If you're in the market for a new gadget but can't justify paying full price, refurbished hardware is a good way to get the most bang for your buck. While the word "refurbished" is somewhat tainted with a negative mental association, the odds are that you'll get a problem-free unit that will provide the same life as if you bought it new (in some cases the unit has simply been returned and can't be re-sold as "new").
If you're in the market for a new phone on AT&T, the time to buy is now. The company is running a promotion that knocks 50 percent off of all smartphones – including top-tier handsets like the Galaxy S4/Active or HTC One. To make this deal even more enticing, all activation fees are also getting waived through the end of the month. That's a hell of a deal.
Here's how it works: you select the device you want, add it to the cart, and go through the normal motions of selecting your plan (or upgrading your line if you're already an AT&T customer).
We're always looking for new and practical ways to prop tablets up (or otherwise use them without tying up at least one hand). While we've looked at several different tablet stands in the past, we've never seen anything quite like the MonkeyKit ($99) and WhaleKit ($49) for Octa's TabletTail. Before we get into that, though, a little explanation of the TabletTail is in order.
TabletTail itself isn't one particular thing, but rather a series that encompasses a few different components for different uses: the vacuum dock, MonkeyTail, and WhaleTail.
What's that? You've never heard of the Pantech Flex? Don't sweat it – it's just a little AT&T freebie sporting various mid-range specs. But today, it becomes something more. Something better. Something Jelly Bean-ier. The handset is currently receiving its version bump to Android 4.1.2, which of course brings all sorts of goodies to the table.
According to AT&T's blog post, Flex owners should get a text message when the update is available on their handset.
If you haven't heard of Aio Wireless, here's the skinny: it's a new AT&T prepaid carrier (think of it as an MVNO), and it actually offers some pretty enticing features. Initially, we expected that Aio wouldn't offer LTE service since that would be reserved for a "premium" AT&T experience, but it looks like that plan has been changed – Aio just announced that it is activating LTE coverage for its current userbase (which is currently limited to a few areas in Texas and Florida).
If you like to tinker with Sony Xperia devices, things just got a little more fun (funner, if you will). Thanks to Sony's newly-released Illumination API, developers can now tweak the illumination bar settings on compatible devices, including the Xperia SP, ZL, ZR, UL, A U, L, S, SL, P, sola, ion, acro HD, go, M, and M dual.
Sony is calling the Illumination API an experimental API (the first of its kind for the company), which essentially means it will be released with limited documentation and virtually no support; basically, you're on your own with this one.
I think we can officially say there's a market for smartwatches. The first major player in the game was Pebble, which received a massive $10 million in funding throughout the duration of its Kickstarter campaign; now, Agent joins the million dollar club, as it just hit $1m mark – a full ten times its $100k goal (which it actually blasted through in less than 12 hours).
For those who may not have heard of Agent, it's supposedly the smartest of all smartwatches.
Dual OS devices featuring Windows 8 and Android are nothing new (if anything, they're becoming more and more common), and Samsung decided it was time to throw its name into the we can do two things at once arena with the just-announce Ativ Q. At its core, the Ativ Q is a 13.3-inch laptop/tablet hybrid, but the real allure here is its insane 275PPI display that runs at a massive 3200x1800 resolution.
Short-length videos are quickly becoming the new picture thanks to services like Vine, so it only makes sense that Instagram would also want to get in on the action. Today, the now Facebook-owned company announced videos for Instagram, a new feature that will let users capture up to 15 second clips (almost thrice the length of Vine's capture window).
As all Instagram users have come to expect, the feature will also include filters – 13 new, exclusive-for-video filters, to be exact.
While Spotify has likely seen a fairly dramatic drop in subscribers since the launch of Play Music All Access, the all-you-can-eat streaming audio service hasn't quite given up on its Android users just yet. The last significant update finally brought landscape support (which, honestly, should've been baked in from the beginning), and today's version bump brings another feature long missed by Android users: notification controls for Jelly Bean devices (4.1+).
That's actually the icing on the cake for many users – as far as the app is concerned, it's essentially on par with Play Music at this point (some may even prefer it).