Popular streaming music service Pandora has launched an app for the new fourth-generation Apple TV, allowing Pandora listeners to play their favorite music and radio stations on their television sets.
On the Apple TV, the Pandora app has a simple, streamlined interface with sections for managing existing stations, creating new stations and accessing account options, along with a “Now Playing” section that displays the station a user is listening to.
Throughout the Pandora app, songs and stations are accompanied by large album artwork for quick browsing, and there are built-in controls for skipping a song and liking or disliking a song. In the Now Playing section, each song is listed with an album title, artist name, and cover art.
Pandora, which recently acquired assets and employees from competing streaming service Rdio, is one of the most popular streaming music services and a major Apple Music competitor. Unlike Apple Music, Pandora is an ad-supported station-based streaming music service that allows customers to listen for free. Pandora also offers a subscription option that removes advertisements and gives users more “skips” to bypass undesirable songs.
The free Pandora app can be downloaded on the Apple TV by searching for it in the tvOS App Store. If you own the Pandora app for iOS, it will be listed in the purchased section.
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When the Lenovo-owned company took to the stage in three cities on July 18, Motorola announced that it wanted to establish a new breed of smartphones. It then went on to unveil three new devices – the Moto X Style (also known as the Moto X Pure Edition), the Moto X Play and the Moto G. All of which share similar design characteristics but feature totally different internal components.
Now we’ve got our eyes pinned on the Moto X Play which is essentially a hybrid of the Moto X Style and Moto G. The Moto X Play is only available in Europe and Asia, targeted at consumers looking for a phone with a great camera and an above-average battery life, but no need for the processing power that many flagship devices on the market have to offer, thereby appealing to those on a stricter budget.
Overall, the design of the Moto X Play is fairly minimalistic and isn’t dissimilar to most modern-day smartphones. The handset itself sizes in at 148 x 75 x 10.9mm and weighs a rather hefty 169 grams, which is pretty heavy, especially when you consider that the Galaxy S6 Edge weighs about 130 grams, and the Nexus 5X weighs 136 grams. However, the added weight does give the Moto X Play a much more premium feel.
From the minute you unbox the handset, you can tell instantly that it’s a well-built device, designed to survive the knocks, bumps and scuffs of everyday life – and believe me, it does. On my second day of using the Moto X Play, to my horror, I accidentally sent it into a nosedive off my desk from about five feet, It survived the descent without a single blemish, much to my amazement.
On the front of the unit is a gigantic 5.5-inch Full HD display, which has a screen-to-body ratio of 74%. The size of the panel alone contributes to the device’s solid form factor as it gives a slightly chunkier feel to the handset when its being held in one hand. Positioned at the top of the unit above the display is a 5MP camera, which does a good job of capturing selfies.
Flip over to the rear of the device and you’ll be presented with a rubberized removable back plate surrounded by faux metal. Although the battery cover can be removed, the battery itself cannot. The reason behind this is customization. Moto Maker offers you a choice of 14 different covers, which all have distinct textures and can be applied to the handset at any time.
Positioned bang in the center on the back is a metal island, which houses Motorola’s standard ‘M’ dimple that ships on board all of its post-2013 smartphones along with 21MP shooter and dual-LED flash.
The volume rocker and textured lock button are on the right-hand side of the handset, while the microUSB charging port can be found on the bottom of the unit. On the top of the device, you’ll find a headphone jack, and a removable SIM and microSD slot.
The Moto X Play features a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, Adreno 405, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage, a microSDcard slot for up to an additional 32GB of storage, a 21MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, front-facing speakers, 3630mAh battery (non-removable), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, A-GPS and Bluetooth 4.0 LE.
LTE (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 27, 20)
HSPA (850, 900, 1800, 1900)
GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900)
The Moto X Play certainly doesn’t feel like a mid-range device. Coming from an LG G4 and a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, I was expecting to be overwhelmed by slow opening times, multitasking lag and endless app crashes. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The handset runs incredibly smoothly and rarely has to slow down to take a breath. During my extensive testing, the only time the processor failed to keep up was when I opened two demanding games and switched between them. Apart from that it breezed through every task I threw at it.
