Android Auto? On my Mazda? Before you get too excited by that title, let me drop a couple of ice cubes in that piping hot cup of excitement: this is exceptionally buggy. With that disclaimer out of the way, yep, some clever individuals have managed to reverse-engineer Android Auto's head unit bits to run on newer Mazda CMU (infotainment) systems, and if you're feeling adventurous, you can get in on the action.
The issue is that, well, it's kind of broken in lots of ways. And I mean virtually everything is subject to bugs, crashes, and various strange issues, like the fact that the CMU system permanently thinks it's midnight on January 1st, 1970 when in Android Auto and thus Auto is always in its night mode layout. Read More
If you live somewhere where a fast, reliable, and cheap internet connection isn't a given, or if you own a smartphone that crawls at the mere sight of a 5MB+ app, there's no arguing the benefits of Opera Mini as a go-to browser. The app also gets very frequent updates that improve its usability, like a QR code reader, night mode, different data compression modes, and more. Now Opera Mini is ready to join its big brother by adding the video compression feature that Opera users have been enjoying for the past months.
Opera uses its own Rocket Optimizer technology to compress up to 60% of video data, which results in faster loading and less consumed bandwidth. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Mobile Security & Antivirus
This week's roundup is brought to you by ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus. This full-featured security suite automatically scans downloaded apps and files for malicious content, and quarantines them when something dangerous is detected. Read More
Smart watches might not be an essential piece of technology yet, but the more apps and watch faces there are, the more useful they become. Sure, many of them are ill-advised and may murder your battery (killer app?), but that's the price you pay to find the truly good apps. Today we have many apps and watch faces, some of them are just for fun and others might be genuinely useful. You won't know until you check them out. Read More
There's a particularly neat feature lurking in the flags in the latest version of Chrome Dev. If you toggle "enable-ntp-snippets" you'll get a handy list of content from around the web on the new tab page, complete with text snippet previews. Read More
Considering the shortness of February and the general malaise that is the entertainment industry between January and March, it's impressive that Android received so many high-profile games during the month. And indeed we did: JRPG fans have no less than three new classics to check out, there's a new chapter of The Walking Dead for horror fans, and plenty of titles for more causal players to try. Below in no particular order, you'll find our picks for the seven best new Android games of February, plus a few honorable mentions. Read More
Now is looking like a good time to pop a bag of popcorn and settle down in front of the Chromecast. Google is offering movie rentals for 50% off. Read More
Amazon launched the Echo a while back as the first device with its Alexa voice control system. Now there are two more, each with a different take on the Echo's functionality at a lower price. The Echo Dot is a small connected speaker/mic that can add smarts to your existing speakers, and the Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth Speaker with Alexa voice commands. Read More
You may know SMG Studio from the neato tower defense game OTTTD or the frustratingly addictive One More Line. Now, SMG has turned its attention not to turning, but drifting. The cars in Thumb Drift are tuned for big drifts around corners, but they also explode immediately when you hit the wall. Read More
Google long ago teased Hands Free, a way to make mobile payments without even having to reach for your phone. Now it's launching a pilot program in the southern San Francisco Bay Area.
Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services to communicate with cash registers inside participating stores. Right now those partners are McDonald's, Papa John's, and some local restaurants. Read More