Tag Archives: Android

How the Apple Watch compares to Android Wear and Pebble

Today was the big day: Apple announced its smartwatch, unimaginatively named “Apple Watch”- not iWatch or  iTime, simply “Apple Watch”. Perhaps that’s the best summary of Apple Watch: unimaginative. While the rest of the world is losing its mind over Apple’s new timepiece, let’s take a minute, step back from the hype, and see how Apple’s new competitor stacks up against the already saturated smartwatch playing field.

Features & Functionality

Apple Watch has a big grid of icons, tooWhen it comes to features and functionality, there are a few differences between what Apple offers and what everyone else does. Apple’s product includes two new input types: a twistable crown button for scrolling and zooming without blocking the display, and a touchscreen than can tell the difference between a tap and a press. Just how useful either of these features are will remain somewhat of a mystery until we get our hands on the device, but they’re worth mentioning, nonetheless.

As far as features go, it looks like Apple Watch is much more in-line with Samsung’s Gear lineup and devices powered by Google’s Android Wear. There are a few additions, of course, but their utility are hardly worth mentioning.

What does deserve recognition is the fluidity of the OS running on Apple Watch. I’m not, nor have I ever been, a fan of the “big grid of icons”, and a circular grid, as we’ve seen demonstrated here, doesn’t seem much more user friendly. Why Apple hasn’t abandoned this for something more useful, we may never know. The rest of the UI, however, looks amazing! It blows everything else away, hands down, no questions ask, no argument. Period. Google, Sony, and Pebble have their work cut out for them.

Apple Watch includes a feature that no other smartwatch currently has: mobile payments. Mobile payments via your watch certainly sounds like something the masses could get behind. No more credit cards. No more fishing your wallet or phone out of your pocket either! Just tap your watch and get on with life. Hopefully Android Wear will get some NFC support and enable this functionality through the Google Wallet and ISIS Softcard apps. Time will tell.

Size & Shape

Apple made the Apple Watch in two sizes, which is a bit interesting, but will attract more users, that’s for sure. Women and small-wristed men will flock to Apple’s watch over any other simply because it’s available in a smaller size. We assume, of course, that concessions had to be made, probably in the battery, to make up for the size difference, but until we see (and tear-down) the two in person, we’ll have to deduce.

What’s especially surprising is that if you want a round smartwatch you’ve got to go with either the Moto 360 (which is already available, if you can find it in stock) or the LG G Watch R (which is coming out next month). Prior to Apple’s announcement, almost every comment I read that was critical to the first round of Android Wear devices commented that Apple would never make a rectangular watch, they’d do it “right” and make it circular. Sorry to disappoint you, folks, but even the engineers at Apple couldn’t build a round smartwatch. They let you down. You can head back to those forums and post your apologies now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Form & Function

iwatch-goldThat leads us to the Apple Watch’s build. Here’s one area where literally every other smartwatch on the planet has just been lapped. Everything about the Apple Watch screams “high-end” and “attention to detail”.

Although all we’ve really seen is renders and a few samples, if Apple Watch lives up to its promises, it’s going to function very, very well.

Motorola and Pebble make smart watches out of metal, but Apple’s has a sapphire screen and various types of metal bodies – including gold. Yes, actual gold. Compare that to the LG G Watch and pretty much anything from Samsung and – well, there really isn’t any comparison, so we’ll just stop there.

Apple’s wristbands are very interesting as well! No, you can’t use a standard 22mm watch band like you can with many of the other smart watches. You have to buy Apple’s special bands. Looking at them, and the way they connect with the watch, makes me think this could be a feature rather than a drawback. I’m quite impressed with the several ways Apple has apparently reinvented the watch band!

Battery & Power

Apple Watch ChargerWe don’t know anything definite about battery life on Apple Watch, but we expect that it’ll last a day or so, just like everything powered by Android Wear , but it probably won’t come close to the 5+ days that Pebble users enjoy. Charging, on the other hand should be exciting! Similar to the Moto 360, Apple Watch will have wireless charging. Unlike the Moto 360, the charger looks like it uses a proprietary format, not the Qi-standard that Motorola opted for.

