08
Oct
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There's a new Chromecast update (v1.8.22) making its way out to users today that finally enables custom backdrops. You should get the option to enable this feature upon opening the updated app. If you don't feel like waiting, we've got the APK below.

Screenshot_2014-10-08-09-10-13 Screenshot_2014-10-08-09-11-20 Screenshot_2014-10-08-09-11-09

08
Oct
Sprint-Thumb

We often see carriers trickle out updates to one device on any given day, but today Sprint is pushing out a new firmware upgrade to two. These lucky handsets are the Samsung Galaxy Mega and the HTC EVO 4G LTE. Their change logs don't mirror each other, but one item is the same. It's not a particularly exciting one, but it's something.

The Galaxy Mega is one huge phone, and since it has already received KitKat, this update isn't huge enough to match.

08
Oct
samsung-multichargingthumb

Charge allthethings! Wouldn't you like that? Well, Samsung has a solution for you in its Multi-Charging Wall Charger. Announced back in August, the tri-split cable and wall charger combo is finally available for sale on Samsung's Online Store. Essentially, this is a cable with a USB port at one end and three MicroUSB ports on the other, allowing you to use one USB output to split the charging power between 3 devices simultaneously.

07
Oct
PlayGamesMatrix

Excitement over products like the Ouya, nVidia's Shield line, and even numerous gamepads proves that gaming on Android has entered the mainstream. Developers have been jumping at the opportunity to build games that work across many of the different operating systems; and thanks to the Cross-Platform SDK, they're able to integrate most of the Play Games services into their products on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Until now, this SDK has lagged behind the SDKs for Android and iOS on one specific feature: real-time multiplayer support.

07
Oct
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Republic Wireless offers a variety of super-cheap calling and data plans thanks to its WiFi-cellular hybrid calling setup. In just a few days you'll be able to pair the reasonably priced Moto E with those plans. Republic will start selling the Moto E for $99 on October 15th.

Moto E Announce

There are no contracts on Republic Wireless, so that $99 price isn't subsidized at all. It's not much cheaper than the Moto E usually is, but you can't just bring any device to Republic.

07
Oct
Mt3

The original Moto X was a very well-reviewed phone, but it just didn't sell as well as Motorola and Google had hoped. It deserved more attention than it got, but the smartphone consuming public can be a fickle beast. That's why this year's Moto X makes a few changes to appeal to a wider audience. It's a little bigger, a lot faster, and has a more premium design.

This approach is rife with benefits and a few drawbacks, but one thing is certain, this is one of the best smartphones ever created.

07
Oct
Google-Nexus-5-review-rear-camera-macro-angle

Google has been wrestling with a series of strange and not too uncommon bugs with a part of the camera subsystem on the Nexus 5 called mm-qcamera-daemon. Without this component, the camera on this device won't function, but sometimes it goes wonky and drains the battery. A Googler has just marked this issue as "future release" in the AOSP issue tracker, meaning it should be fixed when Android L rolls out.

07
Oct
N5

I hear you. The upcoming Nexus 6 is simply too big. Don't get mad at me, I happen to agree with you. I don't think of it as an issue of hand-size, it's a matter of pocket space. Fitted pants and giant phones just don't mix.

So what's a Nexus lover to do? Pick up a Nexus 5. They're going for less and less these days. Today you can get one on eBay for $315 that will ship to nearly anywhere in the world.

07
Oct
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One of Samsung's claims to fame is a feature meant to improve productivity on mobile devices. One that users of stock Android and manufacturer skins alike have been yearning for for a while. That feature is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps on the screen at once, dragging and dropping between the two.

The problem is no one has been able to get it right yet. A company in the mobile space - in this writer's opinion - has yet to perfect the balance between utility and intuition when it comes to multi-window functionality on tablets (or phones, though I haven't used the Note 4 yet), but a post to Android Internals in March confirmed that Google had been working on the programmatic side of multi-window in stock Android.

07
Oct
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The HTC Desire 610 marked a revival for the "Desire" brand in the US when it came to AT&T in late July. Now a variant, the Desire 612, is finding its way to Verizon Wireless, as the carrier will start selling the handset in just two days. Think of it as largely the same as the version on AT&T, just with more branding and extra red.

HTC-Desire_1024x640

The HTC Desire 612 is meant to be an affordable mid-range device.

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