If you like some granular control over synced accounts, you probably ran into a little roadblock with Android 5.0. If you wanted to manually sync items in one of your accounts, the button to do that was missing. Well, at least, sort of. In its place was "cancel sync," even though there was nothing to cancel. That should have only been present after initiating a sync manually with the "sync now" option. Read More
It seems like portable chargers are getting smaller, cheaper, with a larger capacity all the time. What better example of this phenomenon than this Omaker external battery, which boasts 15,600 mAh and two USB output ports that push 2.1A, the amperage needed to charge tablets and some phones at faster than a snail's pace. The device itself supports 2.1A input too, so it should refuel reasonably quickly once you've drained it.
For reference, the new Samsung Galaxy S6 will have a 2550 mAh battery. Read More
Do you need an accessory to show off your Android pride... you know, besides your Cruzerlite Nexus phone case, Bugdroid-eating-Apple vinyl sticker on the back of your car, hundreds of pins from the Big Android BBQ all over your messenger bag, and a Chromebook Pixel signed by Matias Duarte? Then Newegg's Woot-style flash deals site is happy to oblige. The online store is offering the GOgroove Pal Bot Android-shaped speaker for just thirteen bucks today and tomorrow. Read More
In the Android community, Lollipop 5.0 is known for a lot of things. Unfortunately, among those things is a pretty severe memory leak that has plagued users with app crashes and launcher redraws, as device memory filled and failed to clear.
When Android 5.1 was announced, many hoped the issue would finally be resolved. After all, Google did mark the memory leak (which climbed to the 34th highest position in the issue tracker's history) as "future release" back in December.
As it turns out though, Lollipop 5.1 is not without its own memory leak, at least for some users over at the issue tracker. But Google has some good news and some bad news. Read More
Just in case you were getting comfortable with the YouTube app's latest design, it looks like there may be more changes in store. It seems a number of users are encountering a new YouTube interface, apparently triggered server-side without an app update.
The change sees YouTube's hamburger menu flipping right out of the interface, going the way of Google+ in discarding the left-side navigation drawer. Instead, users are given four primary tabs - Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and your profile. Interestingly, a couple of these tabs seem to have bars underneath to switch from, say, all videos to music on the home tab, or from uploads to channels on the subscription tab. Read More
Because there clearly weren't enough apps that help you count your steps and/or compare them with your friends, HTC has filled the imperceptible void. Fun Fit is a social fitness app where you and your participating Facebook friends (there are sure to be many!) pick "cute avatars" and compete in the time-honored contest of taking the most steps.
Despite their recent partnership with Under Armour, this would not seem to be a product of it. Rather than UA's more-serious-than-necessary aesthetic, Fun Fit tends toward the overly cheesy. As a product of HTC Research, it probably won't be part of the standard pre-loaded apps on future HTC phones, like the M9. Read More
Along with site notifications, the latest Chrome Beta v42 has another new feature for improving the web app experience. The ability to add a website to your home screen from Chrome has been there for a while now, but not all web pages are created equal in this regard. These shortcuts work best for fully-fledged web apps and now Chrome will let you know when you have visited a good candidate for home screen placement.
To get an idea of how it works, check out this GIF from HTML5 Rocks:
Perhaps the most important aspect of this feature is that it will not appear every time you visit a qualifying site. Read More
Motorola gained a lot of good will by updating its latter phones to the newest version of Android, starting with the Moto X. Even carrier-customized versions of that phone tended to get new incremental updates to KitKat long before other manufacturers' devices. But for some reason, the 2013 Moto X has lagged far behind for updates to Lollipop. Now, five months after Android 5.0 first started rolling out to Nexus devices, the OG Moto X is finally getting its Lollipop update. Well, sort of: it's getting a soak test.
A soak test is basically Motorola's beta test for device firmware. Participants of soak tests are usually limited to the members of Motorola's support forum, and the program is rarely commented on in any official capacity. Read More