If you're looking forward to a night of kicking back on the couch for a serious Game of Thrones marathon – or maybe Archer – you might want to check out the latest update to Play Movies & TV. Google's premium video app just got an update to v3.9 and it adds a feature many of us will know all too well: binge watching. Also making the latest version is an easier setup experience for Roku devices.
Android phones are beginning to cross over to USB Type-C for charging and data ports, notably with the OnePlus 2, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P. Other gadgets, laptops, and all sorts of electronics are also being equipped with the reversible port standard, but transitioning from the conventional USB ports (Type A, the rectangular shape) is going to make for some headaches over the next few years. If you and/or your family is stuck in the middle, check out this new car charger from Tronsmart: it uses both a USB Type-A port and a USB Type-C cable, and both of them are compatible with Quick Charge 2.0.
Android updates are in the spotlight again, thanks to Motorola's questionable dedication to its own recent products. And while you can (usually) count on at least one or two software updates for most flagship phones, sometimes a low-end device comes back and surprises you. Such is the case with the Galaxy Core Prime, a Verizon exclusive in the US which launched with Android 4.4 back in February. At the time the relatively small and underpowered budget phone was promised an update to Lollipop. Quoting David earlier this year: "Oh, and it actually comes with a promise of a Lollipop upgrade, so that's good, though how long it'll take is anyone's guess."
You can stop guessing: it took a little less than eight months.
Asus' ZenWatch series has gained a small but dedicated following since the original version was released thanks to the gadget's understated style and low price. The second watch in the series is now available on the US version of the Google Store, and unless we're mistaken, it's the first time the Android Wear device has been available for purchase in the country. The price is $149.99, quite low compared to competing Wear devices, and it's shipping now. Before today it was marked as "coming soon."
The ZenWatch 2 uses the ubiquitous Snapdragon 400 chipset with 4GB of storage and half a gig of RAM.
Last weekend I asked you: Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X? Well, technically I asked you Nexus 5X or 6P, but whatever. But they weren't official yet! Now they are.
The Nexus 5X rings in at $379 for the base 16GB model or $429 for 32GB, while the 6P is $499 here in the US for 32GB, $549 for 64GB, and $649 for the mega-storage 128GB that, yes, Artem has probably already ordered 17 of (one for him and one for each end of each room of his house).
Personally, I'm a 5X man. After holding it, touching it, and generally being near it, I love the design of this device.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a sprawling pirate-themed RPG, a high-end first-person shooter, an impressive runner game, an innovative top-down horror title, a sequel to a puzzle favorite, and a couple of interesting casual games. Without further ado:
Swords & Crossbones
Swords & Crossbones is a humerus RPG that incorporates elements of turn-based tactical games and base-builders (without the freemium baggage that usually carries).
Cosmic Watch is not a watch face, or even a conventional clock app. It's an app that models the Earth, the solar system, and most of the familiar constellations in 3D specifically as they relate to both real time and any point in the past. It's also stunningly beautiful - you don't often see educational apps with such a focus on aesthetic beauty. The screenshots really don't do it justice; check out the video below:
The app is equally concerned with current astronomy and time-keeping and the more classical astrology, at least as it relates to the real model of the universe - there aren't any horoscopes telling you that you'll meet tall, dark strangers.
If you're looking to add a little old-school convergence to your mobile accessories, you might want to check out Best Buy's deal portal this weekend. The JBL Charge 2, a high-quality portable Bluetooth speaker that can also charge your phone or tablet, is on sale for a significant discount. The speaker costs $149.99 at retail, but you can grab it for just $79.99 today with free shipping.
This is a new unit, not refurbished, and it's available in black, white/grey, blue, red, and purple. The all-in-one unit includes features 15 watts of combined sound with a 1.625-inch woofer and bass port for clearly-defined lows.
HBO Now is the premium cable service's olive branch to cable-cutters, an attempt to reach out to the IPTV crowd before competition from Netflix an the like starts to seriously impact their bottom line. So why they chose to limit HBO Now to Apple devices in the first place is a bit of a puzzle - surely you'd want to make a paid service available to as wide an audience as possible?