ROM flashers and root fanatics who own a few more obscure Android devices have new options this morning. Official, straight from the source builds of the ubiquitous Team Win Recovery Project custom recovery are now available for the unlocked, dual-SIM card version of the HTC One M7, the carrier-customized version of the LG G3 for US Cellular, and the LG Optimus Fuel. Wait, the what? Let me check my notes...
Perhaps you're wondering what this Kodi thing is... well, it's XBMC. They just don't call it XBMC anymore. The latest version of this all-in-wonder media player and content organizer has been released, and you can get it on your Android device right now for zero dollars.
Update: We had a bit of a misunderstanding on the update text. As commenter Gardner points out, the restart and other options on the power button menu were in the SHIELD Tablet 5.0 update. The "SHIELD Power Control" menu, a section of the primary Android Settings menu that was included in KitKat but dropped from the 5.0 update, is back in 5.0.1. Sorry for the confusion.
Inside the SHIELD Power Control menu are basic settings for the Tegra K1 processor and a few screen options, as well as more standard Android settings like a sleep timer for the screen and Wi-Fi.
Dolphin, one of Android’s most popular third-party browsers, continues refining its Lollipop experience after initially rolling out a compatible release a month ago. Now, with Flash support, Android 5.0 devices should have feature parity with KitKat and earlier systems. In addition to the Flash upgrade, Dolphin has a grab-bag of enhancements that apply to all 4.x users.
The most fun new doodads are some Christmas-oriented themes.
Maybe not the most integral feature, but their themes are fairly well-done.
Everyone has a different idea of what looks good when it comes to phones and tablets, but Samsung has generally not made great choices. The Galaxy Alpha is a big step in the right direction, but you know what it's missing? Alligator skin. Yeah, the new limited edition Galaxy Alpha will definitely be divisive.
These devices were created for Samsung in collaboration with Free Lance and JB Rautureau. They will only be officially available in France with a total run of 100 units.
Google has updated its Play Store guidelines to again clamp down on how developers can list their apps. The keyword spam section of the support site now includes a rule that specifically forbids developers from inserting user testimonials into app descriptions. Doing so could get an app pulled.
HTC has offered some great deals as part of it's weekly "hot deals" promo, as well as some questionable ones. This week HTC is offering to knock 20% off the price of any phone purchased from its website. These are the unsubsidized prices, so you're still looking at a few hundred bucks minimum. But hey, a deal is a deal.
ZeroLemon loves to strap enormous batteries onto every phone that they can, and since they keep doing it for basically every new Samsung and LG high-end model, someone must be buying them. The latest phone to receive the company's blessings of longevity is the Galaxy Note 4, itself already one of the biggest phones around. A 10,000mAh battery and a replacement rear cover (which is really more like a case) can be yours for $59.99 on Amazon.
Raise your hand if you like carrier apps added to your phone. Anyone. Go ahead, don't be shy. Well if you don't, here's a great example of why companies like AT&T should leave the software alone. An over-the-air update to 4.4.4 for the carrier-customized version of the Galaxy Note 3 was sent out on November 28th, then unceremoniously pulled. A previous message on the support page explained why:
Update: The software update for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (SMN900A) is temporarily on hold, effective November 28, 2014.
You need never be plagued by a haunting tune you just can't identify in this modern world. There are plenty of apps that can ID a song in mere seconds, but the new version of SoundHound adds a cool trick. It can add songs you ID to a Spotify playlist for easy listening. This functionality was debuted a few months ago for Rdio, but I'd wager there are more Spotify users out there.