Wireless charging is undeniably convenient, but fast it is not. With wired charging getting even faster thanks to Qualcomm-based Quick Charge technology, sometimes it just makes more sense to plug your device in. Maybe that's about to change, though. Freescale Semiconductor says it has a new wireless charging chip that can triple current limits on power transfer.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games from the previous 2 weeks or so.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
This week's roundup is brought to you by Swish from developer Devionix. This free physics game stars a pair of space aliens with an inexplicable love of basketball.
Titanium Backup is well-known among rooted users for its ability to back up just about every aspect of a phone. It actually has the same prestige among non-rooted users too, they just can't get in on the fun.
The latest version of the app adds Bluetooth pairings to the list of things Android users can rarely ever have to set up again. As long as you're running Android 4.2 or higher (including Lollipop, which the app supports following a recent update), Titanium Backup should let you back up and restore your current Bluetooth connections.
Update: Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath has been released on the Play Store, and glory be, it looks like it's not exclusive to anything. You can download it now on any Android 4.0 or higher device, and the Play Store version has the same external controller support and $5.99 price tag. Thanks to commenters step_jac and Amarus Kh for letting us know.
Update again: It looks like Stranger's Wrath is compatible with Android TV as well.
With the holiday season now fully underway, maybe you've decided to treat yourself to a new Android Wear watch. But what do you do with it once you get it on your wrist? You can only respond to so many text messages from your wrist. That's why we've got this roundup thing we do, that way you'll have stuff on your wrist that makes the smartwatch investment worthwhile. Well, maybe kind of worthwhile.
We've talked about how handy it is to have a portable charger numerous times here at AP (I even recommended one in this year's Holiday Gift Guide). I've personally tested several different chargers over the last few years, so I've seen them go from $125 for 6,000mAh down to entries like the one we're looking at today – the Unu Superpack – which offers 10,000mAh for just $40 (on Amazon).
Samsung's virtual reality-producing pair of Galaxy Note 4-powered goggles have gone on sale in the US on the manufacturer's website. Gear VR Innovator Edition, as the experimental product is actually called, is available for $199.99.
Gear VR works similarly to Google Cardboard, with a phone providing the processing power and display needed for the experience. But instead of cheaply assembled paper holding up the handset, Samsung and Oculus have worked together to create something that looks as though it should serve a function on its own.
Update: Want a slightly older model for an even better price? The Harmony Smart Control package is $79.99, fifty dollars off, and includes most of the same functionality. It's lacking the included buttons on the larger remote for home automation, which won't matter much if you don't have any compatible hardware and/or you intend to use your smartphone anyway. This deal also disappears after today.
You can control your Chromecast with your Android phone.
Want to stuff a couple of stockings for the holidays? Here's a cool suggestion from Amazon: the Kindle Fire HDX 7" 4G LTE. This is last year's Kindle Fire generation but still the newest HDX 7" available — Amazon didn't update the HDX 7" line when it released the new HD 6, 7, and HDX 8.9" this past September. The 4G LTE models are being discounted 50% today only through Amazon Gold Box, while the regular Wi-Fi only models have kept their regular price.
Update 12/7/14: The deal is back today.
Samsung is really the only game in town if you want an Android slate larger than 10-inches. The Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 is a pricey device, though. The retail figure is $649.99, but it usually sells for $549.99. You can get it for more than $200 less on eBay right now, provided you don't mind a refurbished unit.
The Tab Pro 12.2 is rocking a 2560x1600 LCD, an Exynos 5 Octa processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 9500mAh battery.