Most of you have probably heard of theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking, one of the most high-profile scientists in the world. Hawking suffers from a rare condition related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that leaves him with extremely limited movement; for the last few decades he has used a customized mobile computer and a voice synthesizer to speak and write with tiny muscular actions. The latest version of his personal setup was created with the help of Intel and SwiftKey, and the keyboard software developer detailed the process on its company blog.
Normally the IDrive mobile backup service is $5 a year for unlimited data backups. (Not to be confused with the desktop version, which is considerably more expensive.) But today you can get a lifetime of backup service for just ten bucks. StackSocial is running the promotion, which will be available for another six days. If you find Google or Dropbox's backup plans too limiting, this might be worth a look.
Mozilla has rolled a new version of Firefox out to the Android browser's stable channel, bringing with it screen mirroring and a few other goodies. This isn't the first time some of this has popped up in Firefox, but being the stable channel, it all works now.
Nova is a homescreen launcher replacement that doesn't look like one, an option that feels about as close to stock as anything non-stock can—except immediately following the release of a new version of Android. During that time, Nova looks slightly dated, harking back to a distant past known to us as several months ago (or, for the majority of devices out there, the present). But without fail, an update comes that brings Nova users the look and feel of Google's latest homescreen.
In a move that shows Microsoft's interest in improving its products for rival platforms, the company has acquired Accompli, a developer whose email client is available for both Android and iOS.
Accompli, as the app is also called, triages your inbox, giving priority to the messages that may be the most important. It combines this with filters and other features geared towards giving you control of your mail.
Accompli currently sits in the Play Store with somewhere between 10,000 - 50,000 installs, but the number of users impacted by this acquisition will be much higher.
Update: All Aviary add-ons were originally free with the use of an Adobe ID until November 30th. Now that date appears to have been pushed back until early 2015. If you didn't jump on this offer before, it looks like you have at least another month to do so.
Secure Settings is a complex Tasker/Locale plugin for rooted and non-rooted security conscious users alike. Version 1.3.5 of the app has gone stable, bringing with it a beefy changelog that should help the software play nicely with modern devices and give older handsets new perks as well.
Update: We've heard from a source close to Digital Turbine that the software is not supposed to re-install bloat apps after they have been removed by the user. Once they're gone, they should stay gone, barring a factory reset of the phone (at which point they will reinstall, but again, only once). Digital Turbine was also not able to reproduce this behavior in its own testing on the T-Mobile Note 4, so it's not clear what went wrong for this particular user.
AirDroid is one of those indispensible tools that goes on a new phone or tablet the minute I set it up. And it's only gotten better in the years since it debuted: the second version of the web-based management app allowed users to access their Android device for files, contacts, photos, and other functions from any browser with a login system. With version 3, just published as a beta app, the developer has added a stand-alone desktop manager for Windows and OS X.