- Google Glass is now formally and officially banned in 56,000 movie theaters worldwide
- Samsung Gear S trots over to the United States starting next week
- Devs: “OK Google” search command works with any app with 6 quick lines of code
- Motorola and Lenovo are officially an item
- Any.do 2.0 update brings cloud-driven collaboration to the superstar to-do list app
- Motorola DROID Turbo now available from Verizon, watch it save James Franco’s life [VIDEO]
- A champagne gold colored Moto 360 just popped up on Amazon
- Another place Google Wallet works alongside Apple Pay? Try the Apple Store
- Google Drive, Docs, Slides, and Sheets all updated with Material Design
- Google Camera 2.4.022 update brings, you guessed it, Material Design elements
- Google Play Games also receiving a Material Design makeover
- Google Wallet 7.0 brings Material Design, recurring transfers, and low balance alerts [UPDATE]
- Best Android apps from October 2014
- T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z3 now available for purchase, comes with 6 free movie downloads
- Inbox by Gmail could inspire a new evolution of Android notifications [CONCEPT]
Can't say we didn't see this coming, but Google Glass is now banned in a wide range of movie theaters worldwide. The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners have announced a new policy that would effectively land you in a world of trouble if you're caught with Google Glass on your head during a movie showing. The duo also bans the use of cellphones and other video recording equipment while viewing a movie. It's a move that doesn't surprise us in a tug-of-war between content makers and content consumers. Alongside the Recording Industry Association of America in the music realm, the MPAA has fought quite diligently to make sure their members' copyrighted material is kept from being illegally copied and distributed. Piracy is illegal, and it's in their right to protect their interests at whatever cost. The MPAA makes up six of the largest movie studio companies around the world and are responsible for a vast majority of blockbuster films that release every year. NATO, on the other hand, represents over 56,000 movie theaters worldwide. Many of these theaters have already began to ban the use of Google Glass at their own discretion, but making it a worldwide policy makes it somewhat officially official. It's a very interesting policy that might spark some controversy among Google Glass enthusiasts. Many would argue that having a recording device on their head doesn't automatically mean they're using the device's recording features and that the wearable should be an acceptable accessory to use. Some would liken it to smartphones being allowed in a theater, except it's pretty obvious when a smartphone is being used to record a huge display -- not so obvious when or if it's Google Glass. Do Glass owners have reason to be upset? Maybe, but they knew what they were getting into when they joined the Explorers program. Heck, Google even warned you about some of the troubles you'll come across as you champion the wearable flag to help this new emerging tech category find its way. Fight the new policy if you so wish, but don't be surprised if theater staff end up calling the authorities over it because that is now their right. [via Hollywood Reporter]
Samsung has announced that sales of their standalone Gear S smart watch will begin in the United States starting in November. The earliest known availability is from AT&T, who will have the smart watch on November 7th. [UPDATE]: Sprint has also confirmed November 7th availability. For AT&T it'll run you $200 on a two-year contract, and the watch can be added to a Mobile Share plan for just $10 more than what you're currently paying. T-Mobile and Verizon are also confirmed to be carrying the smart watch, though we'll have to wait for word regarding those individual carriers' plans. Unfortunately its status as a standalone smart watch doesn't change the fact that you'll need a Galaxy smartphone to use it, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or the Samsung Galaxy S5. Needless to say, you'd basically be wasting $200 if you don't already have one. Should you be fully involved with Samsung, though, the smart watch will enable data without the need to be paired with a smart phone so you can use all your data enabled apps even if you leave your smartphone behind. It also enables calling and texting that is routed through your smartphone so you can get all of your communication without having to have the phone on you. Not a bad set of functions at all. Let us know if you'll be grabbing one once they're finally available. [via Business Wire, AT&T]
Google has just publicized an awesome feature for developers who want their apps to be searchable using the "OK Google" voice command. Putting 6 simple lines of code in your manifest file will enable Google Search to allow voice searches that originate from users using the command. Here are a couple of examples: * “OK GOOGLE, SEARCH pizza ON Eat24” * “OK GOOGLE, SEARCH FOR hotels in Maui ON TripAdvisor" And here's the line of code you'll need to add to the ANDROIDMANIFEST.XML file:
And that's it. As long as your app has a searchable activity users can initiate the command and search like they would through Google's own search engine (though you'll need to be using English and have Google Search version 3.5 or higher installed on phones or tablets with Jelly Bean or higher). Can't wait to see this make its way into many of the great apps in Google Play! [via Google]
android:name=".SearchableActivity"> ANDROID:NAME="COM.GOOGLE.ANDROID.GMS.ACTIONS.SEARCH_ACTION"/> ANDROID:NAME="ANDROID.INTENT.CATEGORY.DEFAULT"/>
