The Droid Life Show: Episode 71

On today’s episode of the Droid Life Show, we plan to recap the craziness of the last week. Shortly after Tim and I got together for a special DL Show last Wednesday, Google opened up pre-orders for the Nexus 9 and Player, but also pushed out a brand new Android 5.0 preview build. As you now know, we spent the last several days talking about all that is new and awesome about Android 5.0. We also went wild over pre-orders for the new Nexus devices, their accessories, and impending launch dates.

Outside of Nexus and Lollipop news, we also have news on the DROID Turbo front, reviews in for the Galaxy Alpha and Xperia Z3 Compact, a new email app from Google, and more. This should be a packed show, as always. Join us!

We are live this afternoon at 3:00PM Pacific (6:00PM Eastern).

If you miss us live, feel free to subscribe to us by following one of the links below.    (more…)

LG G Watch R Unboxing and Tour

The other round Android Wear smartwatch is now in house at DL HQ. Or as LG would put it – the only fully round smartwatch. That’s right, the LG G Watch R is here and already on wrist after we filmed a quick unboxing and first impressions video. With its use of premium materials and upgraded specs over the original G Watch, LG is aiming at Motorola’s round effort, the Moto 360. Can it stand up to what we consider to be the best Android Wear watch on the planet? Let’s start to find out.  (more…)

Google Announces Android Wear 4.4W.2 With GPS and Offline Music Support, New App Categories in Google Play

Two days ago, Motorola announced that a big update was rolling out to the Moto 360 that included a handful of useful tweaks to Android Wear. The LG G Watch received a similar update. In case you missed it, the update was to version 4.4W.2, which is one of the two big updates we are expecting to see from Google for their wearable platform before the year ends. Today, Google made the update official.  (more…)

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review

I love Sony’s current approach to smartphones. They start with a flagship phone that has top tier specs to compete with anyone. But then to compliment that phone and appease those of us who don’t like oversized phones, they release a smaller, “compact” version that doesn’t lack in any department. These “compact” phones are flagship-level devices, unlike the “mini” phones that LG and Samsung tend to release each year as alternatives to their own flagships.

As you all know, I can’t stand the trend of smartphones these days, which is to constantly make everything as big as possible. (No, folks, bigger is not always better.) Sony gets that. And this year, they are proving that by releasing the Xperia Z3 Compact, a smaller, but equally impressive version of the Xperia Z3.

The Compact line from Sony is not new to me, as I tested the Z1 Compact earlier this year for a month or so. All I can say after using both it and the Z3 Compact is that I wish more manufacturers would do similar things with smaller phones. They feel amazing in hand, can be used with one hand, and are a fantastic option. Let’s talk about this particular model in more detail.

This is our Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review.  (more…)

Sony Xperia Z3v Now Available From Verizon for $199

Sony’s latest flagship has officially reached US soil – the Xperia Z3v is now available from Verizon for $199 on-contract, $24.99 with Edge, or $599 at full retail.

The device features a 5.2-inch FHD display, 3,200mAh battery, 20.7MP camera, 32GB internal storage, micro SD support up to 128GB, a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, and wireless charging. The phone runs Android 4.4 “KitKat” and comes in either black or white.  (more…)

A Video Tour of Google’s New Inbox by Gmail

Inbox is Google’s new take on email, but as many of you have already noticed, the app is a lot like Mailbox, a popular email app that helps make you more productive by turning your inbox into a task manager of sorts. Both are pretty awesome. Both are also very different ways of attacking email, though. To use either, you really need to look at your inbox in a different way, which for some of you, may be too much to ask.

Since we received an invite for Inbox, we decided that we should show you how it works. If you decide to take Inbox for a spin at some point (assuming invites become available in the near future), then we want you to know what you are getting yourself into. Because again, this isn’t the typical email setup where you receive all emails into your primary inbox, many of which fill up that inbox and make you feel like an unproductive slug.  (more…)

EYE Experience Update Rolling Out Now to HTC One (M8) on Verizon

The HTC One (M8) on Verizon is receiving its EYE Experience update right now, according to at least two of our readers. HTC was expecting the push to happen today, so it appears as if Verizon came through on their end.

The update, for those new to the EYE Experience, introduces better face tracking of multiple people in a room, screen sharing, Split Capture feature (combination of simultaneous photos and videos taken with both cameras), Crop-Me-In mode (ignore this one), Voice Selfie (selfie explanatory), and more.

To check for the update, head into Settings>Phone update>Check for update. The update is 210.5MB in size. (more…)