We've become pretty wary of featuring Kickstarter projects here on Android Police - too many have overpromised, under-delivered, or just delayed themselves into oblivion. (I'm looking at you, Star Command.) But this one has too much potential to ignore. A pair of San Mateo engineers have created a MicroSD card reader that plugs right into a MicroUSB port, making it a perfect travel companion for phones or tablets with no expandable storage. The project has been successfully funded after just three days.
There's a lot to like about this Kickstarter. One, the hardware is incredibly simple, but well thought-out: the housing is a tiny dongle that hangs off of a device's USB port, just far enough to enclose the SD card itself. Read More
Update: It looks like Facebook has killed the leak remotely. Users who installed it are now reporting that their feeds have gone dark. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.
Facebook Home, the company's trumpeted home screen replacement effort, has been a popular point of discussion since before it was announced.
For those who missed the announcement, Facebook is looking to replace your device's normal launcher with a continuous in-your-face social bonanza, featuring a huge news feed on your lock screen, a new pop-up chat called Chat Heads, and pretty complete integration with the social network, allowing for status, photo, and other updates on the fly. Read More
There is no joy in Taoyuan this morning, as HTC's first quarter financial results have become public. The Taiwanese company has reported the lowest profit in its 16-year history, with just $2.8 million USD ($85 million Taiwanese dollars) in net income for Q1 2013. It's the sixth quarter in a row that HTC has posted declining profits, and a staggering year-over-year drop of 98%.
The news came from a somber release on HTC's website, without any of the usual fanfare. Analysts reaction compiled by Bloomberg blame the drop on delays for the flagship One phone, which has now been pushed into an April launch in the US and other markets. Read More
The final piece of the Play Store 4.0 puzzle was posted on Google+ today. A YouTube employee by the name of Eileen Rivera posted a screen shot of previously-unseen Play Store front page:
The design is a perfect match for the leaked build we got to play with a few weeks ago, and, if you ignore the action bar, a big improvement.
Of particular interest is the new Up button, which features the Play Store logo and a bone in a dog bowl. This is a reference to "Dogfooding" - a term Google uses to denote internal beta testing. Read More
From poorly-executed "leaks" to potential legitimate sightings, there's been a lot of hubbub about Google's supposed unified messaging service, likely called Babel. This isn't necessarily surprising. After all, if you asked most Android enthusiasts what feature they most wanted from the platform in its next iteration, you'd hear a lot about unified messaging. We've tried to stay clear of covering every flurry of Babel-related murmurings so far, but today we saw something new – Google+ user Patric Dhawaan posted a screenshot of what he says is a notification in Gmail, triggered when "pruning" his inbox.
At first, we were a bit suspicious of the screenshot. Read More
On April 12th, Facebook Home will arrive in the Play Store... for select devices. It's a homescreen replacement app, and for those who use Facebook regularly, might be something worth looking into. The demos of the app looked smooth and simple - there's a lot of that gesture business going on - and while I'm not exactly big on Facebook, I know I'm going to give it a whirl just to see what it's like.
What about you - is your curiosity piqued enough to try out Facebook's newest mobile endeavor (assuming your phone is compatible)?
As we all know, Facebook had an announcement earlier this week. The most pervasive social media outlet on the planet announced Facebook Home – a product that essentially amounts to a highly integrated launcher for your Android phone. It also announced the HTC First, a phone optimized for Home, offering a fully Facebook-ed experience.
The launcher is actually pretty nice – features like the unfortunately-named Chat Heads are almost enough to sell this writer on the idea of making an Android hamburger out of a phone, with Facebook Home serving as the top bun (or maybe the lettuce). The key to its success, though, will be advertising. Read More
In Android Police’s private chat room – deep in the bowels of a place known only to a select few… Android Police writers – conversations are often had over what makes a phone good, and what makes a phone bad.
And, of course, views on this issue vary. Some have a strong preference for stock Android, and anything attempting to subvert or otherwise ‘break’ Android the way Google intended it (unless Google’s intentions sucked) is a waste of time. Others are more concerned with how it works: is it smooth, fluid, and functional? And, of course, there are the typical arguments about SD cards, removable batteries, and plastique. Read More
At this point, we've covered the benefits of having a portable charger/battery pack so much that you probably have all the reasons to buy one engrained in your memory. If you still haven't invested in one (or need to upgrade), however, tech.woot has a pretty solid deal on a couple of chargers from uNu.
The 5,000mAh Enerpak Tube is going for a mere $34, while its larger brother – the 11,000mAh Enerpak Vault – is available for $50. Considering the latter is pushing $80 on Amazon, those are both solid deals.
Both chargers feature a 5V 1A input and 5V 1A output, but the Vault also has a larger 5V 2.1A output for charging more power-hungry devices like tablets. Read More
Talkray, from the makers of the incredibly popular touch-talk app TiKL, is an ambitious app – it looks to be your one-stop shop for mobile communication on the go, communicating through text, pictures, videos, and voice all for free. Until now, though, the app has had a fatal flaw – its design. While not the worst design we've seen, Talkray had, shall we say, unfortunate looks. Inconsistent styles, gradients mixed with flat elements, and Gingerbread-style tabs abound.
In its latest update (to version 1.17) though, the app underwent a bit of beautification, bringing it closer to a true holo standard. The redesign isn't perfect, but it's undeniably better. Read More