Cyanogen, Inc. has been adding staff to its small but growing roster at a steady pace ever since the company had its big coming out party. And like its initial team, a lot of them have come from the Android modding and ROM community. Cyanogen's latest hire might be familiar to some of you: François Simond, better known online as "Supercurio." Mr. Simond was kind enough to let us break the news, and also pick his brain on topics like CyanogenMod, audio and video calibration, and mobile computing in general.
T-Mobile introduced a whirlwind of changes last year as it rebranded itself as the "Un-carrier," with perhaps its most substantial shift being the decision to forgo annual contracts, breaking away from a long-standing practice among carriers in the US. Now the company is doing away with another perpetual mobile pain in the rear by eradicating its domestic overage charges. This applies regardless of whether you're on a Simple Choice plan, the new Simple Starter, or an older plan - and it will take place starting in May, with those bills arriving in June.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) aren’t the sexiest topic out there, but they are a pretty vital part of daily operations for almost every major company and many small businesses. VPNs are used to securely connect a computer, tablet, or phone to a company's private network over the Internet, thus allowing people to work remotely while ensuring strict authentication and enforcing administrative policies. Even some power users are apt to set up a VPN if they want to make their home networks accessible while they're on the road.
Love it or hate it, the Galaxy S5 will almost certainly be the best-selling Android phone in 2014. Whether or not the hardware actually warrants those kinds of incredible sales figures is largely irrelevant, thanks to Samsung's marketing machine and consumers' general willingness to buy things they're familiar with. And "familiar" is certainly an excellent way to describe the phone's hardware. While it isn't quite the ho-hum upgrade that came with the GS4, and there are some significant hardware features that add to its value, the GS5's overall design probably won't win it any new fans.
As Android 4.4/KitKat updates begin rolling out to devices on all the major US carriers, one frequently asked question has to do with whether or not these devices will include Android's new "Tap and Pay" feature. This was one of the major additions in KitKat and allows almost any device with an NFC chip to be used for "tap and go" mobile payments, even if said chip doesn't have a built-in secure element.
Most custom ROMs require separate builds for separate carrier variants - one for an international model, one for an AT&T model, one for a Verizon model, and so on. CyanogenMod is trying to consolidate some of its most popular builds so that a single ROM ZIP file will work across several various device variants. Last month the CM team combined three HTC One builds, and today they're doing the same for Samsung's Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 3.
All of the flagship Android devices from 2013 have been added to CyanogenMod in some form or another: the Galaxy S4, the HTC One, the LG G2, the Moto X, and of course, the Nexus 5. But there's one notable entry that has not graced the download page yet - Samsung's enormous and powerful Galaxy Note 3. According to an early-morning post from the custom ROM's official Google+ account, that's about to change.
With Christmas right around the corner, it's the time of year when many people are scrambling around trying to find the "perfect" gift for their loved ones. Picking the right thing for "the person who has everything" can be quite the task – that's why we decided to offer up our favorite products for the year in a massive this-is-the-stuff-we-use-and-love-and-think-you-or-your-loved-ones-will-too (abbreviated as TitSWUaLaTYoYLOWT for short) list.
Each person from the AP team picked out a handful of stuff (or more, possibly several handfuls), that they either can't live without or feel like would make the perfect gift this holiday season.
In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK.