Google's "Monotune" Android commercial is pretty cool. The musical analogy is interesting (and it ties in well with Google's "be together, not the same" marketing campaign), but there's an impressive technical aspect to it as well. The producers modified a grand piano so that all 88 keys were turned to middle C, so that pianist Ji-Yong Kim could really play the music using a single note. As cool as that commercial is, they might have taken things a bit too far with the latest promotion: an entire album of music played with that one-note piano.
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: Our MWC special! Galaxy S7, LG G5, Xperia X series, Xiaomi Mi 5, and more - it's all here. Strap in for all the new phone news you can handle.
License plate numbers, emails, strangers faces, home addresses, and nipples. These are all things that you might not want seen by the world when you upload a video to YouTube. Google understands this, and has just released a new tool for YouTube that grants users the ability to blur any object in a movie, even a moving one! Check out this example clip to see it in action.
This guy was able to remove a really embarrassing lawn mower that was totally ruining his sick stunt video. Seriously, lawn mowers are the worst, they always want all the attention for themselves.
Here at Android Police, we monitor a truly insane amount of sites and developers to bring you the latest apps and games fresh from the Play Store. And in serving that duty, sometimes we come across games that don't deserve any attention. More often than not, in fact, and some of the most depressing are games that exploit a beloved TV, movie, or video game license and use it to try and sling the same homogenized crap as ten thousand copycat game developers looking for a quick buck. A lot of these seem to be Candy Crush or Bejeweled clones: we passed over Pac-Man Puzzle Tour just yesterday (Artem literally wrote "ughhhhhh" in the office chat), and Star Trek: Wrath of Gems is such a shameless cash-grab that it makes trekkies spit out their Romulan ale.
NVIDIA continues to hog some of the most distinctive games on Android for itself with the release of Parallax for SHIELD devices. It's a little like Portal, but when you go through a "portal" you're in a different dimension where black is white (literally). There are 32 levels of this, and it looks very neat.
A fresh version of the Android Support Library is now available to developers. This may be one of the biggest updates in quite a while, as some of the changes demand a few significant internal changes. On the plus side, there aren't very many changes that should break existing code, and most of the new features will make it worth the trouble. Here's a quick introduction to some of the new changes.
Vector Drawables and Animated Vector Drawables
Full vector support was first introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop, allowing developers to distribute apks with easily resizable vector drawings in place of multiple images at various sizes.
Google added voice typing to Docs last year, but it was fairly limited. Today, Google is rolling out more features to voice typing in Docs. You now have control over formatting like text selection, punctuation, and copy / paste. While this is not strictly Android, it's pretty close and we think it's cool.
We had a chance to quickly go hands-on with the Xiaomi Mi 5 at MWC directly after its announcement this morning, and I know what your first question is: will I even be able to buy one? Answer: probably not. Xiaomi said China and India would be launch markets with "some other countries" following down the road, but if the company planned to make a big to do of opening up new markets for their hardware, I have a feeling they'd have made a lot more noise at this launch.
With that said, should you want one, even knowing you probably won't be able to through anything but 3rd-party retailers (and likely with non-functional 4G)?
Android One is Google's initiative to get stock Android into the hands of more users, particularly (though not exclusively) the ones in developing markets. This usually means that devices which are part of the program are very inexpensive — with prices reaching as low as under $100 — and with specs that about match up to those price points. However, Android One devices have something that even most $500+ phones don't: fast and reliable OS updates straight from Google. (The Wall Street Journal reported back in November that this may eventually change, but we've yet so see any evidence of that, and the WSJ doesn't have a perfect track record either.)
General Mobile, a little-known Turkish manufacturer that already makes an Android One phone called the General Mobile 4G, has partnered with Google once more to announce the General Mobile GM Plus 5 — and it has some impressive specifications.
Google has been fiddling around with Project Tango for a few years, but there have yet to be any consumer devices. That's expected to change this summer when Lenovo releases a Tango phone, which it previously announced at CES. Now, Google and Lenovo have set up shop in a Barcelona museum to show what Tango can do for you.