Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

02
Jan
QuickPic

The folks behind QuickPic have released a beta that expands on the stable version's Material-inspired looks with a heaping dose of color, lets you automatically save local folders to the cloud, and adds in a number of other enhancements. We've made the download available at the bottom of this page. But first, here's what has changed.

What's New

Let's start with the themes. In addition to the default black and white look, users can turn the third-party gallery app's action bar anything from blue or green to red, purple, or yellow.

31
Dec
FacebookMessenger-Thumb

There's little going on in the world of Android at the moment, and the holidays are why. Today many of us are celebrating New Year's Eve, so instead of major software updates, we get themed selfies. People firing up the Facebook Messenger app are seeing the option to celebrate the new year with a photo pop up at the top of their screens. Clicking the banner activates the front-facing camera and applies a festive overlay.

31
Dec
AT&T

AT&T U-Verse customers can use the Android companion app to watch live channels on a phone or tablet, turn their handset into a TV remote, and manage DVR. The user interface hasn't looked particularly holo over the last several years, but after the latest updates, it now looks kind of ready for KitKat just in time for everything else to go material. Hey, at least it's something.

ATT1 ATT2 ATT3

If you've used U-Verse on a tablet before, then this interface probably won't look particularly new.

30
Dec
Player

SoundSeeder takes a bunch of Android devices lying around and turns them into a poor man's sound system by syncing audio playback across all of the phones and tablets so that they pump out tunes in unison. The app hit the Play Store in two parts last year, but now everything's bundled up into a single package. Not only that, it's now ready to shed its beta tag.

Seeder1 Seeder2 Seeder3

As you can see in the screenshots above, this release gets the app ready for Android Lollipop.

30
Dec
Secret-Thumb

Secret is a social network that doesn't connect you with other people, it connects you with their semi-private thoughts. People send their musings out into the Internet anonymously, where folks in their community or the far reaches of the globe can respond. It's intended to be a safe place to communicate about things you may not want to associate with your name.

The latest version of the app comes with a complete refresh.

30
Dec
GoldBox-Thumb
Last Updated: January 1st, 2015

It's time to replenish your stock of flash memory. For today's Gold Box deal of the day, Amazon is offering up to 70% off of SanDisk microSD cards, SD cards, and flash drives. Prices range from a 16GB flash drive for $7.99 (down from $29.99) to a 128GB microSD card for $89.99 (down from $129.99).

Screenshot 2014-12-30 at 10.16.12 AM

As far as most Android devices are concerned, the microSD cards here are all that matter.

29
Dec
2013Nexus7-Thumb

The Nexus 9 is the new hotness, but last year's Nexus 7 is still a speedy piece of tech. I have one on my desk right now, and I'll vouch for it. The little tablet has handled everything I've thrown at it with ease.

Anyone looking to pick one up may want to hop over to Groupon right this moment. The site is currently offering the Nexus 7 for $149.99, which you can get down to $135 with a coupon code.

29
Dec
xkcdphone2-thumb
Last Updated: December 30th, 2014

Following on the success of the original xkcd Phone (which featured a blend of Android and iOS, a side-facing camera, and the ability to scream when falling), a successor has arrived that offers some of the best tech that 2014 has to offer.

The xkcd Phone 2 includes a revolutionary always-on front-facing speaker, which the phone will use to automatically cry when lost. With a built-in, ribbed, auto-rotating case made of 3D materials, the handset should feel comfortable in any hand size.

29
Dec
SimpleTV-Thumb

With so many ways to catch up on your favorite shows, sitting down when a cable network wants you to and putting up with dozens of ads doesn't sound particularly compelling. But if you record that stuff to get back to later, then it's not so bad (VCRs taught us that). There are multiple ways to go about this, but right now you can get a Simple.TV DVR with a lifetime subscription for $99 on Woot.

19
Dec
Hangouts-Thumb

Ever since Google integrated Voice with Hangouts, listening to voicemail has been a highly-focused affair. Unlike traditional voicemail, which we're conditioned to hold up to our ear like a phone call, voicemail in Hangouts comes with a play button that encourages us to treat it more like the audio file that it is. This is the same way Google Voice has treated it on the web for forever.

The downside is that turning off the screen or backing out of Hangouts has, until recently, caused the message to immediately stop playing.

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