Last week, we gave you a glimpse into what David uses: his favorite gadgets, accessories, apps, and all the other tech junk that he doesn't go a day without. Now it's my turn. With this series, you'll see how different each member of the AP team is when it comes to how we use our gear, which is one of the best things about Android: it's versatile.
Since David's already done the legwork of explaining what "What we use" is all about, I'm just going to jump right in.
Today's the day, Galaxy Nexus owners - Verizon just updated its support documents to reflect the long-awaited Jelly Bean update. From what we're hearing, the OTA is already rolling out, so you should be able to pull it down right now. You'll just need to jump on Wi-Fi and head into Settings > About phone > System update.
This may shock some of you, but there's a surprisingly small amount of overlap between tech bloggers and fantasy sports players. (Careful, gentle readers - you don't want to become over-gasped.) So it was with some confusion that I found a new official NFL fantasy football app, when there are already two published in the Play Store. The latest, NFLRUSH, is something of a toned-down, kid-friendly version of fantasy: instead of carefully picking your team at the beginning of the season and trading with your league-mates each week, NFLRUSH allows kids to pick a fresh roster after every game.
Android gaming is becoming a bigger deal all the time with high-end games launching on the platform every week. The Bard's Tale is something a little different, though. Not only is it a highly anticipated game with similarly high production values, it is the biggest game I'm aware of on Android. With 20-30 hours of content and 3.5GB of game data, this is a real time investment. Let's figure out just how special The Bard's Tale is.
Three of the biggest TV-streaming apps in the Play Store - Hulu Plus, MAX GO, and HBO GO - were all updated within the past couple of days with eerily similar changelogs that include one key feature: support for closed captions. Past that, both HBO GO and MAX GO received "performance enhancements and bug fixes." Hulu, on the other hand also got support for "social sharing of videos and shows."
While these updates may be small in terms of size, they potentially bring one of the most important features to some users.
Do you enjoy knowing how fast things are? Then Qualcomm's revamped Vellamo suite is probably something you should check out. Vellamo has been the web benchmark of choice on Android for some time now, but this new update brings some major improvements.
First, the UI: it's completely different. It's actually really nice, certainly the prettiest benchmarking tool I've ever seen on Android (I mean, who really cares, but still). Just look at the screenshots:
The next big change comes in the form of a brand-new CPU benchmark called Metal.
We've seen more and more endless runner-style games show up in the Play Store, and, up to this point, they have all seemed basically the same. Enter Subway Surfers, a fun and whimsical take on the runner genre that just made its way to Android from iOS.
In Subway Surfers, you play the part of a delinquent kid named Jake who's running from an overly-grumpy inspector and his dog. You have to jump, flip, and grind from track to track on your hoverboard, picking up coins and avoiding trains as they pass by.
I know, you were really hoping for that extra special upgrade that Zuckerberg has been teasing ever since he admitted that HTML5 was a mistake. This should be a nice little improvement, though. Now, no matter which app you do your Facebook messaging from, whether it's messaging in Facebook, or via Facebook Messenger (confused yet?), you'll be able to see which of your friends is online, whether they're mobile, and even pin select friends that you talk to most to the top of the list.
Not so fast there, limbless flyboy. While Rayman Jungle Run was scheduled to arrive on the Play Store today, it looks like a delay has set back those plans and now the side-scroller based on the popular Ubisoft character will be launching on Thursday, September 27th. Not a huge delay, but one that's being made to "provide the best gaming experience."
Here's the full comment from the Ubisoft rep we spoke to about the delay:
Rayman Jungle Run will now be available on Google Play on Thursday September 27th @ 10am CET.
Remember a few months ago when LG showed off its new Optimus L series, with three new Android-powered smartphones across several price points? Yeah, neither do we. But in any case, the biggest and relatively baddest of those phones will be available on Sprint subsidiary Boost Mobile sometime in the near future, under the new alias of the LG Venice. EV Leaks got a hold of an official photo of the device - we've only got their word that it's coming to Boost, but they're usually spot-on with this sort of thing.