Xiaomi has been making waves in the expanding Chinese smartphone market thanks to solid hardware and customized Android software. The company's 4th-generation flagship, the Mi 4, looks like a definite step up. While the 5-inch 1080p screen matches the Mi3, the design is... well, let's call a spade a spade, shall we? It's a big iPhone. Between the segmented metal band, the specifically rounded corners, and the edge-mounted speakers, it's pretty clear that Xiaomi was going for a particular look.
You can wait on the new Shield Tablet later this month, sure, but Amazon is looking to tempt you with a killer deal on a 7-inch Kindle HDX with LTE. If you can make do with Amazon's unique take on Android, you can get $100 off the normal price at all tiers.
NVIDIA just announced its second SHIELD device, the SHIELD Tablet. You can read all about it in the main post, but every gamer knows that a new device is nothing without games to play on it. NVIDIA has focused its efforts on bringing full-sized PC and console games like Mount & Blade, Portal, and Half-Life 2 to the SHIELD Portable, but with the Tablet, they've set their sights on current-generation titles.
NVIDIA's SHIELD gadget is undeniably unique in the Android world, which might be why the company has decided to go with a more mainstream form factor for its second hardware foray. The SHIELD Tablet, as it's officially titled, was leaked hard last week, but NVIDIA made it official this morning. The 8-inch device features the latest Tegra K1 processor, a 1080p LCD screen, NVIDIA's GameStream software and other specialized apps, and an optional controller that's similar to the control pad on the original SHIELD.
Users of newer versions of Windows or just about any Microsoft web service might be familiar with the company's rudimentary two-factor authentication system. If it's been a while since you've logged in or you're setting up a new Windows device, it might ask you for a verification code, accessible from a backup email account. Of course that can be a pain if you don't remember the password for that account, or simply don't want to dig it out.
Last week Google released a sizeable update to Google Wallet that finally let you carry loyalty cards in digital form. Now Amazon has released its own version of... pretty much the same thing, minus all the other stuff that Google Wallet does. Amazon Wallet is currently in beta on both the Google Play Store and Amazon's own Appstore in a rare simultaneous release. Compatibility seems to be limited to phones at the moment, and since it's labeled as "for Fire Phone" on this promo page, it may be pre-loaded on that device.
Wacom's Bamboo Paper app has been a big hit on the iPad, and now it's out on Android tablets. This follows the release of the slimmed down Bamboo Paper Memo app for phones late last year. To drum up some support, Wacom is including all the premium features for a limited time.
There comes a point in time when an app steps out of the awkward, prepubescent 2.0 years and hits the big 3.0. For Twitch, that time is now. The game broadcast viewing app has transitioned to a whole new version number, and in the process it has matured into something more becoming. The flat, simplistic UI looks like something that should blend right in on modern KitKat devices.
For the sake of comparison, here's how Twitch used to look.
Amazon wants you to buy its shiny new Fire Phone, and one of the biggest selling points is that fancy head-tracking camera system. So naturally, the first two games to come out of the company's home-bred Amazon Game Studios for the Fire Phone feature functionality that can only be done with that specific hardware. Unfortunately, both platformer To-Fu Fury (available now for $2) and Match 3 RPG Saber's Edge (free) exhibit classic signs of Kinect Syndrome.