Circling back to the display, I was pleased to discover that Motorola had adopted an LCD panel for its latest lineup. Previous devices in the Moto X series featured AMOLED displays, which produced a yellow tinge making everything look somewhat distorted, but this was nowhere to be seen on the Play.
The screen also works a treat in low-light conditions, but is a tad more reflective than I’d like in bright environments. Viewing angles are impressive and colors remain crisp at all times, irrespective of the brightness setting selected.
There are dual front-facing speakers on the fore of the unit. The quality of the audio isn’t great, though. It’s almost as though the development team at Motorola have done little-to-no tuning of the drivers, every sound that emerges from the front of this device is tinny and has a high-pitch glare. That being said, the loudspeaker mode during calls is very clear, and the proprietary software works brilliantly at cancelling out background noise.
If your main use of a smartphone is to respond to messages, place phone calls, scroll through social networking feeds and play games, one at a time, you’ll love the Moto X Play. No matter how hard I try, I can’t find a fault in its performance. It genuinely feels like you’re using a flagship device.
As previously mentioned, the Moto X Play’s 3630mAh battery cannot be removed, despite having a removable backplate. But this isn’t an issue. Motorola has done a fantastic job of developing incredible power management software for this handset, which easily sees it through a full day of heavy use.
After monitoring my battery statistics for 24-hours, I noticed that the biggest drain comes from 4G LTE connectivity. However, taking this into account, you’re still looking at about 26-hours of life.
During the testing process, I was unhooking the handset from its charger at 6 a.m. and using it to stream music, respond to emails, place phone calls, watch YouTube videos and browse the Web up until 11 p.m., at which time it had just over 30% of battery remaining. That’s pretty good going, seeing as I have to plug in my G4 after about 6-hours.
Ever since its acquisition by Google back in 2012, Motorola has adopted a stock Android policy for all its smartphones. The only alterations it makes to the software is by way of a handful of new applications and features, which are designed to make a user’s life significantly easier. A prime example of this is the Moto App.
The Moto App is home to all the additional features installed on the Moto X Play. It’s used to set up and configure a hot word for controlling the handset with your voice, and for creating gestures, such as flicking your wrist to open up the camera or saying “Hello Moto” to wake the device, then if you say “What’s new?” it will relay all of your recent notifications by reading them out to you.
Thankfully, there isn’t any bloatware on the unlocked variant of the handset. The only third-party applications you’ll find are the aforementioned Moto App and one called Migrate, which enables you to effortlessly transfer data from your old smartphone to the Moto X Play through Wi-Fi.
The device runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop on arrival, but is expected to receive the long-awaited Android 6.0 Marshmallow upgrade by the end of 2015, seeing as the Moto X Play is mostly stock, it should take delivery of the update shortly after it’s finished rolling out to compatible Nexus-branded products.
The 21-megapixel Sony sensor found under the hood of the Moto X Play produces beautiful, clear and crisp photographs that certainly don’t look like they were taken on a mid-range device. What surprised me most, though, is the camera’s performance in low-light conditions, which is second-to-none for its price point.
The camera application provides you with extensive control of the rear camera’s shooting modes. By swiping in from the left-hand side, you can adjust the ISO, exposure levels, enable HDR and tap-to-focus.
The quality of the camera speaks for itself, so be sure to take a look through the images below to get a clear understanding of what this device is capable of.
So should you buy the Moto X Play? Well, if you’re looking for an impressive mid-range smartphone that won’t break the bank, I’d urge you to look no further. Not only does the handset provide an unruffled user experience, but it also takes fantastic photographs and doesn’t slack when it comes to functionality. The device’s durable design and build quality will see you through a couple of years usage, providing, of course, you don’t go throwing it off any cliffs. The Moto X Play is fully customizable through Moto Maker — so you can really put your own stamp on it by using personal colors and engravings for an additional £279 ($420).
