Odds are pretty good that everyone in the US who really wants a Chromecast has been able to find one by now. But with a rock-bottom starting price and compatibility with a ton of third-party Android apps, not to mention the Chrome desktop browser and at least some iOS apps, it makes a great stocking stuffer for people who might not follow every facet of the technology world. If you agree, Amazon has a nice discount on Google's streaming stick at the moment.
If you're a developer who likes to tinker with Android apps and see what makes them tick, you've probably heard of Apktool. And if you've tried to do that with some of Google's recent apps, or any apps that have been updated with Lollipop support, you've probably discovered that the Java applet doesn't always work for them. Developer Connor Tumbleson just posted the third release candidate for Apktool, which should fix most of those problems.
The best thing you can do for Black Friday is nothing: those discounts aren't worth the indignity of getting clobbered by an octogenarian's purse while she hunts for a Frozen doll. But if you swing by this promotional page for Amazon's Appstore, you can pick up no less than 40 free apps and games, worth a combined $130 at full price. Amazon does these promotions on a regular basis. There's no reason not to get them all, but if you'd rather not clutter up your Amazon account, here are some notable picks:
- Bejeweled 2 ($3)
- Sonic Jump ($3)
- Perfectly Clear ($3)
- Angry Birds Seasons ($1)
- Photo Editor+ ($1)
- WiFi Explorer Pro ($1)
- Docs To Go Premium ($10)
- Quell Memento ($3)
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving ($5)
- Alarm Clock Pro ($2)
- Symphony of the Origin ($3)
- Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary ($24)
- EDGE Extended ($3)
Some of the apps are duplicates, like the Kindle Fire-only Angry Birds (the one above is fine for non-Fire devices).
Hey, Call of Duty fans: do you want to experience the fast-paced military shooter action, breathless multiplayer competition, and facepalm-worthy single-player campaigns of your favorite console franchise on your mobile device? Well too bad, here's Clash of Clans with some guns and tanks.
Call of Duty: Heroes is the standard base-building, tower defense/offense game that you've seen about a hundred times before, but this time it's got a thin veneer of the CoD franchise sprayed on top.
Consider devices like the HTC One, or any of Sony's recent Xperia flagships, or the Moto X with its wood and leather options. These are gadgets with decades of engineering inside of them, but which have nonetheless been painstakingly designed to look gorgeous on the outside. And nothing spoils that quite like a big honkin' FCC-required ID and safety label hiding on the metal finish. Manufacturers can try to make it blend into the phone's default color, or hide it behind a battery cover or on a bezel.
The Play Store usually gets accessories a few weeks (or more) behind the launch of any new devices. So it is with the Nexus 6: after showing up as "coming soon" about three weeks ago in the US store, the Stand Folio Case is now available for purchase, and should ship within two business days. The case can be yours for a hefty forty bucks, but it's made by the generally reliable Case-Mate, not some no-name accessory mill.
Lollipop users, you can now download the popular SuperSU tool from the Play Store. Not that you couldn't before, but version 2.35 is particularly notable: it works with a lot more of the usual root apps, after both SuperSU and the apps that use it were having trouble on Android 5.0. You can flash 2.35 via the usual ZIP in TWRP (and probably other custom recoveries), with updates coming via the Play Store after that.
SHIELD Tablet LTE owners in the US who are ready to kick off the holiday weekend have a little something extra to be thankful for this year - their version of NVIDIA's eight-inch tablet is getting Lollipop as of now.
The Wi-Fi version of the tablet started getting the update a little over a week ago, and it was announced at that time that NVIDIA was waiting on carrier approval (probably AT&T) before Android 5.0 could be pushed to the LTE model.
People regularly rely on Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to hide their activities from nosy governments, circumvent geographically restricted and region-locked services, and increase security on untrusted Wi-Fi networks. But the big problem with piping your communications through a secure digital tunnel is that it's an all-or-nothing deal – web browsing, IM chats, and email are all going over the wire to the same place. That can become a really serious issue for people that use an employer's VPN for work.
The stores are about to be packed, and those flash online sales are not much better. Apps sales, on the other hand, are not limited in quantity. There's always enough to go around. But the longer you wait, the less time you can spend playing games—get going. We'll keep loading this post up with deals as we come across them.