Take a gander around the more general tech blogs and you might spot the PowerUp 3.0. It's a recently-funded Kickstarter campaign for a gadget that adds powered flight and remote control to a paper airplane. It's not much more than some gears, a rudder, and a Bluetooth control module, but the simplicity is appealing enough that it reached its $50,000 funding goal in less than eight hours. Now the campaign has passed $150,000, the stretch funding goal for the creation of an Android app in addition to iOS.
Motorola surprised us earlier this week with an early launch of the US version of their impressive Moto G budget phone. If you ordered one and want a little protection and/or flair for your new gadget, the accessories section of Motorola's official store has been expanded with shells (backplates) and flip shells for the Moto G. Like the phone itself, they'll ship out on December 2nd.
The shells pop on and off of the back of the Moto G, not unlike the faceplates that were sold for old Nokia candybar phones.
Flaming red and safety vest yellow might accessorize well if you're a firefighter with an insatiable enthusiasm for Nexus hardware, but they'll stand out like a sore thumb for anyone else. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you prefer your Nexus 5 protective case in a more subtle hue, Google just posted both black and grey versions of the bumper case to the Play Store.
Like the more flamboyant options, the grey and black cases are $34.99 each, and they cover everything except the screen and camera.
Motorola is having a 30% off sale on many smartphone accessories, and if you want in on this action, you might want to move quickly. Many of the options are already out of stock, but some of what remains is available for less than you would have to pay for the same product elsewhere (but double-check beforehand, because not all of it is). What doesn't sell will remain discounted until November 27th.
It's not enough to charge your phone with a standard microUSB cable. No, it's best if it's plugged into something that looks like the Android mascot (obviously). That used to mean your most meaningful charging could only take place where a standard AC outlet was available via the lovable Andru. Well now you can show your Android love on the go with HoneyDru, a 2.0A car charger that looks like a certain platform logo from a few years back.
The Nest Learning Thermostat gets a major update to its Android app today, mostly to add support for the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The Protect now ties into the Android app (assuming you have one, of course) with status checks for both sensors and multiple units in your connected home. You can add new thermostats or smoke detectors right from the app.
Beyond that, the app has been given a full visual makeover.
You might have missed it in the tidal wave of news when the Nexus 5 was released, but Google also posted two new colors of the Nexus 7 zip case in the storefront. They were both listed as 'coming soon,' but now they're live.
The official zip case can now be had in gray, yellow, or black. Note that the gray case is listed as gray/white because the interior is white.
Did you know that some companies and products have the same name as other companies and products? Crazy, right? To use a geek-friendly example, there's a brand of laundry detergent called "Linux." Now, Try to follow along with me here: there's a brand of conventional automatic and quartz wristwatches called Android. The American company has been around since 1991. They've never really blown up as a brand, but they've been making reliable watches for two decades.
Samsung, for whatever reason, has not released a back plate for the Galaxy S4 Active that allows it to take advantage of Qi wireless charging. The folks at Monster Watts seemed to have a solution with their WIQIQi battery attachment, and even managed to pull off a successful Indiegogo campaign. However, legal issues have forced the cancellation of the product.
The company makes WIQIQi attachments for several other devices, but according to the campaign site, legal issues with the water-resistance claims of the GS4 Active gave them pause.
It's been just over a month since our review of the iMpulse Bluetooth Controller was posted. It was not flattering, mostly due to what I considered a fatal oversight in its software: the inability to function as a gamepad recognizable by the default profile in Android 4.0 and later. Black Powder Media, the creators of the Kickstarter hardware, have apparently seen fit to remedy that oversight with the latest firmware.
The beta firmware adds a new profile for the controller which should work with any game that supports external controllers natively; the Kickstarter page states that the developers have tested the firmware with Grand Theft Auto 3, Granny Smith, and Mongo Madness without incident.