The Internet is in the midst of having a mini hemorrhage over something that, basically, doesn't matter. Shocking, right? It appears that a few people on XDA have noticed that their Nexus 6 had a couple of Verizon-specific APKs installed on the system partition after updating to Android 5.1. There are two issues at play here:
First, there are two APKs that are clearly identified as Verizon-specific. One is VZ Backup Assistant and the other is called VZWAPN.
One of the more interesting behind-the-scenes additions in Android 5.1 is a new carrier provisioning API that provides functionality which likely benefits carriers and customers alike. Any time you join a carrier, you get services along with your account, whether it's Play Store billing, visual voicemail, premium subscription services billed to your account, or any number of other things. For as long as Android has existed, the methods used to provision these services on a customer's account have varied widely from carrier to carrier, and there was no standard way of doing it.
Samsung has been pushing its fancy new Milk brand hard lately, adding video and teasing virtual reality. But before today, listeners' biggest barrier to access was the fact that the app was only available on their Samsung-branded phones and tablets. That changes this morning with the launch of Milk Music for the web, accessible from desktop and Chrome OS browsers at milk.samsung.com. Log in using your Samsung account and you'll have access to the same songs and stations that you do on mobile.
Lenovo has crammed just about everything it can think of into the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro to make it interesting, with the exception of a stylus and a can opener. And it is interesting, from a purely technical point of view - it has a huge 13" screen, 2.1 JLB speakers, integrated kickstand, and oh yeah, a built-in pico projector. This machine epitomizes one of the best things about Android hardware: a diversity of manufacturers can yield an amazing variety of features.
Unfortunately, Lenovo's design is more ambitious than its execution. With a build quality that's only average, some questionable hardware decisions, and a software experience that's poor at best, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro simply won't be worth a look for most people.
Barnes & Noble lets you access your books on Nook and general Android devices alike, but the latter has come with an interface that hasn't been spruced up in years. Today Barnes & Noble announced that this situation is finally changing. The company is releasing Nook 4.0, bringing over the slick interface that has been around since the company started partnering with Samsung to produce the latest line of Nook tablets.
Samsung, LG, and HTC are the heavy-hitters in the Android world - you can generally expect their flagship devices to be on almost every American carrier. So it is with HTC's new One M9, which has been confirmed for four out of the five major US carriers right out of the gate. We asked a US Cellular representative if the company planned to offer the One M9 after they confirmed that they'd be carrying Samsung's new S6 and S6 Edge, and were told that it wasn't on the release schedule at the moment.
Love it or hate it, the original LG G Flex sure did create some buzz. The second version of the phone appears to be an improvement in just about every way, but LG doesn't seem to be content with flagship-style offerings. Three UK just announced that it will carry the LG Spirit 4G starting in June. This decidedly mid-range device also has a curved screen, and... well, that's about the only interesting thing aside from Lollipop software at launch.
Before you get too excited, Three's promotional video (the sole source of information on the phone so far) doesn't mention flexibility at all, so this phone probably won't bend or heal like the G Flex series.
Tablets with LTE data tend to be quite a bit more expensive than their WiFi siblings, but Sprint is launching an LG slate called the LG G Pad F 7.0 with modest specs that sells for the low price of $240 or $10 per month for 24 months. It's not going to be blazing fast, but it might get the job done.
Do you need a great unlocked phone for under $200? Do you want one that's bigger than the ones Motorola offers in that price range? Then you'd be hard-pressed to find a better candidate than the BLU Studio 6.0 HD. While the phone's specs are decidedly low-end, the $189 retail price makes it an awesome deal for those who are cash strapped, or heck, just those who don't want to spend $600 or more on a Galaxy Note. Amazon's Gold Box daily deal portal has sliced that price even more, offering the Studio 6.0 for a ridiculous $129.99.
The Studio 6.0 offers a 6-inch screen with a humble 1280x720 resolution, a 1.3Ghz MediaTek quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot, and an 8 megapixel rear camera.