Big tech companies are hesitant to admit when a competing platform offers something that they don't. But the folks at Pebble are more than ready to take advantage of the functionality introduced by Android Wear. The team has pushed out a beta that lets the Pebble not only interact with notifications, but respond to them in a manner akin to an Android Wear watch.
Instead of swiping from the right repetitively to access various options (as you would with Android Wear), Pebble lets you access different options using the three physical buttons available on the side of the watch.
Most apps should work just fine on new versions of Android. That is, if you have a forgiving definition of the words "most" and "just fine." Sky PLC's Sky Go streaming app for the United Kingdom and Ireland was one of a few that ceased to function on devices that came with Lollipop or received a subsequent software update. The latest version of Sky Go works with Android 5.0, at least according to the "What's New" text for version 4.1.2.
You might not know it to look at retail stores in the US or Europe, but Huawei has quickly become one of the world's largest phone manufacturers, even while it keeps most of its high-end hardware restricted to China. The company is showing off its engineering and manufacturing chops with the Honor 6 Plus, a new 5.5-inch phone slated to hit the market on December 23rd. It, uh, might look a little familiar.
T-Mobile's latest ploy to steal customers away from the other national carriers is a big one. Starting in January, the carrier will no longer "confiscate" your unused data at the end of each billing cycle. Instead, that data will rollover and be kept in your "Data Stash" for one year. Sure, they'll confiscate it at that point, but that's a lot of extra data. Plus, you get 10GB of bonus data to start.
SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet owners, mosey on over to the Play Store for your latest app update. NVIDIA has pushed a 4.0 upgrade for its SHIELD Hub app (previously called Tegra Zone), which ties into most of the unique gaming-related software on the devices. The new version has a Material Design upgrade to make it play nice with the Lollipop build on the Tablet itself, though it uses NVIDIA's usual green-on-grey color scheme, so you'll have to look closely for the changes to the animation and layout.
Google Maps is one of those apps that will always have an enormous number of potential new features, so it's interesting to see the things Google is focusing on with each new release. We just saw an update to v9.2 with new navigation settings and auto-correct for searches, but there are plenty of other really interesting additions in the works. Let's take a look at some of the features we might have to look forward to.
Back in August of 2012, I reviewed a set of Bluetooth earbuds from Phiaton called the PS 210 BTNC. At the time I found them quite pleasant to use, that huge clip-on "remote" be damned. Fast-forward two years and Phiaton is back with the 210's successor, the BT 220 NC ($160). Here's the questionable part: the design is basically the same. While most Bluetooth earbud manufacturers have moved to a much smaller, more practical design, Phiaton is sticking to its guns with the wired remote.
Business owners already keep up with Yelp, as reviews can make or break sales. But at the end of the day, the mobile app remains a consumer-facing piece of software, encouraging users to check out which establishments are hot and leave their own feedback.
While Yelp isn't changing its main app, it has released a separate one that acknowledges how much attention the people running restaurants and stores pay to the service.
Fans of the classic SimCity franchise, today is... no, wait. EA has the license for SimCity, don't they? And this is an EA mobile game? Yeeeeeaaaaah, maybe you folks should just track down an old Pentium 4 machine and load up SimCity 2000 instead.
If Electronic Arts' terrible track record of reviving classic franchises for mobile doesn't dissuade you, then SimCity BuildIt is now available internationally from the Play Store. As with most EA games, it has had a brief period of geographically-restricted testing, but now it looks like most territories with access to the Play Store have access to the game.