Good grief, the developer behind the Wear Mini Launcher is certainly setting a rapid pace. The app has only been available for a couple of weeks and already it's seen a major update. Today you can download the Play Store beta version (after you've joined the Google+ community, bah) to try out the 2.0 release. The 2.0 update includes options for moving the swipe-in activation gesture to other screen positions.
If you're looking to flesh out your phone with some high-tech audio, Best Buy has two options at a significant discount today. The JayBird BlueBuds X is a highly-recommended pair of Bluetooth headphones that includes workout-friendly water resistance and an integrated microphone and music controls. The Ultimate Ears Mini Boom is a great little Bluetooth speaker. Right now you can pick them up in a bundle for $169.98, a hundred bucks cheaper than the combined retail price.
According to your grandmother, over 96% of kids these days don't know their history and will be doomed to repeat it. Also, no one learns cursive anymore. There's not a whole lot that Google can do about the latter, but with a new search tool, they may be working on the former. Chrome and Search enthusiast Florian Kiersch posted screenshots of a new Knowledge Graph tool that automatically generates timelines of broad historical topics based on content from Wikipedia.
Here's something that you might not know about Chrome for Android: you can search for text within a web page by typing your query in the URL bar, without using the menu button to manually tap the "find in page" tool. When searching for non-URL queries, you can tap the first result with the magnifying glass icon in the corner to search the text of the current page.
(If Chrome's URL bar auto-fills an address, just press backspace.)
It's a little-known feature - in fact, an informal Google+ poll from our own Artem Russakovskii found that less than half of over 700 users even knew it was there.
Just like any open marketplace, there's a lot of crap in the Play Store. In a strange and roundabout way, I'm actually OK with that - separating the silver from the dross of Android apps is one of our core functions at Android Police. But a recent promotion from antivirus vendor Trend Micro painted an extremely dim picture of the Play Store. The company claimed, among other things, that the Play Store was full of "potentially evil doppelgangers...
So, technically using software to unlock digital carrier blocks on your phone in the US is a violation of everyone's favorite draconian copyright legislation, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Unlocking your phone yourself could be seen as breaking a "technical measure," akin to cracking a DRM package (which, in most cases, is illegal). The Library of Congress can grant specific exemptions, like it already does for rooting and jailbreaking, but the latest one in 2012 was passed over without renewal.
Welcome to the future, ladies and gents. Your jacket isn't dry, your pizza isn't freeze-dried, and your car can't fly, but if it comes from Tesla, it's still pretty cool. If you also happen to have an Android Wear device, you can pretend to be Michael Knight by talking to your car through your watch, thanks to the unofficial Tesla Command app for Wear. Unfortunately it won't talk back, unless you count honking the horn.
It takes a lot for an Android web browser to get our attention. We've got Chrome in all its Googleyness, and we've got Dolphin if you need something more extensible. But the new Atlas browser beta, from NextApp (developers of SystemPanel App), may just warrant your attention. In addition to speedy rendering and surprising responsiveness, Atlas has some advanced features hidden behind a solid user interface. Oh, and did we mention it uses some Material Design cues in its visuals?
It's impossible for new customers to buy unlimited mobile data from Verizon. But this wasn't always the case: back in the glory days of, uh, 2010 and earlier, Verizon Wireless was still offering true unlimited data for as little as $30 a month. It's been increasingly hard for users who want to keep their unlimited data to do so: since late 2012, they haven't been able to buy a new subsidized phone without switching over to a plan with a data cap, and the "grandfathered" unlimited data customers who download the most are already subject to "network optimization" when using Verizon's 3G network.