It's been less than a day since Google unveiled the Chromecast, and after both virtual and physical dashes to the store, it's worth pausing to see how the dust has settled. Many of us couldn't help ourselves and may have accidentally bought two as impulse buys, but there are bound to be some of you who needed a bit more time to come to a decision. Here's how the landscape looks. Read More
Almost all the GSM phones released in North America have a single SIM card, but there are a lot of areas of the world where having a dual-SIM device is a big advantage. These devices can utilize two networks at the same time for calls, data, and SMS. For when two just isn't enough, LG is going to soon offer phones with three SIM slots.
LG is teaming up with MediTek to create the new triple-SIM devices, which will almost certainly never arrive in the US. Read More
Android 4.3 has a hidden feature! It's called "App Ops" and it lets you selectively disable some permissions for your apps. Is some misbehaving app constantly pinging your location and draining your battery in a few hours? You can fix that now.
Update! Optional permissions at install
I'm working on my full 4.3 teardown, but I just ran across this and had to add it here:
<string name="grant_confirm_question">Do you want to grant the following permissions?
Prospective second-gen Nexus 7 buyers, you've got one more option for when the Play Store is (probably) overwhelmed on July 30th. Staple has already posted pages for the 16GB and 32GB WiFi versions of the new Nexus 7, though of course you can't buy one just yet - they're both marked as out of stock. Staples was one of 11 retail partners mentioned in the Google announcement. The prices are the standard $229.99 and $269.99, respectively. Read More
Chromecast may perhaps be the evolution of the Nexus Q, but it's not a replacement for Google TV. True to form, the company believes that the two products do not compete with one another and can co-exist comfortably side by side. This should come as no surprise from the folks that brought us both Chrome OS and Android, two operating systems that just aren't going to merge regardless of how loudly some people cry. Read More
Simultaneously with the Android 4.3 release, Google started rolling out an update to the Play Store with version 4.2.9, which follows closely behind 4.2.3 from last week's Nexus 4 system dump leak.
What's New? Read More
Google Hangouts hasn't had any major changes since its debut earlier this summer, but the latest version of the app adds some interesting tweaks. Google's new, annoying habit of staged rollouts means that a lot of people don't' have access to the updated app, even though it started becoming available on the 23rd. The indefatigable Ron Amadeo had a look inside, and found it to be a housecleaning update, with a lot of tightened code and only a few new features. Read More
Want to know how you're expected to connect your phones, tablets, and computers to that fancy Chromecast that's shipping in the mail? Simple, there's an app for that. Google has dropped dedicated software in the Play Store that configures all that Chromecast devices in your house, because I know there are a good number of you that have already ordered more than one.
The app will set up your Chromecast to work on your local network and give you an interface for managing its settings, such as changing the device's name or inputting a new WiFI password. Read More
Google has made a small change to the Google Calendar API that nonetheless could make a huge difference for developers and users. The Calendar API now supports push notifications - alerts sent directly to devices and apps instead of waiting for a client-side sync, a la Gmail - for updates that are practically instantaneous. The official app has had this for a while, but now third-party developers have access to this functionality, meaning that push notifications for subscribed Google Calendars can be sent to any app that supports the general Gcal API. Read More
Amazon's cloud service is a little behind the curve when it comes to mobile apps, mostly because it's segmented on photo, music, and general storage lines. But today's update to the Cloud Drive Photos app is a big one: users can now upload videos. Not just in the old-fashioned file browser way, either - Amazon has enabled auto-upload for videos, just like the photo options that were already in place. Read More