Yesterday, we finally decided to get to the bottom of Google Keep's new font, Roboto Slab. Shortly before that, however, we had an internal discussion about Keep's strange UI/UX. The app is beautiful – there's no denying that – but weird when considered alongside Google's other in-house apps. What's more, I'm of the opinion that the app isn't just a one-off in terms of design – I think that Keep, along with a few other hints, could give us some insight into what we'll see in the next version of Android (which we might see in May at Google I/O).
Yesterday, T-Mobile officially announced its new "UNcarrier" plans to much fanfare and profanity. The idea is simple: you pay one price for your service, and a separate price for your device. You can either choose to pay the full cost of your phone up front, or pay a deposit at first and then a monthly fee after that.
"But wait," the entire tech world cried, "That monthly fee is still a contract, right?
Did you hear about Google's sweet new app called Keep? After five years of Android existing without a basic note-taking app like iOS had for forever, Google finally got around to creating its own. Oh, and it even added a to-do list and picture uploading and voice memos and-wait, what's that? You don't want to use it because Google Reader closed? I'm not sure I follow.
I'm an open-minded kind of guy, though.
A little over two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal published a juicy story about a technology love triangle gone sour, between Samsung, Google, and Motorola. That story, as most things published at the Journal about Android or Apple do, immediately caught fire. Is Samsung plotting to break away from a Google-approved Android? Is Google actually scared of Samsung's ginormous market share? It's the sort of backstabby drama that everyone in the tech news industry would love to see unfold.
We've mentioned a couple of times on this site that when it comes to the battle of HTC versus Samsung, advertising is of paramount importance. Why? Because people who don't read blogs with names like 'Gizmondo,' 'Android Cops,' or 'The Precipice' have no idea what makes the Galaxy S IV better than the HTC One or vice versa. In fact, more often than not, the average Joe looking to buy a new item in a field he has no expertise in has just one question: what's a good brand?
I'm going to be up front: I want Glass. I'm thoroughly intrigued with the idea, I love the possibility of having an always-available camera that sees whatever I see, and completely hands-free Google sounds like a perfectly natural progression of the things like Google Now and voice actions. In the world where personal digital assistants seem commonplace, why should we not expect those things to be always accessible and visible?
Well, apparently there are a lot of reasons.
Yesterday, Google did what Google does best: announce a first version of something that is completely ridiculous, very few people care about, most folks mocked, and that will ultimately end up forgotten in the annals of internet history. No offense, Goog. Some later products are spectacular, but let's be real. Very rarely does Google get it right on the first try.
However, the Chromebook Pixel is still a huge deal and the savvy analyst should take notice, because things just changed in a big way.
In October of 2012, the Library of Congress elected not to renew DMCA exemptions that explicitly allow end users to unlock their cell phones at will, thus ending a six year tradition. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. The quest to do something about it began almost immediately. And by "almost immediately" I mean "nearly three months later and at almost the very last minute."
Still, regardless of when the outrage gained steam, the fact is it did.
Since my introduction to Android (a la Nexus One), I've owned three HTC devices. I've reviewed probably a half-dozen others. I liked some of them, and I disliked others. But generally, I consider myself an HTC fan, especially since the One X.
The new One phone sounds brilliant. Ron's early impressions are promising. The initial response at large seems to be that HTC is finally being bold in a way that's causing people to take notice, by taking risks.
Look, Gamevil, we need to talk. You folks have been doing some fine work in the mobile gaming world, you really have. Zenonia, Baseball Superstars, Colosseum, well-made titles all. And I'm sure plenty of cash-strapped gamers appreciate that the vast majority of your games can be played for free. But in the last few months, you've become the poster child of everything that's wrong with mobile gaming.
Case in point: your brand new entry in the much-loved Cartoon Wars series.