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.

17
Nov
authy-thumb

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of defense to your online accounts. Typically there are two ways to go about it: having a text sent to your phone containing a numerical key, or typing in one that appears inside of a dedicated app. Google Authenticator serves this function just fine, but you have to settle for something that hasn't been spruced up since the Ice Cream Sandwich days. Authy is an alternative offering that looks a bit easier on the eyes.

17
Nov
KindleFireHDX-Thumb

As today's Deal of the Day, Amazon is offering the 16GB version of last year's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 for only $259. The 32GB model goes for a slightly more expensive $274, and the 64GB model comes in at $289.

With the first two models, we're talking about a savings of $140. The 64GB sees a discount of $160. Either way, this amounts to a pretty big chunk of change, and it just goes to show that it can pay to wait until hardware is no longer brand spanking new before making a purchase.

14
Nov
TitaniumBackup

With the release of version 6.2, Titanium Backup should now play along nicely with Android 5.0. This means rooted users who have already jumped to Lollipop can continue to use the tool to back up, restore, or freeze whichever apps they wish.

When you install the app, it's not going to look pretty. There's no Material Design to drool over, nor are there any fancy animations to catch your eye. Even the icon looks a little out of date these days.

14
Nov
Pushbullet-Thumb

Not too long ago, Pushbullet got all prettied up for Android 5.0. The app is a great example of a third-party developer coating their software with Material Design dust and spreading it out to users via an update (I'm pretty sure that's how all this stuff works). Now the team has given its browser extensions the same treatment.

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The goal is for the Pushbullet experience to look largely the same regardless of where you access it, whether it's the site, the extension, or the Android app.

14
Nov
MyOcean

When some one has taken the time to design a live wallpaper that can semi-convincingly replicate the look of ice cubes floating in artificial water, you just don't let that time and experience go to waste. You channel it into another project. So Asus is rebooting its MyWater live wallpaper with a sequel, MyOcean.

Update: Like MyWater before it, MyOcean was previously available exclusively to Asus devices. Now it's available to others in the Play Store.

14
Nov
AT&T-Thumb
Last Updated: November 15th, 2014

Update: Let us not forget the Galaxy Tab S 8.4. AT&T has updated that device this week as well, bumping it up to KOT49H.T707AUCU1ANJ5 after a 32MB download. As for the changes, they're a yawn.

  • Carrier Billing enhancements
  • Updates to ATT Mail, Keeper, YPMobile

Those changes are largely the same as the Galaxy Tab S 10.5's OTA this week. This 58MB update left the device at build number KOT49H.T807AUCU1ANJ5.

14
Nov
GalaxyNoteEdge-Thumb

The Galaxy Note Edge is now available in the US from most of the major carriers, and to anyone out there who wants its intriguing curved strip of extra screen space, well, it's going to cost you. If you missed our last report, then you might want to sit down. This handset comes in at roughly $900 off-contract, and even if you're thinking of making a two-year commitment, you will still have to hand over the cost of one 32GB Nexus 5.

13
Nov
Helium

Developer Koushik Dutta, Koush for short, is well known around these parts for any number of apps. There's the ClockworkMod ROM Manager. There's AllCast. And if you want to back up specific apps and the data that goes with them, there's Helium (formerly known as Carbon).

Helium scratches a real itch for the platform. If you purchase a new device or wipe an old one, Google can re-install your previous apps, but it usually won't pull down your settings or game saves.

13
Nov
Lyft

Android 5.0 is heading out to select Moto devices, Nexus owners are firing up fastboot, and the sweet smell of candy and tangibly designed interfaces are in the air. Feeling the spirit, Lyft has updated its app with a slightly more up-to-date look.

The biggest change here is the introduction of a new sidebar. It now pops out over all other UI elements.

Screenshot_2014-11-13-11-22-20 Screenshot_2014-11-13-11-21-37

New, old.

Lyft has also removed the separator underneath the action bar and whitened things up a tad.

13
Nov
Aviary-Thumb

Adobe acquired Aviary back in September, and since then, it's gotten prettier. I mean, the app is still recognizable, but it's clearly spent some time in the gym. Hey, take it as a compliment.

With Android 5.0 OTAs rolling out to people, let's address the big thing first. Aviary should seem right at home on a device running Lollipop. This is quite possibly the most integrated the app has ever looked, even if it does still need to work out a few parts a bit more.

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