Google has been running some Android Pay promos lately, a stark contrast to the Google Wallet days when Google pretended mobile payments didn't exist. Last month there was the Best Buy gift card deal, and now you can get some freebies simply by using your phone to pay 10 times between now and the end of February. There are some caveats, of course.
Sony made some tweaks to its design aesthetic this year to accommodate the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor in the power button of the Z5. It's not as accurate as I'd like, but it's still nice to have. However, a number of reports claim that Sony will not include this feature in the newly announced US variants of the phone. We reached out to Sony and got confirmation: no fingerprint reader for the US. Read More
Bluetooth speakers are cool. You can leave them at your desk, put them around the house, take them out to the garden, and still listen to music and audio while you're working or relaxing. This Braven 770 speaker is even cooler because it sports IPX5 water resistance so you shouldn't be afraid to bring it to the poolside, put it next to the kitchen sink, or listen to it while you shower. It also has 12 hours of battery life and comes in a spiffy black aluminum grade housing with nice control volumes on the side.
Braven is brave enough to say that the included 1400mAh battery can be used as a portable power bank at 1A output, but we all know that you're smart enough not to use that and you've instead grabbed a real external battery for your phone, but I guess you can still say that this is a feature. Read More
External battery packs come in all shapes and sizes, but there's something about a solar panel that makes me want one more. I conjure up images of a battery that never dies and never needs to be charged, that can get me through a power outage after a summer hurricane with an overabundance of energy.
In reality, ZeroLemon's Solar Juice power banks might reach a full charge after several days of optimal sunlight. Fortunately, they're good external batteries in other ways. They're water, dust, and shock resistant. They come with two USB ports. They also offer a flashlight. Then there is the generous capacity. Read More
Some hardware refuses to die. More than 4 years after Barnes & Noble introduced the Nook Tablet and 2.5 years after it closed its Nook manufacturing business, the tablet is still alive and kicking. At least in the hands of the CyanogenMod maintainers.
The team, which has recently revived similarly forgotten hardware such as the Galaxy S III, Nexus 4, and Nexus 10, is back at it with the Nook Tablet. The first CM 13 nightly, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, is already available for download. Like other CM13 ROMs, it weighs about 250MB and you'll need to grab a corresponding GApps package to get all of your Google services and apps running. Read More
Teens and millennials apparently love ask.fm for quick and easy Q&As. Over 18 billion questions were asked on the service last year, coming from over 150 million people of which between 10 and 50 million use Android. Those are nice numbers and the developers wanted to keep those users happy so they created a new interface and implemented many improvements to the service.
Ask.fm 3.0, which for some reason now goes as ASKfm on the Play Store, introduced a fresh redesign of the app with a side drawer, some modern iconography, and lots of reorganized screens. It also dumped the app's blue hues for bright orange ones and got a new icon to celebrate those changes (here's what it looked like before). Read More
In the spirit of Amazon's Free App Of The Day promotion, Packt Publishing has been unleashing a free eBook from its massive library of content each day for the last month. There have been a couple of notable development books in the lineup including the Android NDK Game Development Cookbook and Android Database Programming. Today brings another nice surprise with Android Application Programming With OpenCV by Joseph Howse.
If you've never heard of OpenCV, it's a popular open source "computer vision" library designed for efficient, real-time processing. This is a great platform for live object tracking, photo capture, image manipulation, and more. Read More
For years, many of us have been bemoaning the lack of Play Store promo codes for Android apps. On the other side of the fence, iOS has had this feature forever. Now Google is getting with the program—promo codes have been added as an option in the Google Play developers console. That means you'll be able to input a code and get a free app or in-app content. Yay! Read More
You might have seen some banter about a way to bypass factory reset protection (FRP) on Nexus devices recently—just like LG and Samsung. It's true that there was a way to get around factory reset protection from the setup wizard, but not anymore. Despite what a certain video seems to claim, Google actually patched FRP in the January security update. Read More
Netflix is one of those American services that people in other countries are intensely jealous of if they can't get it. And with such a wide variety of TV shows (and at least a few dozen movies, too) for a few bucks a month, who could blame them? But now that Netlfix has expanded to literally hundreds of new countries and territories, there's no need to look longingly at the US anymore... or to use any of the elaborate web proxy workarounds to get access to the service outside of supported areas.
Now that Netflix has made its big international push, they're working on cutting down on that proxy use. Read More