The Chromecast is already a cheap device, but it isn't exactly easy to get your hands on one right now. The device sold out online and in Best Buys across the US within the span of a day. Now Google Play estimates that new purchases won't ship for 3 - 4 weeks, and who knows when Amazon will restock. What's a person left to do? Enter the CheapCast, a free app by developer Sebastian Mauer that lets any Android device replicate the functionality of a Chromecast. Read More
Google Glass Explorers are in for a treat today as the monthly update to Google's wearable computer is starting to rollout right now. This update continues the trend of incremental improvements to the device, but Google is at least responding to some user requests with XE8.
Sony has a history of doing odd things with mobile devices, but this is pretty out there. According to Sony Alpha Rumors, which has a good track record on all things Sony camera-related, the company will soon announce a range of "lens cameras" that snap onto Android phones so you can take better pictures. It's every bit as strange as it sounds.
The lens cameras will actually contain almost everything you need to take a picture – a built-in sensor, Bionz image processor, WiFi/NFC, and an SD card slot. Read More
SwiftKey introduced Cloud Beta – a new feature that stores users' data in the cloud and syncs it across devices – a little more than two weeks ago, and so far the company has already pushed one update with a slew of bug fixes. Today marks Cloud Beta's second update in as many weeks, which brings several fixes and enhancements:
Full changelog and known issues for 184.108.40.206
- Now possible to personalize from a second Gmail account before personalizing from an earlier one has finished
- Fix for crash when starting Gmail personalization
- Increased responsiveness of Flow predictions (this should reduce the likelihood of the flowed word prediction changing right at the last second)
- Handcent and Hangout Emoji entry fixed
- Language models no longer backed up via Android back up if you have SwiftKey Cloud backup and sync enabled (this should save on network and battery usage)
- Further fixes for crashes in the Cloud preferences
- Disabled predictions in Pleco where requested
- Removed SwiftKey account details from the Android Settings, as these were confusing when you had multiple installs side-by-side
Of course, it doesn't fix everything, so there are still a handful of issues that the SK team is currently working on:
- If you re-add a word that you previously removed from predictions, it will not always get re-added across all your synced devices
- The showerhead Emoji in GoSMS messes up input
- Spanish inverted ?
No one makes watches quite like the Swiss, and the same seems to be true of smartwatches. While competitors tout the ability to check text messages and emails without having to pull out a phone, which is pretty convenient, or answer calls just by holding your hand to your ear, which is admittedly kind of awesome, the first Swiss smartwatch promises a 41MP camera. If James Bond were in the market for a smartwatch, he'd put down a pre-order for the Hyetis Crossbow. Read More
Have you been waiting with bated breath for news of the Verizon Wireless Moto X? Well, Big Red has made its Moto X signup page live so you can get the "latest information" on the device. I'm sure that's accurate. They wouldn't take your email, then wait days after the official release date is announced to let you know, right? At least not again.
HTC has already looked to metal as a defining characteristic of its flagship phone. Now the company is turning to the Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., himself in hopes of turning around the company's waning brand perception and getting their highly capable smartphones into the hands of more consumers. HTC has launched a series of ads starring Downey as they kick off their new "Change" branding campaign, and thanks to a two-year contract, we can expect to see the actor pushing the company for quite some time. Read More
Ready for some more Android Open Source Project woes? In addition to the Nexus 7 drama over AOSP builds in the last couple of weeks, it looks like there are some issues with the Nexus 10 as well. Don't worry, the Android 4.3 factory image for the N10 is sitting on the Google Developers page, proud and happy, but the binaries and drivers for some individual components on the tablet seem to be missing, most notably the graphics driver. Read More
Bitcoin is still emerging as an online currency, and that means issues are sure to pop up in the way it's implemented. This time there's an Android-specific problem. It turns out there's a weakness in the way Android generates random secure numbers (the Java SecureRandom class), which most Bitcoin apps use to create wallet IDs. That means an attacker could possibly figure out your wallet key and swipe your digital cash. Read More
Note from Artem: Mark Murphy, also known as CommonsWare and CommonsGuy, is one of the top 10 contributors to StackOverflow (he's currently #8). He's the Chuck Norris of Android development, with over 300,000 StackOverflow reputation points. I am honored by his decision to accept my offer to join the AndroidPolice team of contributors.
The User Defense series of posts will highlight relatively easy ways in which users can improve the privacy and security of their use of Android devices. Read More