One of the biggest problems Google faces with Android is avoiding a situation where one manufacturer controls so much of the market that everything else falls by the wayside. As study after study shows, though, this is becoming an increasing risk as Samsung gobbles up more customers. To wit, this survey from Localytics—a company that provides analytics for mobile apps— showed that of the top ten Android devices its customers used, eight were made by Samsung, and seven had the Galaxy brand attached.
If you ever spent hours on the Etch-a-Sketch and thought that what it could really use was a dual-core processor, check out the video below. It's The Sandbox, an iOS hit game that's headed for Android soon. Well, "game" may not be the right word - it's more of a simplistic art/animation/music engine that happens to be played like a game. You take on the role of "apprentice deity" and get to play with the classical elements, completing simple missions or moving freestyle on the face of the waters.
Oh boy, LG. I don't know if you're going to be able to live this one down: PhoneArena just leaked a couple photos of the allegedly-upcoming Optimus G Pro, but it's not the one you've already seen before (headed for NTT DoCoMo in Japan). Nope, this is a super-sized 5.5" version, and the leaked shot of it out in the wild is going to draw a lot of attention, if only for visual comparisons.
Sony is firing off Jelly Bean updates for a few handsets this week, starting with the Xperia T and V, with the TX to receive its Android 4.1 update in March. This conforms with the statement Sony issued previously about updates to these devices, back in December. Here's what Sony says is contained in the update:
Updated, more intuitive versions of Sony Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies
A slick, easy-on-the-eye library that lets you view and access all your snaps, videos and tunes in one place – not to mention the signature Sony audio and imaging tech that makes your content stand (and shout) out!
One of these days, we're finally going to figure this whole buttons problem for Android devices. While touchscreens are great, the tactile feeling of physical controls will always have its appeal. Some solutions are better than others, but maybe the Wikipad can find the sweet spot. The tablet comes with an attached set of game controls that can be removed, leaving the player with a regular 7" Tegra 3 tablet.
So, Carbon isn't quite the Twitter powerhouse you were hoping for. No worries: the old Android standard Plume is still rolling along. The app gets a major update today, after being tried out by beta testers for a few weeks. Plume 5 adds the standard bug fixes and performance enhancements, plus a much-needed visual refresh of its homescreen widget (something that Carbon lacks, and Falcon can't do without a separate app).
Yearly releases of flagship hardware are a staple of the smartphone world - in fact, we're generally pretty pleased if twelve whole months can pass before we get a "+" or "HD" slapped onto our formerly cutting-edge phone. But in the console world, it's a different story, with at least five years between major releases being the norm. Android-powered gaming console OUYA intends to take the mobile approach, according to Joystiq.
Lego and Android go together like an open-source operating system and an infinitely variable building toy. Lego engineer GLHTurbo agrees, which is why he submitted this 205-piece Bugroid design to the Cuusoo platform, Lego's Kickstarter-like crowdsourced idea farm. Builder submit ideas, participants vote, and the projects that reach enough votes are considered for a retail Lego kit. The Bugdroid model passed the 10,000 vote threshold late Wednesday night.
The Lego corporation reviews 10,000+ vote submissions four times a year, and according to their Cuusoo video, only selects one project to become a reality.
Earlier this week we reported that EA had finally ported the Simpsons-themed Sim City clone Tapped Out to Android. Unfortunately, they decided to hold off on a North American release in favor of a "rest of world" rollout, perhaps to iron out the bugs. Well good news, neighborinos: Tapped Out is now available to North America, and the device access issues seem to have been ironed out.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out starts with Homer predictably destroying Springfield via a manipulative fremium game, so the player has to re-assemble the town with familiar landmarks.
Update: As we suspected, this really isn't official. In fact, it's a fan render that was published on The Verge's forums two and a half months ago. Mystery solved! (Thanks, c3vzn!)
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The closer spring gets, the more rumors we can expect to see about Samsung's next-Next Big Thing (TM). Today's alleged leak comes to us via Twitter, and let's not beat around the bush - this is almost certainly not the Galaxy S IV.