Staying in a hotel with crappy Wi-Fi is frustrating, but not half so frustrating as finding this out by starting up your phone, connecting, realizing there's no Internet access, then manually disabling Wi-Fi to make sure it goes back to 3G or LTE. In Lollipop, Android 5.0 will do that for you: when the system sees no connection to the Internet (or more probably Google servers) via a Wi-Fi connection on a device with a cellular radio, it will automatically default to mobile data to keep an active connection.
Every now and then an app pops up that looks like it was designed entirely for people like us. And by us, I mean tech reviewers, enthusiasts, and people who just somehow end up with more gadgets to maintain than we know what to do with. In this situation, it can be challenging to keep up with all the electronics and make sure each device is charged enough for use. Potential is a new app (still in beta) that can keep track of everything's battery life from a single location, and with its slick Material-inspired design, it looks good doing it.
Nexus season is in full swing, and as rumors and leaks continue to pile up around Motorola's Nexus 6 (Shamu), we've been wondering when more news might emerge about Volantis (or Flounder, or T1, take your pick) - HTC's 9" Nexus tablet that we first learned of back in spring.
As Blog of Mobile reports, it looks like the Nexus 9 has passed through the FCC for certification, with the relevant documents becoming available just yesterday.
T-Mobile unveiled several Wi-Fi initiatives as part of Un-Carrier 7.0 that it hopes will help fill in the gaps where its network is weak and even extend coverage to places its towers have no chance of reaching. To make things better, one part of its plan doesn't ask T-Mobile customers for money, while the other is free with an asterisk. Both are publicly available starting today.
Let's get the latter one cleared up first.
We owe many thanks to Best Buy for outing the details of several products a bit before their time. It seems the retailer is at it again with a posting of the Moto 360, including a price and most of the product specs. At some time in the near future, $250 will be all that stands in the way of picking up Motorola's brand new wearable. Unfortunately, it's just listed as "Coming Soon" without any release date.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet isn't the most high-profile tablet around, but there are more than a few fans of Sony's unique industrial design. Combine that with the company's unlocked hardware (at least for non-carrier versions), and you've got a perfect candidate for custom ROMs. The CyanogenMod team has started publishing nightly releases for the Z2 Tablet, in both its Wi-Fi (castor) and unlocked GSM (castor_windy) flavors. The first nightly build is available for download now.
Android's upcoming L release, currently available in developer preview form, has a lot of improvements to its networking and Wi-Fi capability. One of the smaller additions that will nonetheless make a few people very, very happy is the user-facing reporting of Wi-Fi frequencies. Translation: you can finally see whether the Wi-Fi network you're connected to is using the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band.
Left, center: separate network frequencies in Android L (note the SSID).
Oh, you have a 64GB microSD card in your phone? That's cute, but Samsung has this 1.5TB wireless hard drive that can provide untold hours of digital entertainment streamed directly to your Android device via the hard drive's built-in WiFi access point. That's a lot of space you can fill up with content, but how well does it work?
16GB of on-board storage? Pathetic. 32GB MicroSD card? Miserly. Samsung is teaming up with its subsidiary Seagate to provide an add-on mobile storage solution that should outstrip just about everything out there, and do a few more tricks as well. The "Samsung Wireless" device is combination Wi-Fi/USB portable hard drive and portable battery with a gigantic 1.5TB capacity, set to sell for $179. Unfortunately there's no reliable release date, and it's not available on the Samsung store at the moment.
Even after years on the market and innumerable would-be competitors, GoPro remains the standard for "action cameras." A big part of that is the excellent smartphone integration that GoPro's devices have maintained, and today the official Android app gets a little better in a lot of small ways. The most obvious is the new user interface, which is visible on Android 4.0 and above. The all-black UI keeps its focus on minimalism and utility, but gets rid of some of the gradients of the former interface.