Deep breaths. It's happening. WhatsApp Web just went live. Wait, where did you run off to scrolling to the bottom of the page for the link? I have important things to discuss here, like the latest Archer episode. Literally. OK, OK, I won't stall any longer.
The web service, which we first heard about last month, has been officially announced on WhatsApp's blog. As the rumors suggested, it relies on the mobile WhatsApp application as the authenticator through a QR code authorization. It works for WhatsApp users on Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry (and Symbian!), but not iOS. The process requires mirroring messages from the mobile app to the web, even when the app is running in the background, and Apple's platform seems to have a limitation somewhere along the way according to the WhatsApp devs. Read More
Update Wednesday keeps rolling on, this time with new versions of Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This is a bigger update that actually warranted a blog post from Google. There are some nice functionality changes in all three apps.
Today MetroPCS, a prepaid service offered by T-Mobile, has rolled out a limited-time discounted price for its unlimited 4G LTE plan. Anyone who signs up between now and April 5th can get set up for $50 a month, a $10 savings off the usual price. There's no pre-planned end date, so you can then take advantage of the lower price for quite a while.
For comparison, T-Mobile offers unlimited data on the same network for $80 a month. Unfortunately, the offer isn't open to just anyone with a GSM device. You need a Huawei Vitria, Kyocera Hydro XTRM; LG Optimus F3, F6, F60; Samsung Galaxy Avant, Light, MEGA, S III, S4, S5; or ZTE ZMAX supplied by MetroPCS. Read More
It's update Wednesday, and you know what that means. It's right there in the name—updates. There's a new version of Google+ rolling out, but it doesn't look like a huge change so far. As usual, we're digging in to see what's what, but you can grab the new version below.
The original Moto X was a breath of fresh air when it debuted in 2013, but Verizon didn't want any part of Motorola's relatively open stance when it came to unlockable bootloaders and customization (as usual). To alleviate this for users who wanted an easy path to root, software backups, and custom ROMs, Motorola offered the Moto X Developer Edition, a full-priced 32GB phone that users could unlock by requesting a code. It debuted at a whopping $650, but today you can grab one for just $199.99.
A single eBay merchant seems to have a stockpile of unsold Moto X Developer Edition phones. Read More
Through the Google Play for Education platform, Google has brought Android tablets to schools throughout parts of the US, along with the apps teachers require to put the hardware to use in their classrooms. Now the search giant is expanding the offering to the UK, including software that caters to the country's curriculum. Read More
The HTC Butterfly 2 is a phone forever trapped in a nightmarish puberty of HTC industrial design. It uses high-end specifications like a 1080p screen and a Snapdragon 801 processor, but its plastic body is a step below HTC's flagships. It's packing a 13 megapixel rear camera, not unlike the newer Desire Eye, but it's saddled with the secondary Duo camera from the HTC One M8 (which is probably gone for the M9). The Butterfly 2 has identity issues, folks, issues which won't be helped by flashing all kinds of custom ROMs and modifications. But now you can totally do that. Read More
In June of last year, Blu released its sleekest phone yet, the Vivo IV. This ultra-thin, super-svelte handset really put an emphasis on design, something that no other Blu phone before had really done. At CES, the company announced the newest member of the Vivo line, the Vivo Air. At just 5.1 mm thick, this is the thinnest smartphone you can currently buy in the US. It's stupid-thin, but it also weighs under 100 grams, so it's equally as light. So, stupid-light.
Based on its specs, I wouldn't necessarily call the Vivo Air the IV's successor, but rather just a new addition to that product family. In fact, the Vivo IV is still more powerful than the Air, though both devices feature the same MediaTek octa-core chipset. Read More
CyanogenMod supports a few new devices today, all of them Sony. Just head over to the CM download section and you can get nightly builds for the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact with LTE (that's Scorpion). This follows the WiFi version of this tablet getting support just a few days ago.
Netflix has released its fourth-quarter 2014 financial results along with a letter to shareholders, posting both to its website. These documents show plans to increase its amount of original content, rapidly expand internationally, continue its DVD-by-mail service, and more.
First, some numbers. Netflix picked up 13 million new members in 2014, an increase from 11 million the year before. The video on demand provider now boasts 57.4 million subscribers, and it expects to end the first quarter of the new year with 61.4 million.
Earlier this year, Netflix raised its price from $7.99 to $8.99, a move it believed cost it subscribers throughout the months that followed. Read More