The announcements have happened and the reactions have been vented. For many, now is decision-making time when it comes to their next Android phone. We're happy to report that the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge are available for pre-order on nearly all US carriers. If you're ready to make your choice, you can probably make it official right now.
Let's break it down by phone and carrier. You may want to use the table of contents to navigate to the phone/carrier of interest to you. Explanations of what different payment plans mean are included in the M9 section. Read More
HTC's Vice President of Industrial Design, Jonah Becker, has stepped down from his position and is leaving the company. His departure takes place less than a year after the company's former lead designer, Scott Croyle, did the same.
Daniel Hundt will fill Becker's position. All three were part of One & Co, a company HTC acquired towards the end of 2008.
Croyle left HTC just as the M8 was coming to market. Read More
Carrier phones are all well and good if you need a subsidy or trade-in payment plan to make it financially feasible, but HTC has an unlocked phone with your name on it. If you can justify $649 to buy the phone outright, you can place your order right now.
Word got out earlier this week that T-Mobile would offer anyone who buys a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge from them a free year of Netflix. That's a savings of over $100 and a pretty good deal, especially if you're already a Netflix customer.
Now the promotional page has gone live. If you head over to Samsung's website, you can sign up for the offer, though it says you must actually have the phone in hand before following the process through to completion. That's something you can't actually do until either model goes on sale.
Note, pre-orders will count, and the promotion includes devices purchased between now and April 12th. Read More
OnePlus tried to assuage fears of a stagnating OS experience a few months ago during the CyanogenOS fallout by announcing it was working on a ROM for the OnePlus One. Eventually dubbed OxygenOS, the company has been working on getting the software out the door for several months. OnePlus promised to have it done by March 27th (today), but that's not happening. Bummer.
For an app developer, there's nothing worse than finding out your latest update is catastrophically flawed and blowing up for your users. This is the reason Google introduced the alpha and beta channels, and then added staged rollouts. These features give developers a way to steadily release new versions into the wild, discover their bugs, and fix them before a wide release. However, all of this still relies on treating some of your users as guinea pigs. If you'd like to keep them around, it's best to minimize the fallout of a bad release as soon as it's discovered. To make things a little easier, Google has added a new button to the Developer Console that stops a staged rollout immediately. Read More
UK readers, have you been stewing in jealousy over Americans' access to Android TV and the Nexus Player? Well you shouldn't be - it's not all that great, at least at the moment. But if you're eager to check out the only retail ATV device available thus far, now you can. The Nexus Player is selling on the UK version of the Google Store for £79 (a little less than $120 USD at the moment - sorry about that). It's also available on Amazon.
The news comes from the official Nexus Google+ account, which encourages you to head to the shiny new Google Store. Read More
Google's Ingress, made by Niantic Labs, has been quite a phenomenon. Those who have paid attention know the game has had a storied history since its initial launch as a closed beta in 2012, and a quick Google+ search shows that engagement doesn't really seem to be slowing down. The Ingress YouTube channel continues to pump out content and updates for players on various in-game goings on.
But, according to a report from The Information, Google isn't content to just have a cult hit of a game on its hands. Google has partnered with Sean Daniel Co. to make a television show based on the game, with producers "in talks with candidates to serve as its showrunner." This information comes from "two people who have been involved in the discussions."
Despite this somewhat surprising rumor, The Info is sure to note that this "doesn't appear to reflect a broader move into film or TV production by Google," and that Google "isn't particularly interested in cashing in on Ingress' worldwide audience, instead viewing the TV show as a deeper extension into the game's hybrid reality-fictional world and a way to provide a more intimate connection with its players."
Indeed, the hybrid nature of the game is one of the facets that propelled it to popularity as users choose sides and vie for portals at real-world physical locations, sometimes cooperating across factions to produce "faction art" like this dragon in Norwich. Read More