What is this witchcraft? DeskDock, now available on the Play Store, allows you to share your computer's keyboard and mouse with your Android device. If you've ever used Synergy, it's very close to that.
What's the point of something like this, you may ask? The primary use the developer provided was to make Android development much easier. With this tool, you could work on an application on your computer, push it to your device, and test it without your hands ever leaving your keyboard. But there are plenty of other potential uses as well - you could use your Android tablet as another monitor to watch media on, for example.
Are you noticing muted colors or unusual artifacts when watching video on your Android phone or set-top box after upgrading to Marshmallow? You're not alone. Dozens of users across several devices are complaining of muted colors after upgrading to Android 6.0. On Google's own Nexus help forum and Android issue tracker, plus less centralized places like XDA and Reddit, users are complaining of similar problems after the update.
The photos above were posted to code.google.com by a user with a Gmail address (#12 in the thread). The difference in black levels between the first image (video from a Nexus Player running Android 5.1.1) and the second image (the same device running Android 6.0) is obvious.
Every time Samsung releases a new high-profile phone or tablet, it also makes a bunch of pricey first-party cases to go with it. And why not - they're high-margin accessories that get stocked by the likes of Best Buy and carrier stores, and most of the time they're actually pretty nice. But the first round of official cases for the Galaxy S6 Edge are showing some remarkable problems: they might actually be damaging the gadgets they're designed to protect.
We're talking about the "Clear View" series of cases in particular, which wrap around the back of the phones and cover the screen with a translucent piece of plastic, allowing the time and other information to shine through.
It was inevitable. Inevitable, I tell you. With the smartphone market becoming a ridiculous battlefield of overpowered spec sheets, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to cram a 4K resolution into a phone. That someone is Japanese smartphone maker and frequent part supplier Sharp, who revealed a 5.5" screen module with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. That's a density of 806 pixels per square inch, for those of you keeping score at home.
Have you ever wondered why the blacks on your Samsung phone look so, well, black? Ask your nearest videophile, and he or she will tell you that it's because AMOLED screens emit no light from pixels when they're assigned to draw the "black" color. It's black because the pixel is almost literally turned off. By the same token, an AMOLED pixel displaying black will also draw almost no electrical power. So AMOLED phones with black wallpapers or black-themed apps can, at least theoretically, boost their battery life significantly.
That's the principle behind Pixel OFF, a new tool available in the Play Store.
Google Play Services version 6.5 began rolling out to users a few days ago, and as we work on an APK teardown to see what's under the hood, it looks like there's at least one more user-facing change in the update. Specifically, Android's system update screen is prettier.
The screen which, until now, consisted of the same drab title, horizontal break, "last checked" text, and "check now" button, has been granted a better design treatment. There's a new header image, new colors, and refined typography, along with a flat text button, per Google's design spec.
before and after
The functionality of the system updates screen may still resemble the button on a crosswalk signal, but it at least looks better.
One of Samsung's claims to fame is a feature meant to improve productivity on mobile devices. One that users of stock Android and manufacturer skins alike have been yearning for for a while. That feature is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps on the screen at once, dragging and dropping between the two.
The problem is no one has been able to get it right yet. A company in the mobile space - in this writer's opinion - has yet to perfect the balance between utility and intuition when it comes to multi-window functionality on tablets (or phones, though I haven't used the Note 4 yet), but a post to Android Internals in March confirmed that Google had been working on the programmatic side of multi-window in stock Android.
I think everyone knows by now that Motorola had to make a few sacrifices with the Moto 360, one of which I personally still notice every time I wear it - the flat tire look. The small blacked out area on the bottom of the watch contains the ambient sensor and a few other components that didn't fit elsewhere in this design, at least in the amount of time the company had to deliver the first iteration to consumers.
I know some of you will tell me that you stopped noticing it ages ago, and it's not a problem, but to me, it still is - every time I see a watchface that doesn't adjust for the inverted hump, I'm reminded of the shortcoming.
Over the last day or so we've been seeing reports that Google is now replacing broken Nexus 5 units under its Google Play warranty program, even if those specific phones were damaged by an accidental fall or water damage. That's a pretty significant shift from the usual warranty coverage on the Play Store and elsewhere, which tends to cover a replacement or repair only if the unit is defective or malfunctioning.
New devices almost always have some sort of defect buyers should be on the lookout for, and the new Kindle Fire HDX tablet is no exception. Now that Amazon's newest Android device is getting into people's hands, reports are beginning to surface of a strange purple or blue haze around the edge of the screen.
The issue seems present on all edges of the screen equally, and is particularly evident on white backgrounds. The video above gives you a glimpse of the defect, but it's not as noticeable as it is in real life. According to Amazon, this is known manufacturing defect with some units.