TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for July 21 – July 27, 2014

TalkAndroid_Weekly_Recap

Things were fairly quiet this week until we got word that Motorola may finally make a Nexus phone. NVIDIA announced the new Shield Tablet, but will anybody care about it? Speaking of who cares….the Amazon Fire Phone is officially available for you to waste your money on. We finally got our best look at the upcoming Moto X+1, but we are still waiting patiently for the Moto 360. And did HTC’s upcoming smartwatch appear in a video? It’s time to get caught up and get ready for what is sure to be another big week in the world of Android.

Editorials

Why wasn’t the Motorola Moto X commercially successful?

Apps – New

Amazon Wallet is a new digital wallet to compete with Google and Isis

Facetune, a selfie editor, is now available for Android devices

ChoreMonster brings technology and kids together to reward completion of chores

[New Android Wear App] Swipify brings useful tools to Google’s wearable platform

Google Hands-Free app icon appears in company post

Nexus Lives: Motorola rumored to be working on a 5.9-inch Nexus phone codenamed ‘Shamu’

Shamu

It was only a few months ago when we thought the Nexus program was dead.

But then came rumors of Volantis, HTC’s codenamed 9-inch Nexus tablet to be released alongside Android L this fall.

Since we hadn’t heard much regarding a new Nexus phone to come out this fall, we were perplexed, but assumed that a new phone would not be coming. Until now.

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Moves to Senate Floor

LockedPhone

This past Thursday brought good news from the Senate to cellphone users everywhere. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, introduced by Patrick Leahy, D-VT, has passed through the Judiciary Committee and is due to be voted on in the full Senate shortly.

“Consumers should be able to use their existing cell phones when they move their service to a new wireless provider,” Leahy said. “With today’s strong bipartisan vote in the Judiciary Committee, I hope the full Senate can soon take up this important legislation that supports consumer rights.” 

Google files patents for contact lenses with built-in iris and capacitive sensors

contact lens

Google has toyed with the idea of high-tech contact lenses for quite some time, even partnering with pharmaceutical giant Novartis to bring their vision of the future (pun intended) to market. While they’ve hinted at features like embedded cameras and glucose monitors, two patents filed by the tech giant yesterday seem to be aimed more at security. Using capacitive sensors that make sure it’s being worn on an actual eye, the lens would use a three step process to essentially turn your eye into a fingerprint.

ChoreMonster brings technology and kids together to reward completion of chores

choremonster_app_icon

Kids love technology, but many of them do not feel the same about chores. It is a form of work that can feel unrewarding and useless. Bringing the two together, though, may be just the trick in order to literally get things done. ChoreMonster, which has already had a presence on a few platforms, is now available for Android and Kindle Fire devices. It is a chore management app that makes chores fun for kids while bringing simplicity to parents.

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for July 25, 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!!

Apps

Facetune, a selfie editor, is now available for Android devices

Sweet News for Verizon Moto G Users

moto-g-desk-cases

As per Motorola Mobility’s latest Google+ post, the Motorola Moto G on Verizon is due for an upgrade. Android Kitkat 4.4.4 will be rolling out throughout the weekend, replacing the previous iteration of Kitkat 4.4.3 on the device. The new software update brings a new dialer UI, Camera features, and some simple security and stability updates. 4.4.4 came to the Moto G early, keeping with its previous track record of receiving updates just after the Nexus line. Motorola should be sending the update to other carriers and Moto devices soon, right after the Moto X 4.4.4 battery drain issue is rectified.

source: +Motorola Mobility

 

HTC Desire 610 available today through AT&T

htc_desire_610_press

In need of a mid-range device from AT&T? Take a look at the new Desire 610. The device has arrived right on time and is available today from the carrier. Even though it is a mid-range device, HTC has kept notable features like BoomSound, BlinkFeed, and Zoe. Performance should be respectable due to the quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor that powers the Desire 610. And while there is just 8GB of internal storage, HTC has bundled a microSD card slot that can fit an additional 64GB. The 720p display measures 4.7 inches.

With a new two-year contract, the Desire 610 costs only $0.99; however, buying it without a contract is a much better choice due to the $199 price tag. For the price of a flagship device with a two-year contract, you can get an impressive mid-range one without any contract. Or, you can take advantage of AT&T Next and pay $8.34 per month for twenty-four months. There is no shortage of options to purchase the Desire 610.

Source: AT&T

Verizon allowing LG G3 owners to uninstall bloatware

LG_G3_Lauch_Event_Front_Bottom_LG_Logo_TA

Carriers in the United States are notorious for loading new devices with bloatware. Bloatware, for those unaware, includes the pesky applications that carriers have installed to greet users right out of the box. Unless you root the device, it is almost impossible to ditch any type of bloatware. Verizon, surprisingly, wants to change and is offering a way to remove bloatware.

Device certified by FCC seems to be Samsung’s Galaxy Mega 2

samsung_galaxy_mega_2_fcc_front

Whenever a hardware manufacturer has a device receiving certification with the FCC, everyone raises a brow. The latest FCC filing that has surfaced belongs to Samsung. The Galaxy Mega 2 is believed to be the device in question with this filing. The model number for this filing is SM-G750A, which indicates it is likely the AT&T version, and the size of the display is 5.9 inches.

Shazam update brings full in-app song playback with Rdio integration

shazam_logo_full

Shazam has updated its app with a new partnership with Rdio that will bring full song playback whenever a user Shazams a song. After listening to a track and identifying it, you’ll be able to play the song within the app if you have an Rdio subscription. While the song is playing, you can continue discovering new music in Shazam.

As an added bonus, you’ll be able to build playlists of songs that you’ve identified. Rdio will get a specific Shazam playlist, but you can specify which of your current playlists you want to add songs to. Pretty handy.

HTC begins pushing out 4.4.3 OTA update to HTC One M8 Developer Edition

all-new-htc-one-m8-official-03

According to a post over at XDA Developers, HTC has begun pushing out the Android 4.4.3 OTA update for its flagship HTC One M8 Developer Edition. The update includes all of the small tweaks made in between .2 and .3, and HTC claims to have already included the security fixes that Google implemented in 4.4.4.

The update is intended for the SIM unlocked and developer edition devices, but currently on the DE devices are getting the OTA prompt. Hopefully we see this update make its way to more devices in the near future.

source: XDA

GPU benchmarking company drawElements purchased by Google

drawElements

drawElements is a startup company that offers many GPU benchmarking and compiler tools, and it’s also the latest company to be scooped up by Google. While Google doesn’t really have much need for an individual benchmarking application, drawElements carved out a name for itself by offering a very close look at hardware compatibility and optimization. By joining a company like Google, there’s a pretty good chance they can use the tech to improve GPU compatibility in Android across different kinds of hardware.

Google Play Store now has a separate section for Offline Games

Play-store-offline

Today Google launched a new section of the Google Play Store dedicated to offline gaming, a welcome addition to the store for the more data-conscious Android users out there. The new Offline Games section currently includes the excellent Beach Buggy Blitz, Jetpack Joyride and Fail Hard. While a handful of the games support online multiplayer, all 54 of the titles can be played offline.