It's no secret that I've long been against calling the Nook and Kindle Fire series "Android tablets," as neither is more than a glorified e-reader to me. Today, Barnes & Noble dropped a bomb on that way of thinking, as it announced that the full array of Google Play services will now be available on the Nook HD and Nook HD+, essentially turning them into full-fledged tablets.
Moving forward, all Nook HD and HD+ tablets will ship with Google services – including the Play Store, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, and the like – but for those who already own HD/HD+ units, the new features will be showing up via an OTA update to v2.1.0, which should begin rolling out today.
A couple of days ago, we found out that LG's latest powerhouse, the Optimus G Pro, is going to be exclusively available on AT&T in the United States. We had our eyes on this device ever since David reviewed the Korean version and found it "decidedly superior to the Galaxy Note II in many ways."
The 5.5" 1080p device packs a competitive Snapdragon 600 clocked at 1.7GHz, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 13MP/2.1MP cameras, and a 3,140mAh battery.
The stock Gmail app is one of the best mail experiences on a mobile device, but it can still be nearly impossible to tame particularly active inboxes. XonoMail Beta has just arrived in Google Play, and it promises to keep your email in order without a ton of configuration. Best of all, it's completely free and has no ads while in beta.
XonoMail is based on the open source K-9 Mail project.
If you're an Android power user who regularly applies mods or flashes new ROMs, you've likely run across Koushik "Koush" Dutta's work. He's the maker and maintainer of the ClockworkMod recovery and ROM Manager, and a publisher of several of his own independent applications. One of those apps is the powerful Carbon backup app, which we've featured before. It looks like the name "carbon" was a bit too close for comfort for the makers of Carbonite software (a more mainstream backup solution for desktops and mobile), who sent Koush a cease-and-desist letter back in February.
Need new shoes in a hurry? Today Zappos updated its Android app to version 3.0, ushering in a host of new features. You can now color code and nickname your credit cards, a big plus for those of who you need shoes so quickly you couldn't possibly be expected to stop and compare card numbers. Additional changes to the various payment screens allow for a more pleasant checkout experience overall.
Despite not (yet) having Google Glass, I've managed to get a hold of a system dump, so it's time to have some fun for the day and see if Glass has any (more) hidden goodies for us. It'll also be fun to see just what makes Glass tick, and how the OS is laid out.
APK Teardown is usually at its best when I have a previous version to diff against and, you know, when I've actually used or at least seen the software in question.
Intrepid leakster @evleaks has just dropped a few images of a black-boxed Motorola device that appears to be headed for AT&T. It's worth noting that this is the first Motorola product we've seen badged up for an American carrier since the RAZR HD / RAZR M last summer, quite a long time ago.
It's also a phone we've seen before. At least, it seems to be. Vietnamese blog Tinhte leaked a device with the codename "XT912A" (XT is Moto's typical device prefix for "DROID" branded devices), and it's pretty clear the two are one in the same in most respects, at least based on what we see in these photos.
If you've never played Bejeweled before, you're probably in the minority of human beings in the developed world. This series of puzzle games is a classic and thoroughly addictive in just about every form it's ever taken. After being available on iOS and Facebook for a while, Bejeweled Blitz has reached Android, and it's free to download (you should know what that means by now).
Bejeweled Blitz is based around the tried-and-true matching gameplay with some additional social elements built in.
Google released the Google Keep note-taking service into the wild barely over a month ago, and now the Chrome app is here to make accessing the service as simple as using it. The app launches Google Keep in its own dedicated window, allowing you to take notes and manage to-do lists without having to search for them in a sea of tabs. There is also offline support, which could come in handy if the power goes out while you're brainstorming your next novel.