All I wanted to do today was just goof off and read at my desk (since I have nothing to do today at work) and then I checked up on a few Android news sites I frequent and I realized quite a bit came out yesterday afternoon/evening.
So here I am doing a second post this week to cover a few interesting items, this time though I'll keep it short.
Matias Duarte did an AMA yesterday!
I'm not even going to ruin it for anyone here who knows who that is (for those who don't he's the VP of Design at Google, wears absolutely kickass shirts and is just someone who really knows his shit in general).
Head here to read the questions and his responses for yourself.
All hail Lord Duarte!
NVIDIA comes out swinging with their take on Android TV
That, folks, is the SHIELD. It is essentially Android TV on steroids, since it supports native 4k video signals and NVIDIA's GRID game streaming tech.
To make a very intriguing device all the better it's worth noting this runs on NVIDIA's new Tegra X1 chip.
Also, in addition to the controller pictured above, there'll be an optional small remote with a dedicated voice search button.
Games already exclusive to NVIDIA's SHIELD line of products will be available for this one too, plus there'll be new versions of games like Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Crysis 3, and Doom 3 BFG Edition. Keeping in mind those are games that will be available for installation on the system itself. Since this is NVIDIA after all rest assured that there will also be games playable in and from the cloud.
On that note, GRID is basically what NVIDIA's been building up towards for some time now. Being able to play games from your PC on your tablet is all well and good, but being able to do so on a system dedicated for use in conjunction with a TV is that much better. To that end, GRID will come in two subscription options, a basic (720p) and premium (1080p). Once subscribed you'll have access to a library of games, on top of which you can also purchase AAA titles. NVIDIA's already stated that AAA titles will be released simultaneous across their devices (console and PC). The exception being you'll be able to play them in no time flat via GRID upon release.
You might be reading all this and thinking "sounds neat, but I bet it's gonna cost an arm and a leg". You'd be thinking dead wrong though. This bad boy will be available for purchase in May for $199, also that price point includes bundling of the SHIELD Controller (which is normally $60 on its own).
As for full specs, you can see those below.
Given the specs on the Nexus Player and its price point this seems to be a much better overall deal than anything similar currently available or soon to be available.
Here's the promo video for the NVIDIA SHIELD.
Android Police has given their hands-on impressions of the S6/S6 Edge and the M9
I am now incredibly intrigued after having read their thoughts on the S6 and S6 Edge. The article is very intriguingly titled "This Is The Nicest Android Phone Anyone Has Ever Built". Those are some bold words, I can't wait to see their official review sometime next month.
As for their M9 impressions, well that was titled "Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss". I for one still remain unimpressed, but in all fairness that's basically how I feel about most phones nowadays. If you don't do something that truly makes it stand out among the crowd I'm probably gonna say "meh". Just like with the S6, they'll have their official review out sometime next month.
Somewhat related, speaking of reviews, Ars Technica has posted their review of the new Moto E. "Review: The new Moto E is the most phone you can get for $150". After having read it yesterday I'm totally certain I need to pick one up soon. Even if it's just for having stuffed in a drawer for backup phone purposes.
TextSecure just got a lot better, cross-platform encrypted messaging is here!
For those unaware, TextSecure is an encrypted messaging app. Probably one of the best ones available, hands down. It's open source, it's code has been reviewed in full if memory serves me correctly and it's easy enough to use. Basically, if you value your privacy and securely encrypted communications are important to you then there's no reason you shouldn't be using this. (Or RedPhone, which is its encrypted voice calling counterpart for Android.)
Sadly, if you knew anyone with an iOS device who you wanted to securely communicate with then you were out of luck. There was no means of doing so. Until yesterday! Thanks to the release of Signal 2.0, which you can read more about on the blog post about its release, that is no longer an issue and cross-platform encrypted messaging between Android and iOS users is here. Unlike with the Android equivalent apps, this one does it all in one. Voice calling and text messages are encrypted with the one app.
