It's a regular rite of passage for new Android phones: most flagships get the root treatment within a day or two of being released, allowing power users access to tools and apps that most people aren't all that interested in. But there are some exceptions, namely those draconian carriers who insist upon locking the bootloader of their Android devices. Their reasons for doing so could charitably be described as "bull hockey," but they're pretty effective: it's sometimes months or years before these phones get rooted, if they do get rooted at all. Read More
Did you know that the bathroom is typically the most acoustically pleasing room in a house? The hard surfaces of tile, glass, and linoleum bounce sound wonderfully giving music added richness and depth. That's why we love to sing in the bathroom – it amplifies our voices and makes us sound better (fun fact, Weird Al Yankovic recorded his first single "My Bologna" in a bathroom). The only thing that makes singing in the shower even better is a little musical accompaniment from a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker, and today Amazon has one on sale. Read More
Amazon has a great deal on the Aduro U-Grip universal car headrest tablet mount today. The mount normally costs $13, but after applying a coupon code you can pick one up for just $8. A tablet set in a mount like this can be a huge help in maintaining sanity among the kids in the back seat while on a family road trip, especially when paired with some bluetooth headphones and a high speed USB car charger. Read More
A brand new update to YouTube just started rolling out, and it gives users just a little more control over their privacy. The latest version adds a new option called "Pause watch history" so users can prevent new videos from joining their previously watched list. This joins an existing option to pause search history and two commands to clear the history from either list. Now we've got an easy way to keep prying eyes from discovering that we watch cartoons during lunch breaks. Read More
Smartwatches are easily the hottest new form factor in tech in the last year or so, and considering we're already on generation two (OK, maybe more like 1.5) of Android Wear hardware, you'd think smartwatches were pretty much a sure thing. Everybody's going to wear one, there's going to be a gigantic 3rd party app ecosystem, and it's going to be just like the smartphone boom years! Smartwatches will be indispensible to our daily lives.
Except, well, there are lots of good reasons to not believe that. Smartwatches have so far presented a pretty lame value proposition - doing little more than the smartphones they're connected to, while costing nearly as much (or a lot more). Read More
Google has been testing lots of tweaks for its mobile search engine results page lately. We've seen colored underlines on results cards and a rather pleasing new layout for the search bar and associated tools, and now a few users are reporting something a little strange - colored dots. We've received multiple reports of search result cards with four dots (colored with Google's signature blue, green, yellow, and red) in the lower right corner.
The colored dots, if you're wondering, didn't seem to do anything when tapped for our original tipsters, but reader Ali notes below that the dots do seem to work just like tapping on the card's URL. Read More
One of the more persistent and frustrating issues with the OnePlus One has been its touchscreen, which saw a spat of problems and firmware fixes late last year. A software update in November seemed to have fixed the glitches, but in the last few weeks dozens of users on the official OnePlus forums have reported a resurgence of touchscreen issues. Perhaps it has something to do with the new Android updates, perhaps it's because of the rising temperatures as spring hits the northern hemisphere. Whatever the cause, OnePlus One owners are steamed.
You can see a typical example of the problem in the video below, uploaded to YouTube two weeks ago. Read More
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here. As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
This week's show features an overview of new Android Wear 5.1 features, Android 5.1 OTA news, I/O rumors including Android "M," a review of the Watch Urbane, and some general lamenting about Lollipop. Read More
Mizuu is a popular app for managing local media files, particularly movies and television shows. While it isn't a player, it still has attracted many fans for its ability to index and retrieve useful metadata by checking videos against a third-party database and presenting the library in a visually attractive way. In spite of that popularity, its lone developer has announced via a blog post that he will be removing Mizuu from the Play Store and ceasing support and updates for the app.
Reasons for doing this are various, but can be summarized as a loss of interest driven partially by health issues. Read More