A few days ago, it was confirmed that Google had started asking manufacturers to brand boot animations with a specific "Powered by Android" lockup as part of Google's Mobile Services license. Samsung's Galaxy S5 and HTC's new One M8 both carry the branding, and today Motorola's Moto X and Moto G have joined the party, but Motorola has something else in store as well - a new boot animation just in time for April Fools Day.
Today's the HTC One M8's big day, and new shots and videos of the handset keep pouring in. HTC has now shared three "First Look" clips to its YouTube account that primarily focus on the phone's camera. That so-called "Duo Camera" is the device's most peculiar feature, so it's worth taking a look at just what it does.
This first video is the most general of the bunch. It touches on the M8's metal unibody design, Motion Launch (answer the phone by lifting it to your ear), and a few camera editing features.
Forget everything you've seen or heard about HTC's M8 until today. That's the only way you'll learn much of anything new from today's announcement. The M8, officially known as the HTC One M8, was officially unveiled today in New York City. We may have already seen the phone from a distance (several times), and learned its specs by heart, but the device is official now, and we got the chance to go hands on with it at HTC's event.
In case you need more proof that the new HTC One is the worst kept secret in mobile tech since the Nexus 5, we offer People's Exhibit
A W. This video gives the Verizon-branded M8 almost 10 minutes of time in the spotlight and provides a really good comparison to the first-generation HTC One.
At this stage, there's very little we don't know about HTC's new flagship. Nevertheless, the company is set to debut the M8 to the world tomorrow, and the device should be on sale soon after the press conferences.
Samsung Milk is probably the most straightforward music streaming app I've ever used - and that's exactly the kind of response Samsung is looking to get from it.
Wacky name aside, Milk is an interesting, well-designed app that is set up to get you listening to music as fast as possible. No ads, the absolute minimum amount of loading time, and a music selection interface that you'll never struggle to locate.
360-degree video. Next to the holodeck, it really is the holy grail of next-generation viewing. The possibilities are seemingly endless - can you imagine a 360-degree video drone copter buzzing around a basketball arena or providing live coverage of a protest in a foreign land? A submarine wading through the depths, giving you the complete ability to pan around the undersea world? And unlike 3D or other crazy video tech, you don't even need a special TV - just a way to control the current area of focus in the video.
Love it or hate it, the Galaxy S5 will almost certainly be the best-selling Android phone in 2014. Whether or not the hardware actually warrants those kinds of incredible sales figures is largely irrelevant, thanks to Samsung's marketing machine and consumers' general willingness to buy things they're familiar with. And "familiar" is certainly an excellent way to describe the phone's hardware. While it isn't quite the ho-hum upgrade that came with the GS4, and there are some significant hardware features that add to its value, the GS5's overall design probably won't win it any new fans.
The smartwatch craze has gotten a little out of hand, if you'll pardon the pun. Various manufacturers and innumerable crowdfunding campaigns seem ready to leap into the shallow waters already populated by Pebble, Sony, Fitbit and the like. Just because Samsung's Galaxy Gear is the most mainstream of these wearable devices doesn't mean it's the best - on the contrary, in addition to general dissatisfaction with the somewhat rushed hardware, many reviewers found themselves questioning the need for a relatively powerful and feature-filled device on their wrist.
Whether you like it or not, there's little doubting that the Galaxy S5 was the star of the show at this year's Mobile World Congress. Samsung had the largest press event, the most crowded booth, and the most hype built up leading into the show. It doesn't matter if it's still plastic, if it's still running TouchWiz, or that it's still arguably one of the uglier flagship devices on the market - this phone obviously matters a lot.
Samsung unveiled literally three smartwatches at MWC this year. If that tells you anything, it should be this: the company is desperate to make a wearable product stick in the marketplace. It will do anything to whittle down the form factor, price point, and functionality consumers are most responsive to. And thus, we now have 3 Gear devices to choose from - the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo, and the Gear Fit - Samsung is taking its shotgun approach to the smartphone market and inundating you with wearable choices, hopefully enough choices that you will actually choose to buy one
I reviewed the original Galaxy Gear.