Not content with making a stylish Android set-top box, Razer is also planning on attacking the Android gaming market on its home turf. The Serval is a full-sized, console-style Bluetooth game controller that's compatible with both Razer's Forge TV and direct connection with Android phones and tablets. It's far from the first controller made with Android in mind, but it's the first to come from perhaps the most high-profile game peripheral company out there, and is thus worthy of examination.
We've known that Razer was working on its own branded version of an Android TV set-top box for more than half a year, but at CES 2015 the well-known gaming peripheral company has given the gadget its coming out party. The Razer Forge TV hopes to be the go-to choice for gamers, with support for up to four simultaneous players, keyboard and mouse input, and (eventually) streaming high-end games from a local gaming PC.
Gameloft has a number of "top-tier" properties like Modern Combat and Asphalt, but it's been a while since N.O.V.A. got any love. That's Gameloft's totally-not-a-ripoff-of-Crysis sci-fi shooter. Well, there's a new version of N.O.V.A., but it's mostly the same as the last one. This is N.O.V.A. 3 Freedom Edition. It's the same game, but it costs nothing to download and has no in-app purchases. The catch is that N.O.V.A. 3 Freedom Edition has ads.
When a regular projector simply won't do at your next business meeting, there's the ZTE Spro 2. This mini projector has a touchscreen and runs Android with full access to the Play Store. It's probably a really slick way to project slides on the wall, but I feel like someone unnecessarily dropped some vowels from the name (or maybe a hyphen or something).
We have been wondering for a while when we'd see Lollipop-based builds from CyanogenMod, and now is that time. For this first round of nightlies, 31 devices will be supported with many more to come in the near future. CyanogenMod 11, based on KitKat, will now be on a weekly update schedule until its M13 release, after which development will be frozen. While some bugs are to be expected, all supported devices should have core functions working smoothly right away.
Ever wanted to take handwritten notes, but didn't want to write on a digital screen? Maybe you just don't want a Samsung device, the primary Android manufacturer to offer active digitizers (better known as the "S Pen" in their marketing materials). Livescribe's smartpens have, up to now, been just a nearly perfect solution for many. You can write on real paper* and have your notes rather effortlessly synced to select digital destinations.
Look, we're not in the audiophile business. We don't cover music products that don't feature Android in some way, shape, or form. And running bleeding-edge software is not a prerequisite for quality sound. But seriously, Sony, if you're going to charge twelve hundred dollars for a device that runs Android, could you not load it with an OS build that's over two years old? Alas, such is the case with the Walkman NW-ZX2 announced at CES.
IK Multimedia took the first step in bringing its music creation tools to Android with its iRig HD-A announcement back in November, but that device was compatible with the Samsung Note 4 and Note 4 Edge only. Today, it's changing the game in a major way, as it just announced the iRig 2, which brings full Android compatibility to the table.
The iRig 2 brings a lot more to the table than just Android compatibility, as well - like a new 1/4" amplifier output, effectively turning the mobile device into a full pedalboard of sorts (maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea).
The Panasonic LUMIX CM1 is a strange beast: it's an Android phone with a huge focus on photography, a la the Galaxy S4 Zoom. But unlike that rather mid-range device (both in terms of Android hardware and photography prowess), the CM1 features a massive 1-inch, 20-megapixel camera sensor with a Leica 28mm F/2.8 lens and... dramatic pause... a manual focus ring. When it was announced at the Photokina trade show last year, Panasonic made it very clear that the LUMIX Smart Camera DSC-CM1 was only for the European market.