If there's one product from the last year that's managed to capture the attention of just about everyone in the tech arena, it's Pebble. Between the somewhat tenuous underdog status of all Kickstarter projects, a general swell in "wearable tech" interest, and months and months of frustrating delays, it's proven to be even better fodder for bloggers than speculative hardware backers. Finally, 8 months after being successfully funded (and four months after the initial ship date) I've got one sitting on my wrist.
Two weeks ago, we took a look at the invite-only beta of Redbox Instant. In that article, we gave a brief glimpse into what the fledgling service's library had to offer. Of course, the inevitable question had to be asked: how does it stack up against Netflix? Or Amazon Instant Video for that matter? While we're at it, how does Google's Play Store compare? Those are pretty big questions! So, they deserve pretty big answers.
If you own a French RAZR i, time to start hitting that 'check update' button. The update to Android 4.1.2 is officially beginning to roll out, and in Q1 2013 - as promised.
If you want the update right now, but are afraid of losing root, there's good news on that front, too: you can. The new root instructions and files are located here. An updated, pre-rooted fastboot file can be found here, which should put your unlocked RAZR i on French firmware.
If you're a T-Mobile customer with an LTE-enabled phone (with Band 4 connectivity) in the Kansas City area, you may be able to pull down some four-gee goodness starting today. Over at XDA, one member has managed to establish an LTE connection with his unlocked AT&T Galaxy Note, which supports Band 4 LTE. Speed test results and connection info follow.
While the speed isn't particularly impressive right now, T-Mobile's LTE is likely in late pre-launch testing in this market, so the switch may not be fully flipped just yet.
PhoneArena has obtained an image of something that definitely looks like it could be a white Nexus 4. Here's the photo in question.
The quality isn't fantastic, but what we're looking at does appear to be a Nexus 4 that's been through a serious bleaching. The reflective pores are still present (see the bottom-right of the photo), and the camera module now appears to have a slightly visible border. This may just be a result of the fact that the white color shows the outline more clearly.
Psst. There's a new Kairosoft game out. For some of you, that's all the urging you need to make tracks to the Google Play Store. For the rest of you, how about the fact that it's a free game in the seemingly popular "building manager" mold? Dream House Days puts you in control of a high-rise luxury apartment complex. Which might not sound as exciting as running a game studio or colonizing a planet, but Kairosoft tends to get a lot of fun out of even the most mundane premises.
Journey with me, if you will, back to April of 2011. It's a long way back, so allow me to refresh your memory: Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney sat down for a little chit-chat with Gizmodo, where they discussed mobile platforms. Naturally the discussion ended up at "are you ever going to bring games to Android?," where the resulting answer was basically "no." We were sad, but got over it eventually.
If you're a Republic Wireless customer, then you probably already know an OTA update started rolling out yesterday to the company's Motorola Defy XT (which also happens to break root – you can remedy that problem here). As a result of the update, Republic Wireless has also released an app into the Play Store that improves the reception on the DXT by adding a few enhancements to the way it manages calls and network connectivity.
According to Bloomberg, the US Department of Justice has just announced that it will submit a deferment request for the Sprint / Softbank merger to the FCC. Telecom acquisitions in the United States require approval from both the DoJ and the FCC, with the former agency focusing largely on potential anti-trust issues. Softbank officially announced the buyout in October.
It's not exactly a big surprise that the DoJ is looking at this deal cautiously.
The Nexus 4 is back in stock on the US Play Store (both the 8GB and 16GB models), as predicted. So, if you want one, go buy it. Now. HURRY. Oh, and the bumper case is available too. The Nexus 4 is also in stock in the German Play Store, though bumper cases do not appear to be available in Deutschland.
Update: Looks like sales are now live in Canada, as well.