If you're at all security conscious then I highly recommend checking out the apps.
Rumor mill territory, Huawei tipped as the next OEM to build a Nexus
I want to share a source for this but I'm seeing it from multiple places and no one has a firm quote saying as much. Given how Huawei and Xiaomi have been on a roll lately in China and elsewhere I am not putting this down as "not likely to happen". It's totally believable in my book.
On a related note, Huawei's phones (in the U.S. at least) will be available with completely stock Android in the upcoming future. The CEO of their consumer division, Richard Yu, has been quoted as to why this is as saying, "In the US we have to do some compromise to avoid any concern." This is in regard to potential claims that it'll be riddled with Chinese spyware. Further elaborating on that point he exclaimed the following, "No excuse! If you have a problem you can check with Google. [American customers] trust Google so they can trust Huawei."
The big surprise and hit apparently at Mobile World Congress (MWC), which I wrote about the other day, was the Huawei Watch. Kind of what led to him, Richard Yu that is, being asked numerous questions and what have you.
I for one look forward to what the company brings to the U.S. soon. If history is anything to go by then we can expect some top notch hardware to rival "known" brands and without breaking wallets in the process.
Beyond that, any Verizon LG G3 owners reading these posts? Cause if so I have a treat for you.
The Lollipop OTA update has been captured and per some back and forth with BehindDarkGlasses yesterday I have done the necessary research to get you Verizon LG G3 owners up and running with Lollipop! As for whether or not it works, well BehindDarkGlasses is officially on Lollipop. So feel free to continue on if you're game for being on it too.
If you're game for updating then for the time being head on over to the Play Store and install this.
Then head here and right click on the "SoftwareUpdate" folder and download it. It'll download as a zip file, since it's kind of big. (If for whatever reason it doesn't want to download then click on that SoftwareUpdate folder and inside you'll see the 23A.up file. Right click on it and select download and that will work. Just keep in mind that once it's downloaded you need to put it in a folder that is named SoftwareUpdate. Has to be exact, no space between the words.) Once it does though, extract the file as is to your computer. Which means on your desktop you should see a folder called "SoftwareUpdate" and inside that a file that says 23A.up. If you see that, drag and drop the folder onto the internal storage of your phone.
If you were to use a file explorer then you'd see something like this once you did so.
Once you've done that, open that Activity Launcher app I had you install. Click on "All Activities" and scroll all the way down to the bottom. You're look for "com.lge.lgfota.permission". Expand it. Once you've done that, click on "DmcEzUpdateStart". Then wait for the black screen with blue text and wait for the device to auto shutdown after that. The update will start automatically from there.
When it's done updating you'll be on Lollipop. : )
Honestly, that has to be one of the easiest ways I've ever seen to effectively force an update on a device. If only it was that easy for all other devices.
Today is Update Wednesday for Google, so here are some apk files for you to sideload if you're so inclined!
In no particular order here's Hangouts, Play Store, Google Drive, and Cloud Print. There was also a very sizable Google Play Services update, which is needed for some serious API additions that Google rolled out yesterday and which developers will soon take advantage of hopefully. Except since those are very dependent on your device and Android version and all that I'd rather not link to them and have people potentially download the wrong one. If you want it and need help finding it just let me know and I'll point you to the right one. Although I expect that mostly from people who don't already know how to find out the info they need to get the correct version on their own.
Edit. Google PDF Viewer.
And that's all there is for today.
If anything of significant note gets announced or anything like that I'll update the post accordingly. Now if you'll excuse me, gonna finish what little bit of the last episode of House of Cards I have left to go while I still have some time left on my lunch break.
UPDATE! Lifehacker has published their How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: 2015 Edition post.
You can read it here.
Anyone even remotely considering upgrade anytime soon should give it a read, a lot of incredibly useful information can be found there.
And, like usual, if anyone has any "I'd like to update to a new device soon" questions or comments I'm as usual more than happy to help as I can.