Pocket Casts is one of the more attractive mobile podcast managers out there, and it's pretty accessible too. The Android app is easy to use, and with a cloud sync account, you can keep up with shows across numerous devices. Now the team is expanding functionality to the desktop as well. A web version of Pocket Casts is on its way, and it's currently available in a private beta.
You have to get permission to use the beta, but once in, here's what you see.
You might be familiar with the MyScript Calculator, which lets you jot down math problems and solves them on the spot. It's creepy accurate, and now that same technology has been applied to note taking with MyScript Smart Note (for tablets only). It works best if you've got a stylus, but even a finger is accurate enough for this app to figure it out.
Samsung has seen incredible success with its Android devices over the years. The Korean OEM didn't have to change much from one year to the next, but still the smartphone-consuming public was practically begging to trade up to the latest and greatest Galaxy S. Then something changed with the Galaxy S5—despite being a competent phone in almost every way, sales were below projections. Samsung's profits declined when they should have been skyrocketing.
For people living in the large swathes of the US where Verizon Wireless is the only real option, your chance to get the second generation Moto X has arrived. The handset is now available on the carrier's site for $99.99 with a two-year contract, though the price differs with other payment options depending on color. The site is showing the black one available for $24.99 a month with Verizon Edge or $499.99 outright.
For all the grief we give Samsung tablets about fake leather and physical home buttons, the higher tiers of hardware have some great specs. Speed demons and resolution fanatics might be particularly enthralled with the Tab Pro series, all of which feature 2560x1600 screens. If you appreciate the hardware but could do without Samsung's Android skin, the developers at CyanogenMod now support the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.
Getting OTA updates out the door is no easy task, especially with carriers standing between the OEM and users. That's why Motorola has long used soak tests with small groups of users to hammer out bugs before the final certification. HTC has just posted details of its own "HTC Preview" program that does essentially the same thing.
Galaxy S4 Active users on AT&T, don't get too excited when you see a new software update message appear in your notification bar. This is a minor update with minor changes, and once you apply it the phone will still be running the same Android 4.4.2 build that you've had since June. According to an AT&T support page, the update includes just three things:
Connectivity improvements related to receiving calls and text messaging
Updated Google apps
We've got no idea what kind of updated Google apps Ma Bell put in there, since Google prefers to do its own updating via the Play Store these days.
Google's Chrome browser is our go-to web tool on Android, but there are plenty of reasons not to like it, like the way the latest version hides the refresh button in a drop-down menu. For those users who aren't happy with the status quo, one of the more refreshing alternatives is Javelin, and independent browser made with a unique interface and Material Design visual elements. The latest update (4.1.3) includes some more advanced bookmarks and syncing features.
The Fire Phone is reportedly selling very poorly, but surely this will get things back on track. Amazon has released two new games (sort of) that include support for Dynamic Perspective on the Fire Phone. They're both free... if only you had a Fire Phone.