Google's Project Tango, that awesome tech that allows a gadget to map out three-dimensional spaces, is really cool. But it's taking its damn sweet time getting here: Tango was first announced over two years ago and offered as a developer kit tablet last summer, and the first Tango-capable smartphone was supposed to arrive from Lenovo this month. That seems less than likely now - the store page for the Phab 2 Pro has been adjusted from "coming this summer" to "coming this fall." Read More
The lads and lasses on the open source CyanogenMod Team continue to bring their Android nightly ROMs to phones and tablets that have long been abandoned by uncaring manufacturers. This week a handful of new devices get builds for CM13, based on code from Android 6.0. All of them are nightlies (so possibly not ready for primetime), but I'll bet their respective users are happy to get the attention anyway. Here they are: Read More
If a comment on a CyanogenMod commit thread by founder Steve Kondik is any indicator, rumors that Cyanogen Inc. is basically getting out of the OS development business seem to be coming to fruition. While the context of the comment is a rather specific commit thread, Kondik's frustration seems to have led to him to say a bit more about Cyanogen Inc.'s future plans than the company may have liked:
There isn't really going to be much if any involvement from the Inc this time around and I'm taking on a lot of stuff on my own to try and keep us moving forward.
Calling all hackers and security researchers: Google wants to pay you money. Quite a lot, in fact. The top prize for finding a new critical flaw in Android in the new Project Zero Prize competition is a whopping $200,000, with the second prize at $100,000 and $50,000 split among additional entrants. The contest is being run by Project Zero, the company's own internal team of security researchers that documents critical flaws and bugs in wide-reaching software. Read More
tinyCam Monitor is probably the most feature-packed remote surveillance app on the Play Store. Almost everything you could imagine is here - two-way audio for select cameras, SSL support, MP4 video recording, Google Cast and Android TV support, and even a built-in web server. Version 7.0 of tinyCam has just been released, and to celebrate, the Pro version is 50% off until September 20. Read More
NVIDIA is pretty good about regular updates for its SHIELD line, and the Tablet twins are the recipients of the latest bumps. Update version 4.3 for the original SHIELD Tablet (the one with the stylus) and 1.4 for the newer SHIELD Tablet K1 are basically identical, and in both cases the biggest addition is an update to Android 6.0 that brings the security patches to July of this year. The rest of the changes are pretty minor bug fixes and other small adjustments: Read More
September's platform distribution numbers for Android are now available, and... they're dully predictable. Marshmallow's growth returned to the levels we saw in July, gaining 3.5 points versus its position a month ago. Lollipop has returned to a net decline, with v5.0 losing a full point of the pie and 5.1's half-point increase not being able to make up for it. That means Lollipop, combined, is on 35% of all Android devices Google counted versus Marshmallow's 18.7%.
KitKat dropped 1.5 points, Jelly Bean (all versions) collectively dipped a meager 1.1 points, and Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread barely budged from their previous positions. Read More
There's no denying that the Galaxy Note 7 recall is a big deal, but as with any big story, a little caution is called for when reporting on it. There are in fact other things that can catch fire besides the Note 7, including - gasp! - other smartphones. Such is the case with one of the more dramatic reports of a Galaxy Note 7 malfunction. As it turns out this New York Post article about a 6-year-old injured by an exploding Note 7 (which still hasn't been updated or corrected (update: see below)) is in fact about a Galaxy Core Prime, an entirely different Samsung phone model. Read More
SoundHound is a bit like Shazam, but on steroids. If it wasn't for Shazam's integration with OK Google, SoundHound would be the only music identification app I have on my phone, because it doesn't just do searches of music playing around you, it can also recognize songs you sing or hum. It works more often than you'd think, even with a couple of missed lyrics, out of tune notes, and even half-accurate hums.
SoundHound also has the benefit of the Hound voice assistant, which means that you can ask it to identify a song, add it to your Spotify playlist, get information about artists and releases, and more without touching a single button. Read More