Sometimes a site or service needs a new approach, or a little fresh paint. This would seem to be the case with Minus, formerly a simple cloud storage provider akin to Dropbox. Yesterday the company unveiled a new look and new direction: location-focused, social sharing of photos. It includes local chat features, with the new tagline "make friends near you." The revised app description sounds like a combination of Instagram and Foursquare.
Google just pushed an update to its Search app (which, as you know, includes Google Now). Among the new additions are the Google Now widget that we've all been hearing so much about, movie ratings, the ability to pull up movie passes purchased from Fandango, and real estate listings from Zillow when Google thinks you're in the market for a home. Now that's fancy.
Additionally, the update also adds a music button when a song is playing in voice mode, though that feature is currently limited to the U.S.
Can we be honest with ourselves? Plex kinda sucks. Hard to blame it, most third-party media centers on Android do at the moment. As a lengthy blog post by the developer points out, part of that has been due to Android's inflexibility and lack of a coherent UI in its history. That's changed over the last couple years and now Plex has been rebuilt from the ground up to be a lot more beautiful and a lot more functional.
Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!
Yearly releases of flagship hardware are a staple of the smartphone world - in fact, we're generally pretty pleased if twelve whole months can pass before we get a "+" or "HD" slapped onto our formerly cutting-edge phone. But in the console world, it's a different story, with at least five years between major releases being the norm. Android-powered gaming console OUYA intends to take the mobile approach, according to Joystiq.
If you're in the market for a Nexus 7, don't want to pay full price, and yesterday's 1SaleADay deal left a bad taste in your mouth, eBay might have what you're looking for.
Through eBay's Daily Deals, seller Tiger Direct is offering up refurbished 16GB models for $169.99 shipped. That's about a $30 discount over the Play Store's price (plus shipping).
You're probably familiar with the Android vinyl figurines from Andrew Bell and Dead Zebra. They're nifty little collectibles that pay homage to the platform we all love. Some folks, however, take things more seriously. Rather than display the same collectables as everyone else, they employ their skills to modify and embellish the basic Android figures. One of these artists, Hitoshi Mitani, has been so kind as to post all of his amazing work online for us to see.
If you've spent any time gaming on Android, you probably remember OpenFeint. Nearly every major game integrated it in some way, usually allowing players to log in with a single username, collect achievements, and post scores to a global leaderboard. It was handy for what it did, but if you didn't care about competing, it felt a lot like obnoxious spamware. Unsurprisingly, it closed down in December of last year. Today, however, it's being sort of reborn as OpenKit, a project headed by one of the co-founders of the original service.
The HTC One X+ may be a rehash of the original One X, but it's a good rehash. It's easily the best HTC phone on AT&T right now, and if you're looking to pick one up without breaking the bank, Amazon Wireless has the deal for you.
Right now, if you agree to a new two-year term with Big Blue, Amazon Wireless will hand over this little beauty for $80.
When it comes to value-added software on Android phones, I'm typically first in line to call "gimmick!" But today, Sony announced a new service for Xperia phones that actually sounds genuinely useful - my Xperia. It's pretty simple, really. You get a web UI that allows you to track your phone on a map, cause it to emit a sound (it even overrides silent mode), lock it and display a message, or remotely wipe it.