Limitations

Now for the bad news. In addition to starting at hundred dollars more than pretty much every other smartwatch available today (including the Moto 360), the Apple Watch is not available yet – and won’t be until next year. When exactly next year? We don’t know.

Like we mentioned before, charging the Apple Watch will require a proprietary charger, and is not compatible with the Qi or PowerMat standards. This doesn’t bode well for when Apple includes wireless charging in its phones and tablets, since it will likely go with the non-standard type of charger it will be using for Apple Watch.

What about compatibility? Android Wear is only compatible with Android-powered devices, and Apple Watch will only be compatible with the iPhone 5 and above. Pebble, on the other hand, works just fine with Android or iOS.

Although Apple Watch looks pretty neat, it’s going to have a hard time competing with the Moto 360, but Pebble and the rest of devices powered by Android Wear have some catching up to do.


Pocketnow

Intel and Fossil partner for Android Wear

Intel, a leader in chip-making and powering technology, and Fossil, a leader in fashion accessories, are partnering up for future smartwatches and wearable technology. While they plan to build all kinds of wearable technology, Android Wear devices are a certainty since they both are listed as partners on Android Wear’s official website. This partnership is… Read more »

The post Intel and Fossil partner for Android Wear appeared first on SmarterWatching.

Read the rest at SmarterWatching.com!


AndroidGuys

Instant for Android Wear: Instagram lovers rejoice! You can now browse through your feed without getting out your phone [‘Watch’ This App]

If you like so many of us are an Instagram addict and lament the fact that there’s no good Instagram app for smartwatches, then get excited because Instant for Android Wear has come to the rescue. Gone are the days of having to pull out our phones whenever we want to scroll endlessly through our… Read more »

The post Instant for Android Wear: Instagram lovers rejoice! You can now browse through your feed without getting out your phone [‘Watch’ This App] appeared first on SmarterWatching.

Read the rest at SmarterWatching.com!


AndroidGuys

Send SMS with your Android smartphone from any device with EndlessJabber (Review)

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 8.12.19 PM

Send SMS with your Android smartphone from any device with EndlessJabber (Review) Reviewed by on Sep 1. Rating: 5

For years, one of the things I’ve always wanted was an easy way to be able to send text messages while on different devices, especially my laptop or desktop computer. This is one of the main reasons why services like Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts have always been my go to messenger services since I could just pickup where I left off chatting, whether I was on my desktop at work, laptop at home, tablet or my smartphone.

While I’ve tried a few apps in the past, none were perfect. One of the first that I remember trying many years ago was Koush’s DeskSMS, which to me, wasn’t as reliable and didn’t have as nice an interface as EndlessJabber does.

“To setup the app, it’s extremely simple. All you have to do is head to their website, www.endlessjabber.com, and click install, which will take you to Google Play where you can download the app on your Android smartphone. On your smartphone, go through the setup on the app, which the company says, “takes just 1 tap.” All you’re doing here is connecting the app to your Google account and granting the app access to your text messages, which will then sync all of your text messages to the app. Although they recommend using EvolveSMS from Klinker Apps, whom they partnered with, it works fine with other SMS apps, such as Google Hangouts, my default SMS app. With that done, all you need to do is go to www.endlessjabber.com/web on any other device and sign in to your Google account, then you can chat just as you would on your smartphone but through this web interface seen below.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 8.16.12 PMAll of the text messages on your device will show up when you head to the web interface. Besides just sending messages, you are able to attach photos from the current device you’re using to the SMS, view all your contacts on your smartphone, view a Gallery of photos you’ve been texted and view statistics such as how many texts you’re sending in a day, who you’re texting the most, etc. EndlessJabber will also tell you the current time and how much juice is left in your phone’s battery, just so you can be sure it doesn’t die on you.

