We don't talk about rooting nearly as much these days. It's not that plenty of people aren't still doing it, but the popularity of modding has slowly dropped off as Android continues to mature. One of the leading deterrents to rooting is the hassle of manually staying current with updates, which can take more effort than it's worth–especially with Google adopting a monthly rollout schedule for Nexus security updates. Chainfire, developer of SuperSU, has updated his app FlashFire to take the pain out of keeping up-to-date by adding support for OTA packages and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
FlashFire was originally built to flash full firmware images and update ZIPs (like those you install through recovery), and to backup or restore your device. Read More
Nintendo's kid-friendly multiplayer shooter Splatoon has been making a splash (sorry) in the wider gaming world ever since its release, thanks to an engaging mix of bright, colorful design and fresh gameplay ideas. We're never going to see the full Splatoon on Android (even when Nintendo does get around to making mobile games), but if you'd like something with a similar feel, give Splash Cars a try. It hits a lot of the same notes in a single-player mobile package. Read More
People rate public speaking as one of their greatest fears, usually right between crocodile attacks and terrorism. The miracle of Google Cardboard can help you get over that fear with a little app called Public Speaking for Cardboard. Just fire up the app and you'll be transported in front of an audience to practice your speech as they stare awkwardly at you. Read More
Google is changing Hangouts to place peer-to-peer calls when possible. A notification containing the news is now appearing for users when they initiate a call with one of their contacts. Read More
Sticking a Chromecast dongle is one of the cheapest ways to teach a dumb TV how to stream your favorite content. The downside is that Google's little media stick is heavily tied into the company's ecosystem. If your Android device lacks Google Play Services, you're not casting.
Here in the States, only a minority of Android devices have this issue. The majority of them are Amazon Fire tablets, with a few belonging to folks who either try to avoid or can't install Google Play Services for one reason or another. Then there are all those Chinese phones and tablets that get apps from alternative app stores. Read More
The Play Books update from a couple of days ago turned up the first sign of life for the Family Library we've seen since mid-November. At the time, I made a quick prediction that matching strings would pop up fairly soon in Google's other content apps, and Play Movies & TV is the first to follow through. But this wasn't just a mirror image of the same strings, there's actually a bit of new information regarding movies sold as a bundle and seasons of television shows.
In case anybody is curious, this update doesn't have anything in the way of notable new features. Read More
Google's Snapseed got a big v2.0 update last year, and continued to get some update love on a regular basis after that. Now, it's getting another notable update to v2.3. Google was even gracious enough to provide us with a changelog. Stop, Google. You'll spoil us. Read More
Our smartphones come jam-packed with sensors. Do you know what the barometer in your phone is good for? Some apps use it as an altimeter to better map your location and elevation. PressureNet uses it to help predict the weather. With the help of hundreds of thousands of users, this piece of open source software has helped an abundance of people anticipate what the sky may soon drop on the people in their area. Read More
Google has, at long last, started rolling out the Android 6.0 update for Android Wear. It will take some time to make it to all watches, but in the case of two devices, the OTA will awaken the dormant speaker. Glide is ready to take advantage of that feature with its video messaging app, which is updated and waiting. Read More