at this point, it can be really fun to hop on the speculation express to conclusion town. Dare I say, it's understandable. Even "Nexus 5" - a name that has been confirmed (even circumstantially) exactly zero times - seems to be such a concrete fact now that you'd have to be a moron not to believe that's what the next Nexus is going to be called, right?
If you're a dedicated follower of tech news, you've probably heard the big story from late last night: Microsoft is buying Nokia. Holy cow, Redmond has an end-to-end distribution model! This could finally make Windows Phone a competitor! The phone and tablet market is getting its first major shakeup since the rise of Android!
Well, yes, and then again no. While it's true that the upcoming acquisition is a huge deal for Microsoft, and an even bigger deal for Nokia and anyone who's invested in the company (either in a monetary sense or as a customer), I can't see it having a huge impact on Android.
Android devices are getting more powerful by the month. In just a short period of time, mobile gamers are no longer content to fill their time with ports of desktop flash games, or even decade-old Grand Theft Auto titles, and have come to expect 3D spin-offs that look somewhat convincingly like their PC equivalents. This is great, but there's a catch - it won't come free. If gamers want better games to come to mobile platforms, they're going to have to stop their moaning and buy the games as they come out.
Late last night, AT&T began promoting its new "Next" smartphone upgrade plan in earnest. And earlier yesterday, a leaked training document revealed Verizon's "Edge" upgrade plan. Both are very obvious four-letter copies of T-Mobile's new Jump plan. Let me give you the breakdown on these Jump competitors as quickly as I can.
AT&T will allow you to finance (0% interest, no down payment, no finance charges) a phone for 20 months, pay it off monthly, and after 12 months of payments, will let you trade it in and start financing a new phone, and remaining payments on the old phone will be forgiven.