Whenever a paid app or game goes free on the Play Store, it's for one of three reasons: a) the developer is being super generous, b) the developer has abandoned it, or c) the developer decided to use another monetization model. It is almost never the first case, though. The second one is just friendly behavior that we like seeing, despite it giving us grief over the death of another app/game. But it's incredibly annoying when it's the third scenario.
Carmageddon, unfortunately, seems to fall in that category. The game, which normally cost $1.99 for the ad-free version (another Carma (free) version used to pop up every now and then) is now free. Read More
Lately I've been looking at security cameras for homes and small businesses. Among the different options, Blink makes a very compelling proposal. Forget about wires and always-on connectivity, forget about monthly plans and limited server storage, the system works wire-free, hassle-free, and well, completely free after the hardware purchase. You just need to put in 2 AA batteries and they'll last up to 2 years, getting triggered only when motion is detected and uploading 5-10sec clips to the cloud.
The one problem with Blink though? Until today, it didn't integrate with any other smart home product. That summarizes most of the complaints on its online reviews: users say that you have to manually arm/disarm each camera separately in the app. Read More
As expected, both the 5-inch Pixel and the 5.5-inch Pixel XL are compatible out of the box with Project Fi, Google's MVNO (it would be news if they weren't). Google also announced just over a dozen of other international partners around the world. Read More
There are a lot of benefits to being an Amazon Prime subscriber, other than the obvious free 2-day shipping. Beside Prime Video, Prime Music, and Prime Photos, the yearly plan caters to readers too by offering Audible Channels and a selection of free Audiobooks, Kindle First for a chance to buy an upcoming book before its official release, and Kindle Owners' Lending Library which is limited to one book a month and only works on Kindle and Fire hardware.
However, those benefits were still poor compared to the full Prime Video and Music access, and they didn't hold a candle to the separate Kindle Unlimited plan that offers access to hundreds of thousands of titles and Audiobooks. Read More
Microsoft Garage's teams are bolstering with new ideas and different takes on existing ones. Every couple of weeks, sometimes even days, there's a new project being released under the Garage umbrella, and today marks the arrival of one of these: Trip Tracker.
It is built by the same team that brought us Arrow Launcher and Next Lock Screen, and uses a similar idea of contextual location. The app is a bit of a demo for the LOOP SDK (Location and Observation Platform), which is a Microsoft platform for Android and iOS that can grab location in a battery-efficient way. Trip Tracker leverages LOOP to gather data about your whereabouts and presents it to you in an easily digestible way. Read More
News apps are all the rage at the moment - just a few days ago we reported on News Pro from Microsoft, and Flipboard just topped 500 million downloads on the Play Store. Yahoo's been quite big on the news before, so today it's launching an update to Yahoo Newsroom to introduce some new features that curate the news to what you want to read.
The key new thing here is "Vibes." As you select what news interests you, the app will learn over time and better surface content that is more likely to get read. Let's face it: most of us, when reading the news, skip past most stuff and click on anything interesting. Read More
The Pixels were announced today, and there's no other way to put it - they're pretty expensive. The line starts at $649.99 for the smaller, 32GB Pixel and maxes out at $869.99 for the 128GB XL. That's iPhone-esque pricing (the devices literally cost exactly the same as comparable iPhone 7s do). However, if you're a Verizon customer, you have an option to ease the pain; Best Buy is offering customers who pre-order and activate the Pixel and Pixel XL a $100 gift card and a free Chromecast. Read More
If you're a tech enthusiast (hint: you probably are if you're reading this site), I can personally guarantee that you either love HBO's Silicon Valley already or will love it when you watch it. Evidently, the peeps at Google had the same thought as me, given that they worked together with two of the show's actors to produce this little short that they played at the start of the event. Read More
The Pixel and Pixel XL are seriously expensive phones, aiming directly at the iPhone and Galaxy devices at the top of the market. To help set them apart, Google announced that it would offer live support for owners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It comes in call or chat form, and users can even share their screen with support agents in real time. Amazon has tried something similar, and just like the Fire tablets, this is pretty clearly intended to help out non-technical users. The feature was leaked back in the summer. Read More