In the book of Judges, the Hebrew champion Samson claims to have killed a thousand men with a donkey's jawbone. We wouldn't recommend killing anyone with the Jawbone BIG Jambox, but if you just happen to be surrounded by a hoard of enemies, it's probably a better blunt instrument than the standard model. Consumers in the market for high-fidelity Bluetooth speakers and/or weapons of biblical destruction can pick one up from Woot today for just $187.99. Read More
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a unique sound-based puzzle game, a nostalgic sliding block puzzler, and Kairosoft's latest business manager. Read More
Google still doesn't have a Play Music API for third-party apps, so I'm essentially forced to use the official app for streaming my music. If I had the option of using any music app and still getting my cloud tunes, I'd use Shuttle—we've even recommended it a few times. This app is feature-rich and has a slick design, but it's getting even better today with a big update to v1.5. This is the second phase of the developer's material redesign, and it's looking great. Read More
Designer brand Phiaton makes some sweet-looking headphones that don't skimp on the sound quality (cough, Beats, cough). They're also pretty expensive, with retail prices putting them out of reach for most casual listeners and enthusiasts on a budget. But online boutique store Touch of Modern is offering two models at a steep discount starting today: the Fusion MS 430 and Bridge MS 500. You'll need a free membership to Touch of Modern to have access to the deals. Read More
Hangouts video chats are pretty good in terms of handling multiple up and down streams, but the invitation and verification system leaves a lot to be desired - there's something of a traffic jam when we start the Android Police podcast video, for example. Today Google is making that a little easier by allowing mobile users to join a Hangouts video session with a simple invitation link, instead of needing an explicit, personal invitation via the Hangouts/Google+ system. Read More
Lenovo has crammed just about everything it can think of into the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro to make it interesting, with the exception of a stylus and a can opener. And it is interesting, from a purely technical point of view - it has a huge 13" screen, 2.1 JLB speakers, integrated kickstand, and oh yeah, a built-in pico projector. This machine epitomizes one of the best things about Android hardware: a diversity of manufacturers can yield an amazing variety of features.
Unfortunately, Lenovo's design is more ambitious than its execution. With a build quality that's only average, some questionable hardware decisions, and a software experience that's poor at best, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro simply won't be worth a look for most people. Read More
Cerberus is a solid little app that makes it easy (or at least easier) to find/lock your phone or tablet if it's lost or stolen. The app has accumulated over a million downloads on the Play Store, so clearly it has earned some loyal users. The update to version 3.1 adds a couple of crucial features: full support for both Android Wear and Android 5.0. If you have either one, you'll appreciate the added functionality.
For Android Wear, Cerberus can send an alert to your watch to let you know when it's lost a connection with the phone or tablet. Wear has this functionality built-in, but it's more of a notification than a "your phone is being stolen" alert. Read More
In an update that we can call minor by Mint's standards, the app's interface and navigation have been refined in addition to receiving a new bill reminder option. This feature is actually quite helpful, since it can be hard to keep a multitude of due dates straight in your head.
Of course, this won't help reduce any confusion between Mint and the recently-rebranded Mint Bills service. To be clear, you will not be paying your bills on Mint; you will just be reminded about them.
Another aspect of this update is the loss of the floating action button. Before taking out your Materially-designed pitchforks, let's recall what it did: create manual transactions. Read More
Google's material design, which I've written about a number of times, has generally been received well by designers, developers, and press alike. We've seen numerous apps adopt it, developers explain and evangelize it, and users react positively to it.
Still, there have been nagging questions about the new design philosophy. A big one, and one that could potentially be a stumbling block for adoption, is the question of branding. Some voice concerns that material design may overshadow existing brands if implemented to Google's spec, or that it's too difficult to brand a "material design app."
Someone recently asked me what I thought about the relationship between branding opportunities and material design, and while I was able to come up with a short version of the answer, there are a few different things packed into this issue that are worth exploring. Read More