Since the time I began writing for Android Police last spring I have written dozens of deal alerts. Many of these articles have featured mobile accessories from brands I had not previously heard of, let alone tried for myself. While reviews on Amazon are a nice tool to help determine if a product is any good, there is no substitute for a recommendation from a source you trust. With that in mind, today I'm starting a new series of articles reviewing mobile accessories from the manufacturers that we often feature in Deal Alerts at Android Police.
First up in the series is Aukey's lineup of QC 3.0 chargers. Aukey sent me four different QC 3.0 chargers to test, including a single port charger, a dual port charger, a dual port car charger, and a five port charging station. Read More
In Android M, the System UI Tuner included a Broadcast tile that allowed users to create their own custom tile to be added to the Quick Settings area. However, users had to be savvy enough to know how to create that tile and then use an app like Custom Quick Settings to personalize its look and actions. It's safe to say that the feature wasn't ready for primetime and only enterprising and techie users could benefit from it.
With Android N, custom tiles will be possible to implement directly by the developers for their apps. The N documentation explains that this is part of the reason Android N has a Quick Settings area with pagination and user-editable toggles. Read More
Google's approach to releasing preview firmware for upcoming versions of Android is evolving into a pretty cool system that allows developers to simply sign up a device and wait for the OTAs to come rolling in. However, no product launch is perfect, and this one is causing some real problems for some users. Complaints started rolling into the Nexus Help Form and AOSP Issue Tracker about devices that were left unable to boot after attempting to install the OTA. This problem is greatly compounded by the fact that many users are not able to unlock their bootloaders, which means they can't fix the issue with a factory image. Read More
Android N isn't all about the small tweaks and pixel changes, it's also a significant update when it comes to your safety. Well, provided you discover how to set it up and other people know how to get to it. What is it exactly? It's the new Emergency information feature that's accessible in Settings > Users and lets you display all the crucial info on your lockscreen for anyone to see, without requiring an unlock. It'll also show up in the setup wizard when you finish setting up a new Android N phone.
Left: Emergency info under Users. Right: "Emergency app" is a new setting in Default apps. Read More
When I took my first look at AmpMe, the app that turns your phones and tablets into multiple speakers for the same song, I applauded the app's interface, automatic sound syncing, SoundCloud implementation, and iOS support. However, a few missing features were holding it back (especially compared to SoundSeeder), namely the lack of local music and Google Play Music support as well as the requirement for an active and fast connection to stream everything.
AmpMe remedied part of the first issue by adding local music playback (still no Play Music, unfortunately) and it's fixing the second problem now by adding offline and local WiFi streaming. Read More
We get it, some of you don't like Microsoft's apps. But there's no denying that the company has been doing a real kickass job on Android lately, updating its different applications and adding new and interesting features that either put it up to par with Google's offerings or make it leapfrog it by a few miles. I mean... did you hear that Microsoft Translator can now translate Klingon?
Well, here's a new feature that OneDrive is adding where it's just playing catch-up with Google Drive: the ability to scan a document or whiteboard and upload it directly as a PDF. The option shows up under the + FAB icon in OneDrive (image above) and opens the camera to let you take a photo before immediately uploading it as a PDF. Read More
If you're preparing a presentation in Google Slides, chances are that you're going to be doing it in your native language or your secondary one. If you speak Arabic or Hebrew, however, you were out of luck because the Android app didn't support RTL languages. Now that's changing since the Slides app on Android is able to create and edit presentations in RTL on version 1.6.092.07.
As for Google Docs, it recently got a new outline feature that helped you navigate long documents by surfacing the different section headlines whenever you started scrolling through the pages. It turns out that the same version 1.6.092.04 of Google Docs hides another helpful addition and that's the fact that text is now selectable in the Print Layout view. Read More
If you were a diligent Android Police reader over the past 24 hours, you must have noticed that somewhere along the deluge of Android N news and coverage, Ryan managed to sneak in his review of the Nextbit Robin. In it, he praised the phone's design, front-facing speakers, and mostly stock Android 6.0 software, but found little usefulness to the Robin's highlight feature: Smart Storage and its cloud backup support for freeing up space on the internal storage.
If you got a Robin and would prefer to flash a custom ROM on it or experiment with different features, there's only one way you can do that and it's by flashing a custom recovery. Read More
Your keyboard knows more about you, your language habits, your weird infatuation with the pile of poo emoji, and your eccentric words than you could ever imagine. SwiftKey knows even more, not only because it's been available for years and has been collecting your data for as long as you've used it, but also because it can scan through your entire email and social accounts to learn more and more from your typing behavior.
Now SwiftKey is ready to turn that knowledge into infographics (because those are cool) to let you in on the secrets of your own language and typing habits. Read More
Google's Android Wear site is a great place to get started learning about the operating system for your wrist, from the different watches you can buy to the features available to you, the apps you can use to make even more use of it, and the watchfaces and bands that help you customize the look even further.
The site just got an overhaul that puts visuals first and makes the entire experience even more interactive. Specifically, the different sections of Try these apps are now dynamic, changing the screenshot on the watch as you hover over the icons to show you exactly what to expect from each application. Read More