Come comment on this article: Motorola Moto X Play review: Going high-end, staying affordable
When HTC unveiled the One A9 back in September, it vowed to roll out monthly security updates for the handset based on Android’s latest patches. According to HTC’s Vice President of Product Management, Mo Versi, AT&T is the first and currently the only carrier to start pushing out this month’s update.
With regards to what’s included in the upgrade, it looks like a number of critical issues have been addressed, such as the MMS failure bug, a fatal flaw that could potentially enable remote code execution through email and a fix for the longstanding error that caused some devices to randomly reboot.
As is the norm, this update is being distributed in stages. To see if it’s ready for your device head into Settings, scroll to the bottom and tap on “About Device”, hit “System Updates”, then select “Check for updates”. Alternatively, you can wait until you receive a push notification prompting you to install the update.
Source: Mo Versi (Twitter)
Come comment on this article: AT&T is sending December’s security update to the HTC One A9
Harassment may be a regular part of the modern internet landscape, but that doesn’t mean that you have to simply sit there and take it. Feminist Frequency, which is all too familiar with harassment and threats, has posted a guide to protecting yourself against the onslaught of digital bullies, stalkers and trolls. In some ways, it’s about observing common sense privacy and security policies: avoid sharing more personal info than necessary, use difficult-to-crack passwords and stay on guard against malware and other exploits.
There are plenty of harassment-specific tips, of course. The guide asks you to register the same screen name everywhere (to thwart would-be impostors), and to thoroughly document incidents in case that ‘harmless’ tweet is the prelude to something truly vile. There’s also an emphasis on real-world assistance, such as friends and law enforcement, and a reminder that you can avoid or mitigate some harassment by refusing to engage… say, by turning comments off on blog posts. Whether or not you agree with Feminist Frequency’s views, the guide should be useful in preventing doxxing and other attempts at making your life miserable when you dare to express an opinion.
[Image credit: Senor Nejo, Flickr]
Source: Feminist Frequency
In 2016 America will elect a new president.
After eight years in office Barack Obama will move out of the White House and take a long overdue break from the stresses of running the country (or at least attempt to). But, before someone new sets up shop in the Oval Office, he or she will have to convince America that they deserve to be president. At Engadget we’re firm believers in the power of an informed electorate, so to help you find the candidate right for you, here is a look at the contenders and where they stand on a swath of issues related to science and technology. We’ll be updating this guide throughout the election season to reflect current polling numbers and new comments from the candidates regarding the issues.
This guide is not 100 percent objective and we won’t pretend otherwise.
We at Engadget have our biases, just like anyone else. That being said, our goal here is not to pass judgment on a candidate’s policies (or party), but rather on their understanding of the subject matter. While almost the entire staff here supports net neutrality, we are not penalizing candidates for opposing it. What is important is that the candidates demonstrate that they have thought about the issue, understand it and have taken an educated position, regardless of the world view or ideology that informs it.
There are two issues, however, where we are drawing a line in the sand. Climate change and evolution. There is plenty of room for debate about how to address the crisis of climate change or how to teach science in our nation’s schools. But there is no room for debate on scientific fact.
How we grade
We’re taking a look at a series of issues regarding science and technology and giving the candidates a letter grade, A through F, based on their demonstrated knowledge of each. We’re judging the candidates based on their own words, which are provided in as much context as possible with a link to the source. More detailed proposals and explanations in general earn a better grade.
In the case of representatives and senators we are not using voting records against them. Our elected officials cast hundreds of votes for varying reason and those can easily be misconstrued to indicate support or opposition for virtually any issue. However, if they wrote, endorsed or introduced a piece of legislation we assume that it represents their views relatively accurately.
Not having gone on record about a particular topic is not necessarily grounds for deducting points. But, if a candidate has multiple question marks on their card, we take that into consideration for the final grade.
We are also deducting at least one full letter grade for the explicit rejection of the science of man-made climate change and the theory of evolution.
Net neutrality: The concept that all data being sent across the internet should be treated equally, without preference for source. The FCC enshrined this by-default practice as the law of the land by subjecting broadband internet to many of the regulations found under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which governs “common carriers” like landline telephones.
