Thursday, April 21, 2016

#TBT: Verizon Teases DROID With iDont TV Commercial Piques Much Curiosity

When I first saw the above “iDon’t” commercial on TV, if memory serves me right, I was rocking a LG Voyager. At that time, I knew I didn’t care for iPhones, not necessarily because I didn’t like the phones or couldn’t afford one, but there was something about the iPhone culture I did not personally align with. It seemed fake, shallow, and plastic. So, when I kept hearing “DROOOID” in my head, curious as ever as to what it even meant, I ended up doing a bit of research.

The commercial I saw was for the Motorola DROID that was to launch on Verizon. It ran Android, had a full keyboard, and wasn’t an iPhone. Needless to say, I fell in love without ever laying an eye on the thing. Once I finally bought the phone, I wanted to learn as much as I could about Android, Motorola, and smartphone apps, so I did more research. That additional research led me to the early days of Droid Life, which at the time was just Kellen writing up posts about his DROID as often as he could, while still working a 9-5 day job.

Some of you know how my story played out from there, but I’m curious to hear if any of you share a similar Android beginning. Before this commercial ever aired, I was completely oblivious to the existence of Android. Were you, too?


#TBT: Verizon Teases DROID With “iDon’t” TV Commercial, Piques Much Curiosity is a post from: Droid Life

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DEAL: Jonathan Adler Special Edition Moto X Pure Edition Now Just $299 ($175 Off)

The special edition Moto X Pure Edition, which was designed by Jonathan Adler (No idea who that is either…), is now just $299 from Motorola. That’s a solid $175 discount on a phone that was probably meant to be a limited run, sell-them-quick-through-hype, type of phone. Since that must not have gone to plan, you can grab one for super cheap!

$299 (down from $475) is a heck of a deal, assuming you don’t mind the wild designs. These versions come with 32GB of storage, which is double the storage of the normal Moto Maker-made 16GB models. Those run $399 on most days, with the 32GB versions jumping up another $50 to $449. See, this is a pretty good deal!

We aren’t sure how long the deal runs or if it’s just until they finally sell out of them, but you may want to act somewhat quickly.

Motorola Link

DEAL: Jonathan Adler Special Edition Moto X Pure Edition Now Just $299 ($175 Off) is a post from: Droid Life

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And the Nominees Are: Google Announces First-Ever Google Play Awards

Google I/O will feature a new celebration of developers this year, with Google’s announcement of the Google Play Awards. These awards will be given out to developers in several different categories, such as Standout Startup, Best Families App, and Best Use of Google Play Game Services. Interestingly enough, Google already has its nominees, selected by a “panel of experts on the Google Play team,” and the public’s voice appears to have no say in who will win. It’s all up to Google. 

A few of the nominees include Alto’s Adventure (woot!) for Standout Indie, Todoist for Best Use of Material Design, and This War of Mine for Most Innovative. Looking over the list, there are a couple interesting choices by Google. One that sticks out to me is Vevo being nominated for Best Use of Material Design. C’mon, Google, there has to be a better choice.

A winners ceremony will be held next month at Google I/O. How exciting.

Go over the complete list of nominees and categories below, then share your thoughts on who you think should go home with the win.

Categories and Nominees

Google Play Awards 1

Google Play Awards 2

Google Play Awards 3

Google Play Awards 4

Via: Android Developers

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Google I/O 2016 Schedule is Live Time to Start Planning

The Google I/O 2016 schedule is now live on the I/O site, which means it’s time to see what Google has in store for this year’s developers conference. It also means that we get to see how this whole “developer festival” will be structured and the sessions located.

As a reminder, this year’s Google I/O is moving out of downtown San Francisco’s Moscone Center and down to Google’s home in Mountain View. The keynote and sessions will all take place at the Shoreline Amphitheater, an outdoor venue that is basically across the street from Google’s campus. Google is also expanding this year’s I/O to three days, something they haven’t done since 2013. 

From what we can tell, Google is setting up multiple stages at the Shoreline Amphitheater to host the various sessions. The keynote will take place in the amphitheater itself, likely on the main stage, but then Google will setup at least 10 separate stages throughout the grounds for breakout sessions. Google says that the initial 100+ technical talks are on the schedule, but there will be more than 200 in the end.

In the past, Google has livestreamed a good portion of the sessions from I/O, because tickets are limited and they know that not everyone can attend. This year, though, we are only seeing two events listed as being livestreamed, the keynote and the “What’s new in Android” session. That should change as we get closer to I/O. Keep in mind that they will host them all on YouTube after Google I/O.

So far, after a quick browse through the sessions, we are seeing more Android than any single person can probably handle. From the “What’s new in Android” session, to those covering Material Design improvements, Project Tango, image compression, gaming, slimming down APK size, using Nearby, Android Auto, and VR, there is a bit of something for everyone.

To check out the entire schedule and start planning for the events that interest you, head over to the Google I/O site.

Google I/O 2016 Schedule is Live, Time to Start Planning is a post from: Droid Life

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Leica Huawei Release Joint Statement on Co-Engineering of Huawei P9

Earlier this week, it was reported by us, plus a handful of other online publications, that Leica’s actual involvement in co-engineering the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus was somewhat misrepresented to potential consumers. Shortly after that story was published, Huawei released an in-depth statement, refuting any idea that Leica was not heavily involved in the development (aka “co-engineering”) process. Now, Leica and Huawei have released a much larger joint statement, detailing everything that Leica did during the process. 

In this statement, Leica explains that the camera module inside of the P9 series, and the “achievable picture quality,” is the result of the intensive technological collaboration between Huawei and Leica. Furthermore, the company’s joint objective was to achieve the “best possible image results and optical imaging performance,” in order to provide consumers with the best possible picture quality.