The app is very well polished and I think the only issue I noticed is that emoticons didn’t always show up as pictures as they would on your smartphone. They would show up while accessing the web interface on Mozilla Firefox, but didn’t always show up in Google Chrome, although they were unique ones like beer mugs and fireworks. It would also be nice if you were able to access the gallery on your smartphone, but that’s not a deal breaker at all.

EndlessJabber also has a few extras that I wanted to mention. Along with the Android app and web interface, EndlessJabber also has Chrome and Firefox Extensions which will give you a notification whenever you receive a message so you don’t always have to be on that tab to see the messages you receive.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 10.48.22 AM

One of the best things about the app is that it is free to use, unlike DeskSMS that was about $ 5 a year. Although I didn’t get to test it out, there is a paid version of the app, EndlessJabber Pro, that’s $ 1.99 a month after a free 7 day. It extends the experience with some “pro” features including JabberMode that enables you to instantly send and receive SMS messages by bypassing the free Google Cloud Messaging infrastructure, Search, so you can search for a specific text or bit of info you received, themes, the ability to schedule texts in advance to send at a later time, more analytics as well as XMPP integration to use it with other chat clients such as Pidgin and Trillian, among other features.

One last thing, EndlessJabber is currently seeking to raise funds through Kickstarter to help its app grow, since they are a small startup. Check out the campaign here.They note that funds from the campaign will be used to determine the appropriate marketing strategy to achieve their goals, find an appropriate marketing firm and execute on the marketing strategy. If you do decide to contribute, you can get nice rewards such as EndlessJabber Pro subscriptions, visibility on their site and social networks and even a t-shirt. Some of these rewards are pretty nice, especially since most will give you a discount on a pro subscription.

If EndlessJabber sounds like something you’ve been waiting for, don’t hesitate to check it out! If you need a little more help using EndlessJabber, here’s more info on their blog.


AndroidGuys

Android L, iWatch, Samsung Gear S comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap

Pocketnow Daily gets an average of 300 to 500 comments a day, and sometimes even a thousand. We’d like to thank you all for participating in our question of the day, and we love your feedback so much, that we decided that since we can’t respond to ever single one of your comments, we should at least feature a couple in a weekly video.

This is the Pocketnow Daily Recap. Since we only have 3 minutes on every Daily video to go through the hottest news, the weekly recap will serve as a more extensive discussion where we also include your thoughts on the subject. Sadly, for the sake of time, we can’t guarantee that your comment will be featured, but if you want some tips on what we look for the most:

1. Keep it short
2. Stick to the point
3. Try to get some likes on your comments, which usually happen if you nail the first two tips above

We hope to make this a weekly show, and we also hope you enjoy it as much as we love reading your thoughts and comments every day.

Pocketnow Daily Shows:
Google Nexus X, Android L name, iPhone coprocessor & more – Pocketnow Daily
Galaxy Note 4 features, iPhone 6 leaks, Moto X+1 camera & more – Pocketnow Daily
Galaxy Note 4 ads, Google Nexus 9 processor, iPhone 6 event & more – Pocketnow Daily
iPhone 6 event confirmed, Samsung Gear S, Nexus X & more – Pocketnow Daily
iWatch dates, Sony IFA plans, Moto X+1 materials & more – Pocketnow Daily


Pocketnow

Zynga’s NFL Showdown Launches on iOS, Android

NFL Showdown 650
Zynga has announced the launch of NFL Showdown on iOS and Android devices. The game is the first release under the company’s Zynga Sports 365 multi-game brand, and allows users to manage their own NFL team with the ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl. Via partnerships with the NFL and NFL Players Inc., the game contains real NFL teams and athlete names for an authentic experience.

In NFL Showdown, players begin by choosing the team they’d like to manage. From there, they’re given one million dollars to create the best team possible. Users start with a complete team of players, but can purchase free agents from other players in the live auction house, or can list their own players for sale. Each player has his own stats, and players on the roster can be swapped out for others as gamers see fit. Along the way, players’ contracts will come up for renewal, and users must keep track of player salaries as well.

photo 1Players are also helped out along the way by an “Advisors Checklist,” which contains tasks to complete and rewards players with items (like more money, among others) for actually completing them.

