It looks like the new Google Play Services rolling out today held one more surprise besides hints of Android Device Manager. With the latest update, Android's Photo Sphere viewer can make use of the on-board compass, allowing you to navigate a sphere just by moving your device, much like Streetview's "Compass Mode."
To enter compass mode, users need only press the arrow icon in the lower left corner of the screen. Read More
Just yesterday, Google posted to its Android blog about Android Device Manager – a tool that will help Android users keep their phones and data safe by offering location and remote wiping/locking features that third party solutions have until now been filling in for.
This morning, users started reporting that the service was rolling out to their devices already. Indeed, Android Device Manager is getting introduced by way of Google Play Services version 3.2.25, but it's not complete just yet. Read More
For the couple of years, Samsung's cheaper, smaller handsets have been sold mostly on America's small regional carriers. It looks like Verizon is bucking that trend by bringing the Galaxy S4 Mini, a phone that's related to is big brother in name only, to US consumers. Engadget was tipped with some photos and screenshots of the phone "in the wild," with a pretty convincing set of Verizon logos and a boot-up sequence. Read More
I like tablets, and I love tablet apps. Don’t take that the wrong way - I love my Nexus 4, and I use it constantly, but there’s something different about tablets. A large, beautiful screen filled by an app that really shows off the functionality that comes with Android's design language is a great experience. Make that tablet super portable, fast, and priced right, and you’ve got my heart.
Okay, maybe that’s not all it takes for a tablet to win my heart. Read More
HTC pushed the Android 4.3 kernel and framework code earlier today, and the update just started showing up for both Google Play Edition devices. Now Samsung is getting in on the whole open source thing. Yes, it has posted the new kernel source files for its Google Play Edition phone.
We knew it wouldn't be long, and sure enough, the Android 4.3 update has started hitting Google Play Edition devices. Both the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 from Google Play are currently receiving update notifications. If you're lucky enough to have one of these devices, commence mashing the update button at your leisure.
The updates for both devices are developed by the OEMs, but there are no modifications to the UI and no carrier testing to get in the way. Read More
In preparation for reporting on the general state of the Moto X bootloader, we reached out to AT&T for an official statement on the matter. We know that many potential buyers want to know whether they can fully modify their phones, especially after the HTC One X and Galaxy S4 were denied unlockable bootloaders on the carrier. Here's what they said in reply:
To ensure a safe and consistent experience on your wireless device, we do not support unlocked bootloaders.
When I first experienced the NVIDIA Shield's ability to stream games from a PC to the handheld unit wirelessly at CES back in January, I was floored. While it is remarkably similar to the Splashtop game streaming functionality NVIDIA demoed at CES 2012 (which never really came to fruition), Shield streaming feels like an even bigger step forward. This is basically NVIDIA's "look at what we can do" technology - it's what happens when they can have a high degree of control over the gaming experience. Read More
A lot of you have been waiting to hear about the status of the bootloader in the Moto X - after all, if this is Motorola's new standard, how do they intend to go forward? The answer is a bit anti-climactic: according to this developer-focused page on the Motorola website, the Moto X for Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Rogers in Canada will be unlockable, along with "two models just for developers."
What are these two models? Read More
It was just six weeks ago that we featured Rockmelt, an Android app with a bit of an identity crisis. It didn't know whether it wanted to be an RSS reader or a browser (but it did know it wanted to look like Pinterest). Well, the eponymous company that makes Rockmelt is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Yahoo. And they've killed the Android app deader than a dove at an NRA convention. Read More