OnePlus started talking a big game before its first phone even came out. The company's attitude can be irksome, but the OnePlus One turned out to be very good thanks to a combination of high-end internals and highly customizable Cyanogen software. Plenty of people still use this phone, but the OnePlus 2 does not seem to have the same dedicated fan base. It omitted several features like NFC and quick charge technology. Now, the third flagship phone from OnePlus is out, and you don't even need to beg for an invite to buy it. Is this the true successor to the OnePlus One? Let's dig in. Read More
Jim Wicks, head of design at Motorola Mobility for the past twelve years (that's serious dedication in the tech biz), has left the company according to Crain's Chicago Business. Wicks' official title - Senior Vice President of Consumer Experience Design - makes it seem clear he likely had substantial roles in approving things like Moto Maker, an initiative that provided Motorola customers an unprecedented level of control over the personalization of the physical look and feel of their smartphones.
According to Crain's, Wicks will be replaced by a long-time Motorola designer who also ran Lenovo's MBG (Mobile Business Group) Design Studio, Ruben Castano. Read More
A few small tweaks to the YouTube player UI for Android have caused a few issues of late - digital issues. And by digital, I mean digits, as in fingers. In summary: it's hard to touch stuff right.
You see, the YouTube app for Android has been experimenting with this new player UI for some time now, but as it rolls out to more and more users, some issues are cropping up. Specifically? Well, for one, the progress bar is now a little too responsive given the placement of the "full-screen" button in the portrait UI. The newer YouTube UI places the "full-screen" button directly above the progress bar for the video, whereas previously this button sat to the right of the bar, as below. Read More
VLC is one of those apps that takes beta testing seriously. The developers have been testing a big revision (1.9.x) for ages, and now it's finally rolling out on Android as v2.0. This update finally embraces the LAN part of VideoLAN Client with proper network browsing, and that's only the start. Read More
There was some stiff competition for alternative launchers in the early days of Android, but now thanks to tireless dedication and improvement from the developer, the excellent Nova Launcher stands at the top of the pile. Nova has been one of our favorite apps since it debuted way back in the Ice Cream Sandwich days, and while it's quite serviceable as a free app, the $4.99 upgrade to the Prime version is worth every penny. Luckily, you won't actually have to pay every penny today: it's on sale for 99 cents. Read More
Sony announced on the official US PlayStation blog this morning that its Vue live TV and video streaming service will launch on Android next week (the week of June 26th). The Vue app will work with Android smartphones and tablets with Android 4.4 or higher, and the app will support Casting - hallelujah.
PlayStation Vue essentially aims to be a "cable replacement" service of sorts, offering cable, premium, and specialty channels at a variety of pricing packages ranging from $29.99 up to $54.99 per month. PlayStation Vue also offers a number of a la carte channels. And now, with an incoming Android app, you'll be able to Vue anywhere - including on TVs without PlayStations (and with Cast). Read More
After five years, ADW Launcher has returned with a version 2.0. It looks pretty sweet, and there's an in-app unlock for the premium version that disables ads and tosses you a few new features, and by a few, I mean a ton. Including no ads. Here are all of said features. Read More
Logitech announced today that its UE Boom 2 and Megaboom speakers are being updated to add support for Google Now voice interactions. To use it, just press the Bluetooth button, and I'll let Engadget's explainer take away the rest:
Just do a quick press of the small Bluetooth button on the top of the speaker and wait to hear the audible prompt, which is the same as when you say "OK Google" or press the microphone icon for voice control on your phone. Both the Bluetooth button and the power button will flash during this interaction. If you're playing music while dropping into voice control functionality, it will pause and listen for your inquiry.
Developer Mika Mobile has a long and complicated history with Android. It very publicly dropped support for the platform back in 2012 before slinking back in 2014 with Battleheart Legacy. It launched a new game last week, and now there are two more listings from Mika Mobile—one new and one back from the dead. Yes, Zombieville USA 1 and 2 are on Android. Read More
The internet is a dangerous place with all sorts of shady people out to get your personal data. One of the best ways to keep your accounts secure is with 2-step verification (AKA 2-factor auth). Google has long supported that feature, but typing in those codes every time you log in can be annoying. Starting today, you can approve account logins from a prompt on your authorized mobile device. Read More