Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

18
Jul
Play-icon-large

Update: After we reached out to a Google representative, the company gave us the following statement:

We’ve been working closely with the European Commission and consumer protection agencies for the last few months to make improvements to Google Play that will be good for our users and provide better protections for children.

The representative was unable to comment on potential changes for the Play Store in the US or other non-European locations.

18
Jul
live

Manufactures have been scaling back the included extras that come with hardware for a while now - you won't find included headphones or cases with any of the latest flagship phones. But you can generally rely on getting a USB cable and a wall-wart charger at least. Such is the case with the current Android Wear devices, the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. But if you have one, you'd better hold onto that charger like it's made of gold, because it might as well be.

18
Jul
zte

It seems like it's hard to find a non-Nexus device that uses anything close to stock Android. Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, Asus, Acer - everywhere you look there are customizations to a greater or lesser extent. Even Motorola, formerly Google's own subsidiary, uses a custom launcher. Chinese manufacturer ZTE is looking to break that trend, however. The company is planning to launch new smartphones that use the Google Now Launcher (AKA the Google Experience Launcher) by default.

17
Jul
unnamed (5)

Raise your hands if you're excited about Guardians of the Galaxy. Now put them back down, because this is a text-based news story and I can't see you. As usual before a big summer movie, Marvel has released a new mobile game to get fans excited for the upcoming release. But what I'm really excited about is the fact that Marvel published the game itself (instead of outsourcing it to Gameloft) without the usual free-to-play trappings.

17
Jul
no kia

Every major corporation has to fire people at some point. But Microsoft's plan to eliminate 18,000 jobs this year is, to say the least, a big deal. The company announced its plans on a blog post titled "Starting to Evolve Our Organization and Culture," written by new CEO Satya Nadella. Former Nokia employees will bear the brunt of this downsize, with 12,500 office and factory workers from the Finnish phone giant being laid off.

17
Jul
beatthumb
Last Updated: August 4th, 2014

For the biggest of the big manufacturers, loaning out the name of your flagship model to smaller and cheaper phones is a no-brainer. You get potential customers who want the look and at least some of the features of the newest, coolest device, and you also get to reap the rewards of your brand marketing. So it is with Samsung and HTC's various "Mini" models, and now, LG's G3 Beat. Hey, at least they're not trying to call a 5-inch phone "mini."

LG G3 Beat 1%5B20140716151006053%5D LG G3 Beat 3%5B20140716151006060%5D LG G3 Beat 2%5B20140716151006056%5D

The G3 Beat downgrades the best-in-class spec sheet of the full-sized G3 with a 5-inch, 720p LCD screen, a 1.2Ghz Snapdragon 400 processor, a mere 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage with a MicroSD card slot.

16
Jul
nexusae0_bonusicon_thumb

Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got an incredibly detailed flight (and only flight) simulator, a 3D tactical RPG, and an endless skater.

16
Jul
unnamed

The perennial trading card game from Wizards of the Coast made its Android debut last year, and it seems that the developers intend to give it regular updates, just like the PC version. Magic 2015 includes an expanded collection of cards that match the physical card game, though you'll have to shell out quite a lot of cash for the full set - not unlike the real-world counterpart. Magic 2015 is a free download, but you'll need at least 1.2GB of free space to hold it.

16
Jul
unnamed (29)
Last Updated: July 17th, 2014

DoubleTwist's unique Android music app has been able to stream audio to Apple's AirPlay standard for some time, and to Qualcomm's competing AllPlay WiFi speakers since May. But for some reason, the company's Pandora-style streaming music service Magic Radio wasn't included. They have now corrected this oversight, and the latest version of the DoubleTwist app on the Play Store can now stream Magic Radio to AirPlay or AllPlay devices. You'll need the $8.99 upgrade to access streaming.

16
Jul
unnamed (23)

You almost have to respect the developers of Game of Thrones Ascent, a free-to-play role playing game based on HBO's uber-popular dark fantasy series. It takes real guts to make a text-based game these days, especially one that's clearly aiming for a wide audience. And despite the pretty backgrounds and sweeping music, that's what Ascent is: a text-based adventure game, set in the unforgiving and ruthless lands of Westeros. It's a free download in the Play Store.

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