Google's smart speakers and displays are brimming with features, some of which unknown. Many of you likely never noticed that they can ask their smart displays to star, share, or hide a pic when it comes up, but that feature has been available for a year. Google is now making it more visible by bringing the icons to the screen.
Before today, if you liked a message on Twitter and wanted others to see it, you could retweet it. And if you liked a tweet and wanted to keep it all to yourself, you could "favorite" it by tapping the little star icon, which would fill in and save it as a quasi-bookmark in your account. Today Twitter announced a change to its social platform that will rock the very foundations of the Internet: the star is now a heart. Oh, and it's called a "like" now.
One complaint many Glass users have voiced since the Explorer Program began is that Glass has very limited contact management capabilities. Users could add contacts in the MyGlass interface, but those manually added contacts were the only ones a user could correspond with using Google's eye-mounted computer.
The Glass team is fixing that - and a number of other things - in an update to XE20.1, announced today. The update will allow Glass to see all a user's contacts, with starred contacts showing up for quick voice access. Other contacts will be just a quick swipe away.
The update also adds a "head nudge" card to the settings bundle.
Looking to be the successor to the Pantech Breakout, it seems that a little phone called the Pantech Star Q will be headed to Verizon. This sliding, QWERTY-packing device is decidedly a budget phone, expected to ring in at just $99 on contract, but it includes a mixed bag of low-end and surprisingly appealing specs, including Android 4.0.4, a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, a front-facing camera (of indeterminate resolution), a 3MP rear shooter, a 4" WVGA display, and of course a sliding QWERTY keyboard. Besides all that, the phone will feature 4G LTE connectivity, a definite bonus for those in the budget/mid-range market.
If you were a fan of Space Invaders or TI-83 classic Phoenix, you'll enjoy this: Star Defender 3. In a nutshell, it's a game where you pilot a spaceship against hordes of alien beasts. The description words it best:
Get ready to fight through hoards of alien beasts in Star Defender 3!
The highly anticipated game is finally here! The year is 2743 A.D., only two short years since the last war, and the Insectus have already prepared for their next wave, with new tricks to defeat you.
Blast through 8 huge missions is the most exciting space shooter game.
Looks like the new Email Developer feature that the web Android Market received on Friday was just the icing on the cake! While it was nice to finally have the ability to contact developers without having to go through the device Market, it was still a pretty minor addition. Don't fret - Google was nowhere near being done - you can now:
filter user reviews by device model, currently limited to All and individual devices registered to your account.
filter user reviews by app version, currently limited to All or Latest
filter user reviews by specific star rating
Here, have a look (the sample app I used was Christmas HD, if you are curious):
The beauty is - you can combine filters and, for example, narrow down to only 1-star reviews made by users of HTC EVO 3D that used the latest version of the app.
Ever since my visit to Google I/O last year, I've been waiting for this year's event with great anticipation - after all, I/O still remains the most exciting conference for Android fans and developers. To help attendees navigate around it, this morning Google updated the official I/O app that has been sitting idle for almost a year.
If you're trying to manage all the sessions on your own, just stop - this is exactly what the I/O app will do for you. You can see the whole schedule, including all the necessary details, star the ones you want to attend, take notes (using Catch integration), and guide yourself around the floor.
Toshiba has already spend a good deal of time talkingup its forthcoming Honeycomb tablet, but one thing the company hasn't mentioned - yet - is the device's name. However, if you believe Dutch website TabletGuide.nl, NVIDIA might have spilled the beans - at its MWC booth, the chip maker reportedly showed off a prototype of the tablet loaded with stock Android 2.2. And in the "About phone" section of the Settings app, the tablet listed "Antares" as its model number.
It's worth noting that this may not be the name of the final retail unit - not to mention the fact that a handset's model number isn't always the same as its title.
For those of you that can't get enough of the LG Star leaks, Engadget has managed to get their hands on the dual core phone, and, although it is a test unit, it does provide a lot of useful information on what dual core processors may be able to do for Android.
The phone's hardware is fairly non-descript despite the powerful processor held inside. It is also running a fairly unstable build of Android 2.2, which will hopefully be bumped up to Android 2.3 by the time of the phone's release, or at least shortly after. Despite the custom UI (that is oddly reminiscent of Samsung's TouchWiz) the phone doesn't appear to have any lag - thanks to the Nvidia Tegra 2 that's powering it, of course.
Say what you may about the custom UI that was on the LG Star we saw earlier today, but you can't deny that there's something to be said for its dual-core processor. GSM Israel has proven just that via a hands-on video in which the LGP990 (aka the Star) is compared side-by-side with an iPhone 4, which comes off a bit undersized next to the Star.
Another factoid mentioned in the video: the handset packs a Tegra 2 processor driving a 4-inch display. Additionally, the video confirmed that the device will indeed ship with an 8 MP camera as well as a front-facing counterpart and an HDMI port.