Sony bumped the Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra to Android 4.3 in December, but a new software build is starting to make its way to users starting today. This one has build number 14.2.A.1.136, but it's still Android 4.3 – Sony is just doing a little housekeeping.
now rolling (phased): JB 4.3 firmware for #XperiaZ1 & #XperiaZUltra – brings display, BT music streaming, email, Wifi improvements and more!
Touch of Modern is like an exclusive club, only one that lets anyone in for free. Its only demands are that you register an account and, before now, browse its content within a web browser. Today even that last requirement is going out the window. With the release of a dedicated Android app, you can now whip out your phone and enter this club any time you wish.
For the uninitiated, Touch of Modern is an online catalog of products showcasing innovative, modern design.
Marvel continues its onslaught of games in the Play Store, and this time they've decided to take the well-trodden road marked "endless runner." Marvel Run Jump Smash is pretty typical of the genre, and at first it looks like a carbon copy of Jetpack Joyride. But there's a surprising amount of depth beneath that cutesy exterior, and the 2D art might be enough for the one dollar entry fee alone.
You start off as a basic SHIELD agent, either Nick Fury or Maria Hill, running and jumping through a fairly typical sprite environment.
Using a virtual keyboard may not feel as natural as a physical one, but it's only the worst way to input text with a touchscreen except for all of the other ones. Swype has had the most success in revolutionizing how we enter text, as all of the major Android keyboards have since introduced gesture-based typing in subsequent upgrades, but it's far from perfect. That brings us to FlickKey Keyboard. It's a sliding keyboard that, by grouping letters into square groups of nine, aims to reduce how far across the screen our fingers need to slide.
Ready for yet another Samsung-exclusive app to dot the screen of the latest Galaxy device? Ready or not, it looks like Samsung's supply of custom software isn't running out any time soon. SamMobile got their hands on a leaked APK for "Samsung Life Times," a new app that will presumably debut with a future smartphone.
The app is a sort of life logger, collecting data from various apps and presenting them in a personal digital history.
Fans of Google in general and Android in particular are still reeling from yesterday's announcement that Motorola is being sold to Lenovo. Google acquired Moto just two years ago, and while its time within Google has been beneficial, it's clearly not going to become the official mobile hardware arm that many had hoped for. But there's no reason to think that the big G is out of the hardware game altogether - in fact, at least one report says that another recent acquisition may be accelerating it.
Heads up, Google Wallet fans: better support for loyalty cards is coming to a Play Store update near you. According to a Google+ update from the Wallet team earlier today, the app will soon be able to auto-populate information when scanning in loyalty cards, presumably including the name and merchant. The update should be coming later this week, at least for the first batch of users. There are also some user interface changes, including a modified slide-out menu.
If there's a Micro Center nearby and you've yet to jump on the tablet bandwagon, now's your chance to do it on the cheap. For a limited time, MC is selling the 2013 Nexus 7 for up to $70 off its normal price: the 32GB model is only $199 ($70 off), and the 16GB model is going for $179 ($50 off). That's a good savings – and it's worth noting that these are brand new units, not refurbs.
Sony's oddball external smartphone cameras have a lot of shortcomings compared to a conventional point-and-shoot, but they're getting a little better today. The manufacturer has released the 2.0 firmware for the QX10 and the more expensive QX100, boosting their video recording capabilities and low-light sensitivity.
Video recording for both models has been expanded to 1080p at 30 frames per second. Formerly it was 1440x1080/30, the 4:3 aspect ratio equivalent. The shifted resolution should make videos taken on the QX cameras match up with most phones, HDTVs, and 16:9 monitors.
Last December, Google Play Books saw an update that allowed users to upload PDF and EPUB files to their libraries from their mobile device (by way of Gmail attachments or downloads). A subsequent update to version 3.1.23, however, removed the ability to add PDFs. At the time, Google confirmed to us that the functionality was removed because it was "experimental," but we were told it would return at some point in the future.