Top 5 Android Phones of 2014

2014 is over, in a day or so. That means we are reflecting on the year that was, the phones that took up a major portion of our lives, which apps were the best out of the hundreds of new ones, and which storylines dominated these airwaves. But in the end, this site’s coverage really revolves around two things – what comes out of Google (Android, services, Google Play, etc.) and which phones are the best in the world. The Google stuff will be discussed in varying ways over the next day, so for now, it’s time to focus on the best phones of the year.  (more…)

Droid Life’s Top 10 Games of 2014

It is that time of year, where we start rounding up our top 10/favorite everything of the past year. In this post, we want to reflect back on the fantastic year that was 2014 in the games category. We saw a ton of epic titles released for Android onto Google Play this year, so narrowing it down to just 10 was quite difficult. As you will notice, our honorable mentions section is almost as long.

When boiled down, many of these lists are very subjective. Personally, I enjoy more quick death games, where I can just keep smashing buttons until I die, only to try again. However, I also enjoy puzzle games, trivia games, and platformers. Since I am not an RPG player, you won’t see many on the list, but that does not mean there were not a few great RPGs released in 2014. I only bring this up because I hope not everyone here will share the same interests as me. If you think this list sucks, tell us what should have been there in the comments below. I’m always open to trying new games.

Ready to see what had the DL staff occupied all year long? Check out our Top 10 Android Games of 2014 below.  (more…)

HTC Desire EYE Quick Review

While HTC appears to be content on throwing its limited marketing budget towards its flagship One lineup, you can tell the company still loves working on more affordable devices. From my experience with most of their smartphones, they do pay attention to the smaller details when creating a phone, and the latest HTC phone I have handled, the Desire EYE, is yet another enjoyable device from the Taiwan-based manufacturer.

In the eyes of consumers, HTC may appear to be struggling, but they have never slacked in the hardware design department. The Desire Eye caught my eye immediately, with its bold coloring, and massive front-facing camera. To a more untrained eye, who might not be familiar with practically every phone on the market, the Eye may resemble an older iPhone. To me, this is a good thing, as I have never been one to deny that Apple has great looking hardware.

Already having quite a bit on our table, coupled with the fact that the Desire EYE is not a flagship device for HTC, we decided to take this phone for a brief test spin, if only to allow for everyone who was curious to have our thoughts on the device.

This is our Desire EYE quick review.  (more…)

Android Wear “Lollipop” First Look and Tour!

The new Android Wear “Lollipop” update is slowly (can’t stress “slowly” enough) rolling out to Android Wear users across the world. Thankfully, we already have the update on a Moto 360, so we can show you what to expect when it finally arrives on your device.

If you missed the post on this massive update that we wrote up yesterday, then here is a recap. In Android 5.0.1 for Wear, you are getting official watch face support through the newly released Watch Face API. This makes installing watch faces and switching between them easier than ever, plus we now have a dedicated watch face page on Google Play. Outside of that, the update brought in useful settings if you pull down from the top of your watch (no longer mute only), plus it allows you to undo card dismissals and mute notifications from apps directly from a device.  (more…)

Download: Android 5.0.1 OTA Updates for Nexus Devices (Updated)

Update 12/24:  Added Android 5.0.2 link for the Nexus 7 (2012) WiFi.

Update 12/15:  Added Nexus 5 link! (Cheers Dustin!)

Update 12/10:  Added Nexus 4 link. Also added Nexus 6 link.

Android 5.0.1 OTA updates are starting to pop-up for most of the Nexus devices, which isn’t all that surprising after seeing the new Android version hit AOSP yesterday with factory images shortly behind it. The first three devices to receive build LRX22C are the Nexus 9, Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi, and Nexus 10. But don’t be surprised if the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2012) WiFi, and Nexus 6 updates aren’t far behind them.

As is the case each time new OTA updates rollout for Nexus devices, we have started a running list of the updates that can be sideloaded, along with instructions for flashing them. We will continue to update this list as more device updates pop up. Also, as a reminder, we only provide the direct-from-Google download links, so these are as safe as can be.  (more…)

The Droid Life Gift Guide [2014]

We are nearing Christmas (three weeks away!), plus it is now officially the holiday season, so that means it is a time for giving. If you need help picking out something special for that tech-savvy person in your life, allow the DL Gift Guide to help you make the right decision.

From phones to tablets, each of the DL staff gives their top recommendations, as well as an oddball gift that may or may not quite belong in the tech category. Along with each product, we do our best to sell you on why these would make great gifts for your loved ones.

Have at it.  (more…)

How to: Change Moto 360 Watch Bands

Now that the official watch bands for the Moto 360 are available for individual purchase, we thought it was time for a tutorial on how to swap yours out. Motorola is going to recommend that you head into a jeweler to have the dirty work done, but with a single tool, you can do it yourself within a couple of minutes. It really is that easy.

As a recap, the leather and metal Moto 360 replacement watch bands are now available for $29.99 and $79.99, respectively. The metal bands come in light or dark stainless steel and can be purchased here. The leather bands, made by Horween, come in cognac, black, or stone and can be purchased here.

Ready to swap bands?  (more…)

Video: A First Look at the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio

The Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio is the first official accessory available for Google’s new tablet. It’s also more than likely going to be the most expensive. At $129, this Bluetooth-connected keyboard-case-combo is going to be tough for most to justify buying without any knowledge of its capabilities, quality, etc., so we went ahead and took the plunge for you, just like we do with almost all of the important Nexus accessories.

To kick off our coverage of the Keyboard Folio, we wanted to first put together an overview/first look and tour of the device, so that we are all on the same page and know exactly what we are dealing with here. This is also a chance for us to share initial impressions, many of which tend to stick through to the end of a review cycle.  (more…)