Microsoft has just uploaded its latest Surface Pro 3 TV commercial on its YouTube channel. This new ad emphasizes the major features of the tablet-notebook hybrid on its own, without trying to compare it to a Mac notebook like previous commercials in the past.
Apple has released a new video and promotion for the iPad, focusing on how it can be used to make music, and make the world a more musical place. The video features the song “All or Nothing” by Elliphant, more specifically, the Riton iPad Remix featuring The Gaslamp Killer. From Apple:
iPad is changing how we live, work, and create more and more each day. For recording artist Elliphant, it’s liberating her to make music in a radical new way. And whether she’s writing lyrics at home or recording on the road, iPad has become an essential part of her process. It was even used by director So Me to shoot this film.
Part of Apple’s recent Start Something New campaign, the video shows Eliphant using apps and accessories to write lyrics, make beats, remix with the crowd, and film the performances, including:
With MWC looming, more leaks and rumors about the stars of the show are emerging. This week, we learned more details about the HTC One (M9) and the Galaxy S6/S Edge. Manufacturers and carriers pushed Lollipop updates to several devices, but the most interesting Lollipop news was a total surprise: Android 5.1 was spotted running on Android One devices shipped in Indonesia, and with no official word from Google, speculation is heating up. Finally, the first Lollipop-based Paranoid Android ROM has arrived this week.
Inside AA HQ
It was another week of behind-the-scenes work for the AA team (and the Sound Guys team, and the tiny TabTimes team). Derek and Darcy are working hard on our product database – it’s been long in the making, but we think your patience (and our effort) will be worth it. The app redesign is coming along nicely, and hopefully we’ll have the big update ready by early spring. We’re also making plans for MWC (three weeks to go!) and it looks like we’ll have a big team on the ground this year.
Our YouTube team just got stronger – following stints at some of the most popular technology channels around, Taylor Martin has joined Android Authority. Taylor will be doing how-to’s, tips and tricks, and reviews, and will help us continue our stint as a leading mobile technology channel. Watch Taylor’s Meet the Team video, and don’t be shy, he loves your comments.
On the editorial side, Mark Hearn will be providing you with smart insight into all things tech. Formerly with Engadget, 9to5Google, and others, Mark’s first piece (on the casual user’s misunderstanding of Android) has been a hit, with almost 200 comments and hundreds of shares. Read it here.
As always, keep an eye out for our Sunday Giveaway. Each week, we’re giving away a hot gadget to our loyal readers. Seize your chance here.
The Friday Debate Podcast
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
Here are some interesting posts for your Sunday reading:
- Review: Lanh takes a look at Samsung’s new metallic mid-ranger, the Galaxy A3
- Roundup: Using AppAnnie data, Joe rounds up the big app and app trends of 2014
- Feature: Simon walks you through the History of Huawei and gives you a glimpse at its future
- Hands-on: Matthew presents you the Pantech Vega Iron 2, or “the Galaxy S5 that could have been”
- Opinion: Mark Hearn muses on the casual user’s misunderstanding of Android
- How-to Andrew tells you what to do (what to avoid doing) when buying an used phone
Top news of the week
And here are the top news in the Android world this week:
One M9 in gold
Lollipop update bonanza
- HTC One M7 Unlocked and Developer Editions receiving Lollipop update
- Sprint rolling out Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M7) Lollipop updates today
- Samsung strikes again, Galaxy S4 LTE-A Lollipop rollout begins
- Nexus 7 cellular variants finally receiving Lollipop 5.0.2 updates
- Android 5.0 Lollipop rolling out to Verizon Galaxy S5
- Android 5.0.1 Lollipop leaked for the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
- Android 5.0 Lollipop begins rolling out for Exynos-powered Galaxy S5
- T-Mobile Lollipop OTA for HTC One M8 landing on Feb. 9
Galaxy S6 and S Edge
- Samsung Unpacked teaser hints at curved Galaxy S6 variant
- Latest leak suggests the Galaxy S6 will be just 6.91mm thin
- Leaked image claims to depict the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S Edge
- Alleged images of the Galaxy S6 show off metal frame in new leak
PA 5 is here
We always want to hear your feedback. Whether it’s criticism or praise, feel free to tell us what you think about Android Authority’s content, design, and community. Comment here or get in touch with us on our social channels:
Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a new Android phone or tablet each and every Sunday.
