When we buy gadgets, it's usually with the expectation that their useful lifetime will carry us at least until we're ready to replace them, and hopefully well beyond. Most people assume their smartphones should last at least two years, in part because contract customers in the US are accustomed to unreasonably high upgrade prices for mid-term upgrades, and also because most manufacturers have adopted yearly release cycles that fit well with this pace. Read More
New smartphones are rolling off the line pretty regularly, and that means the tools we use to work with them have to update, too. Last month, Sunshine v3.0 emerged with support for an extensive collection of HTC and Motorola handsets, and now an update to v3.1 is about to build on that list. With the latest release, Justin Case and Beaups have added support for almost every variant of the HTC One M9, except Verizon's. Read More
According to a Yahoo Finance exclusive, Google Wallet is now a little bit safer. Yahoo Finance reports that Google Wallet balances are now FDIC-insured, and that Google is accomplishing this by storing Wallet balances in FDIC-insured banking institutions. For reference, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures a depositor's funds for banking institutions up to $250,000.
As Yahoo Finance points out, services like Wallet, Paypal, or Venmo are considered "non-banking institutions," meaning that they aren't legally required to be federally insured, and indeed Paypal and Venmo currently aren't (though Paypal does offer its own account protection measures).
The report also notes that Google Wallet's current user agreement says balances are not FDIC-insured, but that "a Google spokesperson confirmed in a statement to Yahoo Finance that its current policy has changed."
Ultimately it seems as though Wallet's FDIC insurance will be of little consequence to users, except that it provides peace of mind in case the worst should happen. Read More
You can also get the full RUU for this OTA from HTC right here.
Sprint got it last week, now T-Mobile is the next in line. The flagship HTC One M9 leaves a lot to be desired in the camera department, at least on the stock version of the phone's software. HTC has issued a small update that should dramatically improve camera quality, though it has to be said that the comparison shots we've seen thus far are still noticeably behind other recent high-end Android phones. Read More
The latest update for Google+ brings changes you probably won't notice unless you head to a community, in which case you will really notice. The main focus of the v5.3 version is a revamped UI for communities, which certainly makes things really pop. Here's a quick before-and-after look:
Left: v5.2 Right: v5.3
Now, an individual community has its own distinct look that makes it clear that you're not browsing through your main Google+ stream. Read More
Remember 5.1? Psh, old news. The new hotness is Android 5.1.1, which Google has yet to officially acknowledge. However, it's almost a certainty now that two builds of the software have popped up on Google's Android audio latency info page.
The Galaxy S6 is the Android phone to beat so far in 2015. That being the case, it's naturally going to be a big part of the modding scene from here on out, as have most of its predecessors. Right on time, Team Win has delivered their much-loved custom Android recovery to Samsung's new flagship. You can download it here.
This particular build of TWRP was tested on the T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S6. Read More
Back in 2011 when Amazon released its App Store, we cited the ability to try apps out in your browser before downloading as one of its top features. Later, you could also do that on phones and tablets. Well, things have changed. First, after an announcement made today, you will no longer be able to do this with apps from Amazon's store. Second, you probably won't miss it too much.
An early version of Test Drive.
At least, that's why Amazon says they are nixing it. Citing a precipitous drop in usage, they just didn't see the need to support a feature that was probably a pain to implement. Read More
When Google searching on a small screen, the part of the result that shows you a page URL isn't always very helpful. Anything but the top-level domain will probably be truncated. Especially within familiar sites, the mixture of page title and shortened URL may leave you unclear what part of the website you will navigate to once you click. Google is making a subtle change to clear things up. Let's jump straight to the example images:
Left: old way, right: new way
If you're not seeing it, look at the green text below the large blue text. You're seeing both aspects of the change, which is that it displays both the name of the site rather than the URL and the breadcrumbs. Read More