01
Jul
Hangouts-Logo

Google began its transition to Hangouts as a universal messaging platform a little over a year ago, but true SMS integration didn't arrive until much more recently. To encourage use of Hangouts, the company offered forwarding of Hangouts messages via SMS in select countries, but now that's going away as of tomorrow.

hangouts

01
Jul
GalaxyKZoom-Thumb

Most of us have adjusted rather well to taking pictures on our phones, but there's a subset of the market out there that would much rather talk on their cameras. Samsung, as the one smartphone manufacturer willing to build just about anything, wants to help these people out. The Galaxy K Zoom is a point-and-shoot camera that's been smashed into the back of a lower-spec Galaxy S5, and it's currently going for $450 unlocked on eBay Daily Deals.

01
Jul
tw

Telltale games must have some sort of agreement with Amazon, seeing as all of its games show up in the Appstore before coming to Google play. Such is the case with The Wolf Among Us, an episodic point-and-click adventure based on the famed Bill Willingham "Fables" comic book series. It actually arrived on Amazon a few weeks ago with little fanfare, but it probably deserves some.

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01
Jul
Witcher-Thumb

Developer CD Projekt Red has something impressive in the works for fans of The Witcher in need of a mobile fix. Its upcoming game, The Witcher Battle Arena, is a multiplayer experience akin to DotA and League of Legends, but set in the rich medieval universe made popular by the PC/console video game series that's been around since 2007 (themselves based on a series of books). The game was demoed at this year's E3, and it looks awesome.

01
Jul
unnamed (2)

Update: Reader Michael Hungerford noticed that the support page in question was modified some time after this post was published, removing all mention of the "former" name and any indication of a change. Whether or not this means that the change is upcoming, or that the decision has been revoked, or that indeed it was a mistake in the first place, we really can't say.

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Are you ready to read the most exciting Android news story of this Tuesday morning?

01
Jul
router

Android's upcoming L release, currently available in developer preview form, has a lot of improvements to its networking and Wi-Fi capability. One of the smaller additions that will nonetheless make a few people very, very happy is the user-facing reporting of Wi-Fi frequencies. Translation: you can finally see whether the Wi-Fi network you're connected to is using the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band.

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Left, center: separate network frequencies in Android L (note the SSID).

01
Jul
unnamed (1)

What happens when you turn a classic game like Tetris on its head? Usually you get a broken game, but in the case of Flash favorite 99 Bricks, you get a game that successfully mixes old-school elements with physics and planning to make something new. The mobile re-release adds a bit of story featuring wizards and magic on top of the Jenga-style premise, like nuts and chocolate on a surprisingly precarious physics-based sundae.

01
Jul
android_hotspot

If it's not already completely obvious, the L Developer Preview is shaping up to be an absolutely massive sea change for Android. While we've been treated to an entirely new design language called Material, a redesigned Recents screen, huge performance improvements, and over 5000 other new APIs and features for developers, it's easy to overlook plenty of exciting improvements that aren't quite as flashy. One such change was briefly mentioned by Dan Sandler during the "What's new in Android" session: Multi-Networking, the capability to maintain multiple network connections simultaneously.

01
Jul
padfone 2

The last time that the Padfone 2 got a major version update was way back in December 2012, for Jelly Bean 4.1. Yeah, you read that right. Today ASUS is updating its second phone-tablet-combo-thingy all the way to KitKat, a move that will surely please at least some of the users who haven't upgraded to one of the newer models. Are you ready for some sketchy ASUS English translations? Of course you are.

01
Jul
SM-G800H_GS5 mini_Black_11

Okay, you've heard the jokes: "mini" phones are, at this point, considerably larger than the "big" high-end phones of previous years. So let's just assume that whenever Samsung employs the word "mini" in the name of a device, it means "looks kinda like the other one, but cheaper." Such is the case with the Galaxy S5 Mini, the third mini phone to spring off of Sammy's flagship line.

SM-G800H_GS5 mini_Black_1

The S5 Mini's screen is 4.5 inches large with a resolution of 720p.

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