It's easy to forget, but smartphones are supposed to be phones. Shocking, I know. Ignoring this most basic of functions is no good, though. Ready Contact List for Android can make your calls more efficient and attractive, and it's out of beta today.
For folks who like to stay on the cutting edge of technology (which I assume includes you, since you're reading an Android blog), thermostats and smoke alarms don't get much cooler than the Nest and Nest Protect. They're Internet-connected, which is great because reasons. They can talk to your mobile device, which is all any gadget really needs to do to be considered smart (since many of us do less talking on our smartphones these days, does that make us dumber?).
If there's one thing that Amazon has earned a positive reputation for among Android users, it has got to be the sheer number of paid apps that have been freely passed out as part of the company's numerous promotions. For today only, we've got another great giveaway to add to the online retailer's extensive history. There are 27 paid apps available at no cost to users in the US, and there's no reason you shouldn't have already started claiming them!
When a company's pitch to you is that their smartphone accessory was developed in cooperation with Raytheon, you're likely to listen. When that company then tells you they've built the world's first truly affordable thermal (infrared) camera and that it also attaches directly to your smartphone, you listen closely.
No, this isn't a gimmick, a trick, or some kind of workaround using widely-available technology to emulate thermal imaging. Seek Thermal is a real thermal imaging device that you can attach to your smartphone's microUSB port (Galaxy S4, S5, and Moto X / Moto G currently supported officially) and feed live video from the IR camera to the display.
One of the nicest things about NVIDIA's various bits of Android gaming hardware is that they get updated early and often. The SHIELD Portable is already running on the latest version of Android, but a new update (dated Tuesday, but apparently going out a little late) has fixed a few small issues with GameStream and other services. If you have a SHIELD, check your Settings menu - the 480.9MB update should be available as soon as you check it manually.
We've been hearing a lot about Volantis lately, but what about the other supposed Nexus device - Shamu? Since we originally broke the story back in July (with the Information affirming Shamu's existence soon after) things have been relatively quiet, with only a benchmark test here or there popping up with alleged specs that seemed to point to a smaller device.
Today, however, 9to5Google has divulged specs and details about the device in which the outlet seems fairly confident.
There have been a few releases of the modern style of music and dancing games on Android, like Guitar Hero. Of course, they're somewhat limited by the nature of the platform - use rhythm and timing all you want, but you're still basically limited to taps and swipes. Ubisoft has found a way around that for its lucrative Just Dance series: it uses your phone as a basic controller for the browser version of the game, Let's Dance Now.
It made its exit from the Play Store device section a few months ago, but there are still some Google Play Edition Sony Xperia Z Ultras floating around out there. Expansys has the device in stock for just $269.99, but it's not exactly new.
Update: A curious Reddit poster tore through the promotional website and found what looks like two photos of the "ReCamera" and a mounting accessory. They seem pretty barebones, but they might be our first solid look at the device. Of course, at this point nothing is confirmed. Thanks to Jeremy (@jersteck) for the tip.
Google Play is filled with content, but the digital goods are available on a country by country basis. Today we've seen Google add four more to the list of nations with Play Books availability. They are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.
Play Books appears to still be in the process of rolling out, because as you can see in the screenshot for Ukraine below, the banner announcing availability has appeared, but the section hasn't yet shown up in the sidebar.