Yesterday was an incredibly busy day at work and in the afternoon a ton of goodies dropped that I need to share with all of you.
I also started an incredibly fun and intriguing game, which I'll also discuss in this post but only in passing because umataro42 wrote a post on it (which I'll link to).
So first off, yesterday was the usual Google Apps Wednesday update thing and my goodness it was a doozy. It can best be summed up by the following picture.
So getting to things, I'm just gonna say what was updated, attach the links and then put the screenshots up after.
For the most part, this was all about updating all these apps (save one, Android Wear) to Material Design.
I felt like a kid in a comic shop yesterday. So. Many. Updates. It was like BAM! An update! BAM! Another update! BAM! Another update! And so on and so forth.
Google Play Movies, Google Play Games, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Wallet, Google+ and Camera all got updated to Material Design. All of them. That only leaves a handful of stragglers who haven't been updated to Material Design, as far as Google apps go.
Android Wear also received an update, although I'm not sure what this one changed, beyond giving a message that stated something to the effect of "this Android Wear app update will restart your Android Wear device upon updating and installation". Fair enough, Android Wear. Fair enough.
UPDATE! So there's an issue currently facing Google Wallet, largely cause of Apple Pay, that has come about because retailers seeking to cut out Apple Pay have done so but by doing so they've also cut out Google Wallet as a payment option.
The long and short of it though is as I said, retailers don't want to let Apple Pay be used and in the process Google Wallet is going to be accepted at even less places than it already is. (Which bites because I use it all the time at CVS. Well did, it stopped working last week and only later did I find out why and that annoys the hell out of me.)
Oh and in a great "have faith in our new system" move, CurrenC has already had its database hacked. Yep, that's right folks. This new method of payment which you should totally use and trust [rolls eyes] has already had information leaked. What information? Email addresses is all we know for now. Maybe more. Maybe not. Do you really think they'd tell you the truth after such a douchey move (kill everybody else's methods of paying) and then smack down (all your data belongs to us hack)?
All of that is on top of the fact that some serious scrutiny and questions have already been given and raised regarding CurrentC and just what information it ask you to give it so it can do its thing. Visit that link, please, to know just what information you have to give up so you use it. The person who really got down and dirty with the app had the following quote to say on the issue, "CurrentC borders on the creepy..." There's also the concern about it wanting direct access to your bank account to process payments, something numerous people are concerned about due to fraud and fraud liability issues.
All in all this app has made a lot of people very angry and the non-acceptance of Apple Pay and Google Wallet has been widely regarded as a bad move. To paraphrase The Guide and all.
Oh, that and the app has been 1-starred to death basically in the Play Store. What few glowing reviews there are seem to be from people being paid to give positive feedback and opinions on the back.
TL;DR: Google Wallet never really took off and now it might not thanks to CurrentC, which was created basically with the aim of giving Apple and Apple Pay the finger and telling both to get bent. CurrentC itself wants all your info and it's already had a security breach. Use it, CurrentC, at your own risk.
Google+ (which was a minor refresh to its already Material Design)
Google Play Games
Google Play Movies and TV
Last but not least, Google Fit went live the other day. Throw your phone in your pocket or what have you and get to doing your thing and you can check later how you're doing activity wise.
I have noticed some issues so far with the app so far though, I am lazy. I've stated that plenty of times, but at work I do a ton of walking and running around and for some reason the app doesn't register that.
I've also noticed that since the app went live it's affected my Moto 360 in that it seems to have taken over primary duty to keep track of such things, this over the stock Moto 360 apps that did the same. They too now seem to suffer from "you're lazy even if you actually aren't" syndrome and not register a lot of my activity. Bug? Just hating? You decide for yourselves.
Beyond that, nothing else to write about. Google definitely updated a ton of apps yesterday and we're all the better off because of it.
My personal thoughts are, "Goddamn!" I don't play to many games, in any capacity whatsoever. So it really takes something special to catch my eye and get me to play it for more than a few minutes.
The Wolf Among Us has done exactly that, for largely the reasons stated in that post. Everything about it is meant to catch your attention and you find yourself getting sucked in within seconds of starting the game.
I started the first episode roughly around 10:30 PM and played til about 12:30 AM. The episode itself doesn't provide 2 hours of gameplay, more like 1 hr/1 hr 30 minutes tops. I did, however, randomly leave the game to tell friends, "You have to fucking play this. Right now." That and to respond to various text messages sent from friends at night per the norm.
The moment I finished the episode I tried buying the entire season for $14.99, sadly it seems that yet again Google is giving me issues when I try to make purchases using my debit card/bank account. I have no idea why this is happening on and off still, but it's annoying. I know for a fact that I have money in my account, but the minute I try and make a purchase it gets declined. This is why I always have and always will love cash transactions (that and the whole "you can't trace me and my habits if I pay cash for everything" thing, what can I say I'm paranoid that way).
Regardless, I have a few friends who owe me cash and favors and I'll be calling in markers throughout the day and even into tomorrow to see who coughs up a Play Store card so I can get the rest of the episodes. Lol. The game is that good. I just want to get back into it.
The first episode is free, but comes in at a sizable 650 MB, so I highly suggest everyone give it a try (but download it over WiFi unless you've got a kickass LTE connection, I managed to get the game on LTE in no time flat yesterday morning).
And that's all I have for you all today. I suppose it's time to sit at my desk and do nothing for the remainder of the day. (Since I finished all my work for the week yesterday. Le sigh.)
I have no idea how I feel about that. I've loved Motorola's products over the course of the past year and I've pretty much bought them all for either myself or close friends and at work.
This also after Punit Soni announced he was leaving Motorola this past month.
As a reminder/lesson for those who might not know who he is, he is the man who pretty much turned Motorola around on his own in the eyes of consumers. He was approachable, answered any and all questions directed at him on Google+ and basically was just an all around great guy who made Motorola into the company a great many of us have come to know and love.
The company's fate right now is uncertain in the eyes of some, myself included. My favorite Doors lyric always seems to crop up for things lately, "The future's uncertain and the end is always near."
Update! I forgot to mention it yesterday, even as a friendly notice, but the Nexus 6 went live for pre-order in the Play Store.
Naturally, as with every single thing that ends up in the Play Store year after year the website couldn't handle the load of people slamming it and getting an order in was chaotic at best. It became a free for all and if you were lucky your order was accepted and you got charged, if you weren't well that sucks for you.
Now that is all the updates and news I have for you all today. Probably.
UPDATE! Google Play Books just got the Material Design update moments ago! YESSS!!!!!
One of the first significant changes I noticed can be seen in that last picture there. Tapping in the center of the screen no longer brings up the action/navbar. It zooms out and gives you that view. That's pretty slick, also useful when I accidentally end up on a completely different page and want to get back to where I was. I can see the pages as I go through them, so no more, "Was it this page? Nope, already read that. This one? Yay! It was!"
If anything else gets updated it'll go below this. Update all the things!