21
Oct
flashdrive

Every smartphone out there might not be able to use a microSD card, but it can take advantage of a full-sized flash drive. Hey, hear me out here. I'm well aware that Android phones don't come with big USB ports, but SanDisk has produced a flash drive that your phone or tablet can access wirelessly. While they're not a perfect solution to the problem of limited storage, they're one of the best options out there.

21
Oct
a

Nova Launcher continues to let you emulate the Google Now Launcher while enjoying a plethora of customizations options. The newest version brings Lollipop animations and icons, along with a few tweaks to the existing functionality.

2014-10-21 19.25.26 2014-10-21 19.22.30

21
Oct
wm_DSC05505

The G Watch R is the first truly circular smartwatch, and it's also the first to ship with quite so many watchface options - 18 in all. Here's every one, in both active (as in, the display is turned on and ready for interaction) and always-on (passive sleep) modes.

wm_DSC05474 wm_DSC05475 wm_DSC05476 wm_DSC05477

Left: Castle white, right: Red

21
Oct
Xbox

When it comes to pushing pixels and providing deeply immersive experiences, consoles have a leg up over Android devices. But this doesn't mean that phones or tablets don't have a role to play in couch-based gaming. Xbox One SmartGlass users can turn to the Android app as a way to manage their Xbox account and interact with others without having to back out of their game.

An update has rolled out to the SmartGlass app, which is still in beta, that gives users a place to highlight their best game clips, show off their achievements, or share their location.

21
Oct
HuaweiMate2-Thumb

I know there are more than a few American readers who took a chance on this post, clicking on the headline even though they know the presence of Huawei's name likely means that everything they're about to read won't apply to them. The Ascend Mate 2 is one device that runs counter to this expectation. Huawei sells the phone directly to consumers online, including folks who live in the US.

21
Oct
nexus2cee_2014-10-15-11_18_07-Android-5.0-Lollipop_thumb

Google has used the CRT-style screen-off animation since Gingerbread. That animation is gone in Lollipop, replaced with a gentle fade out. Frankly, I'm surprised the CRT stuck around this long. However, the new animation isn't just a fade to black. It actually fades to black and white—observe.

normal slow

Left: normal speed, Right: slowed by 5 times

21
Oct
HTCOneM8-Thumb

T-Mobile is currently pushing out an over-the-air update to its version of HTC's flagship phone that bumps the software up to Android 4.4.4. Interestingly enough, getting the latest version of KitKat isn't the highlight of this release. This OTA also comes with the suite of features bundled together as the HTC Eye Experience, which the manufacturer detailed in a selfie-themed event where it unveiled the Desire EYE.

The Eye Experience, which we've previously detailed more in-depth, introduces numerous features that range from useful to just plain gimmicky.

21
Oct
ic_launcher_play_music

Update: Well, that didn't take long. We've already received the APK for the update (Google Play Music version 5.7.1717Q.1530520). The download is at the end of the post.

2014-10-21 16.48.44 2014-10-21 16.48.51 2014-10-21 16.52.56

Transparency! Contrast! Colors! Freakin' circles, man!

2014-10-21 16.48.21 2014-10-21 16.48.29 2014-10-21 16.48.36

One of the new curated Songza-style playlists is "Coding Your Face Off." Nice.

2014-10-21 16.49.26 2014-10-21 16.49.38 2014-10-21 16.51.19

--

Remember when Google purchased Songza, the company, service, and app that was hitherto a minor player in the streaming music marketplace?

21
Oct
JuiceSSH-Thumb

JuiceSSH has hit the big 2.0, and to celebrate this occasion, developer Sonelli packed in a few extra changes and perks to get this party pumpin' (okay, that's probably not exactly the way the developmental process progressed, but this version of events just sounds juicier). This release brings in a vibrant UI redesign, one that gives terminal users transparent system bars. Folks can switch the color of this new layout by changing the theme, which they no longer need to be a pro user to do.

21
Oct
wm_DSC05471

Yesterday, I had an opportunity to meet with Oculus VR at one of the company's numerous offices in Irvine, CA to discuss the company's partnership with Samsung on a piece of hardware you're likely aware of by now: Gear VR Innovator Edition.

Gear VR is, for all intents and purposes, the first consumer product to ever bear the Oculus name. The company's various developer kits have never been marketed to consumers (even if some consumers do buy them), and even this new Samsung gizmo isn't going to be heavily distributed or broadly-targeted.

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