Motorola and Lenovo today announced that they have completed a deal for the latter to acquire the former. Motorola is now a Lenovo company, and what that means for the future is still very unclear at this point. Much like when they were acquired by Google, Motorola has been working in an independent capacity and have carried on business as they always have. The acquisition didn't change anything about Moto's plan to seed the market with two of the most exciting smartphones in 2014 with the Moto X and DROID turbo. Lenovo's original statement on the acquisition is that they're hoping to be able to leverage Motorola's global market share and mind share to help them perform better outside Asian markets. Lenovo has been known to take global brands and succeed with them over time, such as the ThinkPad and IdeaPad business they bought from HP a while back. They continue to command a significant portion of the notebook PC market all this time later. We're not sure if we're to see the same with Motorola. We'd imagine they'd want to keep Motorola's iconic name attached to the wonderful products they've been launching as of late, though if the IBM transition is anything to go by then we wouldn't necessarily be worried if they decided to scrub Motorola's name off all their products, either. Lenovo executive Liu Jun commented on the acquisition:
“Motorola has already built solid momentum in the market, and their recent results show consumers are excited about their exceptional products that stand out for their design and simplicity,” said Liu Jun. “With the complementary strengths of our two companies, we expect to sell more than 100 million mobile devices this year - including smartphones and tablets - by leveraging the Lenovo brand’s leading market position in China, our shared momentum in emerging markets, and Motorola’s strong foothold in mature markets like the U.S.”Of course, it's much too early to be thinking about any of this considering the ink probably has yet to dry. Let's hope to hear more about Lenovo's plans for Motorola in the near future. [via Business Wire]
Any.do is one of the best to-do managers we've used in a long time. The company stresses simplicity over complexity, and feels that less is more when it comes to trying to organize a busy life or work schedule. Today's update makes the experience even better for those who work with others to accomplish their daily tasks in life. Any.do 2.0 brings a cloud-driven collaboration engine that allows you and your spouse (or classmates, or coworkers) to organize important tasks and help keep you on track to completing your goals every day. Your wife might create a grocery shopping list, but she can't get there herself. She can simply add you to the list and have you take care of it while you're out. Real-time collaboration allows her to add or remove items that she thinks of and it'll update on your phone pretty much instantly. Apply that to multiple students working on a school project or a project manager at work having to divvy up tasks between employees. The free version offers one-on-one collaboration, but the premium subscription ($5 per month/ $45 per year thereafter) will allow you to bring as many people on board as you need. Any.do 2.0's goal is to make sure anyone and everyone tuned into that list knows exactly what's going on at all times. They've also taken the simple to-do list a step further by introducing attachments, so you can attach images, audio, photos and video to a note or task list item to make sure whoever is looking at it has any relevant information they need. That particular feature allows files up to 5 megabyes for free users, though the premium experience wipes away that limit and lets you upload any type of file you want. Folks using Dropbox can even pull files straight from their Dropbox account in case they store things in the web (and we hope more services will be supported in future updates). Finally, today's update brings custom backgrounds (just in case the typical day/night themes aren't doing it for you) and fine tuned reminders that give you the flexibility to create any type of reminder as frequently or infrequently as you want. You can find it all in the Google Play Store right now, and be sure to watch the video above to see how it might help enhance one's life
After a series of teaser videos starring movie star James Franco were uploaded to YouTube, tonight, as the clock struck midnight, the full ad has finally been revealed. This time uploaded onto Verizon's YouTube channel, the video -- which is now prominently featured on the DroidDoes website -- finally shows off some of the Motorola DROID Turbo's best features (like the fact that it's fast and can deliver 8 hours of battery life from a 15 minute charge). Verizon drives home the point with Franco free falling from a building but not giving AF thanks to his blazing fast DROID Turbo which he uses to change his trajectory. In fact, the phone is now officially available for purchase from Verizon's website in black, red, or ballistic nylon. The 32GB model will run you $200 with a 2-year agreement ($25 a month on payments), or 64GB for $250 ($27.08 on payments). If you're looking to go the full price route, 32GB is $600 and 64GB is $650. Keep in mind the only color option/finish for the 64GB model is ballistic nylon. We'll admit, we tried to hold off on purchasing (weren't a fan of the looks) but in the end, there's just no denying 2-day battery life and a near stock Android experience. You win, Verizon. We'll bite. Expect our full Motorola DROID Turbo review in the coming days.
