The big news in the wireless business this week has been AT&T's upcoming purchase of Leap Wireless, which the FCC approved yesterday. The deal has been in the works since July of last year. That leaves AT&T in an interesting spot, since it now owns the CDMA-based Cricket Wireless, which directly competes with the budget-focused Aio sub-brand. Apparently AT&T prefers the more established brand, because the company said it will combine the assets of both under the "Cricket" name.
Here at Android Police, we like to keep things fair and balanced. So when a major news network puts effort into a mobile app, you can expect a shout out from us. Yesterday Al Jazeera America rolled out a new and attractive dedicated app, and as it turns out, Fox News had also recently pushed a complete redesign to its own.
Aspiring remote pilots, one of the most popular remote control drones is on sale with a whopping discount over at Woot. The Parrot AR Drone 2.0, controllable from just about any Android phone or tablet via the free pilot app, is just $169.99 on Woot.com's daily sale. That's a full $130 off the Amazon price for the same model, though this version is refurbished (or "factory reconditioned" as the Woot description puts it.)
The AR Drone is a quadcopter that's surprisingly fast, maneuverable, and easy-to-fly with the simple remote control app.
Google's begun rolling out an update to the Maps app on Android today, bringing it to version 7.7. While not much seems to have changed, a full 0.X release typically denotes at least some kind of new feature or significant alteration, though thus far we've really only seen one.
For the moment, all we're noticing in the new version of Maps are the "Upcoming events" listings populating some place listings.
One more app that took part in Update Wednesday yesterday is the official Chromecast app, which helps users set up their new Chromecasts to work with their phone or tablet. The app got bumped from 1.3.10 to 1.5.3 and while Google has published its own short change log, we of course couldn't resist doing a quick teardown to see if there were any other goodies. First though, here's what Google says is new.
The Galaxy S5 is coming to store shelves in April, and it's bringing with it a new version of TouchWiz along with a full suite of Samsung apps. These aren't typically the pieces of software Android enthusiasts foam at the mouth to get, but with all the bajillions of devices Samsung pushes each year, we know there are many of you who get a kick out of some of them.
After launching the Moto X at $299 late last year, Republic Wireless is moving on to Motorola's other current handset. The Moto G will be available without contract for $149 sometime in April and voice plans on Republic Wireless start at just $5 per month.
When the Moto X launched on Republic it still cost over $500 from Motorola. Thus, it was a pretty big deal to sell it for just $299.
If you've been watching your tech news feed regularly over the past day or so, you've probably come across at least one story making the rounds about a "backdoor" vulnerability in some newer Samsung phones. The original report, published by the Free Software Foundation and written by Paul Kocialkowski, a developer of Replicant, does all but directly accuse Samsung of planting a method of securing remote access to users' devices. A quick read over of the piece makes it rather obvious that the author has a rather significant bone to pick with any and all proprietary software:
Chromecast support came a little early to the Plex app, but it also came with a catch – only premium PlexPass subscribers could use it. That was only a temporary situation, as the developers added features and improved the feature. Now the preview period is over and everyone can enjoy Plex's excellent content streaming with Chromecast support without a subscription.