Check's Android app manages your bills so you don't have to

Editor's Note: This review was updated on March 6, 2014, to cover features added in the newest version of the app.

Check (Android|iOS) is a free app that helps you stay on top of all your recurring bills and help you make payments. The service works with credit card companies, cell phone carriers, utility companies, Internet service providers, car loans, mortgages, and even your rent. Essentially, if you have to bill to pay, you can likely pay it with Check.

While a handful of companies offer apps with bill-paying options, many are poorly designed or hard to use (… Read more

This Android SmartWatch doesn't run Android

CNET Update examines a different breed of Android:

The Android watch has been around since before Google ever existed. Android Watches USA has made traditional timepieces under the Android brand name since 1991. And it's only now that the Florida-based company is getting into wearable tech with the Android SmartWatch. But ironically, it doesn't run Google's Android operating system. It runs the timekeeper's own software.

The CEO of Android Watches USA, Wing Liang, (an iPhone owner) said that as the smartwatch craze heats up, his company is frequently fighting to protect the Android watch trademark from … Read more

Sprint approves KitKat update for more Samsung smartphones

Sprint on Wednesday confirmed plans to issue Android 4.4.2 updates to a number of Samsung Galaxy devices.

According to a post on the carrier's blog, the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Mega, and Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 are in line to receive KitKat updates. As a result, the mobile gadgets called out will benefit from features such as enhanced messaging options and a more intuitive interface. In addition to the standard fare of OS features, the lock screen will be updated to allow for quick access to cameras.

While Sprint did not … Read more

How to manage RAR and ZIP files with RAR for Android

WinRAR has long been a popular compression utility for Windows, supporting both RAR and ZIP files, among others. One of the most useful features of WinRAR has been its support of multivolumes, which let you chop up large archives into smaller volumes for easier handling. Now, the makers of WinRAR have brought RAR support to Android and with it, a set of powerful features.

If your needs are basic, the ES File Explorer app has built-in compression tools that might be all you need. However, if you're a power user and need things like, multivolume support, archive repair, encryption, … Read more

Let your handwriting shine in Evernote's Android app

You can already type, record, and snap a photo to add new notes to Evernote, and now you can write out your thoughts on your phone or tablet screen to get your message across. Evernote updated its Android app Wednesday to add handwriting, a feature it's been beta testing for a few months.

With the update, you can use a stylus or just your finger to write and draw in any note. There are four color options: black, blue, red, and green, and three pen thicknesses. You get a dedicated box where you can draw and write, which is … Read more

Android SmartWatch that works with iOS -- but it's not what you think

Here it is, at long Android watch that works with iOS. Well, on a technicality. The all-too-cleverly-named Android SmartWatch is not, actually, a watch that runs Android. Android is the name of the watch company, which has held the rights to call its products "Android" since before Google ever made its mobile operating system. Unlike the Omate TrueSmart, which is an actual Android OS watch, the Android SmartWatch is just another smartwatch with design ambitions.

Android previously made traditional watches, but this is the company's first smartwatch. Based on pure features, it's pretty packed: … Read more

How to get better battery life on Android

Android gets a bad rap for short battery life, but that's only if you stick with its default settings. Make these simple adjustments to give your phone or tablet a battery boost.

Disable location reporting and history GPS is a huge battery hog, as it harnesses data from the phone's GPS chip, cell phone towers, and Wi-Fi hotspots to find your location. The more a phone surveys your location, the more battery it uses. And that goes beyond just Google Maps.

Location reporting and location history are two GPS-based services with somewhat unclear motives. According to a Google … Read more

Adobe brings Revel photo-sync service to Android

Adobe Systems has released a version of its Revel service for syncing and sharing photos and videos to Android.

Revel for Android lets people upload photos and videos, organize them into albums, pool photos from others into group libraries, share them in galleries or on social media, and edit photos. Editing -- from the company that brought us Photoshop, of course -- includes basic options such as filters, cropping, exposure and contrast adjustments. Those are much the same options as are present in Photoshop Express, which by the way is integrated with the Revel app.

Revel for Android arrived Tuesday, … Read more

HTC harvests smartphone power to help solve world challenges

HTC is looking to harness the power of users' cell phones to engage in some altruistic pursuits, like finding a cure for cancer, researching climate change, and bringing food to the world's hungry.

Working to solve complex world issues often means crunching massive amounts of data. Analyzing this data takes supercomputers and time -- and this is where smartphone-maker HTC fits in with its "Power to Give" initiative.

The company has partnered with a host of scientists and research institutions to give them unused processing power from Android smartphones. This means scientific data can be crunched faster. … Read more

Shorten, track URLs on Android with Google URL Shortener

Google has long provided the URL shortening service Users are able to log in to the site, paste a long URL and have it shortened by Google. On top of the URL being share friendly, Google would also provide analytics detailing who is actually clicking on the link.

Early this week Google released an Android app for the service, taking link shrinking and tracking mobile.

The app is free and can be downloaded from the Google Play store here.

There are plenty of options for link shortening, with most social networks doing this on your behalf, but by … Read more