You've probably heard the joke by now. A 20-something job applicant or apartment hunter or a long-suffering customer support victim is talking to someone who asks him, "and what's you're landline number?" To which the young man replies, "what the hell is a landline?" But niche hardware company Obihai aims to bring back the home phone with its line of VOIP phones and adapters that use your broadband connection to make and receive calls without a landline.
The dawn of Google's Android One program is fast approaching, with an official announcement for the Indian market expected tomorrow. We've already seen the Android One phone from manufacturer Spice make a brief appearance, and the Twitter account for Amazon.in (the retailer's Indian branch) has teased an upcoming Micromax model. You can see the tweet below:
Log on to Amazon.in at 3:30 pm on the 15th. Spread the word. pic.twitter.com/7BvjM8XLgy
— Amazon.in (@amazonIN) September 14, 2014
Presumably the 3:30 PM timeframe refers to India Standard Time, which would be 6 AM Eastern in the United States.
In the market for a new tablet? Have a "the bigger, the better" mentality? Don't want to spend more than $400 on a new tablet? Good news all around: Groupon has some good deals on the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 and Tab Pro 12.2 today – both the black and white versions of each are going for $299 and $380 respectively. It's worth noting that these are refurbished units, but hey, they're $100-$150 off the price of a new device.
Lets be honest: Android's default volume panel is pretty boring. It does its job, but it's super basic, and many of the options to enhance its functionality are root-only, which excludes a large number of Android users. Enter Noyze Volume Panel, a customizable replacement that doesn't require root access (or any other modifications) and works well.
Once installed, Noyze requires activation in Accessibility settings, but after that it's basically on autopilot.
Text-to-speech is one of those little pieces of an operating system that not many people use, but which is indispensable for those who do. Now if your first language is Japanese, you've got the option to play out text on your phone with Google's first-party Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine. The relevant app is on the Play Store and was updated today, so you might not have immediate access to it thanks to Google's rollout system.
You lucky jerks in those limited areas with Google Fiber access have all the fun. Not only do you have relatively inexpensive and lightning-fast home Internet, you get TV service with support from Google. The latest update to the Google Fiber IPTV app for Android adds even more goodies, most notably the ability to pause and play television with the standard lockscreen controls or with an integrated Android Wear app. Make sure and show it off to your peasant friends who live in Cabletown.
Lenovo's initial Yoga tablets were novel thanks to their curved chassis with plus-sized batteries and integrated kickstands, but the lackluster specs (headlined by MediaTek processors) turned a lot of hardware fans off. The refreshed version of the 10-inch Yoga fixed that with a slightly better Snapdragon 400, 2GB of RAM, and a 1920x1200 screen. You can pick up a Yoga 10 Tablet HD+ for $100 off from Amazon, bringing the price down to a more reasonable $249.99.
Back at Google I/O we were introduced to Android One, an initiative from Google to give smartphone manufacturers guidance on how to build quality Android experiences using affordable hardware and updates directly from the Google mothership. At the time, Sundar Pichai explained that the program would be launched in India with three hardware partners - Spice, Micromax, and Karbonn "this fall," with other territories coming later.
At least some of you are probably playing with a new Moto 360 right now, feverishly comparing battery results against reviews and spreadsheets. (Don't worry, our exhaustive review is coming soon.) If you're looking for something a little off the beaten path from the watch faces included by Motorola, developer Maize (it means corn!) has a unique option that works particularly well on round displays.
Spotlight zooms in on a standard radial watch face, showing the minutes past the hour and about ten minutes to either side.