Qualcomm released a substantial update to its Toq smartwatch today, taking advantage of a hardware feature few even knew the device had: a microphone. The 1.5 software adds the ability to respond to SMS messages on your phone through the watch using your voice, which is then converted to text using Nuance's STT technology. Oddly, no other voice control features are included with this update, though arguably the ability to reply to texts is one of the more common things you'd do with a smartwatch to begin with. Read More
Do you like the idea of water and ingress protection on the Galaxy S5, but don't feel like ponying up for a flagship phone? Then Kyocera hopes you'll consider its Hydro Vibe smartphone, at least if you're a potential Sprint or Virgin Mobile customer. The "ruggedized" Android phone will be launching on Sprint on May 9th and Virgin on May 27th. Sprint is talking up its "Easy Pay" payment plan, where the phone costs ten bucks a month for two years, but Virgin will sell it outright for $149.99. Read More
Verizon customers who want to indulge in the more in-depth parts of Android don't often get the chance, thanks to the carrier's tendency to lock down bootloaders and close off most of the avenues to custom ROMs. But for major releases, manufacturers often sell contract-free variants with an unlockable bootloader. Like the S4 before it, the Galaxy S5 now has the option, and you can buy one directly from Samsung. Verizon won't sell it to customers online or in retail stores. Read More
Google hasn't forgotten you, Canada. Google never forgets – it just takes it's time. After substantial complaining and gnashing of teeth, Google Play Music and All Access are rolling out to Canada. Yes, you can upload your tunes and subscribe to unlimited streaming.
XBMC started life as a hack for the original Xbox game console, but it has since evolved into a much-beloved open source home theater system on a number of platforms. After months of release candidates and betas, XBMC 13.0 (codename Gotham) is ready to download on Android (and other stuff).
The new version brings a number of improvements, only some of which pertain directly to Android. The most relevant to our interests is the inclusion of hardware media decoding on ARM and x86 Android devices. Read More
It's a good thing originality isn't a pre-requisite for a good game, otherwise there would be far less enjoyment to be had on our mobile devices. Heroes: A Grail Quest is yet another clone, this time inspired by Heroes of Might and Magic, but that shouldn't prevent it from being a fun little experience. Game Dev Team, aside from having perhaps the most straightforward and honest name in the industry, has also developed the moderately well-received Sky Aces series and a 3D RTS based on mechs. Read More
Sprint got on the Google Voice train early – about when Google got bored and started ignoring the product. At any rate, things have been fine for users on Sprint, who get tight integration with Google Voice on their Sprint number. Well, except this last weekend. There's a pretty big thread going over at the Google Product Forums of Sprint users reporting strange behavior with GV.
People who bought the un-flattened LG G Flex on the un-carrier T-Mobile should be on the lookout for a chocolate dose of new features. The carrier has announced a software update is hitting devices starting today, bumping them up to Android 4.4 and software version D95920d.
On the G Flex's update support page, T-Mobile lists the update as Android 4.4.3. Considering that the Sprint G Flex just received Android 4.4.2 a week ago, this is probably a typo. Read More
When we posted the latest "M" build for CyanogenMod 11, I wondered when the release candidate of the popular custom ROM was coming. It's going to be a while, since apparently they're now a thing of the past. According to the latest CM blog post, that doesn't indicate any real change - they're just moving things around a bit. M builds are now the top tier of CyanogenMod, with nightly builds occupying a lower and more risky level of ROM, followed by pre-alpha "experiments."
Don’t expect a build labelled ‘stable’.
Boy, whoever picks those Amazon Gold Box sale items sure likes flash storage. It seems like at least once a week they've got a fire sale on SD cards, flash drives, and other descendants of the floppy. Today's sale has PNY-branded cards of both the SD and MicroSD variety, the latter of which will probably interest mobile users.
If you just need a little extra storage for some music and photos, the 16GB MicroSD card is $9.99, half off from a retail price of $20. Read More