Howdy. The name's Michael Crider, and I hope you've noticed that I've been hanging around here for the last year or so. I'm a web writer and general geek, born in Texas and now living in Colorado Springs. How I came to work for Android Police over the last 12 months (or possibly a bit longer) is a long and boring story.
Here are the bullet points you need to get context on the following exploration of my stuff: my dad was a computer engineer who worked for General Dynamics and Lockheed back in the 80s, and so I've been surrounded by varying bits of technology for essentially my entire life.
I love gadgets. I remember wandering around the electronics store, checking the specs on every portable radio cassette player, and drooling over an Aiwa one that could play both sides of the tape without requiring manual flipping. I was also the 14-year-old girl who went to the computer shop and had a list of every spec she wanted in her first computer.
Now in my (very) late twenties, that passion hasn't subsided.
When it came time to think about writing a “What We Use” post last year, I was still somewhat new to the AP team and I had just learned that I was about to be the new Teardown guy, so I took a pass on attempting to compile my entire toolset in a single article. I can’t say that I’m any more prepared to do one this year, but I couldn’t resist joining in on the fun.
At this point pretty much everything about Sony's next flagship phone has been spoiled except for the name. The Xperia D6503 "Sirius," which will almost certainly be getting a much less interesting title when it's officially revealed, has had multiple large leaks. A new 12-minute video shows off pretty much everything about the included software.
As Cameron explained in his latest "What We Use" entry, technology can change a lot in just one year. Around this time last year, I was running with a 2012 Nexus 7, a Galaxy Tab 10.1, and an Evo LTE. All of those devices have changed since then, as have my favorite apps and other gadgets. The family of devices I use has grown and evolved significantly since last October, so I thought it may be fun to detail just what I use to get through a normal day.
Besides taking a look at the Galaxy Gear here at IFA 2013, we also got the chance to play around with Samsung's new lineup of Note devices, namely the Note 3 and the Note 10.1 2014 edition.
Ignoring for a moment the devices' form factors, they share a lot of similarities and, in fact, share just about everything software-wise. Samsung's main focus with the new devices, besides their refreshed specs, displays, and hardware design, is the S Pen, which itself has received a functionality upgrade.
Sprint Galaxy SIII owners fire up your "check now" fingers – you'll be getting a software update to version L710VPBMD4 soon, bringing a home screen security fix and a few other changes.
Specifically, the update – slated to start rolling out April 24 – brings Multi-View functionality (by which you can split the screen for multi-tasking purposes), enhancements to the camera and gallery apps, the addition of Samsung's Paper Artist photo editing app, and unspecified bulk SMS enhancements.
Unified Remote, in short, is a great app. Its claim to being "easily the most feature-filled PC remote" may have merit, as Artem will attest. The app, in conjunction with a PC-compatible server, will allow your device to control your mouse, keyboard, and favorite software (think Spotify, Winamp, VLC, Hulu, iTunes, etc.) via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Besides having impressive (and incredibly handy) functionality, Unified Remote impresses with a clean, easy-to-use interface.
When we think of tablet manufacturers, News Corp doesn't really come to mind off the bat. Yet, here we are. The international media conglomerate has announced plans for a branded Android tablet targeted at education called Amplify. The slate would come pre-loaded with Google Apps for Education, content from Common Sense Media, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and a graphing calculator. Most of this can be acquired or supplemented on regular Android tablets, but having the system pre-built may make teachers' lives easier.
While it's not a major Android version update, Sprint is rolling out a pretty good upgrade to Evo LTE customers. The over-the-air software will add the ability to stream audio/video to a television set or other display via an MHL cable. Neat!
The update will also bring a variety of improvements, including to WiFi, Bluetooth compatibility, and the proximity sensor while listening to voicemail. So hopefully you won't have to worry about your face pressing buttons now.