App Ops showed up in Android 4.3 and made it possible to revoke permissions on a per-app basis. It wasn't exposed in the main system settings, but it was easy to access. Then Android 4.4 made it quite a bit harder to get to, and now it appears to be completely missing in 4.4.2. What gives? Well, Android engineer Dianne Hackborn has indicated App Ops was never meant to be a user-facing feature in the first place. Read More
Google's voice search function is undeniably cool, and it's only getting better since the company has expanded the capabilities of the Android Search/Google Now app. However, there's one tragic flaw in the execution of voice actions: they can't make popcorn. But if you add some of Android's most powerful root-enabled tools, namely Tasker, the Xposed Framework, and the previously-featured AutoVoice, the sky's the limit. With the right hardware and tinkering, you can start living your Starfleet dreams in jig time. Read More
Six to Start's latest app is another pedometer for people who need more motivation to get off the couch. Similar to the team's previous game, Zombies, Run!, The Walk is an immersive experience that pits players in the midst of a suspenseful storyline - but rather than tap and swipe at the screen to make progress, you must get on your feet and move. It hopes to change your next walk around town into an adventure you will never forget. Read More
Spotify is great. Despite that fact that many of us abandoned it for Google Music All Access when that was announced, Spotify is still one of the best streaming music services available today. And it just got a lot better (and cheaper).
At a press conference today, Spotify founder Daniel Ek announced that service would basically start offering free streaming to mobile phones and tablets. The model will be different for each device category, but the general gist is the same – stream music, and pay nothing for it. Read More
A few days ago we reported on a less-than-ideal situation over in India, where users who won Nexus 7s in Google's/Nestle's KitKat contest were receiving the 2012 model instead of the "new Nexus 7" as advertised. Naturally, users were outraged and insulted by this gesture and spoke out against both companies. Today, Nestle has taken to its KitKat India Facebook page to let users know that it plans on righting this wrong. Read More
I've been lusting after ASUS' ambitious Padfone devices ever since they were announced way back in 2012. But since ASUS is a company that focuses on its home market first, we haven't seen hide nor hair of the docking smartphone-tablet hybrids over here in the United States. According to an Engadget interview with ASUS CEO Jerry Shen, that could change as soon as the second quarter of next year.
The interview is a lengthy one, but the juicy bit is near the end: Shen says that ASUS is partnering with a "big operator" in the United States to launch the next iteration of the Padfone on our shores. Read More
There are plenty of people who already have everything, or more likely, have everything that they want. What do you get them? Why, a gift card, of course! So Google is making life easier for Android fans across the world by releasing Google Play gift cards in more countries. The latest one to make the list is the land of the rising sun.
Just as Google Play gift cards are available in the US carrying $10, $25, and $50, Japanese versions are available in ¥1500, ¥5000, and ¥15000 increments. Read More
As we saw late last week, ASUS is looking to bring its unique Padfone concept to different form factors and price points. Enter the Padfone Mini, a new entry in the series that retains the dockable phone-tablet hybrid idea but shrinks it down to make it more affordable. The phone itself isn't much smaller at 4.3", but the tablet dock now has a 7-inch screen instead of 10, not to mention a vertical orientation. Read More
The Qualcomm Toq is a limited run device, but it seems there are enough floating around that Qualcomm isn't handling all the sales itself. The Toq debuted on the Qualcomm site last week, but now you can buy the device from Amazon with free Prime shipping for the same $349.99 price.
The Toq is a little more expensive than the recently released Galaxy Gear, but it uses a color Mirasol screen for profoundly long battery life. Read More