Players are placed in a league, playing one game every day over a season that lasts 21 days. These 32-team leagues see players going head-to-head with real-world opponents. If players make the playoffs of the current league, they’ll advance their overall league level. These games take place at real-world scheduled times, so users are encouraged to come back to the game to watch them take place.

While an overall team rating is important, player confidence also impacts the team’s success, and introduces one of many premium currencies to the game, as users can purchase confidence boosts for their players (these can also be earned for free from friends).

Outside of leagues, users can complete practice events to train their players. These practice events include running drills, scrimmages and weightlifting exercises, and each take time to complete. They also drain some of the players’ energy, which recharges automatically over time, or can be recharged instantly with energy boosts (these too can be purchased in the store).

Users can wait for the practice events to complete automatically, or spend premium currency to finish them instantly. Each individual team player levels up on their own, and earns their own skill points. These points can be auto-assigned, or spent manually in a variety of categories, including grip, fitness, awareness, speed, receiving and more.

photo 2Between games, players can change their overall strategy, deciding how many interceptions to allow before benching their quarterback, for instance. This also includes choosing base offensive and defensive strategies, depending on the strength of a team’s players. That is, the game may suggest a strategy that takes advantage of high-rated wide receivers, if the team has them. If not, players may be encouraged to focus on plays that capitalize on great tight ends, and so on.

“With Zynga Sports 365, we are reimagining what a 21st century sports franchise looks like on mobile. We are developing sports games with the right level of control, community and competition that fit the mobile lifestyle of today’s consumer,” said Mike Taramykin, vice president of Zynga Sports 365, in a company statement.

“At Zynga, we have teams with deep experience developing high-quality sports franchises. With NFL Showdown, we are marrying our social gaming expertise with the NFL and NFL Players Inc.’s world class brands to provide football fans with compelling experiences that fit into their everyday lives and let them engage with the NFL in a way they never have before.”

NFL Showdown is available to download for free on iTunes and Google Play. The game will come to Windows phones and tablets, as well as Facebook, in the future. The game offers cross-platform support via Facebook Connect, allowing users to take their team with them across devices.

Another Zynga Sports 365 game was announced in early August, and will “bring the world of Tiger Woods golf to life for consumers.” The first game in this Tiger Woods partnership is in development for a mobile release in 2015.


Inside Mobile Apps

Zynga’s NFL Showdown Launches on iOS, Android

NFL Showdown 650
Zynga has announced the launch of NFL Showdown on iOS and Android devices. The game is the first release under the company’s Zynga Sports 365 multi-game brand, and allows users to manage their own NFL team with the ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl. Via partnerships with the NFL and NFL Players Inc., the game contains real NFL teams and athlete names for an authentic experience.

In NFL Showdown, players begin by choosing the team they’d like to manage. From there, they’re given one million dollars to create the best team possible. Users start with a complete team of players, but can purchase free agents from other players in the live auction house, or can list their own players for sale. Each player has his own stats, and players on the roster can be swapped out for others as gamers see fit. Along the way, players’ contracts will come up for renewal, and users must keep track of player salaries as well.

photo 1Players are also helped out along the way by an “Advisors Checklist,” which contains tasks to complete and rewards players with items (like more money, among others) for actually completing them.

Players are placed in a league, playing one game every day over a season that lasts 21 days. These 32-team leagues see players going head-to-head with real-world opponents. If players make the playoffs of the current league, they’ll advance their overall league level. These games take place at real-world scheduled times, so users are encouraged to come back to the game to watch them take place.

While an overall team rating is important, player confidence also impacts the team’s success, and introduces one of many premium currencies to the game, as users can purchase confidence boosts for their players (these can also be earned for free from friends).

