Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here.
Our friends across the pond will no longer have to resort to importing a Chromecast from the US as of March 19th. That's apparently the day Google's streaming dongle is set to hit shelves in the UK. At least one retailer already has the device in stock and has alerted employees to the impeding launch.
Out with the old, in with the new. Today Sprint has retired its no-contract As You Go service and replaced it with the more straightforwardly branded Sprint Prepaid. The new offering is something Sprint customers or no-contract shoppers should almost want to consider, but the monthly prices still aren't low enough for the limited number of phones supported.
Sprint Prepaid introduces two smartphone plans: Smart and Smart Plus. The former offers unlimited talk and text for $45 a month.
Google has updated its support pages and started sending out emails to alert users of Google Wallet to an upcoming change in the way NFC payments work. As of April 14th, tap and pay will require KitKat or higher. Older devices will no longer be supported after that date.
The reason for the change is Google's desire to only use Host Card Emulation (HCE) to make NFC payments work. That feature was introduced in Android 4.4, so it's the end of the line for Jelly Bean and earlier devices.
Sega originally released Crazy Taxi for Android priced at $4.99, but until March 19th, you can now get the game entirely for free. We're talking the full package, complete with everything from the original music by the Offspring to all the craaaaaaazy money your frightening driving skills can earn you. Unfortunately, the one thing you're not likely to get are future updates.
You see, Google doesn't allow developers to make paid apps on the Play Store free, then return them back to their original paid status.
Facebook's Pages Manager app has made the jump to version 1.10, and while it isn't a major overhaul, it does introduce a few new features. Now people who manage multiple pages can share posts between them by hitting the share button at the bottom of each post. Pages based on people also have more emotions and activities available for status updates, such as "Feeling Good" or "Watching TV." In addition to that, managers can edit posts on their page timeline.
Samsung appears to be in full-on product carpet-bombing mode when it comes to wearables, as Samsung-thing-that-goes-on-your-wrist #4 has been detailed in a new leak by SamMobile, and it's called the S Band.
Now, you may say, "S Band? That sounds familiar" and you would be right, it should indeed ring a bell or two! Because Samsung initially unveiled a product called the S Band alongside the Galaxy S4... last year.
Amazon has been expanding into just about every possible media sales segment in the last few years, with one notable exception: console-style video games. If a filing with the Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (read: the Brazilian version of the FCC) can be believed, Amazon is looking to close that gap in its product lineup. A full game controller, with media controls and Android-style navigation buttons, was spotted there by Zatz Not Funny.
The original Wind-Up Knight was an endearing little platfomer, and it's looking like the sequel is just as cute and includes some new gameplay mechanics. This game has launched in Canada first, with access expanding to other countries soon. Most of you will have to make do with the trailer for now.
It's a foregone conclusion at this point that Google is getting into the wearables game with a smart watch sometime this year. The specifics for the device are still somewhat hazy, but now we have an idea what the specs might be thanks to noted leaker of things, @evleaks.
More Google (LG) smartwatch specs: 1.65" IPS LCD @ 280x280, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, processor TBD.