When Google gained control of Motorola in 2012, the expectation was that Google was ready to release a smartphone of its own. That never happened. The blame can perhaps be put on Google’s engineering team or even the CEO’s lack of wanting to work with Motorola. Instead, Motorola pushed on its own and produced its flagship that was announced and released in August 2013: the Moto X. It was the return of Motorola, eliminating its massive amount of devices to just focus on a single one. Google was now holding an umbrella over Motorola, making sure nothing could go wrong and nurse it back to health. Everyone thought that this device would bring together a superb, unchanged software experience along with cutting edge specifications. For some reason, hardly anyone bit. » Read the rest
Samsung unveiled their newest set of tablets tonight in New York City. The Galaxy Tab S comes in either 8.4-inches or 10.5-inches. It’s highlight is the Super AMOLED display which has a 2560 x 1600 resolution, but don’t forget about how thin it is. Measuring 6.6mm thick, it’s thinner than the iPad Air. It also includes SideSync 3.0 that will let you receive phone calls and texts as well as transfer files from your Galaxy S 5. Papergarden is also new. It includes a various magazines from Condé Nast, National Geographic, and Marvel that are tailored for the Tab S. They even include video. If books are more your thing, Kindle for Samsung will get you one free book each month. Quick Briefing appears to be a revamped version of the Magazine UX found on the TabPROs. You will also get some of the other familiar features like Adaptive Display, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Fingerprint Scanner, Private Mode, Knox, and Kids Mode. Finally, don’t forget about the Galaxy Gifts. The 8.4-inch version will go for $399 (WiFi-only) and the 10.5-incher will be $499 (WiFi-only). Hit the break for our hands on video.
It’s hard to believe that Google I/O is only a couple of weeks away. The conference itself is always a exciting, but you can’t forget the parties. Lookout’s Annual Kickoff party is always a blast, and we are excited to offer our readers a chance to get a ticket because it’s one you don’t want to miss. If delicious food, unlimited drinks, great entertainment and cool giveaways from Lookout and T-Mobile sounds like fun to you, then you will want to enter this contest right now. We have 10 tickets (plus one guest) to give away and the details are as follows:
The Moto G is the best selling smartphone in Motorola’s history, and with good reason. It made the smartphone more affordable to more people. Motorola has now taken it a step further with the introduction of the Moto E. Simply put, it’s made to last and priced for all. Priced at $129 / £89 off contract and unlocked, Motorola thinks this is the beginning of the end for flip phones and feature phones.
I will be spending a lot more time with it over the coming week, but my initial impression is this is one solid phone for the money. It feels very much like a Moto G, only smaller. It certainly isn’t the most powerful phone in the world, but it’s buttery smooth.
Hit the break for our quick hands on video highlighting the specs with a concentration on the new Motorola Alert app.
We have held a number of contests with Poweramp in the past, but this one is by far the biggest. Poweramp is celebrating build 555 by giving away 5 premier smartphones during a 5 day contest with their 5 favorite Android blogs. The phones up for grabs include the Samsung Galaxy S 5, HTC One (M8), LG G2, Nexus 5, and Samsung Galaxy Note 3. An amazing group indeed.
Here’a how it works. All you have to do is comment at the bottom of this post telling us what your first Android phone was (or is)? You will have until Friday, May 2, at 11:59PM PST to get your entry in. Once the contest is over, we will select one random winner and submit it to Poweramp. The other four sites will do the same, and Poweramp, in association with Negri Electronics, will hold a random drawing for each phone. We will let our winner know which phone they have won next Monday, May 5, which is when Poweramp version 555 will be released. Be sure that your account has a working email address because that is how we are going to contact you.
After months of leak after leak after leak, HTC finally took the wraps off of their latest flagship, the HTC One (M8), today in New York City and London. There wasn’t much left to shock us, but that doesn’t take away the fact that this is an amazing phone. Will it be the phone of the year? I will wait until I spend more time with it until I make that decision, but it certainly is off to a good start.
We have all come across games with in-app purchases, and I often wonder if it’s really all that effective. I don’t mind spending money on any app or game if it’s worth it, but when a developer designs a game that forces you to pay for something to succeed in the game, I have a problem with that. I would rather the developer give me a demo of the game for free with an option to purchase the full version or the remaining levels for a one time purchase. In-app purchases remind me of the 1-900 days in which they tried to lure lonely men into coughing a bunch of dollars and getting nothing in return. Why should I buy a special red ship that has more fire power? Let me earn it the old fashioned way.
According to a survey conducted by Swrve, it appears as though the majority of people aren’t falling for this trap. According to them, only 0.15 percent of mobile gamers contribute 50 percent of all of the in-app purchases. These people are referred to as “Whales”, but I have another name for them that probably wouldn’t be a good idea to say.
With each year comes a new round of flagship devices, and before the announcement of these much anticipated devices, consumers start a wishlist of what he or she wants featured. For the most part, it has to do with displays or internal components. How big will the display be? How many pixels per inch? Then there is Megapixels in the camera, Gigabytes of RAM, and the latest processor. Most of these get answered because each year there is a ‘standard’ set of specs a high-end device should hit. However, there is something that varies between devices: How a phone feels or the quality of build.
Sometimes the tech world surprises us, and yesterday’s announcement that Google sold Motorola to Lenovo was just another example. At the same time, let’s not forget that the same people that were shocked yesterday were almost equally as shocked when Google bought Motorola for a lot more than they sold them for. Now that Google decided to divorce so quickly, it almost seems as if this marriage was a result of a drunken Las Vegas weekend. Or maybe both parties had the right intentions, but just like with many marriages, they don’t always work out. So you part ways, and keep the stuff that you want and move on. That’s exactly what Google did.
So why did Google buy Motorola in the first place? Was it the patents? Everyone seems to think so, but if that was the case, couldn’t they have just bought the damn patents? I am sure patents were part of the equation, but Motorola was an American innovative company that had a lot of talent. Google knew of things that Motorola was working on long before we reported on them (ie modular phones), and they probably thought the organization would make a great fit. However, Google was never a hardware company, so they allowed it to run separately.
With Android, there is never a shortage of phones, but only a handful can be considered for the best of the year. It’s never an easy pick, but that isn’t a bad thing because it means Android fans have choice. Last year, each of us here at Talk Android made our picks for 2012, so we decided to do it again for 2013. Will we all agree, or will each of us pick something completely different? I was actually surprised at the result. Hit the break to find out what each of us picked.