Writing for Android Police from my home office in Virginia, it's not every day that I get to report on something somewhat close to home. But here it is. A Virginia Circuit Court judge has ruled that while police officers cannot compel a person to give up their passcode, they can demand someone use their fingerprint to unlock their phone.
Judge Steven C. Frucci made the ruling this week, saying that giving a police officer your fingerprint is similar to providing a DNA or handwriting sample, something the law permits.
Several months ago, we discussed something called Nearby, a project that - at the time - seemed to be Google's effort to let "people, places, and things" know when a user is, well, nearby. It seems that Google is still hard at work on its effort to connect various devices to each other and their surroundings, but Copresence (an internal name for this functionality) may have a more specific scope in this effort than we first estimated, apparently including iOS devices in the fun.
Whoooooooa! Look out! It's a spooky ghost! Did you see it? Aw, man. It was right there in that game. You know the one, Haunt the House: Terrortown. It's a new one that's just out in the Play Store, and it's on sale for Halloween. Seems fitting.
There's a certain permanence to most instant messaging apps. The second you hit send, that's it, the message is out of your hands. You better hope you sent it to the right contact, fixed those embarrassing typos, or spelled their name correctly. Unless you're using the latest version of BBM, in which case you can call take backsies.
Now when you send a message by mistake, you can simply tap the retract button.
File managers aren't flashy or particularly exciting apps, but they're definitely a necessity. HTC has taken to adding a number of its core Sense apps to the Play Store, and now the file manager is taking up residence.
Roku started making cheap, effective streaming set-top boxes long before Google TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Android TV, and Amazon's "I can't believe it's not Chromecast." But before today, users who were smack dab in the middle of Google's universe found a notable hole in Roku's otherwise wide array of content partners: the Play Store's selection of movies and TV shows. In a surprising move on Google's part, a new Play Movies channel has been added to the Roku lineup.
AT&T was one of the first carriers in the US to institute data caps on smartphones, and it has recently taken some heat for its treatment of grandfathered unlimited data customers. Maybe looking to smooth things over a bit and earn some good will, AT&T is boosting the caps on two of its Mobile Share Value plans.
Since launch, some OnePlus One owners have encountered issues with the phone's touchscreen. The complaints center around the display being unresponsive, causing it to miss certain touches and provide a generally frustrating typing experience. Sometimes it resulted in taps while dragging or swiping.
Now a firmware upgrade is in testing that takes care of this problem entirely. It's expected to go out to users soon in an upcoming over-the-air update.
HTC's Dot View case is a cool idea, though the quality of the accessory itself is somewhat suspect. Still, HTC gets points for doing something new. What's more, it turns out the Dot View for the One M8 still has some tricks up its heavily perforated sleeve. There's a Halloween surprise lurking in there.
The Dot View case is able to show notifications and other bits of data by shining light from the screen through the holes in the case.
Smartphone manufacturers have been striving to make their phones thinner for years, and despite how slim phones have become, they're still pushing forward full steam ahead. Today Samsung announced its two thinnest phones yet, the Galaxy A5 and A3. To set these phones apart even further, both handsets have full metal unibody designs.
The larger A5 is just 6.7mm thick. The A3 is only slightly thicker at 6.9mm. For comparison, the Galaxy S5 is 8.1mm thick, and the Note 4 comes in at 8.5mm.