In preparation for the release of Episode VII in just a few weeks' time, Google has partnered with Lucasfilm and Disney to bring the Star Wars experience into just about every Google app and service around. Fans can pick between the light side and the dark side on google.com/starwars and apps like Maps, Search, and Gmail will begin to transform to reflect their chosen path.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we have a Dig Dug-style tower defense game, a colorful puzzler, a physics puzzler with cars, an interesting word search game, a minimal RPG, and a licensed sequel to high-end boxing game Real Boxing.
While we touch on the subject of speakers in all of our phone reviews, rarely do we give them a particularly focused or deep analysis. Oftentimes, this is simply because many phones have similarly lamentable audio production on these speakers, with varying degrees of maximum loudness. But as the smartphone has evolved, so too have the speakers inside of them, and a class of phones that quite specifically cater to providing a better speaker experience have emerged.
Perhaps most famously, HTC's BoomSound attempted to brand the concept of dual front-facing speakers - the feature was an absolute cornerstone of the One M7, M8, and M9, and made the devices stand out compared to rivals from the likes of LG and Samsung.
It's a bad weekend for indie apps and services. After the PasswordBox team announced that its well-liked product would be folded into Intel's alternative, now a unique Android homescreen replacement is also going the way of the dodo. After amassing 15 million downloads since its debut early last year, EverythingMe will soon be shutting down and no longer available on the Play Store. As Douglas Adams said (and the company quoted on its farewell blog post), so long, and thanks for all the fish.
According to the post, the simple fact is that EverythingMe's business model wasn't bringing in enough revenue to sustain the development team.
Good grief, T-Mobile has been awfully late in providing the Android 6.0 update to Nexus 6 users on its network. That kind of behavior is positively... carrier-like. But as of Friday the rollout for Marshmallow should have finally begun, at least if you're anywhere near a Wi-Fi network - according to T-Mobile's support document, a full OTA including the cellular network will begin later. As always, it might be several days until you see the update alert on your specific device.
Are the people you call with your shiny new Nexus 6P saying that they can't hear you? Then you might want to check out several threads on the GoogleProductForum and XDA-Developers. A common problem among early adopters seems to be weak and spotty voice quality - that's the voice of the Nexus 6P owner, not the other call party. At the time of writing, several dozen owners across the two sites are reporting very similar problems, both in standard call mode and when using the speakerphone. Google representatives have responded on the official forum, and say that they're looking into it.
Earlier this week I posted a deal for a pair of super bass heavy cans, the Sony Bluetooth Extra Bass Headphones. While that set of over-ear audio blasters appealed to some listeners, others may prefer a more balanced sound profile. If that's the style of headphones you're after, you'd be hard pressed to find a pair more popular than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Today, they just happen to be available for their lowest price ever at $119.99, ten bucks off their previous low.
I could write a paragraph extolling the virtues of M50x's, but I won't. If you want to know why they are so well liked, you can find out for yourself by reading some of the nearly 2,500 reviews on Amazon, which award the headphones an average score of 4.7 stars.
There's something to be said for standardized hardware, and generally that something is "man, that update came in fast." Several Android Police readers, at least one Portuguese tech enthusiast site, and a long thread on the XDA-Developers forum indicate that some Android One phones (which tend to share standard hardware across multiple devices) are being upgraded to the latest version of Android Marshmallow.
Most of the electronic doodads in your house come with remote controls, but your computer probably doesn't. Unified Remote turns your phone or tablet into the PC remote you always wanted, and it's on sale for a few days. This app is usually $3.99, but this weekend it's a mere $0.99.