How to: Use Always-On Apps With Android Wear

This morning, Google shared with us a list of recently updated apps that can all take advantage of Android Wear’s new always-on apps feature in 5.1. The feature is useful in situations where you may want to keep information from an app up on your screen, but you don’t necessarily want it blasting out in full color and brightness, eating up that tiny watch battery.  (more…)

DEAL: Moto 360 for as Little as $149 at Woot

Would you pull the trigger on your first Android Wear smartwatch if it was the Moto 360 and you only had to pay $150? That’s the scenario in front of you today, thanks to a deal from Woot. The Moto 360, which is probably still the best looking smartwatch to date (and just received Android 5.1), can be had for $150 with a leather band or $180 with a metal band.

At retail, the Moto 360 with a leather band normally runs $250; with a metal band, you are looking at $300. Not a bad deal.

The deal includes a 1-year warranty from Motorola.

Woot Link  (more…)

On-Screen or Physical/Capacitive Navigation Buttons – Which is Better?

Over the last couple of years, if you asked me which navigation button setup I preferred on a phone – on-screen or physical/capacitive – I wouldn’t have hesitated to say “on-screen for life, my brothers and sisters.” Google has fully convinced me that navigation buttons should be a part of the phone’s software, not hardware. At least, I thought they had fully convinced me. After having spent the past few months caressing a Galaxy S6, calling it the best phone you can buy, and poo-pooing most of the others, I’m now having this awkward internal debate with myself. Which setup do I actually prefer at this point?

I don’t know.  (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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IFTTT Introduces the Android Battery Channel to Help You Conserve and Track Battery Life

If This Then That, better known as IFTTT, introduced a new Android Battery channel today to help all of us better manage battery life, trigger related actions when our phone is charging or not charging, and maybe even squeeze out a bit of extra juice when we are in the danger zone. The channel is live through the web, but does come in an update to the Android app as well.  (more…)

Qi Wireless Charging is About to Get a Whole Lot Faster

The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) announced this morning that a new Qi wireless power standard specification “paves the way for fast charging of mobile phones.” In other words, wireless charging will soon have fast charging capabilities, similar to what is found in devices currently equipped with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology. I’ll say that again – wireless charging is about to be fast, just like turbo or fast charging is.  (more…)