The Amazon Fire phone is interesting for a number of reasons. It's the company's first attempt at a smartphone. It crams Fire OS into a smaller form factor than it's had to accommodate before. It has five - yes, five - front-facing cameras, four of which serve as the backbone for what Amazon calls Dynamic Perspective. One thing the phone is not interesting for, however, is being a good deal (more on that below).
We've been hearing rumors and seeing at least some evidence of a new Motorola flagship for the past few months. The Moto X was released in August of last year, which makes it just about time for a refresh in the current yearly phone cycle. Recently a tipster sent us a series of photos, claiming that the device is a "near-final prototype" from Motorola. The source claims that what you're looking at is the Moto X+1, and based on the evidence, it seems reasonably legitimate.
Update, 7-25-14: It looks like this over-the-air update was delayed for some reason. Samsung says it's coming in now.
KitKat is making its way to the Galaxy Note II. We've seen it come to Sprint, and just yesterday it started rolling out to Verizon's version of the handset. Now US Cellular has updated the support page for its Note II to say that KitKat is on its way.
Valve's Portal and Half-Life 2, despite being quite old in terms of PC games, are two of the best showcase titles for the SHIELD right now. Naturally NVIDIA (which publishes both games in the Play Store) is eager to highlight them for the shiny new SHIELD Tablet. Actually, it's not shiny - the tablet is quite matte. But anyway, both games have been updated with SHIELD Tablet support, a week before the device is released.
The Google Glass developers are at it again; they keep coming up with new ways to burn through that tiny battery. Today, the Glass Development Kit changelog was updated to detail the addition of USB webcam support for developers looking to add access to views outside of the standard forward-facing perspective. Webcams must be attached via On-The-Go (OTG) cable, and Plug 'n Play isn't supported, so Glass must be rebooted before the attached camera can be recognized.
Google has announced that it has enabled the Street View feature for Serbia via the Google Maps Twitter account. If you live in or plan to visit Serbia, now you can get a pedestrian view of all the places you want to go... assuming that all those places are in the capital city of Belgrade, and a few other cities and towns along the E-75 highway from Novi Sad to Niš.
Some discoveries are exciting enough to reach out to every Android Police reader all over the globe and bring them into our comments section to summon their best GIFs and memes. Other discoveries are simply amusing. Consider this one the latter. As it turns out, Play Store changelogs are capable of displaying emoji.
Android Wear has a lot of fine points, but there are a few things missing from the first round of devices. One of the more annoying shortcomings is the lack of a light sensor on the G Watch or the Gear Live. The Moto 360, however, will have a light sensor built in, according to Motorola's Cathay Bi.
VR headsets are all the rage of late, and Samsung is one of the players expected to throw its virtual reality-producing
hat goggles into the ring. Earlier this month, SamMobile provided a shot of the upcoming Gear VR product and a small taste the companion smartphone app that will ship with it. Now the site is back with a more in-depth look at some of the software that will manage the device.
In case you missed it, Jon Wiley hosted an AMA session on Reddit yesterday. Wiley, as the principal designer for Google Search, had plenty of insight to share on topics from specific product features to what roles a tech company should play in its local community.
Sifting through the whole thread can take a while, so we thought it'd be helpful to pick out just a few of the most interesting responses for those who just want a quick taste.