You've got no shortage of options for carriers if you want a Galaxy S4 Mini in the United States. Verizon and Sprint have already released the phone, and now prospective US Cellular customers are getting a crack at it. The carrier posted the phone to its online store today with neither pomp nor circumstance. You can pick it up for $49.99 on a two-year contract or a whopping $499.99 without.
|Jeremiah Rice||Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.|
Fans of classic Squaresoft RPGs have had a smorgasbord on the Google Play Store as of late, but it's all been remakes and re-releases. The first "new" Final Fantasy game to come to the platform (unless you count some of the simple stuff like Final Fantasy All The Bravest, which you shouldn't) is Final Fantast IV: The After Years. It's a sequel to the old FFIV (from 1991) released for Japanese mobile market in 2008 before making it to the Wii in 2011.
Looking to get your hands on HTC's new super-sized One? Then Wirefly is happy to offer it at a discount, at least if your preferred carrier is Sprint. Right now the service and hardware reseller is selling the HTC One Max for $129.99 for new Sprint customers and $199.99 for returning customers who re-sign their contract. Not bad for a brand-new flagship.
Technically new customers are getting a $120 discount off of the $250 retail contract price, but Sprint offers a $100 discount for porting your number from another service, so the effective price change is twenty bucks.
If you simply can't wait for the next Humble bundle to roll around, there's now an Android-specific alternative available. iKoid is a new service that just released its first indie game bundle, this time at a fixed but very reasonable price of $2.49. It includes five games: They Need To Be Fed, Bridge Constructor Playground, Hero Of Many, Don't Run With A Plasma Sword, And Streetfood Tycoon Extreme, which would cost about $9 together on the Google Play Store.
The Xposed framework is a major boon to those of us who use an Android device that doesn't have a lot of support from the custom ROM community. It allows a lot of the things you want in custom ROMs - visual tweaks, interface changes, behavioral and button functions, fixes for annoying bugs, and a host of other things - via independent modules, with only root privileges. The latest beta release from developer "Rovo89" includes support for Android 4.4 and a bevy of performance improvements.
Quick reminder: the modular smartphone is a real thing that's really happening. Motorola blew our minds with the announcement of a plan to create modular phones not totally unlike the Phonebloks concept, and now the manufacturer is one step closer to making some real hardware. 3D Systems, makers of the Cube 3D printer and similar equipment, is Motorola's first partner on the Project Ara.
So what does that mean? Motorola needs some way of adding flexibility to a traditionally rigid manufacturing process, and 3D printing would seem to be a natural solution.
Why ESPN didn't call its sports update app "SportsCenter" in the first place is beyond me. They seem to have rectified this with version 4.0 of the app, now named after the ubiquitous sports show. (Da-na-na, da-na-na.) The app was also updated with a new all-white interface and a standard slide-out menu.
Oh, and ads. Lots of ads. While the previous version had in-network advertising at the bottom of the screen like a lot of free apps, this new one gets interstitial ads that pop up two or three times while scrolling through scores or updates, plus random pop-up ads.
They've done it with the camera. They've done it with Touchless Control and Migrate. They've even done it with the FM Radio from the brand new Moto G. Now Motorola is moving even more of its proprietary phone apps into Google Play Land, presumably to allow for more frequent and reliable updates. Today Motorola Assist and Motorola Connect, both exclusive to the Moto X and Verizon's new Motorola DROID phones, are available on the Play Store.
The changes to the Play Store we mentioned last month seem to have taken effect. Now when you're checking out apps on an Android tablet, the home page and the tabs for "Top Paid," "Top Free" and the like will only highlight apps designed for use on tablets, at least by default. If you search for a non-optimized app manually, the full listing will use a "designed for phones" tag.
Check out these screenshots.
The MicroSD card slot seems to be a dying feature on later Android phones (at Google's insistence, no less), but those of you who still have one will want to check out Amazon's daily Gold Box deals today. Among an appreciable smattering of other Transcend flash storage deals, the site has three great prices for MicroSD cards starting at just ten bucks.
On the lowest tier we've got a Transcend 16GB MicroSD card for ten bucks.