Many states, California included, have passed strict laws in recent years meant to reduce distracted driving caused by cell phones. However, the laws lag behind the technology, and that has led to some conflicting opinions on what the statutes mean. After some legal wrangling, a California court of appeals has ruled that it is not illegal to use mapping software while driving.
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
Are you ready for a sci-fi adventure with aliens, spaceships, and lots of lasers blowing stuff up? Well, you get two of those in the hotly anticipated choose-your-own-adventure game Out There. It's available now on Android, and it ought to be compatible with almost all devices.
In Out There, you play the part of an astronaut waking up from cryogenic hyper-naptosis (or something) far away from Earth. You must survive and make your way through space to unravel a mystery and save mankind.
The LG G Pad 8.3 is a capable tablet with a great form factor. The bummer when it launched was the price. It has come down a bit since then, and with a new sale at Newegg, you can get it for a solid price – just $224.99 in black or white.
In case you're not familiar, the G Pad 8.3 has a Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and an 8.3-inch 1920x1200 LCD.
Android malware isn't as big of a concern as some mainstream media reports would have you believe, but it is enough of an issue that Google started beefing up its security a few years ago. There's the "Bouncer" server-side scanning that checks apps before they go live, and your device runs app verification as new packages are installed. Now Google is about to patch a hole in the local app scanning by making it run continuously.
Koush's AllCast app does a good job of streaming media to all manner of set top boxes, and of course the Chromecast. However, it hasn't always looked awesome doing it. Well, now it does – the new update comes with a refreshed UI and adds Muzei support for good measure.
AllCast now has a much improved slide out navigation menu and tabbed browsing of media. The color scheme is nice too.
The Xposed Framework provides incredible, fine-grained control over the features and functionality of Android. You can do almost anything, but sometimes you just need an extra button – it's good for that too. ViewInPlay is a new module that handily creates links to the Play Store.
When activated, this module adds a button to the app info screen that links out to the app's Play Store page. Cool, but there's another module that does this.
It's finally happening. After months of leaks and speculation, the Google Now Launcher (previously known informally at the Google Experience Launcher) has been dropped into the Play Store. This is essentially just an updated stub app that will enable the home screen functionality in the Google search app on most Android devices. However, this isn't a universal release.
The first official version of the Google Now Launcher is only installable on the Nexus and Google Play Edition devices running KitKat.
Update: AT&T has just posted on its blog to say the OTA is live. Check for updates, people.
Prepare yourself AT&T customers – the Galaxy S4 is about to finally get that KitKat update that's been slowly rolling out across Samsung's product lineup. AT&T just posted the update details, and tomorrow (February 26th) is the big day.
Asus likes to take its sweet time releasing accessories for its devices, so we're just now seeing the official wireless and wired docks for the 2013 Nexus 7. Google released the updated Nexus charger a few months ago, but these are designed specifically for Asus' 7-inch slate.
The PW100 is wedge-shaped with a 60-degree angled surface. The video above only shows it charging in landscape orientation, so the inductive coils might not reach high enough to work in portrait.