|Jaroslav Stekl||Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.|
The stakes for the ZAGGsparq 2.0 aren't low -- after all, the 6000mAh charger won not one, but two innovation awards at CES 2010, and its claim to charge a smartphone up to four times is downright stunning. But underneath the shiny black exterior and all the fancy marketing prose, is it really all that? Well, not quite...
At A Glance
The ZAGGsparq 2.0 features:
- 6000mAh of juice
- Dual charging ports -- one labeled "general," and the other "optimized"
- Compatibility with both phones and tablets
- 6000mAh – It’s not the most powerful or juice-filled portable battery we’ve come across, but with 6000mAh under its hood, the ZAGGsparq 2.0 still isn’t anything to scoff at… at least not on paper.
On the historic date of December 20th, 2011, Amazon pushed out software version 6.2.1 to its Kindle Fire. The update was fairly minor -- its main additions had to do with improved scrolling and WiFi passwords -- but it brought about one devastating change: it broke all previous methods of root.
The very first quad-core Tegra 3 tablet will be launching soon, and with it comes the promise of a whole new class of Android games. We've already previewed a few such masterpieces; now, with the release of MADFINGER GAMES' Shadowgun, we can add another to the roster.
Nuance, the company behind Dragon Dictation, bought out Swype almost three months ago, but the results of the deal haven't really been exposed since. No longer -- Swype has just been updated with a "Dragon Flame" key that, when pressed, initiates a voice-to-text system provided by none other than Dragon Dictation. In its current form, it features support for French, Italian, German, and English, with Swype representatives claiming more languages are on the way in 2012.
Duke Nukem 3D, the good ol'-fashioned 1991-style Android FPS, is quite the game: sure, the plot is focused on invasion by sex-crazed aliens, but as the developers themselves said in the app's Market description, "that's what makes it fun!"
And for the next two days, the game is completely free, down from $0.99! Of course, if you want to try out episodes 2 and 3, you'll still have to cough up an additional $0.99 a pop - but still, it's not a bad deal considering the game's rather impressive quality.
Everyone knows and loves Dropbox, and with build 188.8.131.52, its Android version is about to get even better. For now it's but a preview -- a "forum build," by official Dropbox terminology -- though we'd expect that to change soon, as in my experience it seems quite stable.
The main addition here is "optimization" for Android 4.0, presumably consisting mainly of performance tweaks. Additionally, the update features:
- support for foreign languages
- quick offline access to files ("favorites")
- the ability to bulk upload photos and videos
- the option to rename files and folders
- single-tap access to all file and folder actions
- an improved gallery
- uploading from and exporting to local storage
- the obligatory bug fixes
TeamWin, the developers who originally developed CyanogenMod's WiMax compatibility, have been working on TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project) for a while now, and have just released the second iteration of the custom recovery.
TWRP 2.0's most notable new feature is without a doubt its touchscreen-centric GUI -- while this isn't a first, it certainly is extremely convenient: gone are the days of "scrolling" through lists with super-stiff volume buttons and selecting items with a click of the power button; with TWRP 2.0 you can simply tap and be there!
OK, so it might not be the Galaxy Nexus, but HTC's Wildfire S for Virgin Mobile is a fairly decent smartphone (the carrier's second best option), and it is available off-contract for a fraction of the price of a more high-end handset. Under regular circumstances, the device comes in at just $199.99 without any sort of contract, but from now until Saturday (November 26th), it's half off - $99.99.
Again, that's less than a Benjamin for a fully off-contract Wildfire S, complete with:
- Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
- WiFi/3G radios
- A 3.2-inch touch screen
- A microSD card slot
- A 5.0MP camera
- A battery good for 4 hours of talk time/12.5 days of standby
Admittedly, those specs don't quite make for a flagship handset, but then again, it costs under a seventh of the off-contract price of, say, the Galaxy Nexus.
Not in the mood to wait around for Verizon to finally decide to put a firm release date on the Galaxy Nexus' head? Tied to one of the other carriers? If your answer to either of those questions was affirmative (and if you have three-quarters of a grand lying around), you'll be delighted to know that Expansys just put up a page from which customers can purchase the I9250 GSM variant of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.