Hangouts may be fun, but it's not all fun and games. It should come as no surprise that in this day and age, many people turn to Google's video chats as a means of getting work done. So the company is rolling out a number of business-related improvements to the service.
For starters, the company is now covering Hangouts under the same terms of service as other Google Apps for Business products.
With the release of Android L just a few months away, proactive developers are already churning out Material Design versions of their apps. With over 10 million downloads, Equalizer is a popular Android EQ, but it was in serious need of a visual overhaul. What better way to do it than to go Material? Version 4.0 of Equalizer is out now with a new L-themed UI.
Wireless chargers are convenient, but they don't precisely add to the decor of wherever they're placed. Even with the 2013 Nexus charger, which is relatively sleek, I'm happy its magnet is strong enough for me to leave it on the side of a bed frame or side table, keeping it and its cord out of sight. The Pond wireless charging tray promised to take care of this issue, and it did so in a way that attracted enough people (just over 200) for it to narrowly reach its $30,000 Kickstarter funding goal before running out of time.
We suspect Motorola is cooking up a few devices to be revealed in the next few months, but the company's newest trademark is a bit of a head-scratcher. Motorola filed for a trademark on the name "Moto Maxx" just a few days ago, but that could mean several things.
Good news, European readers: physical gift cards for the Google Play Store are coming to more of you soon. Google updated its list of supported countries for gift cards today, marking Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden as "coming soon." We can't say exactly when - a few other countries like Greece, Poland, and Portugal got the same treatment earlier this month, and they're still marked as coming soon instead of linking to the relevant page.
Yahoo has really been upping its Android game with the acquisition of Aviate and the launch of apps like Yahoo Weather. Now the company has finally shown its finance app some love. Yahoo Finance has been completely rebuilt from the ground up with new features and a more modern UI. Frankly, I don't see as developers had any choice other than to start over—the previous app was incredibly outdated.
Sprint's Virgin Mobile pre-paid brand is announcing a new plan option today called Virgin Mobile Custom. Can you guess what the hook is from the name? Yes, it's a cell phone plan that you can customize. The plans come with a basic level of service, then you choose what extras to add. The catch is that you'll only be able to get these plans at Walmart stores.
Update: It looks like FreedomPop ran out of stock on its refurbished tablets almost immediately, and at the moment the links below default to various hotspot gadgets. Given the limitations of Sprint service, it's not a surprise that the company's secondhand hardware stockpile wouldn't be huge.
Also, several prospective customers have told us that they've been given the run-around when trying to sign up for the free plan, instead being placed on the free trial for paid service and almost immediately charged.
Sprint has announced that an over-the-air software update is due out for its version of the Galaxy S4 going by the name of version number L720VPUFNG2. The changelog for this one is pretty minor, so there's little reason to start abusing that update button. Galaxy S4 owners should be on the lookout for an HD Voice icon (which they might be able to notice), and a number of security patches (which they won't).
The IDC has released a snapshot of the state of the industry following the end of the second quarter, and as always, some players are doing better than others. In this case, Chinese manufacturers are the biggest winners, benefiting both from growth at home and increasing success abroad.
Despite offering a bajillion different types of devices, Samsung saw its market share drop seven full percentage points down to 25.2% of the market.