There's no denying the Motorola Moto 360 is one of the sexier smartwatches on the block, but if you were to fault Motorola for anything, it was the fact that it was only available in 2 color combos silver/grey leather watchstrap, or black on black leather. When Motorola first announced the Moto 360, the company did mention plans to offer metal watchbands later this fall, but a hard date was never given. Fast forward to today where we're now well into fall and Motorola is preparing to make available, not only their metal watchbands, but it seems an entirely new Moto 360 color as well. A champagne gold colored Moto 360 has quietly appeared on Amazon.com along side the new metal watchbands. The version you see above features a smaller 18mm matching watchband, leaving us to wonder if this one wont be geared more towards the ladies. We were able to find a wider 23mm variant retailing for the same price. Although not available for purchase just yet, both are retailing for $299, with shipping dates of about 1 to 2 months (likely a placeholder date until these new colors are made official). Also popping up on Amazon is a new Moto 360 color combo: silver with brown leather, as well as the aforementioned metal straps going for $80 a pop. For those curious, you can find the all new gold Moto 360 via the links below. We imagine it wont be too much longer before Motorola makes it all official.
We tried to tell you guys, anywhere you can use Apple Pay you can also use Google Wallet (which is why we were so excited that Apple was finally making tap-to-pay mobile payments mainstream). Still don't believe us? Well, check out this screen shot taken from someone's Android phone as he used Google Wallet to make a purchase from where else, but the _Apple Store_. Doesn't get much better than this. Now, if only we could convince Walmart to get on board. via Reddit
Today, a smorgasbord of Google app updates are hitting the Play Store. Everything from YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Android Wear Google Wallet, Google Play Games -- it's a bit overwhelming. No matter, here's a few screenshots of the newly redesigned Google Docs to give you an idea of what to expect from Google Drive, Google Slides, and Google Sheets. For the most part, they all look exactly like this only with different toolbar colors. All of the above apps have been infused with Google's fresh new Material Design and feature smaller feature tweaks like the addition of an "Incoming" button in the sidebar menu. As always, feel free to wait for the updates to roll out to your area, or download for manual installation here: Google Drive 2.1.424.13.35 | Google Docs 1.3.422.14.35 | Google Slides 1.0.952.14.35 | Google Sheets 1.3.422.12.35
Buried inside the Android Lollipop Developer Preview was an updated Google Camera app (2.4.008), complete with Material Design elements. It was nothing too flashy. Just some new icons and animations to complete the already very minimal look. Today, this update is now officially rolling out to the Google Play Store and for the most part, is exactly what we saw in the L preview. You can either find it waiting for you in the Google Play Store right now, or by downloading it HERE.
"Update Wednesday" is certainly living up to its name and hot off the Google Play Store is a new update to Google Play Games (we're sure many more are incoming). The new update brings, what else, but a fresh new Material Design makeover to the app, keeping everything inline with Android 5.0 Lollipop's clean new UI. If you guys don't feel like waiting for the update to hit your Play Store, you can always sideload (install) the app here: GOOGLE PLAY GAMES 2.1.17
We're expecting a handful of Google apps to update today and one of the first out the gate is the all new Google Wallet 7.0. A pretty big leap from the previous version (2.0), the latest version of Google Wallet hitting the Play Store doesn't seem to introduce much by way of new features (if it ain't broke, don't fix it), but does bring a healthy helping of Material Design into the mix. Everything has been refreshed from the new lock screen to intro panels explaining how Wallet works. Other than that, you know what to expect. We're still expecting Google's promised ad campaign to help spread the word about Wallet which we expect to see as the weeks progress. If you don't feel like waiting for the update to hit your Play Store, you can always sideload (install) the app by downloading it HERE. UPDATE: Soon after this post went live, the _Google Commerce Blog_ revealed some helpful new features making their way to the new Google Wallet update. The first is being able to set add money and setup recurring transfers if you like. The frequency is entirely up to the user with the option to add a specific amount of money automatically every week, every 2 weeks, or every month. You can even select the day of the week you want this to fall on (should you want sync it up with possible automatic deposits from your real bank). Of course, there are new fees associated with this service. The other feature is something almost as helpful, with the ability to set alerts for when your Wallet balance hits below a certain threshold. A use case scenario could be my situation where I let my GF use my Google Wallet card to buy food. With alerts, we can both avoid having to deal with the embarrassment of having the card declined for insufficient funds.
