Have you ever wondered why the blacks on your Samsung phone look so, well, black? Ask your nearest videophile, and he or she will tell you that it's because AMOLED screens emit no light from pixels when they're assigned to draw the "black" color. It's black because the pixel is almost literally turned off. By the same token, an AMOLED pixel displaying black will also draw almost no electrical power. So AMOLED phones with black wallpapers or black-themed apps can, at least theoretically, boost their battery life significantly. Read More
We all know the perils of using a cell phone while driving. At best it's difficult and at worst it is incredibly dangerous. Still, sometimes we need to perform simple actions on our devices when behind the wheel. This basic problem has driven the development of Android Auto and various company-specific software and hardware to smooth things out. AutoMate is an Android app, now in beta, that is quite a bit easier than buying a new head unit. Read More
Last week a report surfaced alleging that Samsung recruited and paid "temporary employees" to attend its Galaxy S6 launch event in China. The Paper, based in Shanghai, claimed that the company hired 400 to 500 people for 30 to 50 yuan (about $8) each to spend time at the launch event on Friday. If true, then paid attendees would have amounted to approximately half of the people there. Samsung has categorically denied the report on the Samsung Tomorrow blog and claimed that the original newspaper has retracted the story. Read More
Mobile payments are on the rise. Google has been working with companies for years, and with Apple Pay turning more consumers on to the idea, new opportunities to swipe your phone at a register or pay in advance are popping up left and right.
Now Google has partnered with ChowNow to bring Wallet to thousands of independent restaurants across the US. As of today, restaurants have updated their mobile apps to include Wallet as an additional option at checkout. Read More
It would seem Sony is still engaged in the bizarre ritual of releasing a slightly tweaked version of its flagship smartphone every six months or so. The alleged Xperia Z4 has leaked repeatedly in recent days, and now it looks like T-Mobile might know something we don't. The carrier won't sell you a Z3 anymore, because apparently that phone is yesterday's news.
ZTE unveiled the Blade S6 in January, a mid-range 5-inch handset with decent specs considering its $249.99 price. Now it's making a beefier version, the S6 Plus, available on eBay in global markets for $299.99 (£199.99 and €276.99 in the UK and Europe).
You don't have to pay the full price if you're eager enough to snatch one up right away. ZTE is temporarily selling the device for $269.99.
Whether you choose to wait, you're getting a decent set of specs for your money. Read More
ASUS, let's have a talk. I've become accustomed to writing your company name in all caps, despite the fact that it's not an acronym. And I could probably get used to calling a solid if unremarkable line of tablets a "MEMO Pad," again, with no particular rhyme or reason to the combination of uppercase and lowercase. But "MeMO Pad" is where I draw the line. You, your marketing, and I are just going to have to agree to disagree on that lowercase e. Read More
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a unique puzzle game, a casual take on Risk, and another Noodlecake shooter-platformer. Read More
In the highly anticipated 5th season of Game of Thrones, Hodor will be noticeably absent. Now we know why. According to the appendices of George R.R. Martin's masterpiece, Hodor has been busy learning Android development.
Because a keyboard is no longer enough, Hodor has been hard at work on a calculator app (presumably because Lannisters are still counting their debts on abaci). Unfortunately, the gentle giant is about as good at math as he is quoting Shakespeare. Read More
It wouldn't be controversial to say that the interfaces for cable boxes suck. With the possible exception of TiVo, I don't think I've ever seen one that was made for the purpose of being easy and/or efficient to use, especially since the newer ones are more interested in selling Pay-Per-View and on demand content than actually letting you watch TV. That has largely carried over to the remote apps for the fancy new cable boxes, which might help explain why the XFINITY remote app has a 3.2-star rating in the Play Store. Read More