Anyone who has made the jump to Android 4.3, which admittedly isn't that many people right now, may have noticed that some applications now plant persistent notifications in the status bar. We offered this as a disclaimer in our post about manually updating a Nexus 4 to Android 4.3. Turns out, this is completely intentional. Android now forces persistent notifications on unkillable apps that run silently in the background. This is an attempt to call attention to behavior that isn't quite okay.
|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.|
Floating Notifications brings the usefulness of Facebook chat heads to every Android app that shoots out a notification. Get an email - receive a floating Gmail icon on the side of the screen begging for attention. Tapping that icon reveals the contents of the message. Double tapping dismisses the notification, but there's a catch - before now, removing the floating notification hasn't also removed it from the status bar. Thanks to the latest update, devices running Android 4.3 will sync these actions due to integration with the new Notification Listener Service.
Buying a laptop was a necessity, and so was that phone. Maybe you need didn't need the tablet, but you took a chance on it anyway, and it's been pretty fun. The e-reader was a tad pricy, but it's since made reading so much less of a hassle. All of those devices have crappy speakers, though, so a set of portable Bluetooth speakers was a must. We understand. We also understand how much of a pain it can be charging all those devices, and sometimes there simply aren't enough outlets within walking distance.
Think your smartphone is charging at full power? Think again. Your phone may tell you it's charging - it may even think it's charging - but like a freshman at a liberal arts university, it doesn't know what it's doing or what it wants. This is where Practical Meter steps in. Think of it as an academic adviser for charging phones. It tells you how fast your phone is charging, and if used correctly, can help you get things moving in the right direction.
It's a good time to be in the market for an LG Optimus G Pro from AT&T. Last week, the network dropped the off-contract price of the powerful handset down from $549.99 to $439.99. Now Amazon has bested that price by over $20. For just $414.96, this handset can be yours to use free of the confines of a two-year contract. I may not be in the majority with this opinion, but I find it's the only way to live.
Bounty Arms is a moving experience, but not because the game itself is any good. It hints at what the future holds for mobile gaming. This game looks every bit as good as a current generation console title, and on a high-end device, it runs quite well. But there is more to quality gaming than pretty looks, and Bounty Arms falls flat in just about every other area. At the very least, this five dollar game is free of both ads and IAPs.
It's been less than a day since Google unveiled the Chromecast, and after both virtual and physical dashes to the store, it's worth pausing to see how the dust has settled. Many of us couldn't help ourselves and may have accidentally bought two as impulse buys, but there are bound to be some of you who needed a bit more time to come to a decision. Here's how the landscape looks.
Chromecast may perhaps be the evolution of the Nexus Q, but it's not a replacement for Google TV. True to form, the company believes that the two products do not compete with one another and can co-exist comfortably side by side. This should come as no surprise from the folks that brought us both Chrome OS and Android, two operating systems that just aren't going to merge regardless of how loudly some people cry.
Want to know how you're expected to connect your phones, tablets, and computers to that fancy Chromecast that's shipping in the mail? Simple, there's an app for that. Google has dropped dedicated software in the Play Store that configures all that Chromecast devices in your house, because I know there are a good number of you that have already ordered more than one.
The app will set up your Chromecast to work on your local network and give you an interface for managing its settings, such as changing the device's name or inputting a new WiFI password.
Look, I know you like shooting monsters. Doing so has been the premise of roughly 80% of video games ever made. Master Chief's done it. Samus has done it. Have you ever heard of Space Invaders? I remember that pixelated little ship shooting quite a few monsters back before it was even cool. Gamelion Studios' Monster Shooter 2: Back to Earth may not have the brand recognition, but there should be no confusion about what this game is all about.