Sony's oft-leaked Xperia Z1 finally made its official debut at IFA in Berlin yesterday, and I had a chance to take a few minutes and look at the company's latest smartphone creation. The Z1 has opted to keep the same basic dimensions of the Xperia Z with its 5" 1080p LCD, enclosed in an aluminum chassis sandwiched between two glass plates. As such, holding the Z1 is very reminiscent of the Z - lots of glass, and an extremely solid, premium feel.
The Muku Shuttr is a simple piece of hardware that reached its Kickstarter funding goal in under a week, ending its campaign with almost ten times its original goal. It appeared an audience was ready and waiting for a mobile camera remote shutter.
I'm generally fascinated by the variety of mobile photography accessories pouring out of Kickstarter lately (I eagerly backed the Lumu light meter and am awaiting my unit now), and naturally wanted to give Shuttr a try.
If you've got a late-model Samsung device and a desire to tinker, Wanam Xposed is for you. It's a module for the increasingly popular Xposed Framework (which means that those without root need not apply). If you have a stock Samsung device that runs Android 4.2 or later, Wanam Xposed opens up an incredible amount of customization options for TouchWiz and other settings.
Visual and audio tweaks include colors or transparency in the notification bar, customizations for the battery, clock, and date displays, transparent quick settings, 180-degree rotation support, disabling Samsung's dingy boot sound, and a dark theme for the multi-window view.
The HTC One mini is, in many respects, very similar to its larger, older sibling, the HTC One. It has a [mostly] aluminum body, BoomSound speakers (though they've been noticeably downgraded), and HTC's Ultrapixel camera. It runs Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5, and its 720p S-LCD2 display with Gorilla Glass 3 is breathtakingly good for a "mid-range" phone.
So, how does it cost a full $170 less than the HTC One?
If you're a SHIELD early adopter, you may want to head into the settings menu and grab the latest update – it's a good one. Update 59 brings improved PC streaming stability, along with support for more PC Games, like FIFA 13, Call of Jaurez: Gunslinger, Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition, and several other. There are now 31 officially supported PC titles. Not bad.
Aside from that, it also adds support for Tegra developer tools and possibly the most anticipated feature: the ability to move apps to the SD Card.
United Kingdom citizens, your long wait for LTE service is finally over... assuming you haven't gotten fed up and switched to EE already. Vodafone and O2, half of the UK's "big four" wireless providers, have both switched on their 4G/LTE networks today. Vodafone's LTE network is limited to London at the moment, while O2's network fares slightly better with a rollout to London, Leeds, and Bradford.
EE has had a de facto monopoly on LTE/4G in the UK (none of the carriers across the pond ever muddied the "4G" name with HSPA service, so the terms are interchangeable) since October of last year thanks to the government's spectrum licensing.
Earlier today, Google released a relatively minor update to its keyboard application with only one really useful change: numbers in the top row on tablets. While the update itself is indeed not too significant, it did manage to bring several interesting half-baked under-the-hood bits which aren't quite ready for consumption. These are exactly the kinds of bits we like here in the AndroidPolice teardown kitchen.
Armed with some of Ron's initial findings, my teardown partner Santiago Rosales and I dug into the innards of the v1.1 APK.
The biggest brother of the One family has once again smiled for the camera on Chinese site ePrice, showing off a few things that we've yet to see on the 5.9-inch beasty. For starters, this model feature a removable back, but before you get too excited about that, we'd like to throw out the reminder that most HTC devices for the Chinese market have removable backs. That's just a thing over there.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.
Update: It turns out you can get a Samsung HomeSync in the US... if you live in the greater Chicago area. AT&T is selling the devices at its flagship store on Michigan Avenue, and only at this store. We called up the location for information about pricing and availability, here's what we were told: the HomeSync is $299 (no contracts or anything), is currently in stock at that location, and you do not have to be an AT&T customer to purchase one.