Samsung was the target of extensive hate recently as it came to light that the Note 3 and other high-end devices would be sporting a new region lock designed to cut back on gray market importers. The company said the lock was only a problem the first time a phone was activated, but some users now claim to be having ongoing issues with foreign SIMs not working. Whether or not Samsung's region lock is working as intended, noted developer Chainfire has released an app that can circumvent the lockdown entirely.
What's the point of being good at something if you can't gloat about it? The new Android version of Microsoft's Wordament puzzle game offers you the opportunity to pluck words out of a game board and compare your skills against the rest of the world. Bring it, everyone else.
Courtesy of an anonymous tipster, we've got a nice weekend treat for those caught up in Nexus season rumor hysteria. A document, purported to be an internal Service Manual for the LG-D821 and posted to scribd, gives us an in-depth look at the next Nexus phone.
There's a lot of technical information, flow charts, diagrams, and photos of silicon here, but there are a few things worth picking out before you dive into the full document.
Kickstarter has allowed a lot of folks with reasonably good ideas to make them a reality – or at least try. Shadowrun Returns was more than a reasonably good idea, though. This game promised a classic turn-based RPG experience in a much-loved gaming universe. After raising nearly $2 million last year, it launched on PC a few months ago and on mobile last week.
I have a soft spot for this genre, so I was excited to dig into Shadowrun Returns on Android.
Yesterday, I picked up my new baby - a brand spanking new Galaxy Note 3 that replaced my aging Note 2. (Update: I'd like to clarify this since a lot of people have misconstrued the "aging" comment for something it's not. My Note 2 has a screen crack and shows significant wear and tear. You may not consider the Note 2 or INSERT_DEVICE_HERE aging, but that's not what this line was about - it was about a very specific phone I was upgrading from and nothing else.) It's a great device on many fronts, as David pointed out in our extensive review, but it appears putting out solidly built products was not on Samsung's roadmap yet again.
In the movie Demolition Man, Simon Phoenix (played by Wesley Snipes) reprograms the lights (which are controlled by voice) to turn on with the hotword "illuminate" and turn off with "deluminate." When I saw that movie as a kid, I wanted this in my future. Not necessarily exactly like that, but that sort of automation in general. Now, we're finally edging slowly towards that kind of life.
Enter the new Indiegogo campaign for the bRight Switch, an Android-powered light switch and base switching/outlet system that is basically everything one could possibly hope for in home lighting automation and convenience.
After reviewing the Galaxy Gear, my feelings about smartwatches are the same as ever: meh. But a lot of people really, really like the idea of smartwatches. And it seems more and people either own one, or have one on order. So that's this weekend's question, nice and easy: do you own a smartwatch?
If you're dedicated to The Now Network and plan on renewing the two-year grip it has on your wallet with the Galaxy Note 3, you're in for a bit of a shocker: the on-contract price is $350. New customers can use the $100 port-in credit to get it for just $250. Ouch.
Thankfully, Wirefly is here to make the upgrade cost a little easier to swallow by knocking a fifty spot off of Sprint's offering, so you can nab this gargantuan for $300.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here.