Last year, Alcatel made its first real foray into the US unlocked smartphone market with the Idol 3. That phone cost $249, but at the time, offered quite a bit for the money. A large 5.5" 1080p display (with a fairly good LCD panel), dual front-facing speakers, no real bloatware to speak of, LTE, solid cameras (13MP/8MP), and a microSD card slot. High on features, low on price may as well have been the tagline for the Idol 3, and while it was at times excruciatingly slow owing to its Snapdragon 615 chipset, I found it an overall good value proposition. Read More
HERE Maps was a pretty descriptive name, but it lacked pizzazz. Starting today, the app is called HERE WeGo, and it's getting a few improvements to make navigation easier. There are even some entirely new navigation options displayed in the app if you happen to be in certain cities. Read More
Ever since its start as a Kickstarter campaign, the Nextbit Robin has been available in two color schemes: Mint and Midnight. Now a third color is joining the ranks, and it's just as interesting and even a little bolder and brighter than the Mint variant: Ember.
The colorway mixes black sides and back with bright red (a little magenta'ish if you ask me) end caps, power button, and volume button. It's striking to say the least, especially with the buttons on the sides popping right off the black plastic. Here are a couple more pictures from different angles.
The Ember variant is produced in limited quantity and will sell for the same $299 as the other colors. Read More
There are many ways to stream your favorite shows nowadays, from Netflix to Hulu to Play Movies & TV, and now you can add two more to the list. NBCUniversal Media has released dedicated apps for two of its channels: Bravo and Syfy.
The apps, not-so-aptly titled Bravo Now and Syfy Now, let users stream full episodes of their shows the day after they're aired. Previously available episodes might also be accessible, but only for select shows. This is essentially a way for you to catch up with an episode the next day if you missed it and forgot to DVR it (do people still do that?), but it is not a way to stream the live channel as it happens, unlike the "Now" in the name hints at. Read More
The US Customs and Border Patrol's mobile passport app has been out for a little over a year. Lately they've been adding the streamlined customs process to approximately one airport a month, which means that every passenger airport in the country should get official support in the next few decades. Maybe by then the country's air travel system won't be a farcical crap-fest of corporate greed and government incompetence. But in the meantime, the mobile passport app is getting two new locations: San Jose and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Read More
I come bearing deals. They're not gifts per se, but they're nice deals for two apps and a game that you can grab for next to nothing this week. Without further ado, here are the discounts. You can find the download links to all of them at the end of the post.
Sleep Cycle alarm clock is an alarm app that monitors your sleep — for that, your phone has to be placed on your mattress next to your pillow ideally — and analyzes your movement to figure out the most appropriate time to wake you in your light sleep phase. It normally costs $0.99, but it's now discounted worldwide to the equivalent of USD 0.25. Read More
The BLU R1 HD is a cheap Android phone, made even cheaper by its release as an Amazon Prime Exclusive device. You pay $50 (or $60 for the 16GB/2GB RAM version) for the phone instead of its original $100 price tag, but you get Amazon's apps pre-installed and its ads on the lockscreen. It's not that bad really: David has been trying to live with it for a month and hasn't faced many issues beside the "slowening", ie. the fact that the phone gets slower the more you use it.
If you've had an eye on this device either as your main phone or maybe as a Pokémon GO phone (hey, we understand), but you just can't bring yourself to accept Amazon's bloat, there's good news for you. Read More
Along with the Pokémon GO game announcement, Nintendo said it would release a Pokémon GO Plus accessory in late July to help players stay on top of the game wherever they are and without taking their phones out of their pockets. This wrist bracelet / wearable pin connects over Bluetooth Low Energy to your Android/iOS phone and alerts you with vibrations and LED flashes to nearby Pokéstops and Pokémons. You can check more of what it does and how it works on its official page, but suffice it to say that it should make any trainer's life a little bit easier and their phone battery life a little bit longer. Read More
One of the best ways to stay motivated to exercise is by enlisting friends and doing it in groups. I can't tell you how often I've gotten off my chair and walked around frantically to beat someone at a Fitbit challenge, which amounts to added activity that I would have never done otherwise. Now this friendly competition aspect is making it into the Runkeeper app.
Version 7.0 of Runkeeper is adding the option to create running groups. You can choose whether you want to challenge each other on weekly or monthly distance or weekly run frequency, then pick the duration of the challenge, invite some of your Runkeeper buddies, and assign a fun name to the group. Read More
Open your eyes wide because a miracle is about to happen. You know how YouTube has long had some comment tools on its website to change the sorting order and like/dislike comments? Well, the Android app doesn't have any of that. What you get is just a regular list of comments with the option to add your opinion to the mix and... nothing else really.
However, that might be about to change. Some users are seeing a new comment interface on the YouTube Android app with the cool features from the website. There's a like and dislike button below each comment, an indicator of how many replies it got, and an option to expand to view said replies in a separate page. Read More