Unlocking our phones is quite the hassle. Sticking a PIN or password on the lock screen is your most reliable option, but inputting that information every time admittedly gets old. There's face unlock, but that's too easy to circumvent. As for fingerprint scanning? The required hardware isn't exactly widespread. So now Descartes Biometrics is offering users the ability to unlock their smartphones... using their ears.
Once installed, ERGO serves as your phone's lockscreen.
You can't spend all day sitting at the computer, but sometimes remote access is almost as good. VNC Viewer from Real VNC is a way for you to connect to a computer through any number of VNC clients, and it's pretty popular. However, it used to be a $10 app. Put your wallet away – it's free now.
The app dropped to $0.99 early today, then to free. As we all know, when an app is made free in Google Play, it cannot be made into a paid app again.
Most current smartwatches, such as the Pebble and the Galaxy Gear, serve as notification hubs for whatever smartphone is paired to them, but this limitation is something several Kickstarter projects have sought to change by effectively turning smartwatches into phones themselves. This approach doesn't address how ludicrous it is to peck out words on such a tiny screen, but Minuum, the Android keyboard that fits the entire alphabet into a single row, could just be the ideal solution.
Today the folks behind Todoist have announced the latest version of their capable task management offering: "Todoist Next." This new name comes with a complete rewrite of the software that improves integration across its 13 supported platforms. Yet for us Android users, the app still looks largely the same. It has kept its current name in the Play Store, and it retains the look introduced in version 2.0 (even though the latest release is 3.0).
Motorola has been making a name for itself by uploading many of its pre-installed apps (both the exciting and the utterly mundane) into the Play Store where it can serve out updates more quickly, but the Google-owned company isn't the only one to make use of this approach. Today Sony has uploaded the Xperia ZI's Timeshift Burst functionality into the Play Store.
Update: According to comments, the app is also compatible with a handful of other Sony devices, including the Xperia Z, ZL, ZQ, and the Tablet Z.
Getting content from your old phone to a new one can be a hassle, but Motorola Migrate makes it surprisingly simple. Just install the app on both devices, scan a QR code or NFC, and the transfer happens over a direct WiFi connection. With today's update, Migrate expands beyond the Android ecosystem to include the ability to get your data from iDevices backed up with iCloud.
The headphones are gigantic. The advertising is inescapable. And now the maker of either the best or the worst music accessories on the market (depending on who you ask) is in the music streaming game. Beats Music is now on the Play Store, offering a streaming catalog of "over 20 million songs from every genre" for ten bucks a month. Beats will be competing with Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, and oh yeah, Google Music All Access.
TeamViewer is a household name, at least if your household does a lot of PC-based remote access. The TeamViewer QuickSupport app is mighty handy if you have to give enterprise-level support to remote Android users, but it's got one big drawback. For full remote control features you need to have a device from a specific manufacturer (or a rooted device from anyone, which is a no-no for both novice users and businesses).
One of the many vectors which delivers leaked information on upcoming phones is the device benchmark score. Many apps upload the results to online leaderboards for all to see. There's quite a bit of information to be gleaned from these online listings – basically the entire spec list. Now Sony is looking to plug this leak by blocking benchmarking apps.
Okay, you've gotten yourself into quite a pickle – how can you live up to that New Year's resolution to learn [insert goal here] when you're so busy? Well, there's always Udemy, which just launched on Android. This is an online repository of courses that teach everything from statistics to "yoga detox," whatever that is.
The app is arriving on Android after a successful stint on iOS.