_Previous Best Apps of the Month_ Wow, is October already nearing a close? It feels like just yesterday the leaves were starting to turn and we were talking about the best apps from September. Now the leaves are almost all on the ground, and we have another month's worth of apps to look at. October gave us a bountiful harvest of new apps. These are our favorites, including a few Android Wear apps and watch faces. Enjoy! ARCHON PACKAGER (FORMERLY CHROME APK PACKAGER) ARChon Packager is an easy way to produce packages that allow you to run Android apps in any Chrome browser. You can generate chrome packages from either APKs on your phones storage, or from apps installed on your phone. For more information on how to do get this working, read our guide. BASE MUSIC SENSOR BASE Music Sensor listens to music around you continuously, and when music you might like is played in the background it wakes up your phone with the song's info. You don't need to actively listen or open a dedicated app, BASE Music Sensor does all of this for you. BASE says the battery usage is negligible. BRAINWAVE With BrainWave you can now control your favorite music players simply by using natural hand gestures. BrainWave works with many of the popular music apps, such as Pandora, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play Music, and more. You can Play, Pause, and Select tracks with the ease of waving your hand over the device, without ever unlocking the phone or touching the screen. DJAY 2 The ultra-popular DJ app is now on Android. djay 2 transforms your Android device into a full–featured DJ system. Seamlessly integrated with Spotify and all the music on your device, djay gives you direct access to mix your favorite songs and playlists instantly. You can perform live, record mixes on–the–go, or enable Automix mode to let djay create a seamless mix for you. GOOGLE FIT After showing it off briefly onstage during this year’s Google I/O developer conference, the official Google Fit app is now available to download on Google Play. The app allows users to gather all sorts of data, straight from the many sensors already found in most Android smartphones. INBOX Inbox by Google aims to not only group your emails in a meaningful way, but allow you to act on them in appropriate fashion. Inbox is an extension of your Gmail inbox, so it uses the same email you already receive to your typical inbox. The difference is Inbox will do a few different things to help you organize that email a few different ways. POTENTIAL BETA Potential syncs battery, WiFi and Bluetooth status across all your devices. Forgot to charge one of your devices? It’s not an issue any more. Get a notification whenever the battery of any of your devices is running low. This is the perfect app for tech heads like us who own numerous devices. SHAKE Dealing with legal documents is never a fun experience. Shake aims to make the experience much more simple. Shake combines the simplicity of a handshake with the security of a legal contract. Use Shake to quickly and easily create, sign and send legally binding agreements from your Android device. SQUAWKIN Squawkin is the next-generation communication platform that puts you in control like never before. A "Squawk" is a new and unique combination of live audio, photos, text, and location information that you use to create a powerful real-time message. If you change your mind about a Squawk you've sent, simply delete it and it's gone from every other device. SKYPE QIK Qik is a new app from Skype. As you probably guessed, since Skype made this app, video is has a lot to do with Qik. It allows users to send short video messages back and forth, the same way you would a text message. In fact, there’s no real way to send actual text — it’s all video. SNOWBALL The first thing to say about Snowball is it is "not another messaging app!" This app organizes your messages from the apps you already love providing you with a single, easy-to-access place to view everything. Snowball supports: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, SMS, Hangouts, Twitter, Line, WeChat, and Slack with Telegram, Viber, and Skype. TACO BELL We warned you to stock up on toilet paper and you now can order food ahead of time using Taco Bell’s brand new app. Fresh off the Google Play Store, the new Taco Bell app allows you to skip the line and customize your orders with wherever you crave, straight from the couch/office/toilet. XDA ONE The popular XDA forums now have their very own official app, but it's still in the alpha stages. The app is called XDA One, which is their first app to be developed completely in-house. In its current state, XDA One is a fast way to browse and post in the forums. You can access the mention/quote system, see your subscriptions, send PMs, and more. ANDROID WEAR APPS ANALOG KEYBOARD Microsoft has