IR ports are becoming a thing again with flagship devices from Samsung and HTC now commonly sporting them. They aren't used for terribly slow data transfers like back in the old days, but for controlling TVs and stuff. The built-in apps on the phones are okay, but Smart IR Remote is in a league of its own, and now it's added voice commands through Google Now. Take a gander at this video and be impressed.
Uber has created an API that will enable developers to integrate their apps with the ride-sharing service. It lets apps look up pickup times, fare estimates, destinations, and trip history. To envision what this looks like in practice, close your eyes and picture an airline app with the ability to check flight status, book a flight, and request a ride using Uber all in one place. Imagine being able to request a ride with Uber whenever a friend drops an address in an instant message.
Today the MediaFire Android app is turning 2.0, an age that resembles 20 but generally brings along more change in the life of an app. Software seemingly goes through digital puberty overnight and finds itself tucked inside a new body that looks different and similar at the same time. The latest version of MediaFire won't look unfamiliar to people who have known the app for a while, but most would probably say it has aged for the better.
Newegg is offering up a pretty compelling deal on the Nexus 7 right now. Those interested in picking up a refurbished 16GB model can do so for about $103 (before tax) using VISA Checkout, after a $50 rebate.
This deal is actually a combination of promotions from Newegg - the site is offering 10% off (up to $20) when users select VISA Checkout and use promo code VCO, and Newegg's listing for the refurbished 16GB Nexus 7 offers a $50 rebate (via prepaid card).
Big changes are happening over at Humble Bundle that could mean a lot more games for you and more money for charity. It's only been a few weeks since the most recent Humble Mobile Bundle launched, but there are going to be many more going forward. The Humble Bundle website is getting a special mobile section that will serve as home to a new Android bundle every two weeks, and it kicks off with the Sega bundle.
Street View's name doesn't fully capture what the service is good for. Yes, it makes getting the feel for a new city or campus cheap and easy, but it's perfectly capable of providing shots of places other than streets as well. Google has recently taken Street View to some of the most impressive areas of Iceland and is doing its part to share the region's beauty with the rest of the world.
Plenty of US smartphone users have owned a ZTE device, but they might not know it. The Chinese OEM has been providing phones for carriers to re-brand for years, but its US presence has grown considerably. The unlocked Nubia 5S Mini will be a test of how positively the brand is viewed when it launches on August 27th for $279 on Amazon.
Update 2: Amir Efrati, author of The Information's report, says Verizon is a lying piece of crap:
1/ Verizon playing a semantics game. $VZ is attempting to build a coalition of partners + a product that's more than traditional app store
— Amir Efrati (@amir) August 20, 2014
Efrati goes on to write that they know for a fact Verizon has been probing carriers, OEMs, and developers about its own Google Play alternative.
When Barnes & Noble and Samsung announced that they were going to work together to produce a Nook tablet, it was unclear just what this would entail. Now the tablet is available for purchase, and to be upfront, it doesn't look all that different from any other Samsung product. Setting aside the predictable hardware, we're looking at a TouchWiz tablet with a few Nook apps and a dedicated reading button on the homescreen.