Today, Microsoft Garage was introduced as an “after-hours idea factory” for company employees to work on their own projects. Microsoft started the day by launching Bing Torque for Android Wear. Now, two apps for phones are available in the Play Store. One is a lock screen replacement and the other is a social app for traveling.
Microsoft wants to be front and center on your Android phone with Next Lock Screen. The app is all about launching apps as quickly as possible. It displays things like your calendar, missed calls, emails, messages, and more. There is a swipe-to-dial feature that allows conference seamlessly. So it seems that people looking for productivity will find Next Lock Screen more useful. A nice touch for Next Lock Screen is that the background is dynamic and changes throughout the day and based on location.
Hit the break for more.
The Moto 360 Wireless Charging Dock is now available in the Google Play Store. The item had shown up a few days ago, but could not be ordered. That changed today as Google has the units in stock and ready to ship within 1-2 business days after an order is placed. The list price for the dock is $39.99. Read more
Google has announced a major update for their Google Earth for Android app. According to their announcement, the key to the update is a new 3D rendering engine, the first overhaul since Earth launched over 10 years ago. Google says the new engine will provide “faster, smoother, and crisper transitions.” Read more
Rovio is primarily known for their Angry Birds line of games. Their newest title, RETRY, invites players to take flight in a different manner, this time in an “8-bit jalopy of an airplane.” Rovio really plays up the retro aspects of the title, pointing out the 8-bit graphics look, the collection of coins as you work through levels, and a synthesized soundtrack. Read more
Google just unveiled “Inbox,” which sounds a lot like our earlier story on Bigtop. It’s a completely separate app from Gmail, which aims to be a better alternative for those that find they are overburdened with email. When Email started, it was a simple way to pass messages, and it made you more efficient. However, as email as grown over the years, it’s gotten so distracting that it sometimes is hard to actually get things done. One could argue that it no longer makes us efficient.
According to Google, Inbox works for you and helps you get to the important information quicker. This is all done by new features such as Bundles, Highlights, Reminders, Assists, and Snoozing.
Google has introduced a new feature called Screen Pinning in Android 5.0 Lollipop. I would say it’s most useful for those of you with kids in the house or if your handing your phone or tablet to someone who has zero technical know-how.
Screen Pinning allows you to “pin” any app you want so that the user cannot do anything else but use that particular app. For example, you could start up a game and hand your phone or tablet to your child. He or she won’t be able to exit out of the game (at least easily) and send an email telling your boss to go to hell.
The Nexus 6 isn’t for everyone because of it’s enormous 6-inch (5.96) display, but how does it stack up against its predecessors? Thanks to Phone Arena, we have images of the Nexus 6 next to each Nexus phone ever released. Some of these images my scare you, but what was a large phone in 2010 is not a large phone today. Hit the break for all the images and let us know what you think of the Nexus 6. Too big? Just right? Or dare I say, too small?
I’m not sure what’s going on at Microsoft these days. First, Microsoft Research released a pretty much useless keyboard for Android Wear smartwatches, and now, Microsoft Garage has just released Bing Torque.
Bing Torque replaces the need to speak “OK Google” each time you want to ask a question. With Bing Torque, you can just twist your wrist and then say your question. If you’re reading between the lines here, it’s not just the “OK Google” command that’s being replaced here. Yup, you guessed it. Next time you want to find out how tall President Obama is, you will be asking Bing. Microsoft is saying that it’s like having Cortana running on your smartwatch. However, it might not work for commands like, “Set a timer” or “Send a text to _____.”
The app works well on the LG G Watch, LG G Watch R, and Samsung Gear Live, but not so well on the Moto 360. If Bing is your thing, then by all means, hit the break and check out the screenshots and download this app today.
Samsung’s method of releasing an insane amount of phones is clearly working for them, so today Samsung continues that tradition with the launch of the Galaxy Core Max. Currently exclusive to China, the Core Max is a dual SIM budget device with the model number SM-G5108Q and ships with Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
Last month, Samsung and Barnes & Noble unveiled the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook with a 7-inch screen. Realizing that might not be big enough for some people, they went ahead and announced a 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) version. It’s essentially the same device as the smaller version other than the display size, and you get the same Barnes & Noble extras.
It’s available starting today in Barnes & Noble stores nationwide or on their website. The price is $299, and that includes $200 in free content from the Nook Store, which includes bestselling books, popular TV shows, top magazines and apps.
Hit the break for the full presser.