We all have a favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Back when I still watched the show (you know, that one), I was a fan of Michelangelo, but as I grew into the book-loving, prose-writing young lad that I am today, I found that Donatello would have been a more appropriate match. I went through four years of college with hardly a sip of alcohol, and we all know Michelangelo would have been wasted before orientation was even over, found lying in the middle of campus without his shell.
One of the best things about Android is the degree to which the system can be customized. That extreme level of customization has allowed the community to create some pretty stunning themes that can be applied to almost any device. It's easy – all you need is a new home screen, some backgrounds, some icon packs, a few additional widgets, maybe some skin files, some other odds and ends, and lots of patience.
Japan loves vending machines. You know those machines with iPods and Bose headphones at the airport? Japan had them first, among, many, many others, including machines for liquor, live bait, produce, Pokemon, and various other slightly insane things. Now it looks like Google is joining the fray with a promotional machine that dispenses Android games right to your phone. What?
Engadget was on-hand at a Google event where the company showed off one of three vending machines that will soon go into service.
There are many ways to move files between your computers and your Android devices, but most of them feel like a hassle. PushBullet makes things far more simple. This combination web browser plugin/mobile app can send files and links from your computer directly to your notification tray, where you can access them without having to dig around, and its Android app just received a substantial update to version 11.1 that makes it both more attractive and accessible than before.
Samsung's ChatON comes pre-installed on a good number of the world's Android devices, and while many of you would take that as reason alone to overlook the app, a good number of other people take the time to check it out. 100 million, apparently. Samsung's happy to announce that its instant messaging platform has doubled the number of users it had back in May. Their excitement is understandable, considering the app first launched in October of 2011.
The Neatly Twitter client has been making a small but dedicated fanbase for a while now, though it's been available on Android for less than a year. Last week developer F16 Apps decided to pursue a new strategy, and the various versions of Neatly (Android, iOS, and Blackberry 10) are now free. The previous price on the Play Store has shifted between one and two dollars American.
Neatly includes most of the whiz-bang features of a modern Twitter client, but its focus is on intelligent filtering of Twitter feeds.
Frequent Android gamers know that the newest AAA titles are insatiable power hogs, and more than a few are made infinitely better with the addition of hardware controls. Until someone comes out with an Xperia Play MAXX (seriously Sony, get on that), the MOGA Power series might just be the best way to address these issues. The controller/external battery combos have been a long time coming, but now they're finally available for pre-order on Amazon.
The CyanogenMod cLock home and lock screen widget is capable of displaying the time, the weather, upcoming calendar events, and more. It's highly configurable, as you would expect considering the ROM it's associated with, and thanks to popular demand, it's now available in the Play Store as a standalone app. Only now it goes by its original name - Chronus.
It looks like Google isn't done adding goodies to the latest round of updates for the official Search app. The hotword for activating the voice search function is now "Ok Google," and it also works while looking at results, not just from the standard search screen. You'll need Search 2.8.7 (grab the APK here if you don't have it yet) and an updated English (US) language pack to see the new functionality.