Ryan Whitwam
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.

11
Dec
sett

App Ops showed up in Android 4.3 and made it possible to revoke permissions on a per-app basis. It wasn't exposed in the main system settings, but it was easy to access. Then Android 4.4 made it quite a bit harder to get to, and now it appears to be completely missing in 4.4.2. What gives? Well, Android engineer Dianne Hackborn has indicated App Ops was never meant to be a user-facing feature in the first place.

11
Dec
5

The Qualcomm Toq is a limited run device, but it seems there are enough floating around that Qualcomm isn't handling all the sales itself. The Toq debuted on the Qualcomm site last week, but now you can buy the device from Amazon with free Prime shipping for the same $349.99 price.

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The Toq is a little more expensive than the recently released Galaxy Gear, but it uses a color Mirasol screen for profoundly long battery life.

11
Dec
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Androidify was a neat distraction when it came out a few years back, but it quickly fell by the wayside. Forgotten, it waited in the Play Store for its chance to shine again, and here we are. Google has updated Androidify with a new UI and some spiffy holiday duds.

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11
Dec
11

Rovio's newest game is about what the Finnish developer knows best – birds. Though, they seem decidedly less angry this time in their little downhill race carts. Like it or not, this game is going to be huge.

Angry Birds Go is Rovio's first major free-to-play game on Android, so expect to be hit up for cash on occasion (maybe a lot of it). This is a casual racing game built around a variety of quirky downhill tracks.

10
Dec
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Sprint's Galaxy S4 is much like the GS4 on other US carriers. It has a Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, and it doesn't have the necessary LTE bands to take advantage of Sprint Spark. That's Sprint's new enhanced tri-band LTE that it plans to deploy all over the country in the coming year. Don't worry, though – Sprint is going to sell a new version of the phone it released six whole months ago that supports Spark.

10
Dec
ada

Shortly after Android 4.4 hit Nexus devices, a new beta of the popular Nova Launcher home screen added UI elements borrowed from the Google Experience Launcher. Now that version has hit the Play Store with some refinements and additional features. While the Google Now integration isn't possible with a third-party launcher, this is about as close as you'll get to the Kitkat look without going stock.

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You'd have to look twice to tell Nova from the stock Google Experience Launcher – the icons, fonts, and colors are all reproduced here, but with the fully customized Nova settings underneath.

10
Dec
11

Google is already selling zip-up sleeves and some stylish cases for the Nexus 7, but now you can add the new folio case to the list. This is essentially a bumper case with a front flap that can fold back and be used as a stand. It actually looks pretty neat.

2013-12-10 13_58_18-Nexus 7 Folio (Bright Red) - Devices on Google Play

The folio case comes in black and bright red, just like the Nexus 5 bumper. Unlike the N5 bumper, this is more of a bumper design with the back of the N7 exposed.

10
Dec
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Just when you thought Google couldn't drop any more Android news today, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has appeared in the Play Store as a Google Play Edition device. This phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat on a big 6.4-inch screen and will cost you $649.

2013-12-10 13_19_33-Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition - Devices on Google Play

10
Dec
rsg

Badland is a game about adaptation – the rotund birds you control in this title are simple things that fly up and to the right at your direction, but they're always changing. Toss in a few power ups, and things get wild really fast. The game can change in an instant and you have to be ready for it. Just survive – that's all you need to do, but the assortment of unexpected dangers and physics puzzles make this game something to take a closer look at.

10
Dec
nexusae0_Chromecast-Thumb_thumb

The Chromecast launched last summer with a lot of promise, but very limited app support. We've been limping along these last few months with only the occasional addition like Pandora and HBO Go to keep us going. Well, now the floodgates are beginning to open. Google just announced 10 new apps are launching with Chromecast support, and some of them are super-exciting.

2013-12-10 10_21_42-Chromecast

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