This year's Google IO developer conference wasn't just about the upcoming Android L release and the design changes coming with that version. One of the keynote's most important announcements was packed into a two-minute segment at the start of the event. Android One, as Android chief Sundar Pichai explained, was designed to level the playing field for smartphones in developing markets, making it easier for smaller phone makers in these countries to ship relatively high-quality stuff at relatively low price points.
Three months later we're seeing the first fruits from this endeavor, as Android One arrives in India. We've got our hands on the Micromax Canvas A1, one of the first Android One phones to go on sale. And what we've found is a surprisingly speedy vanilla Android handset with a few tweaks for the Indian market.
Allthecooks, the recipe sharing service that's gotten a good bit of attention as one of the initial Android Wear applications (and particularly as one that does things right) has rebranded its Android app.
The new name? Cookpad Recipes. (It'll just show as "Cookpad" in your app drawer. Same great app, same great waffle recipes. (Mmmmmm. Waffles.) Now with a new name. We're not sure what prompted the change, and the iOS and Windows Phone apps so far seem to be unaffected. But so long as the syrupy goodness keeps flowing, we'll call it whatever they want.
Honda is teaming up with NVIDIA to bring a Tegra-powered embedded Android experience to the Civic's infotainment system. Dubbed Honda Connect, the system is powered by NVIDIA's Tegra processor and runs a skinned version of Android 4.0.4 on a 7-inch touchscreen in the car. Honda Connect, which is different than Google's Android Auto initiative, will debut on the Civic, Civic Tourer, and CR-V in Europe early next year.
Wheels, they keep us moving. Whether you're headed on a long road trip in a car, getting around town on a bike or maybe having a nice day at an amusement park in a Ferris wheel, there are more than a few wheels that we see on a daily basis. This week's photo contest is focused on the prompt "wheel," and we're wanting to see the best pictures you can take to illustrate that.
We're again picking two winners to take home prizes this week for their entries, with each winner receiving a $50 ShopAndroid gift card!
Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a forums post at the link below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (October 7) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote that I'd taken possession of my very first Chromebook – the Asus C300, reviewed here – and how I was going as close to "all in" as possible for a time to really get a feel for it. After a couple of weeks immersed in Chrome OS I'm not afraid to say how surprised the experience has left me.
Surprised in a good way. Even though I spend most of every day using Google Chrome browser on OS X to write posts for Mobile Nations, there's always the safety net of the collection of native apps that I've built up over the years to take care of specific tasks. But with just a Chromebook in hand I'm honestly amazed at just how much you can actually get done. For most people, most of the time, these little laptops are all the computer they'll ever need.
Verizon is backtracking on its plan to begin throttling data hogs on grandfathered unlimited plans on its 4G LTE network today. Originally, the carrier announced that starting on October 1, unlimited customers who use excessive data on a strained cell site may see their data speeds temporarily reduced, but after public backlash the carrier is now reversing its policy so that there will be no throttling.
Want to see in the dark? There's a cool accessory for your phone that is going to make that possible. Seek Thermal (thermal.com) is a portable camera that plugs into smartphones which adds the ability of thermal imaging. Multi-thousand dollar thermal cameras have been used by firefighters, law enforcement and the military to see through smoke or in complete darkness. Now, you can use that kind of imaging technology with your smartphone.
Another weekly photo contest has come to a close, and while the number of entries wasn't staggering the quality of each one certainly was. We had a couple dozen great entries that followed the prompt "messy," making it tough to narrow down. In the end we were able to bring it down to just two winners, each getting a prize for their efforts this week. Read along and see the winning images.
Following the lead of AT&T and Sprint, Verizon Wireless will now be giving subscribers of its More Everything plans even more data, though you'll have to sign up this month to qualify. More data begins with the 12 GB plan, which will now net you a 15 GB data bucket each month, and goes all the way up to the 50 GB data plan, which through the promotion will double your data to a whopping 100 GB to consume. That's a lot of Netflix streaming to consume each month!
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! We present to you Episode 181 of TWiT's All About Android, featuring our very own Jerry Hildenbrand! (And, of course, Jason Howell, Ron Richards and Gina Trapani!) Check 'em out as they dish on the new Google Developer Distribution Agreement, Pushbullet adding channels to its services, and why the Moto 360 is so damn good even if the specs say it's not.
Google's highly anticipated and unannounced Nexus 6 may have been publicly spotted out in the wild. From the looks of the image captured, it appears that someone was using the large-sized phone on a public transportation commute with a protective case around it. Despite its large size with a rumored 6-inch display, it looks like the user of the phone is able to navigate around the interface singlehandedly.
Better late than never, Google has just posted the latest Android 4.4.4 (KTU84P) factory image for the Nexus 7 LTE. Up until today the best you could get was Android 4.4.3, even though other Nexus devices had 4.4.4 available back in June. If you're not familiar with factory images, they're files provided by Google that can be used to update or completely wipe your device back to a factory state with the latest software.
Dropbox is updating its Android app today, giving users of its cloud storage service a new way to export files directly to an SD card, which is a nice feature for those that want to use the expanded storage space to, well, store things.
Pushbullet has announced the arrival of channels. Channels notify you when something you care about happens, whether thats the latest update to your favorite webcomic, or your go-to Android news site publishes a new story in a specific topic.
But even just three devices in, we're now able to confidently declare that there is one Android Wear smartwatch that stands out above the rest, despite its imperfections. There's one that turns heads more than the others while mostly mirroring performance.
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