Sony is beginning the rollout of a new firmware update for its current flagship, the Xperia Z2. The software (version number 17.1.2.A.0.314) doesn't bump the underlying version of Android, which was already based on KitKat. Instead, Sony is cleaning up the rough edges.
In the future, people will not only be surrounded by gadgets, they will be able to control everything by speaking. In this distant time roughly six or seven years from now, the basic voice commands we've grown accustomed to thus far will look like adorable relics of a bygone era. It looks like it may already be possible to get a taste of this promising way of life by configuring the latest version of AutoVoice. Read More
One of the first applications I installed on my LG G Watch is Wear Mini Launcher. I know it is not the Google-approved way of launching apps on Android Wear, but I don't see myself talking to my watch in public or scrolling through a long list of commands to get to the Start menu. This third-party app offers a quick way to launch Wear apps and is being updated regularly to add more features. Read More
It's not update Wednesday anymore, but Google can do whatever it wants with its apps. That's how things work. Today Mountain View has started rolling out an update to Google Maps with some stuff to make cyclists very happy. Not to leave everyone else out, there's now conversational voice actions while in navigation.
NBC Universal has launched Sprout Now into the Play Store, giving parents all over the country the option to let their kids stream a full episode of their favorite series and get a couple moments' rest. The app comes with a full program guide, plenty of shows, and enough content to occupy children for up to four, five minutes tops.
Of course, there are caveats. Parents need to have a TV subscription of some kind in order to get access to the shows. Read More
Starbucks is looking to provide customers with the option to order their beverage in-app, saving them the effort of waiting in line to get in and get out with something to drink. Re/code reports that the company will start testing the feature in an undisclosed market later this year.
The concept of placing an order using a mobile app in order to skip the wait later on is not groundbreaking. After all, Chipotle expanded this feature to all of its locations late last year. Read More
There are ways to share your real-time location with people, but doing so typically requires some degree of hassle. People either have to predict how long they want to share their data with someone or manually remember to turn it off later. Google account holders can send a map via Hangouts every couple of minutes and experience some degree of success, but Jink looks like a more elegant solution. The app lets multiple people share their location with a few taps, and the connection will automatically end once everyone meets up. Read More
Kyocera isn't exactly a big name in modern Android smartphones, but it does make a lot of rugged devices that don't get much press. It's also big in materials science, which is where sapphire comes in. See, it seems like a safe bet that the next iPhone will have a sapphire glass display, and Kyocera happens to know a lot about manufacturing synthetic sapphire for watches and electrical components. So, they're making sapphire screens for smartphones. Read More
Bug Heroes 2 is the sequel to an iOS game that never made it over to Android, so bear with me as I get you up to speed. This series has garnered high reviews due to its compelling mix of tower defense and twin-stick shooting action. It packs numerous heroes into squads and tasks players with spilling enough bug guts to improve these characters over time. When you combine this quriky premise with rather appealing graphics, it becomes somewhat easy to understand this game's success. Read More
Smartphones can connect two people anywhere in the world, assuming both of them have service. Stumbling into an immensely large crowd of people all trying to use their phones at the same time or wandering into a patch of land that a carrier doesn't cover can instantly sever someone's connection to the outside world. This is typically inconvenient, but sometimes it can be life-threatening. That's why goTenna isn't just a potentially cool piece of upcoming tech, it may end up being a necessary one. Read More