We all love listening to music on our phones. In fact, listening to music, audiobooks, or podcasts regularly on our smartphones is probably one of the few things we all really share in terms of our usage patterns. The problem with listening to audio for extended periods, though, is that it can really put the hammer down on your battery life. Now, there's more than one reason for this - streaming high-quality audio over the web probably consumes more battery than the actual act of listening, but the power consumption of the processor while decoding that audio isn't negligible.
I've been doing APK teardowns for a while now, and most of the time exciting updates end up being relatively boring under-the-hood, only rarely dropping really fascinating hints at future functionality. Today, I was pleasantly surprised, as the situation with YouTube 5.2.27 is exactly the opposite - the update itself couldn't be less boring, but the nugget we dig up inside will make a lot of you very happy.
So, without further ado, I'm glad to report that background audio should be finally coming to a YouTube app near you, if all goes well during testing.
Let's say you're an angry Verizon Galaxy Nexus owner, which isn't a hard thing to be. Your phone still hasn't received Android 4.3, and Android 4.4 is right around the corner. The guy next to you at work has a Nexus 4 on a prepaid T-Mobile plan and uses the entirety of his wireless bill savings to buy KitKat Minis which he throws at you relentlessly while chanting "NEXUS 4 LYFE #HOLOYOLO." He comes dressed to every casual Friday in a homemade Matias Duarte button-down and has told you to "watch this" 38 times this year while using Google Wallet at the weekly staff meeting at Peet's, right before taking a photo sphere of his latte art.
One of the things that makes the Nexus series of phones so enticing is the extremely affordable pricing options. When the Nexus 4 first hit the scene, it was only $300 for an 8GB model and $350 for the 16GB, then Google slashed the prices by $100, making them even more affordable. In a world where most high-end mobile phones can't be purchased for less than $550-600 off-contract, Nexus pricing is a breath of fresh air.
Earlier today, we received a few emails from a tipster claiming to be running a build of the much-hyped and hotly anticipated Android 4.4 KitKat. I'll cut straight to the chase – we're pretty sure they're not real.
The photos we were provided show an alleged KitKat home screen, messaging app, dialer app, and "about" screen, each with their own design tweaks that, pretty or not, likely won't be showing up in official Android any time soon.
I'm a big fan of public radio, podcasts, and any form of news consumption soothing enough to lull me to sleep if there isn't enough light stimulating my eyes. Umano suits me well. It's an app that lets users listen to articles from top news sources read by professional narrators. There's no excessive emotion, no pundits talking over each other, no background music, and no silly sound effects (okay, there are a handful of those).
Update: Verizon has responded to our inquiry about the Nexus 7 LTE registration issues. A company representative said that the Nexus 7 LTE would be certified for the Verizon network at some point.
That isn't much to go on, but it's certainly promising - it implies that Verizon is at least aware of the problem and taking steps towards upgrading the company's infrastructure to compensate. Of course, it could take any amount of time for Verizon to certify a new, unlocked device for their network (and Verizon isn't exactly known for speedy response when it comes to devices and software).
How many times do you unlock your smartphone within the span of a minute? I can't count the number of times I've unlocked my phone, started a podcast, put it down, changed my mind, unlocked the phone, selected a new podcast, put the phone back down, heard a chime, unlocked the phone, responded, and put the phone down - finally - for long enough to focus on something else. For the sake of convenience, I desperately want to leave my phone unlocked, but doing so frankly isn't safe.
There are heaps of Bluetooth speakers out there with more or less the same design. Sure, there’s a little tweak here and there – some of them might sound a bit better, and others have better battery life. The Bem Wireless Outlet Speaker takes a somewhat different approach. This unit has no battery because it plugs right into the wall like an AC adapter. In fact, it kind of is an AC adapter.