So, Google TV isn't exactly great. And Windows media boxes aren't exactly "average consumer" friendly. With that in mind, it would seem, Samsung has unveiled the Home Sync box. It's a 1TB media server / smart TV box all-in-one, and it's actually pretty cool. To clarify, the Home Center does not run Google TV. The idea here is that Home Sync is the center of your Galaxy-device life - which is to say, I doubt you'd want one if you aren't already carrying around a fair bit of Galaxy hardware.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.
Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 50.
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!
CloudOn, the service which previously brought the full Microsoft Office experience to Android tablets, is now available on some phones. Yes, that means you have Office on your phone, in your pocket, and everywhere you are. That could be quite useful.
For the moment, however, the company is only supporting a handful of handsets:
- Samsung Galaxy S III
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus
- Samsung Galaxy Note
- Samsung Galaxy Note II
- Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket
Notice something about that list?
In a world where Samsung and Apple dominate the smartphone sphere, and multi-billion dollar companies like Sony, LG, and Motorola struggle to maintain single-digit market share, it's rather easy to convince yourself that real innovation and excellence costs lots of money. And, as an extension of that thought process, that there's little reason to look outside the current crop of popular phone makers.
But you'd be wrong.
Known mostly in the United States for its Blu-ray players (yes, really), Oppo is a Chinese electronics maker that is easily ignored.
Since my introduction to Android (a la Nexus One), I've owned three HTC devices. I've reviewed probably a half-dozen others. I liked some of them, and I disliked others. But generally, I consider myself an HTC fan, especially since the One X.
The new One phone sounds brilliant. Ron's early impressions are promising. The initial response at large seems to be that HTC is finally being bold in a way that's causing people to take notice, by taking risks.
HTC may not be too terribly specific about when it intends to release its newest flagship, aside from a vague March-ish timeline, but Vodafone and Clove are more than happy to fill in the blank space: March 15th is the date. At least if you're in the UK, looking to get this piece of hardware on Vodafone, or order from Clove.
Not only does Clove's ordering site indicate this as the date the first shipments should come in, but Vodafone confirmed the date in a statement to AP.
If Belkin had you excited about its upcoming WeMo Android app at CES this year, good news: the first beta version of the app just landed in the Play Store. According to the app's description, it has only been tested on the Samsung Galaxy S III, but should work on all 4.0+ devices. With that said, some (or even most) of the features may not work properly, as the app is a very early beta.
One of the more annoying things about the Android app ecosystem is that there are loads of apps and games that are needlessly restricted to one device or another. If you care to get down and dirty, you can edit the build.prop file on rooted devices to make your device appear to be something other than what it is. Market Helper gets you the same results, but it doesn't touch the build-prop and it's easy to revert to your original profile.
In the (seemingly) never-ending race to offer LTE, U.S. Cellular has just announced a fairly major expansion to its 4G LTE network that will take place over the course of 2013. By the time the end of the year rolls around, the company expects to offer LTE to 87 percent of its customers, which is a 26 percent increase over its current network.
At the current time, the company is being a little vague about exactly which cities are going to get LTE coverage, citing only that "select cities in California, Kansas and Nebraska" will gain the ultra-fast connection, with specific mention of "Lincoln, Neb., Omaha, Neb., Manhattan, Kan., Eureka, Calif.