Samsung was among the companies that last year pledged to start issuing monthly security updates for its flagship phones following the Stage Fright scare. It has more or less been following through with that promise, and today it's announcing a January security patch with fixes for Android vulnerabilities from Google's monthly patch, as well as some specific to Samsung devices. Read More
In horror movies, things leap out at you. The same is true with scary books. Take Goosebumps. A 90s kid could not walk through a library, book store, yard sale, or a box of hand-me-downs with at least one novel in the series jumping out at them. And like a horde of zombies, those books knew there was strength in numbers. It doesn't matter how many R.L. Stine actually created, that number is half as much as what it felt like he did. Read More
JetBlue flies 130 A320 aircraft, and they all have pretty terrible built-in infotainment systems. That's going to change soon, though. The airline has announced a revamped design of its cabins that will include Android-powered touchscreens in the seat backs. They'll be Android-powered sure, but they might not be recognizable as Android. Read More
BillGuard is a service for tracking your spending and monitoring your credit, and an Android app is available in the Play Store that lets you do all of this from your phone. Soon you won't have the option to do so any other way. BillGuard has sent out an email to users stating that the web app will go away at the end of the month. Read More
We usually refer to Spotify as a streaming music provider, but the terminology will have to change this week. According to the Wall Street Journal, Spotify is set to add video content to the Android app in a few days, followed by iOS late next week. This was first announced in May of 2015, but the launch was pushed back as the company tested and gathered feedback. Read More
OxygenOS 2.2.0 is another day closer to hitting your OnePlus X, assuming you own the latest smartphone to come from the manufacturer that never settles. Depending on your luck, your phone will get the update within the next 24 hours. OnePlus has announced on its forum that the over-the-air update is going out incrementally starting today. Read More
Considering its reliance on many, many balls, Verizon's latest network comparison ad is fairly innocuous. It uses statistics from a Root Metrics study to boast about Verizon's wireless coverage and performance in relation to its competitors AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The ad is obviously intended to make Verizon look good, and the combination of a condescending voice-over and an elaborate visualization are particularly disparaging to the cheaper, smaller networks. Read More
If you're an avid gamer on Android, get ready to see quite a bit fewer of those pesky Google+ sign-in prompts. Google is rearranging things a bit in the Games API to cut back on permission dialogs and authorization requests so users have an easier time getting straight into the action. The changes should also allow game developers to take advantage of Google's Games API and services like cloud sync without asking users to trust them with account details and potentially sensitive information.
With the new model, users will only be asked to sign in once per account—just to set it up—and every subsequent new game that runs can sign in automatically. Read More
Some of the most interesting additions to Android often come from unofficial sources. Maligned though they may be, Google has incorporated many features previously only found in manufacturer skins into AOSP, and custom ROM developers add new features more or less as they feel like it, some of which are quite useful. For example, the CyanogenMod development team is working on a new integrated system for handling "locked" apps, applications that can't be accessed by the user without a password or other validation mechanism. Read More
Samsung's Gear VR headset hasn't become quite as popular as Google's Cardboard system, but not for lack of technical worthiness - Samsung's version is more sturdy and aesthetically appealing than cobbled-together headsets that have become the status quo. But if you have a compatible Samsung phone and some disposable income, it's still a great way to hop on the VR bandwagon. If you're in the market for a new Samsung phone and you live in the US, Best Buy is offering a free Gear VR with the latest flagship Samsung devices today.
The promotional page says that anyone buying or leasing a Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Note 5 from the Best Buy website will be given the latest version of the Gear VR for free. Read More