The BBM app might have made a real impact if it had arrived a few years ago, but it's not very impressive in today's Android ecosystem. However, the app is currently sitting at a very respectable 4.2 stars in Google Play. Good for BlackBerry, right? Well, maybe not. Starting on the first page there is a strange pattern of mostly 5-star reviews with identical or very similar wording. Something is fishy.
|Ryan Whitwam||Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.|
For many moons, Android users were crying out for a unified messaging solution, and Blackberry Messenger seemed like a good solution. As Android was starting to take off in late 2009, BlackBerry (at the time RIM) was already feeling pressure from the iPhone, so why not branch out and get users hooked on BBM? Perhaps management was in denial as the co-CEOs actively dismissed the clear trends in mobile around that time.
The Nexus 10 is nearly a year old, but we don't have any solid news on its successor just yet. Even though it's getting long in the tooth, Google's first 10-inch Nexus slate still has a lot of good features. You can grab the 32GB version of this device today on eBay for the low price of $349.99, down from $499.99 in Google Play for this model.
The Nexus 10 packs a dual-core Exynos 5 ARM chip, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage.
If there is one thing the internet has collectively agreed is great, it's cats. Not real cats necessarily, but cats doing funny or adorable things – cats in the abstract. Wake the Cat from Halfpixel Games and Chillingo is a physics puzzler where you have to bounce a ball of yarn over to a sleeping kitten, which should just about do it for the internet.
Wake the Cat comes with 90 levels of cluttered floors and sleeping cats.
Google Maps is a fine tool if you need to find your way around, but Google also has a way to create custom maps called Map Engine. The service is getting a mobile upgrade today with the release of the Map Engine app. This will allow users to view and share custom maps on Android devices. It even comes with some neat samples.
The Map Engine Lite web service is available to everyone and has a fairly robust set of tools.
After a number of delays and an untold number of fake spam apps, BBM for Android is about to really arrive in Google Play. This will mark the first time Blackberry's premier messaging service has been available on a non-Blackberry device. You'll be able to download the app today, but you might not be able to actually use it.
BBM was leaked a few weeks back and the flood of users caused all manner of server issues for the company.
A lot of Android devices have dedicated buttons to bring up the multitasking list, but Switchr may offer an even faster way to jump between running apps. This utility debuted on XDA recently as a beta, but now it has come to Google Play in both free and paid forms.
Switchr, like some similar apps, creates an active swipe zone on the edge of the screen. Swipe in through that area, and you trigger the app switching interface.
If you buy a Fitbit, Jawbone Up, or one of the other fitness sensors out there, you're committing to a single software ecosystem. That can be a problem if you want to use your hardware with third-party apps. Plenty of Android users know the pain of being unable to wirelessly sync a Fitbit with most Android devices. The Angel fitness and health sensor is an attempt to build a completely open device that app developers can plug into and create new experiences for users.
Even with the now thoroughly leaked LG Nexus 5 about to make an appearance, you can still save some cash in the short term by picking up the LG G2 from Amazon. The AT&T variant can be had right now for a mere $99.99 on contract for all new lines and upgrades.
The LG G2 on Ma Bell is closely related to the standard international edition of the device, unlike the Verizon version which took some liberties with the casing.