TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for February 24 – March 2, 2014

TalkAndroid_Weekly_Recap

This week was dominated by Mobile World Congress, which brought us a slew of new phones, tablets, and wearables. The most hyped announcement was the Galaxy S 5. Did it deliver as promised? Will Sony finally become a contender with the Xperia Z2? Samsung is hoping the Gear 2 will be more popular than the original Galaxy Gear, but the Gear Fit just might be what the doctor ordered. HTC decided to hold back their greatness until later this month. Will it pay off? And what does Motorola have in the cooker for this year? It’s time to get caught up and get ready for another exciting week in the world of Android.

Editorials

Are in-app purchases for free-to-play games effective?

Guides

Here’s how to get the Google Now Launcher on any Android phone or tablet

Accessories

Asus releases wireless and wired docks for Nexus 7 2013

Apps – New

WinZip launches ZipShare, a way to zip and manage your cloud-based files

Google Now Launcher now available in the Play Store

RealPlayer Cloud, dubbed “Dropbox for videos,” is now available in the Play Store

Feature-rich Google URL Shortener app in Google Play

Read more

Close-up of a Chrome-branded device leaks, features Samsung’s faux leather

samsung_chrome_device_faux_leather

Another unexpected leak has arrived on this Saturday afternoon. What we are looking at, courtesy of @evleaks, is a Chrome-branded device that features the same faux leather back featured on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Along with supplying the image, @evleaks says “Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 design language marches on…” So what exactly is this unidentified device? More likely than not it is a Chromebook. It features Chrome’s logo alongside the Chrome name. Read more

The all new HTC One for Verizon leaks in gray

the_all_new_htc_one_evleaks_verizon

Shortly after leaking the AT&T model of HTC’s upcoming flagship smartphone, @evleaks posted Verizon’s. And this time around, the device is in gray. Verizon opted to put its logo on the back of the device like AT&T; however, Big Red also threw in its 4G LTE logo. Also, Verizon’s 4G LTE icon is present in the status bar. Nothing else has changed between this device and the one from the AT&T leak from before. Just stay tuned because there is a very good chance that we see the Sprint or T-Mobile models leak in gold.

The all new HTC One will be announced on March 25 in New York City. Read more

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for February 28, 2014

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Editorials

Are in-app purchases for free-to-play games effective?

Guides

Here’s how to get the Google Now Launcher on any Android phone or tablet

Apps

Motorola Active Display app gets buzzy with latest update

Read more

Drew Bamford from HTC hints at features on new HTC One and new HTC smartwatch

Drew_Bamford_HTC_01

We’ve been getting a couple hints from HTC about upcoming devices, and now Drew Bamford, who’s the lead software designer at HTC, has given a few hints of his own at Mobile World Congress this week.

When Drew was asked about what’s to come in the next few years, Bamford had this to say about HTC’s plans for their upcoming March 25th announcement:

“I think the great thing is that you won’t have to wait three years or even a year. On March 25th, we’re going to have a lot more to talk about with some new experiences that you’ll be very excited about. And really, what we’re doing there is capitalizing on the experiences that have been successful in HTC Sense 5 and 5.5 and really taking them to the next level. faster Access to the information that’s important to you, a more responsive experience that understand you and anticipates your needs and more ways to express yourself with your phone.”

Read more

Moto X’s Windy Day leads to Buggy Night, coming soon (but without notice)

buggy_night_moto_x_now_playing

Remember the interactive film Windy Day that graced Moto X displays around the world? The next interactive film heading to Motorola’s flagship is Buggy Night. While we have no idea what the storyline is based on the trailer (which you can watch after the break), it clearly looks like it will be as entertaining and intuitive as Windy Day. Buggy Night is listed as coming soon; however, expect it to surface without warning just as Windy Day did.

Hit the break for the Buggy Night trailer. Read more

LG takes shots at HTC and Apple while hinting at metal phones in the process

lg_logo

LG’s Chul Bae Lee had plenty to say when being interviewed by a Russian technology site. Lee is the company’s leader over at the design center, so he is a pretty credible source to be saying all of this. On the subject of metal phones, Lee questions why HTC has not been very successful if metal is a huge demand. Also, he claims LG is considering the introduction of metal; however, no time frame is provided. Lee then switched gears to Apple and metal. He says that Apple’s iPhone has poor reception due to metal interfering with the wireless signal. And finally, Lee assures everyone that LG will not produce a very thin metal smartphone like Huawei since battery life would take a huge hit.

Lee also talked about the success of the LG G2’s design. In a pre-release survey, about 50% favored the placement of the volume and power buttons on the backside. In return, LG was very happy and continued to run with the design (as if they had a choice at that point). Lee also feels that reviews for the G2’s design have been respectable.

Source: Hi-Tech@Mail.ru
Via: Phone Arena

Are in-app purchases for free-to-play games effective?

in-app-android-purchases

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.

Read more

Lenovo’s Ashton Kutcher-influenced smartphones will arrive later this year

lenovo_ashton_kuthcer_name_tag

Ashton Kutcher’s role as a Product Engineer with Lenovo is very real. After appearing in a few ads involving their Yoga Tablet line since October, Kutcher’s reach has now extended to smartphones. David Roman, Chief Marketing Officer at Lenovo, spoke with Re/code and the actor “not only sees himself as an engineer, but he is an engineer. If he sees a problem, he wants to solve it.” Roman explained that while Kutcher is not involved directly with the design, he is certainly providing assistance with the experience of Lenovo smartphones coming later this year.

If you are doubting Kutcher’s actual ability to contribute, think again. Before starting his modeling and acting career, he was studying biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa. Also, he has invested in Foursquare, Airbnb, and Uber while starting A-Grade Investments.

Source: Re/code

The all new HTC One for AT&T leaks in silver

htc_one_2014_evleaks_ATT_leak

As we get closer to its March 25 announcement in New York City, new information continues to surface about The all new HTC One. This time around, @evleaks gives us a look at the AT&T model of HTC’s 2014 flagship. It looks like the only truly noticeable branding is on the backside where AT&T has opted to stamp their logo. Also, the carrier has its 4G LTE icon in the status bar; however, that is a common change among all carriers.

Now if only we knew what Verizon’s carrier branding will be… Read more