The idea of supplementing mobile data with a more reliable Wi-Fi connection is nothing new, but now cable provider Cablevision wants to make it users' primary source for their mobile needs. The company announced its new mobile plan, called Freewheel, that essentially omits a dedicated mobile connection altogether and relies exclusively on Wi-Fi to provide service. As a result, it's far more affordable - $30 a month for "regular" customers, or just $10 a month for Cablevision's Optimum Online customers. Read More
Facebook's official app is a lot better than it used to be, if only because the service has become so ubiquitous that it's more or less constantly being updated. Even so, there are Android users with older or cheaper phones, and users in areas where it's hard to find a reliable data connection, that Facebook is intent on serving. To that end the company has published Facebook Lite on the Play Store. Read More
T-Mobile likes to do stuff to make other carriers look bad, then John Legere likes to talk about how it makes the other carriers look bad. I like this. In fact, if T-Mobile's coverage wasn't so awful, I might even switch. Today, the company launched another thing to make other carriers look bad, called "SCORE!" This new program aims to help users save money on new phones, because everyone hates to pay full price. Read More
Google's compatibility definition document (CDD) is meant to provide guidelines, requirements, and recommendations to Android device manufacturers who want their devices to be "compatible" with the latest release of Android, allowing them to pass Google's Compatibility Test Suite.
Last time Google updated the document, we noted at least one change of interest, requiring that manufacturers use white status icons with translucent bars. Naturally, when we noticed Google had updated the document again, we had to take a look and see what changes had been made. Read More
Prepare your eyes and ears, because CyanogenMod is introducing a new boot animation in today's nightlies (for CM 12 builds). Your eyes need to be ready because this time, the background is white. Your ears, on the other hand, need to be ready for all the inevitable whining about how some users wish it was still predominantly dark. Rather than tiptoe around it, here are the goods:
As long as you aren't offended by the color scheme, it is actually quite nice. Read More
Sony's international phones have unlockable bootloaders, and the company even encourages users to tinker around with neat extras like AOSP builds. Alas, in markets like the US the carriers are still the keepers of the keys for a lot of customers, and T-Mobile has once again insisted on locking that sucker down for anyone who buys its version of the Sony Xperia Z3. Now users with this lamentable affliction can at least get root access on their phones, thanks to a bounty-winning method from an XDA user. Read More
There are immeasurable options for portable Bluetooth speakers these days, but if you want big sound without saying goodbye to audio fidelity, you're going to have to spend some considerable cash. Case in point: the Jawbone BIG JAMBOX, though very well-received by reviewers, is outside of most consumers' accessory budget at $300. Today you can take a big chunk of that off thanks to Best Buy, which is selling the stylish speaker for $199.99. Read More
Update: Today's the day!
To celebrate recent Golden Globe wins, Amazon plans to treat customers to a couple of deals this weekend. First, it plans to allow free streaming of all episodes of Transparent, its award-winning original series. That's ten episodes, available to stream Saturday January 24 from 12:01am eastern to 11:59pm pacific using Amazon's Prime Instant Video service.
Perhaps more exciting, though, is the fact that Amazon will be offering Prime memberships for $72 on the same day (to celebrate the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards of course), a nice discount over the normal $99/year price. Read More
YouTube has become a great place for indie musicians to get their work out to the public, and in a few cases, even make a little extra money with Google's automated Content ID music identifying and licensing service. That was all well and good, right up to the point where Google decided it would make its video site into a formal music service with YouTube Music Key. We heard of serious issues with the contract terms even before the service launched, but now one independent artist has spilled the beans on those terms, and how they've left her in a conundrum. Read More
Sometimes old stuff is too old. It's sad, but companies don't have unlimited resources, and they can't provide new software updates and service forever. That's especially true of smaller companies like Dropcam (though it's technically owned by Nest, which is technically owned by Google, so I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "small" company anymore). But instead of simply leaving owners of older hardware in the dust, or compromising on new features for the always-on home monitoring service, Dropcam has decided to simply upgrade the old models for free. Read More