It's that time again, everyone: time for a trip down Terrible Smartphone Advertising Lane. Sometimes it's about the weird ads, or the cringe-y ones, or the ones that straight up suck. Let me give you some hints as to which direction we're heading today with Lenovo's new P90 smartphone ads, which feature:
A human in a bear suit, acting like a human. But he is a bear.
Two of the most horrifically pun-laden first-person narrative reads ever to be uploaded to YouTube.
Early this month, Google announced a major update to its Play services framework, which brings the version number up to 7.0 and adds several great new APIs. The SDK for this update was held back until the corresponding apk had time to make its way out to Android devices everywhere. The wait is now over, and the SDK is live. Developers are now free to incorporate all of the new APIs into their apps.
If you're going to do any serious modding on your Android smartphone, your first step is going to be unlocking the bootloader. This is a simple procedure on Nexus devices and a few other handsets, but many of the top OEMs have added security measures to prevent regular users from mucking about with their stock software. For these devices, there's a tool called Sunshine by recognized developers Justin Case (jcase), beaups, and friends.
Just before Apple's "Spring Forward" watch event last week, Google released a quick, fun, 17-second spot to promote its own wearable offerings, keeping with Android's new tagline "be together, not the same" by demonstrating that Android Wear watches already come in all sorts of shapes so you can "wear what you want."
Today, Google has released a full minute-long version of the spot, with even more watches and even more dancing. The video uses Shamir's On the Regular as a soundtrack, and features a ton of talented dancers including Dytto, Brian Smith, and dancers from StatusSilver.
Borderlands is a super-popular series of intense, multiplayer-focused first-person shooter games. So it's odd, very odd, that the most exciting thing to happen to the series since the original game came out in 2009... is a single-player, offline, point-and-click adventure title. That's right, TellTale's Tales From The Borderlands adventure series is awesome, and its stand-alone story is more engaging than pretty much all of Gearbox's existing sci-fi lore combined. In my opinion, of course. Episode 2 is available on Android today.
Trailer for the console version - the Android release is mostly the same, but not quite as slick-looking.
The first episode in TellTale's series has been out on Android since December, just a few weeks after it debuted on PCs and consoles.
Maxellus makes some of the coolest live wallpapers on Android including the Galaxy Pack and Space Colony. The latest wallpaper from this developer is of a darker sort—prepare to watch as massive asteroids fall toward the surface of a vulnerable planet. The wallpaper is called Armageddon, of course.
As with all Maxellus live wallpapers, Armageddon has a ton of options for different elements. You can change the backdrop, asteroid type, and the planet they are perpetually about to crash into. I should point out that one of the planet types is "Trantor," a serious sci-fi nerd reference. I approve.
Google has finally pushed an official Android Auto app to the Play Store that will allow Lollipop phones to work with the first few head units and cars with support for the platform. It only works on phones running 5.0 or higher, and is pretty much useless without a compatible Android Auto system—you probably don't have one of those.
When the Nabi 2 received an update to Nabi OS 3.0 last month, this bumped it up to KitKat a year and a half after Google unveiled that particular version of Android to the world. Now the Disney and Nickelodeon editions of the tablets have stumbled in to receive 4.4 even later.
Fortunately the youngsters these tablets are geared towards aren't likely to follow Android blogs religiously, foaming at the mouth for the latest mobile goodness. So this is probably no harm, no foul. Nevertheless, it's hard for those of us who do keep up with these things to lay eyes on a tablet so woefully out of date without feeling some sort of paint in our guts.
How many times have you looked at your Android Wear watch while it booted and thought, "Gosh darn it, that's a rrrrreally cool animation right there!" If you love that boot sequence, you probably get a tickle every time your battery dies or your watch updates and you see it starting up again. Boot Watch Face eliminates those requirements by using the animation each time you turn your watch on. Neat!
The super zen video above shows you everything you should expect from Boot Watch Face. It's very customizable with options to pick the clock hands colors and background (there's a cool "randomize" option too), change the needles' thickness (only when the watch is on — the ambient needles are very thin for my taste), remove the seconds ticker, and speed up the animation.
It looks like Robert Downey Jr and HTC are at it again, with RDJ starring in an only-slightly-bewildering series of creative short films to promote the release of the One M9.
The short films, made in a collaboration between Robert Downey Jr, Russell Scott, Brian Schaeffer, and HTC, (and "presented" by the One M9 itself) are centered around color as a unifying theme, and are meant to portray a "genre-bending series of adventures" with numerous artistic references and influences ranging - as HTC explains - from Andy Warhol to Charlie Chaplin.
In one short (Purple), RDJ bats a plastic chicken onto a canvas, somehow executing a poultry-themed homage to Warhol's prints of Marilyn Monroe.