Google shows off locked-down user-interface for Android Auto

android-auto

We knew back in June that Google’s in-car operating system Android Auto would run with a user-interface designed by Google itself. All developers are able to do is choose a particular template, then send the text and data from the phone app to the interface, so that everything appearing on the car display will have a consistent look & feel. It’s the same approach Google has taken with Android Wear and Android TV.

Arstechnica today pointed us to a developer overview for Android Auto providing a good sense of the visual appearance of the interface. What is shown above is the generic interface, on the left, and an example of how developers are able to customize it on the right …  Read more

Consumer Reports pits Android handsets against the iPhone in bend-test battle royale

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 9.21.21 PM

Consumer Reports released a new video today taking on claims of overly-flexible iPhones that have appeared online recently. Apple noted that only a handful of complaints have come in and gave journalists a look at its testing procedures. Regardless of Cupertino’s claims, Consumer Reports kept its promise to conduct testing that was a bit more scientific in nature than previous YouTube videos.

To address these claims, several different phones were tested under up to 150 pounds of pressure to see when each model would stop “snapping back” to its original shape. The devices tested were the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and LG G3.

Read more

LG-made 3G smartwatch passes through the FCC

LG-VC100

LG appears to be working on a new smartwatch, according to a set of recently discovered FCC documents. While it’s unclear if this device will run Google’s Android Wear operating system, the filing revealed that it will feature support for CMDA 3G network connectivity, meaning that it won’t necessarily need to be tethered to a smartphone for a data connection, however 3G isn’t exactly blazing fast.

Read more

Google reportedly increasing requirements for Android OEMs, making its own apps/branding more prominent

androidsmartphones-2

According to a new report from The Information, Google is once again changing the terms of its licensing agreements with Android device manufacturers using Google Mobile Services, the program that allows them to offer Google Play services and Google branded apps like Maps and Gmail. Among the changes, Google is reportedly requiring manufacturers to include more Google apps displayed prominently on the device in addition to making Google Search more visible: Read more

How to get a steel band for the Moto 360 on the cheap (Video)

ios8.Still066

When the Moto 360 was released, it was very disappointing to find out that the steel band version would be launching at a later date. Unfortunately, we’re still without this mysterious steel version. Motorola has hyped the steel band version since the Moto 360’s announcement, but until its officially released your only option is to buy one that comes with a leather strap.

The gray and black Horween leather straps that come along with the Moto 360 are pretty good, but for myself, nothing is better than a nice steel band. The problem is, Motorola has somewhat of a proprietary design with the straps that ship with the Moto 360 and if you want to pickup an official steel band when it’s released, be ready to pay $79.99. Luckily, there’s one steel strap in the wild that just happens to fit it perfectly…

Read more

FBI director says officials have been in talks with Google, Apple over new device encryption policies

 

Sundar Pichai

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey expressed his concern today over Apple and Google’s decision to encrypt information stored on smartphones, the Huffington Post reports, adding that FBI officials are pushing both companies to change their policies in order to allow law enforcement officials to access data in certain instances. Read more

Leaked photo confirms our Motorola Nexus ‘Shamu’ mock ups from yesterday

original

Following our report from yesterday, the first real photo of the purported Nexus 6/X Motorola “Shamu” has surfaced on the internet. The photo appeared in a thread on the XDA-Developers community and was apparently posted by one named “Michael Sudol.” Notably, the photo is almost perfectly in line with the mock up we shared less than 24 hours ago, noting the device’s aluminum edges and build almost identical to that of the second generation Moto X.

What exactly this device will turn out to be is still unknown, but all rumors have pointed toward it being part of Google’s upcoming lineup of Nexus devices (one piece of evidence is that all Nexus devices have had ocean-themed names). While a 5.2-inch variation of this device is seemingly floating around, the device we’re familiar with has a 5.92-inch screen, QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 of 498 PPI, a 3,200 mAh battery, a 13 MP camera on the back, and a 2 MP front camera.

Read more

2014 Moto X launching on Verizon tomorrow for $100 with a two year service contract

Moto-X_N000051_1024-x-640

Last week it was a rumor and today it’s now truth! The new Moto X is coming Verizon on September 26th. Compatible with Big Red’s XLTE setup, the 16GB version of Motorola’s new smartphone will be priced at $100 with a two year service commitment. Furthermore, for a limited time, the carrier will also offer the white and bamboo themed second-generation Moto X for a $100 with a new subscriber agreement (normally $150).

Read more

Google’s Ingress mobile game now supports user-generated missions

ingress-missions

Google’s augmented reality game Ingress started out as a closed beta title, way back in 2012. Now officially up and running, the game has been downloaded by over 7 million players in the past year. In an effort to keep things fresh, the game’s developer Niantic Labs added a new feature to the title today that lets its community members create their own missions to challenge other players.

Read more

Angry Birds Transformers soft launched in New Zealand, hits Google Play for all on October 30th

Angry-Birds-Transformers

After months of teasing, Angry Birds Transformers is now available in select parts of the world. Gamers in New Zealand and Finland can now sample Rovio’s mashup of fowl and robots, with Canada and Australia set to follow soon afterwards. In addition to a soft launch for its new title, Rovio released a new gameplay trailer, revealing that this won’t be your typical Angry Birds title.

Read more

Exclusive: This is ‘Shamu,’ Motorola’s upcoming Nexus 6/X

shamufinal2

Yes, it looks like a Moto X. But it has a 5.9-inch screen. And lowered volume/lock buttons.

Google’s upcoming “Nexus 6″ (some claim it will be called “Nexus X” because of Blade Runner) has long been rumored, and there have been many leaked specifications and details rolling out for quite some time now. But there hasn’t been much solid information about the device quite yet, leaving many who have passed on the iPhone 6 and OnePlus One hopelessly waiting to know if the wait will be worth it. For those of you who fall into this category, you’re in luck.

We can now corroborate previous rumors that its screen size nudges it out of smartphone territory, and closer to the likes of the recent push for phablet devices. If any smartphone is really a phablet, this is it—shipping with a behemoth screen that’s a massive 5.92-inches diagonally, with the device’s body being just a bit larger than that. 9to5Google has also learned that, as for the overall appearance of the device, it’s basically going to be a scaled up 2nd generation Moto X with some minor tweaks to make the larger size easier to use.

Read more

HTC teases its GoPro-like waterproof camera in new video

Earlier this month, HTC announced that it would be holding an event on October 8 to unveil some sort of new product. At the time, the invite made it seem clear that it was some type of camera technology, with the invite teasing the “Double Exposure” event. A week later, Bloomberg corroborated the speculation, claiming that HTC would announce a GoPro-like camera compatible with Android devices. HTC this evening, published a teaser video of the event, showing off action footage from a camera.

Read more