That Hangouts update from yesterday has one more trick up its sleeve, and it's an interesting one. Google has opted to change the behavior when you tap on a contact photo so it no longer tosses you to Google+, but opens a contact card like most other areas of the system.
Kids these days with their fancy smart homes, their smartphone-controlled lights, Bluetooth-connected door locks, and their mind-reading kettles. Back in the day, people manually flipped switches, turned keys, and pressed buttons. Appliances didn't control themselves, and that was a-okay. But sprinklers, yes, those should be automated, and using your smartphone to monitor them just makes plain sense! Tell me more about Rachio's newfangled Iro smart sprinkler controller.
Okay, not all homeowners are grumpy old men (get off my lawn!), so I'll drop the impression and just tell you what Rachio's smart sprinkler controller can do.
Update Wednesday isn't over until Google says it is over. Hell, we might even get an update Thursday and update Friday if Mountain View feels like it. The newest update from Google is the YouTube app, which has hit v5.7 with at least one much needed improvement.
Rumors of an impending Sprint acquisition of T-Mobile have swirled for months as America's two underdog carriers have engaged in a not-so-private courtship, and it appears an announcement may be close, if you're inclined to believe Bloomberg.
The deal would allegedly value T-Mobile around $30 billion ($31.3 billion to be precise), though an exact agreement hasn't been reached as to a number. T-Mobile carries a little under $15 billion in debt and over $5 billion in cash, meaning Sprint's new parent firm Softbank will take on even more debt in an attempt to fortify a position against American wireless heavyweights AT&T and Verizon.
Last month's Android platform distribution numbers showed a continuing steady rise of Android 4.4 in handsets worldwide, but this month's numbers mark a major jump - KitKat is up to 13.6% of all devices, from a mere 8.5% a month ago today. Updates to handsets likely explain some of the rise, though consumers replacing aging devices with updated phone like the HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5 are probably more likely candidates for such a rapid and significant rise in adoption.
HTC manages its Sense Android skin a bit differently than other OEMs do. It makes a big deal about the features each version includes, and actually updates old devices to the new UI, even if it takes a separate update to do it. The AT&T M7 got Android 4.4 a while back, but the updated Sense 6 is ready to go out today.
Update: Xperia Blog has confirmed this update is, in fact, Android 4.3. I can confirm that T-Mobile does, in fact, suck at changelogs. The version has also been tweaked to 10.4.C.0.814.
It might not be the latest and greatest anymore, but the Sony Xperia Z on T-Mobile is still getting some update love today. That mysterious Android 4.3 update that was pulled a few months back still isn't back, apparently. Instead, you get some small tweaks.
There comes a time in many Android enthusiasts' lives when the urge to flash a custom ROM becomes too great, but that desire alone isn't worth jack squat without a custom recovery. The Team Win Recovery Project (yup, that's what TWRP stands for) is one of the more popular and reliable options out there, which makes it good news to for tinkerers with a Sony Xperia Z2 that support has landed for their device.
TWRP will let you flash ROMs and ZIP files, but before that, it will also give you the means to back up your device.
You didn't think you'd get through an update Wednesday without a new Google app APK, did you? Hangouts is getting a version bump today from 2.1.100 to 2.1.223. Despite the small version number change, there are a few new things of note going on.
While we know that many of you, our readers, have precisely zero interest in Amazon's tablet hardware (and trust me, our analytics show as much!), the prospect of an Amazon smartphone should arouse curiosity even in the most fervent of Android loyalists. In part because, well, there haven't really been any major commercial smartphone launches for devices not running Android, iOS, BBOS, or Windows Phone in a long, long time. And the latter two are still far from major market forces at this point.