In Late 2014, Google - along with Adidas, Polar, and Withings - opened a Google Fit developer challenge, hoping to get more apps into Google's burgeoning fitness ecosystem.
Today, the winners of that challenge have been announced. The twelve grand prize winners will get special promotion in the Play Store, greatly increasing their visibility to potential users. Additionally, winners (grand prize and runners up) will receive the X_CELL and SPEED_CELL from Adidas, an unspecified "new" Android Wear device, a Loop activity tracker from Polar, and a Smart Body Analyzer from Withings. Read More
The Chromecast is cheap. But even when something only costs $35, it's still nice to be able to cut that price in half. Okay, Groupon's offer isn't actually 50% off, but it's close. For the next five days (or until supplies run out), you can get a Chromecast for just $20.
These are refurbished units, but in the case of Google's streaming stick, that really doesn't matter. Even if it's scratched, it's going in the back of a TV where you will never see it again. Read More
Google hasn't exactly had a spotless track record when it comes to official Nexus accessories. Accessories have been teased or shown off only to arrive months later or not at all (remember that Nexus 10 dock?). Read More
Update Wednesdays are always exciting, but particularly so when Google releases a new app. Today, Google has hit "publish" on Google Handwriting Input, a new keyboard option that - as the name implies - allows users to type by handwriting text in 82 languages.
Google says the app supports print and cursive, written with or without a stylus. If you draw a smiley face, Handwriting Input will even suggest emojis.
Of course the input method is styled to resemble Google's other input methods, using the same light grey and teal (or dark blue-grey and teal if you choose the dark theme) colors found in Google's main Keyboard app. Read More
Google often makes small improvements to the Play Store without any announcements or fanfare, and this appears to be happening with the latest update to the mobile Play Store search engine. Some (but certainly not all) users are seeing quick links to category pages when they make relevant searches on Android, complete with easy-to-spot icons right in the drop-down field. The icons are showing up both for straight searches and for popular related apps.
The Play Store search has had integration with categories for a while now, so expect the interface tweak to appear for you sometime in the next few weeks. Read More
If there's one market I've seen change dramatically over the last three years or so, it has to be the portable speaker scene. It went from being a category with a few mostly niche products that you had to convince yourself to spend a couple hundred bucks on to something pretty incredible - there's easily something for every type of person, lifestyle, and budget on the market right now. And really, it keeps getting better. More features, better sound quality, improved portability, and increased battery life are all things that we continuously see these days.
While we've looked at waterproof (or completely submersible) speakers in the past, the Nyne Aqua stands apart from the crowd with one very unique feature: it's not only waterproof, but it also floats. Read More
OnePlus fans have been waiting for the smartphone maker to announce a follow-up to its sole device. In a report this week, Bloomberg briefly mentioned that Carl Pei's company intends to release a successor in the third quarter of this year. But that phone won't be alone. OnePlus plans to launch a cheaper alternative as well.
We've confirmed this information, so while we don't know any specifics, we can say that shoppers won't have just the OnePlus Two to pick from this year.
OnePlus sold over a million smartphones in 2014, and it plans to move between 3 and 5 million this year. Read More
Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, which has quietly become the third-largest on the planet, has a new flagship to show off. Two of them, in fact: the 5.2-inch Huawei P8 and the absolutely enormous 6.8-inch P8max. Both have been announced for a launch in "more than 30 countries," including China, Columbia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, UAE, and the United Kingdom. As usual, Huawei doesn't seem interested in selling its high-end offerings in the United States. Read More
Samsung has been experimenting with curved AMOLEDs for a long time, but only recently has it tried convincing consumers to actually buy them. It tried the Galaxy Round, and that was a failure. Then the Note Edge came out, and it was a little better. Now Korean news is reporting that the Galaxy S6 Edge with its dual-edge display is a certifiable hit, making up half of all Galaxy S6 sales.