Security is a lot tighter in Washington than it used to be. You can't simply wander around the White House in real life, but the new 1600 app from the White House Historical Association lets you scope it out in augmented reality. All you need is a buck. No, it doesn't cost a dollar. You need a real dollar bill as an AR anchor. Read More
More than 2 years ago, SwiftKey decided to take its paid keyboard app and make it free. The alternate revenue stream proposed was a theme store for different keyboard looks where some of the options would be paid. That has been going on since then, but it changes today.
Now, all SwiftKey themes are free. Premium themes, paid packs, all 100+ of them. Free. Not a dime required. You can head over to the SwiftKey Store inside your app now to see that everything is marked as free and choose a few themes to download or just grab all the packs. Read More
There's a new version of Google Keep rolling out to Android devices, but it's not going to look very different unless you are looking in exactly the right spot. The screen for drawing notes is now equipped with the "Grab image text" function. Shifting gears slightly, a teardown also reveals some new drawing functions are going to be added to the same screen in a future update. As usual, there's a link at the bottom where you can download the latest version. Read More
The over-ear headphone market is a competitive place, with Bang and Olufsen (B&O), Bose, Plantronics, and Sony all vying to make the best cans money can buy. B&O's latest set, the Beoplay H9, are up for pre-order at Amazon with a shipping date of December 8.
The Amazon listing says the H9 are lightweight (although I wonder if that means they're lighter than the Bose's QC35, which are ridiculously light, as Rita said in her review) and, interestingly, has an intuitive aluminum touch panel, located on the right earcup. This allows changing music, volume, turning noise cancelling on or off, and answering or declining calls. Read More
Nokia has been through the wash a bit recently, with Microsoft buying its phone business and Chinese companies using the Nokia name to sell devices by. The Finnish company announced a return to the tablet market in May, and now it is announcing it will return to smartphones in 2017, along with manufacturing partner HMD Global.
A new section devoted to phones has appeared on Nokia's website - you'll see that the website is operated by 'HMD Global Oy,' which is now the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand. HMD Global is also Finnish, so the company remains in Finland, although it's not clear if the devices themselves will be manufactured in Finland. Read More
In 1961 a musical called How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying made light of the growing corporate culture in America. Half a century later, those same corporations are seen by many as a necessary evil, a soulless machine that runs on the lives of its employees. It's appropriate, then, that Human Resource Machine is more or less the opposite of How To Succeed in Business: instead of starting in the mailroom and becoming the CEO in a fun-filled week of singing and dancing, you play a literal human machine whose behavior is programmed like a computer, and who spends decades in service to a company that has nothing but contempt for you. Read More
Republic Wireless, the mobile virtual network operator that was doing hybrid Wi-Fi service before it was cool, is now an independent republic. The company received a $30 million capital investment from its parent corporation Bandwidth, according to The Verge, which allowed it to become its own separate entity. The Republic Wireless blog says that aside from a necessary change in names on customers' Terms of Service agreements, no significant changes to the service or business model are planned. Read More
It's been a few months since Android 7.0 hit the AOSP code repository, and this is about the time of year that owners of non-Nexus (non-Pixel, now) flagships start to ask why their upgrades are taking so long. Well if your flagship just happens to be the latest high-powered Sony smartphone, you're in luck. The Xperia X Performance is receiving its Nougat update starting today, according to XperiaBlog. For the record, that's just a little over three months of waiting for the upgrade - not bad by current Android standards. Read More
Steve Kondik has left a statement about the rather troubling news coming out of Cyanogen Inc. this week on the [private] official CyanogenMod developer Google+ community, and things aren't looking pretty. Read More
TWRP is an awesome tool for us Android enthusiasts; it allows users to make and restore backups, flash ROMs and other files, and is often the stepping stone to root access. Now, TWRP has become available for three smartphones and one Android TV device. Read More