We've all been there: for 20 minutes during takeoff and landing, the cabin of an American airliner becomes a virtual Faraday cage as every passenger is told to turn off everything with a battery, from the latest Android superphones to the humble Game Boy. This practice has been heavily criticized in the last few years, and there's finally some real movement towards tossing it out the window. The Wall Street Journal reports that a Federal Aviation Administration advisory panel has recommended approving electronic devices for use during takeoff and landing, including WiFi data access.
When the Chromecast launched it had only one non-Google content source from Android devices: Netflix. Now that service's primary opponent, Hulu, also has the ability to "cast" video directly to Google's streaming dongle. Of course, like everything else concerning Hulu, you'll have to shell out $8 a month for access to the Hulu Plus service and corresponding Android app to take advantage of it.
To start using this feature, just press the Chromecast button from any window in the Hulu Plus app.
There seem to be two distinct AAA strategies evolving in the mobile gaming world: make a premium product and charge a premium price (typified by most of Square-Enix's RPGs) or make a premium product that's free or incredibly cheap and make people pay for almost everything (Electronic Arts, Glu, and many others... including Square-Enix). With NBA 2K14, 2K Games is standing in stark contrast to EA's blockbuster Madden and FIFA series.
If you were drooling over a few of the themes in our first look at Themer the other day, some of you now have the opportunity to play around with them on your own phones. The official beta has hit the Play Store, but only approved testers will be given codes to activate the app. Sad, but you can still get on the list for access.
Themer is a one-click method for setting up a home screen theme on your Android device.
You gotta love it when a community of developers congregates around some exciting hardware. That's certainly what's happened with the Pebble smartwatch: it's been getting steadily more capable ever since its release, thanks in no small part to Android and watch app developers. We've seen apps link the Pebble and the popular automaton engine Tasker before, but PebbleTasker (catchy!) does it better than anything else so far.
This go-between app will install a companion app on the Pebble and allow you to assign any three tasks you want to the top, select, and bottom buttons on the right edge of the watch.
Already confused by the myriad of prepaid carriers out there? Well, Target thinks there should be one more. After @evleaks outed the name and pricing last night, more details have emerged. Target's prepaid service will run on the T-Mobile network and is launching October 6th online and in Target stores.
Pricing starts at $35 per month for unlimited talk and text, but no mobile data. For $50 you get "unlimited" data, including 1GB of 4G.
If you keep up with American politics, live with someone who does, or work in a place that keeps the television glued to whichever cable news network best fits the politics of the company, then you've probably heard that the federal government shut its doors today. This is the direct result of our politicians failing to cooperate long enough to pass a budget, and now many federal employees have been made to take forced unpaid vacation time.
It's not often that RCA does something worth talking about these days, but the company has apparently been working on a product dubbed the Internet Music System (model number RCS13101E). This device streams media to the included speakers, or to a TV over HDMI. That's cool, but the important thing is that it's powered by Android with Google apps included. It has just started popping up in Walmart stockrooms, and will presumably be on sale soon.
It's hard to love Intuit. Their most well-known product, Quicken, is what people use to manage their finances, and budgeting is about as exciting as watching your weight. That said, they've found immense success on Windows because their software was usable and, eventually, became a standard that users could expect banks and other financial services to be compatible with. Unfortunately, their Android app has not garnered the same reputation. Last year's release was plagued by a number of issues, and judging from the screenshots provided, it doesn't look like all that much has changed.
You could probably use a break from all the political back and forth, right? Picking up some new apps and games is always fun, but the cost! With the right sales, even furloughed federal employees can afford to get in on the fun. Yep, we've got those.