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…)

DL Favorites: Lock Screen Replacements

[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 lock screen replacement apps.

Your lock screen is one of the most personal and important parts of your phone. It’s the gateway to your device, often adorned with an image of loved ones or fan art for the new Star Wars movie. But sometimes, the lock screens that come on our phones are annoying to use, limited in features, or just get boring after a while. I tried a ton of different lock screen replacements from Google Play, looking to shake things up, and these three are my favorites. (more…)

DL Favorites: Twitter 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 twitter apps. 

I really love Twitter. I love Twitter so much I bought some Twitter posters to hang in my apartment (you can buy them here). There are a lot of Twitter apps out there for Android, but these four are my favorite.

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DL Favorites: To-Do List 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 to-do list apps.

I’m almost always busy. My week is packed with my normal day job, my part time job at church, writing for Droid Life, and spending time with friends and family. It’s a good life and I like it, but if I don’t keep track of what I need to do then I end up remembering at the last minute and having to rush to get something done at the last minute or completely forgetting and having to disappoint someone. Having a good to-do list app is critical for me. Read on to see my recommendations for to-do list apps on Android.

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Smartwatches Aren’t Smart Enough

Smartwatches are back in the news again thanks to Apple’s latest event, and it has me thinking about a topic that I am tired of thinking about. It’s not necessarily that I don’t want a smartwatch or that I can’t see their prospective usefulness, but rather, much of the press seems to be going through the motions of gazing out at the distant future and hoping it appears on the latest wearable.

Almost everyone seems to agree that Apple failed to provide a story for the product, or the ideal reason why we should want an Apple Watch, which has led to some people remaining skeptical until they try it and others waxing on about how it, unlike Android Wear, is going to change everything. It’s that second group that I’m growing weary of. I keep hearing stories about how the Apple Watch is going to save so much time, and how it will enable us to be more personable since we won’t be looking at our phones anymore, and how it will remove friction from our lives when we use our watch for everything.

Are smartwatches really the thing that will make us better conversationalists, use our phone less, and get more work done? Let’s take a look at some of the promises we have been hearing about smartwatches and examine just how viable they are. (more…)