DL Favorites: Gallery Apps

DLF, or Droid Life’s Favorites, is a series of articles reviewing our favorite apps in a given category. The goal of these articles isn’t to extensively review every single option out there and determine which is “the best,” but rather to give you a few of our favorite apps in a category. This week we look at Droid Life’s favorite gallery apps.

Even though we call the tiny computers in our pockets “phones,” I like to think of them as communications devices. I use my “phone” almost exclusively as a means of communication. Sometimes I use my voice, sometimes text, sometimes I’m receiving messages from others, and a lot of the time I’m taking, viewing, and sending pictures. Below are my favorite apps to view and organize my pictures and videos. (more…)

Near Future Consternation [Opinion]

A lot of people seem to be upset that the OnePlus 2 does not have NFC. As we all know, OnePlus likes to talk a big game. They are the ones who “#neversettle,” after all. But how can this flagship killer actually kill flagships without NFC? Why not just include it?

Here’s the thing – Near Field Communication, or NFC as the kids are calling it these days, simply doesn’t matter in 2015. I want you to come with me on a journey back to yesteryear. No, literally, think back to 2014. Everyone thought that once Apple added NFC to the iPhone, NFC would become a big deal. The teens would be bumping their phones to exchange contacts, every single store in America would support mobile payments, and all of the big issues plaguing our country would be solved.

Well, it’s been almost a year since NFC was added to the iPhone exclusively for contactless payments and you can still hardly use it anywhere. Even major businesses like Starbucks are continuing to use barcodes for payment like it’s 2011. And it isn’t just Apple’s problem. While Android phones have been able to pay for things with Google Wallet and myriad of other services, most stores still want a credit card. (more…)

Pebble Time Review

The Pebble Time is an important product for a few reasons, but the most important is that it is the only serious contender for the space on your wrist besides Android Wear and Apple Watch. For most users, Android Wear and Apple Watch make more sense on their respective platforms. Really, the only reason the Pebble Time exists is because the original Pebble did a lot of what many users wanted in a smartwatch far before Android Wear and Apple Watch were a thing nerds argued about and normal humans looked at briefly as they passed through their mall.

Now that Android Wear and Apple Watch are here, though, can Pebble stay relevant with the Time?

This is our Pebble Time review. (more…)

Why is Android Still the Second Platform Developers Work On?

Every year we see the same promise: this is the year that Android-first development will become a reality. At the same time we see big companies like Instagram repeatedly introduce new apps that are iOS-only. Android has been able to tout more market share than iOS for quite some time, but that doesn’t seem to have translated into app developers releasing Android apps at the same time as their iOS counterparts, much less Android-first. Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking with developers and researching why this is still the case.
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Can We Get a Better Digital Assistant Without Violating Our Privacy? [Opinion]

AI, or artificial intelligence, is an old idea, but it’s still probably the most important technological leap that we’ve yet to make. We’ve been inching closer with things like Google Now, Siri, and Cortana, but we are still so far away. As we inch closer, though, there’s an implementation battle happening. The question we have been asking for the past few years is whether Google will get better at design faster than Apple will get better at web services. I think the new question we need to wrestle with is, can Apple make better apps and services without violating our privacy faster than Google can do so by hoarding all of our information and possibly violating our privacy?
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Google Photos: Privacy Nightmare or Memory Bliss? [Opinion]

Google announced a lot of neat things at Google I/O last week, but the most news worthy item, in my opinion, has by far been Google Photos. The app/service is stunning for its ability to not only store all of your photos and videos for free, but also for creating animated GIFs, highlight videos, collages, and most importantly, letting you search through your images based on the content. It’s an insanely great product, but all of those features have been decried by some of the media over privacy concerns. Sure, Google lets you search through all of your photos based on the location, people in them, objects in them, etc., but that just means Google will be selling advertisements based on your photos, right?

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Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S6 from an iPhone 5c User

For the past two weeks, I have been using the Galaxy S6 and I have loved it. Don’t get me wrong – there is plenty I don’t like about the phone, but there is so much to love that the annoyances are easy to overlook. Reviewing the Sony Xperia Z3v made me think hard about switching back to Android, but the Galaxy S6 convinced me. This isn’t another full review (read our full review here), but rather my thoughts about the S6 as an iPhone user who still loves Android and misses it dearly. (more…)

DL Favorites: Podcast Apps

[DLF], or Droid Life’s Favorite, is a series of articles reviewing our favorite apps in a given category. The goal of these articles isn’t to extensively review every single option out there and determine which is “the best,” but rather to give you a few of our favorite apps in a category. This week we look at Droid Life’s favorite podcast app.

I listen to a lot of podcasts; twenty-two to be exact. I drive for at least an hour total commuting to and from work and I usually take an hour lunch break, so I always have at least two hours a day to fill with podcasts and music. Because I spend so much time listening to podcasts, it’s really important to me that I have a good looking, well designed podcast app.

I started listening to podcasts way before Serial made them “mainstream.” When I started listening to podcasts on Android my app of choice was Google Listen, an app that Google rarely updated and eventually abandoned. Today there are tons of podcast apps, but only one of them is really worth your time and money. (more…)