Netflix version 3.8 for Android is now available, and it has some considerable improvements over the previous edition. The one you'll probably notice first is that the search function has been revamped: instead of a standard vertical list of movies, television shows, and actors/directors/what have you, you'll now see a grid of results. This mirrors Netflix on the web, though it might be a little slower, since the preview images tend to be a little pokey when they're loading up.
Remember RedBox Instant, the Netflix competitor from Those Guys Who Are Still Renting DVDs and Verizon? No? Well you're not alone, and a lack of brand awareness seems to have led to the streaming video platform's relatively quick downfall. A short message on the RedBox Instant page notified users that the service will be shut down on Tuesday, October 7th, just before midnight Pacific. That's only one year and ten months after its debut in preview form.
HTC is set to unveil some new hardware at a New York City event on Wednesday. The company itself has already given us some clues to a GoPro-style sports camera (including a couple of unintended product images), and a few less reliable sources claim there will be a phone with a 13-megapixel Duo camera. This weekend the Twitter leak account @Upleaks showed some images of an alleged "HTC Desire Eye," a phone that embraces the selfie craze (ugh) in a big way.
Go to the Play Store on your Android device and look for Tiny Death Star, the Star Wars-themed version of Nimblebit's smash hit casual game Tiny Tower, and you won't find it. If that's surprising, you're not half as shocked as Nimblebit. According to a report from Pocket Gamer, Lucasfilm's new owners at Disney decided to un-publish the game without even telling the developers their plans. Disney also pulled a Star Wars card game, Assault Team, though that me-too CCG title is hard to get upset about.
There are a lot of good deals to be had in the world of Android tablets, and on first glance, the shiny new HP 10 Plus would seem to be among them. HP introduced its latest Android-powered device with no pomp and circumstance yesterday, highlighting its 1920x1200 10-inch display, 2GB of RAM, and KitKat 4.4.2 operating system. All that in a package for $279.99, now shipping from both HP's own store and Amazon in the US.
We first got an indication that Google Now would begin to include election-based content in late September, thanks to the handy UnleashTheGoogle root tool. Now it looks like the "Election Information" cards are appearing for users based in the United States, where the midterm elections will be held next month. (For international readers: those are the ones that elect all the members of the House of Representatives, some members of the Senate, and various state and local offices, but not the President.)
Like most of the content that appears on the Google Now page, you can activate the Election Information card just by searching for relevant pages via the Google Search application.
Update 10/4/14: The price has now dropped another $35 to a very low $214.99. The phones are still available in black and silver, while blue is sold out.
If you need a great phone and aren't interested in a contract, but you're willing to compromise on what's technically the cutting edge, you're in a good position to save a bit of money. For example, take this perfectly good 32GB HTC One M7 (that's the one before the one they're selling now).
Warren County, Mississippi, May 19th, 1863. Battalions of Union soldiers march through the marshy ground of the delta, the wet slop already clinging to their boots. The morning chill is already passing, promising to leave a parting gift of southern humidity as the summer sun climbs over the grassland to the east. The soldiers, low on spirit but not resolve, check their rifles and equipment as they advance to the siege lines of Vicksburg.
Normally the kind of customer who buys a "rugged" phone like the Hydro VIBE isn't all that concerned with having the latest and greatest in software - or at least that seems to be the attitude of the carriers and manufacturers, who don't seem very concerned themselves. Perhaps that's why Sprint and Kyocera launched the phone with Android 4.3 back in May, despite the fact that 4.4 had already been available for seven months.
Update 10/2/14: The initial beta APK (1.0-124) started showing an expiration message and stopped working, but a newer beta APK (1.0-172) has popped up. We've validated its legitimacy, and it indeed no longer shows the expiration message. Download it here (thanks, Branko Kostic!).
Last month Nokia announced that it would release a version of its highly-regarded HERE mapping and navigation app for Android, but only to licensed partners, starting with Samsung.