Attention, lovers of public access radio, there is a new application that you need to download. NPR One, which hit Google Play today, allows radio listeners to take their favorite shows on the go with their phones, while also delivering a highly curated playlist of broadcasts and stories which you will love. (more…)
Beats Music (anyone using it?) received an update today with four new features that the Beats crew said you asked for. The goodies include a Tune Your Taste options for switching up the “Just For You” recommendations. Sentence History has also been added, so that you can view your most recently played songs from The Sentence. Finally, Beats Music now has verified badges (to show how “legit” someone is) and improvements to the app that should fix a bunch of bugs.
The update is live, so go grab it. (more…)
Over the weekend, rumors of a Motorola Nexus surfaced suggesting that Google and the company it plans to sell to Lenovo had teamed up to produce an oversized phone-tablet hybrid under the codename “shamu.” The device is said to carry a 5.9-inch display, fingerprint scanner, and arrive some time around November. That rumor has now turned into a second report out of The Information who claim to have secured a confirmation through “three people with knowledge of the matter” that the device is coming and is a whale. (more…)
Samsung’s Tizen-based smarpthone, the Samsung Z, has been postponed until further notice, according to the Wall Street Journal. Samsung would only say that the delay would allow them to “further enhance” the Tizen ecosystem, without giving further guidance on a potential launch. You now have to wonder if this device, which was slated for release at some point in Q3 of this year in Russia, is ever going to materialize in the consumer market.
“Further enhance” the ecosystem seems like PR speak for, “Our app selection is garbage at the moment and we can’t launch a phone without something for people to install or no one will buy it.” If their Russian developer conference turnout is any indication of interest, maybe Tizen will never grab the attention of app makers. I can’t say that I blame developers for not jumping on board. Android and iOS are already capable of making quality developers a ton of money, plus they have established ecosystems and tools. Tizen, well, is still mostly a big question mark. (more…)
Last week, we featured a deal for an unlocked LG G3 that could be snagged on eBay for $500. We picked one up because international versions of phones not only seem to receive updates much quicker than their counterparts here in the States (a topic for another day), but this is the model of the G3 that features wireless charging out of the box, something US carriers (Verizon and AT&T in particular) removed so that they could make extra money off of customers like you and me with accessories that add features like this on.
Once the device arrived, I slapped it on the Qi wireless charger that never leaves my desk, just to test the functionality on a G3. Sure enough, it worked without hassle straight out of the box. I didn’t need to slap a new cover on or attach a case, it just charges as if the feature is built-in, which it is. While this should have brought immediate joy, it also brought on a substantial amount of anger even quicker. Why? Because carriers in the US have robbed us of features like this for years to help them make an extra buck or two. And while I’m fine with companies trying to get richer (I’m sure we all would do the same), the way they go about it frustrates the hell out of me. What I mean is that if you are going to dumb down my smart device, so that you can charge me for accessories to make it smarter, give me some damn choices. (more…)
Verizon has gone ahead and approved the Android 4.4.4 update for their variant of the Moto X, making it available this morning to all. The update, which first hit soak testers on Friday, includes improved camera picture quality by improving photos taken in fluorescent lighting and enhancing the dynamic range. It also introduces an option for pausing and resuming videos during recording. Finally, a new dialer with a new graphical layout and colors has been introduced.
The update jumps the device up to build 210.12.41.
To check for the update, head into Settings>About phone>System updates>Check for system updates. (more…)
Journey, a new journaling app released to Google Play, wants you to rediscover the joys of writing about your life through the “warmth and humanity” of its beautiful UI. As I mention, this is a journaling app, but after spending a few moments with it, I think you will agree with its creators that the design certainly makes you want to start documenting your life adventures.
The app features a Material Design-like interface in parts. The top navigation bar screams MD, as does the tablet interface, but the rest of the UI should be very familiar to those who have used Android apps at all over the last couple of years. There is a slideout navigation drawer, “+” button to add new posts, action overflow menus to access more options, and simple swipe navigation to get between entries. (more…)
The phone pictured above is the 5.9-inch Oppo N1. It’s huge. The reason you are seeing this today is because the rumor of the month suggests that Motorola and Google have teamed up to produce the next Nexus phone as a 5.9-inch whale codenamed “shamu.” I know that you have all been waiting for Motorola to finally get their chance at a Nexus, but it’s pretty clear in the comments of our post this morning that you are torn based on the thought of holding a 5.9-inch phone on a daily basis. Some of you love oversized tablet-like phones, others despise them.
So, what are your thoughts on a 5.9-inch Motorola Nexus? Would you buy one? Would love to hear reasons for buying or passing in the comments.