Microsoft's SmartGlass app is a smartphone-based manager for the Xbox One, and it gets some surprisingly frequent love from the developers for a product intended for a direct Google competitor. The latest beta version is a significant bump, 2.4 to 3.16, though the changes aren't immediately obvious beyond a few cosmetic adjustments. The new user interface moves quite a few elements around, and if it isn't completely "material" then at least Microsoft is trying to make it look like an Android app instead of a tiny Xbox window. Read More
Sony has long offered a feature on its phones called Stamina Mode. When activated, unauthorized apps can't run in the background or run sync jobs. The problem, however, is Stamina Mode interferes with Android 6.0 Doze Mode. Sony took it out of early Marshmallow builds, but the company has now confirmed it's coming back. 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
Most phone makers have their own storage/RAM cleaner apps, and now you can add HTC to that list. The OEM's new HTC Preview program kicked off recently, and the first thing users are previewing is a phone cleaner called Boost+. It's not restricted to HTC phones, but you can only get it via the preview program (not that you should want it). Read More
The Blackberry Priv launched last November. While it undeniably has an interesting form factor and shipped with some compelling enterprise-oriented security features, it has remained on Android Lollipop as its flagship competitors received their Marshmallow updates left and right.
But now Blackberry is testing a beta of its hardened version of Android 6.0, and owners of the phone can sign up via the Blackberry Beta Zone.
There are limits to who can join the beta program. The first wave of invitations will be sent to those who bought their devices through the Blackberry Store, Amazon, and British phone retailer Carphone Warehouse. Read More
OnePlus launched the OnePlus 2 last year with Lollipop, and there it has stayed all through the launch of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Some of the more established OEMs have already gotten 6.0 updates out the door (even those that have to go through carriers). Now it's almost OP's turn to update devices to Marshmallow. There's a beta for OxygenOS 3.0, which is based on Marshmallow. You can install it right now, if you like. Read More
There's a new version of Netflix in the Play Store, but it's not rolling out to everyone. You'll only get the latest v5.1 build if you join the new Netflix Play Store beta. Netflix is kicking off its beta with some cool features including a mobile data saver. Read More
If you've ever tried playing an odd video format on your phone, chances are you've used one of a couple of well known video players like MX or VLC. After a slow start, the latter has been receiving rather frequent updates and improvements that keep pushing it forward. VLC also has an active beta program (of which you can be a part by joining this Google+ community and then becoming a tester on the Play Store) and its latest release is version 1.9.0 which is actually a beta for version 2.0.0. Let's pretend that's not unnecessarily convoluted and move on. Read More
The signs have been here for months for WhatsApp's support of document sharing, but the feature has just started rolling out to users over the past several hours. It doesn't seem like the option is baked into a specific version of WhatsApp since we've seen users from 2.12.453 (official Play Store release) to the latest 2.12.493 (beta) reporting it suddenly becoming available to them, while others still don't have it. Odds are it's a server-side trigger that's spreading the feature, and at a very fast pace according to the tips in our inboxes.
So how does WhatsApp Documents work? Sending a document is a matter of tapping the attachment icon in any chat and choosing the new blue Document icon. Read More
Jide Technology is focused on making Android more desktop-like. The company first kickstarted a Microsoft Surface-like tablet, then followed it with a small puck to turn any display into an Android desktop, the Remix Mini. When Michael reviewed the latter, he found the software interesting, but the hardware lacking. The third aspect of Jide's strategy was to release its Remix OS for free for anyone to install and use. Michael also reviewed it and called it promising while still pointing out its current limitations.