A big congratulations to last week’s winner of the Nexus 9 Andrei G. from Romania.
This week we are giving away a LG G3 Android Smartphone!
The 5.5 inch LG G3 comes packed with a snapdragon 801 2.5GHZ processor and a 3000 mAH battery.
Related: Best LG G3 cases
You can earn entry tickets into the giveaway by completing the following tasks in the RaffleCopter widget located below.
- [1 Ticket] 1 Free entry!
- [1 Ticket] Follow AA on Google+.
- [1 Ticket] Follow AA on Twitter.
- [1 Ticket] Download the AA App.
- [10 Tickets] Refer friends to the giveaway. You will be given a unique URL to share with your friends or social networks. You will receive 1 bonus entry (up to 10 max) for every person who you refer to the giveaway using your unique URL.
In case you haven’t heard, we have a new Android Authority podcast called the Friday debate. This week the team talks about Android One and Lollipop. You can find the AA podcast on iTunes, stitcher, pocket cast and RSS, we hope you tune in.
Terms & Conditions
- The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
- If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
- We are not responsible for lost shipments.
- You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
- We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
- Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
- We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
- The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.
Have all your apps, everywhere
We get questions, and often they are from users new to Android or from folks with their first smartphone. One question we get a lot is about installing an app from Google Play on more than one Android device. People want to use the same app they paid for on their phone and their tablet, or their work phone and their own phone, or share it with their family. Or they want to play the same game no matter which device they have on hand. We get it — we need to do the same thing.
Remember those murmurs that Google would detach its photo service from its social networking? It just took steps that could make this split a practical reality. The search firm has snapped up the creators of Odysee, a mobile app that can automatically share photos in private as well as send your phone snapshots to your PC at home. The team (Nimbuz) isn’t specific about its future plans beyond promises of more “amazing products,” but it’s joining the Google+ group. That’s an unusual move for a developer that specializes in keeping pictures out of the public eye, but it’d make sense if Google wants a photo platform that can stand on its own two feet. Whatever Google’s intentions, it’s acting quickly. Odysee has already vanished from app stores, and the service shuts down on February 23rd.
Valentine’s Day is upon us. People who are in relationships prepare to go out and spend extra money and have a romantic evening with their significant other. People who are alone are looking at awesome Netflix movies to watch to ignore all the people who are in relationships. If you’re preparing to go out on Valentine’s Day to have a romantic evening, we’d like to help out with this list of Valentine’s Day Android apps to help move things along.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, gifting things is rather easy. Cards, flowers, and chocolate are the norm. While cards and chocolate are easy to find everywhere, it’s sometimes difficult to find a good place to get a good batch of flowers. So 1-800-Flowers is a good place to start if you’re looking to send your sweetheart flowers for Valentine’s Day. They also offer a range of other gift ideas (which includes chocolate). It’s free and you can never order too many flowers.
The ever popular Amazon is a great option for anyone looking to do some Valentine’s Day gift shopping. The giant online retailer usually has a series of sales that are specifically for Valentine’s Day but between the Gold Box deals, Today’s Deals, and Lightning Deals, there are plenty of opportunities to find nifty things for your loved one. Chances are most of you already have this app or at least use the site but if not, now is as good a time as any.
As always, gifts on Valentine’s Day is kind of par for the course and a good way to get good deals on stuff is through a coupon app like this one. Shopular is a well-known brand for coupons and it’s also shown up on our Christmas app list, Black Friday app list, and pretty much every other holiday where gift buying is a thing. It’s a good way to find good deals for your significant other and it’s free!
If one is good, two must be better and Groupon is the second coupon app on our list. If Shopular just isn’t doing it for you, it’s always worth giving this one a try. Like Shopular, Groupon is a known name in the coupon apps biz and we’ve featured this app on prior articles. It’s a good place to find coupons for cool stuff your Valentine may enjoy for cheaper. It also helps you find things online or things close to you so you’re running around trying to find that last second gift, this app could be helpful.
