Alibaba runs a global e-commerce site that is one of the most visited in the world. Now it wants to get into the smartphone business. If this idea sounds funny, remember, Amazon has been trying to do the same thing.
But Alibaba is taking a different approach. Rather than come out with its own brand, it's reportedly purchasing a $590 million stake of the existing China-based smartphone maker Meizu. According to Reuters, this is a minority stake in the company, not enough to give Alibaba control. Read More
Sling TV, a new hardware-free, online-only television service from the people behind Dish Network, is the most exciting thing to happen to IPTV in years. It's a $20-per-month alternative to cable and satellite that you access via the web, or more probably, apps on your mobile device or set-top I box. Read More
Hacker News, I've been told, is where cool programmers and entrepreneurs go hang out if they enjoy a slightly more elitist crowd than Reddit. And by its mere target demography, Hacker News was bound to have many developers rushing to make a native Android application to peruse the site — you can see how many clients are out there if you simply search for the terms "Hacker News" on the Play Store. Yarn is the latest arrival, and it may just be one of the best yet if you trust Artem's judgement (which I do). Read More
The new OTA isn't the only OnePlus One news this morning. It's getting easier to buy... kind of. OnePlus will start opening up sales every Tuesday to anyone and everyone (in supported countries) without an invite. Imagine that, buying a phone without an invite. How innovative.
The patchwork nature of wireless spectrum makes traveling or moving a device to other carriers a bit of a nightmare, but a new web tool called WillMyPhoneWork could help you figure it all out in just a few clicks. Simply select your phone model, carrier, and hit the search button to see which bands match up.
It might be hard to believe, but the Google Maps we know and love launched 10 years ago today. Before Android, Chrome, Google Plus, Youtube, and most of the other services that make up the core of the Google experience, we had Maps. And while it might be saying too much to argue that Maps led the way to Google's recent successes, it is certainly under-appreciated for its role.
Google Maps wasn't the first online map service. It also didn't obviously relate to Google's claim to fame: search. It's important to remember that by 2005, Google was no start-up anymore. Read More
It's been a while since Google bought up another company - with the regularity that the folks in Mountain View go on the corporate equivalent of a shopping spree, you might say they're overdue. The latest Google acquisition is Odysee, an app and service that automatically backs up photos and videos taken on mobile and saves a copy in the cloud and/or on users' home PCs.
The Android and iOS apps have already been un-published on the Play Store and App Store, and according to the Odysee home page, the service will shut down completely on February 23rd. Read More
Earlier this week a report surfaced about a successor to NVIDIA's high-powered SHIELD Tablet coming "within a couple of months," to be announced at the GPU Technology Conference starting on March 17th. The report claimed that the new SHIELD Tablet would be using NVIDIA's next-gen mobile chipset, the Tegra X1, which was announced at CES 2015 without any accompanying smartphone or tablet.
A new generation of SHIELD hardware powered by the Tegra X1 is a no-brainer - despite tepid interest outside of the Android and gaming communities, NVIDIA has shown no sign of slowing down its first-party mobile brand. Read More
The Mailbox email app belongs to Dropbox, but it began life as an independent app on iOS. That being the case, it's not really surprising that when Dropbox bought the developers and made the app multi-platform, it wasn't initially optimized for Android tablets. It was a little odd when that status quo continued for the better part of a year. With version 1.6.2, that considerable oversight has been addressed.
Well, kinda. While the app at least works with tablets now, it's not exactly optimized - the interface is essentially a gigantic version of the smartphone app, offering no real advantage on the larger screen. Read More