I really like my LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition (or as we call it 'round the office, the LGGP83GPE), and it's a bit disheartening that the standard version isn't getting more traction. But at least Verizon's LTE model is now on Android 4.4, as confirmed by Google+ users. Verizon's standard upgrade page says that the KitKat 4.4.2 OTA update adds a few changes to LG's software skin as well.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a good-looking platform-puzzle game, an old-school 2D hack-and-slash title, and a unique take on the Tempest formula.
Many fans of the original PS1-era RE-VOLT were thrilled when a port was released on Android last year. The portable version included all of the goofy kart-style racing that made the original a sleeper hit... with one exception. Both the remastered version and the free-to-play edition lacked online multiplayer, which was a crucial part of the old game. Well, except for the online part. That's been addressed in RE-VOLT 2: Multiplayer, available now as a free download.
There's a bitter divide in the world of Android hardware: those who love expandable storage and those who don't. (There are a few who are indifferent and level-headed, but they never seem to speak up in the comments section.) If you fall into the former category, head over to Amazon's Gold Box one-day deal page. They're selling Transcend brand MicroSD cards for dirt cheap.
You can pick up a 32GB MicroSD card for $13.99, more than $20 off of Amazon's regular price.
I'm so glad the fervor surrounding the World Cup has died down, and now we can get ready for some real football. And by "real football," I mean American Football played by orcs, dwarves, elves, and other things that are probably more comfortable in a Tolkien tome. Blood Bowl is an Android port of a PC game based on a series of pen-and-paper RPGs, themselves based on the Warhammer universe. The computer game presents itself as a sports title, but its mechanics are more like a turn-based strategy RPG.
HTC's Butterfly series is an interesting one. While this particular range of models rarely makes its way outside of Asia, HTC often uses it as a testbed for new technology and features, and some of the highlights of these phones make it into the primary international lines on the next go-round. The latest version of the J Butterfly, which will launch exclusively on Japanese carrier KDDI next month, has some additions to the basic One design that might be worth watching.
The Amazon Appstore is slowly expanding to become a notable addition to the Android landscape, and though the Fire Phone isn't getting much love from reviewers, it's certainly giving Amazon a reason to boost the Appstore's profile. The latest promotion makes 30 paid apps free, over a $100 value. While not all of them are must-haves, more than a few deserve your attention. This time around the focus is more on tools than games, but there should be at least one entry for everyone.
At this point, it's essentially impossible to deny that Android is beating other mobile operating systems with a big market share stick. According to a report issued by Strategy Analytics, phone manufacturers sold a combined 295.2 million smartphones worldwide in the second quarter of 2014, 249.6 million of which ran Android. That gives Google's OS a staggering 84.6% of the market share for new devices, up from 80.2% the previous year.
Update: Verizon's specification page has been changed to indicate that the LG G Vista has an "HD" screen. It looks like there was an error in the original spec list. We're going to assume that means that it's a 1280x720 screen.
Looking for a mid-range phone on Verizon? Then you've got two more choices starting today. The LG G Vista, an enormous "phablet" device, and the Kyocera Brigadier, the latest in the company's line of "tough" phones, are both on sale now at Verizon's website.