Evolution: That life on Earth evolved from a common ancestor and continuously evolves through mutation and the act of natural selection is accepted scientific fact. Though a less prominent issue than in years past, some still wish to “teach the controversy” insinuating that there is disagreement among scientists over whether evolution by natural selection is the basis for the emergence of life. These opponents to teaching evolution often back a theory called “intelligent design” which is essentially biblical creationism.
Climate change: The mean temperature around the globe has been climbing steadily and there is a clear correlation between that and an increase in CO2 emissions. An overwhelming majority of scientists around the globe are convinced that human activity is responsible for at least a portion of that temperature increase. The increase of temperature is expected to have a dramatic effect on sea levels, weather patterns and crops. Some candidates reject the scientific consensus, but the biggest question is how to address the growing problem and slow the warming.
Clean & renewable energy: Transitioning away from fossil fuels towards higher efficiency and renewable energy sources provides a number of benefits for the environment as well as the US, both economically and politically. But how best to encourage that transition and how quickly to do so is a hotly debated topic. Some suggest removing regulation to encourage more activity from the private sector, while others believe the government can use its resources to ease the transition and incentivize energy companies.
Government surveillance & privacy: Few issues have been as controversial over the last several years than the government’s surveillance programs. In particular the NSA’s bulk metadata collection has raised concerns among privacy advocates. Still there are some who believe that the privacy concerns are overblown and that these tools are essential to protecting the US from terrorist attacks.
STEM education & research: Over the last several decades, American students have fallen behind much of the rest of the world in math and science. As the US economy has shifted away from manufacturing and towards a more service-based economy, training in science, technology, engineering and math has become increasingly important. There is debate over how (and if) the government should use its resources to encourage students to pursue STEM degrees and fund scientific endeavors through organizations like the National Science Foundation.
NASA: America’s space agency and premier scientific research organization. In addition to unlocking the mysteries of the universe and seeking to better understand the environment on Earth, NASA research has led to better prosthetic limbs, solar cells and even scratch resistant lenses for glasses. NASA also built OpenStack, a cloud computing platform used by everyone from eBay and Sony to CERN and the NSA. But how to fund NASA is always a controversial subject, especially as its Earth science efforts have ramped up.
Cyber security: The last several years have seen an explosion of digital attacks against America and American companies. Those attacks have come from both state-sponsored sources and criminal elements. There has been debate over what if any role private industry has to play in national cybersecurity and cyber warfare, as well as the proper balance between offensive and defensive cyber efforts.
Online gambling: The issue of online gambling found itself in headlines again recently after many daily fantasy sports sites found themselves shutout of several states. Some officials want to pass stringent laws at the federal level greatly restricting online gambling.
Patent reform: Over the last several years, bills like the America Invents Act and cases like Alice v. CLS have addressed serious problems in our patent system. How effective they have been is questionable, however. The time it takes for patents to be granted can still be quite long and trolls still find ways to abuse the system.
Broadband infrastructure: There are still large sections of the country that lack access to broadband internet, especially in rural areas. Expanding the reach of high speed internet is a challenge with no easy solution. Companies are often hesitant to invest in building a network with a limited customer base, and it’s no secret that broadband internet in the US is both slower and more expensive than it is elsewhere in the world.
H-1B visas: The issue of legal immigration is almost as controversial as that of illegal immigration. The H-1B visa program in particular is meant to allow companies like Google and Facebook to attract highly skilled workers from other countries. Though recent news coverage has focused on abuses of the program by companies looking for cheap labor.
[Image credit: Catharina van den Dikkenberg]
Uber has tried a wide variety of services as of late, but they’ve always been crammed into the company’s main app. More than a little awkward, don’t you think? Mercifully, it’s splitting things up by giving UberEats an app of its own. The dedicated title (currently iOS-only) tries to beat GrubHub and Seamless at their own game by emphasizing simplicity in your food selection. There’s an Instant Delivery menu that offers just a handful of items you can get in less than 10 minutes, and a popular item list for each restaurant. While you can order from full menus, Uber is betting that you’d like to avoid poring over dining choices at the end of a long day.