It has been said that music is what emotions sound like and on Valentine’s Day, there are a lot of emotions flying around. Whether you need something upbeat and fun or something slow and romantic, iHeartRadio has stations ready for Valentine’s Day. To add to the harmonious feelings, the icon is even a big, giant heart. It couldn’t be more perfect so if you’re looking for some good music, give it a shot.
[Price: Free / $2.99]
Unless I missed something, I’m relatively certain people still have sex on Valentine’s Day. It’s one of the few days a year that all but guarantees the act be done so why not make it interesting? As you can imagine, this app gives you a number of fun positions to try out. The free version comes with 30, the paid comes with more, and both have a progress meter so you can keep track of what you’ve tried and what you haven’t.
Let’s face, some people simply aren’t good with words. One usually needs to look no further than most internet forums to know that there are people who can talk and people who cannot. For those who cannot, Love Quotes is there to find you the right things to say in the right moments. It’s true this app is geared toward those of the female persuasion but even males can find some truly cheesy and awesome things to say with this app. It’s free and it does what it says it does. If the cat frequently has your tongue, give this app a try.
Pandora is a lot like iHeartRadio. You can find Valentine’s Day themed playlists or otherwise set up stations for you and your loved one to enjoy. It’s free with the occasional advertisement and if you combine this with a Bluetooth speaker or just plug it into the entertainment stand, you can have a nice soundtrack to round out your romantic evening.
Going on dates, finding food, and doing romantic things can be tough to do. Some people don’t mind going to the old restaurant they go to every year but others like to try new things. TripAdvisor is usually for people who are traveling but it’s a unique way to find stuff in your home city too. It’s not just for restaurants either. You can find entertainment, fun spots, and potentially new places around you that can work as a fun date. Plus, it’s nice to have around if you ever travel.
The app name says it all. Some people like knowing those little fun facts that are fun to post on social networks or say to their friends at parties or other friendly events. After all, we all know one of those people who likes to post those fun facts about Christmas, St Patrick’s Day, and all the other holidays. Why not Valentine’s Day too? It has about 40 fun facts so obviously this isn’t one of those apps you’ll keep forever but it is fun to learn a few quick things and share it with your friends.
Valentine’s Day Greetings HD is a sort of all-in-one app for Valentine’s Day fans. Within the app are a series of wallpapers, greetings, and quotes that you can use to adorn your home screen with hearts, send messages to loved ones, and send messages to your special someone. It also features a countdown timer to the big day and it’s totally free.
If you want your phone to look a little more flashy for Valentine’s Day, live wallpapers are always a good option and Valentine’s Day LW is one of the best. It features nice, dark backgrounds with some interesting graphics. It’s not minimal but it certainly doesn’t have that unorganized mess that many holiday-themed apps seem to have. It looks good, the heart in the middle is customizable, and it’s cheap.
[Price: Free / $0.99]
If you do want something that’s a little more colorful and cluttered, Valentine’s Day Live Wallpaper is a good option. On top of being festively colorful, the heart is customizable by adding photos of your significant other or your family. This is a fun way to customize your device for V-Day if you’re into that sort of thing and it’s always nice seeing that person that makes you smile whenever you turn the phone on during a holiday. There is a free and paid option, so you can try it before you buy it.
Before smartphone cameras, Valentine’s Day was still a day for photos. You go out with your significant other, take a nice photo, put it in a nice frame, and that’s that. These days, V-Day photos are still as prevalent as ever and with an app like this, you can make them look even better. This is great for making photos look extra special and especially good if you intend on posting pictures on social media. It’s also totally free with no in app purchases.
