Today's Hangouts update was a bit of a surprise. Besides landing on Monday, the update was a fairly large one. Users of the latest version of Hangouts are already enjoying merged SMS/Hangouts threads, improved status markers, a new home screen widget, new sound effects, the ability to share contact cards, and other touches. But - as with any Google update - it's worth looking a little deeper in the app to see what may be hiding in the code. Read More
The US mobile market is weird in that almost all the phones floating around here are locked to one carrier or another. You can usually request an unlock code from the carrier if you are not under contract or still paying off the device, but Sprint is different. It claims it doesn't have any mechanism to unlock phones for use on other US carriers right now, but that's going to change next year. Read More
If you entered Google's new lottery system for I/O 2014, go check your email account. Odds are pretty good that you've got an email, or that you will receive one shortly. Several Google+ users are showing off their fancy invitations. Those who have "won" the right to purchase their $900 tickets have already been charged via their Google Wallet accounts.
Source: Bao-Long Nguyen-Trong, Google+
And if you didn't get in? Read More
Last week, AT&T started pushing the KitKat OTA to Samsung Galaxy S4 Active owners on its network. Looks like that was a short-lived rollout, as the company has now halted the update, explaining that it is working with Samsung to improve the OTA.
Seems like that's something could've been done before the update actually started rolling out, so the odds are that something is actually broken and both companies are just staying mum about it. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Passport Photo ID Studio
This week's roundup is brought to you by Passport Photo ID Studio from Handy Apps. Read More
So the Google Nexus Twitter account was doing some impromptu support for a user and included a screenshot. How helpful! Well, more helpful than they intended it to be. The screenshot shows a slightly tweaked dialer app with a blue action bar. First they took our #33b5e5, now they're coming after the gray. Actually, I think I'm okay with that.
Google has just pushed a new version of Hangouts with version number 2.1 attached. With a whole point update we'd expect to see some notable changes – this one is not disappointing. Google is finally making SMS a bit easier to use, and is adding some completely new features.
Google Calendar is one of those services that just makes sense with Glass. Upcoming meetings, appointments, and events are the type of things that, at some point, all of us have wished we could be reminded of without having to make an effort. Now there's a new Calendar Glassware available that makes this a reality, at least for people who own a pair of Glass.
The app is essentially a pinned card to the left of your homescreen. Read More
The Nexus 7 is an inexpensive tablet already, but you can sometimes catch it on sale for a relative pittance. A refurbished 32GB N7 is currently waiting for you on eBay Daily Deals for $169.99. That's close to the price we recently spotted for the 16GB.
Not everyone likes big phones, of that there is no question. Those who do, however, usually love them. Among those who fancy said behemoth handsets, the almost-a-tablet-but-still-also-a-phone nature of the "phablet" is likely what is most appealing; especially for those who don't already own one of each. Of course, there aren't a whole lot of options outside of the Galaxy Mega, Sony's Z Ultra, or the Galaxy Note 3 (which, arguably, doesn't even fall into the same category any longer). Read More