Outside of leagues, users can complete practice events to train their players. These practice events include running drills, scrimmages and weightlifting exercises, and each take time to complete. They also drain some of the players’ energy, which recharges automatically over time, or can be recharged instantly with energy boosts (these too can be purchased in the store).

Users can wait for the practice events to complete automatically, or spend premium currency to finish them instantly. Each individual team player levels up on their own, and earns their own skill points. These points can be auto-assigned, or spent manually in a variety of categories, including grip, fitness, awareness, speed, receiving and more.

photo 2Between games, players can change their overall strategy, deciding how many interceptions to allow before benching their quarterback, for instance. This also includes choosing base offensive and defensive strategies, depending on the strength of a team’s players. That is, the game may suggest a strategy that takes advantage of high-rated wide receivers, if the team has them. If not, players may be encouraged to focus on plays that capitalize on great tight ends, and so on.

“With Zynga Sports 365, we are reimagining what a 21st century sports franchise looks like on mobile. We are developing sports games with the right level of control, community and competition that fit the mobile lifestyle of today’s consumer,” said Mike Taramykin, vice president of Zynga Sports 365, in a company statement.

“At Zynga, we have teams with deep experience developing high-quality sports franchises. With NFL Showdown, we are marrying our social gaming expertise with the NFL and NFL Players Inc.’s world class brands to provide football fans with compelling experiences that fit into their everyday lives and let them engage with the NFL in a way they never have before.”

NFL Showdown is available to download for free on iTunes and Google Play. The game will come to Windows phones and tablets, as well as Facebook, in the future. The game offers cross-platform support via Facebook Connect, allowing users to take their team with them across devices.

Another Zynga Sports 365 game was announced in early August, and will “bring the world of Tiger Woods golf to life for consumers.” The first game in this Tiger Woods partnership is in development for a mobile release in 2015.


Inside Mobile Apps

King Launches Diamond Digger Saga on iOS, Android

diamond digger saga 650Social and mobile game company King has announced the launch of Diamond Digger Saga on mobile devices. The match-three game was originally released on Facebook earlier this year, and challenges players to dig their way into the ground, spreading water through their created tunnels to complete quests. The game offers cross-platform support, allowing existing Facebook players to connect to their accounts and begin playing where they left off.

Each level of Diamond Digger Saga contains a move limit and a different goal. Some levels may ask players to simply clear enough gems to earn a large number of points, while others ask users to collect toys by clearing matches on top of toy-locked squares. Another level type sees users waking fireflies by touching them with water, but the gameplay is different from the company’s other titles (like Candy Crush Saga), in that players travel between multiple rooms and game boards in each level.

photoPlayers destroy gems by tapping on groups of three or more like-colored symbols. In doing so, they remove dirt from the screen. This dirt blocks the path of water throughout the level. Therefore, once it’s removed, the water flows into those new areas. Once the water hits an exit door somewhere in the stage, players move onto the next room or game board, even if they’ve yet to collect all of the toys, or clear all of the dirt from the current room.

Gamers earn two bonus moves for each room they clear, and will have access to additional power-ups and obstacles as they play. Some water doors may be locked with keys, for instance, requiring users to touch keys with water (typically in hard-to-reach locations) before the door can be opened. Powers include rockets that clear whole rows and/or columns of gems from the board, bombs that clear all symbols a particular color (a free version must be charged by clearing gems), TNT charges that clear one small section of gems from the board, and so on.

Players lose lives if they can’t complete a level’s requirements before running out of moves. Lives recharge automatically over time, or can be purchased with real money. Some power-ups are also premium items, and must be purchased with real money once the game’s free samples run out.

Social features allow users to compare their high scores against friends on each level, or send friends free lives to keep playing.

“Having already launched Diamond Digger Saga on Facebook, we’re so excited to be bringing this charming, yet challenging digger adventure to mobile devices,” says Tommy Palm, games guru at King, in a company statement. “We think players will love all aspects of this game, from the fun gameplay modes to the delightful characters, to the bright and colorful graphics.  We can’t wait for fans of our games to start their mobile digging!”

