In the last year, we've seen a lot of great Android phones - like the Galaxy S III, Note II, One X, RAZR M, or the upcoming Xperia Z. There's little doubt that with every major handset release, we're seeing Android phone manufacturers up their collective 'game.' But way back when (you know, a couple years ago), the fact that Android phones generally weren't always good was a big draw to a Nexus handset for me personally.
At the end of October, Rockstar Studios announced that the mobile version of its smash-hit Grand Theft Auto: Vice City would be coming to Android and iOS. Now, it has announced an official release date of December 6, with a $4.99 price tag across all platforms.
The release marks the 10th anniversary of a game many remember from the Xbox and Playstation 2. This version will be enhanced for mobile screens, including updated character models, lighting, and different control options that should make the experience as smooth as possible.
It's been a couple months in coming, but the first in an episodic series of Avengers games is live on the Play Store now. In case you've forgotten, this edition features the Hulk, leading the effort to round up a number of supervillains that escaped during a breakout of The Vault. To celebrate the launch, Marvel and NVIDIA are offering the game for a special promo price of $4.99 (normally $6.99).
So, the other day, in New York, Samsung gathered up a bunch of bloggers and showed us the international Galaxy Note 2. They wouldn't tell us anything about their North American plans, only that the international version would be pretty close to the NA version, and that they'd be sending out NA review units soon. So, while we're waiting for the real one to get here, we thought it'd be fun to take a quick look at the international version.
It's difficult to put out a $1.5 billion movie and not expect a few major product tie-ins. Marvel, today, "released" (we'll get to that in a bit) a new game for Android called "Avengers Initiative." This $7 app stars the Hulk, as the green loose cannon battles some of his most notorious villains, including Wendigo, the Abomination, and even the infamous Skrulls. The game will only be available for select Android devices to start with.
Here in the United States, we've all been witness to an historic "second" this week (as opposed to a first) in the unified launch of the Galaxy S III, untainted by carrier modification, on all four of the major US wireless providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile).
Now, you'll probably say "but David, the Galaxy S III is the first smartphone to launch as the same model on all four major carriers!" and you'd be right.
Sony is a company going through major changes - it recently announced plans to lay off 10,000 plus of its workers (some of those through buyouts), has instated a new CEO, and just had one of its worst fiscal years ever. It also recently ended its Android smartphone partnership with Ericsson, and plans to now produce handsets under its own name. It's a difficult and uncertain time for Sony, and the Walkman Z, unfortunately, seems to be an excellent microcosm of the company's larger problems.
When I review a product, I don't take going into nearly-full-on-cheerleading-mode lightly. I know everyone has individual needs and wants that must be addressed when they're making an investment into almost anything, and that not every product is meant for every person. But after using the Powerbag Instant Messenger, I can't help but think the company has spawned an entirely new (and amazing) segment, the likes of which I wish had been around for the last 2 years.
Verizon Wireless has just made public an official list of handsets on the network poised to receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OTA updates, most being devices for which such updates were a given at this point:
- HTC ThunderBolt™
- DROID Incredible 2 by HTC
- HTC Rhyme™
- HTC Rezound™
- Motorola XOOM
- DROID BIONIC™
- DROID RAZR™
- DROID RAZR™ MAXX™
- DROID 4
- DROID XYBOARD 8.2
- DROID XYBOARD 10.1
- Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1
- Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 7.7
- Spectrum™ by LG
No timeframe was provided, but this is probably the most authoritative ICS update list you'll see out there, if for only one reason: in the end, it's Verizon that decides whether or not a device on its network gets updated.
A rumor has begun circulating over the past week about the possible existence of an upgraded version of the just-released Galaxy Nexus. At CES, ASUS announced the TF700T, a beefier version of the Transformer Prime (well before the first Transformer Prime has even been released in many countries), leaving a lot of people who bought the first iteration a bit upset. Are Google and Samsung following ASUS's lead and planning on releasing an incremental upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus so soon?