Way back in December 2011, Sony began releasing 'alpha' developer ROMs for some of its phones being upgraded to Android 4.0. Then it released beta ROMs that did slightly more stuff. Now it's done the same with Android 4.1 for the Xperia T.
These ROMs are developer-facing in every sense of the word, though, and aren't intended as a way for power users to get early access to the next version of Android.
Do you like physics games? I sure do. Puddle THD happens to be a great game in this category if you happen to have a Tegra 3 device. The puzzle-centric fluid simulator is typically available on the Play Store for $5, but today the app has gone on sale for a measly $0.99 to celebrate its first whole year on the market. Not bad!
To get an idea of what this game is like you can either watch the video above or rely on my words.
Hope you like the idea of a smartwatch, because startups are not giving up on them. To wit, one of the most popular manifestations of the concept is the Pebble which began as a Kickstarter project that aimed to raise $100k. Instead, the company raised $10 million. Yes, a hundred times a hundred thousand. That investment seems to be paying off a bit, though, as today an Android app landed in the Play Store just prior to the first round of units arriving on customers' arms.
Yesterday, Verizon welcomed the bright pink Motorola DROID RAZR M into the fold just in time for V-Day. Sure, it's essentially the same device as the existing RAZR M, but c'mon – it's pink! That's a pretty niche color, so I'm sure there are lots of Android fangirls out there who just can't wait to get their hands on this little guy. And now, they can do just that for free at Best Buy Mobile – a $50 savings over Verizon's in-store price.
Remember when developers got their pre-release Ouya kits and started showing them off? In those videos, the controllers looked kinda crummy. Thankfully, the company said those were absolutely not indicative of the final design that will go out to consumers. Turns out, they really weren't! The company has detailed some changes and they sound pretty good.
For starters, the D-pad design has changed from a disconnected disc to the typical cross style that we've all gotten used to since the NES.
When Chrome was first released for Android almost a year ago, one of my complaints was its lack of support for chrome://flags and access to experimental settings. The day has finally come that this is now a feature of my favorite mobile browser, albeit in its beta form.
The updated browser – which just hit the Play Store a bit ago – brings that feature, and that feature alone. Once you've installed the update, just open a new tab and enter "chrome://flags" into the address bar to access some neat experimental features of the browser, just like on its desktop counterparts.
Less than a month after its last firmware update (to build 10.4.9.6), ASUS' Padfone 2 is getting another incremental bump. The Padfone 2, which we know as the turducken of the mobile world, already got Jelly Bean 4.1.1 in December, so updates hence have naturally focused on the usual performance, stability, and other enhancements. Today's update to build 10.4.11.13 brings, among other things, new camera firmware, improved navigation, and a handful of optimizations.
Can we get a show of hands as to who's interested in the upcoming ASUS MeMO Pad? Great. This post is for you. Bulgarian site tablet.bg has gotten its hands on this understated Android tablet and taken the liberty of giving it a full review. The conclusion? It's still pretty meh. But you know, it's meant to be a budget device, and will compete wonderfully with Acer's new B1 tablet.
Update: This whole situation ended up being resolved just a couple of weeks after this story was published, with HTC backing off on its assertion that the stock and custom HTC ROMs couldn't be distributed. It did request that the HTCRUU.com domain be handed over, but the ROMs that were hosted there previously will now be available at ruu.androidfiles.org. It's good to hear HTC isn't cracking down on the custom software community, though whether this resolution came about because of a legitimate misunderstanding, or simply as PR damage control, isn't clear.
Well, it's a start. While the Skype app for Android still has a bizarre and uncomfortable habit of forcing landscape mode, today's update at least allows users to use the portrait orientation if they're making a call. That's nice. Especially since the positioning of front-facing cameras on devices like the Nexus 7 make landscape video chats extremely awkward. Now if only we could get this for the rest of the interface, that would be great.