Smartphones are, in my opinion, in something of an innovation rut. Underlying technical advancements have slowed in the last couple of years, and reasons to upgrade from year to year seem to decrease with each new generation of device. That's in large part because smartphones are already, generally speaking, very good products.
This is not to say they are near-perfect, or even optimal. Of course not - batteries still don't last long enough for many people, their cameras have notable limitations versus traditional dedicated systems, and we still have real performance bottlenecks that could be widened. There is refining that can still occur, and when major companies like Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and LG keep pushing the envelope on that refinement, there is always a chance a new product simply won't stack up well against the competition. Read More
It's not often that we witness a complete application overhaul from Google, so today is a special day. Granted, not everyone uses Google Analytics so the number of users who will benefit from and appreciate this update is small, but it's nothing to scoff at. Web admins, like our own Artem, are just going to love it.
The first immediate change you'll notice is an icon switch. The old icon wasn't bad really, but the new one is simpler and less square. It also has a lot more yellow and no dark orange / quasi-red.
Old icon (left) vs new icon (right)
There are new onboarding screens that explain a couple of the new app's features like swiping through dimensions and sharing reports. Read More
I've never understood why farming seems to have such appeal in a digital form. I've done some real farming, sweating my ass off in the Texas summer to try and get hay out of the ground using nothing but prayers and cow manure. It's simple honest work, but I don't think anyone could call it "fun." Then again I don't remember fairies or ice princesses or villages full of attractive and available women in my grandparents' back 40, so maybe farming is different in Japan, home of the venerated Harvest Moon series. Read More
At this point asking people to support your crowd-funded concept device is kind of like asking them to support your "sure-fire multi-level marketing system." Sure, it could be legitimate, but it's better to just treat that money as if it's gone forever. That said, smartwatches might be the one exception. Pebble, arguably the legitimate dark horse in that small market and one of the first to successfully market itself, got started on Kickstarter. So maybe it wouldn't be fair to dismiss the CoWatch, a new smartwatch that features interoperability with Amazon's Alexa voice control system, out of hand. Read More
Ever since Amazon announced the Echo, the platform and Alexa's voice commands have been expanding and adding more partners and features. They haven't, however, gained the magical ability to control your house's manual window blinds. It has though become possible to connect Alexa to an Arduino board, which increases the potential uses for the platform.
An enterprising guy has used that to his advantage, MacGyvering his way into smart window blinds with an Arduino (he uses a SmartThings shield for his Arduino to connect it to the rest of his smart home system), a servo, and some lasercut gears. He details the whole process, which I'll be honest in saying I don't understand the first thing about, in an Imgur post that I'll link below. Read More
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a unique indie shooter, a surprising "rolling" platformer, a new book-game, a new take on Q*Bert, an old-school RTS, and a cute block puzzler. Without further ado: Read More
Music festivals are about making sound, and lots of it. But hearing is far from the only sense assaulted during days spent rushing from one performance to another. Bodies bump against bodies. Drinks and sweat soak shirts and moisten skin. Colors and bright lights pierce eyes from all directions. To get the full experience, you must go in person.
But if it's all about the music for you, staying home isn't bad. Coachella is giving you that option this weekend. Read More
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 show: What's new in Android N's 2nd developer preview? We break it down. Also, our first thoughts on the HTC 10, your emails, and antiques!
This week's Android Police Podcast is brought to you by Linode cloud hosting. Read More
Not all of the LG G5's "friends" are available in the US, but the 360 Cam is one of them. To indirectly promote that device, LG is releasing a dozen new 360-degree live wallpaper landscapes for the G5. You can download them from the SmartWorld app on your phone. And hey, while you're at it, maybe buy that 360-degree camera so you can make your own! Right? Read More