When it comes to Android tablets on US carriers, you're lucky to find anything that isn't Samsung. But LG has been making a determined push as of late - in addition to expanding its G Pad lineup with three new models, they landed last year's G Pad 8.3 on Verizon. Today AT&T announced that it would make the smallest and cheapest current LG tablet, the G Pad 7.0, available on its LTE network starting this Friday, August 8th.
July saw the release of what's probably the biggest (or at the very least, the most high-profile) game of the year: Modern Combat 5. You can check out Ryan's review here, but there are a lot of other entries to Android's game catalog that you should consider playing. Our top seven picks from this month are below, in no particular order, with honorable mentions thrown in as well. Students, load up on them so you'll have something to play
in class on the bus.
Stop reading this roundup and go read Ryan Whitwam's review of Leo's Fortune.
Update: Microsoft's PR agency reached out to clarify that the lawsuit is not over a failure to pay, but merely a failure to pay on time and with accrued late payment interest. This lawsuit just got a lot more boring.
According to re/code, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung today for failure to pay royalties as part of a contractual IP licensing agreement between the two companies. The agreement in question is for Microsoft's infamous smartphone patent portfolio, which has pretty much every Android OEM in the US paying out a percentage of their handset sales to the struggling Windows Phone maker.
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. Big no. 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.
Swipify-Multitasker & Launcher
There's no app switcher button on Android Wear, but Swipify sort of adds one as an edge gesture.
Update: Verizon's specification page has been changed to indicate that the LG G Vista has an "HD" screen. It looks like there was an error in the original spec list. We're going to assume that means that it's a 1280x720 screen.
Looking for a mid-range phone on Verizon? Then you've got two more choices starting today. The LG G Vista, an enormous "phablet" device, and the Kyocera Brigadier, the latest in the company's line of "tough" phones, are both on sale now at Verizon's website.
It's no big secret that I'm a huge fan of NVIDIA's SHIELD. In fact, I believe I called it my favorite device from last year on a recent podcast, a claim that I readily stand behind. To me, it shows how versatile Android can be, despite the fact that the unit itself is essentially a one trick pony (it's damn good at that one trick, though).
Then there's NVIDIA's second foray into device design, the Tegra Note 7.
If you use Google Gesture Search, an app that we have largely ignored over the years because, well, Google doesn't exactly do much with it, good news - it's been updated! For the first time in over a year.
Google Gesture Search 2.1.4 adds a new widget that allows you to quickly launch recently used things, and the app now displays as a popup on tablets. There are also the requisite "bug fixes and UI improvements." The widget seems, frankly, pretty damn useless aside from being a widget that displays things you sometimes are prone to doing on your phone, with no apparent logic behind said displayed items.
Android Wear is designed to keep you appraised of what's going on with your phone via notifications and cards, but that's not all it's good for. There are already a few apps that let you tweak settings on your phone, and now Wear Hotspot lets you toggle the hotspot functionality. It's actually a pretty good use of Wear.
VR headsets are all the rage of late, and Samsung is one of the players expected to throw its virtual reality-producing
hat goggles into the ring. Earlier this month, SamMobile provided a shot of the upcoming Gear VR product and a small taste the companion smartphone app that will ship with it. Now the site is back with a more in-depth look at some of the software that will manage the device.