Gather 'round external storage lovers. You've been forsaken by Google, abandoned by Samsung, and left to feel needy and irrational in the face of the totalitarian internal-storage-or-nothing regime, but the times they are a-changin'. Google's own stance in Android M seems to be shifting toward accepting all phones no matter what they are, including the imperfect little information carriers that may need an external boost in their storage every now and then. Who knows, we might even live to see a Nexus with a MicroSD slot again. Read More
The updates came rolling in quickly this morning. Among them was a fresh bump to Google's Inbox app – the email app for people without time for email. This release was a little light on truly new features as far as the main interface is concerned, but it finally brought a feature to light we've been expecting for a few months: home screen shortcuts to jump straight into writing a new email or scheduling reminders. Read More
Back in September, Hangouts switched from gray to green in its 2.3 update, ostensibly making the first baby steps on its journey toward joining Google's material design parade. Then in December we first spied a slightly more material version of the app. Now, users are running version 3.3 and many aren't satisfied with the app's layouts or structure. Things like the seemingly unnecessary contacts tab, the somewhat messy drawer, and the non-standard toolbar are common complaints.
It looks like Google is working on fixing a lot of issues with an upcoming update to Hangouts 4.0 though. We've heard rumblings from Reddit of the new update, and now we've got an early look at the app. Read More
Android Auto is starting to finally show up in cars and third-party head units, but there are still a handful of compatibility issues to work out, it seems. The latest update to the Android Auto app includes compatibility for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.
Google made some big changes to Gmail when it retired the stock email app. You have the ability to manage non-Google email accounts in the app these days, but here comes something new. Today's Gmail app update has improved matters further by adding Oauth support for Yahoo and Microsoft accounts. Read More
There hasn't been much news out of OUYA for the last year or so, and Razer's first effort at mobile hardware, the Android TV-powered Forge TV, hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire either. Would combining forces make either of these products better? Probably not. But according to a recent post on TechCrunch, at least someone thinks it might be a good idea.
TechCrunch reports that premium game accessory maker Razer is interested in purchasing OUYA, or at least what's left of it now that the "mini console" fad has come and gone. OUYA has tried numerous strategies to gain back the excitement of its initial Kickstarter campaign, including the addition of a subscription service and farming out its game library to competitors like MadCatz. Read More
About three weeks ago the beta version of Opera for Android added a handful of new features. Today most of them graduate to the standard version, marked as v30.0.1856 on my phone. The biggest change (at least according to Opera's official blog) is that the sites saved to the "speed dial" homepage will sync across Android and desktop versions of Opera. That's provided, of course, that you're logged into your Opera account on all devices. If you prefer different Speed Dial options for mobile and desktop, that's an option too.
Perhaps more notable from a technical standpoint is an upgrade to the Chromium 43 rendering engine. Read More
The Neo Smartpen N2 is the company's second shot at an intelligent analog writer and this one comes with very few compromises. In a market without a whole lot of competition, especially for those who support Android, Neo's N2 needs to be on your radar if you want a smartpen. I've been testing it out for a couple of weeks and, on the whole, I am really excited about it. With that said, it does have a few drawbacks that you will want to think through before deciding to buy.
This is the second smartpen I've reviewed for Android Police. The first is the Livescribe 3, whose review you can see here. Read More