Update: As has been brought to our attention, there are other apps that do this, like Screen Filter and Lux.
When you're scrolling through a feed reader or Reddit in the wee hours of the morning on an Android phone or tablet, sometimes even the lowest of brightness settings can seem a bit too luminous.
Now, there's an app that, quite simply, allows you to plumb the depths of darkness that you had only dreamed of before. It's called Brightness (catchy, eh?). The paid version of the app will allow you to reach into what the developer calls "negative" brightness levels, though it's not using any crazy OS-level tweaks to do it.
Carrying your mobile devices around with you is kind of what they're for, but that might mean venturing far from a power outlet. If you run out of juice, then what? Disaster. You'd probably end up devoured by wolves, or something. Lucky for you there are some killer deals on Powerbag messenger bags today.
Update: Looks like the Vau.lt deal is sold out, folks.
What's that? You've never heard of the Pantech Flex? Don't sweat it – it's just a little AT&T freebie sporting various mid-range specs. But today, it becomes something more. Something better. Something Jelly Bean-ier. The handset is currently receiving its version bump to Android 4.1.2, which of course brings all sorts of goodies to the table.
According to AT&T's blog post, Flex owners should get a text message when the update is available on their handset. To pull the update, simply follow the on-screen instructions to pull it down and install. Have fun!
If you haven't played Gangstar Rio, it's basically Gameloft's attempt to recreate a popular existing franchise. That describes about 95% of Gameloft's app library (I'll stop teasing them when they start having ideas of their own), but in this case, it's a riff on Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, and the rest of the open-world crime genre. The sequel, Gangstar Vegas, was just published in the Play Store. Seven bucks gets you a bigger, better crime simulator, assuming your device is compatible and you've got a whopping 2.5GB of free space.
As the title implies, the new game moves the crime-driven story to Las Vegas, or at least simulacrum of the entertainment capital of the world.
It's not just the high-end Galaxy S4 that deserves to have it's kernel source plastered all over the internet. Budget handsets might as well get the same treatment. To that end, Samsung has posted the code for its Galaxy Ace 3 Duos and Galaxy Amp.
The old maxim "change or die" would seem to apply to apps and services left in the wake of Google Reader's upcoming shutdown. Popular RSS client GoodNews is exiting the Play Store, stage right, once Google Reader shuffles off the mortal coil on July 1st. The developer updated the Play Store description and the app's website with the news. Since Google Reader will not be functioning at all, this isn't your normal end-of-life app situation - development will cease, the GoodNews listing will disappear, the fat lady will sing.
But if you'll pardon the pun, there's good news coming out of the popular reader's demise.
Twitter is an awesome social discovery tool, but its implementation is fairly static. Even whiz-bang Twitter clients like the unfortunate Falcon Pro still present tweets in ye olde vertical column layout. Twheel (stylized "twheel") aims to bring a more innovative approach to Twitter. Tweets are presented in a wheel (natch) with 30 visible at any given time. Color-coordinated tags and bars let you see which ones are getting the most attention on Twitter, and sliding your finger around lets you highlight individual tweets to read them at the top of the screen.
Navigating through your stream's history is a bit odd.
NEC's first entry into the American Android market isn't exactly auspicious, but it does fill a much-neglected niche. AT&T is now offering the NEC Terrain for sale, right on time and online only. $99.99 on contract gets you the QWERY candybar phone with a miniscule 3.1" screen, or you can shell out $429.99 to own it outright. Considering its ruggedized, semi-waterproof build, that's not such a bad deal... but you will have to live with Ice Cream Sandwich, a year after Jelly Bean 4.1 was released. Ouch.
That small screen hides some pretty respectable specifications: the NEC Terrain is powered by a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5Ghz, with a full gig of RAM to back it up.
If you haven't heard of Aio Wireless, here's the skinny: it's a new AT&T prepaid carrier (think of it as an MVNO), and it actually offers some pretty enticing features. Initially, we expected that Aio wouldn't offer LTE service since that would be reserved for a "premium" AT&T experience, but it looks like that plan has been changed – Aio just announced that it is activating LTE coverage for its current userbase (which is currently limited to a few areas in Texas and Florida). An OTA is on its way to current Aio handset as I type this that will enable high-speed mobile access on compatible handsets.