Over the past few weeks and months, it seems Google has been testing out a minor tweak to the search bar that appears on the home screen above your apps. Instead of simply showing Say "OK Google," some of our readers are seeing search recommendations such as "OK Google 15% of 80" and "OK Google... Movies nearby."
The former shows that you can use Google to do math. The latter nudges people to use Search to find what movie theaters are currently playing nearby. Many of us may already be accustomed to this functionality, but these recommendations serve as a way to subtly inform a broader audience of all the things Google Search can do. Read More
Emulating games is hard, y'all. There are a ton of classic game emulators for Android, and most of them work really well... replicating relatively ancient, low-power hardware for two dimensions. Even something like the 20-year-old PlayStation is difficult (but not impossible) to emulate on the latest mobile hardware, which is objectively about a hundred times more powerful. That's what you get when console makers create more or less customized hardware and software that doesn't have to play nice with any other platforms.
We've written about Dolphin before: it's an extremely popular emulator for the Nintendo Gamecube and Wii that runs well on modern gaming PCs. Read More
At this point, custom ROMs are the only things keeping old Galaxy S2s feeling fresh and vaguely modern. If you turned to CyanogenMod as your experience of choice, you've been left stranded on version 11 running Android KitKat. Now you're in for a treat. Fresh builds of CyanogenMod 12.1 are ready for download.
These nightly builds bring Android 5.1 to the four-year-old device. That's nothing to take lightly. These nightlies may not provide the most stable experience, but at this point, that old version of TouchWiz probably isn't either.
The downloads come in at around 230MB and are meant for the international model (i9100). Read More
Announced back in March at Mobile World Congress, the Alcatel Hero 2+ was to be the next powerful Cyanogen OS phone, following up on the OnePlus One after that partnership basically died. While Cyanogen OS has been announced for some budget phones, the Google-killers had yet to show off new mid-range or high-end hardware powered by their mostly-Google-anyway software at the time, and the Hero 2+ looked like it might add some legitimacy to the Cyanogen Inc. Read More
On Google+ today, Motorola's David Schuster announced that the AT&T version of the 2nd generation Moto E would be receiving its Android 5.1 soak test today, meaning a general OTA shouldn't be far away.
Global versions of the Moto E 2nd Gen have generally already received this update, so if you want a changelog, it's right here. Android 5.1 brings new notification and interrupt settings, an enhanced quick settings panel, Android's Device Protection feature (with factory reset protection), and more. Of course, this will also bring a litany of bug fixes (and probably new bugs!) specific to Moto E owners. Read More
Motorola released its first Android 5.1-based kernel today, for the 1st generation Moto G LTE, codename Peregrine.
You can get the kernel source here.
Over a month ago the Moto 360 went on sale for $150. Now it looks like the circular smartwatch may have permanently dropped in price. The Google Store, Motorola.com, and Amazon are all listing it priced at $100 less than its original MSRP (though Best Buy still shows it at $250).
The Moto 360 probably remains the most well-known Android Wear device, even if it's hardly the latest and greatest. Thanks to Motorola's craftmanship, the watch still makes for a stylish timepiece. So if you don't want to wait around for the next generation of Wear devices or part with over twice as much money for the LG Watch Urbane, now's not a bad time to pick up a Moto 360 for a lot less than it used to be. Read More
IF This Then That, or IFTTT for short, lets you automate the way products and services interact with one another. Want to receive an email every time your camera uploads an image to Dropbox? Go right ahead. Want to adjust the thermostat when your car nears the home? You can do that too.
Now Sony and IFTTT have worked together to produce a new channel using the Lifelog API. The channel lets you integrate the activity tracking you've done from a SmartBand or the Sony app with other services to accomplish all sorts of things. Some of the examples provided include posting a Facebook status every time you take a certain amount of steps, automatically sharing calories burned to Google Drive, and receiving an email summary of your daily Lifelog activity. Read More
Huawei has had a complicated relationship with the Ascend Mate2 and its software update. It originally announced that the device would stay on Android 4.3 last year, but then reversed itself and said the Mate2 would jump straight to Lollipop. It's taken a long time, but there's finally a public version of this update, but it's still technically a "preview."