A new feature has snuck into the Chrome OS dev channel that, while not yet fully baked (okay, it's still mostly a block of ice), could one day allow users to unlock their Chromebooks automatically just by having their phone in close proximity. This feature is "Easy Unlock."
Republic Wireless saw success with its offer of the Moto X last year, and now the carrier has made good on its promise to start selling the low-cost Moto G. For a mere $149 you can get the 8GB Moto G on Republic with no contract and cheap WiFi calling.
Republic Wireless piggybacks on the Sprint network, but augments that with WiFi calling when you're connected to a network. Unlike other VoIP solutions, Republic Wireless can hand-off a call from WiFi to cellular if you lose connection.
Hey, you. Yeah, you with the fancy curvaceous phone. Stop showing off that flexible frame and self-healing back, and check your settings menu. According to AT&T's blog, the LG G Flex is being updated to Android 4.4 as of today. Huzzah, excelsior, and general rejoicing abound. At least a few users over at XDA have already received the over-the-air update.
Credit: XDA user hands0m3. Ignore the carrier text - the model number (D950) matches AT&T.
The newest update for the Ouya game console has been made available, and it's a big one. This time the cryptozoological mascot is the infamous goat-sucker itself, the Chupacabra. It's more than a name, though. This is a notable update that addresses some of the concerns users have had about the device since launch.
The original LG Lucid wasn't anything to write home about, but for some reason Verizon kept the name around for the much-improved mid-range sequel. Now the phone line is getting a third entry, as the Lucid 3 has appeared on Verizon's site after a candid leak last month. New Verizon customers can pick up the phone for free on-contract, and those who prefer to go without the ball and chain can pay a reasonable $299.99.
In a rare (and very amusing) fireside chat between Matias Duarte and Joshua Topolsky, we heard that I/O 2014 might put significantly more attention on great design as a topic. Today, a post on Google's Developer Blog is here to back up that declaration and adds that there will be sessions and workshops geared for designers and developers interested in improving their products. While there still hasn't been an official session list posted, this is surely meant to encourage designers to apply for registration before the window closes on Friday.
Earlier today, Google released a dedicated camera app into the Play Store. This would have been news on its own, as this method of distribution allows for camera updates without having to wait for a new firmware to come along. But the goodies didn't stop there. Google has completely redesigned the app, and while your opinion may vary, here's mine - it's better.
Why, You Ask?
For starters, there's a new lens blur effect that I've already elaborated on in great detail.
Along with two new apps, today's Update Wednesday has brought us a new version of YouTube with version 5.6.31. The previous version was 5.5.27, so it became clear right away that we should expect something relatively significant as opposed to simple bug fixes. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to disappoint those of you still waiting for offline and screen-off playback - those are not here just yet. There are no major UI changes either.
Photo Sphere product manager Evan Rapoport, who also manages Maps, Street View, Views, and Panoramio, had one more tidbit of Google Camera-related news to convey today. In a post to Google+, Rapoport announced that photo spheres had gotten a major boost to 50MP (about 11776x5884 pixels). This is up from around 8MP in the previous app, and the results are beautiful.
Most of the time, we execute APK teardowns by comparing the code of older app versions to an updated version. Newly released apps can hold juicy information too, though. We've quickly taken apart Google's newly released camera app and discovered a few tidbits worth mentioning.
Our primary target for this teardown is the strings file. This file holds a wealth of strings not yet revealed in the interface that look like they'll bring missing features back and add some new ones, too.