Root users get all the fun. Case in point: there's a debug menu built into the Play Store APK, and only those with access to root can sneak a look at it. This isn't exactly a secret - the debug menu has been there for quite a while - but one of our readers brought an easy method for displaying it to our attention. You'll need root, the flexible Xposed Installer, and the "All Apps In Play Store" Xposed module.
If you've got a friend or family member who works for Motorola Mobility, you might want to bug them for a free discount on a new phone. A Motorola representative detailed the "Friends with Moto" program to Android Police: basically, it allows any Motorola employee to offer a $50 off coupon on the Moto X, $40 off the 16GB Moto G, or $30 off the 8GB Moto G. bringing the basic off-contract prices down to $350, $160, and $150, respectively.
Samsung is slowly but surely sending its Android 4.4.2 update out to more and more regions and variants of the Galaxy Note 3. This morning SamMobile reports that both the LTE Snapdragon (SM-N9005) and the 3G Exynos (SM-N900) versions of the Note 3 are being updated over-the-air on networks in India, South Korea, and Switzerland. As usual, the rollout is staged, but users in these countries can try a manual update check via the Settings menu.
The Android custom ROM community is a relatively small one, but it's about to be shaken up in a big way. Roman Birg, founder and leader of the Android Open Kang Project (better known as AOKP), has been hired by Cyanogen Inc., the company that's now formally developing and promoting the CyanogenMod ROM. The move has been confirmed on AOKP's homepage.
AOKP founder Roman Birg, via Google+
Birg hasn't said what he'll be doing for Cyanogen Inc., though the company has been advertising job openings for software engineers.
Do you want a phone that looks like a banana and sounds like a piece of home exercise equipment? Then you want to head on over to AT&T's website, where the LG G Flex just went up for pre-order. Three hundred greenbacks will get you the new phone on contract, while you'll need a whopping $694.99 to buy it outright or spread the cost over an interest-free Next plan. The phone will ship out for pre-orders on Tuesday, February 4th.
To celebrate the beginning of the pro cycling season (starting with the Tour Down Under in Australia) Recon, maker of HUD devices for athletes, is offering $100 off any of its HUD offerings.
Readers may remember Recon for Jet, the heads-up glasses that run Jelly Bean and compete against the still nascent Google Glass for the hearts and minds of athletes. The glasses debuted last Spring, with "Pilot Edition" units going up for pre-order last June.
HP sold off most of webOS to LG last year, but it was still sitting on a lot of the patents it got when buying the company back in 2010. Qualcomm has announced today that it was happy to take those patents off HP's hands, along with some other choice bits of IP.
In addition to the Palm patents, Qualcomm is getting IP covering HP's now defunct IPAQ devices and Bitfone mobile software (from an acquisition back in 2006).
The warriors of LEGO's Ninjago franchise aren't your old-school ninjas of feudal Japan. These heroes are bold enough to draw their blades in a more modern time, one filled with futuristic corridors, glowing elevator shafts, and dangerous lasers. Yet unlike Tecmo's Ryu Hayabusa, these ninjas don't square off against armed gunmen. They're out to rid Ninjago City of the possessed-scientist Cyrus Borg and his army of minions. Of course, the only way to do this in Ninjago Rebooted is by racing to the top of Borg Tower.
Motorola has been taking advantage of the Play Store to distribute updates to a number of stock apps including the camera, Assist, and Touchless Control. Now the newest addition to the Play Store has popped up, and it's the stock Gallery app with a new coat of paint. The old one looked just like the stock Android/Nexus app, but now it has a light KitKat vibe.