The app is currently only useful if you happen to live in Toronto, which serves as the test market. You may well see it in your neck of the woods before long, though, as Uber is hoping to bring it to other cities once it learns what works. If that happens, there could be a day where many people use Uber without even touching its ridesharing option — and when the company is trying to diversify as much as it can, we doubt it’ll mind.
Sling TV recently began catering some services to Spanish-speaking subscribers. In June, the company introduced Sling Latino, a standalone package for people who only wanted access to video content in Español. Today, as part of these plans to reach a broader audience, Sling TV announced it’s adding local broadcast feeds from Univision and UniMas to its Latino streaming service. This will give viewers the ability to watch programming that’s restricted to certain areas, such as local news shows.
It’s worth noting that it is the first time Sling TV’s offering access to live local channels, which could be a sign of things to come. Additionally, the Sling Latino site has been updated with features designed to make the browsing experience more customizable.
Source: Sling TV
Nintendo will host the last “Direct” presentation for Super Smash Bros. (SSB) on December 15th at 5PM ET. As those that follow Directs will know, this is the third presentation dedicated solely to the brawler, alongside frequent SSB announcements through the regular Nintendo Directs. It’s been a refreshing year of experimentation and additions from Nintendo; we’ve seen eight stages and five characters announced as DLC so far, and it’s likely the final show will give us a couple more surprises. This slow but steady dripfeed of content wasn’t a fresh idea — games like Call of Duty have been doing similar things for years — but Nintendo’s adoption of the technique broke new ground for the company.
Nintendo’s released a smattering of paid DLC before, of course, from its early experiments with New Super Mario Bros. 2 up to the large level and character packs for Mario Kart 8. But it’s never looked after and engaged with a game’s audience in the same way it has with SSB. It’s all representative of the company’s attempts to rethink its practices and keep pace with the rest of the video game industry.
Over the past couple of years, Nintendo has caught up a lot. It learned from Skylanders to introduce the wildly popular Amiibo figurines (which arrived with SSB); it agreed to let another company with more experience in online gaming design its version of Xbox Live or PlayStation Network; it released heavily online games in the form of Splatoon and Mario Maker and it introduced free-to-play titles. Nintendo has even embraced the idea of mobile games. And now it’s proved it can do DLC and fan engagement with the best of them.
If you’re a Nintendo diehard, you probably might not appreciate all of the above achievements. But Nintendo needed to change a little to survive, and it’s done all this almost entirely without compromising on its core values. Sure, there have been a couple of missteps with free-to-play — Pokémon Shuffle is just the worst — and some icky Mercedes-Benz tie-ins for Mario Kart and Mario Maker, but its DLC add-ons have for the most part been just that: add-ons. SSB and Mario Kart 8, for example, are both rich, full games with enough content to make gamers happy from the offset.
Building on what SSB started, Nintendo released the online shooter Splatoon back in May. It’s seen fresh game modes and new arenas added even more regularly than SSB. There’s even a web portal for gamers to check on their stats. Nintendo’s also making good on its promise that Amiibo are a platform, a kind of physical DLC. Activating AI companion fighters in SSB is great, but adding new levels and challenges in Splatoon is even better. Nintendo has said on more than one occasion it will continue to build on the Amiibo conceit with new features.
So as sad as it is to see the end of SSB‘s update cycle, it’s worth applauding Nintendo for doing this well. It certainly took its time to get the ball rolling — the thought that it would support games with online updates for this long was unthinkable even two years ago. But this hasn’t happened by accident, and the company’s careful and considered approach is starting to pay dividends. Releasing good DLC and supporting your games properly sounds so simple, but so many get this wrong so often. Nintendo, with its first real attempt, has got it right.
I know almost all of you have heard of Starbucks. I love coffee and drink it on a regular basis, and one can argue that there are many coffee shops with better brew, but Starbucks is always there for you no matter where you go around the world. And its coffee is always reliable and its mixed drinks are second to none.
There have been 5,000,000-10,000,000 installs of the Starbucks app from the Google Play Store, but many people still don’t know the latest features in the app. Let’s check it out.
