Huawei’s budget sub-brand Honor is the subject of increasing chatter in phone geek circles of late. In January, the Honor 5X introduced the “company” (insofar as they operate as a separate business unit) to a Western audience with a very affordable, metal-bodied phone.
The device, though, seemed to land on deaf ears, at least among enthusiasts. I can’t speak to how the Honor 5X did in US sales channels, but initial launch buzz quickly wore off once reviews went to press, and the phone itself really was pretty mediocre in retrospect. Its dazzle, its allure really came from looking the part of a $300-400 phone while costing much less. Read More
A new Humble Bundle has debuted; the 20th iteration of the mobile bundle. This is your chance to snag some cool Android games for a very low price, and also support charity while you're at it. The current bundle has eight games with more on the way, and you can get in the door for as little as $1. Read More
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Android Police coverage: [Update] Taskbar lets you enable Freeform mode on Android Nougat without root or adb
Android Nougat has a bunch of new features, but not all of them are visible on the surface. Freeform mode, a simple windowing system that allows apps to behave like they're on, well, Windows, is hiding deep in its code. Read More
If you are among the lucky few who have Android 7.0 Nougat already, SwiftKey's got your back with some updated emoji. Nougat brought ample new emoji, and now SwiftKey has been updated to take advantage of them. This feature previously came to the beta, but now it's in the stable version. Read More
Mobile Passport on Android has just received an update that makes quite a few changes. In case you didn't know what Mobile Passport is, it allows you to have passport and customs information on your phone. This update adds an improved user interface, support for two new airports, Android 6.0 permissions, and other stability fixes.
There are dozens of apps and subscriptions you can use to watch live sports, but if your TV provider already gives you access to FOX Sports, you can use the GO app on your phone or tablet to keep up with your favorite teams and leagues on the go. The app just got another perk now, one that lets you bring that content from the small screen to the big one: Chromecast support.
That's right: FOX Sports GO can now bring your content full circle from the TV to your phone/tablet and back to the TV again. So you can basically take your sports with you wherever you go as long as you have your little Chromecast and there's a big screen available to you. Read More
The Vulkan graphics API is a big deal for mobile developers, since its direct GPU access allows for complex graphics to be rendered with a considerably lower hit to the processor, and thus a lower overhead on the hardware and battery life. A few devices like the SHIELD family and Samsung's 7 series already supported Vulkan several months ago, but Nougat now features full support for all updated Android 7.0 devices. Developer Super Evil Megacorp, which turned heads last year with its Vainglory mobile MOBA, now has a beta version that uses the Vulkan API. Read More
OnePlus phone owners can probably agree that the company needs to work on faster OS updates. (It's a safe bet: pretty much everyone can agree on that, including Nexus owners.) OnePlus is trying. To that end, the company has announced that its two disparate Android software builds will be merged into one: Oxygen OS and Hydrogen OS. I'll pause for a moment to allow the chemistry nerds to make an H2O joke before we continue. Read More
Niantic might not technically be part of Google anymore, but it looks like at least a few people at the old stomping grounds are keeping up with the AR development team's progress. Reddit user GoldLeader272 noticed a juicy new addition to the activity selector in the Timeline feature of Google Maps yesterday: users can now indicate that they were "catching Pokémon," i.e. playing Pokémon GO on their phones. Users can even update Timeline activities on the Android app: go to "Your timeline," tap on the travel (car, walking, bus, cycling, etc.) icon, and then edit it to "catching Pokémon." Neat. Read More