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.

03
Mar
Soap-Thumb

Routers are complex and intimidating, but this Kickstarter project hopes to address both of these issues. The Soap smart router is an Android-based router with a touch display. Through a simple interface, owners can implement parental controls, set time limits, see what activity is taking place on a network, block ads, create black/lists, monitor network analytics, and look out for potential threads. The idea is that this will be a router that you don't need to be a techie to know how to use, and its promise has attracted enough funds to surpasses its $80k funding goal with 19 days to go.

03
Mar
Office-Thumb

Today Microsoft has released the Office 365 software development kit for Android. With it, the company wants to invite developers to access Office data inside their apps. The SDK provides APIs granting permission to call upon SharePoint lists and files, along with Exchange calendars, contacts, and mail. The preview is available for download straight from GitHub.

OfficeAndroidSDK

The SDK requires Android 4.0.3 or higher to run, and Microsoft has shared an introductory blog post to get you started.

03
Mar
XboxLive-Thumb

Microsoft has already dabbled around with expanding the Xbox Live experience to mobile devices, but if a recent report from The Verge is to be believed, the company may be about to ramp up its efforts significantly. Our good friend Sources, who is familiar with Microsoft's plans, claims that Microsoft is building a platform that would extend Xbox Live functionality to Android and iOS. Instead of using Google Play Games or Apple's Game Center to track achievements, find other players, and compete with one another, you would be able to use Xbox Live instead.

03
Mar
LocalCast-Thumb

Streaming local media to Chromecast isn't that difficult of an endeavor these days. Sure, there isn't an official Google app that will slap those media files onto a TV for you, but between AllCast and Solid Explorer, there are options. There's also LocalCast, an app like AllCast whose singular purpose is to get media from your Android device to something with a bigger screen.

LocalCast1 LocalCast2 LocalCast3

The app's latest update has added the ability to connect to network storage via Samba and cast files from them straight to Chromecast.

28
Feb
Yelp-Thumb

More and more developers these days are using the Play Store to get beta versions of software into the hands of willing users. The system works well, so it's nice to report that another well-known app is taking advantage of it. Yelp now has an Android Beta Testers Google+ community that, if you join, will grant you access to the latest features before everyone else.

Yelp

You may know the drill by now, as the screenshot above repeats the same steps most communities of this type require.

28
Feb
SolidExplorerCastPlugin-Thumb

Google doesn't provide an obvious user-facing way to get locally saved media files from your phone to your TV using Chromecast. It's a bit annoying, but whatever, we have options now. There's AllCast for starters, but if you would prefer not to have to deal with yet another app, Solid Explorer has added the ability to stream files directly from the file browser. All you need is the latest version and a separate plugin.

28
Feb
Search-Thumb

Searching for a restaurant that can satisfy everyone's culinary preferences isn't particularly easy on a smartphone's data connection. The process typically involves searching for a specific website, hoping there's a mobile version (nope), and searching around for a menu. Now Google's rolling out a feature in the US that should streamline things a bit. Just search Google for the menu and watch it appear as the top result.

28
Feb
AmazonAppstore-Thumb

The Play Store is filled with great games to cram onto your mobile device, but there's another Android marketplace you may have forgotten to check. Don't worry, I have your back. Amazon is currently offering eight free games as part of today's Game Pack. If you throw in the usual free app of the day, that actually makes nine games you can get just by hitting up Amazon before the day is up.

28
Feb
IMDb-Thumb

The IMDb app is an immensely useful piece of software to have installed on a mobile phone. I don't open it often, but once I'm in the mood to hit up the local theater, there's the app, just ready to serve me the latest trailers, movie showtimes, and ticket prices. The beta version of the app has reached 4.2, and it's tidying things up a bit. Options that were crowding up the Action Bar have now been moved into a slide-out navigation menu.

27
Feb
Swordigo-Thumb

Swordigo first came to Android as a part of Humble Mobile Bundle 3, and while it's usually difficult to snag a game for a lower price than pay-what-you-want, this time you can. Developer Touch Foo has released the game into the Play Store as a free download. Swordigo is well-rated on the Apple App Store, and it looks like a pretty safe bet if you're in the mood for an attractive, action-packed platformer.

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