As the resident teardown guy, Update Wednesday was a huge letdown this week. After slicing and dicing a dozen or so apks, all I saw were bug fixes, minor adjustments, and updates with full changelogs. Come on Google, I can't write about the neat stuff if none of the secrets are allowed to leave Mountain View. Fortunately, I did get to look at an unreleased version of Play Services, and there are a few interesting things to take away from it. Read More
Android Auto hasn't arrived in vehicles yet, but interested parties are already getting their ducks in a row. We've seen car manufacturers announce support and a handful of aftermarket radio makers show off their products (Parrot, Kenwood, Pioneer), all stuff to get excited about. But for any of this to be good, app developers have to get behind the platform as well. So it's good to see iHeartRadio add Android Auto support in the latest app update. Read More
The Matchstick is, or someday may be, a $25 media streaming stick that's similar to the Chromecast, but based on Firefox OS. Its developers promise more powerful hardware and an open platform that supports video and many existing Chromecast apps. The Kickstarter project amassed nearly five times its $100k funding goal by the time the campaign ended in October.
Now for the bad news. The project announced today that it's not going to meet its goal of shipping this month. Read More
The Nexus 9 is Google's new flagship Lollipop tablet, but what if you don't like the software Google put on the device? Well, you can change it. That's how Nexus devices work. Now you can finally install CyanogenMod 12 on the N9. Just head over to the CM downloads page and get ready to flash.
If you've ever gone to a foreign country with a carrier-branded phone, or tried to use that phone on a different operator in the US, you've probably encountered the problem many have: it's locked. While most carriers did honor unlock requests in the past, or sell their handsets unlocked (like Verizon, mostly), there was no universal policy on the practice in America. As of February 11th, that's changing - the CTIA (basically, the wireless industry's special interest group) is laying out a set of phone unlocking (that is, SIM/network unlocking) principles that AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular will abide by in the wake of the congressional un-banning of phone unlocking. Read More
If you've been waiting for Verizon's carrier-branded version of the Nexus 6 to hit stores so you can save a little cash on a subsidized phone, you won't have to wait much longer. A tipster sent a photo to Android Police that appears to show a rollout schedule for Verizon's next round of phone releases displayed on a company intranet or presentation. The Nexus 6 (or at least Verizon's model with a scarlet V) is scheduled to be released on February 26th.
Verizon's model of the N6 will probably be identical to the ones on the Play Store and other carriers, at least in terms of hardware - the vanilla phone already has a Verizon CDMA-LTE compatible radio. Read More
Yesterday we got our hands on a leaked Sprint document suggesting that the HTC One M8 would get its Android 5.0 update on February 13th. Next to it in parenthesis were the words subject to change. As it turns out, sometimes things actually do change. The carrier has posted an HTC One M8 support page that says the over-the-air update is going out today.
The software bumps things up to software version 4.20.651.10 and provides a sweet serving of Lollipop. I received the big 5.0 OTA for the HTC One M7 yesterday, and while it's not the same phone, things line up pretty well with the M8 screenshots that have already made the rounds. Read More
The Chromecast is not an expensive device, and it's even cheaper when you consider all the free stuff Google has given out to owners since it was released. In fact, the Chromecast has probably paid for itself and then some. Right now you can get a $6 Google Play credit if you have a Chromecast on your network, and you can do it multiple times if you have more than one.
The term "chivalry" has somehow become conflated with being gentlemanly over the years, but chivalry was mostly about who to stab with your sword and how to go about it. There's certainly a lot of that in Broadsword: Age of Chivalry. This game has just arrived on Android with Tegra-optimized graphics, but other Android devices can play with somewhat simplified graphics. Read More