You might have heard that Amazon disabled the option for software encryption in the latest version of its Android-based Fire OS for the Kindle Fire series of tablets. (This isn't new - Fire OS 5 has been rolling out to various tablets since last year.) And if you read news that isn't Android Police, you probably also know that it's not the biggest story involving encryption right now. After consumer backlash following the Apple-FBI encryption case, Engadget reports that Amazon says it will return software encryption in the next major update.
Customers might have had something to say about the loss of encryption capabilities even without the highly public spat between Apple and the FBI over the San Bernardino iPhone case. Read More
Amazon launched the Echo a while back as the first device with its Alexa voice control system. Now there are two more, each with a different take on the Echo's functionality at a lower price. The Echo Dot is a small connected speaker/mic that can add smarts to your existing speakers, and the Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth Speaker with Alexa voice commands. Read More
We interrupt your morning (it's morning here in Seattle at least) to bring you an important public service announcement. If you live in the UK or Ireland and own one of Amazon's affordable 7in tablets, then you need to request a new charger. Amazon has noted that a small quantity of the chargers bundled with these devices have had their housing detach when being removed from the wall, creating a risk of electric shock (no, they are not a fire hazard).
The recall applies to all Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kid's Edition tablets sold in the UK and Ireland since September 2015. Read More
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge feature the triumphant return of expandable storage to Samsung's flagship phone line (without Android 6.0's adoptable storage function, unfortunately). So while you're waiting for your new phone to ship, you need to track down a high-capacity MicroSD card to stick inside it. If you head over to Amazon, you can find a positively massive 200GB SanDisk Ultra card for just $79.99. That matches the lowest price we've seen on this particular card, and it qualifies for free shipping even if you don't subscribe to Amazon Prime.
Other capacities of the same card are also on sale: the 128GB version is $50, the 64GB version is just $23, and a 32GB card can be yours for $12.54. Read More
Portable battery packs are nice. When they're slim, they're even nicer. Taking up less space goes hand in hand with the whole being portable thing.
iMarku makes a 20,000mAh external battery pack that is only 12mm thick. Read More
The most cost-effective way to experience Android TV is to buy a set-top box, but if you don't want something else taking up space near your TV, getting the software baked in does just that. Sony's latest line of 4K TVs run Android TV, and after going on pre-sale in the middle of February, they're starting to become actually available. Read More
Ingress players are a special breed. They're willing to take their phones out in public and walk around staring at their phones. Okay, maybe they're not all that different from other Android gamers after all. Nonetheless, their game of choice requires they go out and explore, and that means running the risk of a dead battery.
Cheero made a battery specifically for Ingress players, and it has been officially licensed by the game's creator, Niantic Labs. Read More
Fire OS 5 is the latest release of Amazon's customized version of Android. As is tradition for the company's products, this firmware upgrade bumps devices up to being only one major version out of date. Instead of Marshmallow, Amazon's Fire gadgets are making their way up to Android 5.1.
Amazon has started pushing out Fire OS 5 to the 1st generation Fire TV and Fire TV stick. The 2nd gen hardware, which was already running 5.0.4, is also getting a boost. After the latest round of updates, all four gadgets should be left at 5.0.5. Read More
Stop me if you've heard this before, but there's a chance that connecting things to the Internet can make them more convenient to use. I know, it's quite the idea.
Gadget makers are already turning that idea into a product you can buy. Take the stuff SmartThings makes. "Smart" outlets let you toggle things that you plug into the wall, such as lamps and fans. And that's hardly all. A single hub controls everything, and you can interact with that device using your smartphone. Read More
ZTE's 2015 phone lineup is going to be replaced in the coming months, but you can get them on the cheap right now. The Axon and Axon Pro are both on sale via Amazon for as much as $130 off. They're a little too expensive for what you get normally, but these prices are much more palatable. Read More