I make no bones of the fact that Amazon's MP3 service is my favored music playback option on Android, and the service just got a big update to compete with its primary rival - Google Music. The general changelog is here, but it's a little difficult to parse, so I'll give you the gist.
- Imported file matching to Amazon MP3 library. This is big. Any time you import music into Amazon Cloud Player, before the file is uploaded, Amazon scans the entirety of the eligible Amazon MP3 library and if it finds a match, just adds that file to your Cloud Player library.
Continuing the long string of updates being released today, the HTC EVO Design 4G, one of Sprint's mid-level EVO devices, is getting bumped up to Ice Cream Sandwich. The notes don't specify which version of Sense the device will be updated to. One might expect Sense 4.0, though we have seen some devices running Android 4.0, yet still carrying Sense 3.6. So, we'll see.
We had previously heard that both the EVO Design 4G and the EVO 3D would be on schedule to receive ICS by "early August," so it looks like Sprint is actually just a smidge ahead of schedule. Read More
Republic Wireless, the wireless carrier that prefers WiFi for most of its connections, and utilizes Sprint 3G in the interim, has announced that it's ready to take on new customers. The company reported that "Wave A", which consists of an unspecified number of users, has been a resounding success and that they believe they've found a model on which a $19/month unlimited everything plan is sustainable.
Today marks an important milestone for republic wireless. We’ve unveiled our new phone, the Motorola DEFY XT, and are opening our doors to welcome new members from our waitlist, starting with Wave B.
Over a year ago, a small initial team set out with a big idea to change the way wireless works.
Ouya just can't stay out of the headlines, can it? After recently announcing that the TV-centric Android gaming system would come with built-in OnLive support, the company is back to say that it's partnering with Square Enix to bring Final Fantasy III to your TV. If you live in Japan, this might be old news, but it marks the first time anywhere else that the game will be available via a television-based console.
Ouya says that not only will FFIII be on the platform at launch, but it will be updated for high-res gameplay and there will even be a free demo for users who aren't quite sold on the idea. Read More
Slowly but surely, Samsung has been pushing ICS to several devices in the Galaxy Tab series, and it looks like today's the day for the Wi-Fi (GT-P7510) in the UK and the 3G version (GT-P7500) in Italy. The long-awaited update brings not only Android 4.0, but also an updated version of Touchwiz UX that's quite similar to the newest Tab 2 series.
We expect that the update should become available in other parts of the world quite soon, but there's no official word as to when that will happen.
The update is rolling out OTA-style right now, but it can also be pulled via Kies. Read More
Verizon just announced a new handset for its 4G LTE network, claiming it's the "perfect crossover for basic phone customers switching to a smartphone." What makes it perfect, you ask? The device features a "dual-interface" setup, allowing users to choose between "starter" and "standard" mode. Basically, while power users try to get their devices to to as much as possible, the Marauder allows users to dumb-down their smartphone. How ironic.
There's probably some appeal there, as the device also packs a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, but some rather modest specs for a budget device:
- 3.8" display
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear shooter
- Android 4.0
For those interested, this simpleton of smartphones will be available beginning on August 2nd for $50 after a $50 mail-in-rebate. Read More
The Spotify Android app typically lags behind not only its counterpart on other platforms, but even its own desktop app. One of the nicest features that the streaming service offers on the desktop is its Radio services. Using your own selections as a starting point, Spotify will put together automated playlists based on your taste. You know, like Pandora. As of today's update, the Radio functions are not only available on mobile but are even accessible even if you don't have Spotify Premium.
This marks an exciting new era for Spotify. Up until now, if you wanted to get access to tunes on the go from the Swedish-borne service, you had to pay $10 a month for the privilege. Read More
Oh, Sprint EVO 3D owners. It's been a long and winding road, but your day is finally here: The Now Network is now rolling out ICS OTA-style to your device. The update brings Android 4.0 and all the lovely upgrades that go along with it:
- Upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)
- Home screen folders
- Launch Bar for commonly used apps
- Improved Android Browser
- Improved Camera Experience
- Face Unlock
- Resizable widgets
- Add/Remove Panels
You should be able to pull the update manually now by heading into Settings > System Updates > HTC software update > Check now. Otherwise, you can wait until August 7th when notifications will be sent out to all devices. Read More
When crowd-favorite zombie shooter Dead Trigger decided to drop its price from $0.99 to free, citing concerns over piracy, the tech world renewed its interest in an age-old debate: how bad is piracy for developers? Of course, any lost sale is money out of a developer's pocket (though it's important to distinguish between downloads and lost sales). However, the question should and needs to be answered: just how bad is the piracy problem on Android?
Zombies Vs. Knights
Dead Trigger provides an interesting starting point. The developer, Madfinger, notes that its previous game Shadowgun experienced a rather high level of piracy when priced at $8. Read More
Details of Sony's newest contribution to the tablet world, rumored to be called the Xperia Tablet, showed up last night on German blog Mobiflip. The 9.4" (1280x800) slate appears to be the successor to last year's Tablet S, as it keeps the similar "folded magazine" form factor, albeit in a 42% thinner shell.
The Xperia Tablet is said to feature NVIDIA's 4-PLUS-1 Tegra 3 processor, along with 1 GB of RAM, an 8MP rear shooter, 1MP front camera, 6,000mAh battery, DLNA support, and "ICS or later;" and will be offered in three ranges of storage: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. Read More