Excitement over products like the Ouya, nVidia's Shield line, and even numerous gamepads proves that gaming on Android has entered the mainstream. Developers have been jumping at the opportunity to build games that work across many of the different operating systems; and thanks to the Cross-Platform SDK, they're able to integrate most of the Play Games services into their products on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Until now, this SDK has lagged behind the SDKs for Android and iOS on one specific feature: real-time multiplayer support.
For anyone looking for another means of streaming music to their Android device without having to use an app with a UI that would make a Nexus cry, 8tracks is worth a look. The interface keeps things simple, which these days means it's pretty white. Existing users will be pleased to know that following the latest update, 8tracks now comes with Chromecast support. As long as your connected TV or monitor is on, you will see the familiar icon in the action bar at launch.
Republic Wireless offers a variety of super-cheap calling and data plans thanks to its WiFi-cellular hybrid calling setup. In just a few days you'll be able to pair the reasonably priced Moto E with those plans. Republic will start selling the Moto E for $99 on October 15th.
There are no contracts on Republic Wireless, so that $99 price isn't subsidized at all. It's not much cheaper than the Moto E usually is, but you can't just bring any device to Republic.
Nearly a year ago, this company called Coin came to the Internet with a product, also called Coin, that it promised would store all of your credit, debit, and loyalty cards inside of a single nifty replacement. People could pre-order this Bluetooth-connected card for $50, and they were told they would receive it by summer of 2014, otherwise known as the season that just ended. Where are their cards? Well, they're still available for pre-order, and orders placed now aren't expected to arrive until the summer of 2015.
The original Moto X was a very well-reviewed phone, but it just didn't sell as well as Motorola and Google had hoped. It deserved more attention than it got, but the smartphone consuming public can be a fickle beast. That's why this year's Moto X makes a few changes to appeal to a wider audience. It's a little bigger, a lot faster, and has a more premium design.
This approach is rife with benefits and a few drawbacks, but one thing is certain, this is one of the best smartphones ever created.
Google has been wrestling with a series of strange and not too uncommon bugs with a part of the camera subsystem on the Nexus 5 called mm-qcamera-daemon. Without this component, the camera on this device won't function, but sometimes it goes wonky and drains the battery. A Googler has just marked this issue as "future release" in the AOSP issue tracker, meaning it should be fixed when Android L rolls out.
I hear you. The upcoming Nexus 6 is simply too big. Don't get mad at me, I happen to agree with you. I don't think of it as an issue of hand-size, it's a matter of pocket space. Fitted pants and giant phones just don't mix.
So what's a Nexus lover to do? Pick up a Nexus 5. They're going for less and less these days. Today you can get one on eBay for $315 that will ship to nearly anywhere in the world.
Amazon has pushed out an update to its Kindle app for Android that might pique your interest if you're into audiobooks, speak Dutch, or like to highlight things. Yes, that's an admittedly eclectic mix of traits and interests, but that's the way these updates work. Developers aren't particularly invested in making sure we bloggers have a theme to categorize each new version under.
- Start playing narration before audiobook download is complete
- Localized support for Dutch
- Tap on highlight to edit
- Several bug fixes
So let's just tackle this list of changes in order.
One of Samsung's claims to fame is a feature meant to improve productivity on mobile devices. One that users of stock Android and manufacturer skins alike have been yearning for for a while. That feature is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps on the screen at once, dragging and dropping between the two.
The problem is no one has been able to get it right yet. A company in the mobile space - in this writer's opinion - has yet to perfect the balance between utility and intuition when it comes to multi-window functionality on tablets (or phones, though I haven't used the Note 4 yet), but a post to Android Internals in March confirmed that Google had been working on the programmatic side of multi-window in stock Android.