Microsoft's Translator isn't the first service to attempt to confront Google in the translation game, but it may be one of the first to pose a real challenge to Google Translate. Out of the gate, the app has an Android Wear component, a sorely missed feature in its competitor, and even though Translator does seem quite simplistic and limited, it has most of the basic features covered to warrant a more thorough comparison against Translate.
A different approach
While many of Microsoft's recent apps have adopted Material Design in their interface, Translator is more subtle about it. Both the welcome and the translation screens' blurry background and iconography are modern but not exactly Material.
Google's Deep Dream program is a method for computers to analyze and recognize images with an artificial neural network. When visualized, its effects range from strangely appealing to completely terrifying (at least to our boring human eyes). Google showed off a visual version of some of its processing tools last month, then opened up the source code for developers. At least one or two of them probably got really excited and incorporated the code into new and interesting projects. The rest proceeded to use Deep Dream to turn Gawker and Buzzfeed into an extended LSD trip for about a week.
Google and the various major Android device vendors and carriers are scrambling to patch the recently-discovered Stagefright exploit, a weakness in Android's multimedia processing that can allow remote access via a simple MMS message. Google has already begun patching Nexus devices, and Samsung is working its way through its extensive product range starting with flagships. Yesterday Motorola released its plans to update its phones.
So which devices will get the fix? Basically everything Motorola has made since 2013, including carrier variants and DROID models for Verizon in the US. Here's the full list:
Moto X Style (patched from launch)
Moto X Play (patched from launch)
Moto X (1st Gen, 2nd Gen)
Moto X Pro
Moto G (1st Gen, 2nd Gen, 3rd Gen)
Moto G with 4G LTE (1st Gen, 2nd Gen)
Moto E (1st Gen, 2nd Gen)
Moto E with 4G LTE (2nd Gen)
Some third-gen Moto G phones (released late last month) have been patched from launch, but others will need an over-the-air update.
You can never have too much battery power. Actually that's not true - strapping a Duralast to your back via some kind of shoulder rig so that you can play Crossy Road for 200 hours straight might be considered overkill. But any external battery that you can shove in your pocket for a long day of travel is a good one. If you're in the market, an Amazon vendor is offering a 16000mAh model (big enough for 4-5 charges of a current flagship) for just $23.99.
You'll need to use a coupon to get this discount (which also means that it's probably limited to the US version of Amazon).
NVIDIA's GRID gaming service, which streams high-end PC games to the company's Android-powered hardware at extremely low latency, has been promoted as one of its best exclusive features. Unfortunately, NVIDIA seems to be having a lot of trouble getting over the last few hurdles to actually launch the thing. GRID has been in beta since late 2013, and was scheduled to launch its paid service in July as of the SHIELD Android TV announcement. Now it looks like the full launch has been pushed back again.
Competition in Android smartphones is better now than it's ever been, and not just in the flagship segment. With devices like the Moto G, the ZenFone 2, and various Blu designs, the mid-range is heating up with phones that are jam-packed with value. But how about the low-end, entry phone segment? For those people who just want a device that runs a few apps, plays a nice round of Threes, and maybe browse for some sports scores? Before a few years ago, they were limited to whatever bottom-of-the-line, low-margin phones Samsung and LG would spare.
Ah, the 90s, when computers were only good for Word Perfect, Minesweeper, and whatever "edutainment" software the school had budgeted for this year. One of the standouts among some pretty decent educational games was Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, a series of puzzles centering around the titular tiny Smurf-like critters. If you have fond memories of that game, or later entries in the series, mosey on over to the Play Store. A new and updated version is now available for download.
Right now we're hearing about off-season trades and commitments for pro sports like the NFL, NBA, and NHL. A similar phenomenon has happened in the somewhat smaller world of Twitter clients for Android. Joaquim Vergès, the well-known developer of the Falcon Pro Twitter client, has been hired by Twitter itself. According to a series of tweets posted Friday afternoon, Vergès says that he's been hired specifically to work with the "Android core UI team."
Guys, big news. It’s finally official. I'm joining the @Twitter Android core UI team!
Falcon Pro has won fans for being a full-featured Android client that outshines the first-party app in basically every respect, from interface to performance, even to supporting the built-in features of the Twitter platform itself.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a super-realistic flight simulator, a super-unrealistic duck simulator, another Q*bert-style climber, an Adventure Time rhythm game, and an action-RPG from Ubisoft. Without further ado:
Avion Flight Simulator ™ 2015
You wouldn't think that many developers would be champing at the bit to do a realistic flight simulator on a mobile platform, but it's slowly becoming an established niche on Android.
Verizon has begun rolling out an update for the Galaxy Note Edge that should address the vulnerability in Stagefright, one of Android's media libraries, that could potentially compromise a user's device. This is the first Stagefright-related fix we're aware of Verizon rolling out.
Of course, the changelog doesn't specifically mention Stagefright... but it's really obvious that's what it's for, given the timing of the update and terseness of the document. You can probably expect a slew of Samsung Stagefright fixes (as well as other OEMs, of course) on Verizon to follow, if this is any sign.