Many of Google's most important products reply upon making computers behave more like people. Whether you're talking about speech recognition or the new Smart Reply feature of Inbox, you need a machine to understand abstract concepts. Google makes this happen with a machine learning system called TensorFlow, and today the company has decided to open source this platform so anyone around the world can use it for research and product development.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: our reviews of the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and the HTC One A9. We also discuss the upcoming DROID MAXX 2, Turbo 2, and the OnePlus X.
Crossy Road is often presented as a prime example of what's wrong with casual games, because it's a free-to-play game that's based on a classic (Frogger) and lacks any kind of sophistication. But Crossy Road does a lot of things right, too: it has an interesting if not unique visual style, it's accessible to any kind of gamer, and best of all, its free-to-play model is entirely reasonable, asking for only one dollar at a time and never forcing players to buy currency or tokens for random rewards. It's a good little game, is what I'm saying here.
Two of the three-man team from Crossy Road have released a new game in the same casual vein, Shooty Skies.
Google began rolling out v8.3 of the Play services framework a few weeks ago, and it looks like it's in a wide release. While this version didn't present with any direct user-facing features and only a few cryptic hints for a teardown, it did bring some definite improvements to the Play services SDK. There are some changes to streamline the sign-in experience for app developers and users alike, along with some additional enhancements that should make it easier for developers to set up new user accounts. New APIs have also been added to make data delivery more efficient between a phone and an Android Wear watch.
The Android Auto companion app is generally one of those things you're probably only going to work with a couple of times before you're done setting things up, then it'll stay tucked away, never to be seen again. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't look good and be as useful as possible. An update to the Android Auto app began rolling out today and it's a near total refresh of the user interface. Granted, there's not a lot to change, but it now looks much more like the companion app for Android Wear.
Pong and Space Invaders went to a rave one night and got totally wasted on Pixie Stix and Starbursts. Nine months later, Starific - Endless Reactor, was born. The premise of the new psychedelic mobile game, by developer Beveled Edge, is simple. Keep your star(s) from escaping an octagonal grid while wiping away ever appearing waves of tiles and power-ups. Not grasping it? Watch the promo video and I'll catch up with you after.
Ok, now that you have seen a bit of game footage, we are hopefully on the same page. This game is a frenetic, eye-popping, ear-pounding, thumb-frustrating good time.
Picture this: Someone you know needs help with their Android device. Crazy, I know, but bear with me here. They need help, and no one else can do the job but you.
You could try guiding them over the phone, but doctors have confirmed this as hazardous to your mental health. A better approach would be to send them a link to the TeamViewer app and remote into the device yourself. Thing is, you're using a Chromebook. Yeah, your friends gave you crap when you bought it, but those things have gotten pretty good these days.
Last week, a video of a Nexus 6P being snapped in twain caused quite a ruckus around the internet. But while some people got very worked up over the fact that a grown man can produce enough force to break a 7-millimeter-thin slab of metal, glass, and silicon, others correctly pointed out that the validity of the "bend test" was compromised by the cracked display. Indeed, logic implies that when a phone is half broken, it is structurally weaker than when it is not broken.
Wanting to prove his point, the YouTuber proceeded to buy another Nexus 6P over the weekend and film one more video of himself attempting to break it.
In a new video, RootJunky demonstrates how in just 10 minutes he was able to navigate around Factory Reset Protection in a Galaxy Note 5. This security feature is meant to make it impossible for someone to take your phone and just perform a factory reset as a way to make it their own.
If anyone performs the factory reset via the recovery, the phone is more or less inoperable until the original owner signs into his or her Google account on reboot. This means that you have basically no extra steps to factory reset your own device for your own reasons, but a common thief can't do much of anything without knowing your password.
T-Mobile is planning to unveil a new phase of its Uncarrier program next week, but in the meantime, it's revamping Uncarrier 7 from last year. In case you're not keeping count, that was the CellSpot Router. Now, T-Mobile is adding the 4G LTE CellSpot to its lineup. This mini cell tower plugs into your internet to provide a bubble of T-Mobile LTE coverage for up to 16 simultaneous voice/data sessions. It's also kind of free.