Smartwatches are easily the hottest new form factor in tech in the last year or so, and considering we're already on generation two (OK, maybe more like 1.5) of Android Wear hardware, you'd think smartwatches were pretty much a sure thing. Everybody's going to wear one, there's going to be a gigantic 3rd party app ecosystem, and it's going to be just like the smartphone boom years! Smartwatches will be indispensible to our daily lives.
Except, well, there are lots of good reasons to not believe that. Smartwatches have so far presented a pretty lame value proposition - doing little more than the smartphones they're connected to, while costing nearly as much (or a lot more).
Google has been testing lots of tweaks for its mobile search engine results page lately. We've seen colored underlines on results cards and a rather pleasing new layout for the search bar and associated tools, and now a few users are reporting something a little strange - colored dots. We've received multiple reports of search result cards with four dots (colored with Google's signature blue, green, yellow, and red) in the lower right corner.
The colored dots, if you're wondering, didn't seem to do anything when tapped for our original tipsters, but reader Ali notes below that the dots do seem to work just like tapping on the card's URL.
One of the more persistent and frustrating issues with the OnePlus One has been its touchscreen, which saw a spat of problemsandfirmware fixes late last year. A software update in November seemed to have fixed the glitches, but in the last few weeks dozens of users on the official OnePlus forums have reported a resurgence of touchscreen issues. Perhaps it has something to do with the new Android updates, perhaps it's because of the rising temperatures as spring hits the northern hemisphere. Whatever the cause, OnePlus One owners are steamed.
You can see a typical example of the problem in the video below, uploaded to YouTube two weeks ago.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here. As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
This week's show features an overview of new Android Wear 5.1 features, Android 5.1 OTA news, I/O rumors including Android "M," a review of the Watch Urbane, and some general lamenting about Lollipop.
Mizuu is a popular app for managing local media files, particularly movies and television shows. While it isn't a player, it still has attracted many fans for its ability to index and retrieve useful metadata by checking videos against a third-party database and presenting the library in a visually attractive way. In spite of that popularity, its lone developer has announced via a blog post that he will be removing Mizuu from the Play Store and ceasing support and updates for the app.
Reasons for doing this are various, but can be summarized as a loss of interest driven partially by health issues.
At long last, Nintendo is loosening the reins on its intellectual property and developing games for devices that don't bear the company brand. Yesterday in the yearly financial results briefing, the video game giant outlined plans for bringing five games to mobile platforms by March of 2017, with the first title available by the end of this year.
This is great news for fans of Nintendo's many storied game franchises, and the news gets even better. Rather than making a hasty port of existing titles that may not be well adapted to touchscreen controls, the company plans on building the new games from the ground up to ensure that every title is a hit.
If you're looking forward to the next Terminator game, get in line – literally. The Play Store now allows customers to Pre-register for certain apps and games. The first title to receive this honor is Terminator Genisys: Revolution by Glu Mobile. No price or release date is listed on the app page, but the game will probably become available around the same time as the movie, which hits theaters on July 1st.
First seen in a teardown of the Play Store, Google is now allowing select publishers to put their apps and games for "pre-registration" before they are ready for sale.
Android Wear is designed to make sense for a tiny screen that's going to be on your wrist. Everything is handled with large buttons, swipes, and gestures. Macintosh System 6, on the other hand, has tiny buttons and requires a mouse. You'd never really want to run it on a smartwatch, but you can. Corbin Davenport is here to prove it.
Google's search engine first attracted users because it was a fast and useful way to find the information. The faster you send users away, the faster they come back, the thinking went. These days Google has no shortage of services to keep us from ever leaving its servers. But some new features keep that original vibe of Google-y awesomeness. This latest addition to Search is one such feature.
Now when you search for a local restaurant, Google will show the option to place an order. Hitting this button will ask for your preferred delivery service and then pull up the appropriate website.
This feature is only available in the US, and for now it's limited to six partners: BeyondMenu, Delivery.com, Eat24, Grubhub, MyPizza.com, and Seamless.
Last Wednesday Google updated Play Music to version 5.9. We tore into it as we are wont to do, but we found nothing in the way of user-facing changes (though we did see code that hints at a future way to handle when two or more devices try to use the same Chromecast at once). Google has pushed out two other 5.9 updates since then, and now we have a changelog.
What Was New
According to Google, this update fixed an issue where users couldn't play downloaded music after switching into airplane modedownloaded music wouldn't play until after switching to airplane mode (edit: thanks, BillyGardiner).