Rugged phones seem to be all the rage these days, and with Samsung, Sony, and others releasing high-end devices with allegedly lifeproof qualities, it's hard to know whose rectangular slab really is the toughest. In reading about devices like the Galaxy S4 Active, Xperia ZR, and Casio G'Zone Commando LTE, you've probably seen some ruggedness "ratings" tossed around. Sometimes, these rating come with a bit of information (eg., waterproof to 1 meter up to 30 minutes), but rarely are the ratings explained in a particularly satisfying way.
|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.|
This weekend's poll is simple, and quite related to a poll we had at the beginning of this month. After weighing the pros, cons, and costs of a Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 or HTC One, did you end up dropping cold, hard cash to get your hands on one? These "vanilla" Android devices provide a Nexus-like user experience on what are likely the two best Android phones currently on sale, something enthusiasts have been clamoring for since, well, probably before I ever started writing for Android Police.
Unless you've been carefully monitoring your tech blog bylines for years (or are a devout and longtime Engadget / Pocketnow reader), you've probably never heard of a man named Evan Blass. This has actually been a good thing for Evan, who for over a year (with a long break during 2012) has operated the now quite-well-known @evleaks Twitter account, leaking various phones, tablets, and product names to an eager public.
If you head over to Facebook Engineering's latest note, you'll find a lot of words that generally don't in any way forgive the fact that Facebook's official Android app is nothing short of an abomination. You will, however, find instructions on how to join the beta testing program for that app buried in this manifesto, near the bottom. Here are those instructions.
- Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers Google group
- Allow beta downloads by clicking Become a Tester in the Play Store (you need to join the Google Group before becoming a tester)
- Download Facebook from the Play Store to update your app
- Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers group on Facebook to tell us what you think
Now, there might be a slight delay between steps one and two (the Play Store link may 404 for a few minutes before it recognizes you), so be patient.
I have to admit, if you were to tell me one year ago today that devices like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition would exist as things, I'd call you a liar. And I'd probably secretly hope that they did exist, too. These handsets, or really, the idea behind them, have been the enduring dream of almost every Android enthusiast from the early days of MOTOBLUR and TouchWiz.
There's been a lot of speculation about just how Nexus-like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition phones will be, particularly from a technical / software update standpoint. Now, we have some relatively concrete information that sheds light on these issues.
First and foremost, Google will not directly handle software updates for Google Play edition devices. This has been reported as true, false, and generally disputed quite a lot in the lead-up to the launch.
Bad news for would-be Shield buyers, or those who pre-ordered: NVIDIA's first Android device (first consumer electronic, really) has been delayed. The reason? An unspecified "mechanical issue" with early units that was spotted during the quality assurance process. NVIDIA claims to be working with the vendor responsible for the issue, but at this point the most they're willing to promise is a revised ship date some time in July.
The official statement, if you're curious, is below.
Poweramp is probably the single most popular 3rd party local music player for Android out there, and if you shelled out four bucks for the privilege of using it, you might be curious to learn about a little-advertised feature in the app: automatic EQ presets. That's to say, you can tell Poweramp which EQ preset to use based on whether you're using the phone's external speaker, a wired 3.5mm cable, or Bluetooth audio.
After a two week stint with the BlackBerry Z10 last month, I happened upon another chance to go across the platform border, this time into the Windows world - with the Nokia Lumia 928.
Microsoft and mobile have had a tumultuous, off-again on-again relationship. However, there is little doubt that MS's smartphone success peaked with Windows Mobile 6, and then very, very rapidly fell off as iOS and Android rolled onto the scene.