The current boom in virtual reality tech is progressing along roughly two lines: big, complex, and expensive VR headsets driven by full-power gaming machines, like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and small, cheap headsets that slot a high-resolution smartphone in to pull double duty as processing unit and display, like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. Users who don't have four figures worth of money to burn have had to make do with the latter. But a new app is hoping to change that. Read More
Motorola has never been very good at keeping a secret, and rumblings of its next-gen phones in the Moto X and Moto G lines have been leaking out to the Internet for several months now. Between a supposed "prototype" image and what look like rendered press shots, no one has been able to completely confirm the design of the upcoming phones, but they certainly look promising. Today the HelloMotoHK Google+ account has posted three new images, two of which seem to show a rendered version of the leaked 2016 Moto X and another that looks like a DROID variant. Read More
HTC really wants to make a cool transparent case for its flagship devices. It started with the One M8 and the "Dot View" case, which adapted the windowed covers first released by Samsung and LG into a grid with Lite Brite-style holes to view the screen underneath. There was a revised Dot View case for the One M9, but for the new HTC 10, we're getting a redesigned and completely transparent "Ice View" case. Like the previous iterations, HTC has released a specialized app in the Play Store to let users operate the case. Read More
The Galaxy Note II and its tablet big brother the Galaxy Note 10.1 were both released in 2012. That being the case, the odds of them getting an Android 6.0 update are about as good as the Chicago Cubs winning the Super Bowl. Of course, a lack of updates (even for hardware that might not meet the minimum requirements) is a big part of what makes custom ROMs so popular. So it is that the CyanogenMod ROM's version 13, based on AOSP code for Marshmallow, has come to a handful of older Samsung devices. Read More
The brand-spankin'-new LG G5 is certainly interesting, but its modular accessory system hasn't won everyone over, including David Ruddock in his full review. If you still want a new phone but would prefer to return to a simpler time when a leather back plate was the gimmick of the year, one eBay vendor is selling last year's model at a significant discount. The G4, with 32GB of storage and an upgraded (and somewhat divisive) black leather back, is just $274.99.
In a move sure to piss off owners of the 2014 Moto X on Verizon, the carrier has released a Marshmallow update for the Droid Maxx 2. There was a fair amount of speculation as to whether the phone would get an update to Google's latest OS considering that the device never landed on Motorola's official list. Alas, Verizon and the OEM seem to have come through. Read More
You'd be hard pressed to find a Bluetooth headset with more features than Plantronics' BackBeat Pro+. Active noise canceling? Check. NFC? Sure. Bluetooth and 3.5mm plug? Yes, definitely. Multipoint technology? Oui. And the list goes on and on. Name any option and the Pro+ likely has it. If you're looking for a jack of all trades headset, you'll waste a lot of time trying to find one more versatile and feature-filled than the BackBeat Pro+, but there's more to this pair of headphones than gimmicks and long feature lists. The Pro+ shines in some instances that I didn't know I'd appreciate and falls flat in some other places where I had higher expectations. Read More
Most modified versions of Android like TouchWiz or Sense do the same basic things, just with a few tweaks here and there. JIDE's Remix OS is a more complete transformation of Android aimed at making it more of a desktop OS. It's an interesting approach, but the company just took a major step back with its Remix Mini micro-computer by removing Google apps. Perhaps more troubling, they won't explain why. Read More
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's Android Police Podcast: Nexus rumors mount, Google I/O nears, and we go on a tangent about smart TVs and homes. Read More