There was a bit of a dust-up the other day when Pushbullet began sending out some scary-sounding emails to users. The emails explained that a few services making very heavy use of the Pushbullet API were going to be blocked. Today, Pushbullet has decided to change its approach to coping with this problem after getting feedback form users. Nothing will be blocked, but there will be a new API push limit for free accounts.
AT&T started rolling out WiFi calling to some of its devices a few months ago, starting mysteriously with the LG G4. The GS6 Active and LG K10 followed that, but now a pair of newer flagship phones finally have it too. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are getting WiFi calling in the latest OTA.
After nearly a year of rumors, teardowns, a vague announcement, and a false start, Google Play's Family Library is finally going live today. It will begin rolling out over the next few days to users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Other countries will surely join the list in time, but those will be the first. Family Library will allow up to six family members to share purchased content with each other without paying for additional copies.
Last year, Alcatel made its first real foray into the US unlocked smartphone market with the Idol 3. That phone cost $249, but at the time, offered quite a bit for the money. A large 5.5" 1080p display (with a fairly good LCD panel), dual front-facing speakers, no real bloatware to speak of, LTE, solid cameras (13MP/8MP), and a microSD card slot. High on features, low on price may as well have been the tagline for the Idol 3, and while it was at times excruciatingly slow owing to its Snapdragon 615 chipset, I found it an overall good value proposition.
HERE Maps was a pretty descriptive name, but it lacked pizzazz. Starting today, the app is called HERE WeGo, and it's getting a few improvements to make navigation easier. There are even some entirely new navigation options displayed in the app if you happen to be in certain cities.
Ever since its start as a Kickstarter campaign, the Nextbit Robin has been available in two color schemes: Mint and Midnight. Now a third color is joining the ranks, and it's just as interesting and even a little bolder and brighter than the Mint variant: Ember.
The colorway mixes black sides and back with bright red (a little magenta'ish if you ask me) end caps, power button, and volume button. It's striking to say the least, especially with the buttons on the sides popping right off the black plastic. Here are a couple more pictures from different angles.
The Ember variant is produced in limited quantity and will sell for the same $299 as the other colors.
There are many ways to stream your favorite shows nowadays, from Netflix to Hulu to Play Movies & TV, and now you can add two more to the list. NBCUniversal Media has released dedicated apps for two of its channels: Bravo and Syfy.
The apps, not-so-aptly titled Bravo Now and Syfy Now, let users stream full episodes of their shows the day after they're aired. Previously available episodes might also be accessible, but only for select shows. This is essentially a way for you to catch up with an episode the next day if you missed it and forgot to DVR it (do people still do that?), but it is not a way to stream the live channel as it happens, unlike the "Now" in the name hints at.
The US Customs and Border Patrol's mobile passport app has been out for a little over a year. Lately they've been adding the streamlined customs process to approximately one airport a month, which means that every passenger airport in the country should get official support in the next few decades. Maybe by then the country's air travel system won't be a farcical crap-fest of corporate greed and government incompetence. But in the meantime, the mobile passport app is getting two new locations: San Jose and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
I come bearing deals. They're not gifts per se, but they're nice deals for two apps and a game that you can grab for next to nothing this week. Without further ado, here are the discounts. You can find the download links to all of them at the end of the post.
Sleep Cycle alarm clock is an alarm app that monitors your sleep — for that, your phone has to be placed on your mattress next to your pillow ideally — and analyzes your movement to figure out the most appropriate time to wake you in your light sleep phase. It normally costs $0.99, but it's now discounted worldwide to the equivalent of USD 0.25.
The BLU R1 HD is a cheap Android phone, made even cheaper by its release as an Amazon Prime Exclusive device. You pay $50 (or $60 for the 16GB/2GB RAM version) for the phone instead of its original $100 price tag, but you get Amazon's apps pre-installed and its ads on the lockscreen. It's not that bad really: David has been trying to live with it for a month and hasn't faced many issues beside the "slowening", ie. the fact that the phone gets slower the more you use it.
If you've had an eye on this device either as your main phone or maybe as a Pokémon GO phone (hey, we understand), but you just can't bring yourself to accept Amazon's bloat, there's good news for you.