It's that time of the month: get your paycheck, pay your bills, and gather round the Android Developers page for a new look at the distributed versions of the world's most-used mobile operating system. For the two-week period ending on August 1st, Jelly Bean 4.1 rose 1.7% to 34% of the total Android population, becoming the most popular single version of Android for the first time.
The rest of the platform changed very little since July.
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 an RPG-puzzle mix, two, count 'em, two helicopter games, a stylish retro platformer, and another puzzle game from Noodlecake.
Much has been made of the fact that Motorola's shiny new flagship is made (or at least assembled) in America. But there's a downside to this: it looks as though aspiring Motorola customers in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the rest of the world will have to do without. Motorola has made it clear that the Moto X is only for the US, Canada, and Latin American markets.
That isn't to say that the company is not concerned with the worldwide marketplace.
Mobile gaming has evolved a lot over the years. Early phones were weak, so manufacturers stuffed more powerful CPUs inside them. Screens were small, so they've been stretched out to 5-inches or more. Number keys were functional, but touchscreens allow for a greater degree of interaction. Yet despite all of this innovation, trying to play a first-person shooter on a mobile device still sucks. The Drowning is one game that promises to fix this problem.
The Chromecast runs a modified version of Android, so of course modders are all over it like white on rice. The folks at GTVHacker already gave us a working bootloader hack and root access, not that there's much you can do with it at the moment except switch to the beta or dev channel. Unfortunately, a quick over-the-air update for the Chromecast seems to have closed this modding avenue already.
There's the Sony SmartWatch, the Pebble, and soon there will be the HOT Watch - but this last one might just make your dreams come true. The current smart watches on the market may not have sold well, but that doesn't mean there isn't a strong demand for this type of item. This upcoming piece of wearable tech reached its sizable $150,000 Kickstarter funding goal in just a single day, showing just how strongly people want a smart watch done right.
One of the coolest features for the Moto X is Motorola's Moto Maker system, a website that allows buyers to customize the color of the front, back, and accents for the phone. At launch it will only be available for the AT&T model, but Motorola is planning to expand availability to other carriers later in the year. Check out the video for the system below.
Verizon has already confirmed that they're getting access to Moto Maker, via a tweet from the official Verizon News account.
If you like the look of the Samsung Galaxy S4, but you're just a big butterfingers, maybe this is your lucky day. The Galaxy S4 Active is on sale through eBay Daily Deals, and it's quite the steal. The 16GB unlocked device is selling for $589.99.
The Galaxy S4 Active is similar to the standard GS4, but it has an LCD panel instead of AMOLED, and the casing is water resistant and more durable.
The Moto X will be available from all of the major American carriers later this summer, but it's coming to Canada exclusively through Rogers. While one of the major selling points may be its immense customizability, the Canadian version will only ship in - you guessed it - black or white. It will be available for as little as $189.99 on select two-year plans.
The much-hyped handset is situated firmly at the high-end of the mid-range market, as it comes with a 4.7-inch 720p screen, 2GB of RAM, and Moto's custom processor (1.7GHz dual-core CPU, quad-core GPU).