Play Newsstand has been quietly going without an update for much longer than normal, and now we can see why. Version 4.0 began rolling out yesterday and it's packed with a whole new look and a few new features. If recent events haven't scared you away from reading news, there's a link at the bottom of this post where you can grab the latest update from APK Mirror and skip ahead of the regular rollout schedule. Read More
Chrome is installed by default on all Android devices that come from Google's partners as well as all Chromebook computers. That probably accounts to a lot of devices, without taking into consideration all the Chrome browsers that users choose to install on their PCs and Macs. So it's not hard to see how the browser could now be running on billions of phones and desktops and actively used on most of them.
Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Chrome's VP Product Management at Google, tweeted today an interesting figure: there are 2 billion active Chrome browsers across mobile and desktop. Rahul doesn't explain what exactly constitutes an "active browser," and over which period of time it had to be used to count, but it's an important stat nonetheless. Read More
Usain Bolt's branding on the new HTC Bolt should be enough indication to you that Sprint is marketing this new smartphone for its speed. But as the geeks that we are, we've probably jumped to the conclusion that we're talking about the processor, except that nope. This is Sprint's fastest smartphone yet, if we're only talking about its network capabilities. The Bolt is the first device to support Sprint's LTE Plus three-channel carrier aggregation, which is already live in Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Cleveland, and Columbus.
LTE speeds aside, the Bolt is a mid to high-end smartphone. The entire device is made of glass and metal with a 5.5" Quad HD Super LCD 3 display on the front covered with curved-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Read More
Samsung's Gear line of smartwatches has come a long way since 2013's geeky-looking, Android-powered Galaxy Gear. The latest additions to the family, the Gear S3 frontier and Gear S3 classic, were announced over two months ago at IFA, and now, they're finally available - in South Korea. Read More
Wireless headphones are getting a lot of attention these days in light of a certain phone manufacture's 'brave' decision to remove headphone jacks, but a good wired set of buds can often be found at much lower prices. Such is the case today with the Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones which are on sale for just $40 right now at Best Buy. With an MSRP of $99 and a street price of around $90, that's a killer deal on a very well-reviewed set of earbuds. In fact, it's less than a third of the price of these headphone's wireless counterpart. Read More
Android Auto v2.0 began rolling out earlier this week with a pretty significant redesign that made the driving mode part of the app's primary UI. There were quite a few changes to support the on-phone Auto simulator, including a fair number of new options like the ability to auto-launch with certain Bluetooth connections (and prevent that if it's still in a pocket).
While most of the new features are easy to discover when poking around in either the driving mode interface or in the couple of config screens, there's a new feature in the audio player that deserves to be called out on its own. Read More
Last April the European Commission, the EU's executive body, issued a statement criticizing Google's management of Android. The Commission accused Google of facilitating monopolistic practices, specifically by tying the Play Store, the Android version of Chrome, and other common Google apps to Google's Search services among licensed Android manufacturers. Keeping manufacturers from releasing forks of Android as a condition of participating in the Google ecosystem - a process which Google calls "anti-fragmentation" - was also an issue. It took a while, but Google has finally published a full response to the Commission. Read More
Some months ago, Logitech released a pair of car mounts called "ZeroTouch." At the time, I thought they were interesting, but ultimately not worth the high price. Now, this same hardware is back on the Google Store as an Android Auto mount. The price is still crazy, though. Read More
OtterBox is one of those products that has a fairly niche appeal, at least for its original practically bomb-proof protective cases, but does its job so well that people keep coming back. The company has been making a mint off of its durable Defender series, and it hasn't wasted any time bringing out new versions for Google's Pixel and Pixel XL flagships. Read More