In an odd bit of M&A news, the developers at Bitspin announced that the small company will be joining forces with Google. Whether Google has purchased the company outright or merely hired its Zurich-based development team isn't clear, but in either case, the big G will be benefitting from their impressive user interface experience soon. Google has not commented on the situation, and there is no dollar amount posted on the Bitspin website.
If you're in the market for a powerful phone that can take a few hits, then eBay's Daily Deals portal should be your first stop today. Well, so long as you need that phone to work on the AT&T network and don't mind a refurbished model. The AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is on sale for just $349.95 with free shipping to the US. You can have it in any color you want, as long as you want teal.
Lenovo has been hanging out in the bottom end of the Android market ever since they gave up on the ThinkPad Tablet, but it looks like they're finally ready to ship some high-end hardware. Enter the Lenovo Vibe Z, a 5.5-inch smartphone with an LTE radio - a first in the company's Android lineup. As usual, Lenovo doesn't seem interested in western markets for this phone. According to the press release, it will go on sale in February in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Philippines for $549.
In a world where almost all tablets are boring black slabs, Lenovo is trying to make some headway with a different design. Now you can experience Lenovo's take on the tablet for $60 less than usual – the Yoga Tablet 8 is on sale for $189.99 at Best Buy today only. That's better than the last such deal.
The Yoga Tablet 8 has a neat little stand that can be used to prop it upright or position it at a comfortable incline.
The Bluetooth experience on Android has always been a rocky road. For the first few years Android relied on BlueZ, a "protocol stack" originally developed by Qualcomm for the Linux operating system. Despite many limitations and missing features, BlueZ served admirably until Android 4.2 launched with a new stack dubbed Bluedroid, a project built jointly by Google and Broadcom. Like any young project, the bugs were plentiful, but most of the critical issues were solved in the first few weeks.
I've gone hands on with nearly every member of Blu's Life family at this point, and they've all lead up to this phone. The first four members of the Life line – the Play, View, One, and Pro – vary mostly in form factor, though the Pro also features a faster processor than its siblings. Up until the now, the general gist of the Life line has been: quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and a 720p display.
It's been half a year since HTC's impressive upgrade to the Butterfly hit shelves, and in all that time it hasn't received a significant update. But if a report from well-known HTC insider LlabTooFeR is correct, the Butterfly S is in the process of being upgraded to Android 4.3 right now. It's also getting the slightly newer Sense 5.5, as seen on the HTC One Max, and decidedly not seen on updated versions of 4.3 for the original One in the United States.
Today is a good day to be a Galaxy S III owner. Before the Verizon variant's update even had time to get cold, Cricket's is now fresh out of the oven as well. The OTA brings along the changes from Android 4.2 and 4.3, plus Galaxy Gear support and a lot of UI changes which serve to make the software look and function more like the Galaxy S4's stock ROM.
With this update, all US-based carrier variants of the Galaxy S III have received Android 4.3.
Love it or hate it, you can't deny that the Galaxy S4 Zoom is unique. This hybrid offspring from Samsung's mobile and camera divisions (which have since tied the knot) doesn't really compete with the Galaxy S4 as far as specs go, but if you want a solid point-and-shoot camera that makes calls, you probably can't do any better. If you also want that device cheap, Amazon is offering it for just one penny, so long as you also want a new AT&T contract.