Look, we're not in the audiophile business. We don't cover music products that don't feature Android in some way, shape, or form. And running bleeding-edge software is not a prerequisite for quality sound. But seriously, Sony, if you're going to charge twelve hundred dollars for a device that runs Android, could you not load it with an OS build that's over two years old? Alas, such is the case with the Walkman NW-ZX2 announced at CES.
T-Mobile doesn't have the most expansive network, so while it's doing its part to rapidly roll out LTE to many of the country's largest markets, it's also coming up with other ways to fill in the gaps where its connection is weak. Today the company made a series of Un-Carrier 7.0 announcements that all concern using Wi-Fi to make calls or send texts, even from 30,000 feet (texting and voicemail only).
You know the scenario: friends come over, want to use your Wi-Fi, and expect you to just hand over the password. I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty weird about just giving my password to everyone who walks through the door, regardless of how well I know them. Most of time I opt to type my password in for them, but there is an easier way: store your Wi-Fi info on an NFC tag.
One more app that took part in Update Wednesday yesterday is the official Chromecast app, which helps users set up their new Chromecasts to work with their phone or tablet. The app got bumped from 1.3.10 to 1.5.3 and while Google has published its own short change log, we of course couldn't resist doing a quick teardown to see if there were any other goodies. First though, here's what Google says is new.
Privacy and technology maintain a tenuous relationship, and the balance between convenient features and personal security is always one worth keeping in mind as users make the most of their devices' capabilities. To that end, Chainfire has released a new proof of concept app that aims to give users at least some peace of mind when it comes to the - for lack of a better term - trackability of their devices, specifically related to Wi-Fi.
You know you probably have it well when your biggest inconvenience is having to wait for the kettle to boil each morning. But hey, pain is relative, and I'm not going to pretend like it's not annoying. But thanks to that Android phone on your bedside table, you won't be stuck with this burden for long. No, there isn't an app that will solve this problem for you, there's a kettle - a Wi-Fi kettle that you can control from your Android device.
We've all been there: for 20 minutes during takeoff and landing, the cabin of an American airliner becomes a virtual Faraday cage as every passenger is told to turn off everything with a battery, from the latest Android superphones to the humble Game Boy. This practice has been heavily criticized in the last few years, and there's finally some real movement towards tossing it out the window. The Wall Street Journal reports that a Federal Aviation Administration advisory panel has recommended approving electronic devices for use during takeoff and landing, including WiFi data access.
There's good news for frequent international travelers and Fon users alike today. Fon and AT&T have entered into a mutually-beneficial agreement to let each other's users access both networks when out and about. So AT&T International WiFi users will have access to Fon's distributed WiFi hotspots without having to buy the Fonera hardware, and Fon users won't have to pay an access fee on the AT&T WiFi hotspots that still charge one.
If there is one thing we all eventually rely on with mobile devices, it's having a sturdy Wi-Fi connection. Whether it's because of a low data cap, you live or work somewhere with a weak cell signal, or like me, the local cellular technology is stuck in the stone age, you probably have a few wireless networks saved on your phone or tablet. While you probably take it for granted that your devices will automatically connect to these networks when they are in range, some people are finding that feature hasn't been working as expected since upgrading to Android 4.3.
In our Chromecast review, one of Ryan's complaints was that the device can't be used on public Wi-Fi networks, like hotels, for example. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon, according to John Affaki, Engineering Manager for the dev experience on Chromecast. That's a real bummer for anyone who travels frequently and was looking to supplement the crappy hotel TV for something new and interesting via Chromecasts.