Yesterday, the CTIA (America's wireless carrier consortium / trade group) and the FCC announced that they'd come to an agreement on network unlocking of cell phones. Hooray! So, we're all getting unlocked phones from here on out, right? Obviously not - the CTIA has no interest in giving you that much freedom, so instead it's released a plodding, incremental evolution of most carriers' existing device unlock policies to satisfy people in Washington who apparently don't really understand the absurdity of network locking in the first place.
Did you know that the web browser on your phone or tablet waits three tenths of a second after you tap something to actually perform that action? You did if you're a web developer - it's a de-facto standard for mobile browsers, a built-in delay for the double-tap zoom function. But if you're on the newest Chrome beta, you won't see the delay, at least on mobile sites.
This is the time of year when lots of folks are picking up new devices for loved ones who are still using their busted old handset from two years ago. Of course, it's not just about loved ones – contract upgrades and new phones in general apply to everyone, regardless of the time of year. If the DROID MAXX is on your (or a loved one's) wishlist this year, Amazon has a good deal going for anyone looking to jump over to Verizon from another carrier: the longest-lasting Droid to date is $12.50.
From the company that brought us Nun Attack and the action-packed followed-up Nun Attack: Run & Gun comes Lightbringer: Saviors of Raia, an entirely different property that bears zero resemblance to the aforementioned titles. This new IP is decidedly less casual, and its 4-player multiplayer hack and slash gameplay might just be enough to keep Diablo fans satisfied when they're away from their computers.
Hot on the heels of releasing a Google Play Edition of the enormous Xperia Z Ultra, Sony is once again pleasing fans of "clean" Android by expanding the AOSP For Xperia Project. The latest device to get a semi-official AOSP option is the Xperia L, one of the cheapest devices in the company's 2013 lineup.
Though the 4.3" screen and 1Ghz dual-core processor on the Xperia L aren't likely to make it an object of desire for hardware junkies, developers and enthusiasts now have the option of running a completely stock version of Android 4.4.
Game developer HandyGames has released a collection of titles ranging from topics as diverse as fending off Nazis in World War 2 to solving puzzles as a happy Viking to protecting your farm from aliens. If there's one thing each of these games has in common, it's wackiness. So when I say that the company's next game centers around cats, know that this won't be a Nintendogs-style experience. No, these are ninja cats.
It's not uncommon for Google (or other hardware manufacturers) to make subtle changes to devices post-release to fix problems that went unnoticed before the device hit hundreds of thousands users. That's exactly what happened with the Nexus 4, and it looks like the Nexus 5 is getting some hardware modifications of its own, as well.
As pointed out by XDA user shinral, the updated model has more rigid power and volume buttons, the SIM tray fits flush with the body of the phone, and probably the most visually noticeable difference, the speaker grill holes are now larger.
If you're looking for a tablet with world-beating specs, one of the highest-resolution screens available, and impressive expansion options, you'll want to look at Amazon today. The new ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity, with its NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor and 2560x1600 screen, is fifty bucks off the retail price. You can pick it up on Amazon for $399.95, with free two-day shipping if you're an Amazon Prime subscriber. It's unclear if this is a sale or a new regular price.
If you should suddenly find yourself stranded in a tiny out-of-the-way country after a Nathan Drake-style adventure this holiday season (or maybe if you live there, I guess), take heart in the knowledge that at least your Android phone knows its way home. Google has added 25 new countries to Google Maps Navigation this week, from the landlocked European nation of Andorra all the way to Maldives in the Indian Ocean.