As you read the statement, a clear picture is drawn that Leica and Huawei did in fact work on the modules together. Detailing this information from the beginning could have mitigated this situation entirely.

Read Huawei and Leica’s full statement below.

Leica and Huawei co-engineered P9 camera module

[Düsseldorf, Germany, Düsseldorf – 21 April 2016] – In February, Huawei and Leica announced a long-term strategic partnership. The camera function is the most used smartphone application and our aim is to bring it up to the high standards demanded by the Leica product philosophy. Leica brings to the cooperation their expertise gathered from decades of experience in optical engineering and optical design.

The collaboration between Huawei and Leica aims to deliver the best possible picture quality in the smartphone segment. Both companies have been working closely to co-engineer Huawei’s recently launched premium smartphone – the P9 – based on innovation and excellent craftsmanship.

The camera module of the P9 series and the achievable picture quality is the result of the intensive technological collaboration between Huawei and Leica. Leica has been deeply involved in the development of the camera-module of the P9 and P9 Plus. Our joint objective was to achieve the best possible image results and optical imaging performance in order to provide consumers in the smartphone photography segment with the best possible picture quality. The result raises smartphone photography to an entirely new level.

Our co-engineering is deeply embedded in the product and Leica’s contribution has involved:

  • Collaborative development, evaluation and optimization of optical design (lens calculation) in compliance with Leica standards.
  • Collaborative development of the mechanical construction of the camera module to reduce stray light effects (“ghost and flare”).
  • Definition of imaging quality in terms of color rendition/color fidelity, white balance, stray light reduction (“ghost & flare effects”), exposure precision, dynamic range, sharpness and noise characteristics.
  • Processing of image data with the aid of long-standing Leica optical and signal processing expertise
  • Definition of the most stringent common quality standards and production requirements for serial production by Huawei to ensure consistently high quality.

Leica’s globally recognized expertise is based to a large extent on the ability to guarantee the narrowest tolerances on the market. This justifiable claim to excellence is naturally also an integral component of the technology partnership and is implemented in Huawei’s production processes of the P9 camera module to ensure uncompromising quality.

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Google is Inviting People to Test a New Travel Assistant App

Google is on the verge of introducing a new travel assistant app, according to their Local Guides program, which began inviting members to test the app this morning. The new app will arrive on Android and iOS and could go into public testing through Local Guides quite soon (next week to be exact), as invitees were asked to respond with interest in testing before Monday. 

What could the new app be? That’s tough to tell. My guess is that it could take on some form of Inbox’s “Trips” feature, where it uses your inbox and the emails related to trips you have on the horizon to help you manage the entire process of traveling. With “Trips” in Inbox, Google attempts to intelligently bundle together any emails that look to be relevant to an upcoming trip, but then also use those emails to give you easily accessible info on check-in times, flight status, etc. Taking “Trips” from Inbox and making it into a stand-alone app makes sense since now everyone is exactly down with Inbox’s approach to email. A stand-alone app could allow Gmail and other users to take advantage of this technology as well.

We were also invited through the Local Guides program and filled out a survey about our upcoming travel plans. If we get invited and aren’t required to sign something scary, we’ll be sure to share whatever we can.

Anyone else see the invite?

google new travel app

Cheers N and S!

Google is Inviting People to Test a New Travel Assistant App is a post from: Droid Life

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Android N (DP2) Now Available for the Sony Xperia Z3

The Android N Developer Preview 2 (DP2) is available for flashing on the Xperia Z3 from Sony, starting today. Announced by the Android Developers group on Google+, Sony has been working close with Google to offer this opportunity to Xperia owners, granting them very early access to Android N. In fact, this is the first time any device other than one directly from Google (Nexus, Pixel, etc), has received access to an official Developer Preview. 

If you own an Xperia Z3, you will need to manually flash the Android N software onto your phone, then once that is complete, you will continue to receive OTA updates directly from Sony for Android N. Flashing instructions and more specific details on that can be found on Sony’s website.

Sony has a good history of things like this, announcing back in October (when Marshmallow was still new and awesome) that it would allow 10,000 Xperia Z3 owners to beta test Android 6.0. Sony, keep up the good.

Xperia Z3 owners interested, follow the link.

Sony Download Site

Via: +Android Developers

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BlackBerry Priv Marshmallow Beta Update Rolling Out T-Mobile Customers Next in Line

Earlier this month, BlackBerry announced a private beta group for select Priv owners who wanted to run the latest and greatest Android version before anyone else. Starting right now, an update for this beta is rolling out to those use signed up using a phone purchased from BlackBerry’s online store, and within the next 24 hours, those with a Priv through T-Mobile will receive their updates to take part in the Marshmallow action. 

For those of you on T-Mobile, once your Marshmallow beta invite is received, you can download the update, then provide feedback to BlackBerry on any major issues you might come across.

Do we have any beta testers here? If so, tell us what other Priv owners can expect once they receive Marshmallow.

BlackBerry Priv Marshmallow Beta Update Rolling Out, T-Mobile Customers Next in Line is a post from: Droid Life

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Sht Just Got Real Crossy Road Now Supports Online Multiplayer

Crossy Road, the game everyone was playing many months ago, received an update this week that brings online multiplayer support via WiFi. Yes, my article title is correct, sh*t just got real. With the update, up to four players can connect to a single lobby, bringing a new type of action to the Crossy Road universe. 

When playing multiplayer, the objective of Crossy Road is the same – who can make it the furthest without getting nailed by a car, drowning in a creek, getting swooped up by eagle, or hit by a train. While the overall appearance at first is quite competitive, players can actually revive one another, which will allow your squad of misfit animal characters to reach top spots on the worldwide leaderboard.

The update is available right now on Google Play. Grab your friends and get in on this action.

Play Link

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