Smartwatches are at their infancy, but 2015 could be an explosive year once Apple jumps on the bandwagon and more Android Wear smartwatches become available. One of the coolest things about smartwatches is their ability to change watch faces. You could literally have a different watch face for each day of the year. Very cool, but luxury watch makers don’t think so.
You may have noticed that there are already thousands of watch faces available thanks to apps in the Play Store like Facer. Many of those faces are replicas of actual luxury watches, giving you the feeling of owning one without dropping thousands of dollars on one. But now companies like Rolex are trying to stop these replica faces from being available.
The Snapdragon 810 probably won’t come to consumer devices until next June, but Qualcomm has released a development smartphone featuring the said processor. Called the Mobile Developer Platform (MDP) smartphone, it gives developers early access to the processor for testing and optimizing Android applications.
The 810 is an octa-core and 64-bit, so the rest of the specs are also high end. It includes a 6.2-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display, an Adreno 430 GPU, 4 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, microSD slot for expanded storage, 13 MP rear camera with Dual LED flash and 4K video recording, 4 MP front-facing camera, the newest Qualcomm Hexagon DSP, 3,020 mAh battery, and the “latest available Android OS,” which we presume will be Lollipop.
New reports have surfaced over the past couple days indicating the European Union may be planning to introduce a motion at a meeting this upcoming Thursday suggesting Google unbundle its search engine from other offerings the company makes available. Reports indicate executives within Google are “furious” about this latest move by the EU and the short notice they have received. Read more
When Google introduced the Nexus 6 one of the features that was noteworthy was that the device came loaded with the chips necessary to support any of wireless network technologies used by all of the major U.S. carriers. In theory, this means any given Nexus 6 can be used on any of these networks instead of consumers having to purchase a unit built specifically for any given carrier. Unfortunately, it looks like the carriers are still creating some roadblocks to this concept becoming a reality. Read more
Samsung is pushing out an update to all unlocked and carrier-branded variants of its current flagship smartphone, the Note 4, located in Germany and Greece. Weighing in at 137MB, this upgrade doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of added functionality, but it does include a handful of performance and stability improvements.
Amazon Game Studios has a new title available now for Kindle Fire tablets from 2014 and 2013. The action-adventure game is Tales From Deep Space. Players control traveling salesman E and his robotic piece of luggage CASI. The two are attempting to escape the Big Moon space station as it has been locked down. Although the game is of the action-adventure genre, it is full of puzzles with comedy as well.
Through ComiXology, a prequel comic compliments the Tales From Deep Space game. It provides players with the reason as to how E and CASI arrived at the Big Moon space station. If you are purchasing the game, we highly recommend the comic. After all, it is complimentary to the game and it is free.
Hit the break for the gallery, trailer, and download links.
Pebble announced this week that they are rolling out some major updates for their devices and the Android app for Pebble. On the device side of the house, Pebble is rolling out a firmware update that supports several new languages so that users can read their notifications and alerts in their native language. According to Pebble, 98% of their users can get their updates in their native language. Read more
When it comes to connecting vehicles, there are a few options. Google has Android Auto, Apple has CarPlay, and the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) has MirrorLink. Two Sony handsets on the market today opt with the latter of the three. The Xperia Z3 (which we recently reviewed) and the Xperia Z3 Compact come out of the box with MirrorLink support. When a device is MirrorLink-enabled, it connects to a vehicle for music control and simplified navigation. MirrorLink also provides safety because users are no longer focusing as much on the device.
New reports indicate Google is in the process of closing down the Glass Basecamps that it setup to help new customers obtaining Google Glass. When Glass was first introduced, buyers were strongly urged to to pick up their new devices via one of the Basecamps. Those existed only in San Francisco, Los Angles and New York, meaning most people were in for a road trip. However, the closure of the Basecamps is not necessarily bad news for Glass fans. Read more
This year, the trend for companies has been to release core services as standalone applications because it makes for easier updates. Rather than updating the entire system software, a standalone app can be updated through the Play Store alone. Google Search for Android TV now has a place in the Play Store. It acts as an exploration tool for Android TV to find information and not just content.
Don’t have an Android TV device? Well, the Nexus Player is available through Google Play and it comes with a $20 credit. So now may be the time to make a purchase and reap the benefits.
Hit the break for the gallery and download links.