So you have a Google TV, but you want to use it for something other than watching TV. We understand - we are an Android blog dedicated to telling you how to do just about anything but place a call using your smartphone, after all. So I present to you the Enblink, a Chromecast-sized dongle that also plugs into your TV, giving it wireless control over your home's lighting and other existing devices.
Gameloft has released eight games in the Asphalt series in just under nine years. If practice makes perfect, then Asphalt 8 should be nothing less than the greatest racing game ever made. It doesn't quite live up to that lofty goal, but as a top-tier Android game and an impressive arcade-style racer in its own right, it's worth your attention even if you're only casually interested in racing games.
My first two smartphones, the Milano and the Rise, were both made by Kyocera, so I have a soft spot for the brand. The company's handsets generally may not be high-end, or even midrange, but they're good for average folks who don't live and die by the number of pixels their phone is able to push or flip tables if there's a momentary stutter when switching between home screens. Kyocera's latest offering, the Hydro ELITE, will launch online at Verizon Wireless this Thursday, August 29th, and it's quite an improvement over the company's usual offerings.
Yes, there was just a sale post yesterday, but the Android app developer community is apparently feeling more generous than usual this week. If you're in search of a distraction from your daily grind, we've got cheap fun ahead.
Snapchat is now the latest prominent app to start using the Play Store beta testing mechanism to get new features in front of users sooner, something we've also seen from Facebook. If you haven't already heard of Snapchat, think of it as a service that could have saved Anthony Weiner a great deal of headache. Users use it to send photos, videos, and text messages that automatically delete from the recipient's device and the server after a set amount of time.
There are any number of photo editors on Android already, but Repix brings something slightly different to the table. This app isn't about getting the colors just right or removing red eye – it turns your boring regular pictures into snazzy art. What? You don't like snazzy things?
There are 16 filters, 17 frames, and over 30 brushes available in Repix. There's not a lot of messing around with settings here – you just pick a tool and have at it.
The built-for-kids tablet market is growing at a pretty rapid pace, with companies like Fuhu and OLPC leading the pack – until now, anyway. Samsung just announced the newest member of the Galaxy family: the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids. This is Samsung's first real foray into the world of children's tablets, but judging by the included software features, it looks like the company is coming out swinging.
The GT3K will come pre-loaded with "top ranked" children's apps and a Kid's Store filled with specially curated software to "drive the educational possibilities of technologies for kids." Like with Fuhu's Nabi line of tablets, parents will be able to select all of the apps that they want to be available for their kids – the rest will be hidden.
Relying on crowd funding is inherently risky. Regardless of whether a project's on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, some never get a fraction of the funding they aim for. Others fall slightly short or, if they're lucky, barely manage to crawl over the finish line. Still, a select few completely blow the doors off. The Canary, pitched as the first smart home security device for everyone, has now successfully acquired just shy of two million dollars in funding, far exceeding its goal of $100,000.
It's not often that you'll see executives of multi-billion-dollar international companies speak frankly about unannounced products, but The Korea Times managed to get a few gems of information out of Samsung Executive Vice President of Mobile Lee Young-Hee. She confirmed that the Galaxy Note III will be unveiled at the upcoming September 4th "Unpacked" event (which is hardly a surprise), and also that the often-rumored Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be in attendance.
A couple of weeks ago, Play Store users started receiving frustrating errors when downloading or updating apps. The bug flashed a dialog reading "Package file is invalid" after refusing to download an app. It seemed to affect people and apps randomly. Google marked the issue as "resolved" on the Play support page on August 13th, but it has been moved back into the Known Issues list.
A casual search on the social networks reveals that more than a few users are still experiencing the issue, though it doesn't seem to be as widespread as before.