Just two days ago, Roku announced their new lineup of media center devices, and today Amazon has made public their latest Fire TV Stick. If you are unfamiliar with Amazon's hardware offerings, the Fire TV Stick is their competitor to the Chromecast (even to the point of Amazon removing Chromecast listings from their store). But unlike the Chromecast, and similar to the recently-announced Roku Express, all applications run directly on the device. The Fire TV stick also has a sizable game library, which is certainly unique at the price point.
The updated Fire TV Stick is a major improvement in almost every way. Read More
Oh, LG. You and your marketing gimmicks. The LG V20 was announced as the first phone that would launch with Android 7.0 Nougat, and indeed, that's about to happen. However, the launch this week is only happening in South Korea. The rest of the world has to wait. It's still first, though. LG was technically correct—the best kind of correct. Read More
It looks like the ill-fated BlackBerry Priv will end up being the last piece of hardware developed internally by BlackBerry. The company has announced today that it is ending all hardware design efforts so it can focus on software. This comes alongside the company's quarterly results, which show yet another big loss. This is really the last course of action the company has. Read More
As some readers might recall, there were a couple of fairly unusual, and very time-consuming teardown posts last week. In the final dash to finish them up, a few app updates were sidelined until they could be checked more thoroughly. Most of them have turned out to be bug fixes or have only small changes that don't really call for attention. The update to Google's micro-community app Spaces isn't very significant either, but it does resolve one of the most common complaints in the app since its release: it's now possible to save images posted to a space.
Saving images is a pretty standard feature in most apps, so it's not surprising many early users of Spaces complained when there was no way to make local copies of images or re-share them to another app. Read More
T-Mobile offered free LTE data in Brazil for its customers who were traveling there for the olympics, then later extended the offer for the paralympics. It also had a similar offer for those who were traveling to some European countries.
Those offers have either expired or are about to expire soon, but T-Mo is having none of it. It's extending this free LTE data roaming option until the end of 2016, so that's December 31, 2016. It's also adding more countries in South America. Here are the countries you can travel to and where you can expect to be charged nothing for your data usage if you have a T-Mobile SIM:
Armenia, Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom
South American Destinations
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Easter Island, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela
The offer starts on October 1, so don't go using allthedata just yet. It seems that texting is also unlimited in these countries, as part of Simple Global, and calling is charged at a flat rate of $0.20/min. Read More
For a couple of years, Firefox Aurora, the developer edition of the popular browser, has only been available directly from Mozilla. As of today, Aurora has landed on the Play Store, in early access (i.e. unreleased) form. This is presumably because it's unstable and not meant to be used by the general public, and only by those interested in what's coming soon or building the web. Regardless, it is always good to see things in development that will later be deployed to the public version of Firefox, which is currently on v49.
I've been trying to find out when Mozilla first released Aurora for Android, but the best I've found is v29.0a2, made available on February 7 2014. Read More
When I reviewed the Fitbit Blaze a couple of months ago, some of my gripes with the tracker were more related to the software than the hardware side. I didn't like the limited choice of watch faces and I was annoyed that I couldn't set notifications for emails and third-party apps natively (I know about Fit Notifications), which made the Blaze quasi-useless as a smartwatch replacement on my wrist. But most importantly, even though the app could track my hourly activity and longest sitting times and send me reminders to move, the tracker itself never vibrated which made the reminder approach very inefficient.
Unfortunately, those problems not only affected the Blaze but all of Fitbit's trackers. Read More
Five years - that's how long Indians have had to wait for Google Play Music to come to their country. However, it appears that the massive delay may finally be over. Several India-based AP readers have tipped us that Play Music is now showing up on their devices with songs available for purchase. This news comes just a day after Google's big announcement regarding the Indian market. Read More
Even if you're a regular gamer, you might not know about Ketchapp. The publisher is only a couple of years old, and the games it posts to the Play Store and App Store are uniformly small, simple titles. But what it lacks in ambition it makes up for in volume: by my count there are no less than 75 Ketchapp games on the Play Store, an impressive accomplishment in a short amount of time. Ketchapp seems to have caught the eye of some industry heavy-hitters, because it's being acquired by Ubisoft, one of the biggest game publishers on the planet. Read More
We first saw custom tiles in an Android N Developer Preview a few months back, but unfortunately, not many apps have added this feature. It's a shame, really; custom tiles are easy to use and can add a lot of speed and functionality to frequently-used apps. Now, Shazam has added one called "Auto Shazam", and it might come in handy if you're a big music listener. I don't personally use Shazam anymore (Google does the same thing if you start a voice search, FYI), but I can certainly see the merits of this for people who are invested in it. Read More