made a keyboard, and it's actually kinda cool. The Analog Keyboard is a prototype of a custom keyboard for the Android Wear platform that lets users enter text by drawing handwritten letters on the watch face. The current version (0.1) only supports square screens with 320×320 screen resolution and the Moto 360. BING TORQUE Sick of using Google Search on your Android Wear device? Microsoft has the answer. With Bing Torque you can perform simple Bing voice searches by simply flicking your wrist. Ask anything: “What’s the weather like in Kansas City?" "What is the capital of California?" “Where am I?” for answers right there on your smartwatch. ESCAPE FACE FOR WEAR Using Face for Android Wear is as simple as using a light switch. All you have to do is pick the right Face Pack or combination you like and push directly from your Smartphone to your Wear. Face for Wear is a lot like Facer or Wear Faces, but geared to be very easy to use. STEALTH360 WEAR BATTERY STATS Battery life is a big topic for the Moto 360. At launch the battery life was pretty bad, but a couple recent updates have brought big improvements. If you’re still curious about battery life you can track it with a handy app called Wear Battery Stats. You can see battery life in a chart, and even see which apps are using the most juice. The app can be checked on your watch and phone. What were your favorite apps from October? _Previous Best Apps of the Month_
After pre-orders for the Sony Xperia Z3 opened up almost 2 weeks ago, starting today, you can finally pick one up at T-Mobile. It's arguably one of the best "pocketable" smartphones you can buy this year and while you _wont_ be able to pick up a free copy of DriveClub (pre-orders only), you can rest assured knowing the phone is all yours for $0 down and only $26 a month over the course of 2 years. Of course, many of those who pre-ordered are already enjoying the phone since last week, but for everyone else, here's what you can expect out of the Xperia Z3 on the hardware side of things: * 5.2-inch 1080p display * 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor * 3GB RAM * 32GB internal storage (with micro SD card slot) * 20.7MP camera * Front facing stereo speakers * 3,100mAh battery with up to 2 days battery life * IP68 water/dust proof As far as media, Sony is throwing in 6 free movie downloads which includes: 22 Jump Street, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Captain Phillips, 30th Year Anniversary Edition of Ghostbusters, and Moneyball. All that just for buying the Xperia Z3. The phone is already available for purchase online, but you may want to call your local retail store ahead of time to make sure they have stock. While today probably wasn't the best time to launch a new smartphone given all the Nexus 6 hype, we have a feeling the Sony Xperia Z3 will do just fine for itself on T-Mobile. [Sony Xperia Z3 on T-Mobile.com]
Google's Invite app by the Gmail team introduced a lot of great features to help make email life easier, with highlights including the ability to snooze email, have reminders pinned to the top of your inbox, bundled messages by topic and more. Many of the actions performed in Inbox involve swiping an email. You can swipe to the right to mark it as "done," or swipe to the left to have it come up at a later time or date. Phandroid developer Steve Albright wondered if such a system could have a big impact on Android notifications at the system level. He envisioned a notification system where a user can either act on it by jumping into the app, swipe it to the right to close it, or swipe it to the left to have that notification pop back up at some point later. Our friend Liam Spradlin from Android Police caught wind of the idea and conceptualized it in the video you see above. It certainly is something that could be of use to many people. I, for one, hate having a cluttered notification tray, but if I dismiss notifications before getting a chance to look at them then I will forget they were ever there. Steve's suggestion is that this could be implemented on a system-wide level and Google could do it in such a way that developers wouldn't even need to update their apps. Notifications would work largely as they always have -- with advanced controls for things like music playback or buttons for replying to messages -- except users would be given the option of dismissing any notification they want temporarily instead of saying goodbye to it forever. The feasibility of such a feature isn't likely to be 100% trivial, though if Google can find a way to implement it in a way that makes sense and doesn't intrude on the user experience in a negative way it could be another one of many killer features Android has become known for. Let us know if you wouldn't mind seeing something like this in a future Android upgrade by dropping a line below.