Third-party Android lock screens are always at a disadvantage compared to the stock option when you care about security. Some of them do have neat features if all you really want is a quick way to see and access information without unlocking the device. Microsoft Next has some cool stuff going on, and it's getting an update today billed as the biggest it's ever had. Read More
For mobile payments to really take off, the functionality needs to be available to far more than merely the latest devices. For this reason, the SD Association, a non-profit that sets memory card standards, is pushing a means to use microSD cards to make otherwise incompatible devices compatible.
The SD association calls this technology smartSD. The technology apparently enables a secure element for Host Card Emulation, a necessary step for creating digital copies of payment cards the way we've seen in Google Wallet and Android Pay. SmartSD uses a device's native NFC, removing the need to embed such technology into the card directly. Read More
Samsung and LG have announced new flagship phones at this year's Mobile World Congress, and this time around you can plug a microSD card into either one. That makes now a pretty decent time for SanDisk to announce a new microSD UHS-II card with transfer speeds of up to 275MB/s (also, a dedicated USB Type C flash drive). Read More
The SHIELD TV is the clear winner among Android TV devices, even if that is a very short field. The high-powered set-top-box gives a better experience than both the Nexus Player and the Razer Forge TV... which remain the only other stand-alone Android TV devices available. Today the SHIELD gets even better, because NVIDIA is pushing out the Marshmallow update to its hardware. NVIDIA updates usually go out all at once, so if you own a SHIELD, you should be able to start the download right now.
The biggest addition for the SHIELD is adoptable storage, which lets users reformat a MicroSD card into semi-permanent primary storage that can be used to download apps and other files directly to the device. Read More
When it comes to podcast applications, we often talk about Pocket Casts and BeyondPod here on Android Police, but one of the unsung heroes of the category is Player FM. The free app has over 1M downloads on the Play Store, a web client, Google+ sign in, and a lot of cool features to keep podcast fans happy. It's usually my first recommendation as a free podcast client, especially for those who are new to the medium and want to see what it's all about.
With version 3.1, Player FM is getting some much needed features for hardcore podcast listeners and a few visual tweaks that are sure to please everyone. Read More
Last year, Google marked its return to public exhibition at Mobile World Congress, but with a whole new twist: it wasn't really exhibiting any of its own or any of its partner's products, it was all just in the name of fun. You see, at trade shows like MWC, business is the predominant subject of conversation, and while quite a few consumer product announcements may occur, they're often secondary to the whole issue of "things which cause money to change hands." MWC isn't open to the public, either, and so attendees are largely in the mobile business in one form or another, or members of the media. Read More
Adobe opted to make Lightroom free a while back, and now it's adding a few new features that might make you more likely to take advantage of the app. Lightroom v2.0 includes some new tools and a dedicated camera with RAW support. The RAW support won't work on all phones, but it'll be pretty handy on the ones that do. Read More
SanDisk built its name producing flash drives, and now the company is releasing its first dedicated USB Type C option.
This USB 3.1 stick comes in storage sizes up to 128GB and offers read speeds of 150MB/s. Read More
Today at MWC, Sony announced four new connected gadgets which it hopes will let people look up from their phone screens more and engage the world around them. The products include a bluetooth earpiece, a wearable camera, a vertical projector, and a friendly robot, which are respectively called the Xperia Ear, Xperia Eye, Xperia Projector, and Xperia Agent.
Three of those products are actually just concepts: only the Xperia Ear has an expected launch date, and it won't come out until later this summer. The remaining products — the Eye, Projector, and Agent — are nowhere to be seen here at MWC and it will likely take some time for them to get to market, if they do at all. Read More