Several days ago, I started a series of rumor posts on my personal Google+ account discussing some Android rumors I felt were interesting enough to share, but didn't feel confident enough yet to do so here on the site. The posts were heavily prefixed with disclaimers that none of them may turn out to be true but that I had a certain level of confidence to talk about them in public unofficially.
When it comes to Android gadgets, I have sort of a "the more, the merrier" mindset. But that poses a huge problem (aside from my wife's constant anger at money being spent on "another device I don't need"): charging them all is an absolute pain in the posterior. There are generally two choices: cords everywhere! or making my devices take turns charging. If you only have two or three devices, the latter option may be somewhat acceptable; anything more, however, and that's just not practical.
Comcast provides an Android app for people with active cable subscriptions, but it's a supplementary product, and sometimes it really feels like one. Today I'm reporting on the arrival of a feature that you could reasonably have assumed was included from the beginning. The latest version of the Xfinity TV Player adds HD support for devices with resolutions high enough to handle it, and if you've bought a smartphone or tablet in the last two years, there's a good chance yours is one of them.
Noted leaker and poster of pictures @evleaks just released an image that appears to show an unannounced Samsung Galaxy phone with a curved AMOLED screen. Past devices with curved glass, like the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S, have had curves running from top to bottom. Not this one, though. Samsung's next device may sport a left to right curve, which makes it look kind of like a soggy taco shell.
The last round of vague hints from Samsung had this device pegged for an October release in South Korea, but nothing beyond that.
By now we all know that HTC promised to have Android 4.3 ready for American HTC Ones by the end of September and have gotten over the disappointment in whatever way works for each of us. Sprint customers have fared the best so far, as their update started rolling out only a few days after the missed deadline. Now AT&T customers are having their day in the sun. HTC Americas president Jason Mackenzie has sent out a tweet announcing that the update has already started shipping out to users.
Is your relationship with family and friends a little too good? PinWars can take care of that by taking a nice game of pinball and turning it into a super-competitive button-mashing frenzy. It does look neat, though.
The headlining game mode in PinWar is the two-player setup where each person grabs onto one end of the device – probably a tablet – and taps away to control their flippers. It's kind of like Air Hockey, but with pinball rules.
Gaming on Android right now is booming, but it's still less than ideal. It's an attractive proposition to play games to go using a device you're already going to have with you, but very few of us keep our phones for as long as we would hold on to a Nintendo 3DS or even an old Game Boy. Sooner than later, we'll be upgrading to a new phone, but before that even happens, many of us will also pick up a new tablet that, if you're reading this blog, will likely ship with Android.
Comic book fans have had various ways to read their favorite titles on Android for quite a while, most notably official stores like Comixology and Dark Horse. Now they can skip the middleman (well, at least one of the middlemen) for DC Comics. The nearly 80-year-old company has finally started publishing its comics, graphic novels, and trade paperbacks directly to the Books section of the Google Play Store.
At the moment the selection of DC titles is somewhat limited, at least when compared to the tens of thousands of issues published over the years.
Popular radio and podcast streaming app Stitcher has made the leap to version 3.1 today, and while it hasn't picked up many new features along the way, the few it has are doozies: a new navigation menu makes it easier to get around the app, and you can now designate entire playlists for offline listening. This means you can start streaming at the comfort of your office desk and walk out for lunch without your listening session coming to an abrupt and jarring end.
It's been over two months since Google started releasing Android 4.3 builds, and in all that time users of the updated Nexus and Google Play edition devices haven't been able to access the HBO GO or MAX GO (Cinemax) video services. Considering that subscriptions to both channels are pricey (on top of a cable or satellite subscription, no less) that made for a lot of less-than-satisfied customers.
Thankfully, both apps have finally been updated to new versions: 2.2.05 for both HBO GO and MAX GO.