You likely noticed our coverage regarding the arrival of official CyanogenMod (experimental) nightly builds for, among other devices, HTC's EVO 4G LTE. As someone who's lived with the EVO LTE for several months now, this was big news.
Normally, we steer clear of covering the majority of custom ROMs, as development for many Android devices runs at a fast and furious pace, and coverage can quickly become dated. The improvements CyanogenMod 10 offers, though, especially over Sense on the EVO LTE, are certainly worth coverage.
Huawei's list of announcements for this year's IFA conference is busting at the seams with a whopping four phones and two tablets, all with different screen sizes, specs, and prices, all slated for a 2012 introduction to the German market, with launch in other markets to follow, though we aren't privy to specific dates for other regions.
Ascend D1 Quad XL
The lovingly named Ascend D1 Quad XL is by all accounts the leader of Huawei's new smartphone pack, packing a 4.5" with an extremely impressive 330ppi density (and unknown resolution), a 1.2GHz K3V2 ARM quad-core processor built by Huawei, a 2600mAh battery, 8MP camera with 1.3MP front shooter, and a microSD slot for an extra boost of internal memory.
So, the long awaited title from Phosphor Games Horn is now available in the Play Store. It's an epic tale of a young boy who awakes to find himself in a Pylon-laden world. It's his job to destroy the beasts and turn them back into their former (human) selves. And it's awesome. Don't take my word for it though - check out our full review right here.
Horn has also been optimized for Tegra 3 devices, which really brings the environments and characters to life.
When Horn arrived on that other mobile platform a couple weeks ago, it was met with plenty of praise. Now Horn is available on Android, and it still stands out among all categories of games. Horn is built from the ground up with an awareness that it will be played on a touchscreen device, and it shows. From the impressive graphics to the unique story, Horn has a lot to show off.
Remember yesterday when I said some games go beyond description? This is more what I was talking about. McPixel is a game in which things explode...or sometimes a volcano erupts? And you're a person (I think) that has to defuse bombs. Or put them places. Or make statues sneeze. It's really very confusing, in the best way. The objective is to stop things from exploding by doing things. Which may include stealing an old person's dentures, setting monks on fire, and kicking flashers.
Games from the NES era and earlier (and those styled after them) do very well on mobile platforms, if only because modern controls schemes just aren't easily compatible with touchscreens. Activision isn't the first to bring their wide collection of ancient titles to Android, but theirs might just be the most complete. The brand new Activision Anthology amasses the most popular Atari 2600 games published by the gaming giant and its subsidiaries, crammed into a single app with an impressively nostalgic presentation.
It looks like Google has added a new feature to the Play Store on devices that will recommend apps to users based on personalized criteria. In a new section, you can find apps that have been +1'd by your friends, apps that are popular in your area, and even apps that are "popular with similar users" based on some undisclosed criteria.
The feature mirrors a similar recommendation feature that's been live on the web version of the Play Store for at least a month now.
Games on Android continue to get bigger and more elaborate. One of the top developers leading the way in less-than-casual gaming on the mobile platform is Idea Factory (together with Hyperbox Studio). Previously, the company released Spectral Souls, a 1GB RPG for $15 that promised hundreds of hours of gameplay (as any decent RPG would). Today, the similarly priced, and even larger 1.2GB sequel lands on the Play Store: Blazing Souls Accelate.
It looks like Chinese manufacturer ZTE may have beaten Motorola to the Intel-powered phone announcement punch, today unveiling the ZTE Grand X IN. You may remember that Motorola is planning an announcement involving Intel for September 18th.
The Grand X IN looks to be a mid-range device, carrying a 4.3" qHD TFT display (that's 540x960 resolution), an 8MP rear camera with a VGA shooter around front, 1GB RAM, 16GB onboard storage (expandable via microSD), NFC, and of course an Intel Atom Z2460 processor with just one core clocked at 1.6GHz.
When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note II yesterday, they made no mention of regional or carrier availability. While we here in the States can speculate which carriers will get this next-gen phablet, it really is just a crapshoot right now.
For those who want to keep up with the latest on the Note II in the US, though, Samsung has opened up a sign up page. In theory, this will keep users privy to the Note's US availability and carrier launch information.