Tuesday Poll: SMS in Hangouts or Separate SMS App?

Google introduced SMS to Hangouts back in November of last year, a move that seemed to pave the way for users to be able to specify a default SMS app in Android 4.4 and give us the option to use a single app for all messaging. For someone like me, who rarely sends text messages because I have fully adopted Hangouts messaging instead, the integration of SMS into Hangouts has been beyond helpful. Gone are the days that I need to manage conversations in multiple apps. I can now carry on the few text message (SMS) conversations I have going in Hangouts, right next to my Hangouts conversations.

But after talking with friends and family who were somewhat forced into using Hangouts as their default SMS over the last year, whether that happened through an update or as an out-of-the-box experience, I get the feeling that not everyone is excited as I am about the integration. For example, a friend of my wife’s missed a half-dozen Hangouts messages that my wife sent her the other day because she said she “didn’t like Hangouts and turned it off.” Why that is, I do not know. But she isn’t the only one.

So I’m curious – are you using Hangouts as your all-in-one messaging platform with SMS integration or are you using a separate SMS app? If you are using a separate SMS app, which one and why?

Do you use SMS in Hangouts or Separate SMS App?

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Monday Poll: Interested in the HTC Nexus 9?

Google, in collaboration with HTC and NVIDIA, is about to release the Nexus 9 tablet (“very soon“). This will be the first tablet released by Google in over a year, with the Nexus 7 (2013) being the last.  It should sport close to a 9-inch high-res display, NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, maybe even an all-metal HTC One (M8)-like design, and Android L. If Google’s previous tablet efforts are anything to go by, it will likely be a solid tablet at a reasonable price.

But are you interested? There are countless Android tablets available these days, many at sub $200 price tags. Do you want a high-end all-metal HTC-made Nexus tablet? Do you want a tablet at all? I would venture to guess that many of you already own a tablet, so is a new Nexus tablet something worth considering as a replacement? Do you own an oversized smartphone and not see a need for a tablet?

I can tell you that the DL staff is more interested to see what Google can bring in the form of a new Nexus phone than a tablet. But what about you?

Interested in the HTC Nexus 9?

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Friday Poll: Buying the New Moto X?

Not that the release of our review should mean that you can finally decide whether or not you are buying the new Moto X, but we would love to know your thoughts after reading not only ours, but others’ as well. The Moto X review units have been in the hands of press for a couple of weeks, which means several outlets have weighed in. Some are calling it the best Android phone ever made, others are calling it a solid option. We think it fits somewhere in the middle of those two categories, as a device that is better than last year’s Moto X, but still needs improvements in a couple of key areas.

So, when the Moto X finally arrives (more than likely before the end of the month), are you buying one?

Buying the New Moto X?

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Question of the Day: Has Hardware Design Reached a Plateau?

In a recent discussion posted online between Vodafone and Warren Saunders, Sony’s UK and Ireland Sales Director, Saunders talks about the new Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact. Early in the talks, Saunders states that when it comes down to a buyer deciding between the larger Xperia Z3 and the smaller Z3 Compact, it’s simply, “a choice thing.” With almost identical internal specs, the question is, do buyers want a big phone or a not-so-big phone?

But more importantly, and the actual reason for this post, is that Saunders alludes to one very important theory within this discussion. To him, it appears that hardware/design innovations have essentially reached a plateau, and companies like Sony, will begin to focus more on a cohesive package across multiple devices.  (more…)

Thursday Poll: Should a Smartwatch be Round or Square?

Square or round? That seems to be the debate about smartwatches in 2014. Motorola decided long ago that they were ditching the rectangular smartwatch design for something closer to a traditional, circular time piece with the Moto 360. We have even seen LG already jump to the idea as well, with the G Watch R. But then you have Samsung sticking with square (semi-curved square, to be correct) throughout their half-dozen or so watch releases. And of course, Apple went square with the Apple Watch in this week’s unveiling.

We are curious which you prefer? Clearly, you think the Moto 360 is the best looking watch of the bunch, according to our latest poll, but that could be because of the overall design. Maybe you could buy into a square watch if it looked amazing. You tell us – square or round?

Should a Smartwatch be Round or Square?

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Tuesday Poll: Better Looking Watch – Apple Watch, Moto 360, or G Watch R?

Apple is a company known for design. Almost all of their products are largely thought to be beautiful combinations of modern and industrial design. So as we waited to see them unveil the Apple Watch this morning, I think it’s safe to say that we expected the design of the device to blow our minds. But did it?

The Apple Watch is a bubbly little thing, with a sapphire display, rounded edges, and swappable watch straps that come in a variety of materials and textures. It comes in a sport model made of aluminum, standard model wrapped in stainless steel, and an “Edition” version with 18K gold. It even has a “Digital Crown” as both a functional and design highlight. But in the end, the watch still sports a square face with all sorts of bezel that looks a lot like all of the previous smartwatches we have seen from Samsung.

Then you have the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R, two devices that have really tried to emulate a traditional watch experience, but with smart functionality built in. They are beautifully designed time pieces, not just smartwatches.

So you tell us, which is the better looking watch?

Better Looking Watch - Apple Watch, Moto 360, or G Watch R?

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Tuesday Poll: Product You are Most Excited for This Week?

One of the biggest weeks in tech has arrived, thanks to IFA in Berlin and a separate event being held by Motorola where they are preparing to announce a handful of new products. It is going to get wild around these parts starting early tomorrow morning. Asus has a press event in the very early hours, where we should see the official unveiling of the ZenWatch. After that, Samsung will do its Galaxy Note 4 song and dance, followed by additional events for Sony and some other companies. Then once Thursday rolls around, the world will focus on Motorola and the new Moto X and Moto G, along with details on the Moto 360. LG will also be showing off their new G Watch R, round smartwatch, during IFA. Again, things are going to get nutty, but awesome.

We want to know which announcement or product you are most excited about. Will it be the new Note? Are you hoping to hear Sony confirm US availability for their next flagship? Or do you really just care about Motorola’s new line of products?

Let us know!

Product You are Most Excited for This Week?

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Thursday Poll: Which Streaming Music Service Do You Use?

A paid subscription to Google Play Music is something I generally believe that I can’t live without going forward. I use it every single day. I listen to music streamed from the service while working, while in the car, if I’m cooking, and while I workout. I am constantly streaming music. My playlists change often. New music enters my rotation regularly (that I don’t have to pay extra for). And I often find throwback tunes to my wilder and much younger days that bring a smile to my face today. Streaming music services like Google Play are awesome.

Which brings us to today’s poll. Are you using a streaming music service? If so, which one?

There are countless services to choose from at this point. In fact, I narrowed the list down to what I would consider to be the nine most popular, half of which I myself haven’t even been able to try. From Google Music to iTunes Radio to Beats Music to Spotify, you have so many options that all offer somewhat different experiences. As I mentioned above, Google Play Music works for me, but there may be another service that fits your needs.

Let us know – which streaming music service do you use?

Which Streaming Music Service Do You Use?

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