Pocket Casts Gets Its Big Material Makeover in V5.0

Shifty Jelly, makers of popular podcasting app, Pocket Casts, released version 5.0 of the app this afternoon. The update, as you may have been anticipating, is the big Material Design makeover you have all been waiting for. The new app is fit with animations, rippling touches, and layers upon layers of sliding panels. It’s very well done.

Along with the Materialyolo-ness, you can also swipe episodes to mark them as played/unplayed, will find new audio effects for Volume Boost and Silence Removal, and the Up Next list now in mini players.

The update appears to be live for all, so go grab it! And subscribe to the Droid Life Show(more…)

What’s New in Android 5.1? Here are a Few Things.

Yesterday, Google took the wraps off Android 5.1, which remains as Lollipop and is mostly an update that pushes performance improvements and bug fixes. With that said, there are still a whole bunch of subtle changes here and there that you will either appreciate or probably never notice unless someone were to point them out to you. New animations, tweaks to the way settings work, and better instructions in areas like Screen Pinning are a few of the new additions.  (more…)

Moto 360 Comes to Moto Maker Today (Updated)

At the end of February, Motorola announced that they would bring Moto 360 to their Moto Maker customization tool in March. Well, we are in March and they appear to be ready to go live with it. The Moto 360 page changed today to say “Now available in Moto Maker” and now has a “Build yours” button, similar to the one seen on the Moto X page that redirects to Moto Maker.  (more…)

Choosing the Best Smartphone Camera [Opinion]

Megapixels. Sensors. Aperture. White balance. Shutter Speed. Optical Image Stabilization. Ultrapixels. ISO. Bokeh. Exposure.

Every year we see new flagship phones released, followed by more buzz words explaining why each OEM has the best camera on their smartphone. If you are not a camera aficionado, seeing these kinds of words probably raises more questions than it does answers. Do I actually need optical image stabilization in my smartphone? This phone has a 20 megapixel camera compared to this one’s 8 megapixel camera, so the 20 megapixel camera is better, right? How do I cure the f-stop blues?

Here’s the truth: in the best lighting conditions, any modern smartphone can take decent pictures, but it does take some education to know which smartphone has the best camera in the most situations. My goal is not to give you a Photography 101 lecture, but rather, to give you some basic pointers so you can better understand what different manufacturer’s cameras are offering. Read on to find out a little bit about how cameras work, what marketing information actually matters, and what this all means when you are comparing smartphone cameras. (more…)

Android 5.1 Factory Images Available for Nexus Devices (Updated)

Updated March 12:  Nexus 6 factory images added.

Updated March 17: Google just added a new Android 5.1 factory image for the Nexus 6 as build LMY47E.

Updated March 20:  Google added the Android 5.1 (LMY47D) image for the Nexus Player.

Updated March 25:  Google added Android 5.1 (LMY47I) images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6.

The first batch of Android 5.1 factory images are now available for the Nexus 5, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 (2012).

You will find links to all below. We will update this post as we have more.  (more…)

Android 5.1 Announced and Official! (Updated)

Android 5.1 has now been announced!

According to a short post provided by Google moments ago, it sounds like they focused on stability and performance with this update, but also tossed in some new features. Support for multiple SIM cards, Device Protection, and HD Voice are now supported on compatible phones.

With Device Protection, Google says that someone could steal your phone and factory wipe it, yet it would still remain locked until you signed-in with your Google account. This feature will be available on “most” Android phones that ship with Android 5.1, including the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9.  (more…)