Attention parents! Google has some free music on Google Play today to make your next family road trip a pleasure for your children and torture for you. Play: Music, by The Rainbow Collections, is currently free. This timeless collection of wonderful(ly annoying) children's music contains classics such as 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', 'Row Your Boat', and 'Old MacDonald'.
As much as I have tried to educate my two boys that eighties rock is far better road trip music material, they still prefer this dreadful stuff. Read More
There are fewer accessory purchases I have appreciated more than my portable USB charger. This one, with a truly massive capacity, is a mere $13.99 after applying its coupon on Amazon. It checks all the boxes you'd look for in an external battery of its kind, with support for speedy 2A charging output in one port and another available for simultaneous charging at conventional speeds. There is an indicator to let you know how much charge it has left, which is handier than you would think. Read More
In a public presentation, Samsung has discussed some of the technical-oriented plans they have for the next few years. These can be summed up as all in the service of reducing the size of components and making them more efficient. Concrete goals include making batteries smaller but also more energy-dense, reducing charge time, and slimming down camera sensors.
According to their talk, their batteries now have a density of 700Wh/l (Watt-hour per liter). Read More
The time has almost arrived when you can drop some cash on LG's new flagship. T-Mobile and US Cellular have both announced pre-sale dates this week, but the phone won't be available until next week. Read More
Opera Max debuted on Android way back in December of 2013. Today it gets a major update - major enough, at least, that Opera thinks it's worth putting into a completely new app listing. Here's the original Opera Max, and here's the new "global" version (from the file name). The biggest visual change is a spiffy new interface with a bunch of Material Design elements. And that's nice, but what's really interesting is the ability to select specific settings for Wi-Fi or mobile (3G and LTE) connections.
Opera Max isn't a browser, it's an app that allows users to apply Opera's VPN and data compression technology to all of the non-encrypted data sent or received by an Android device. Read More
With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google introduced Roboto to the world. Since then, the family (designed by Googler Christian Robertson) has expanded to include a set of slab serif fonts, and has even seen a major revision introduced with Android 5.0 last year.
Today, Google has announced the next step in Roboto's history - making the entire family open source, and reorganizing its production toolchain around open source tools like ufo2fdk and FontTools.
According to Google, the effort to open source Roboto succeeded thanks to collaboration between material design, internationalization engineering, Google fonts, and Android teams.
For reference, the family now includes more than 40,000 total glyphs which span all Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek characters, making Roboto an immensely informative family to study. Read More
The Nexus 6 was a break from the past for the Nexus program with its high price tag and massive size, but it was probably an emergency replacement after the collapse of Android Silver. We've been wondering if Google would recommit to the Nexus program, and it's sounding like yes—in a big way. We've gotten some details on two alleged Nexus phones for 2015, but there are currently no plans for a tablet. Read More
Fancy a bit of customization for your Android version of Minecraft? You'll soon be accommodated by developer Mojang. According to this blog post, the Pocket Edition of the game will get a significant update later this week, with player skins being the biggest addition. If you've played the PC or console version of Minecraft, you know that custom skins for player avatars have become a big part of the game's community aspect.
At least a few free skins will be available, and Mojang will sell more as in-app purchases, with packs of around 20 skins costing one US dollar. But that's not the only way to access the feature. Read More
Microsoft said today in a blog post that they have added 20 new partners to their roster of those who will ship their software on Android tablets. This comes on the heels of the relatively recent stable release of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for tablets running KitKat or newer. Just earlier this year, Microsoft reached a similar agreement with Samsung, Dell, and several other less-known OEMs. Today's headliners are Sony and LG, but many more are included.
First of all, here's the full list of new partners that will be shipping Android tablets with Microsoft apps and services along with the regions they'll be operating in. Read More