Oh selfies, how I loathe thee. You democratized and bastardized descendants of the self-portrait, you brothers of the awkward meal photo, you poorly-angled posers, you absolute scourge of social media. But alas, I appear to be in the minority, at least if the increasing focus on this hated term is anything to go by. You can't blame the manufacturers for making "selfie cams" - they're just giving the people what they want.
It's been said that you can never be too young, too skinny, or too rich. A similar aphorism for smartphones might be, "they can never be too fast, too hi-res, or have too long a battery life." The user in search of longer untethered battery life has a few options including external packs or extended batteries for phones that support them. And today, Galaxy S5 owners get a new option in the form of Mophie's $99.95 Juice Pack.
T-Mobile doesn't have the most expansive network, so while it's doing its part to rapidly roll out LTE to many of the country's largest markets, it's also coming up with other ways to fill in the gaps where its connection is weak. Today the company made a series of Un-Carrier 7.0 announcements that all concern using Wi-Fi to make calls or send texts, even from 30,000 feet (texting and voicemail only).
The monthly Android version distribution numbers are up for September on the Android Developers site, and things appear to be moving just the way you'd expect.
Month over month, we saw a 2.2% decline in share for Gingerbread, a drop of 1% for Ice Cream Sandwich, 1.4% for Jelly Bean 4.1, and small gains of 0.9% and 0.1% for Jelly Bean 4.2 and 4.3, respectively. KitKat was this month's biggest mover, adding 3.6% to its share of the pie, bringing it to 24.5% of all Android devices active in the last week.
The Team Win Recovery Project remains one of the more popular custom recovery options for custom ROM enthusiasts, and now the group has updated the core software to version 2.8. Things don't look different on the outside, but underneath we find a ton of new features that only the kind of technical users this tool is aimed at could love.
With this release, TWRP now uses a C++ based MTP implementation so that users can transfer files to both emulated storage and microSD cards alike.
There was an interesting little tidbit buried in the legal filings related to NVIDIA's patent suit against Qualcomm, which was just announced last week. The issue surrounds various GPU technologies that NVIDIA says Qualcomm is using without a license. More interesting than all that legal mumbo-jumbo is what NVIDIA had to say about an upcoming Tegra K1 device—the HTC Nexus 9. Yes, they actually said it.
Humble Bundle is putting that new mobile tab to use with another mobile bundle. The Mobile Bundle 7 includes six total games right now, with more coming later. The selections are looking quite good this time.
The basic premise is the same as all the other Humble Bundles—decide how much you want to pay and it will be split between developers, charity, and Humble Bundle. If you pay above the average price, you unlock all six games.
Cricket Wireless might not be top of mind among US carriers, but it's starting to get aggressive as it goes after T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers. After introducing a $100 bill credit promotion last month, Cricket is now boosting data caps by up to 100% later this week. And what's better, existing customers get the increased caps too.
Update: This article stated that Republic previously offered unlimited domestic roaming - this is not correct. Republic previously offered 100MB of domestic roaming, and is dropping that to 25MB. Republic hasn't made this policy super clear in the past, so this information wasn't exactly easy to come by.
One of the more innovative low-cost MVNOs in the smartphone era has undoubtedly been Republic Wireless, a Sprint-powered carrier that offers extremely competitive pricing on the philosophy that, if people are given a good deal on wireless service, they will try to do whatever they can to keep that service afloat.