Google added Drawing Mode to Keep at the end of October and the couple of updates since then seem to focus on fixing bugs. The recent 501 update did make a small but useful addition: there is now an overflow menu in Drawing Mode with links to Delete and Send (i.e. share) your doodles to other apps. Read More
Star Wars? Star Wars Star Wars. But, Star Wars. The new Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars, and Star Wars. Star Wars Star Wars, Luke Skywalker, original trilogy. Jar Jar Binks, ugh. Darth Vader. Empire Strikes Back best. <Mercilessly mock Hayden Christensen as an insufferable, mewling infant, featuring overt and excessive hand-gesturing.> Millennium Falcon! Remastered editions <audible hissing>.
Great. Do we all have it out of our systems? Nope? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, Google released a new Chrome experiment today (find it here) that utilizes your desktop Chrome browser and your smartphone's Chrome browser to turn your phone into a lightsaber, because Star Wars. Read More
Whenever a service we use gets bought by another company, we're always filled with hope and anxiety over its fate. It could either be a case of growth and improvements or a slow dwindling descent into irrelevance. I'm afraid Allthecooks may start falling into the latter category if its new owners don't react swiftly to the criticism of their most loyal users.
Allthecooks has long been among the most beautiful and capable recipe and cookbook apps on Android. It got acquired by the Japanese-born Cookpad service toward the end of 2013 and since then, it got an interface redesign and a name change to Cookpad Recipes, but almost everything else remained the same up until a few days ago. Read More
It's not uncommon to see ports of traditional point-and-click adventure games arrive in the Play Store. Thing is, they're usually twenty years old. Lost Horizon from Animation Arts and Deep Silver hit the PC in 2010, making this port much more likely to put your phone or tablet's graphics card to work. Read More
Back in January of 2014, Blu released what I then called my "favorite Blu phone to date"—the Life One X. At the time, it was a solid budget phone, but affordable smartphones have come so far since then. The last year or so has been great for the budget phone scene, and we've watched devices get more and more powerful while prices kept dropping.
Today, Blu announced the new version of the Life One X, and guess what? It's probably the best budget device I've ever used. One might even say it's probably "my favorite Blu phone to date," save for maybe the new Pure XL. Read More
This isn't the first time we've reported about Google's deplorable policies for removing apps from the Play Store. One day you're the developer of an extremely popular app, distributing it to thousands of users, the next it's poof gone with no warning, no explanation, and no way to easily communicate with the team to understand what has gone wrong.
The latest victim is the famous and ridiculously powerful Tasker app. Tasker has been available on Android since time immemorial and has made many a user extremely happy with its extensive featureset. Want to turn on the popcorn machine when you yell "movie time!" at your phone? Read More
By now most orders for the Nexus 6P have been delivered, or at least getting close. If you haven't tried unlocking the bootloader yet, it might come as a surprise that the 'fastboot oem unlock' command no longer works. Attempting to use it with the Nexus 6P fails with a message that it is an unknown instruction. Don't worry, this doesn't have anything to do with drivers, and it isn't a fluke. Google had Huawei replace the oem command in the Nexus 6P bootloader with the new flashing command. Here's what it will look like:
fastboot flashing unlock
fastboot flashing lock
fastboot flashing unlock_critical
fastboot flashing lock_critical
fastboot flashing get_unlock_ability
There are two levels of unlocking: normal and critical. Read More
Sound is pretty simple, especially in the form of music. It should be nice. It should be loud when I want it to be. It should fill the room. In the case of Bluetooth speakers, they should be easy to pair. Battery life should be decent. After that, see desired qualities listed for sound.
The Ultimate Ears Boom Bluetooth speaker should meet most of these qualities. Two years ago, our own Cameron Summerson considered this the Bluetooth speaker against which all others should be judged. That still means something, even if it's no longer the latest model.
I'm not an audiophile. Read More
For a company that sells so few phones, OnePlus sure knows how to make the biggest noise with the smallest thing it does. Building on controversies propelled it to the top of many tech news cycles, but it seems that its marketing department has calmed down a little lately. The latest trick to come out of it is #TakeTheEdgeOff, a swap offer for Samsung owners. It sounds compellingly obnoxious, except that on the OnePlus scale of crazy, it's a moderately bland jab.
They're not asking you to destroy your phone, but to donate it to a charity. And not everyone can get involved, only 50 "winners" will be selected, though I'm not sure winner is the proper term when you're exchanging a Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Note 5, for a OnePlus 2. Read More
Yesterday brought a brand new update to the Play Store, bringing the version up to 5.10.29. There are some new UI elements, even if most of us aren't allowed to see them yet, and we can now copy text from the what's new and description sections. Naturally, Google included a few hidden tricks and treats just waiting to be discovered. We can expect to see books organized by series, apps described with size, and some friendlier welcome and exploration messages.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.