Industrial design is becoming increasingly important as the specs of high-end phones start to level out. Sometimes a company can get a little too excited about its design prowess, and that's when things get leaky. That may be the case with ZTE's unannounced Grand S EXT, which has shown up on the Red-Dot 21 design directory.
DIY home surveillance has become infinitely easier over the past several years, with options like Dropcam leading the way. The product offers a nearly-instant setup, 24 hour monitoring, and optional CVR cloud storage of recorded videos. While all this is great, there was certainly room for improvement in the camera's companion app, which recently received a major update to version 2.6 that brings some much-needed features, making it substantially more useful than before.
Following last week's big update, the Pebble smartwatch now has a centralized app store where Android users can find nifty content for their monochromatic watch. What next? The team is kicking off the Pebble App Challenge, offering up $5,000 to the app developer who finishes first and a Pebble Steel for each of the top 16 finalists. Users get new apps, some developers get nice stuff, and we the public get to watch the action firsthand.
HTC's upcoming flagship is leaking left and right in all sorts of ways. We've seen press images from numerous carriers, and there was that long video "review" as well. Now we've got something you can enjoy on your own device. The wallpapers and sounds from the M8 have appeared online, and you can grab them now.
The wallpapers have a mix of geometric and nature themes – close-ups of flowers, plants, and abstract lines.
Owners of the Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile can now get their itchy trigger fingers ready to hit that "check now" button. We've received a few tips today alerting us to the fact that the carrier is rolling out an Android 4.4.2/KitKat OTA to handsets now. According to the software update screen, the feature set doesn't appear to include much of anything that Google didn't add into the stock version of KitKat:
OS upgrade - [KitKat OS 4.4.2]
Music Album art will be displayed on the lock screen while playing music.
It has been more than 30 years since the late, great Carl Sagan took to the airwaves to talk about how our future as a species depends powerfully on our understanding of the cosmos, which we float in like a mote of dust. The original Cosmos debuted in 1980 and inspired a generation of scientists and science nerds alike. Now the series is back with Neil deGrasse Tyson at the helm, and Fox has released a new companion app for Android that can help you explore the majesty and unbelievable scale of the cosmos while watching the show.
When you're copying text, it's usually so you can do something with it. Mime-O might be able to save you a few taps with it's clipboard popup. Each time you copy some text, Mime-O offers to drop it into a message, look up a definition, or send it right to your computer clipboard. This app came out a few weeks ago, but it's new to us.
The app consists of a few small buttons at the bottom of your screen.
You may have noticed that we cover a lot of games here. That means that there are lots of developers who contact us hoping for some coverage... and some are more deserving than others. I literally cannot count how many half-hearted endless runners we've been shown, and it's only gotten worse since the rise and fall of Flappy Bird. So when someone shows us a game that turns the entire genre on its head and lets you play against those annoying running jerks, we stood up and took notice.
For custom ROM addicts, the custom recovery is an essential tool, and lately Team Win Recovery Project (usually shortened to "TWRP") has been the most popular option as of late. Today Team Win upgraded the core recovery to version 220.127.116.11, with more new features than you can shake a stick at. The latest version is available for dozens of officially-supported devices on the Project website.
Among the more interesting additions in TWRP 2.7 are sideloading from the /tmp directory on encrypted devices, support for a mouse via a USB OTG connection (for devices with broken touchscreens), haptic feedback for buttons and finishing actions, and caps lock support for keyboards.
Thanks to the fairly recent release of Google's Chromecast SDK, more and more apps are starting to add support for the extremely useful HDMI dongle. XBCM Remote application Yatse recently saw a Chromecast supporting update, and now Swiss based online radio 1.FM has also added support for streaming to Chromecast devices.
For those who may not be aware, 1.FM is an online radio broadcasting network that offers "a variety of internet radio channels covering various music genres, time period and styles." It's also free, which is always a plus.