Normally the kind of customer who buys a "rugged" phone like the Hydro VIBE isn't all that concerned with having the latest and greatest in software - or at least that seems to be the attitude of the carriers and manufacturers, who don't seem very concerned themselves. Perhaps that's why Sprint and Kyocera launched the phone with Android 4.3 back in May, despite the fact that 4.4 had already been available for seven months.
Update 10/2/14: The initial beta APK (1.0-124) started showing an expiration message and stopped working, but a newer beta APK (1.0-172) has popped up. We've validated its legitimacy, and it indeed no longer shows the expiration message. Download it here (thanks, Branko Kostic!).
Last month Nokia announced that it would release a version of its highly-regarded HERE mapping and navigation app for Android, but only to licensed partners, starting with Samsung.
You probably know Squarespace as a paid what-you-see-is-what-you-get website creator, which is the main focus of the product. But the company has been working on a few mobile apps as of late, and today two of them are available on Android. Well, they were available before, but now you can use them without having to go through the somewhat convoluted Google+ beta community system. Meet Squarespace Blog and Squarespace Note.
One of the earliest uses of mobile apps was to identify music on the go. I remember using Shazam on a flip phone many moons ago. The apps are more robust these days, but you still have to open them in time to catch the song. BASE Music Sensor says it can do better. It sits in the background and listens for music passively without wrecking your battery. Or so the developers claim.
In the seemingly never-ending saga of companies believing that, despite generating no real revenue, they're worth some multiple of an Instagram, Cyanogen Inc. is reportedly seeking additional funding on the basis of a $1 billion valuation. This apparently comes on the heels of talks with Google's Sundar Pichai, who expressed interest in acquiring Cyanogen, presumably to become part of Google's Android group.
Cyanogen has allegedly been using this offer as a form of leverage in negotiations for funding, which of course they have, because who wouldn't use that as a way to convince investors your not-profitable company is worth throwing large sums of money at?
Amazon finally acquiesced a few weeks ago and released an Instant Video streaming app for regular Android devices. Compatibility is a little limited, but at least it exists now. To encourage customers to use it, Amazon is offering 500 Amazon Coins to anyone who streams something using the app. Free money, yay!
There's this company over in the UK that's ready to sell Moto 360s to people on that side of the pond. O2 is its name. Anyone who heads over to the carrier's website will now see the smartwatch for sale at £199.99. It seems to only be available in black.
People who hit that buy now button should be rewarded with a product that ships on the next day. This comes after the device was previously available on the site only as a pre-order.
When Google first pulled the lever on Chromecast's screen casting, the functionality was limited to a select number of devices. Well, it still is, but the list is slowly growing, and we've noticed that the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact have made their presence known towards the bottom. This puts them in the same exclusive club as a number of Nexus, Galaxy, One, and G devices (boy is it awkward to say these names without the manufacturer attached).
You know those scary warnings that show up whenever you unlock the bootloader on a phone? "We can't be held responsible... blah blah... reduced functionality... blah... fiery death... blah blah blah." Sometimes they aren't kidding. Users who have unlocked the new Xperia Z3 Compact have found that low-light camera performance drops considerably. It turns out to be because of DRM in Sony's image signal processing.