A few years ago, the Samsung Galaxy S III was everywhere. It didn't have the build quality of an iPhone, but the screen was bigger, and Android apps were really coming into their own. The phone began its life running Ice Cream Sandwich, and most variants stopped at Jelly Bean with no hope of ever getting Lollipop.
Behance's website is a way for creative professionals (photographers, artists, designers) to showcase their work online in a neat and accessible portfolio that also brings them together with a community of similar folks. For an app that's focused on showcasing design, Behance was slacking, but not a lot. It looked good, but there were a few refinements and different approaches in Material Design that weren't yet implemented in it. Today, those little improvements have gone live in the latest version 3.0.
Don't expect the ground to shift below your feet when you open the app for the first time after the update.
Last month, HTC's unreleased X9 got caught parading on China's TENAA website while getting certified for the market. At the time, we had a few simple photos and a list of specs to conjure an idea of what the device would be like. The X9 is now making another appearance on Chinese website anzhuo, but this time in full, turned on, ports opened, different positions (ehm) glory.
When Microsoft Translator was released a few months ago, I went through an extensive comparison between it and Google Translate and came out impressed by Microsoft's efforts, but not completely swayed. At the time, Translator had a major advantage in its Android Wear support (a gap that Google has since closed) but lacked many other features like offline functionality, camera view, and most importantly the live conversation mode. Well, Translator has now jumped that last hurdle and added natural conversation support in its app.
The mode works for a few select languages already: Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, with more promised to be added in the future.
Zeptolab's gaming portfolio looks a little one-dimensional. After Cut the Rope, Cut the Rope HD, Cut the Rope 2, Cut the Rope: Experiments, and Cut the Rope: Time Travel, the developer only has two games in its Android portfolio that don't feature that tiny green monster. In the latest update, said monster gets considerably less green. Cut the Rope: Magic is now available in the Play Store for Android devices running 4.0 or later, and it has the now-standard $.99-99.99 in-app purchases.
Canada's mobile market might be only a fraction of the size of its southern neighbor's, but that's still millions and millions of potential customers. Shaw Communications, a major Canadian phone and Internet provider based in Calgary, is making a move to grab a portion of it. Yesterday Shaw announced its intention to buy Wind Mobile, the country's fourth-largest mobile carrier. Shaw will buy the company from its parent Mid-Bowline Group for 1.6 billion Canadian dollars (about 1.15 billion USD).
Wind has only been operating for almost exactly six years, and in an impressively short time has amassed just under a million subscribers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.
The Moto X Pure Edition is Motorola's third generation Moto X (aka Moto X 2015 or Moto X Style internationally). After two years of refinements, this most recent model got bigger and more powerful, but remained rather affordable compared to other companies' flagships. When Ryan reviewed it back in October, he said it was a joy to use and that the $400 you would put down on the 16GB version might be the best investment you could make on a smartphone. So how about $350 for the 32GB model? My math tells me that sounds even better.
If you like the feel of $100 more dollars in your pocket when buying a new smartphone, you'll be happy to know that Amazon has a daily deal today on the unlocked Moto X Pure Edition. You can save $100 on the 32GB variant, which brings the price of the black and white models to $349.99 and that of the white bamboo option to $374.99.
The biggest trend in the toy world at the moment is the blend of "real" toys and action figures with digital games. LEGO's already dipped its toes into the same pool as Disney Infinity and Skylanders with LEGO Dimensions, but that's not the only combination that the mega-company is working on. An original franchise, Nexo Knights, lets kids build playsets based on the techno-fantasy theme and then upload the various characters' shield codes into the accompanying game, Merlok 2.0.
Telecom operators in Brazil have been working for months to undermine the legality of WhatsApp, and now a judge in Sao Paulo has apparently agreed with the arguments. Starting at 9PM ET this evening, WhatsApp was blocked in Brazil, and will continue to be blocked for 48 hours. Mobile operators have said they will enforce the block (probably while high fiving each other). What will happen in 48 hours is unclear, but you can bet Facebook has multiple planeloads of lawyers on their way to Brazil. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum is certainly not amused.
The ugly Christmas sweater phenomenon seems to be yet another case of public trends where the fundamentally undesirable is somehow turned into a nouveau fashion statement, like Uggs or Hummers. While an intense examination of the psychology behind their resurgence would be an interesting application of our time, I'm not paid to write about wooly jumpers. If all you want for Christmas is an Android avatar with a tasteless sweater, then check your Androidify app for the latest update.