17
Dec
fitnet-icon

That cool little HDMI stick that Google released more than a year ago got more useful and more awesome when the Cast API became available for developers. And while there are now hundreds of apps with Chromecast support on the Play Store, Google keeps a small curated list of some of them, kind of like a featured selection. Every now and then new entrants are let into this special club, and the latest addition is a trio of interesting apps: musiXmatch, Lyve, and Fitnet.

16
Dec
Maps

The Maps team has been on a roll ever since the Material makeover early last month. None of the new features are inherently huge, but there is some serious fine-tuning going on. With the release of v9.1, businesses and landmark pages became more informative. The trend continues in v9.2 as there are new improvements to the interface for Navigation and search.

What's New

Google just updated the changelog on the Play Store page for Maps.

16
Dec
perfection-Redefined

The phone that's causing all those headaches for OnePlus in India appears to be just a day away from launch. The Micromax Yu will be available only from Amazon, and it will apparently be somehow divine. I mean, look at that halo. Truly this is the Zeus of phones... wait, what?

2014-12-17 00_18_25-Amazon.in_ Activating God Mode_ Electronics

16
Dec
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The dust has barely settled after the bombshell announcement that Cyanogen Inc. quietly signed an exclusive deal with OEM Micromax in India. That left the OnePlus One with an uncertain future in India without a software partner, and now things are getting even worse. The OnePlus One has been banned in India after legal action by Micromax.

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16
Dec
Gmail-Thumb

In an update to Gmail's web interface, Google has added support for attaching files stored in Drive to your emails like conventional attachments. Before, you had no choice but to share Drive files as links or upload them yourself. This is especially useful when sharing files to people who aren't using Gmail and therefore don't enjoy the smooth integration with Drive that Gmail has. For those worried that Google would abandon Gmail with the recent focus on Inbox, this is encouraging news.

16
Dec
playthumb

Google has an odd definition of "soon." For example, five of the countries that just received access to Google Play gift cards were first told that they were coming "soon" almost five months ago, and the last one has been waiting a further six weeks. Oh well, I suppose it's best not to look a gift card in the mouth. Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden have been added to Google's gift card system, and merchants should have gift cards in stock well before Christmas.

16
Dec
unnamed (9)

Beamdog has already made admirable Android ports of the original Baldur's Gate RPG and its side-sequel Icewind Dale. Now you can get Baldur's Gate II, the continuation of the original that was first published way back in 2000 by none other than Bioware. Like the previous D&D RPGs, Baldur's Gate II costs ten dollars on the Play Store, which gets you the original game and all its expansion scenarios. The game is not restricted to tablets, though it will certainly be better played on one. 

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The core of BGII is Shadow Amn, which directly follows the story events of the original game.

16
Dec
galaxy-s-4-mini-b-1-258x400

Carriers are slowly creeping toward the day when they will no longer need old-fashioned 3G voice calls. AT&T is doing its part by updating another device with VoLTE functionality. The Galaxy S4 Mini should be getting an update right now with VoLTE baked in.

samsung-galaxy-s4-mini-att-release-date

16
Dec
lollipop

If you own an Android Wear device right now, chances are you're probably waiting patiently furiously checking for that elusive Android Wear update. Well, we've got you covered. As the links to the OTA ZIP files become available, we will post them here. To flash these, you'll need to have ADB installed and have the Google USB drivers from the Android SDK. You'll reboot your watch into recovery mode, then select "Install Update From ADB." You can then run "adb sideload filename.zip" from a command prompt.

16
Dec
Keyboardcase

This week, HTC is offering its accessories for 50% off. The list contains cases for various HTC phones, a battery pack, chargers, and RE camera attachments. The Nexus 9 keyboard case is also included, meaning you can get the $129.99 product for a more reasonable (but still pretty pricey) $64.99.

Screenshot 2014-12-16 at 6.40.01 PM

Other niceties include the HTC Fetch (which can help you find your phone) for $12.49, the HTC Battery Bar (a backup battery pack) for $34.99, and the HTC Boombass (a Bluetooth speaker) for $44.99.

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