Google has been branching out into new areas of hardware in recent years. It bought Nest and Dropcam, and now the Google Store acts as a storefront for Google to push its own hardware, as well as products made by others. The OnHub was an unexpected twist for Google's hardware aspirations, though. It does make some sense when you think about it. Routers are usually ugly and annoying to use, but is the $200 OnHub the best way to fix that? Read More
Floating apps have become emblematic of Android's unique flexibility and range. No other mobile OS allows non-system apps to directly interact with users and overtake the screen while another app is supposed to be in the foreground. This capability allows for a powerful and customizable user experience, but it can also quickly become a problem if an app is poorly implemented or its developer abuses this privilege for malicious purposes.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is setting some new rules for drawing on the screen. Starting with Developer Preview 3, apps targeting API 23 (or above) will have to ask users to grant permission for them to draw on top of other apps. Read More
It's a holiday here in the US, and that means there are plenty of things on sale in real life and on the internet. It also means that most people are doing things that don't include staring at a screen all day. Bloggers are not most people, though. So here we are with some app and game sales. Read More
Picture this. You have logged into a couple of Google accounts on your device and everything is working as it should be. You read on Android Police that the Hangouts 4.0 update was finally released by the team, you do a shameless little dance and fist pump in public because itshappening.gif, and head over to APKMirror to download the file and update ASAP... only to realize that, well, the app doesn't log in for you. It tries signing in and then slaps you with a "Couldn't connect to the server" error message. You get angry, Hulk-smashingly angry. Why can't you see that new discussion list Material design that everyone else is raving about? Read More
Wear Mini Launcher was one of the favorite tools in the opening months of Android Wear. Back when the platform's utility was somewhat limited, it was the best way to manually start a Wear app. Of course that utility has become somewhat redundant now that Wear has been updated with an integrated launcher. Even so, the gesture activation function still makes Wear Mini Launcher one of the easiest ways to quickly activate a Wear app without using voice control.
Unfortunately, Wear Mini Launcher seems to have gone the way of QuickPic. On his Google+ community dedicated to beta releases and feature requests, developer Nicolas Pomepuy announced that he sold the application to a new developer. Read More
This feature has taken us a long time to confirm, readers - sorry about that. Testing it would have required us to call 9-1-1 for the sole purpose of testing out a neat new tool on a smartphone, and aside from being extremely illegal, none of us wanted to explain to a hard-working emergency dispatcher that we were using a vital service to write up a blog post. And on that note, please, please don't test out this feature on your own Android M preview build. We're only sharing a screenshot sent in to us by a reader which we assume was taken during an actual emergency. Read More
Story time. I've been a technology blogger for almost exactly four years now, and one of my first video assignments was to compare AT&T's first crop of LTE Android phones, the Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket and the HTC Vivid. At the time (November 2011) they were big deals. Throughout a 7-minute video, I kept calling the HTC Vivid the "HTC View," confusing it for a similarly-named but somewhat different device... a tablet on Sprint that came out earlier that year. No, I'm not going to link to it; if you're that eager to see me make an idiot out of myself on a poorly-shot video, you can Google it. Read More
If you're in the market for a good deal on a mid-range tablet... well, Samsung's Galaxy Tab A series is actually not a very good choice. Between lackluster specs (especially that 1024x768 screen) and a relatively high retail price, it's a long way away from being any kind of deal. But when Samsung overprices its tablets it usually doesn't take very long for market forces to get retailers to drop the price a bit. Such is the case with one eBay merchant, now selling the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab A for just $214.99. This deal is available in the US only. Read More
YouTube updates have been rolling out at a pretty speedy rate lately, averaging about 3-4 each month. The latest bump is relatively minor, but it includes a useful new feature to quickly wipe any offline content from your device. A teardown also reveals that there may be a new auto-syncing feature that will download content for offline viewing without the need to manually pick out videos. As usual, we've also got a download link at the bottom if you'd like to grab the apk. Read More