Google is in the habit these days of selling extremely well-priced mobile devices like the new Nexus 5, but the same cannot be said for the accessories. Cases and chargers are all more expensive from the Play Store than the third-party alternatives, but sometimes it's worth the cost. Last year's Nexus wireless charger was one of the few Qi-compatible units out there, but the same cannot be said this year. Google's updated Nexus Wireless Charger comes in a little cheaper than last year's at $50, and it has some cool features.
|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.|
Do you have an affinity for the early 90s? Rockstar Games is preparing to take you back in time with GTA: San Andreas, which is coming to Android in December. This isn't just a straight port, though. Rockstar is doing some work to make the experience of playing San Andreas (which is a massive game) better on a mobile device.
GTA: San Andreas was by far the biggest GTA game of the PS2 era, so the developers have reworked the checkpoints to make it easier to advance.
Third-party music players are a little less important ever since Google cleaned up Play Music, but there's still something to be said for the venerable old doubleTwist. This app has gone through several UI iterations and adjusted its feature set to better serve Android users as time went on. With the newest update, the app improves support for tablets with a UI overhaul, among other improvements.
The Chromecast is only $35, but CheapCast is as cheap as it gets – free. Just install it on your Android device and it shows up on your network like a Chromecast. This is handy in a number of situations, but the app has been lacking some features since it launched. The new version that just showed up in Google Play should address some of that.
Everyone makes mistakes, but most of us aren't producing marketing material for giant retail chains that sell technology to the general public. That's the kind of mistake we all get to laugh about. So let's have a chuckle at today's mistaken parties.
Having trouble choosing between a Samsung phone and a Motorola one? Well, now you don't have to choose with the new Verizon Samsung Moto X by Motorola at Costco.
It's back to the daily grind today, but you can still maybe have some fun in between all the soul-crushing monotony and meetings about meetings. We can even save you some money on apps, which will certainly be a great conversation starter when you run into the head of international accounting and compliance at the vending machine. Actually, if your job is anything like that, you should maybe just quit and enjoy the cheap apps.
One of the strangest changes with regard to Android 4.4 was the apparent removal of the hidden App Ops menu. You remember this one – it was the interface that allowed you to restrict permissions on a per-app basis. Well, apparently it's still in there – Google just made it harder to find. Color Tiger, developer of Smart IR Remote has just released its new App Ops 4.3/4.4 app that pulls up the standard App Ops and can add new features with root access.
We just saw HTC post its KitKat open source files for the Google Play Edition One, and now here's Samsung doing the same thing for the GPe Galaxy S4. Although, its open source website is a lot less attractive. What's with that, Samsung? At any rate, you can grab the kernel source right now at the link below.
We already know that HTC has delivered the KitKat ROM for its Google Play edition HTC One, and now the kernel source and framework files from that release have been posted on HTCdev. If you blink, you might miss the beginning of the OTA.
A big phone usually comes with a big price tag, but Samsung is still committed to expanding options at the more affordable end of the market. The company just announced the Galaxy Grand 2 with mid-range specs and an emphasis on media.
The Galaxy Grand 2 packs a 5.25-inch 720p LCD, which works out to 280 pixels per inch. That's still pretty respectable. The RAM is only half of Samsung's flagship phones at 1.5GB, and the storage is stuck at 8GB.