Unfortunately, the trend of removing headphone jacks from smartphones isn't ending anytime soon. Sony revealed its new flagship devices at Mobile World Congress last month, and among other major changes, there is no headphone jack to be found. Sony will include an adapter with those phones, but if you need to charge and listen at the same time, the company is more than happy to sell you a more complicated (yet still terrible) dongle.
Usually, we aren't too into Kickstarter stuff here at AP. No small number of crowdfunded endeavors have failed to materialize in the past, and too many of them are merely rebadged OEM goods. But in this brave new dongle-filled world, the HyperDrive has caught our eye. It's a combo USB-C hub, Qi charger, and phone stand all in one. And, unlike many Kickstarter promises, this one has already hit its funding goal.
As you might have already heard, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL don't have headphone jacks. It's disappointing, yes, but Google has a solution if you need to charge and listen to your tunes at the same time. The only problem: it's a $44.95 solution, and you'll have this giant dongle hanging off of your shiny new phone.
Two of Amazon's 2017 additions to its popular Fire TV lineup have been leaked courtesy of AFTVnews: a mid-range dongle and a flagship set-top box. Both will be capable of 4K60, and the cube-shaped one is notable because it reportedly has new built-in hardware that allow it to act as an Amazon Echo Dot when you want it to.
Even in a world with Chromecasts and other streaming devices, it's often just easier to plug your phone directly into your TV with an HDMI cable and an adapter. Some people depend on this functionality quite a bit, and for those of you that do, it might not please you to hear that Google's Pixel smartphones will not support the company's own USB Type-C to HDMI adapter.
I love to drive. No, seriously. I'm someone who actually enjoyed commuting to work, back before I landed my first gig putting words on the web. I'll gladly run to the grocery store to knock a few items off our shopping list, then sometimes head back on the same day to pick up something we forgot. If a friend lives less than two hours away, then they're local. Let's hang out this weekend.
The thing is, all this driving burns through gas, which in turn burns through funds. As fun as it is to gun it when the traffic light turns green, coast in the left lane on the interstate, or brake as briefly and as rarely as possible, these actions all impact how much drivers have to spend down the line, both in fuel and maintenance.
Google's Chromecast is cheap and awesome, but it only performs a very specific set of functions, and even venturing out as far as tab casting gives murky results. Dell's Wyse Cloud Connect, formerly known as Project Ophelia, is a little dongle that can toss up a full Android desktop on any HDMI or MHL-enabled display, and it's now available for purchase. It comes with complete access to the Play Store, so you can use it to keep up with episodes of The Daily Show, listen to Lady Gaga, defend towers, or, you know, be productive.
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect comes with PocketCloud pre-installed, which gives users remote access to physical or virtual desktops.
Voice control? That's so 2010. The future of mobile computing is... well, I have no idea what it is, but Danish startup company The Eye Tribe would like you to think that it's eye tracking. And not the simple, on-off tracking demonstrated in the latest versions of Samsung's TouchWiz - their hardware can track eye movements with enough precision to replicate a finger tap or mouse cursor. Check out the video below:
Want the money shot? Skip to 3:00.
That guy is slicing fruit in Fruit Ninja with his eyes. He's like some incredible wizard who really hates oranges. The applications for browsing the web and other standard apps seems a little forced, but the idea of unlocking your screen without touching it makes at least as much sense as Google's own facial recognition solution.
We've become pretty wary of featuring Kickstarter projects here on Android Police - too many have overpromised, under-delivered, or just delayed themselves into oblivion. (I'm looking at you, Star Command.) But this one has too much potential to ignore. A pair of San Mateo engineers have created a MicroSD card reader that plugs right into a MicroUSB port, making it a perfect travel companion for phones or tablets with no expandable storage. The project has been successfully funded after just three days.
There's a lot to like about this Kickstarter. One, the hardware is incredibly simple, but well thought-out: the housing is a tiny dongle that hangs off of a device's USB port, just far enough to enclose the SD card itself.
The Transformer Prime (or TF201 if you're nasty) had its share of GPS problems when it first came out. So much so that the company began sending out dongles to fix the issue. Well, that didn't prevent a class action lawsuit from being filed and, as a result, ASUS has settled the case. What does that mean for you? Well, if you purchased a TF201 between December 1, 2011 and February 19, 2013 and you didn't get a refund, then you qualify to receive $17 and a free GPS dongle.