Years and years after Samsung, HTC, and Motorola started plopping bloated skins on top of stock Android, manufacturers are still trying to create semi-artificial market differentiation with their shiny software toys. While manufacturer skins have gotten more tolerable as of late (thanks in no small part to the way they've also become much more resource efficient), it's still vaguely annoying that all these companies feel the need to spend vast amounts of time and effort completely overhauling something that already works pretty well. Read More
Today is Easter Sunday in many countries, and though humble tech bloggers don't really get fancy luxuries like "vacations" or "religious holidays" or "time to sleep," it seems appropriate to point out an Android Easter egg that's apparently been lying in wait for quite a while. The folks at Ausdroid spotted this one, a simple nod to British sitcom The IT Crowd (also known as "that show that's kind of like The Big Bang Theory without all the sucking"). Read More
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 new Kairosoft management game, two different space shooters, a casual soccer title, an unconventional tower defense game, a rope-swinging endless runner, and a zombie game (of course). Without further ado:
Skyforce Unite! Read More
YouTube Music, the app built specifically for the YouTube Red music subscription service, is still somewhat in its infancy. There's plenty of room for improvement, and version 1.16 adds a couple of small but notable changes to better the listening experience. First, the standard Watch page (the one with the actual video on it) now has a "More from..." button, with the ellipses replaced with the relevant artist for each video. It allows users to find more music from that specific artist. Makes sense. To see the button you may need to expand the viewer in portrait mode. Read More
Web-accessible cameras don't need much in terms of bells and whistles, but that doesn't mean you can't have them all the same. That seems to be the development direction behind TinyCam, one of the most popular IP camera viewers on the Play Store. The latest update adds some API strings that make it more compatible with the experimental multi-window mode everyone's raving about in Android N. That should be extremely handy for watching your front door and browsing Android Police at the same time. Read More
When I was in my 20s, I was all about tinkering with things. I strived to always be at maximum geekiness. I built my own computers, it was Windows and Linux all the way, it was all about how much I could squeeze out of my tech. Then I got older. I'm 36 now, and as time has gone on, I've moved away from all that. These days, I prefer my tech to just work and actually allow me to get stuff done. I don't really care about the inner workings of things as much as I used to, or how much geek cred a particular piece of tech gives me. Read More
My first computer was an old laptop with a dead battery and a dial-up modem. It ran Windows XP, but I didn't have the money to buy expensive software like Microsoft Office or PhotoShop. I discovered OpenOffice.org, AbiWord, and GIMP. I used Firefox, Thunderbird, and Pidgin.
Back then free cloud services weren't yet around, and I didn't have a strong enough Internet connection even if they were. Without an understanding of what open source software was, such applications gradually formed the majority of what I used. When I later went to college, I embraced Linux, and my appreciation for open source software grew. Read More
The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch popped up on the Google Store just yesterday listed as "coming soon." They weren't kidding—it's available now for $499.99. That's a lot of cash, but this watch has a few things you won't find in other Android Wear devices. Read More
Android N will be responsible for some big changes to phones and tablets, but that doesn't mean there aren't going to be some interesting things happening to the Android TV platform, as well. Installing the developer preview images onto a Nexus Player reveals some welcome improvements to the look and behavior of the Settings app, including a new visual layout and support for multiple accounts.
New Design for Settings
Left: previous version. Right: Android N Preview.
The Settings app has been given an entirely new look. Say goodbye to multiple rows of tiles, they've been replaced by a single column that looks very similar to the regular Settings app on phones or tablets, except it's anchored to the right side of the screen. Read More