Do you have the need for speed, but would rather not dole out the cash to get it? We get it - cars are expensive, and why pay for a game when you don’t have to? We’ve combed through Google Play for some of the best-looking white-knuckled racing games on Android that are completely free, barring the odd prompt for in-app purchases. These freemium racing games are all really good and offer a little something for everyone.
Pull on up to the starting line, and check out these outstanding free racing games for Android.
Like the web interface, the new app lets you remotely track and lock down your other Android devices
Google has launched a new Android app allowing users of the Android Device Manager feature to remotely track, ring, lock down or wipe their other devices. Not to be confused with the Google Play Services feature that launched a few months ago, the ADM app duplicates the functionality of the web interface, meaning you can track or control one phone or tablet using another — provided you've first enabled this feature in the Google Settings app.
If you've not yet set up remote locate or remote wipe on your target handset, you can send a notification to it through the Android Device Manager app on the second device. (Fun fact: select the device you're using the app on and it marks its location as "in your hand.")
To get started, grab the new Android Device Manager app from Google Play at the link above.
GPe Sony Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3 ditch 'Gallery' in favor of G+ 'Photos' app
We suspected it was coming ever since we powered on the Nexus 5 to find both "Gallery" and "Photos" occupying the app drawer. And now the inevitable has come to pass — the stock Android "Gallery" app has been phased out in the new Google Play edition Sony Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3, having been completely replaced by the new Google+-based Photos app.
It's a curious move given that the Nexus 5 shipped with a new Gallery app just over a month ago, and that Google highlighted a bunch of new editing features in that app as part of the 4.4 release. That said, the writing was clearly on the wall when Nexus Camera app was integrated with "Photos," not "Gallery" in the recent Android 4.4.1 update. The move also raises the possibility that future Nexus devices will follow this lead, though precedent suggests that "Gallery" will remain on devices that currently have it.
The elimination of "Gallery" means the new Google Play edition devices will have to make do without the comprehensive photo editing features found in the app. "Photos" offers some editing options, such as filters and frames, but nothing as full-featured as its rival. We're willing to bet these capabilities — including exposure, contrast and curves sliders, among many others — will be patched into "Photos" at some point in the near future, completing the transition from Gallery to Photos.
In any case, it's another example of the expanding reach of Google+ across all the various Google properties. And that could be seen as a good or a bad thing depending on your opinion of Google's social network.
Alongside that new white Nexus 7, UK buyers can today pick up the official Nexus wireless charger, priced at £34.99 and shipping in 1-2 business days. It operates using the Qi (pronounced "chee") wireless charging standard and is designed to work with the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 5 — though if you've got other Qi-supporting gadgets they should work too.
Here's what our own Phil Nickinson had to say after a brief time with the inductive charging plate —
If you've got an Amazon gift card burning a hole in your virtual pocket, now might be a good time to take a look at the Qualcomm Toq smartwatch. It's now available on Amazon for the same price as you'll get it from Qualcomm — $349.
Still no sign of the white model, but if you've just got to have the black version, Amazon Prime can have it at your door as soon as tomorrow.
Tired of ever-changing layouts and the important features not being where you want them? Try these Twitter Android alternatives.
Twitter's been experimenting on us, its users, for some time now with its official Android app. But the latest update might just have sealed the deal for many. We don't necessarily want to call it an abomination, but pretty clearly Twitter's all about expanding your timelines — thus the moving of the "discover" and "activity" tabs front and center — rather than showing you the information that you want, when you want it, where you want it.
It's kind of a mess, and it only appears to have gotten worse over time.
So now's a good time to take a look at a few of our favorite alternatives.
Available in Wifi + 32GB version only, priced £239.99
The new white Nexus 7, announced yesterday for the UK, U.S. and Japan, is now available for Brits to buy. The tablet appeared on the UK Google Play Store yesterday along with a "coming soon" notice, but now it's on sale at the regular price of £239.99 for the Wifi-only version with 32GB of storage. As is the case in the U.S., that's the only white Nexus 7 available at the moment — so if you want LTE connectivity or the cheaper 16GB storage option you're limited to the traditional black version.
White Nexus 7s ordered today in the UK are due to ship within 1-2 working days, with free ground shipping being offered "for a limited time."
Additions including Somali, Zulu and Punjabi bring total supported languages to 80
Google has updated Translate service with support for nine new languages from Africa, Asia and Oceania, bringing the total number of supported languages up to 80. The new additions include Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Somali, Zulu, Mongolian, Nepali, Punjabi and Maori, with more than 200 million native speakers between them. In the case of Maori, spoken by just 160 thousand people, the addition is the result of a volunteer effort by native speakers of the language.
The new languages are available now through Google Translate on the web and on mobile, including the Android app in the Play Store.
4.3-inch mid-range phone turns into a 7-inch mid-range tablet
As widely anticipated, ASUS has today announced the latest addition to its Padfone line of convertible Android devices, the Padfone Mini. Like other Padfone products, the Padfone Mini comes in two parts — a 4.3-inch phone and a 7-inch tablet dock — meaning you can slot the former into the latter. This lets you use a single data plan for both tablet and phone mode, and charge the phone while it's docked in the tablet.
Unlike previous Padfones, the Padfone Mini is aimed squarely at the mid-range market. It's got a quad-core 1.4GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU with 1GB of RAM and a qHD (960x540) display on the phone, which expands to 1280x800 on the tablet. There's microSD expandability in addition to the 16GB of built-in storage, as well as a 1500mAh battery in the phone and a 2200mAh bank in the tablet. For your imaging needs there's an 8-megapixel camera with burst mode and ASUS' PixelMaster tech for boosting brightness in dark scenes.
And on the software side, the Padfone Mini runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and ASUS' own software customizations.
So the specs aren't earth-shattering, but given the price point of NT$11,990 ($405) that's not entirely surprising. The Padfone Mini is due to go on sale in China, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, according to Engdget, with no word on any Western release plans.