Like most technology blogs, Android Police is decentralized. Our writers and editors work out of their homes, and occasionally in hotels, bars, or under bridges. We have no traditional office. But if we did, the Yubi 40-port USB Power Tower would sit proud in the middle, like some kind of plastic altar to electricity. We would come, bow down to the Tower, offer up our unworthy phones and tablets, and humbly take our blessings of sweet, sweet gadget juice.
Gmail just got an update to version 4.8, an update that brings with it some refreshing UI changes, and a few other features too. First, we'll take a look at the UI tweaks.
First up, the pull-to-refresh animation has been brought into line with the Google Search app - it now cycles through Google's red, yellow, blue, and green brand colors rather than using a simple blue animation. The length of swipe necessary to trigger a refresh has also been shortened.
There's still no standard for connected devices around the home, but Belkin's WeMo home automation system is a pretty popular option. The Android app hasn't wowed users in the past, but it's getting an update today that might (I hope) address some of those issues.
AT&T has announced that the Galaxy S4 Mini, yes - the phone that came out back in November, is coming to the carrier May 23rd with HD Voice. It will be the first device on the network with support for making VoLTE (voice over LTE) calls. The handset isn't available for pre-order, but the carrier does have it listed as "coming soon."
AT&T is the first carrier to support making voice calls over LTE, supporting simultaneous voice and data over the IP network.
Since his departure from Cyanogen, Inc., Koush has been a pretty busy guy. Yesterday, he released AllCast Receiver to the Play Store, an app that essentially turns any Android device into a casting target, a la the now-extinct CheapCast. Today, he pushed an update to AllCast that brings a couple of new features, including Google Play Music streaming and the previously-teased headphone mode. Check out the latter in action:
This is essentially a jab at Roku's remote, which includes a built-in headphone jack for private listening while watching content on the TV.
You're not going to want the upcoming ASUS Transformer TF103, and neither is your mom (or Cameron's, for that matter). The Android community has known about the existence of the tablet for a few months now, but only recently have the specs hit the web. Is it good on paper? Well, let's just say this Intel Bay Trail-powered device is retro, and not in the good way.
The Asus Transformer TF103 is, like all of the other devices that share its brand, a tablet that plugs into a keyboard dock.
Google has bought Divide, a startup that secures smartphones to make them enterprise-friendly. It uses containers, a concept that should not sound unfamiliar around these parts thanks to the likes of Samsung KNOX. The approach separates a user's personal data from work-related files, effectively isolating them from one another on the same device. Google's purchase could imply a desire to tighten up Android's security out of the box and better attract the interest of enterprise customers.
It's hard to be Sprint these days. Its LTE rollout is lagging way behind the competition, it's losing subscribers and cash fast, and everyone is making fun of its "Framily" plans. That's too bad, but Sprint isn't going to get back in our good graces by charging money for things we already have or don't need in the first place. That's just what it's doing with the new Total Equipment Protection (TEP) Plus plan.