Today's Hangouts update was a bit of a surprise. Besides landing on Monday, the update was a fairly large one. Users of the latest version of Hangouts are already enjoying merged SMS/Hangouts threads, improved status markers, a new home screen widget, new sound effects, the ability to share contact cards, and other touches. But - as with any Google update - it's worth looking a little deeper in the app to see what may be hiding in the code. Read More
If you entered Google's new lottery system for I/O 2014, go check your email account. Odds are pretty good that you've got an email, or that you will receive one shortly. Several Google+ users are showing off their fancy invitations. Those who have "won" the right to purchase their $900 tickets have already been charged via their Google Wallet accounts.
Source: Bao-Long Nguyen-Trong, Google+
And if you didn't get in? Read More
Last week, AT&T started pushing the KitKat OTA to Samsung Galaxy S4 Active owners on its network. Looks like that was a short-lived rollout, as the company has now halted the update, explaining that it is working with Samsung to improve the OTA.
Seems like that's something could've been done before the update actually started rolling out, so the odds are that something is actually broken and both companies are just staying mum about it. Read More
The Nexus 7 is an inexpensive tablet already, but you can sometimes catch it on sale for a relative pittance. A refurbished 32GB N7 is currently waiting for you on eBay Daily Deals for $169.99. That's close to the price we recently spotted for the 16GB.
Not everyone likes big phones, of that there is no question. Those who do, however, usually love them. Among those who fancy said behemoth handsets, the almost-a-tablet-but-still-also-a-phone nature of the "phablet" is likely what is most appealing; especially for those who don't already own one of each. Of course, there aren't a whole lot of options outside of the Galaxy Mega, Sony's Z Ultra, or the Galaxy Note 3 (which, arguably, doesn't even fall into the same category any longer). Read More
For better or worse, manufacturer apps tend to be exclusive to their own phones or tablets in the Android world. Not so with Windows programs, or at least, not usually. Samsung's SideSync program, an automated backup, remote desktop, and file transfer system, was previously limited to Samsung's own ATIV line of Windows laptops and tablets. But with the update to version 3.0, the company has removed that restriction - you should now be able to use SideSync with a Samsung Android device and any Windows machine. Read More
Now footloose and fancy free, or at least self-employed and unencumbered, Koushik "Koush" Dutta is expanding his popular AllCast streaming app to Amazon's new Fire TV set-top box. Unlike the Chromecast, Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, and various other gadgets with relatively open streaming profiles, the Fire TV needs a separate app to receive content from your phone or tablet. Just install AllCast on both and you should be good to go for local video and audio streaming. Read More
I loved the HTC One M7. Last year, it really did feel like a new breed of Android phone - bringing premium materials, a modernized interface, an innovative (if controversial) camera, and those trademark Boomsound speakers. The One M7 felt fresh in almost every way - it felt vital, it felt relevant.
The One M8 seeks to tame some of the raw newness - to build on it, soften up the edges, and modernize it. Read More
Amazon's Kindle Fire HD tablets are very affordable, and the hardware is pretty compelling. It's just a crying shame that the Fire OS powering the device doesn't quite have the feature set that we enthusiast have come to expect. But that's nothing a little ROM action can't address, and CyanogenMod has just the solution - nightlies for the 2012 Kindle Fire HD 7" and 8.9."
The builds currently available show up as experimental because they were produced on demand, but regular nightlies are due out starting today. Read More
Verizon is ready to roll out its first software update to the HTC One M8. This comes less than a month after the device's official launch, and it contains a general selection of fixes and enhances. Several connectivity issues appear to have been resolved, including some related to Bluetooth and syncing with the Dot View case. The update also adds a new copy and paste feature to the gallery app, along with mute and edit buttons for video highlights. Read More