Stock Android has had built-in tethering since version 2.2 way back in 2010, but most carrier-branded devices in the US have the option disabled. Sure, there are root apps and various workarounds, but they can be a mess. If you don't need web access, but want your devices on a local network, you're often out of luck. A new app from well-known developer Chainfire gives you back some control (on some devices), and it doesn't require root.
The app is designed to be simple – just pick a network name and a password, then activate. WPA2 AES + TKIP is always enabled in the interest of security and ease of use.
The founders of Do@ (often spelled DoAT) believe your smartphone is boring and stale, and they want to make it "dynamic" with Everything.me Launcher. I always love new and innovative launchers, or, just about anything that could dramatically change how I interact with my smartphone. When I saw the video, which promises your smartphone will adapt to whatever you are interested in, I was more than a little intrigued. The idea is for people to declare what they want to see at the moment, and then immerse them with imagery and apps.
Everything.me is a typical home screen replacement in most ways, and even appears to be based on the stock Jellybean launcher.
Since the introduction of expandable notifications in Jelly Bean, the shade has increasingly become the home for widgets and easy-access controls. StatusAgenda brings this concept to your calendar, creating a persistent list of upcoming events accessible from anywhere in the operating system.
At the moment, the app is pretty barebones, but it doesn't need too much fluff. You can choose from either a larger or more compact layout, and the list of events can be collapsed with the regular gestures you use to open and close expandable notifications. StatusAgenda is free on the Play Store, and still listed as a beta for the moment.
A few months ago, Microsoft announced the SmartGlass app for Xbox, a companion application that allows you to navigate and control your console from your phone or, up until recently, 7" tablets. Now, version 1.5 has rolled out that adds support for larger slates. Including 10" devices like the Nexus 10, which is kind of great.
On a larger tablet, the UI actually doesn't look much different from the interface on the TV itself, so it's extremely intuitive. Also, this update brings an always-on state, so your device won't shut off while you're using the companion app. SmartGlass is free on the Play Store and the update is available immediately.
If you're like us, you have an obsession with new apps. When you try every new app you come across though, you're bound for disappointment. After all, not every app can be a paragon of functionality, style, and convenience. With that in mind, we go through the long list of new apps submitted to the Play Store every couple of weeks and bring you the best. Even that, though, can be a little too much to digest for some users. For that reason, we've got monthly roundups featuring just a handful of the very very best apps and games from the previous month.
If you don't keep an obsessive eye on video game development, you might not be aware of Unity. It's a 3D game engine that makes it easy to develop games for multiple platforms and multiple rendering engines, including Direct3D, OpenGL, and (on Android and iOS) OpenGL ES. It's not the most powerful or flexible thing around, but a lot of developers rely on the tool. Now they've got an easy way to estimate game performance on different Android hardware, via the Basemark X benchmark from Rightware.
Basemark X is also pretty impressive as a demonstration of the graphical power of Unity 4.
Well guys, after lots of wishing/hoping/praying, fullscreen is finally available on Chrome for Android. The phone-specific feature made its way into Chrome 27 – which currently just hit the beta channel – alongside a few other useful features:
The Chrome Team is happy to announce the promotion of Chrome 27 to the Beta channel for Android. Chrome 27.0.1453.49 contains a number of great new updates including:
Fullscreen on phones - Scroll down the page and the toolbar will disappear.
Simpler searching - Searching from the omnibox will keep your search query visible in the omnibox, making it easier to edit, and show more on your search result page.
I know what you're thinking: "Oh, no... not another social image sharing app!" And if this were anything like that, I'd share you sentiments. But it's not – it's actually quite refreshing, because this app focuses solely on sharing and not at all on social.
Here's the gist: you take a pic – called a Rando in this case – and send it anonymously to someone in a completely random place elsewhere in the world. In return, you also get a Rando. And you must send one to get one. All transfers are completely anonymous – you won't know who got your Rando, and likewise won't know who sent the one you got.
"Burner" cellphones, pre-paid phones that are used and discarded, have become a handy way to protect your identity if you find yourself dealing with people you might not otherwise want to meet. Just lately it has become possible to get "disposable" phones without the phone, thanks to apps like Hushed, which provides a limited-use virtual number that can be easily substituted for your real one. Burner is a new competitor in the same vein, happily landing on Android after considerable success on iOS.
While the operation is similar, Burner is much more interested in the "use and lose" nature of its virtual phone numbers.
Exactly one year ago, Cinemagram developers teased an Android version of its crazy GIF and/or video-sharing service. 365 days later (today!) that app has finally arrived and it's pretty great! As with the iOS version, you can record a video, loop it, and select certain portions of the video to animate while other portions stay still (which can lead to some surreal effects).
Since that initial tease a year ago, there have been some changes, however. Twitter released Vine in the interim and Cinemagram has added the similar ability to create short, "edited" videos by letting users hold to record, releasing to change camera positions and continuing.