Diamond Digger Saga is available to download for free on iTunes and Google Play.


Inside Mobile Apps

Zynga’s NFL Showdown Launches on iOS, Android

NFL Showdown 650
Zynga has announced the launch of NFL Showdown on iOS and Android devices. The game is the first release under the company’s Zynga Sports 365 multi-game brand, and allows users to manage their own NFL team with the ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl. Via partnerships with the NFL and NFL Players Inc., the game contains real NFL teams and athlete names for an authentic experience.

In NFL Showdown, players begin by choosing the team they’d like to manage. From there, they’re given one million dollars to create the best team possible. Users start with a complete team of players, but can purchase free agents from other players in the live auction house, or can list their own players for sale. Each player has his own stats, and players on the roster can be swapped out for others as gamers see fit. Along the way, players’ contracts will come up for renewal, and users must keep track of player salaries as well.

photo 1Players are also helped out along the way by an “Advisors Checklist,” which contains tasks to complete and rewards players with items (like more money, among others) for actually completing them.

Players are placed in a league, playing one game every day over a season that lasts 21 days. These 32-team leagues see players going head-to-head with real-world opponents. If players make the playoffs of the current league, they’ll advance their overall league level. These games take place at real-world scheduled times, so users are encouraged to come back to the game to watch them take place.

While an overall team rating is important, player confidence also impacts the team’s success, and introduces one of many premium currencies to the game, as users can purchase confidence boosts for their players (these can also be earned for free from friends).

Outside of leagues, users can complete practice events to train their players. These practice events include running drills, scrimmages and weightlifting exercises, and each take time to complete. They also drain some of the players’ energy, which recharges automatically over time, or can be recharged instantly with energy boosts (these too can be purchased in the store).

Users can wait for the practice events to complete automatically, or spend premium currency to finish them instantly. Each individual team player levels up on their own, and earns their own skill points. These points can be auto-assigned, or spent manually in a variety of categories, including grip, fitness, awareness, speed, receiving and more.

photo 2Between games, players can change their overall strategy, deciding how many interceptions to allow before benching their quarterback, for instance. This also includes choosing base offensive and defensive strategies, depending on the strength of a team’s players. That is, the game may suggest a strategy that takes advantage of high-rated wide receivers, if the team has them. If not, players may be encouraged to focus on plays that capitalize on great tight ends, and so on.

“With Zynga Sports 365, we are reimagining what a 21st century sports franchise looks like on mobile. We are developing sports games with the right level of control, community and competition that fit the mobile lifestyle of today’s consumer,” said Mike Taramykin, vice president of Zynga Sports 365, in a company statement.

“At Zynga, we have teams with deep experience developing high-quality sports franchises. With NFL Showdown, we are marrying our social gaming expertise with the NFL and NFL Players Inc.’s world class brands to provide football fans with compelling experiences that fit into their everyday lives and let them engage with the NFL in a way they never have before.”

NFL Showdown is available to download for free on iTunes and Google Play. The game will come to Windows phones and tablets, as well as Facebook, in the future. The game offers cross-platform support via Facebook Connect, allowing users to take their team with them across devices.

Another Zynga Sports 365 game was announced in early August, and will “bring the world of Tiger Woods golf to life for consumers.” The first game in this Tiger Woods partnership is in development for a mobile release in 2015.


Inside Mobile Apps

Android Wear BeeLink: Connect to Android devices from your smartwatch [‘Watch’ This App]

One of the biggest complaints from smartwatch users is that it’s a difficult process to connect the smartwatch to their different Android devices. Users oftentimes find it to be a confusing, tedious process, and just plain hard to switch from one device to another. If this is a problem you have, then the Android Wear BeeLink app might… Read more »

The post Android Wear BeeLink: Connect to Android devices from your smartwatch [‘Watch’ This App] appeared first on SmarterWatching.

Read the rest at SmarterWatching.com!


AndroidGuys