This year at MWC, there's little in the way of room for the notion that Samsung failed to deliver on the hype. The Galaxy S6 is the most dramatic redesign the Galaxy S has ever seen, and is more Samsung than ever before. Down to the NAND storage and Exynos chipset, the S6 takes Samsung's larger corporate vision of vertical integration seriously, and that should have Samsung's competitors on edge (no pun intended).
To start, the physical hardware simply seems superb. Even the relatively early units we played with had outstanding fit and finish, and I don't mean that in the forgiving sense we typically are forced to provide Android handsets because of the median build quality in the industry.
I don't know that I've ever needed a pizza urgently enough that I couldn't spare the time to reach a phone or computer, but should you ever encounter this sort of red alert pizza emergency, Domino's has you covered. The Domino's app now supports ordering and tracking orders from Android Wear and Pebble.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was a sweet frozen treat when it came out in 2011, but now something else is freezing—Chrome for ICS. Google has announced that Chrome v42 will be the final build available on Android 4.0. It's a sad day for any remaining ICS users... well, more sad than a regular day of being stuck on ICS already is.
Aiming for more than getting you from point A to point B, app Waze will now do its part to help save lives. Starting today, the social navigation app will dish out AMBER alerts distributed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Not all of Uber's passengers are childless 20-somethings looking to stay out late with friends. Some riders have children, and it helps everyone involved if those kids have something to keep them busy. So Uber and Fuhu have come up with a way to keep to do precisely that.
The uberFAMILY service, available first in DC, will equip cars with Fuhu's nabi tablets. In addition to apps, children will be able to take advantage of subscriptions containing both entertaining and educational content.
Everything, from the custom interface to the content, is catered to younger folks. So these are not the most exciting tablets out there, and there's no reason for parents to dawdle on devices if the kids aren't interested.
We are, at this point, familiar with fake apps in the Play Store—they pop up from time to time, but Google swiftly eliminates them. It seems like for all its efforts in cleaning up the Play Store, Google has a blind spot when it comes to books. There are multiple publisher accounts in Google Play Books that claim to offer cracked APKs for a dollar or two, and people are buying them. Instead of getting a cheap game, all people are getting is disappointment and malware.
Google just announced all of the great new APIs developers would be able to play with from the Google Play services, and now we've got some apks to check out. As usual, there aren't a lot of user-facing features in the GMS package, so don't expect to see any huge changes immediately after installation. However, there are at least a couple of interesting bits and pieces that stand out in a side-by-side comparison.
The only immediately obvious difference (that actually does something) is a relocation of the security code generator. This is a simple little tool Google occasionally uses for creating verification codes for emergency authorizations.
The Klinker brothers have hit today in the face with a one-two punch. First, they've brought Source out of beta, where it's been for several months. This material-y app gives users a way to consume news from a variety of sources, including Feedly, RSS feeds, and Twitter lists.
Fans of Klinker Apps will find that theming options are present here like in the development team's other apps, and careful attention has been paid to making sure that everything looks nice. There's also Android Wear support.
Barnes & Noble lets you access your books on Nook and general Android devices alike, but the latter has come with an interface that hasn't been spruced up in years. Today Barnes & Noble announced that this situation is finally changing. The company is releasing Nook 4.0, bringing over the slick interface that has been around since the company started partnering with Samsung to produce the latest line of Nook tablets.
BitTorrent Sync is the cloud storage solution for people who don't like clouds, those who rather keep their files saved locally without giving up the convenience of accessing data from their desktops and mobile phones alike. Today's a big day for the service, the launch of version 2.0 and a pro tier worth $39.99 a year.
A pro account lets users maintain access to files on devices where the data isn't saved. Instead of downloading the full contents of a folder, you store placeholders that load on-demand (white folders in the image on the left below). This is especially useful for mobile users whose 32GB Android phones can't possibly handle all of the songs and videos stored on their 2TB NAS (speaking of which, Sync 2.0addsexpands support for network-attached storage devices, increasing the number of boxes the service can run on).