New ads show off Moto X ‘Quick Capture’ & always-on voice command features

Motorola just posted a couple new videos showing off some of the unique software features that its including the Moto X. The first, above, shows the Quick Draw, or Quick Capture, feature that allows users to twist their wrist twice to quickly launch the camera app and snap a photo. The second, below, shows the always-on voice commands included with the device that will let users control their device without ever touching it. You can get all the details on specs and availability for the Moto X hereRead more

NVIDIA Shield Android handheld gets tear-down treatment as first reviews hit the web

The Frankenstein-like NVIDIA Shield, the handheld games console whose size and weight (1.5 pounds!) makes it seem like something invented in the 1990s, has been given the tear-down treatment by ifixit.

One thing is for sure—with its shields disabled, this device looks nothing like any tablet we’ve ever taken apart … or game console … or anything

Teardown photos and review roundup below the fold …  Read more

Google testing ‘hyper-local news card’ for Google Now

Google_Now_-_Travel_Cards_Update2Google is testing a new “card” for its Google Now service that would display local news that’s contextually relevant to the user. It’s not something that users have been able to try out just yet, but Quartz reports that vice president of search and assist at Google Johanna Wright tells them that Google is currently testing the feature internally.

There’s no word on whether or not the Google Now card would some how be integrated with Google’s current News service, but Wright provides an example of how the “hyper-local news card” might function: Read more

Official Google AdSense Android app now available on Google Play

There are a lot of third-party clients for Android that let users access their AdSense accounts, but today an official app from Google has made its way onto Google Play.

Google says that version 1 of the app provides ” key earnings information, top custom and URL channels, ad units and sites reports, payment alerts,” hinting that a future version will implement some of the other detailed reporting features offered in third-party apps and through AdSense on the desktop.

Unfortunately the app doesn’t appear to be compatible with all devices,  including Google’s own Nexus 7 and many newer devices like the HTC One. Read more

Google Play passes App Store in downloads for the first time, but not revenue


According to data from App Annie’s latest download and revenue report, Google Play for the first time surpassed the App Store in app downloads during the second quarter of 2013. While Google was able to move past Apple with about 10 percent more downloads during the three month period, the report notes the App Store brought in nearly 2.3x the amount of revenue.

App Annie says that Google Play’s growth was driven by emerging markets including Brazil, India, and Russia, and while the App Store still leads by revenue, Google Play closed the gap slightly compared to last quarter and years past.

Google Play saw Brazil climb two spots to join India and Russia as another emerging market in the top 5 countries by downloads for Q2 2013…The United States, Japan and United Kingdom remained the leaders in the iOS App Store when looking at revenue generation, and Australia climbed to #4 after a strong Q2. iOS App Store revenue was driven primarily by the United States and Japan, which combined to account for about half of the total iOS App Store revenue in Q2.

App Annie’s report also includes its Games Index tracking mobile games on iOS and Android, which now account for around 40 percent of all downloads on both platforms. During Q2, Gameloft’s Despicable Me: Minion Rush grabbed the top spot for most downloaded iOS game, while publisher Tiny Piece took the honor on Google Play.

As for non-gaming apps, Vine increased by three positions to become the most downloaded app during the quarter on iOS, followed closely by YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram. Read more

Microsoft’s Office 365 app now available for Android smartphones

Microsoft is today launching a native Android app for its ‘Office 365′ subscription based productivity suite following the launch of the app on iOS devices earlier this year. The free app, which allows users to view & edit Office files stored in their SkyDrive account, requires users to sign into their paid Office 365 subscription.

The app is already starting to roll out on Google Play, but Microsoft doesn’t appear to be making a tablet version of the app available just yet. Much like on iPhone, perhaps Microsoft is going to stick with recommending users take advantage of the web apps on tablets. It would certainly help it continue its Windows 8 tablet campaigns mocking other tablets for not having Office.