It's been a busy week or two for Sony fans. First we get a Google Play Edition of the Z Ultra, then the AOSP On Xperia project expands to the low-cost Xperia L, and now owners of Sony's high-end phones are starting to get their long-awaited Jelly Bean 4.3 updates. According to this Sony blog update, both the Xperia Z1 and the enormous Z Ultra should be getting the over-the-air update starting today, at least for unlocked versions.
Greenify is an app that can speed up devices by hibernating specific apps when they're not running in the foreground, limiting how many background apps may potentially sip away at your battery life. ART, short for Android Runtime, handles app execution in a way that can be significantly peppier than Dalvik. Together, the two can breathe new life in a rooted device, and this combination is now more stable thanks to the latest version of Greenify, which adds ART compatibility.
The LG G Pad 8.3 entered the Play Store nearly a week ago, becoming the first Google Play Edition tablet and the closest thing you can get to an 8-inch Nexus. Unfortunately, this model is no cheaper than the original, and at $349 for 16GB, it's over $100 more expensive than the Nexus 7. But here's the deal - if you don't mind using a G Pad 8.3 with LG's less-than-stellar custom software, or you're up for installing a custom ROM yourself, then you might like to know that you can get the original G Pad 8.3 for $299.99 from eBay and Best Buy.
You’re a cute, gun-toting, mildly suicidal blob huddled in the only light amidst the darkness. You’ve got an endless stream of huge, hairy monsters barreling in, intent on abducting you and your kind. Your fate is sealed, it’s hopeless...
That’s the setting of Hopeless: The Dark Cave, a new survival-horror by Upopa Games. Your sole task is to help these innocent looking critters stay alive by shooting down their aggressors before they can get their claws into those little marshmallow-like bodies.
We've seen more than a few smartwatches in the last year or so, and for my money, the Pebble is still the only one that's worthy of serious consideration. If you're of the same mind, you can pick one up for thirty dollars off the asking price at Amazon and Best Buy right now. Both merchants are selling the Pebble smartwatch for $119.99.
If you're currently enrolled in a college or university (or you, ahem, have some other access to a .edu email address), Best Buy is also offering an additional $30 discount for students.
Conventional wisdom says that mobile devices are for content consumption, but content creation is the realm of laptops and desktops. Sure, you see "created using nothing but an iPad" every once in a while, but if you're looking at something professional, odds are good that its creator used a reliable mouse and keyboard at some point. Then along comes an app like Cross DJ, challenging our notions of what can be done on a touchscreen and ARM hardware.
Love it or hate it, you can't deny that the Galaxy S4 Zoom is unique. This hybrid offspring from Samsung's mobile and camera divisions (which have since tied the knot) doesn't really compete with the Galaxy S4 as far as specs go, but if you want a solid point-and-shoot camera that makes calls, you probably can't do any better. If you also want that device cheap, Amazon is offering it for just one penny, so long as you also want a new AT&T contract.
MX Player, one of the most popular video players on the Play Store (and my personal player of choice as of recent), hasn't worked since Android 4.4.1's release. Those who immediately upgraded to 4.4.1 lost access to MX Player and were instead greeted with the following popup:
Annoying, isn't it, especially since the check is implemented from within the app itself rather than by using the maxSdkVersion parameter of the app's manifest?
Earlier this week, Google rather unexpectedly announced two brand-new Google Play Experience devices (for the US only, of course) - the LG G Pad 8.3 and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. The G Pad 8.3 will set you back $350, while the Z Ultra is $650, though both devices rather undeniably fill niches in the Google device ecosystem. The G Pad acts as a mid-size tablet, a la iPad Mini, something a lot of enthusiasts have been asking Google to build for years now.
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