[Heads up: to use this application you'll need root permissions on your phone or tablet. If you don't have them, you can stop reading here. Now, we continue with our regularly scheduled blog post.] Yesterday we found out about a new Google Now card that can show you changes in the prices of airfare based on recent searches. At least one developer isn't interested in waiting for Google to rollout new Now cards, and found a way to switch them on manually - even the ones that aren't public just yet.
Regular followers of the Android world know that manufacturers love to skin Google's mobile operating system for the sake of differentiation. As dramatic as Samsung and HTC can get, the Chinese OEMs sometimes take it even further, perhaps because Chinese users don't have official access to the Play Store and Google apps (making compatibility and certification less problematic). OPPO seems to be going even further than that: a new post on the company forum is recruiting testers for ColorOS on, of all things, the LG G2.
Earlier today, someone decided to post to the Android issue tracker complaining about the lack of multiuser support for smartphones. Within a few hours, a developer at Google responded and closed the issue, remarking that "the development team has implemented this feature and it will be available as a part of the next public build." Sounds pretty definitive to us.
The "next public build" is the only ambiguous part of this statement, though that Googler is almost definitely referring to the "L" release of Android scheduled to land some time later this year.
By now, you've probably heard a lot about Amazon's Fire Phone. I figure that most people aren't really curious about what the overall phone is like – if you've used a Kindle Fire/HD/HDX then you already know. It's about Amazon services and a weird launcher layout thing. Most people are curious about the four front-facing cameras and Dynamic Perspective. I'm with you on that – that's exactly what I was curious about before getting this phone for review.
You would think the pace of Wear apps would slow down after the initial rush to be the first to do one thing or another, but no. Bigno. The flow of new Wear-enabled apps has yet to abate, so the roundup is back a little early to show you what's cool and new in the Android Wear universe.
Update: An LG representative has informed us that the Tab Book can be purchased with both Windows and Android in an optional dual-boot configuration. There are no plans to release the product outside of Korea, at least for the time being.
LG's current Android tablet strategy is a little baffling. They jumped back into Android tablets with the admirable G Pad 8.3 last year, a well-equipped device with a premium build and a premium price.
Perhaps you don't remember the Xperia L – this 2013 handset never made much of a splash in the US. However, it's proven a popular budget device internationally. It probably won't be seeing a ton of update love through official channels, but at least you'll have CyanogenMod. The first nightly build is available for the Xperia L right now.
The convergence of multiple devices can be a good thing. After all, who wants to carry a bunch of different stuff around when a single thing will do? This is, presumably, the rationale behind the Sprint LivePro, but maybe it's gone a little far. This is a mobile hotspot with a built-in projector and a battery that can charge your phone. The whole thing is, of course, powered by Android.
Acer is one of those companies that, in my mind, builds very good budget-friendly hardware. It may not offer the fastest or the best on the block, but when you're on a tight budget, Acer is always a solid choice.
The same goes for its Android devices – Acer has done a pretty good job of placing itself in the "budget, but not really awful" category when it comes to its mobile division.
Basically all of Blu's phones as of the last year or so have been released with Android 4.2.2, leaving users waiting for any sign of an update to put them past Jelly Bean. We've known that the company planned on pushing KitKat to a number of devices towards the end of June, and it has now released the initial devices that will be the first to get 4.4, along with a statement on Facebook.