Today, March 20th, is the International Day of Happiness. You're forgiven if you did not know this, as it's not the kind of holiday that gets folks out of school or work, nor does it involve exchanging gifts. Really, it's just about being happy and encouraging others to do the same, along with coming up with ways to eradicate poverty and establish peace on Earth.
So if you say Happy International Day of Happiness into Hangouts, a little guy will dance out from the side of the screen and strike a happy pose.
After that, he continues to dance until he disappears in the opposite direction.
Amazon has been giving away one paid app for free each day since the Appstore launched in 2011. It hasn't been the rousing success Amazon probably hoped for, but the Appstore is still doing okay with about 400,000 listings. Now, the company is rumored to be prepping a big project called Unlocked to generate more interest in the Appstore. It's basically Amazon Prime for apps.
According to the internal presentation leaked to TechCrunch, Unlocked will offer paid apps and games at absolutely no charge. Some of the examples listed in the presentation are Sega's Sonic Dash (a free-to-play title) and UsTwo's Monument Valley (a standard paid game) As part of the Unlocked program, both these titles would be offered at no cost.
Those of you who dropped some cash on the Nexus Player might want to take a look at your update menu. The OTA for Android 5.1 is rolling out, but even if you don't have it, there's a factory image posted as well.
It's that time again, everyone: time for a trip down Terrible Smartphone Advertising Lane. Sometimes it's about the weird ads, or the cringe-y ones, or the ones that straight up suck. Let me give you some hints as to which direction we're heading today with Lenovo's new P90 smartphone ads, which feature:
A human in a bear suit, acting like a human. But he is a bear.
Two of the most horrifically pun-laden first-person narrative reads ever to be uploaded to YouTube. And yes, they are bear puns.
Should you pick up one of HTC's RE cameras? I don't know. It looks like an inhaler and seems a bit awkward, but hey, maybe that's just part of its charm. If you've been on the fence, now might be the time to reconsider. The product is currently on sale for $99 at Best Buy as part of today's Deal of the Day, 50% off its usual price.
The discount is available regardless of whether you want the device in blue, orange, or white.
Best Buy is also selling the RE at the same rate on eBay, in case you rather make the purchase from there.
Synology, purveyor of network attached storage, has brought updates across the range of their Android interfaces for their products. Perhaps most interesting and useful is the latest update to DS photo+, which now allows you to stream photos and video via Chromecast or DLNA from your Synology NAS. If you utilize the private cloud setup offered on many of their devices, this could allow you to take your personal media to work, friends, or wherever else you may want to go.
The best way to ensure legacy support? Use Android 4.1 in your test device! Listening to Ne-Yo hits from 2012 really helps, too.
In Boss Monster, you are the big baddie at the end of a level, and you can only win by killing more good guys than the miscreants you're competing with. You do this by building rooms to expand your dungeon, increasing the amount of damage the environment deals and bettering the odds that the heroes you lure into your lair will die before getting to see your face.
The card game comes in a small box, supports up to four players, is easy for new people to grasp, and allows for an all around good time. I'm a fan.
Back in 1997, HTC, then known as High-Tech Computer Corporation, was founded by Peter Chou, Cher Wang, and H. T. Cho (oddly familiar initials that guy, eh?) Ever since, the company has evolved from being an ODM for others like Compaq Computers and T-Mobile to becoming a standalone branded smartphone manufacturer.
Yesterday, HTC's Mo Versi, the Vice President of Product Management, caused a few disgruntled sighs from the company's fans and One M7 owners by announcing that the two-year-old device wouldn't get any more major updates, including Android 5.1. That didn't apply to the Google Play Edition version of the M7, which is still set to get 5.1 in April.
But it looks like the replies Mo has received have elicited the company to take another look at the issue and consider changing its stance. Users argued that Android 5.1 isn't exactly a major update and that it brings a lot of bug fixes to Android, and HTC heard them.
Early this month, Google announced a major update to its Play services framework, which brings the version number up to 7.0 and adds several great new APIs. The SDK for this update was held back until the corresponding apk had time to make its way out to Android devices everywhere. The wait is now over, and the SDK is live. Developers are now free to incorporate all of the new APIs into their apps. For a quick summary of the new features in Play services 7.0, check out the DevBytes video below. Fair warning, the video is hosted by Magnus Hyttsen, so make sure you've had your morning coffee.