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Bloatware: What is it?

Bloatware: What is it?

Bloatware wasn’t invented with the Android phone, but Android phone manufacturers and cell phone carriers have really taken advantage of it. Bloatware is all of the extra software applications that come pre-installed on your Android (in addition to vanilla Android)–it can include any kind of application but some of the most notable examples are carrier apps and/or trial apps that you have to pay for after a certain time to keep using it. At best these apps can simply be taking up space on your phone, or at worst it can be running in the background without your knowledge and drain your battery.  »

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AT&T Nexus 6 comes with carrier branding

AT&T Nexus 6 comes with carrier branding

There was some confusion last week when there were supposed leaks of an AT&T Nexus 6 with an AT&T logo on the body. No one was quite sure what to make of it since Nexus devices have traditionally come without any carrier branding. The purpose of a Nexus device was to give the user an unmolested experience of Android. That may be changing with the Nexus 6. Some XDA-Developer forum members have reported that they received their AT&T Nexus 6′s with carrier branding on the back panel along with a modified boot animation that shows AT&T’s logo. The rest of the device and its packaging was similar to other Nexus 6 un-boxings. This could be a turning point in the Nexus lineup of devices, since there is only one Nexus device that works across all five major U.S carriers and, as mentioned before, previous iterations of the Nexus Devices usually came with no carrier branding and factory unlocked. This new trend could mean that the Nexus devices follow other brands int... »

OnePlus One Pre-Orders will go live at 11am ET on Nov. 17

OnePlus One Pre-Orders will go live at 11am ET on Nov. 17

If you’ve been keeping up with the OnePlus One news over the last year, then you’d know that it is next to impossible to get your hands on one. Between their “invite-only” purchase policy to a server crippling per-order window MONTHS after its official launch, frustrated buyers have been left looking at other phones. If you are one of those buyers, you have another chance to get your hands on of next week. OnePlus is holding another order event for their flagship on November 17th. As with the last event, the per-order window is only open for 1 hr and will begin at 11 am EST. However, interested buyers can pre-fill all their billing and shipping info ahead of time so that you will simply have to click the pre-order button on the day. Hopefully this will ease the load on servers and will not be a repeat of their last attempt at pre-order. OnePlus One says” “If we have the items in stock, we’ll ship immediately. If we don’t, your order will ... »

Google is going to fix email with Inbox

Google is going to fix email with Inbox

Google announced Inbox on October 22nd. In its essence, Inbox tires to make your life easier by organizing your emails better and lumping them into groups of similar items – very similar to what Gmail does currently with primary, social, promotional and updates categories. The difference is that Inbox manages to make look really good – you can thank the new Material Design for that. Inbox has got plenty of Material Design going for it. As with a lot of new Google services, Inbox is invite only for now – good luck trying to hunt one down. It is available as an app for Android and iOS and as an extension for the Chrome browser, which means there is no real web version at the moment. The first thing you notice about Inbox is how good it looks. It really looks amazing, thanks to Material Design, and animations are nice and crisp. Functionality is changed, “archive” is now “done”. You just swipe one way to be “done” with the email (which... »

Google Play Newstand gets Android L’s Material Design

Google Play Newstand gets Android L’s Material Design

Google has been pushing its new Material Design language to its existing apps over the past few months since Android L was announced in June. Android L is said to be the biggest upgrade to Android since it came out in 2007. Android L brings a whole new design language called Material and the Google Play store was the first Google App to get the updated style followed by Google Plus, Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Chrome. The newest member of the family to join them is the Google Play Newstand app – the online magazine app now displays bigger images, smoother transitions, allows users to explore deeper into topics and the app should run faster overall as well. Google states that “Today’s redesign brings a new magazine reading experience on your phone. In the past, print magazines have been hard to read on a small screen, zooming in and out to skim an article. But now you’ll see a list of articles from the magazine that you can toggle through and easily rea... »

Android L will encrypt your data by default

Android L will encrypt your data by default

Data encryption on Android has been offered for the most part since 2011. It was an option in the settings menu that let you lock down your data so that thieves or law enforcement would not be able to get to any of your files. That option will now become the default setting on all phones running Android L. Google’s statement read “For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement. As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won’t even have to think about turning it on.” The announcement comes just one day after Apple revealed that users who are running iOS8 are protected by the users passcodes that Apple themselves cannot bypass. Apple came under heavy criticism recently when several private, nude images of celebrities were phished out of Apple iCloud accounts. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has since been very vocal about consu... »

Sprint now wants you to pay $5 per month for bloatware

Sprint now wants you to pay $5 per month for bloatware

Sprint has just upped the bloatware game by announcing its own Sprint App Store. While competition is great for a the duopoly that is the app store market. At the moment, if you want an app you either go to the Google Play Store on your Android device, or the AppStore on your iOS device (windows has its own App store too by the way). While its great of Sprint to offer something else to its customers – they execution might be just a bit off. While the Google Play Store and AppStore are free to install and use – with plenty of free apps – Sprint wants to charge customers $5 per month to use its Sprint App Pass. Sprint says that this App Pass will give its customers unlimited access to a certain number of apps for the duration that they pay the subscription fees. It is rumored that it will be around 200 apps and will include free and paid apps. The alternative is to stick to the Google Play Store and keep doing business as usual. The numbers do not make sense in the long... »