Sometimes, getting companies to admit what we all know is a huge game of cat and mouse. We all know, for example, that Motorola was still making phones before Google bought the company and still has to release some of those phones. We can also guess, based on the most recent Googorola announcements, that the hardware is good, but not really up to the standards we have come to expect from, say, the Nexus line. Well, in a stunning display of candor, Google's CFO agrees.
During a session at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, the Chief Financial Officer for the software giant said that the products that Motorola is currently working on "aren't 'wow' by Google standards." That's not just speaking about past devices (which companies are typically more willing to be honest about).
There was one black spot on our mostly favorable review of the Pebble smartwatch: the music control app just didn't work on some phones. As stated in the review, that's probably got more to do with the phone in question than Pebble's software, since it worked just fine on two separate Nexus devices. Even so, the people at Pebble have been listening, and the latest update to the official app includes a music player selection feature. It will scan your device for music apps and let you choose which one your watch will default to.
After trying out the update on my DROID RAZR M (which, again, would only display track information on the Pebble and not control it) the Music app on the Pebble works great.
Speaking two (or more) languages is cool. Typing in two or more character sets is decidedly less cool. Bilingual speakers who know, say, English and Spanish can have an easy enough time typing since they share a (mostly) common Latin alphabet. However, English/Hindi speakers may have a harder time bouncing between scripts because they use entirely different character sets. Enter Google.
In addition to providing a regular Hindi keyboard (below, right) which takes up multiple pages of letters, this app also offers a transliteration keyboard. For the layman, transliteration involves converting text from one character set to another, though not actually translating the words themselves.
In our lifetime, there have been many great battles. Mario vs. Bowser. Vampires vs. Werewolves. Jason vs. Teenagers. Tyler Durden vs. Himself.
While those may be the tales that define this era, there is one that lays alone in the shadows, covered in blood, and with a dedication to violence: Alien vs. Predator. And now you can define the outcome with Fox Digital's new game, AVP: Evolution.
The Aliens, extra terrestrial beasts with a bloodlust only surpassed by their agility and speed, have been taken as slaves by the fearsome and technologically brutal Super Predators. The thing is, the Aliens are pretty pissed about it, because they don't like being enslaved.
"Updates for everyone!" she said, as the improvements seemingly fell from the sky. Suddenly, she realized the updates weren't actually for everyone, but rather Google's Field Trip app, as well as Play Books. While she was embarrassed at her initial mistake, no one actually appeared to notice as they all stared silently at their digital devices, exploring the new goodies bestowed upon them.
That's a small excerpt from a wonderful story about a girl and a pair of Google apps, which is ironically very appropriate for today, because both of those apps just happened to be updated. Call it fate. Call it a lucky guess.
Google gets a lot of abuse for not making various parts of its Play Store available in most countries. It's not necessarily their fault, especially when it comes to books, movies, and music - international content contracts are like trying to trade horses on a quantum level. But a major part of the globe gets more access tonight, as Play Store Books become available to India's population of 1.2 billion. Get your literature on, folks.
Update: After reaching out to HTC, we've confirmed that the statement on Facebook does in fact mean that the mentioned devices - the HTC One X, X+, S, and Butterfly - will be receiving Sense 5 in a future software update. Some features of Sense 5, though, will not be included, as they depend on specific hardware found in the HTC One.
There's good news out of Facebook tonight, at least if you don't intend to upgrade to HTC's latest and greatest hardware. In answer to an Israeli user's question about upgrades to the shiny new Sense 5 Android interface (seen only on the HTC One so far), the official HTC Facebook account stated that it intended to upgrade most of the company's later high-end devices, specifically the One X and X+, One S, and the Butterfly.
Everyone's favorite game studio, Electronic Arts, has released the third incarnation of its "hyper-realistic" racing series. Real Racing 3 is in the Play Store, but appears to be available only in certain countries right now. The North American listing isn't working for us, but the international version appears to be functional for at least some folks. Although, considering the bizarre new in-app purchase upsell, maybe you're not missing much.
The Real Racing series makes its name by licensing dozens of authentic cars. This time players have 45 different rides to enjoy from manufacturers like Audi, Bugatti, and Porsche. There are a whopping 900 regular events to race, and the game includes an interesting time-shifted multiplayer mechanic.
The ongoing saga of Falcon Pro and the great Twitter token shortage of 2013 has taken yet another turn. No, Twitter hasn't stopped being a jerk-face. Developer Joaquim Vergès has reset all the tokens for Falcon Pro in an effort to free up unused ones. This should (temporarily) solve the problem of new users being locked out.
This means that when users download the new update, they're going to be forced to log back in to Twitter. Because there are actually fewer than 100,000 active users, there should be enough access tokens to go around. Popular wisdom states that it was returns, former users, and pirates that were soaking up a large chunk of the tokens.