David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

16
May
plants-vs-zombies

Are you ready for some Plants vs. Zombies? We know you've been waiting for it (I certainly have). Just a little bit longer: Plants vs. Zombies will be available on the Amazon App Store starting late this month (presumably May 30 or 31) for the low, low price of free. The app will be free on its debut-day (May 30), then for 2 weeks will be exclusively available on the Amazon App Store, in a deal similar to that which Rovio had with Amazon upon the release of Angry Birds Rio.

16
May
android-gingerbread

Samsung has just announced via press release its plans to officially update its Galaxy S line of phones (yep, including North American ones) to Gingerbread starting this week, with the UK and Scandinavian countries first on the list to get the Ginger-bump. Samsung has again remained characteristically ambiguous about exactly which Galaxy S devices will be eligible (and when) for the update directly from Kies, Samsung's device management software.

It's entirely unclear if "North American" Galaxy S phones include the heavily carrier-customized versions of the device in the United States (Captivate, Fascinate, Vibrant, Epic), or merely unbranded Canadian versions of the phone and European imports that have snuck their way onto US shores.

15
May
samsung-galaxy-s2

Pocketnow, via a wireless accessories website, has apparently discovered the names of 3 of the carrier-branded versions of the Galaxy S II that will be coming stateside later this year. The device will be known as the Attain on AT&T, the Function on Verizon Wireless, and the Within on Sprint.

Mysteriously absent is a T-Mobile version, suggesting either that the device won't be coming to America's pinkest carrier, or that it will be arriving in a different (QWERTY?) form-factor which does not fit the case being advertised on the source webpage.

15
May
IMG_9362
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

After being thoroughly unimpressed with the sleek and sexy DROID Charge last week, and knowing that the Venue was next on my device-review checklist, I was prepared for yet more disappointment. Let's face it - Dell has been the butt of quality control, technical support, and advertising (Dude! you're...) jokes for years now. Whether or not it has at all been deserved is another matter entirely - after all, Dell is a hugely successful company (I happen to be writing this review on a Dell netbook, in fact).

12
May
dell-venue-official-unveiled
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Today we're going hands-on with Dell's latest Android smartphone: the Venue. I apologize for my voice being even more nasally than usual - I've been a bit under the weather.

To put it briefly, the Venue is actually a pretty good phone - it's just a little... old, at this point. Still, it has made me a believer that Dell, a computer manufacturer, can make a good piece of smartphone hardware (and actually some pretty decent custom software as well, ala Stage UI.) It's also about as close to stock Android as you can get without buying a Nexus S, so that's a plus.

10
May
movies

When Google announced its new Movies service today, some of the details of the service's launch were omitted in the information overload that is I/O. But now that we've had a minute to regain our composure and, you know, investigate, we've got some exciting news about Google Movies: you can start renting and watching right now (note: only the United States is currently supported):

movies3

The catch is that you'll only be able to do it from your personal computer (via the Web Market or YouTube in the browser) or on a Motorola XOOM in the Videos app for the moment (we're assuming that means it's limited to Honeycomb Android devices for the time being).

10
May
hi-256-3-bea3d5b6f67835c6e24e3abb62cfe48ea332f7e0

We've had leaked betas of Google's Music 3.0 app for Android for what seems like time eternal now, but Google has finally chosen to make the app public. At least part of it, that is. It sports the same interface as the beta we've all come to know (and love?), but lacks one key feature, mysteriously: a settings menu. That's probably owing to the fact that the previous betas we've seen all contained sync (Google Music) options in the settings menu, and unless you're a beta-invitee (don't worry, none of us have gotten ours yet, either), these options will presumably remain hidden and otherwise inaccessible.

08
May
IMGA0002
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Make no mistake, the DROID Charge is a cool phone. It looks cool. Its boot screen looks cool. Hell, even the camera has been carefully crafted to look like some sort of crazy piece of future-tech.

In the past week, I've had three separate people ask me what phone it was (something that I never experienced with my Nexus One or the HTC Inspire), and then proceed in some way to compliment its appearance or the vividness of its display.

08
May
hi-256-0-cebb14a080486962e8ce1e8c18391aa11bb390f6

It's been a while since the last ADW Launcher EX update, but it may just have been worth the wait. The author of ADW EX has implemented some major changes and fixes for version 1.3.0. Check out the change log below:

ADWLauncher EX v1.3.0

Changelog:

  • Completely redone the app drawers code from scratch to improve memory usage and scrolling performance, even with transparencies, live wallpapers, etc
  • Scroll snapping on the vertical drawer/4d drawer “a la launcher 2″.

07
May
android-tweak-20110201162950
Last Updated: September 3rd, 2011

It's that time of the week again folks - time to hit the polls. This week's question is one that'll allow you to express what you think an Android handset should let you do in terms of customization, modification, and other various tinkering (think rooting, custom ROMs, kernels, etc). Basically, we want to know how important it is for you, as a consumer, that your next phone be easy to customize.

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