Sprint Spark support is gradually rolling out to some of the carrier's devices, but there is something to be said for learning how to walk before learning how to run. Large swaths of the US still do not have access to Sprint's LTE network at any speed. Consider the state of Ohio, which until now has only had one city (Salem) on the complete list of supported areas, and that location only joined just last month.
|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. He now lives in the City of Bridges, adjusting to the presence of actual snow. His phone of choice is the HTC One.|
Sprint's mobile data is typically not the first, or the second, or even the third to come to mind when looking for a zippy connection in the US, but the company is looking to change this impression with its new tri-band LTE network, more memorably known as Sprint Spark. Unfortunately, only a limited number of the carrier's phones are able to take advantage of this new capability, with some of them requiring an OTA before they're ready.
Update: The Oppo N1 isn't alone. CyanogenMod 11 nightlies are available for the Find 5 as well.
You can get your hands on an Oppo N1 with CyanogenMod pre-installed. Really, it's the first phone to have this as an option, and there's a good chance that's the only reason you even know which phone I'm referring to. Yet as cool as that is, for Android tinkerers, there's just one problem - it's too outdated.
The latest update to the immensely useful Pushbullet app introduces the ability to fully sync your Android device's notification drawer with Chrome on your computer. Previously, users could only watch phone or tablet notifications pop up on their desktop, with a recent version adding the ability to dismiss them from either device. Now Chrome's notification center will fully sync up with your phone's drawer, allowing you to manage alerts even after they've faded from the screen.
Thingiverse is an awful name, but the community behind it shows far more creativity. Just a quick visit to the website reveals pages upon pages of nifty things people have spawned using 3D printers, complete with guidelines for replicating the objects yourself. Now MakerBot has condensed this community down into something that can fit in your pocket. With the new Thingiverse Android app, previously released for iOS back in October, users can browse, like, and comment on the expansive selection of plastic objects from anywhere they wish.
The warriors of LEGO's Ninjago franchise aren't your old-school ninjas of feudal Japan. These heroes are bold enough to draw their blades in a more modern time, one filled with futuristic corridors, glowing elevator shafts, and dangerous lasers. Yet unlike Tecmo's Ryu Hayabusa, these ninjas don't square off against armed gunmen. They're out to rid Ninjago City of the possessed-scientist Cyrus Borg and his army of minions. Of course, the only way to do this in Ninjago Rebooted is by racing to the top of Borg Tower.
Unlocking our phones is quite the hassle. Sticking a PIN or password on the lock screen is your most reliable option, but inputting that information every time admittedly gets old. There's face unlock, but that's too easy to circumvent. As for fingerprint scanning? The required hardware isn't exactly widespread. So now Descartes Biometrics is offering users the ability to unlock their smartphones... using their ears.
Once installed, ERGO serves as your phone's lockscreen.
Sony announced the Xperia Z1s at CES earlier this month, and it quickly showed up on T-Mobile's website. So Americans looking to just own the handset have had a week to order one online from the carrier, while those wanting a deeper relationship with the device - to love it for what's on the inside, rather than the outside - have had to wait a little longer. But now their opportunity has come as well.
There was a time not so long ago when entering keywords into a search engine and getting back a list of relevant URLs was convenient enough, but these days, long after the novelty of search engines has worn off, sifting through pages of blue and purple links can feel quite tedious. So Google is continuing to do more to make using its primary service easier. Starting today, when you click on the name next to a website's link in your search results, you will get served a small window providing a little bit more information than what's provided on the page.
Most games that get released for Android are decidedly casual. They're intended for quick, pick-up-and-play encounters when you have a few moments to kill while waiting in the fast food line or in the back seat of a cab. Most, frankly, can't compare to the lean-back experience we get from console games (or the lean-forward immersion of their PC brethren). Square Enix's Deus Ex: The Fall is a different beast entirely.