Text-to-speech is one of those little pieces of an operating system that not many people use, but which is indispensable for those who do. Now if your first language is Japanese, you've got the option to play out text on your phone with Google's first-party Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine. The relevant app is on the Play Store and was updated today, so you might not have immediate access to it thanks to Google's rollout system. Read More
It's easy to scoff at Amazon Coins, but with offers of free ones popping up every now and then, it's just as easy to take that virtual money laughing as you walk away with awesome apps and games. Doing what it does rather well, Amazon is now expanding its reach to additional countries. The company's coins are now available in Australia and Japan.
As was the case when Amazon Coins first launched in the US in 2013, Kindle Fire owners in Japan and Australia will find that the company has already deposited 500 Yen or $5 AUD worth of coins into their accounts. Read More
Phones produced for the Japanese market are usually so radically different than the ones we're used to that you don't really feel like you're missing anything. However, the new Sharp Aquos Crystal may pique your interest. The difference is that you might have a chance to buy this one soon. This device comes in two sizes—5-inches and 5.5-inches. Both of them have teeny tiny, miniscule bezels. Almost none of the body peeks out from the edge of the screen. Read More
We've heard about the newest HTC Butterfly before from Japanese carrier KDDI, but now HTC is officially welcoming it into the Butterfly family. That's not a name you hear much in the US, but it's one of HTC's premier brands overseas. This device will be known as the J Butterfly HTL23 in Japan and the Butterfly 2 in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and throughout Southeast Asia. It's a reasonably high end device, but it's not all metal like the M8. Read More
HTC's Butterfly series is an interesting one. While this particular range of models rarely makes its way outside of Asia, HTC often uses it as a testbed for new technology and features, and some of the highlights of these phones make it into the primary international lines on the next go-round. The latest version of the J Butterfly, which will launch exclusively on Japanese carrier KDDI next month, has some additions to the basic One design that might be worth watching. Read More
You guys like streaming Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and lots of others to your TV, right? Of course you do, because bigger is better when it comes to watching movies, videos, or TV. It's a scientific fact.
Today, users in both Australia and Japan are finally able to get that satisfied feeling of hitting the "Connect to Chromecast" button, as Google's nifty little streaming gadget is now available in both countries.
It'll set Australian users back $50, and is available from Google Play, Dick Smith, and JB HiFi, according to Ausdroid. Read More
Sony has announced the Xperia A2 in Japan, where it will be available for NTT DoCoMo. This is the phone that could potentially be branded as the Z2 Compact if it ships internationally, though it's far more similar to the Z1 Compact in power and size than the Z2. This device appears to be more about offering a more affordable offering than the same device in a smaller package.
The water and dust resistant Xperia A2 has a 4.3-inch display, a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon MSM8974 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage supplemented by a microSD card slot. Read More
Yelp has come to Japan, which means residents can now create accounts at yelp.co.jp and begin the tedious but necessary work of leaving nasty reviews for perceived slights from waiters and waitresses everywhere. Japan is the second Asian country to gain access to Yelp, with Singapore being the first back in 2012. Following this announcement, it only makes sense that the Yelp team added the ability to search using emoji when they did. Read More
Texting and driving is a big no-no. We get that. People still do it, but it isn't from the misguided belief that they aren't being risky or, in some places, breaking the law. Yet what about texting and walking? It may not result in unintentional manslaughter (okay, it's much less likely to result in accidental death), but that doesn't mean it's harmless.
In Japan, wireless carrier NTT Docomo has been trying to educate the public on the dangers of walking while having their eyes glued on a mobile device. Read More
Wonder Momo is one of those things that's popular in Japan, but less so elsewhere. There was an arcade game in the late 80s, an ongoing web comic, and a few game ports on other devices (also for Japan). Now we can all get a look at the weirdness that is Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster. All you need is an Nvidia Shield and 15 bucks.