Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

07
Dec
2012-12-07_11h58_55

We've heard mixed reports about international availability of the HTC J Butterfly/Droid DNA beyond Japan and the U.S. (respectively). Today, HTC saw fit to announce some new countries. For starters, the device with the retina-melting display will be coming to China as the HTC Butterfly X920e in mid-December. Additionally, a 3G version of the device simply called the Butterfly will be released in international markets.

2012-12-07_11h21_01

The Chinese version of the device will launch on China Unicom for ¥4,799 (roughly USD$770) and will come in three colors: brown, red, and white.

06
Dec
ongbak

Ong Bak is a fine series of Thai martial arts movies that received plenty of critical and commercial success both in Thailand and around the world. Naturally, when a film about people kicking things and stuff getting punched makes it big, a game must be sure to follow. That game, Ong Bak Tri, is being built on the Unity3D engine for PC, consoles,  and Android. The newly released gameplay trailer looks pretty fantastic for a mobile game.

06
Dec
soundcloudtiny

SoundCloud may not be the most famous app around, but when it comes to sharing a simple audio clip or a song, it's hard to beat. Now, the company's mobile app is getting an overhaul and with it comes a shiny new interface that doesn't suck. The UI upgrade makes use of the action bar, side navigation panel, notification controls and all the other fancy new features that we've grown used to since Ice Cream Sandwich and beyond.

06
Dec
google logo

As if the news out of Google couldn't get any hotter today, the company decided to just casually announce that it has over 500 million users with Google+ accounts, 235 million of whom are active "across Google" which means anything from +1ing things in various Google products to "connecting with friends in Search"...whatever that means. The most important stat, though, is 135 million users are active in the stream. That means, if we can assume past definitions are still true, those users either visit plus.google.com or use the mobile app to view content.

06
Dec
snapseedtiny

There are no shortage of image editors on Android. Even Adobe, which makes the class-leading Photoshop, has a version of its editor on the platform. Today, though, Google gets one of its very own: Snapseed. You may recall this particular piece of software when it was demoed by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at CES this year. At the time, it was only available on the iPad where it had won App of the Year in 2011.

06
Dec
2012-12-06_10h31_22

One of the biggest problems with Google+ has been its inability to create a group wherein all peers are equal. You can create a hashtag that everyone can post to but you can't control the membership of, or a Page that a few moderators can share to, but it's difficult to add users to (for non-public posts, Pages can only add users to circles once they add the Page first). Communities finally fixes this problem by creating public or private groups that anyone within can share to.

05
Dec
2012-12-05_15h19_05

Alright, yes. We've spent over a month getting upset because Christmas starts just way too dang early these days. It's December now, though. Is it finally okay to get in the holiday spirit a bit? Cool. Because these Spheros—robotic balls that can be remotely controlled by Android and carry an array of sensors and lights—are beautiful. The company behind the bots choreographed these 28 units to the tune of Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24, as performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

05
Dec
2012-12-05_12h33_38

Sometimes, it can be a bit arguable what counts as a "low end" phone these days. Even cheap phones are so powerful that calling them anything lower than mid-range can seem insulting. This one, however, makes us pretty comfortable with the moniker. With a 1GHz Snapdragon S1 processor, a 320x480 TFT display, and a 3.2MP rear camera, the Xperia E fills out Sony's budget line just fine.

12_PIU_1 13_PIU_2 14_PIU_3

Optionally, the Xperia E Dual has the option for dual SIM card slots, which is great for business users, and those who need to work with multiple networks.

05
Dec
nexus4parrotthumb

Getting your hands on Google's latest iconic Android handset seems to just get harder and harder as the holidays approach. Today, T-Mobile has the device back in stock yet again, however, the subsidized price is now bizarrely raised to $400 with a 2-year contract for existing customers. Um, T-Mobile...what?

2012-12-05_10h35_59

This is still $100 off the "Suggested retail" price, which hasn't changed, but it's still $50 more expensive than buying it from Google outright.

04
Dec
netflixlogo

In times past, there have been concerns about Netflix' ability to continue acquiring rights for streaming video content. The more users the company gets, the more pressure there is to get high-profile content. After the loss of the Starz deal, there was some doubt, but today there is a renewed hope for fans of Netflix and Disney at least: the two just inked a deal that will bring first-run movies from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and Disneynature to the streaming service in 2016.

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