The Galaxy S4 Active is pretty solid as both a high-end phone and a "ruggedized" handset, but as with a lot of Samsung devices, TouchWiz keeps some power users away from a purchase. Now the indefatigable CyanogenMod team is giving you some AOSP-style options: they just released their first nightly build for the S4 Active. You can pick it up for your phone at the usual spot and install it via the custom recovery of your choice.
Update 9/19/14: The bill reminders feature of Google Now seems to have been in a pretty limited rollout since May when this article was originally published - nobody on the Android Police team has seen one personally. But starting earlier this month, many of us have started seeing them all of a sudden, which seems to indicate a much wider availability. Perhaps Google took the time to iron out all the kinks before expanding bill reminders to everyone.
Motorola chose to go with an LCD panel for the Moto 360, which should mean no problems with burn-in like you'd see on an AMOLED. However, a few users have started reporting something that looks an awful lot like burn-in. What we're probably seeing is image persistence, which can sometimes happen to LCDs. While annoying, it's not as bad as AMOLED burn-in.
BombSquad's premise revolves around sticking a large number of friends together in one match and having them blow one another up across numerous battlefields and various mini-games. The title contains a multitude of weapons such as your standard Bomberman-variety circular bomb, sticky ones that adhere themselves to opponents, ice bombs, land mines, TNT, and... boxing gloves. Okay, everything can't explode, but in the end, BombSquad sounds like a blast (pause for groans).
Visually, BombSquad is a treat, but that and the intriguing concept aren't the primary reasons to check out the game.
Motorola currently offers the Moto 360 in silver and black colors, but what if you want something a little more blingy? The company posted a promo image recently that piqued everyone's interest as it showed what is clearly a gold Moto 360. When we asked about it, Motorola was all like "what watch?"
Left to right: original image with gold watch, immediately after we contacted Moto, and a little while later
When I was in the process of opening my small pharmacy more than 3 years ago, I contacted a security firm and installed several thousands of dollars worth of surveillance and alarm equipment. It works reliably, but it's a huge pain to change any setting in the system (there's no user interface, just a bunch of wires and keys) or get any footage out of it. It feels antiquated compared to today's more modern Internet-connected smart solutions with simplified experiences, but that was the most appropriate choice at the time.
If you've never heard of a smartphone maker by the name of Meizu, that's understandable. (Even though we actually reviewed their first Android smartphone about 2 years ago.) That's because Meizu, despite selling some phones outside of its home market - China - does no advertising and has very little press outreach in the western world.
Meizu's latest phone, the MX4, sells in mainland China for under $300 (1,799 Chinese Yuan) in 16GB trim.
There still isn't an official API for custom Android Wear watch faces, but there are plenty of them in the Play Store anyway. If none of those strike your fancy, perhaps because they don't account for the taller peek cards, Facer could be just what you want. This app lets you build and edit watch faces and sync them over to the watch in a snap. There's also a fast-growing community of users posting some reallyawesomedesigns.
The Galaxy A5 appears to be an awkward phone to get excited about. SamMobile has gotten its hands on exclusive photos of the device, the SM-A500, which should be the first in a new line of A-branded phones. What makes this particular handset interesting are its build materials. SamMobile's source says that Samsung has used a different material that isn't plastic or metal but still "feels cold in the hand."
To me, this sounds like Samsung has had so much success producing faux leather backs that it's ready to try its hand at fake other materials.