Widgets and pull-down notifications have been a part of Android for a very long time, but what if you combined them? Snap - Widget Drawer is essentially a second notification shade, but instead of notifications, it's populated with widgets. Plus, it's accessible from anywhere, no matter what else you're doing on the phone.
There's a new Google app that will help you get some culture, and you don't even have to stand up. The aptly named Arts & Culture app contains images and data on works of art and relics of the past from more than 850 museums and organizations around the world. And it's free—not even a "suggested" donation.
Say what you will about Apple, its music streaming service isn't half bad. But no matter how nice a music app is, the experience gets improved by taking the sound out of subpar phone speakers and funneling it through something with some oomph. Sonos users will soon have that option.
There are two things that are staples in the bag that I carry basically everywhere I go: an external battery pack and charger, because sometimes I'm near a wall, and sometimes I'm not. At least one USB cable comes into the equation somewhere too, because what good is a charger without a cable. None, I'd say. None good.
Anyway, this new Energi 6K from TYLT is pretty neat, because it's both of those things in one thing. It's got a 6,000 mAh battery pack and charger all in one. It's not a Qualcomm-certified Quick Charger like the one I usually carry, but that's OK.
I like smartwatches. I also like fitness trackers. Somehow, neither one is very good at what the other can do (and no one has figured out a way to fix that yet), so generally people in my position are stuck choosing one or the other. While I've chosen the smartwatch side, I still have a soft spot for both activity trackers and traditional watches. When Runtastic announced the Moment, it really just made sense to check it out — regardless of what I wear on my wrist from day-to-day, I've always been a fan of Runtastic's stuff.
Several brick-and-mortar retailers had the NVIDIA Shield Android TV box on sale for Black Friday weekend, but as promised, the deal has now come to online retailers. Both versions of the SHIELD are $50 off, plus you can get a free SHIELD remote worth $50.
A growing thread on the Android issue tracker is home to more and more reports of in-vehicle Bluetooth problems with the Nexus 5, 6, 5X, and 6P. The N5 and N6 allegedly only became affected when their Marshmallow updates rolled out, while the 5X and 6P, which run Marshmallow out of the box, have allegedly had problems from day one. Notably, the Bluetooth issue being cited supposedly was not present in the "M" developer preview releases for the Nexus 5 or 6, suggesting something changed recently to cause it.
The rather irksome bug manifests most commonly as follows. When attempting to dial out to a phone number when your phone is connected to your car via Bluetooth, the call will fail and the car's radio will resume playing whatever audio was on previously.
If there's one phone you won't have any trouble finding on sale this holiday season, it's the Galaxy S6. The carriers each had their own way of using Samsung's flagship to get you in the door. Amazon recently offered the phone for $399.99, but the retailer has sold out. Fortunately you have other ways to get the 32GB US model at the same price or less this Cyber Monday, as long as you want the phone in black.
ASUS doesn't just make low-price Android phones and tablets with regrettable amounts of bloatware. The company is a major manufacturer of all kinds of consumer electronics, including laptops, PC components, and network equipment - and ASUS routers have some of the best bang-to-buck ratio on the market. That said, their browser-based management tools are designed for desktops, so accessing them to change any settings on your local Wi-Fi network is a major headache on Android. Until now: ASUS published a router management app in the Play Store earlier this month.