Google+ got a somewhat unexpected bump to version 4.6 today, an update that brought with it plenty of Material touches. Since we first reported on Material Design (at the time known as Quantum Paper), we've expected that Google's own apps would be undergoing their own gradual transformations in updates leading up to the launch of Android L. The Google+ app got its first round of material changes earlier this summer, but today's update starts its journey through the last mile.
Fire OS is a solid operating system if all you need is the ability to consume Amazon content in various forms, but it just doesn't cut it for the nerdier stuff we pickier types get off on. In some ways, it's a shame, because Amazon puts out solid hardware at affordable prices. On the other hand, there's the option to wipe the slate clean, so to speak, and flash something more exciting onto the tablet.
Motorola fans in the UK can start getting their Moto Maker orders fulfilled today, as Moto's site is now allowing consumers to place orders. The phone starts at £419.99 for the basic 16GB model in plastic trims, and fully optioned up will set you back £479.99 with leather or wood and 32GB of storage.
Only the Pure Edition is currently available, though that's probably the one you want anyway, free of bloatware and with no network restrictions.
Normally the kind of customer who buys a "rugged" phone like the Hydro VIBE isn't all that concerned with having the latest and greatest in software - or at least that seems to be the attitude of the carriers and manufacturers, who don't seem very concerned themselves. Perhaps that's why Sprint and Kyocera launched the phone with Android 4.3 back in May, despite the fact that 4.4 had already been available for seven months.
Update 10/2/14: The initial beta APK (1.0-124) started showing an expiration message and stopped working, but a newer beta APK (1.0-172) has popped up. We've validated its legitimacy, and it indeed no longer shows the expiration message. Download it here (thanks, Branko Kostic!).
Last month Nokia announced that it would release a version of its highly-regarded HERE mapping and navigation app for Android, but only to licensed partners, starting with Samsung.
There's this company over in the UK that's ready to sell Moto 360s to people on that side of the pond. O2 is its name. Anyone who heads over to the carrier's website will now see the smartwatch for sale at £199.99. It seems to only be available in black.
People who hit that buy now button should be rewarded with a product that ships on the next day. This comes after the device was previously available on the site only as a pre-order.
When Google first pulled the lever on Chromecast's screen casting, the functionality was limited to a select number of devices. Well, it still is, but the list is slowly growing, and we've noticed that the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact have made their presence known towards the bottom. This puts them in the same exclusive club as a number of Nexus, Galaxy, One, and G devices (boy is it awkward to say these names without the manufacturer attached).
You know those scary warnings that show up whenever you unlock the bootloader on a phone? "We can't be held responsible... blah blah... reduced functionality... blah... fiery death... blah blah blah." Sometimes they aren't kidding. Users who have unlocked the new Xperia Z3 Compact have found that low-light camera performance drops considerably. It turns out to be because of DRM in Sony's image signal processing.