If you are among the 1-5 million users that have installed WiFi Tether for Root Users, you can expect a surprise today. For the first time in almost a year, the official build in Google Play has been updated with new features and fixes. Galaxy S4 users will be especially happy.
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
Shortly after Facebook announced the Chat Heads feature of Facebook Home, the folks behind ParanoidAndroid started expanding that idea into a new take on multitasking. HALO was the result, but it was exclusive to ParanoidAndroid. I say was, because HALO has just been open sourced.
The code has been added to a Github for other ROM developers and curious users to play around with. HALO is still in beta, but the feature set has come along quite well in recent weeks.
There's a place in every carrier's line up for a mid-range phone, and that's what the Sprint Vital is. We got the early details on this device back in March when it was known as the ZTE Quantum, and the official announcement jives with the leak pretty well. This phone has a few notable features, but the hardware is a bit lackluster.
Google Music has probably lured a few Spotify users away with its tight Android integration and low introductory price. But what about all those meticulously constructed Spotify playlists? There is no official way to bring them along for the ride, but a developer has worked out a quick and dirty way to make it happen.
Portify is a neat little tool that logs into both Spotify and Google Music, and manages to move your playlists over.
Amazon has already made it obsolete to leave the house to shop for most non-food items, but now it's taking care of your grocery needs – if you live in LA or Seattle. AmazonFresh launched in Seattle a few months ago as a way for users to order a variety of fresh food items for home delivery. The expansion of the service to LA is the first new market that has been added.
Two-year contracts are a drag for all sorts of reasons, but AT&T just found a way to make them even more annoying. The carrier has quietly altered its upgrade terms to stipulate that customers have to wait for the full 24 month term to be up before getting subsidized pricing on an upgrade. You can see the before and after versions of Ma Bell's upgrade page below.
It would be one thing if the change only affected new contracts from the effective date of June 9th, but it also pushes back the upgrade date for anyone whose contract ends after March 1, 2014.
If you crane your neck skyward, you may see the contrail of a jet or two. Should you want a more up close and personal look, Plane Finder 3D has just taxied up to the Google Play gate. This app tracks flights in real time over a number of cities.
The feature set is a bit light right now, but there is some real potential here. There are over two-dozen cities tracked in Plane Finder 3D, each with satellite imagery ground maps.
Go Launcher EX is one of the most popular alternative launchers in Google Play, and it's completely free. Everyone has been wondering how the Go Team was planning to make some cash on their rousing success, and now we know. The new GO Launcher Prime app adds additional features to the existing Go Launcher for $5.99.
Action Launcher doesn't just tweak the Android home screen paradigm like most other launchers do – it creates new features that change the experience. It was already one of the more interesting launchers in Google Play, but it was lacking some features. Each update fills in the gaps more, and this is a big one.
Among the most notable additions in v1.8 is the option to configure the home screen grid size.