We heard at Google I/O about Google's plans to help improve the experience of users on slow connections, especially in parts of the world where even 3G speeds are few and far between. They gave us a peek at how the search interface would change under those circumstances to improve those load times. Now, in select markets, the pages you click on will also be optimized to load much faster.
Google's estimates have you loading the page 4x as fast compared to the unaltered version when on a slow connection, with 80% less data. They claim, appealing to webmasters, that this results in 50% more pageviews due to the better experience and lower wait.
We missed one good new feature - you can now just tap and drag your finger in the result field to adjust how many decimals the answer will be calculated to. That's awesome.
End of Update
While the calculator in Android M may not look that much different on first inspection, it's actually almost completely new. According to several responses from Googlers on the Android issue tracker, a host of bugs and problems with the old calculator app should be solved in Android M.
Planes are usually very basic and drab inside, but Virgin America has been trying to make them slightly less so with built-in entertainment systems. The airline is rolling out a new beta version of its Red entertainment platform. Why do we care? It's based on Android, not that you could tell just by looking.
Some of you abuse your phones. You know who you are. You're the folks who are willing to fundamentally change the look, feel, and size of your phone by cramming it into an OtterBox case. A number of you have what few would dispute as a legitimate reason (you work in construction, work as a crash test dummy's stunt double—that sort of thing), while others just feel clumsy enough that their phones can't possibly survive the number of times they will fall against carpet and concrete. Either way, you're the type of person who may want to pick up a Galaxy S6 Active, which is now available from AT&T.
The Neo Smartpen N2 is the company's second shot at an intelligent analog writer and this one comes with very few compromises. In a market without a whole lot of competition, especially for those who support Android, Neo's N2 needs to be on your radar if you want a smartpen. I've been testing it out for a couple of weeks and, on the whole, I am really excited about it. With that said, it does have a few drawbacks that you will want to think through before deciding to buy.
This is the second smartpen I've reviewed for Android Police. The first is the Livescribe 3, whose review you can see here.
It's been a year since Android Auto was announced, and it's only now starting to hit the market. You can buy a handful of cars with support for Auto (with a software update), and more vehicles are on the way. There are also some aftermarket head units that can smarten up your dumb old car. Now that it's finally reaching consumer availability, we can see how Google's car infotainment platform works.
I've had a chance to play with one of Pioneer's NEX Android Auto kits (the AVIC-8100NEX), and have already posted some initial impressions. Now let's dig in and explore this new frontier for Android.
Does the Tegra K1 in your Nexus 9 run a little toasty? Well, it's got nothing on NVIDIA's latest mobile chip design win, which is literally an oven. I'm sorry, NVIDIA, but the jokes basically write themselves here.
Owner testimonial: "My oven can play Doom 3!"
The June oven's big shtick is that it takes selfies of your food which, while completely ridiculous, is at the same time weirdly cool? Maybe? I don't know. What I do know is that this actually sounds like a pretty good oven, boasting a 350F preheat time of just 4 (four) minutes, which is sort of incredible.
Did you think the Angry Birds movie was an insane bit of zealous over-licensing at the peak of a mobile gaming fad? You ain't seen nothing yet. According to IGN, Cut The Rope developer ZeptoLab has partnered with production company Blockade Entertainment to create a computer animated movie based on the game's adorable monster protagonist Om Nom. Om Nom: The Movie is currently scheduled to release in 2016, notably the same year that the Angry Birds movie will hit theaters.
The official synopsis for the movie makes surprisingly little mention of ropes or candy, and sounds like an E.T. rip-off that came 30 years too late:
Om Nom tells the story of 13-year old Evan, a boy whose impulsiveness leads him to open a secret package containing a living scientific experiment - with mischievous intentions!
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Expense IQ - Expense Manager
This week's roundup is brought to you by Expense IQ - Expense Manager from Handy Apps. This amazingly complete expense tracking system has a solid and colorful UI, and just about every possible checkbook, alert, and tracking feature you could want.