Last on our list this year is Valentines Day Special. This is another all-in-one application that contains pretty much everything you need for V-Day. That includes romantic gift ideas, the history of Valentine’s Day, love poems, recipes (if you’re making food), movie ideas, wallpapers, and more. There are even tips for single people and music suggestions for a great romantic evening. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Some people are born romantics who have no problems taking holidays like this and making the most of them. However, some of us are quite bad at it so hopefully these applications help out. There are thousands of Valentine’s Day themed apps and thousands more that aren’t themed but can still be useful. So if there’s a fun, useful, or otherwise relevant app that’s really good and you think it should’ve been included here, let us know in the comments. Stay safe and Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
It’s a story that belongs in a major motion picture. Hidden identities, narcotics, money laundering, computer hacking, blackmail and even attempted murder are all parts of this dramatic tale. But the story behind Silk Road, the online black market for drugs and other illegal goods, is not fiction. It was a very real phenomenon, and its creator, Ross Ulbricht, is a very real person (despite his “Dread Pirate Roberts” nom de plume). Tucked away as part of the Dark Web, Silk Road used the Tor network for anonymity and dealt in bitcoin so that transactions stayed anonymous. But as the recent Silk Road trial and Ulbricht’s eventual guilty verdict showed, even when you try really hard to mask your activities on the internet, it doesn’t necessarily work.
Little is known about how exactly the Feds pulled it off, but their story is that they were able to uncover the Silk Road servers via a software flaw on the site’s login page that revealed an IP address. That IP address then led them to a location in Iceland where the Silk Road server was hosted. There are several members of the security community who don’t necessarily buy the explanation — some experts say the FBI probably hacked the login page repeatedly to force the IP address instead, which is quite illegal to do and could set a problematic legal precedent.
Regardless of how the Feds did it — whether it be through legitimate or questionable means — it seems that they were still able to find the server despite the masking provided by Tor. Also known as The Onion Router, Tor is a US Navy-designed privacy network that has long been under scrutiny by governments the world over for its promise of anonymity. While it’s still notoriously difficult to break through, Silk Road and other cases show that Tor is not entirely bulletproof, especially from the occasional router exploit or FBI-seeded malware.
As for how the FBI tracked down Ulbricht, the so-called kingpin and mastermind of the Silk Road? They did so by simply uncovering his Gmail address. The Feds had found what they suspected to be one of the first mentions of “Silk Road” on the internet and tracked it to a user by the name of “Altoid.” From there, they discovered that the same person had posted to a forum asking for IT experts on bitcoin to email him at “rossulbricht at gmail dot com.” That address was tied to accounts on Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn, all of which point to libertarian leanings that the Dread Pirate Roberts has also been known to champion. Then it was simply a matter of obtaining his records from Google and tracking him down. Ulbricht did use a VPN to hide his location, but the FBI subpoenaed the provider of the VPN too. It all led them to an internet cafe in San Francisco, and eventually, to Ulbricht himself, who was arrested in a library in the city’s Glen Park neighborhood.
As for how the FBI tracked down Ulbricht, the so-called kingpin and mastermind of the Silk Road? They did so by simply uncovering his Gmail address.
The other sticking point here is the use of bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has long been the darling of the underground web because it’s seen as difficult to track due to its anonymous and digital nature. But in the Silk Road case against Ulbricht, the Feds managed to follow more than 700,000 bitcoins from the Silk Road marketplace directly to Ulbricht’s personal account. According to the FBI, they were able to do so because they seized his laptop before he was able to encrypt it, thus giving the Feds access to his bitcoin address. Once they compared it to the blockchain — a master database of all bitcoin transactions — they discovered that Ulbricht’s digital millions came from the aforementioned Silk Road servers. Oops.
If the Silk Road case taught us anything, it’s that it’s nigh impossible to be truly anonymous on the internet. If even those on the Dark Web aren’t safe from the prying eyes of the powers that be, what hope does that give to civilians like you and me? After all, the Snowden leaks already showed the extent to which government surveillance has already taken place. Of course, this isn’t to say the government is watching everything you do or that internet privacy is dead. But the next time you feel like sending incriminating information over email (or starting an international drug bazaar), think twice.
[Image credit: Getty Images; Courtroom sketch: Associated Press]
Jason Snell creates wonderful podcasts on popular culture for The Incomparable and technology for relay.fm. He’s not only great at what he does, he’s generous in sharing how he does it. First, Jason wrote about how he records podcasts, including multi-enders, where each person records their own audio separately. From Six Colors:
Another approach—and the one that I use—is to record conversations via the $30 Call Recorder for Skype by Ecamm Software. This plug-in for Skype records your own microphone input and the output of your Skype call as separate tracks in a single QuickTime movie. (An included utility app allows me to split that file into separate files for each track and convert them to various other formats.)