Before Android Pay and Samsung Pay were released, Starbucks already had an easy way to pay using your smartphone. All you need to do is set up a credit card or PayPal account to fund your Starbucks account. Once sufficient funds are added to your account, you could just generate a barcode and place your device in front of a scanner after you place an order. You will hear a beep, and the record of your purchase would be logged in your history. It’s very simple to pay this way and you don’t need to bring an ID or wallet with you.
I happen to walk to my nearby Starbucks at night with my dog and grab a hot chocolate or eggnog latte for dessert. It’s really convenient not to have to carry my wallet around with me late at night.
Even though Starbucks doesn’t use Android Pay, I wish other places I frequent, like the grocery store, would allow me to make purchases the same way. Wallets are usually filled with back-up cards, reward cards, receipts, insurance cards, etc. It’s nice to leave my chunky wallet behind.
Mobile Order and Pay
From the Starbucks app you can look over the entire menu from your phone, and place an order before you pick it up. The menu at Starbucks is HUGE. Who knew you could order a strawberries & creme Frappuccino? There are teas, Refreshers, fresh juice, iced teas, iced coffees, espressos, Frappuccinos, hand-crafted sodas, smoothies, oh yeah, and fresh brewed coffee.
Rather than being rushed in line to pick what you want, you are free to take your time from the privacy of your own home or car to peruse the entire menu from the app. It’s worth looking over the entire menu because you might want to try something new. The strawberries & creme Frappuccino could be your new favorite drink that you never knew existed. Or if you’re in a rush and on a road trip, just place an order at a Starbucks on your route, run in and grab your order, and get back on your merry way.
Again, this is another feature I would love to see in more apps for other restaurants I frequent so I don’t have to wait in line.
Rewards – from the reward page
More than great drinks. Great rewards.
Enjoy all this and more with your membership to our Loyalty Program:
- Free drink or food rewards (some restrictions apply)
- Custom offers on items you enjoy when you opt in to receive My Starbucks Rewards email
- Early access to new products
- Easy payment with our mobile app
Here’s how it works
To enjoy free drink and food rewards, you’ll need to earn Stars. Get Stars when:
- You pay at a participating store with your registered Starbucks, Teavana or La Boulange Card or the mobile app
- You buy specially marked Starbucks products where you buy groceries
- You buy coffee or tea products at Starbucks Store online
Most of you frequent Starbucks already so why not take advantage of the free reward program? You can get free refills on coffee for a year just for earning five stars. If you earn 30 stars within 12 months you’re promoted to the Gold Level where you can earn a free drink or food item. You’ll also get a personalized Gold Card so your barista will know you are special.
Using the app is as simple as it gets. Once you load credit onto your Starbucks app, ordering, paying and earning rewards are simple. Starbucks left out annoying advertisements, and click bait from within the app, and made a clean and simple user interface. Simplicity wins in this case. There’s nothing you don’t need to make the app more confusing than it really needs to be. You can even send gift cards through the app for your friends and family.
If you haven’t tried the Starbucks app yet, or if you haven’t used it in awhile, now is the time to download it again and start earning rewards. You don’t have to expose your credit/debit cards with the automated barcode generator within the app, and you don’t need your chunky wallet when you walk into the coffee shop. Better yet, you can order and pay in advance from the app so you can avoid waiting in line for your order.
The loyalty system is a great way to earn free food and coffee from Starbucks as well. I highly recommend the Starbucks app for you coffee lovers.
The post Starbucks full featured app makes coffee easy to order(App review) appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Back in September, Google announced that a family plan offering would be created for Play Music. The family plan gives up to six people simultaneous access to Play Music’s catalog of 35 million songs for $14.99 per month. At that time, the company only said that the family plan would be made available before the end of 2015. Today, Google is going live with Play Music’s family plan. And YouTube Red, for those in the United States, is included at no extra charge for all family plan accounts.
Google will allow customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia to sign up for Play Music’s family plan this week.
Come comment on this article: Families can share the wealth of Google Play Music today