The LG G Flex is seen as just the first step in new direction for smartphones
Why make a flexible, bendable, curved phone, you ask?
"Probably we got bored," LG's Ramchan Woo joked at a small press gathering Tuesday night in a San Francisco hotel. And you sort of get a sense of that when you hear LG talk about the G Flex. The company certainly isn't against trying something new. In September in Berlin we got our first look at the LG G2, which moved the power and volume buttons to the back of the phone.
Now we have the G Flex. (Check out our hands-on.) The 6-inch Android smartphone bends. It curves. It's flexible. You can smash down on it with up to 88 pounds of force — about what you'd get if you sat on it, LG says — without causing any real damage. Hell, the thing heals itself from minor scratches.
And Dr. Woo — and LG along with him — see this as the future.
Pick up the LG G Flex for the first time, and it's tough to tell which is the cooler feature. For one thing, this phone is curved. Not just "Oh, the glass is curved against your face." But "Holy crap, the entire phone is curved."
But that's just half the story. Because what good is a curved phone that's rigid? That's just asking for trouble. No, the LG G Flex also bends. From the glass atop the display, to the display itself, to the all-new battery, this phone is meant to withstand up to 88 pounds of pressure in its most sensitive of areas, moving just enough to keep things from breaking while providing what LG believes to be the most ergonomic fit yet.
But you're not supposed to be able to bend your phone, right?
As promised, VSCO Cam — a longtime favorite of serious iPhone photographers — is now available on Android.
This isn't a camera app for everyone. Depending on your taste, it's either dead simple, or so devoid of any telltale buttons and icons you might not know where to start. But once you get the hang of things, you've got a pretty serious set of tools at your disposal. Filters (with individual settings for each), a whole bunch of editing tools, and a slew of sharing options — including easy access to VSCO's own service.
Best news, of course, is that the app is free. So give it a whirl.
Motorola's servers appear to be taking quite a beating early this morning. But if you somehow manage to get through, here's your reminder that the Moto X — our current pick for the best Android phone available — is $150 off today, outright. That means $350 total gets you an off-contract, 16GB Moto X. Another $50 bumps you up to 32GB.
Accessories are still 30 percent off today as well.
I should really know better than to actually say "I think I'm done traveling for the year" out loud. Because here I find myself, in Palo Alto, Calif., once again. In the same hotel, actually, that I stayed at for Google's Honeycomb event back in 2011.
What the hell am I doing back in California, on the tail end of the Thanksgiving holiday? You'll have to wait a few weeks to find out.
But for now, a few musings from today's trip at 40,000 feet.
The new Moto G is one of the best values you can get in an Android smartphone — and it's now available for preorder on Amazon. Pricing is exactly the same as from Motorola — $199 for the 16GB mode, and $20 less for 8GB. Those prices don't come with those pesky two-year contracts, either.
FIFA — that's the world governing body for soccer — has released its own Android app, appropriately named "FIFA."
The app, which is free and available for devices running Android 2.3 and up, is a portal into the latest soccer news, from the upcoming World Cup next summer, to the European leages to the MLS here in the United States. As far as apps go, this one's pretty decent (though the font's a bit annoying), with the usual sort of design you'd expect from a news-type app. There's also a section for live matches, and you can get recaps on video on photo galleries as well.
The official CyanogenMod blog this afternoon gave word that the CM Installer — an Android app that aids in the process of getting the custom ROM onto a device — was voluntarily pulled from Google Play. Here's the rub:
Today, we were contacted by the Google Play Support team to say that our CyanogenMod Installer application is in violation of Google Play’s developer terms.
They advised us to voluntarily remove the application, or they would be forced to remove it administratively. We have complied with their wishes while we wait for a more favorable resolution.
To those unfamiliar with the application, it has a single function – to guide users to enable “ADB”, a built in development and debugging tool, and then navigates the user to the desktop installer. The desktop application then performs the installation of the CyanogenMod on their Android device.
After reaching out to the Play team, their feedback was that though application itself is harmless, and not actually in violation of their Terms of Service, since it ‘encourages users to void their warranty’, it would not be allowed to remain in the store.
For all intents and purposes, this is the same application we're running on Android — with all the stories, videos and podcasts you've come to expect — but optimized and improved for the Android runtime on BlackBerry. So we recommend that anyone who has sideloaded the actual Android apk use this one for a better experience.
A quick caveat, though. The app is for OS 10.2 and higher. And much like in the Android space, updates don't always come as soon as we'd like. We'd suggest taking this opportunity to remind your operator that you need to be able to run the official Android Central app on your BlackBerry, and perhaps they should consider updating post haste.