Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

01
Jul
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I really enjoy having a great looking home screen with a good balance of colors and very little distraction. But I felt like destroying something beautiful by splashing tons of brightly colored pixels everywhere. The app responsible for this is PowerLine, an on-screen display that uses persistent lines to keep you apprised of almost any live stat you could ever ask for. This comes to us from Urbandroid Team, the developers of Sleep as Android.

25
Jun
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The first rule of Fight Club, is you don't... Wait, that was Project Mayhem? Oh, and this one is Project Anarchy. So many great movie jokes ruined because somebody gave this thing the wrong name. Alright, let's just be serious for a minute.

If you're a gamer, you've probably heard of a little company called Havok. You may have even heard of a few games using its Physics engine like Battlefield 3, BioShock (1 & 2), Assassin's Creed (all of 'em), Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and a few hundred more.

25
Jun
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As Android users and enthusiasts, we sometimes find ourselves curious about the continuously evolving interfaces in Google's ecosystem. Over the years, there have been a number of changes to the Play Store, once known as the Android Market, but we've never had the pleasure of learning how some of the big design elements came to be. This week, Nick Butcher and Roman Nurik of Android Design in Action invited a couple members of the Android design team, Marco Paglia and Owen Otto, to share details about their process.

23
Jun
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Have you ever refused to install an app because it wants too many permissions? Yeah, a lot of people have, and we don't blame them. A little too much trust can lead to stolen information, mysterious charges on your cellular bill, or worse. Thanks to developer M66B, we've got a simple way to lock down potentially misbehaving software. His new mod, XPrivacy, can block several types of activities and queries, despite the permissions granted at installation.

18
Jun
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In the last few years, wireless speakers have exploded onto the scene with prices ranging from sub-$100 utility speakers up to a few thousand dollars for large home theater packages. A fairly new competitor, Wren, is trying to place itself in the ever more lucrative high-end bookshelf market. With a lineup of 3 wireless speakers priced at $399 each, the company is trying to take some attention away from the current leader, Sonos.

13
Jun
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Last Updated: June 16th, 2013

We know Blackberry isn't the most popular name around here, but it is a name that continues to pop up at some interesting times. Developers, in particular, may remember when the company - then known as RIM - launched Playbook OS 2.0 with the ability to run specially packaged apps developed for Android 2.3.3. Since that time, events and promotions have been run to encourage developers to bring their apps to the platform, but the aging requirement to target Gingerbread has become a burden.

12
Jun
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It's that time again. AT&T has been busy adding and upgrading several markets with high-speed LTE. This round of upgrades seems to focus a bit more attention to the Northeast, particularly in the New York and New Jersey areas. Still, quite a few other locations are popping up around the country. With most new spots checking in with populations below 100,000 people, and some below the 10k mark, AT&T is closing in on its target to finish covering the United States with LTE by the end of this year.

10
Jun
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Every few months, Google experiments with a new design, widget, or pattern by injecting it into one of its most important apps. Preceding I/O 2013, we were treated to a steady stream of updates including the new Navigation Drawer. As we have seen, the latest GMail app joined the herd, but also gained a tweaked version of the now common pull-to-refresh gesture. While Google was kind enough to supply us with a library for the Navigation Drawer, anybody hoping to add the newly-stylized refresh is left to fend for themselves.

09
Jun
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Do you want to give a flashy gift on Father's Day? You know, something to really show up your siblings. Barnes & Noble has a pretty sweet offer that might just help to turn you into dad's favorite, again. Until Father's Day, the NOOK HD will be on sale for $129 (8GB) and $149 (16GB), while the NOOK HD+ will drop all the way to $149 (16GB) and $179 (32GB).

GehBJ2e

Nook HD

  • 7-inch 1440x900 display (243 PPI)
  • 1.5Ghz dual-core TI OMAP4470 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB / 16GB built-in storage + microSD card slot
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • HDMI Compatible (proprietary 30-pin connector)
  • Based on Android 4.0

Nook HD+

  • 9-inch 1920x1080 display (256 PPI)
  • 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP4470 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB / 32GB built-in storage + microSD card slot
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • HDMI Compatible (proprietary 30-pin connector)
  • Based on Android 4.0

As a reminder, both tablets recently gained access to the Google Play Store to go with B&N's own curated platform.

07
Jun
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I'm a huge fan of text expanders. Seriously, they are necessary to me. As a regular user of both Mac and Windows, I have sought out solutions on both platforms and rely on them daily. That's why I've always felt horrified that there weren't any great options on Android. After all, mobile devices are already input-impaired, it only makes sense that we need quality shortcuts. As it turns out, such a shortcut has been under our noses for quite some time, tucked away where few would look and only available with the stock Android 4.1 (or higher) keyboard.

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