Well, here's a bit of a nice surprise: one lucky XDA user just got an update to 4.1.2 on his Sprint Optimus G. And then another. And another. And some more. All with nary a word from The Now Network, which is usually pretty on top of announcing updates for devices. Ergo, at this point, we're not entirely sure if this is the start of a full-on rollout or just a "soak test" of sorts.
From the moment it was released, Poweramp has been one of the most beloved music players on Android. While it doesn't have that Google cloud magic, the developer has done a great job of keeping the app fresh with updates. This most recent update really piles on the goodies, too.
The developer has added some neat features for users of a few select devices. If you're on Android 4.2, Poweramp now has a proper lockscreen widget.
There are a number of popular podcast solutions on Android, but those apps are about to get some fresh competition with the release of Pocket Casts 4.0. This app has long had solid features, but it wasn't quite able get the same traction as Doggcatcher or BeyondPod. The new version might do the trick, though.
As with the old version of Pocket Casts, this app uses server-based refreshes to keep your podcasts updated.
If you have an aging-but-not-yet-dead Epic 4G just waiting to be upgraded, maybe now's the time to slap a good ol' dose of CyanogenMod on it. Why now? Because it just got its first official CM10.1 nightly. Sure, you could've been running CM10 for some time, but now you can have the latest build that AOSP has to offer.
With CM10.1 – which is based on Android 4.2.x for those who may not know – you get fun things like lockscreen widgets (so you can finally get in on the DashClock action), Quick Settings, and a few other, less obvious tweaks.
If you caught the announcement of Google Play Services 3.0, aka "Google+ Sign-In," you're already halfway up to speed on this. Google Play Services is an APK that many of Google's apps rely on to hook into Google+ and, just like the Play Store, Google has the ability to silently update it.
I had to do a double take to make sure it wasn't Eric Schmidt talking. The interview is pretty mediocre and feels scripted and robotic otherwise, but just watch what he says around 1:50.
It's now officially my #1 favorite Matias Duarte quote.
Update: Looks like the CNNInternational's YouTube video is not available in the U.S. of all places (I did not notice this as I was posting from Barcelona).
When it comes to device protection, there's a very large niche that wants to keep things simple. Protection without bulk is really a necessity for so many, otherwise they'd rather just keep their phone naked. Enter the Ultra Thin Air case from Spigen ($19.99), one of the most minimal cases you can get for the N4.
This contest is now over.
The final results are listed below. If you've won, you will be contacted in the near future.
Andy Rubin, you coy devil. I suppose we could ignore those rumors about Google retail stores if you ask nicely and bat your eyes at us. That's what the head of Android would like us to do, anyway, as he spoke at Mobile World Congress stating that "Google has no plans [for a retail store] and we have nothing to announce."
Why not, though? This sure sounds like a good idea to a lot of us in the Android fan world.
Yesterday, we attended a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where we were treated not only to the unveiling of ASUS' new Padfone Infinity and aptly-named Fonepad 7" tablet phone (with which we later got some hands-on time), but also to the dazzling (ly awkward and hilarious) antics of a "tech illusionist," and plenty of other awkward moments.
We were able to share a pretty detailed account of the event, along with a short video, but those who want to see the full unveiling from start to finish can now do so, thanks to ASUS' own YouTube channel.
I'll be honest: I have no idea what's going on in this game. Towelfight 2: The Monocle of Destiny appears to be a pretty basic twin-stick shooter, right up until you notice that your wizened player character is shooting homicidal, spherical animals out of his eye. These critters have powers of their own, including lasers, chainsaws, and explosions. And when you kill enemies, they burst into Batman-style sound effects, which for some reason include "dirigible" and "maple syrup." Also, there's a dog, and you can play fetch with him.