Google seems to really love tinkering with its Clock app. The latest version of the app, 4.2, should be rolling out in the Play Store now. This one is available to everyone running Android 4.4 or higher (we didn't grab it from one of the Android M preview builds). It has exactly one new notable feature: the ability to gradually increase alarm volume, which is a fairly typical feature of alarm apps (and even real, physical clocks). The rest is a bunch of visual tweaking.
How many devices is your power outlet powering? Not enough, right? Here's the thing—you don't need to have your phones, tablets, external battery packs, Bluetooth speakers, wireless headphones, smartwatches, fitness bracelets, and wireless mice all take turns charging. With a large enough USB hub, you can power all of them at once.
An update to the YouTube app includes text that describes a product called YouTube Red as the service that enables background playback, a feature that has long been restricted to Music Key (and Music Unlimited) subscribers.
LG is expected to announce a device known as the V10 on October 1st. This is notable because the phone is rumored to have a second auxiliary "ticker" display above the main one. Thus far we've been left wondering what this would look like in practice, but a new leak from Evan "@evleaks" Blass makes things clearer.
Marshmallow is around the corner, but you know the routine by now. Updates take a while to roll out to some devices. Right now Verizon Wireless is pushing Lollipop to the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 and Note Pro 12.2.
Just like with paper mail, some senders can't help but screw with a good thing. Alongside letters from sweethearts and loved ones, you have unsolicited offers from who knows what. And you seemingly run the risk of getting added to a mailing list every time you sign up for a new site.
To keep users from giving up and walking away from their webmail for good, Gmail has made a strong effort to filter out spam and help users keep only the mail they want to see in their inbox. Now Gmail is going to provide even more control. Users will soon have the option to block users they never want to receive messages from again.
BBC iPlayer is Internet streaming's gift to the UK. The service is packed to the brim with British TV shows and documentaries, and the Android app offers a nice way to consume as much as you can.
And while you're at it, now you can get a taste of upcoming features as well. The BBC has launched an official beta testing program in the Play Store. It's open to anyone with a Google account and an Android device, as long as they live in the UK.
Smart home technology is great. The Nest Learning Thermostat, Phillips Hue, and Sonos sound systems are wonderful products that make life more convenient, automated, and beautiful. These technologies are great, but many components in a smart home are controlled by applications from a smart phone or tablet. Having to pull your phone out of your pocket and unlock it every time you want to turn off the lights while watching a movie can be a little annoying.
Fortunately, the Logitech Harmony Home Control makes running a smart home a little easier. The remote works great for controlling your media center, but it also can be programmed to control many different home automation devices.
Say what you will about the OnePlus 2 (and we certainly have), it's perhaps the most likely phone released this year to be modified by end users, with the possible exception of the new Nexus devices. So it's a good thing that all those tinkerers and ROM flashers now have a reliable way of applying updates and making backups. Team Win Recovery Project, better known as TWRP, is now available in a OnePlus 2 flavor. It's version 2.8.7, the latest stable release.
At this point the TWRP custom recovery is probably the most popular among the many recovery options available across a wide variety of Android devices.
Update: OK, it's finally happening! Here are our winners for the official Marshmallow figurine contest, in no particular order.
Jason Scofi - for his outstandingly awesome, one-of-a-kind upcycled Android statue. It's fantastic.
Keith Myers - for Artem's Luck... the game. You can download it here. Yes, really: Keith made an Android game about Artem's technological misadventures. It's hilarious. Keith, your figurine is well-earned.
Jeff Kosmicki - for this short animated video of a bugdroid getting hit by a flying marshmallow.
Evan Liao - for his outstanding Android Marshmallow wallpaper everyone should download immediately.
Here's a mobile wallpaper version with just the little marshmallow guy.