Samsung has yet another music streaming service to deliver the latest hits to smartphones. In addition to its internal music app that ships with every phone and its former Music Hub powered by 7digital, Android's leading manufacturer today unveiled Milk Music, a Slacker-powered streaming music app that is exclusive to Galaxy devices in the United States.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro has a desktop-inspired interface thanks to tools like Multi Window and the new Magazine-style layout. The Android tablet with a 12.2-inch HD display also has a laptop-inspired price.
Motorola is going back to school in the latest update to its MotoMaker customization site. Moto X buyers can now choose from nine new back colors or three new accent colors to get more options for personalizing the device. Motorola pitches the new colors as a way to get combinations related to American universities.
Though the Moto X can prompt Google Now even when the phone is off, the Nexus 5 can only do it on the home screen. A new video shows that the Nexus 5 is capable of having always-on listening just like the Moto X; Google simply chose not to include it.
Google Play Music has a new feature that allows users to create radio stations based on their current playlists. The new radio station tool appears to allow for a shortcut to having a more diverse and accurate station than the typical artist or song based tools that take time to learn the best songs to play based on feedback. A quick comparison of my DMX stations shows the playlist-sourced station did a better job playing the hits. Users can create a station by navigating to Playlists and tapping the column of three circles and selecting "Start radio." The tool works only with handcrafted playlists, so auto-created playlists for Recently added, Purchased, or Thumbs up will not work.
Google is quick to throw up a sale in celebration of certain milestones, and the latest promotion is to commemorate Google Play turning two. Google has lowered the price on several apps, games, and media its storefront, including free in-app bonuses or discounts in games like Badland, FIFA 14, and The Sims FreePlay. Several Dr. Seuss books can be had for only $1, movies like Star Trek: Into Darkness and The Great Gatsby are $9.99 or less, and an annual subscription to Entertainment Weekly is now at half price. The full list of deals are viewable in Google Play.
LG, in an attempt to promote its G Flex smartphone, has taken a rather strange path to let people know about the device's self-healing coating and curved display. Very strange.
Wireless provider FreedomPop has offered a new-ish phone for people who care just as much about government surveillance and security as they do about apps and messaging. FreedomPop's Privacy Phone has encryption, privacy controls, and even Bitcoin payment.
The latest statistics from Google show that Android 4.4 KitKat is still a very small portion of active devices. KitKat notches only only 2.5 percent, up from the 1.8 percent reported last month and likely to increase next month with the release of new KitKat updates and phones from HTC and Samsung. In the meantime, the leading platform versions remain Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (35.3 percent), Android 4.2 JB (17.1), Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (15.2), Android 4.3 JB (9.6), and Android 2.2 Froyo (1.2).
Thursday will see the debut of the LG G Pad 8.3 Android tablet as 4G LTE device in the US. Previously seen as a Wi-Fi capable device, the G Pad 8.3 will launch on Verizon Wireless's LTE network beginning March 6. Initially, the tablet will cost only $99 on a two year contract, but that price will double to $199 beginning March 10.