Back at CES in January, Blu announced a handful of upcoming devices that were all basically slated to hit shelves in the first quarter of 2015. We've already taken a look at two of those phones: the super sleek and thin Vivo Air, as well as the massive battery-packing Studio Energy. Today, I have the Studio X Plus (which is exactly like the Studio X, just larger) and the ultra-affordable Studio G, two more devices that were announced in that same lineup.
Both phones are from Blu's Studio line, which is basically Blu's midrange series of devices. You typically find slightly slower processors and lower-quality displays than what you'd see on the company's higher-end devices, but they also have prices to match. Read More
OpenTable announced its own mobile payment program just over a year ago, which it launched exclusively on iOS at the time. Now the feature is officially available for Android.
Pay with OpenTable, as the functionality is called, lets you pay your checks using the mobile app. There's nothing to scan or swipe in order for the experience to work. The restaurant will simply receive its money digitally from the credit card you have saved. So make sure you have that entered when you're making the reservation. It's a process you should only have to go through once.
The feature is limited to participating establishments in nearly two dozen cities. Read More
The team behind Google's document editor apps has been on a roll over the last few weeks as regular updates continue to refine the user experience. New versions of Docs, Sheets, and Slides made their way out over the last few days – and while not packing significant functional changes, there are some pleasant improvements to the interface. If you're eager to see the new changes for yourself, and you haven't received these updates through the Play Store yet, there are convenient download links posted below.
Left: old, Right: new
While there aren't any new features to speak of, one commonly used option is a little more accessible now. Read More
Remember back in the days of "dumb" phones when everyone wanted them to be as tiny as possible? Then the original RAZR hit, and it was all about thinness, even to the point of absurdity? That second trend is still going strong, but a contender for the next one is phones (and laptops and TVs and what have you) with the least amount of screen bezel possible. Behold, a new Oppo phone that gives the oddball Sharp Aquos Crystal a run for its money, at least on the left and right sides.
Originally posted to Chinese site Anzhuo, this as-yet unnamed phone uses curved glass on the very edge of the screen to make the already-thin bezels look almost invisible (as seen in this patent). Read More
Amazon's Android tablets and phone are often seen as second class citizens in the mobile world, but its Fire TV set-top box and Fire TV Stick gadget are worthy competitors in their respective spaces. Amazon is about to make both of them even better with a new update aimed at expanding functionality, particularly in those small but crucial areas that can make a big difference to the user experience. First up: Wi-Fi access for hotspots that require browser-based authentication, like dorm rooms, hotels, offices, and the like.
This is a much bigger deal than it might sound like. One of the primary failings of Google's Chromecast is that its phone and tablet-based setup makes it almost impossible to verify on these common networks, reducing the cheap streaming gadget's efficacy when traveling. Read More
The next time you sign into your Twitch account, you're going to have to change your passwords and stream keys. You will also need to reconnect your Twitter and YouTube accounts. Why? The same reason as always. It appears someone may have obtained unauthorized access to some Twitch user account information, and these precautions are for your own good.
Twitch has sent out emails to affected users of the video game streaming service, warning that their usernames, email addresses, encrypted passwords, last IP addresses, phone numbers, addresses, and dates of birth may have been accessed.
If you've reused your Twitch password at any other website, now would be a good time to change that one too. Read More
Cyanogen Inc. has come off as feisty ever since it was founded, but in the last few months CEO Kirt McMaster has gotten downright aggressive. We've known for a while the company wants to make Android more independent of Google, but McMaster told Forbes recently that Cyanogen Inc. "is putting a bullet through Google’s head." What's that all about? As a hint of its bullet/head strategy, McMaster announced that Cyanogen will partner with Blu to release a phone later this year without any Google services.
The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is one of the best all-around tablets on the market right now, if you don't mind a steep asking price and Samsung's rather heavy-handed software. The tablet launched with Android KitKat, but now it's getting an update to Android 5.0.2! ...just in time for owners to be miffed that they're not getting the bleeding-edge 5.1 release. Oh well, if wishes were horses we'd all be eating steak.
Android Police reader David Tarling sent us the above screenshot showing the rollout to his Wi-Fi Tab S 10.5 in the United States. SamMobile's ever-increasing repository of Samsung firmware is also hosting builds for the US Wi-Fi version (under "Cellular south," for some reason, but the download page is labeled for Wi-Fi), the Canadian Wi-Fi version, and the French Wi-Fi version. Read More
Considering the sheer number of users that RunKeeper has, there must be a considerable crossover between people who love the app and people who want it to conform to Android's visual design style. For however many of those people that there are, today is a good day: the company announced a comprehensive Material Design overhaul for version 5.5.3. It's in the Play Store right now - no need to wait on a rollout.
Old on the left, new on the right.
Runkeeper was kind enough to compare some of the juicier changes to the app with the old version (a move very much appreciated by lazy tech bloggers!). Read More