More recently, Jason wrote about how he edits podcasts. Also from Six Colors:
Then I use a Logic feature called Strip Silence, which takes a selected item—at this point a single block of one person’s conversation for an entire hour or two—and removes all the silent bits, leaving behind dozens or hundreds of smaller blocks. Having described this technique to other people, I’m starting to get the impression that most people don’t edit this way.
Jason also describes built-in options like using QuickTime to record audio and GarageBand to edit it. Whether you’re interested in podcasting and want some tips on getting started, or you’ve been doing it for a while and looking for ways to improve your workflow, you’ll find both of Jason’s posts valuable.
I don’t do everything exactly the way Jason does, but I’m totally taking some of his Logic tricks.
The internet abounds with unlikely stories of how to make thousands of dollars by doing little or nothing, but here’s one money-making scheme that’s actually true: A Massachusetts-based nonprofit is paying people up to $13,000 per year for turning over their stool samples. The samples are then used to help fight a rare bacteria called C. difficile. In other science news, an eight-year-old girl may have just made some serious headway in finding a cure for cancer. Camilla Lisanti’s parents are cancer researchers, and the child suggested to them that they use antibiotics, “just like when I have a sore throat.” It just might be simple enough to work. UK lawmakers voted this week to allow in vitro fertilization using DNA from three people. The technique would be used to eliminate mitochondrial diseases in IVF babies. The FDA recently revealed that several herbal supplements found on the shelves of GNC, Walmart, Walgreens and Target don’t contain the ingredients they claim. Instead, they’re filled with cheap substitutes, like wheat and soy powder. On the green tech front, the folks at the Oakland-based 3D-printing firm Emerging Outfits have developed a 3D-printed ceramic “Cool Brick” that uses nothing but water to cool homes in hot, dry climates. The brick is now on display at the Museum of Craft Design in San Francisco. In wearable tech news, the PC security firm Symantec (best known for its Norton security products) has teamed up with Betabrand to create a pair of jeans designed to stop so-called digital pickpockets from poaching your personal data. And if you’ve ever walked around New York City and wondered why USB drives are embedded in building walls, click here for the full story.
Apple will soon be the proud owner of the greenest building on the planet, and last week, the tech company further strengthened its green design cred when it announced plans to build a $2 billion data center that will be entirely solar powered in Mesa, Arizona. In other clean energy news, President Barack Obama released his 2016 budget proposal last week, and it calls for $7.4 billion in funding for clean energy technologies as well as the creation of a $4 billion fund to incentivize cuts to power plant emissions. The UK nearly doubled its solar capacity last year, and the country has no plans to slow down — the nation expects for 10 million homes to be solar-powered by the year 2020. Part of the reason for recent solar installation gains is that costs are declining. A new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency predicts that solar costs will drop by almost 40 percent in the next two years. If renewables are becoming so affordable, then why do politicians keep pushing the Keystone XL pipeline? Here’s another good reason for Obama to veto the proposed pipeline: A new EPA report reveals that the pipeline would emit 1.37 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. That directly contradicts a previous State Department report, which suggested that the pipeline “would have no significant impact on the environment.”
The Tesla Model X SUV is one of the most hotly anticipated new electric cars. It’s been delayed several times, but now you can finally catch a glimpse of the electric car in action, thanks to YouTube user Juan del Real, who uploaded a video of some speed tests at an old naval base in Alameda, California. In other green transportation news, BYD Motors recently unveiled the world’s first long-range electric coach bus, which can travel over 190 miles at highway speed on a single charge. Ridesharing originated in the Bay Area, so it seems inevitable that Google will get into the game, right? Sources have suggested that Google is making quiet preparations to roll out a ride-sharing service of its own. This is still firmly planted in the realm of rumor, but it would put some serious pressure on other car-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft. In bicycle news, the mayor of London signed off on what will soon be Europe’s longest protected bike lane, and Gensler drew up plans for turning abandoned Underground tunnels into energy-generating bike paths. And electric bike company EVELO created the Omni Wheel, which transforms an existing bicycle into an e-bike in just 30 minutes, and for half the cost of a new electric bike.