Well, it was nice while it lasted. A few months ago prolific Android developer Chainfire introduced a method of rooting Android devices without modifying the /System partition. It had the added and extremely welcome benefit of getting around SafetyNet detection for applications that were intentionally disabled on rooted phones, like Android Pay. But it looks like Google has caught on: starting this weekend (as reported on the /r/Android subreddit ), Android Pay and other SafetyNet apps no longer work with the roundabout root method. Bummer.
Google's system uses a server-side update, so at the moment there's no way to get around the check even with older versions of Android Pay, Google Play Services, et cetera. Read More
Sony has been rolling out Android 5.1 updates intermittently ever since last July... up to and past the point where Android 6.0's AOSP code has been available to manufacturers. The last few devices that received bumps to 5.1 were the Xperia C4 and C5 Ultra earlier this month, and today the Xperia M5 gets the same treatment. Users can wait for the over-the-air update alert in the usual manner, or use Sony's PC Companion computer program to download and install the update manually.
This "super mid-range" M5 was launched back in August, running Android 5.0 at launch, much to the consternation of Android fans who would have preferred the latest software. Read More
AT CES earlier this month, Blu announced two new phones: the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL. Today, we're taking a closer look at the lower-end of the two, the Vivo XL, which is the first one to hit the market. This one isn't a dramatic difference from some of the other more recent stuff we've seen from Blu — like the Life One X, for example — but it does continue the company tradition of offering a lot of phone for the money.
Under the hood, it's actually a lot like the aforementioned Life One X, though it does have a slightly larger, lower-resolution display. Read More
HTC's One A9 is the luckiest Android but non-Nexus non-Android One phone on the planet these days. It keeps getting updates sooner than most other OEM smartphones and is even receiving the monthly security patches faster than all of them too. The unlocked version of the device received Marshmallow 6.0.1 at the end of 2015 and now, one month later, the Sprint carrier version is ready for this update too.
Version 1.57.651.1 of the software brings the A9 all of the new Android 6.0.1 emojis with plenty of improvements that HTC details in its changelog below.
This software upgrade available for your HTC One provides the following key enhancements:
· Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update
· Battery life improvements
· Camera feature improvements
· Addition of Wi-Fi Calling Functionality
· System enhancements
The OTA should have already started rolling to Sprint One A9 devices, but if you don't see the notification yet, be patient because it's probably on a slow release. Read More
The amount of technology and specs that you can get for less than $200 nowadays is staggering. Do you remember when we were gushing over quad-core processors and 720p displays in flagships that cost over $600 and $700? Well, now those specs count in the lower end of the smartphone market, or at best the lower midrange.
Take the BLU Vivo XL for example. It was just announced at CES at the beginning of the month. Read More
Most of us rely on our Calendars to tell us where we need to be and what we need to do. Few calendars, however, take into account public and religious holidays, so we often end up scheduling meetings on these off days or putting deadlines right after them. Google Calendar has long been able to show public holidays from many countries around the world, but it's now adding 54 more for a total of 143. Lebanon, for example, is among the new additions. Yay! These holiday calendars can be enabled from Settings > Holidays and then choosing one or several countries to display. Read More
The G4 is easily the best LG smartphone available at the moment, and if you're particularly fond of the leather back option or of manual camera controls, it may be the best choice on the market. We've seen some significant discounts on the phone before, but one eBay vendor has the best price yet: $339.95 for a new, unlocked GSM model. Depending on where you buy from, that represents a discount of $100 to 300 or more off of the retail price.
This particular model appears to be the international LTE version, and the description says that it supports LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 17, and 25. Read More
If you're an American and you've heard the tongue-twisting country music ballad "I've Been Everywhere," odds are that you've heard the most popular version from Johnny Cash, or perhaps the earlier version by the unequaled Hank Snow. There have been dozens of adaptations of the song, for everywhere from Texas to Singapore. But the original was written by Geoff Mack way back in 1959 and popularized by Lucky Starr, and the first set of lyrics was exclusively tailored to cities, towns, and regions in Australia. The song featured such multi-syllabic municipalities as Megalong, Tamborine, Woodenbong, and Grong Grong. Read More