Diversify and fill all niches. Samsung seems to have learned its basic sciences, because they're applying a naturalist approach to the tablet market: a ton of models for consumers, new specialized versions for professionals, and now a tablet made just for the lucrative education market. Today Samsung announced a new Galaxy Tab especially for K-12 schools. It's only new in a technical sense - the hardware is clearly a black 10-inch Galaxy Tab 3.
If you've been looking for an easy way to get into the home automation craze, Belkin has a series of plug-and-play accessories that will let you control lights and other electronics without any major home modifications. The WeMo series is relatively cheap and controllable with your phone or tablet via the Android app. Amazon's daily deal portal Gold Box has select WeMo accessories and switches on sale for today only.
The most basic part of the WeMo line is the WeMo Switch, a simple on/off switch that hangs out on a standard wall outlet and connects to your home's WiFi network.
I drive a 2003 Ford Ranger. It's reliable, sturdy, and I'll keep it till the wheels fall off, but it is not what you'd call "advanced." The digital displays and integrated electronics of today's cars and trucks put mine to shame, even with a decent aftermarket stereo. Dash, the first app from the eponymous developer and startup, aims to change that. This free app connects to an onboard diagnostics tool (OBD, compatible with most cars from the 90s onward) via Bluetooth to report statistics and other information in real time.
Today the folks behind Todoist have announced the latest version of their capable task management offering: "Todoist Next." This new name comes with a complete rewrite of the software that improves integration across its 13 supported platforms. Yet for us Android users, the app still looks largely the same. It has kept its current name in the Play Store, and it retains the look introduced in version 2.0 (even though the latest release is 3.0).
It's no secret that some of the biggest mobile hardware gets announced at Mobile World Congress, fast approaching at the end of February. So it's about this time of year that we expect to start seeing major leaks from OEMs. Queue XperiaBlog, hot on the trail of the next Sony devices as usual. Today they've published an absolutely massive gallery of screenshots from an upcoming Sony phone, codenamed "Sirius" and running Android 4.4.2.
The incomparable @evleaks has offered up another look at Samsung's alleged UI experimentation, this time showing what would appear to be predictive search or information cards, similar to those offered by Google Now. Split into two parts, the collection shows everything from home temperature automation to exercise tracking to flight info, package tracking, appointments, and plenty more.
What differentiates the cards from Google's own service (design aside) is apparent social integration beyond birthdays and commutes.
Let's all pause for a moment to recall fond memories of Sprint ID. Done? Yeah, that didn't take long. If you're reading this, then there's a solid chance you have little interest in a carrier-installed app that screws with your homescreen by providing an obnoxious wallpaper with a preselected assortment of apps and widgets. Thankfully, Sprint is ready to take a new approach. The carrier will start to push Sprint Live on some of the phones it sells later this year, a new experience from Chinese company NQ Mobile that strives to be an always-on replacement for your wallpaper keeping you up to the date with various content tailored to the brands and news stories you're interested in.
Google has been increasingly transitioning new features in Android to a more closed model. Whether you're talking about music playback, search, or even the dialer, Google's updated apps have features not included in the Android Open Source Project. The developers of OmniROM are looking to make the handy features of the new Google Dialer available without the proprietary bits, so they're working on an integrated phone number directory without Google.
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 an impressive Castlevania-style sidescroller, a destruction physics game, and a Rube Goldberg puzzler.