Swarm Gets Mayorships, Like It had When It was Relevant as Foursquare

Foursquare used to be this social check-in app that friends and fellow Foursquarians took to to not only share their locations, but also because the whole experience was one big game where the world competed against one another. You wanted badges for checking in at certain types of restaurants and you wanted to be the mayor of your most-visited spots. Then one day, Foursquare punched itself in the face one-too-many times and decided it wanted to be Yelp, so it created this silly companion app called Swarm that was supposed to replace the check-in portion of Foursquare.  (more…)

This Icon Pack is Hot: Glif

You need your weekly fix of icons, don’t you? This week’s hot icon pack is called Glif. I don’t think there is any hiding the fact that this icon pack is a playful take on an old-school comic book. Each uniquely designed icon sports black outlines, slightly washed colors, and a “glistening” white stripe.

At this time, Glif is still very much a work-in-progress. After an update that was issued last week, the pack is closing in on 400 icons, so we are obviously a long way from the 3,000+ that other packs contain. Still, the designer (onyxdev) seems to be incredibly focused on getting out as many icons as he can and is openly accepting submissions for icons you need themed.  (more…)

Sony’s “Thinner Than Your Smartphone” 55-Inch 4K LED TV With Android TV is Now Up for Pre-Order

At this year’s CES, Sony unveiled a TV that got more traffic than just about every other TV I found myself in front of throughout the week. The popular TV was Sony’s 55-inch 4K “Ultra-Thin” LED model that ran Android TV. People couldn’t stop from halting in front if it to take a picture because it is insanely thin. Seriously, it was so crazy thin that even we (non-TV guys) stopped with mouths dropped to take a couple of pics (that we of course can’t find now).

Sony claims the TV is thinner than your smartphone or pencil at “approximately” 0.2-inches.  (more…)

How to: Setup and Use WiFi on Android Wear

The Android 5.1.1 update for Android Wear introduced what I would consider to be the most important new feature since the platform launched. I’m talking about WiFi connectivity of course, which lets you have some freedom from your phone and the Bluetooth connection that previously tied phone to watch.

With WiFi connectivity on your watch, you could leave your phone on the other side of your house or office, lose that Bluetooth connection, yet still sync notifications to your wrist. You still get to interact with notifications, respond to messages via voice, and launch Google voice actions. This really is one of those game-changing type features because it allows your watch to be less reliant on having your phone nearby at all times.  (more…)

This Week’s Free Google Play Kids App of the Week is Toca Hair Salon 2

Last week, Google started a new “Free app of the week” program for the newly launched family section of Google Play. They started off with a Daniel Tiger game, but have now followed that up with a game called Toca Hair Salon 2. It’s a $3 game, so if you have kids, you may want to give it a look.

In the game, kids get to style the heck out of people’s hair, run their own salon, and choose from six different characters. Fun times.  (more…)

The Best Android Phone You Can Buy Today

Every week, at least three or four or twenty people ask us in some way or another, “What phone would you recommend I buy?” In reality, they just want to know what the best Android phone is that they can buy today. I get why we get asked. After all, we handle every new flagship under the sun.

Since there are so many good phones these days, the decision hasn’t become any easier in recent years. Before, though, we use to worry about whether or not a phone could last two years. Now, the criteria is much more specific. People want to know which phone has the best camera or the best battery life or the best display. What’s the storage situation like? Is it made of metal or cheap plastic? How often does it get updated?

Rather than try and answer all of those questions in individual emails, we thought we may as well just put our thoughts out there every so often, so that everyone can see what we think the best Android phone is that you can buy. Don’t worry, though, we’ll keep this simple and to the point. You have other things to do.

Ready?  (more…)

Report: Google Wants a Future Where You Don’t Have to Install Apps

According to a report out of The Information, Google is secretly working towards a future where you don’t have to install apps on your phone anymore. Instead, users will be able to stream them, if you will, which Google hopes makes accessing services and accomplishing tasks easier. Assuming you have an internet connection of some sort at all times, there is actually some potential here, as long as you love all things Google.  (more…)

5 Android Wear Watch Faces to Try: 70s, Minmo, Mustache, SpecOps, and Candy Shop

When I look for an Android Wear watch face, I try to find those that remind me of traditional watch faces or at the very least, fit nicely onto a round display to make the device on my wrist feel less futuristic and more classic. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the technology behind a smartwatch, it’s just that I want the watch on my wrist to look like a watch first before getting to all the extra notification, fitness tracking, and other stuff.

Once I find a watch face I like, I tend to stick with it for a while because I feel like there are few really classy options out there on Android Wear. I don’t know why, but watch face makers seem to want to cram as much crap into these things as is possible, when they really should be doing the opposite. A watch, at least an analog watch, should show you the time and date, and then maybe a battery percentage to keep you informed throughout the day. The rest of the stuff is just getting in the way of a great looking watch.

So after spending some time recently to see what’s new in the Android Wear watch face world, here are five I think you will appreciate.  (more…)