In a detailed post to Google+ this morning, Googler Virgil Dobjanschi announced new and enhanced features for the Google+ Android app. They'll be arriving in an update to version 4.1, set to go live today. According to Dobjanschi, the changes are focused on additions and revisions suggested by end users, and looking at the list, we're inclined to believe him.
First of all: no more Google+ Messenger. Ha-lay-freakin-lujah. Since the new Hangouts app has effectively replaced G+ messenger on the web, the mobile version is following suit, meaning you won't ever have to see that extraneous icon in your app drawer again.
You probably saw the teaser ad for HTC's new campaign featuring none other than Robert Downey, Jr., star of the 2003 film adaptation of British TV series The Singing Detective. (Among other things.) Today the full 105-second spot was posted to YouTube. The quality is a little low, but you can still make everything out. Then you'll have to try and forget it.
Flip phones are still pretty huge in the Asian market. And I don't mean the standard freebies you can get on contract elsewhere, I'm talking big-screen, full-OS, powerful flip phones that still use the old T9 dialpad layout. Samsung is hoping to get a piece of that pie with the Android-powered Hennessy (SCH-W789), a flip phone with dual 3.3" screens and Android 4.1. It's currently set for a Chinese release, though an exact price or date isn't available.
Considering that Amazon owns Woot.com, the go-to place for single-day sales, it's amazing how often incredibly steep deals can be found on the Gold Box portal. Today it's another round of dramatic discounts on SanDisk's line of flash storage cards and drives. For Android users, the MicroSD cards are the most interesting: you can grab a Sandisk Ultra 32GB card for $19.99 (71% off the regular price of $69.99) or the 64GB version for $41.99 (58% off the regular price of $99.99).
About a week ago, Google released a fairly major update to the Play Store with version 4.3.10. The update brought combined update notifications, the new Recently updated section of My apps, and a bunch of other tweaks. Today, a minor update with version 4.3.11 is rolling out. As always, you can download and install it manually using one of the links below.
Maybe you've been itching to drop $349 on the LTE-equipped Nexus 7, but Google just won't take your filthy money. A Nexus buyer in China seems to have gotten one without even trying. A user of the online community Baidu Tieba who goes by "crazyfreely" recently posted that he spent 2,030 yuan (about $331) expecting to get the new WiFi-only Nexus 7. What he actually received appears to be the LTE version of the device.
Update: The Nexus 7 2013 build (codename "Flo") has now been posted. It's the first official CM build for the new Nexus 7.
ROM addicts, the time has come. The CyanogenMod team has been working diligently on version 10.2 of the popular ROM family, the Android Jelly Bean 4.3 update. Tonight the first batch of nightlies are being posted to the download page, Get.CM. There are only a few devices with updated builds at the moment, but that should change as the night progresses.
I love the JBL Flip. The JBL Charge is the follow-up, of sorts, to that speaker, and addresses a few of the shortcomings its predecessor had. No more proprietary charging. Much longer battery life. A USB port for charging your various gadgets. It's also louder, and feels just as robust as the already-solid Flip.
The Flip's real selling point, though, is value. I simply don't believe there's a small, portable Bluetooth speaker on the market that makes a better value proposition than the Flip.
It's been nine months to the day since Android 4.2 was announced, and just under four months since Samsung's first non-Nexus 4.2 devices started hitting the shelves. But apparently it takes at least that long to make sure that every non-touch gesture and gyroscopic scrolling function works with a new version of Android. Case in point: both the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi (GT-P3110) in the UK and the Galaxy Note 8.0 3G (GT-N5100) in Germany are just now getting updated, according to SamMobile.
There are already plenty of step-counters and fitness trackers on the market, but Sensoria is trying to appeal to a more serious athlete. The Smart Sock is pretty much want it sounds like – socks with sensors that relay stride and step information to your smartphone. The company was seeking $87,000 on Indiegogo, and it has blown by that with 5 days to spare. The video is a little awkward, but the product looks neat.