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.

10
Nov
SonySmartWatch3-Thumb

The Sony SmartWatch 3 has occupied a spot in the Play Store since mid-October, where it has sat priced at $249.99 and marked as "coming soon." Soon means now, as the watch has gone live. You can still find it at the same link and for the same price, only now it's available for purchase.

Screenshot 2014-11-10 at 1.53.28 PM

The watch is more fitness-oriented than the other options in the Play Store, eschewing a metal frame and any attempt at luxury in favor of a plastic band that covers everything except for the screen.

10
Nov
HooToo-Thumb

Is it too much to ask to have a device that simply does all the things? You know, all the things. It can plug into the wall for power, store 6000mAh worth of juice when an outlet isn't close by, function as a hotspot for nearby devices, and serve as a personal cloud that shares USB storage wirelessly. This sounds like a great thing to have while traveling, so seriously, is wanting one too much to ask?

10
Nov
QKSMS-Thumb

Before the release of Android 4.4, stock Android came with a basic SMS app. It served as a simple way to exchange text messages the old-school way, without dealing with data connections or usernames. Then the functionality got merged into Hangouts, and while a new standard Messenger app is returning for 5.0, there are many people with devices that won't see that update for months—if ever.

That leaves plenty of room for a basic texting app, one without a fancy name or a distracting icon, and one that doesn't look out of place compared to Google's first-party offerings.

07
Nov
Three-Thumb

Google appears to have turned on carrier billing support for Three customers in the UK. Though the company has not yet appeared on Google's page of listed partners, a reader has submitted a screenshot of the Play Store giving them the option to pay for Sons of Anarchy later on when their Three bill arrives.

07
Nov
AsusZenWatch-Thumb

Word has hit the street that the Asus ZenWatch will launch in the US on November 9th. Two days from now shoppers reportedly will be able to pick one up from Best Buy for $199.99, with Play Store availability coming at some point after.

The ZenWatch is a peculiar Wear device. It's square, but unlike the LG G Watch or the Samsung Gear Live, it tries to look more like a traditional accessory than a tech gadget.

07
Nov
PlayStore-Thumb

People all over the world can create apps and get them into the Play Store, where millions of users can potentially download their software. The thing is, not everyone is able to get paid for their work. To charge money for an app, you need to live in one of the supported places. Today seven areas have joined the list. This brings the number up to just over sixty.

  • Jordan (US Dollars)
  • Lebanon (Lebanese Pounds)
  • Oman (US Dollars)
  • Pakistan (Pakistani Rupees)
  • Puerto Rico (US Dollars)
  • Qatar (US Dollars)
  • Venezuela (US Dollars)

For clarification, residents could already download and pay for content in these areas.

07
Nov
OnePlusOne-Thumb

A new build of CyanogenMod 11S for the OnePlus One is ready, so it's time for some fixes to another batch of awful bugs that you wouldn't expect any modern phone to ship with in such large numbers. Many of these problems should fade away following this over-the-air update. Here's the provided list of changes folks can expect within the 44S build:

What's new:

  • Resolved SSLv3 POODLE security issue
  • Updated touchscreen firmware
  • Fixed issues with memory causing screen artifacts
  • Fixed issues with random reboots and instability
  • Fixed issues with WiFi and modem crashes
  • Fixed issues with Filesystem
  • Fixed issues with “black bar”
  • Fixed issues with persist partition corruption
  • Fixed issues with AT&T VoLTE

Let's go over some of these.

07
Nov
GalaxyAlpha-Thumb

The Galaxy Alpha isn't Samsung's most powerful phone, but it has made a name for itself regardless. Specs aren't everything, and folks are excited just to see a company so enamored with plastic take a chance with metal. The Alpha's aluminum band may not make the handset look all that distinctive in pictures, but it makes a difference in person.

This design may have attracted some users to the phone who would have otherwise been put off by TouchWiz.

07
Nov
Giftcard-thumb

Many Android users in Brazil have surely, at some point in time, wished they could give a friend the gift of Google Play. Others have probably longed for the ability to translate cold, hard cash into apps and other digital content. Well Google is ready to satiate their desires. Play Store gift cards have started rolling out to various retailers across Brazil.

Screenshot 2014-11-07 at 9.58.04 AM

These plastic representations of money come in increments of R$30, R$50, and R$100.

06
Nov
MonsterGuard-Thumb

The American Red Cross has produced no shortage of high-quality Android apps. When we see the organization's name pop up in the Play Store, we generally know that we're in for something good, possibly even life-saving.

Well, things are a little different this time. You see, the Red Cross's latest app is actually a game for kids. It goes by the name of Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies.

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