While many of us have been living the Lollipop life and looking forward to Marshmallow, life hasn't been so grand for owners of the first generation Moto X on Verizon. They've been languishing on Android 4.4.4 all this time, but it looks like that's finally changing. A soak test for Android 5.1 is starting to roll out, and that could soon mean a general release of Lollipop for this once proud device. Read More
Android's flagship smartphones tend to have a battery life problem. The standard often isn't how many days they can last, but whether they can make it through a single one. Budget smartphones, with their weaker processors and lower screen resolutions, often last longer—but not everyone is willing to sacrifice performance and picture quality for battery. Those people can instead slap an external charger to the back of their phones and wrap it up with plastic. We call this approach buying a ZeroLemon case. Read More
I remember being 6 or 7 years old and anxiously waiting for my cousins to visit us so I could take my shiny Nintendo NES console from its box, hook it to our 14" Sony TV, and play with them a few rounds of Super Mario Bros or Contra. I don't think we ever got past the third or fourth world on one run, but we did use the secret warp pipes to move to later worlds.
Apparently, Super Mario Bros was released the same year that I was (ha!) in 1985, and it celebrated its 30th birthday yesterday, September 13. To wit Google has decided to give all of us a nostalgic easter egg when performing a search for "Super Mario Bros." Whether it's from a mobile or your desktop browser, you'll see a knowledge graph card donned with Mario's signature question mark brick. Read More
Moto 360 owners have been enjoying a Moto Body application on their watch since the Motorola Connect update in November 2014. The app, however, was limited to the confines of the small screen on their wrist, providing daily steps, calories, and activity data, but with no weekly or monthly stats. That changes today with the dedicated Moto Body application that has hit the Play Store.
The app isn't a Motorola exclusive — it is compatible with various brands of Android devices, as long as the phone runs Android 4.3 and up. But it will only install the Wear component on a Moto 360, so you won't be able to use it on other smartwatches. Read More
The CyanogenMod team continues to develop builds for new phones, and today we get support for two budget-oriented options that are popular with the unlocked crowd. The Moto E 2015, a phone with a relatively small screen and a tiny price, and the Huawei Mate 2, a phone with a relatively enormous screen and a price that's still pretty small, both have CyanogenMod 12.1 (Android 5.1) ROMs waiting for them on the official download site.
The Mate 2 is under the "mt2" codename, currently with three nightly builds available, and the Moto E 2015 is (for no obvious reason) labeled "otus" with two builds available at the time of writing. Read More
NVIDIA's customer service department has had a tough time of it recently. After a massive recall of last year's SHIELD Tablet for faulty batteries that posed a possible fire hazard, it's come to light that some SHIELD Android TV units will also need to be recalled. Luckily, this one isn't quite so widespread: the recall only affects the SHIELD Pro model (the one with the 500GB conventional hard drive), and even then, only a small portion of units seem to be affected. Also there's almost no chance of them exploding, which is a good thing.
According to this official post from an NVIDIA Customer Care representative, some SHIELD Pro units have hard drives that are prone to failure, making the system unusable. Read More
Over the last few days references to something called "Nexus Protect" have appeared in listings on the Google Store. Don't bother looking for it in the tiny type at the bottom of the page - it isn't actually visible unless you dig into the page source. If you do, you'll find the following phrase (which appears to be integrated as a toast-style pop-up text):
You can’t add this phone unless it has the same Nexus Protect choice as other phones in your cart. You can update your choice or purchase this phone in your next order.
We've modified the page a bit to enable the pop-up for the illustration above. Read More
At Google IO this past June we saw the launch of many new products from Google, including Android M, Android Pay, and Project Brillo. The tech giant also launched Google Photos as its own service, which was previously tied down to Google+. Today we're going to dive into every corner of Google Photos and my experiences with it over the last few months.
Intro & tests
Over the last eight years I have used iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom, and Photos on Mac to organize my photos. While each worked for a period of time, I never truly felt like my photos were properly organized. Read More
In case you aren't getting enough Google Now inside the normal interface, it looks like the Google app is bumping out into some users' notification trays with new, richer, higher priority notifications.
While it's hard to say when the rollout began, some users on version 18.104.22.168 of the Google app (myself included) have begun noticing new notification settings in the Google app, toggling notifications for "substantial changes in weather condition," sports, places, and "stories and videos." Other users' settings lists still stop at "priority notifications."
So far we've only seen weather notifications - which offer temperature changes or other condition changes expected for the next day - and sports notifications in person. Read More