Wallet has to be pretty frustrating for Google. They beat Apple to the punch by quite a long time, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus basically introduced the lay public to mobile payments. How did this happen? Insert the tired cliches about Apple's control over hardware and software here. More interesting is what Google will do, considering how much they still have to gain by getting more adoption of their Apple Pay competitor.
Despite its appearance on Android One devices, we've had complete radio silence from Google about Android 5.1. Still, as long as it is in the wild, we're going to keep hearing about it. In this case, we have found out that the animation associated with toggling the auto-rotate feature has come back in 5.1 after disappearing in 5.0. Take a look.
This might not exactly change the way you use your Android phone or tablet, but it's nice.
Bubblesoft, the developers of the popular BubbleUPnP app, have published a server equivalent for Android. Previously, you could run a BubbleUPnP Server on Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, or a NAS. Then you could use the player app on Android to access or share your local media. Now your Android devices can also be used as a server, but with several important caveats.
Google has come out unscathed from a lawsuit in which consumers accused the company of anti-competitive practices. The basic allegation was that Google requires manufacturers to use a Google version of Android and that the way they place their own apps at the forefront has increased prices and prevented potential rivals from emerging. The main issue is the stipulation that Google's search be default in order to preload Play Services on Android devices.
Owners of Tegra-powered devices know those chips are capable of some fantastic graphical feats. There isn't another hardware platform out there that can play Half-Life 2 and Portal in their original forms. So what is Pure Pool doing with all that power? It's rendering really, really shiny billiard balls.
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 business-oriented casual game, a Fruit Ninja-style zombie killer, a stylish puzzler, a simplified RPG, and a kid-friendly kart racer.
Sprint hasn't said anything about John Legere's assertion that T-Mobile is now the larger of the two carriers, but it is rolling out a new plan apparently intended to slow Tmo's progress. The new plan is actually just a limited time offer in Sprint's existing Family Share Pack tiers. For $90 per month you can (sort of) get 12GB of data to share across 10 lines with unlimited SMS and voice. As with all mobile plans, there are plenty of caveats.
Android 5.1 is in the wild on Android One devices, but it's still not totally official yet. Google has yet to announce it and there's no changelog available. As more people get their hands on 5.1, though, we're bound to learn some things about it. Like, for example, the quick settings changes and these neat little animations in the 5.1 clock app.
Ah, February: the time when mobile hardware leaks spring out of the ground like daisies. It looks like Thai gadget site MXPhone has gotten its hands on portions of the Mobile World Congress phone lineup from Lenovo weeks ahead of the event, giving us a tantalizing look at the company's hardware plans for the next several months. Of course, it's possible that at least some of the Vibe phones on display below will never leave China, and the chance of any of them coming to the US market is basically zero.
One of my favorite innovations that has started to become more mainstream over the past several years is wireless charging. I'm bummed that every phone doesn't have it at this point (looking at you, Motorola - the Moto X should've been qi-compatible!), because it's easily one of the most convenient changes of all time. OK, maybe that's a little hyperbolic...but really, I do love it.
When it comes to wireless charging, my go-to charger has been the Tylt VU for as long as I can remember. The angle is great, it's super easy to use, and it's large enough to charge basically everything I own that has wireless charging.