Good things come to those who wait. Nowhere is that adage more true than when shopping around for high-profile, high-margin smartphone hardware. For example, LG's modular G5 flagship can now be had for under $500, at least if you're willing to buy off eBay. A vendor there is selling the international unlocked version (model number H860) for $496 even, almost $200 off of the retail price at most carriers. Black, white, gold, and pink versions are available, and US residents in the lower 48 can swing free shipping too.
Square, the company that makes those little headphone jack credit card readers, would like you to use their services more. Of course they would - that's kind of the whole point of commerce. But at the moment merchants using Square are limited to the dedicated Square app, which by default is a sort of digital cash register. The company is hoping to expand itself a bit with its latest API, which allows developers to integrate Square payments into their independent Android apps. Read More
Community projects are fantastic - just look at how strong Android's aftermarket community is, creating custom ROMs and launching entire operating systems and companies in the process. Now Amazon's getting in on the action, rebranding developer Sam Machin's Alexa in the Browser project as Echosim and bringing Alexa to everyone in the process.
The latest indie game to immigrate from the huddled masses of Steam is one that makes a lot of sense for mobile. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a 3D platformer, at least broadly: you control one brother with an analog stick on one side of the screen and the other brother with a second stick on the opposite side. If you ever tried to play both sides of The Adventures of Cookie and Cream (AKA Kuri Kuri Mix) by yourself, it's sort of like that, without the division. Read More
Over nine hours. That's how long the display was turned on while using the Xiaomi Mi Max I'm currently testing before the battery was nearly dead. The phone itself was off the charger for over 33 hours total.
That time saw mixed 3G mobile data usage and Wi-Fi, high and low brightness, Bluetooth on, all Google apps syncing, with no battery or power saving profiles active. I browsed the web, used social networks, took a few photos, watched Netflix and YouTube, and listened to music. Nothing out of the ordinary: this is just how the phone works.
The Xiaomi Mi Max has a 4850mAh non-removable battery and a 6.4" 1080p LCD display, which should make it clear just how such battery life is achievable. Read More
You usually have to get a car with Android Auto pre-installed if you want the feature to ever be available to you, but Hyundai has embraced Google's car platform more so than others. It just announced an update is available for some of its 2015, 2016, and 2017 models that adds Android Auto and CarPlay. You can install them yourself or go to a dealership and pay them to do it. Read More
Those pesky humans, always encroaching on the wildness. You can't blame the animal characters of Crashing Season for getting upset and going on the warpath. This "arena runner" just launched on Android, and it seems like a solid game with lovely graphics. Read More
Memorial weekend is kicking off in the US and products of all shapes and sizes are going on sale. If you happen to be in the market for a speaker, it might be a great time to check out some of Wren's V5-series bookshelf speakers. Normally priced at between $199-$249 for models with a single connection type, these can be had for just $159 from Amazon, or direct from Wren with a discount code. The huge V5US all-in-one model with Bluetooth, Play-Fi, and Airplay is available for $399 with code.
Back in 2013, I reviewed the V5PF Play-Fi model, and then followed up with the V5US all-in-one model last year. Read More
I can't recall ever using a smartphone larger than the Xiaomi Mi Max. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is the closest I've ever come, and the Mi Max is over a tenth of an inch larger on the display diagonal than even that phone. While it's not the largest smartphone ever, the Xiaomi Mi Max is certainly in the upper echelons of size in the taxonomic order smartphonus, dwarfing 5" devices we once called "large" just four or five years ago. Read More