ZOMG! Volantis? Is it time for Volantis? You know you were thinking that, but we just don't know what's going on. All we can say for certain is that Google's Play Store in the US has no stock of the WiFi N7 or the LTE versions with AT&T or T-Mobile SIMs. The only version you can get is the "GSM Networks" LTE tablet.
HTC's Butterfly series is an interesting one. While this particular range of models rarely makes its way outside of Asia, HTC often uses it as a testbed for new technology and features, and some of the highlights of these phones make it into the primary international lines on the next go-round. The latest version of the J Butterfly, which will launch exclusively on Japanese carrier KDDI next month, has some additions to the basic One design that might be worth watching.
There are lots of fitness bands to choose from: the Jawbone UP, Fitbit Flex, Nike Fuelband...and many others. If you're a Runtastic user, however, there's a new one on the market that may interest you, the Runtastic Orbit. As you may have already guessed, this one is built from the ground up for use with Runtastic's services – running, cycling, etc. It doesn't yet work with the company's dedicated cycling apps (road biking, mountain biking), but support for those is currently in the works.
The Gorilla Gadgets CHR-150 16,800mAh external battery pack is currently on sale for $39.99 on Woot. The site lists this as a savings of 71% ($100 off its original $139.99). This undercuts the price currently displayed on Amazon, where the battery goes for $69.99. This Woot deal, which will be over before the end of today, costs nearly half as much.
Gorilla Gadgets' external battery comes with an LED screen that shows how much of a charge the pack has remaining.
The Amazon Appstore is slowly expanding to become a notable addition to the Android landscape, and though the Fire Phone isn't getting much love from reviewers, it's certainly giving Amazon a reason to boost the Appstore's profile. The latest promotion makes 30 paid apps free, over a $100 value. While not all of them are must-haves, more than a few deserve your attention. This time around the focus is more on tools than games, but there should be at least one entry for everyone.
Welcome to the Android Police Podcast Live for Friday, July 31st! We'll be starting soon - if you don't see a YouTube player, we haven't begun.
Welcome to the home of the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast. We're live every Thursday (unless otherwise noted on the official calendar below) at 5PM PST (8PM EST) - or perhaps a few minutes after that - every week. This post will be stickied on the Android Police homepage whenever we're broadcasting, so if you see it, we're either live right now, or about to be!
At this point, it's essentially impossible to deny that Android is beating other mobile operating systems with a big market share stick. According to a report issued by Strategy Analytics, phone manufacturers sold a combined 295.2 million smartphones worldwide in the second quarter of 2014, 249.6 million of which ran Android. That gives Google's OS a staggering 84.6% of the market share for new devices, up from 80.2% the previous year.
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.
Google I/O 2014 has come and gone, but that doesn't mean great stuff from the conference isn't still coming out. The companion app used by thousands of attendees -and hundreds of thousands of fans and followers- has been open sourced! Code for the I/O app is meant to serve as an example of best practices for Android developers, providing fully functioning implementations of the latest design principles, UI controls, networking code, and more.