I admit that we're all pretty nerdy here at AP and we obsess over things that most people don't even consider. But we do it for all of you. One thing that some of us, especially Artem, want to know is how fast a particular charger/cable combination charges. Power meters were designed just for people like us, but I am here to show you what the folks at Satechi have cooked up. Read More
Does your home have a lot of mobile devices? I mean a lot of them? Maybe you're a modern-day Brady Bunch, and every adult and kid has a phone, tablet, smartwatch, and external battery? Or alternately, do you run a bar or work for a gadget blog? Then you'll probably be able to find a use for the Yubi Universal USB Family Charging Tower Station With Surge And Overload Protection For... you know what, I'm running out of words here. They're big hunks of plastic with a ton of USB charging ports, and today they're cheap at Amazon.
You can grab the 24-port version of the tower for $31.99, a discount of about $8 off the regular price (don't believe the $99 "retail price," it's the typical Amazon vendor baloney). Read More
How many USB ports are enough? Five? Ten? A million? You can get somewhere in the middle of that with the Yubi Power 40-port USB charging hub, which can be yours for a mere $43.95, down from a list price of $69. It's available with free Amazon Prime shipping too.
Power! Unlimited power! Okay, technically the Skiva PowerFlow Octofire limits us to charging eight devices at once, but in a world of plugging devices into power outlets one at a time, this sounds like a gift from the gods. Users can charge two families' worth of devices (or, for the sake of imagination, half of a college class, every phone in a very small office, or all the handsets that can fit in the pockets contained within a clown car). If the Octofire were a vehicle, it would be the Bugatti Veyron, capable of speeding halfway across a state in the time it takes most drivers to fumble for their EZ Pass. Read More
People who have received a OnePlus One through one means or another are now receiving an over-the-air software update that addresses a charging issue affecting the device. Sometimes the phone would think it's plugged into USB when it's actually plugged into AC power and, as a result, charge only half as fast, if not slower. The handset would display Charging (USB) instead of Charging (AC). This information is available in the Status screen under settings, which is visible at the top of the third screenshot below.
Following the update, things seem to work just fine. This is good, because considering the OnePlus One's sizable 3100mAh battery, no one wants to sit around for hours waiting for that bad boy to charge. Read More
Battery life on Android has been a bit of a sore spot for many users, mostly because it's simply not good enough. Most devices can make it a day on moderate use, and a few can even do so comfortably, very few phones can hit two days without some time on the charger. The Android "L" release is making several improvements to power efficiency via Project Volta, but there are also ways to improve 3rd-party apps, and that's where the new Job Scheduler comes in.
In the past, if a developer wants to run a background task to pull data from a server or run some processor-intensive work, the app has to listen for certain events or set an alarm to wake up at regular intervals. Read More
At Google I/O last week, Google announced Project Volta, its effort to change and drastically improve how Android manages battery life. Since then the folks over at Ars Technica have downloaded the publicly available L developer preview build and put it through its paces. Is there a noticeable difference? Yes, apparently. They were able to get an an extra two hours of battery life out of their Nexus 5, an improvement of thirty-six percent. Regardless of how exact these numbers are, the difference suggests good things.
For the process, Ars used a single device, flashed to 4.4.4, signed in, updated apps, charged up, and ran the test (which keeps the screen on and automatically loads a webpage over Wi-Fi every 15 seconds until the battery dies). Read More
If you've been looking for an easy way to get into the home automation craze, Belkin has a series of plug-and-play accessories that will let you control lights and other electronics without any major home modifications. The WeMo series is relatively cheap and controllable with your phone or tablet via the Android app. Amazon's daily deal portal Gold Box has select WeMo accessories and switches on sale for today only.
The most basic part of the WeMo line is the WeMo Switch, a simple on/off switch that hangs out on a standard wall outlet and connects to your home's WiFi network. Read More
In a post to Google+, CyanogenMod has announced "the death of Power Widgets," offering up an explanation of CM's new solution: a Quick Access Ribbon.
Power Widgets, as the post explains, have been a hit since their birth in CyanogenMod 7, but have languished both in terms of maintenance and usefulness ever since. Their redundancy took another hike with the introduction of Google's Quick Settings shade in stock Android.
"Soon," the post goes on "we will say goodbye to the notification power widgets, discarding their 3000+ lines of code for a sleeker (only 370 new lines), newer, and more efficient method of toggling your settings."
The new implementation will offer a sleek, slim ribbon of quick settings tiles determined by the configuration of the actual Quick Settings shade, and will allow the CM team to offer functionality similar to the old power widgets without maintaining a separate stream of code. Read More
Good light meters are expensive. The other problem with light meters is that they're often clunky and outdated in appearance. Pricey and ugly as they may be, they're a hugely convenient tool for photographers looking to get their exposures right the first time.
Lumu is looking to address both of those problems with the similarly-named Lumu light meter for smartphones. The Lumu, to put it simply, is both beautiful and awesome.
It plugs into your headphone jack and communicates with a dedicated app that will instantly update exposure readouts as light changes.
Evidently, we're not the only ones who think Lumu is awesome – at the time of writing, the project has amassed $174,204 in funding. Read More