In the past, Blu has offered budget-friendly phones with mid to mid-high end specs. The biggest issue that most power users have had with the company's handsets is a simple one: MediaTek processors. While these particular chips offer good bang for the buck, they are still mostly underpowered for heavy multi-taskers or anyone looking for lightning quickness from their handset.
It looks like we may be getting into a new era for Blu if the new Life Pure XL is any indicator of what to expect moving forward.
There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.
Remember the HTC EVO LTE? Sprint does, at least to some degree. The carrier is sending out a small software patch for the phone, reportedly removing a vulnerability from the infamous Heartbleed SSL security bug. Unpatched versions of Android 4.1.1 (and only 4.1.1) are vulnerable to Heartbleed, so EVO LTE owners probably want to get on that right away.
Heartbleed's relationship to Android is a little strange: it affects Android 4.1.1, but not earlier versions of Jelly Bean 4.1, and not later versions of any release, either, so the number of active phones and tablets at risk is comparatively small.
After all the teasing and big talk, the OnePlus One has been officially announced. Some of what wasn't revealed by the company in the lead up to the unveiling was leaked a few days ago, but now we've got all the details. This device is clearly going after the Nexus category of devices with a low price and solid feature set. Oh, and it has CyanogenMod.
Koushik Dutta, better known as "Koush" to the Android power user community, was one of the original Cyanogen, Inc. employees when the company incorporated last year. But he's been giving Android users some great stuff for much longer than that: most people's first exposure to his work comes from ClockworkMod, still one of the most widely-used custom recoveries available, not to mention various tools like ROM Manager, ClockworkMod Tether, and DeskSMS.
Cyanogen, Inc. has been adding staff to its small but growing roster at a steady pace ever since the company had its big coming out party. And like its initial team, a lot of them have come from the Android modding and ROM community. Cyanogen's latest hire might be familiar to some of you: François Simond, better known online as "Supercurio." Mr. Simond was kind enough to let us break the news, and also pick his brain on topics like CyanogenMod, audio and video calibration, and mobile computing in general.
The Internet has been abuzz over the recently discovered Heartbleed bug. If you're not already familiar, Heartbleed is a vulnerability in the OpenSSL software library that allows an attacker to steal data directly from the memory space of an application and learn the private keys used to keep data securely encrypted as it travels over the Internet. The implications of this kind of leak are certainly severe, and it has everybody rushing to either install updates that fix the bug or implement workarounds to disable it.
Unsurprisingly, now that Cyanogen Inc. is a very serious business, having a logo utilizing a derivative of Google's bugdroid that looks like it'd be at home on the bottom of a skateboard probably isn't going to win a lot of businessy customers. So, Cyanogen Inc. announced today that the company would be rebranded with a new logo and wordmark design, which you can see below. It's... shapey.
Like all good corporate logos, this random geometric shape is, of course, not at all a random geometric shape.
The Ouya hasn't lived up to expectations, but the console is getting really affordable if you're looking for something quick and easy for living room gaming. Today's Amazon gold box deal includes the Ouya for $69.99 ($30 off retail) plus $25 in game credit. It's kind of like getting an Ouya for $45, all things considered.
The marketing campaign for OnePlus's CyanogenMod-powered One phone has been maddeningly piecemeal, so we've been hesitant to post their tiny updates. But the latest one is notable: according to this forum post, the OnePlus One will feature always-on voice commands, in the same manner as the Moto X and 2013 Motorola DROIDs. The administrator says that it's enabled by a combination of Qualcomm technology and custom software from the CyanogenMod team.