In the mobile world, there are a few things that are absolutely clutch to a good experience: a good phone or tablet (that's a given), a set of go-to apps, and a good set of headphones or earbuds. Not the crap that your phone may have shipped with or some knock-off junk available at the local Target for $23, but some high-quality speakers for your head. If you've never owned a good set of over-the-ear headphones, then you're missing out on what a great audio experience can be like.
Sprint Spark support is gradually rolling out to some of the carrier's devices, but there is something to be said for learning how to walk before learning how to run. Large swaths of the US still do not have access to Sprint's LTE network at any speed. Consider the state of Ohio, which until now has only had one city (Salem) on the complete list of supported areas, and that location only joined just last month.
If you've been holding your breath for LG's curved, flexible G Flex and... well, the somewhat less remarkable Optimus F3Q to come to Magenta, then you won't have to wait much longer. T-Mobile announced this morning that both smartphones will be available starting on February 5th online and at retailers. The G Flex will cost $672 ($28 a month on T-Mobile's two-year payment plan), while the budget QWERTY slider will cost $312 ($13 for 24 months).
You know what product has a really good name? SkyDrive. It's clean, unique, and it conjures up the image of what it does – cloud storage. Well, now it's OneDrive, because everything is One-something now. It's not entirely Microsoft's fault, though – it's a trademark thing.
Samsung has been gradually rolling out the KitKat software update for international models of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 over the last couple of weeks. But surprisingly, it looks like at least one American carrier is eager to get Android 4.4 on the latest Samsung flagships as well. Noted XDA Developers forum member Designgears has posted official leaked builds of KitKat for AT&T's variants of the Galaxy S4and Galaxy Note 3 - you can download and flash them right now.
Google has long offered Nexus devices in black, with only occasional white options. The Nexus 5 is the first one that has been available in both colors from the start. Perhaps because of this, rumors of different colors for the Nexus 5 have been circulating for a while now, but a new cache of photos is the best evidence yet that a red version of Google's flagship is on the way.
Sprint's mobile data is typically not the first, or the second, or even the third to come to mind when looking for a zippy connection in the US, but the company is looking to change this impression with its new tri-band LTE network, more memorably known as Sprint Spark. Unfortunately, only a limited number of the carrier's phones are able to take advantage of this new capability, with some of them requiring an OTA before they're ready.
LG used to be a second rate Android OEM, but the last few years have been good to the Korean company. After making the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 for Google, its own "G" line of flagship phones have been more successful. Everyone has been wondering if the successor to last year's LG Optimus G Pro would be coming soon, and LG Korea just spilled the beans on its social news site – the G Pro 2 will indeed be unveiled next month.
Successful doesn't even begin to describe the recently concluded Kickstarter campaign for the PowerUp 3.0. This smartphone-controlled paper airplane was only seeking $50,000 in funding, but has knocked it out of the park with more than $1.2 million in pledges. The Android control app was unlocked at the $150,000 stretch goal, but more has been added since then, and the first lucky backers will be getting their rewards as soon as next month.
Google has reportedly closed a deal to acquire a London-based artificial intelligence startup called DeepMind. Google buys things all the time, but this time Mountain View has agreed to pay a huge sum of money for DeepMind. Sources are reporting the deal could have been valued as high as $500 million, or 0.5 Instagrams.