HBO's online and app-based streaming options are surprisingly competent - they put the likes of DirecTV and Comcast, much larger organizations with ostensibly more resources, to shame. But that doesn't mean that there's no room for improvement. To that end, HBO is now publishing a beta version of, um, NOW, the cable-free standalone app for streaming cordcutters. It's available on the Play Store now via the standardized opt-in interface. Read More
Honor 6X owners, pay attention. Huawei has announced on its Honor Twitter account that it has opened up Nougat/EMUI 5 beta testing for the phone. Signing up only requires you to email your IMEI number(s) to the address in the tweet. Read More
Back in November, Samsung started beta testing the Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Since then, it has rolled out several updates to squash bugs and answer feedback, but it looks like the beta test is now over. The team posted a notice to those who were participating in the beta program saying that it will end on December 30 at 24:00 (so December 31 at 00:00). Read More
Last week, the Play Store rolled up some beta testing features in its version 6.7 update, but they quickly disappeared as Google reverted them back in a server-side change. The company later announced these features at I/O as part of a series of improvements to Google Play that also include lots of developer console changes.
Now it seems that the beta testing options have started showing up again for users on version 6.7.12 of the Play Store. Read More
There's a Google Maps beta channel on the Play Store now, and you can sign up for it at this link. You can also download the new APK, version 9.27, directly from APK Mirror if you prefer, right here.
We're still rooting around in the app to see if there's anything new, so let us know if you find anything! (Remember, Maps was also updated last week to v9.26.1, so anything from that update is not new). Also remember that if you're running the Android N preview, you already have Maps 9.30, and so this 9.27 APK will not install over your existing app, as it's a newer version. Read More
There are only a few months left (probably) before the young and young at heart will be able to live out their Pokémon fantasies in glorious augmented reality with the upcoming Pokémon GO game. But a select few will get an early ticket to Kanto (or wherever you set a Pokémon game with an entire planet's worth of playing surface). Today The Pokémon Company announced that it was looking for participants for the game's "Field Test," and registration is open on the US site. (It may be open to others, but we can't verify that.) Read More
If you're around the same age as me, you fondly remember playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG for short) for hours in middle school. Or more accurately, you remember watching all the other kids play it because your parents couldn't afford to buy 10,000 licensed pieces of cardboard just so you could get a shiny Blastoise. (It's OK, I played the Game Boy Color version for vicarious thrills.) As it turns out, the Pokemon card game is still rolling along with a huge following, and now there's even an online digital version. Yes, that's a video game based on a card game based on a video game - try to keep up. Read More
Google is always making little tweaks to its apps, and now you can get an early look at some of those tweaks by beta testing the Google app. That's the one that powers the Now Launcher, Google Now cards, Now On Tap, and more. Just a few clicks and you're in the exclusive beta testing club. There's not much to see yet, but who knows what the future holds? Read More
Following VLC on Android over the last couple of months has felt a little bit like a shell game. It all started in December when VideoLAN declared VLC was finally leaving behind its Beta status. The app retained the same package name, org.videolan.vlc.betav7neon, but was to be considered stable. Earlier this month, a brand new version 1.0 VLC app appeared in the Play Store with a package name and title devoid of the word 'beta.' This new app was to become the channel for stable releases, while the original listing was again repurposed for beta releases. This only lasted a few days before the new version vanished from the Play Store on devices and ceased to be installable from the web, at least for many of us. Read More
Beta tests for new software releases aren't anything new for Android phones or tablets - they're often referred to as "soak tests," especially when manufacturers and carriers are involved. According to an anonymous tipster, Motorola is instituting a new confidential test program, giving at least some users access to much earlier updated builds for Android phones. Our source says that he or she was invited to test out a KitKat 4.4.2 build for the DROID RAZR M.
What follows is (allegedly) a forum post outlining the new Test Drive program, giving users instructions on preparation and flashing and delineating the difference between the new program and the more typical soak tests. Read More