The devices you buy from US mobile carriers are almost always locked to a single network, and unlocking them has been a legal gray area for the last few years. Now Congress is finally taking action to remedy that. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act has been passed by the Senate, matching a House bill passed in February. As you can imagine, consumer rights groups are pretty jazzed.
The Galaxy Tab S, in either its 8.4 or 10.5 form, is one of the best Android tablets you could buy right now. Heck, we might even be so bold as to call it the best. Many of you will surely pick one up, and among you, more than a couple will want to wipe TouchWiz off to replace it with something less crowded. To do that, you're going to need a custom recovery, and the TeamWin folks have just the tool.
DoubleTwist's unique Android music app has been able to stream audio to Apple's AirPlay standard for some time, and to Qualcomm's competing AllPlay WiFi speakers since May. But for some reason, the company's Pandora-style streaming music service Magic Radio wasn't included. They have now corrected this oversight, and the latest version of the DoubleTwist app on the Play Store can now stream Magic Radio to AirPlay or AllPlay devices. You'll need the $8.99 upgrade to access streaming.
The Tastemade community caters both to users who like watching videos of other people's food and those who enjoy taking pictures of their own. The network, which spreads across various social media sites and an iOS app, encourages users to share their thoughts, expertise, and food experiences with others. Now Android users are free to hit up Google Play and take part in the festivities as well, assuming that they have a Samsung device.
There are uncountable multitudes of weather apps in the Play Store, which makes Earth Networks' latest move all the more perplexing. The company has removed its popular WeatherBug Elite app from the Play Store, much to the chagrin of paying users. We reached out to Earth Networks looking for specifics about the removal, and have learned that there will only be a single WeatherBug app going forward, and it will offer an ad-free experience in the form of an annual subscription.
Sony has announced an impending software update for the Xperia T2 Ultra and the T2 Ultra Dual that will deliver Android 4.4 to both devices. The update contains the changes introduced by KitKat, but it also tosses in a number of Sony-exclusive touches.
Sony's designers have tweaked the status bar and quick settings to make them easier on the eyes, and they've tossed in new animations at launch and on the homescreen that may look familiar to PlayStation 4 owners.
You almost have to respect the developers of Game of Thrones Ascent, a free-to-play role playing game based on HBO's uber-popular dark fantasy series. It takes real guts to make a text-based game these days, especially one that's clearly aiming for a wide audience. And despite the pretty backgrounds and sweeping music, that's what Ascent is: a text-based adventure game, set in the unforgiving and ruthless lands of Westeros. It's a free download in the Play Store.
American readers might not know this, but HTC just loves the Desire brand name. It's been around since 2010, when the original launched as a slightly modified version of the Nexus One. Since then it's gone through many permutations, like the keyboard-equipped Desire Z (the G2 in the US) and got at One X-style makeover with the Desire X. The 601 brought the family up to the HTC One M7's industrial design, meaning the name has survived two of HTC's complete hardware overhauls.
Lately, Google has been making big strides to bring the web iteration of its Play Store more in line with the Android app. The ability to report an inappropriate or malicious app seems like a no-brainer when you're running an app market. Though you've always been able to do this via the Play Store's Android app, you have never been able to do so via the web interface. A little while back, it appears that Google snuck this in without telling anyone, though the process is still more convoluted than it, perhaps, should be.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A separate roundup for Android Wear apps, Wear-enabled apps, and watch faces is coming soon.