As nice as Google Play Music All Access is for music lovers (and it's gotten considerably nicer since essentially being merged with YouTube Music Key), the branding is a bit of a mouthful. We've been sent a series of tips that indicate that Google may shift the name sometime in the future... but don't hold out for something particularly ingenious. According to our tipster, the new name might be "Google Play Music Unlimited," as indicated way back in July of last year. Read More
The currently-available Anki Drive series of toys are undeniably cool, allowing players to drive tiny remote controlled cars along real tracks with their smartphones while the app keeps track of video game-inspired additions like weapons and power-ups. The next iteration of the toy, Anki Overdrive, is set to take things to the next level when it debuts this fall. The most visible addition is the new piece-by-piece track system, including risers for overpasses and jumps, walls for faster banks, and a modular design that allows for near-infinite expansion. Read More
If you're wishing someone a happy Valentine's day using Hangouts today rather than face-to-face, Google's got a special easter egg for you.
Back in December, Google added tons of special animations to Hangouts, triggered by words like "woohoo" or "yay!!" or "lmao," but it looks like there are some extra treats for Valentine's day. Typing "Happy Valentine's," or "Happy Valentine's day" will trigger a few heart-themed animations, featuring a love-struck emoji or a fox gifting flowers to its duck Valentine.
This easter egg seems to be part of Google's effort to make Valentine's day special for users across its web properties, with other tricks including a heart-filled +1 action on Google+ (seen below) and Google's "special edition" reCAPTCHAs. Read More
Adobe's proprietary PDF format isn't much fun to work with on any platform, but marking up and editing those documents on Android is a particularly poor experience. Developer Branchfire has offered an Android version of its iAnnotate app for a little over two years, but it hasn't been met with the same acclaim as the iOS version, probably thanks to a clunky interface and missing features. Apparently the company wanted a clean break with the latest update, because the app has been moved to a new Play Store listing and reverted to a 1.0 release. The new app is also free. Read More
Whether you are going out tonight on an expensive date or you've prepared the most romantic night-in for your significant other, here's a small added gesture you can use to persuade them of how much you love them. Put this watch face up on your Android Wear, take a picture and send it to your partner. Tell them you're counting the minutes until you see them, and every time you glance at your watch, you're reminded of how your heart beats for them.* Cheesy. But isn't the entire "holiday" built around just that?
Impulse is made by notorious customizer and icon designer Tha PHLASH. Read More
If you're into huge phones and low costs, the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 might be the phone for you. While it's not the most powerful device on the planet, this 6.1-inch beasty is packing some pretty reasonable hardware under its hood for just $299:
There's nothing worse than listening to a great song on those crumby earbuds that came with your phone. You've bought a phone with a gorgeous high-res display so you could see flawless video and graphics, why wouldn't you have an audio experience to match? Amazon Deals is offering a great opportunity to pick up a pair of Audio-Technica Professional Studio Monitor Headphones at significantly discounted prices. You've got a choice of 3 different models: ATH-M30x, ATH-M40x, and ATH-M50x.
Audio-Technica's headphones have been praised for both incredible sound quality and comfort level. Read More
For Google Talk users, Product Manager Mayur Kamat has some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the chat service's desktop client for Windows will be deprecated on February 23, 2015 as the team continues to focus on making Hangouts better.
Of course that leaves the question of third-party clients like Pidgin, Trillian, etc. The good news is, as Kamat notes, that compatible apps will still continue to work.
If you’re not ready to make the switch to Hangouts quite yet, you can continue using Google Talk on Windows with a range of compatible third-party chat apps (http://goo.gl/FSbCX5). Please keep in mind these aren’t Google products, so exercise caution when signing in with your Google account.
One of the problems with instant messaging since time immemorial has been juggling contacts and conversations across multiple services. It's bothersome on desktops, and it's especially unwieldy on mobile devices, where multitasking isn't as easy and similar sounding chimes can send you searching through the wrong app for the latest reply.
Disa is a new Android messaging client that attempts to tackle this problem. It has been in development for a long time, spending a healthy period in private alpha being tested by over 33,000 people before making its way to the Play Store in the form of a private beta. Read More