It's about to be a very expensive time of year for the Android faithful. There are Nexus things on the horizon, and let's not forget all the holiday season deals. I mean, who can pass up a gross of microUSB chargers for only $50? In order to save you cash at this crucial time, we've got some sales on apps and games. You don't need to go without while saving money.
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.
He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM
Tesco isn't a big name in the US, but the UK-based chain is the second most profitable retailer in the world after Walmart. The company began as a supermarket, but has since expanded into general goods and even technology. Hence, the new Hudl2 tablet, a follow-up to the popular 2013 Hudl tablet aimed at families. Hudl2 is bigger, faster, and prettier than the first Hudl, and it's available soon for just £129 (about $200).
One of the earliest uses of mobile apps was to identify music on the go. I remember using Shazam on a flip phone many moons ago. The apps are more robust these days, but you still have to open them in time to catch the song. BASE Music Sensor says it can do better. It sits in the background and listens for music passively without wrecking your battery. Or so the developers claim.
Amazon finally acquiesced a few weeks ago and released an Instant Video streaming app for regular Android devices. Compatibility is a little limited, but at least it exists now. To encourage customers to use it, Amazon is offering 500 Amazon Coins to anyone who streams something using the app. Free money, yay!
You know those scary warnings that show up whenever you unlock the bootloader on a phone? "We can't be held responsible... blah blah... reduced functionality... blah... fiery death... blah blah blah." Sometimes they aren't kidding. Users who have unlocked the new Xperia Z3 Compact have found that low-light camera performance drops considerably. It turns out to be because of DRM in Sony's image signal processing.
Android L is probably just a few weeks away, but Google's partners already have the code to begin designing updates. That's why SamMobile was able to get a hold of a nearly complete build of Android L on the Galaxy S5. It looks pretty much like you'd expect a Samsung ROM to look, but there's definitely some L influence.
The Play Store has a spot next to each device in your list for an image of that particular phone or tablet. This whole time it's pretty much only been Nexus devices that had the image instead of a generic white outline. Now all of a sudden almost all phones and tablets have an image, which looks much nicer.
Google rolled out the 4.4.4 update to devices earlier this year, with the 2013 Nexus 7 seeing the OTA in mid June. Here we are over three months later and Google has finally posted the full factory images and binaries for the LTE version of the N7. It's about time, guys.
There's a new Dropbox update (v2.4.5) rolling out with the option to save files to your SD card in addition to the internal storage. It's hard to believe that's not supported already, but we checked and sure enough, you can only export files to the internal storage. That changes in the new version, along with a few smaller tweaks.