The Android Auto companion app is generally one of those things you're probably only going to work with a couple of times before you're done setting things up, then it'll stay tucked away, never to be seen again. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't look good and be as useful as possible. An update to the Android Auto app began rolling out today and it's a near total refresh of the user interface. Granted, there's not a lot to change, but it now looks much more like the companion app for Android Wear.
CHOO CHOO! That's the Fallout 4 hype train pulling into the station. We're now less than a week away from the return of everyone's favorite post-apocalyptic RPG. If you've been looking longingly at your empty limited edition Pip-Boy wrist accessory, the app that makes it into a "real" Pip-Boy is finally here. For everyone else, it's still a cool second-screen experience.
Google surprised everybody back in 2014 with an unusual project called Cardboard, a low cost and simple viewer that could work with a smartphone to create simple virtual reality environments. Cardboard has quickly grown into a very engaging tool and it has been adopted in many classrooms as a result. The latest update to the demo app polishes up the experience as well as makes it a bit easier to find new apps to play with. Sadly, Windy Day is no longer included.
The first time you launch Cardboard after the update, you'll be greeted immediately by one of the big changes: a brand new welcome video.
Multi-port USB wall charging stations are my favorite new gadgets that I have purchased in the past year. Instead of having to charge devices throughout the house with individual chargers and a tangled nest of cords, I can now charge everything on my kitchen counter, or at my bedside. Beautiful.
We frequently post deals for five port chargers, but they almost never come with MicroUSB cables, leaving you to scrounge up your own, or make another purchase. Today's deal, however, is the complete package. Right now on Amazon, if you purchase an Aukey 5 port 50W/10A charger and a five pack of Auckey 20AWG MicroUSB cables in the same transaction, the cables are included for free – a $9 savings.
Verizon has signed a sponsorship deal with the National Basketball Association. As part of this arrangement, the carrier's new Go90 video-streaming service will get access to live and original NBA content.
Motorola, the last American phone company that wasn't Apple (at least before they got bought by Google and then shuffled over to Lenovo), now has an American store front. Well, technically at least: it has exactly one retail store, which Motorola's PR team is calling an "experimental boutique." If you're in the Chicago area, where Motorola's US headquarters is located, you can check it out on Saturday. The store will open for full business a week later at 108 North State Street.
Pong and Space Invaders went to a rave one night and got totally wasted on Pixie Stix and Starbursts. Nine months later, Starific - Endless Reactor, was born. The premise of the new psychedelic mobile game, by developer Beveled Edge, is simple. Keep your star(s) from escaping an octagonal grid while wiping away ever appearing waves of tiles and power-ups. Not grasping it? Watch the promo video and I'll catch up with you after.
Ok, now that you have seen a bit of game footage, we are hopefully on the same page. This game is a frenetic, eye-popping, ear-pounding, thumb-frustrating good time.
There's a new version of Drive rolling out today, and it focuses on improving the experience around file sharing in several ways. Notifications for shared files and folders are getting better in a few ways, getting access to files is easier, and you can preview files in Drive even if you haven't logged in. It's not all live right away, but you can install the updated app right now.
Google offers this year's Nexus phones in a variety of colors, but if you want sparkly pink, you're out of luck. The company figures there isn't enough of a market for that sort of style. Most other manufacturers would agree.
If you've been drooling over Kwikset's Bluetooth-powered, Android-compatible power door locks, but you've been wary of the high entry price, today is the day to bust out your wallet. Best Buy is offering refurbished versions of the Kevo smart lock for $129.99. While that doesn't quite make it into impulse buy territory, it's a generous $60 off the regular price of the refurbished version and $70 off of a new retail unit. You can get free shipping (store pickup is not available), but the price is only good for today.
For the uninitiated, the Kevo is an electronic lock that works with conventional metal keys and can also be controlled via mobile devices or home automation systems.