Barnes & Noble and Samsung appear to be getting along pretty well, for the two companies have now unveiled their second joint tablet: the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1. Just like the previous Nook tablet, this is a Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 with some added software tweaks that place emphasis on reading and consuming content from Barnes & Noble. The tablet is available for a launch price of $299 (following a $50 instant rebate), which puts it right in line with the price of the non-Nook version of the slate.
When it comes to technology, all devices slow down over time. As things like RAM and storage get used, the OS has a harder time trudging through all the data compared to when the device was brand spankin' new out of the box. While Android does a great job of making the most of the hardware it's given, sometimes a little help is needed to give it that extra push. That could mean something simple like cleaning out cached files to open up more storage, deleting old text and picture messages, or just getting rid of applications that haven't been used recently.
Microsoft's employees have a lot of free time on their hands, what with taking forever between each update to their Windows Phone platform and other priority stalling operations. They like to use this free time in the Garage, developing apps for Android, just 'cause y'know, it's fun to imagine yourself working on cool projects for once. After Bing Torque, this Journeys & Notes app seems like a mash-up of some features from Foursquare, Field Trip, and The Traveler.
"OK Google, what is Microsoft Garage?" Well, Rita, it's an idea incubator for Microsoft employees who like to dabble with things non-Microsofty in their spare time, like Android for example. They have a crush on us, but they still can't completely deny their allegiance to the quad colors of Redmond so they indulge by mixing in some Bing bangy bongiddy features. "Ah, thanks Google. Can you give me an example?" Sure Rita, that Bing Torque app they just released, though if you ask me, they need a copy editor for their Play Store listing: "It is like to have Microsoft’s Cortana running on your smart watch." That was a direct quote and it is like to read a torturous story for me.
Reaching "Inbox zero" is not an easy task. Especially when there are those emails that might require future action, or those that hang in a nebulous state of still being useful despite the conversation having ended. It's also not very easy to parse out exactly what you need to get done after poring over a page of emails. To address both of these issues (and a few others), Google has been working on a project called Bigtop.
Google has promised standalone music playback over Bluetooth as part of Android Wear for some time, and it appears with Wear version 4.4W2 we're finally getting it, at least if you use Play Music (you're also getting new playback controls). If you're using the latest Play Music APK on your Android phone and have the Android 4.4W2 update on your smartwatch, you can now download your pinned music from your smartphone to your watch.
We spotted it in a teardown of the new material Play Music app this morning, but it looks like a new set of media controls in Android Wear are live - and here's exactly what they look like.
The new controls get a red-themed makeover and volume +/- buttons, plus a nifty kind of physical remote key animation. It's nice. For Play Music, these new controls require two things: the material version of Play Music (which contains an updated mini APK for Wear with these controls) and the 4.4W2 update to Wear, which is rolling out to some devices now, like the LG G Watch.
Google has slowly been adding replacement charging docks for the Android Wear devices to the Play Store. That's important in the case of watches like the Gear Live, which uses a special clip to charge the watch. It's less of an issue for the Qi-equipped Moto 360, but the official stand is in stock now anyway.
The listing for the dock appeared recently, but it wasn't available for purchase. That's changed now, and you can order it for $39.99.