Rooters and ROM flashers of several devices have new options today, as the developers behind the popular Team WIN Recovery Project have added three new Android devices to their growing list. The somewhat dusty LG Optimus 4X HD (from when phone names were crazy long), the LTE version of Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 (because Samsung never really got over the crazy long name thing), and the Xiaomi Redmi 1S all get access to the touch-based recovery software, with downloads available from the website.
So, a tiny little screen thing that's kind of like a phone but not a phone and is also strapped to your arm screams for a few very specific uses, and one of them is a remote control for your phone's camera. We've already seen at least one Android Wear camera remote, but that one was more of a proof of concept than a full-fledged tool. PixtoCam takes the basic idea that's been around for longer than mobile phones and adds some notable improvements.
I must confess to a near-total ignorance in all things Minecraft. My basic understanding is that you punch trees, dig, run from exploding zombies, and out of that somehow comes a full-scale digital model of the starship Enterprise or the entire country of Denmark. But I do know that "crafting" is a big part of all that, and in order to effectively craft, you need to know what to start with and what tools to use.
If you've got an unlocked/international version of HTC's One M8, you might be wondering when your next Android update is coming. According to HTC Vice President of Management Mo Versi, the answer is "late next week." The company is planning an update to Android 4.4.3.
— Mo (@moversi) July 19, 2014
So why not bump it up to the latest release, 4.4.4?
Motorola's sale to Lenovo doesn't seem to have dampened its resolve for speedy Android updates. After upgrading the 2013 DROID line to the latest version of KitKat earlier this week, it looks like the Moto X and the Verizon-only version of the Moto G are getting ready for the same treatment. We've been sent alerts that some users are being invited to a "soak test" for Android 4.4.4, which means that a full rollout is probably a few weeks away at most.
Remember those awesome mini-drones that Parrot showed off at CES way back in January? It looks like the Rolling Spider and Jumping Sumo are on sale now, at Brookstone and the Apple Store at least, for $100 and $160 respectively. And if you bought the drone, you'll want something to control it with. Enter the FreeFlight 3 app, made specifically for controlling Parrot's new toys. It's a free download, though you'll need an Android 4.0 device to install it.
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.
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.
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.
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.