Intel's progress into the Android ecosystem hasn't exactly been earth-shattering. The number of high-end and mid-range smartphones equipped with an ATOM CPU still number in the single digits, making the x86 architecture a fairly low priority for app developers. In addition, Intel's emulator images have always lacked support for the Google APIs, leaving developers without the ability to test common staples like Google Maps or push messaging. Fortunately, that issue was recently rectified with KitKat as Google and Intel have finally shipped an x86 system image with Google API support.
HTC got KitKat out to the HTC One relatively quickly, doing a decent job of updating its Sense UI in the process. Now it's time to get the update out to the flagship's multiple variants. We still don't have news of an impending OTA, but HTC has now made open source kernel files for the HTC One Max available online.
Google has posted its monthly snapshot of the Android Platform Versions distribution, and things are, unsurprisingly, inching forward for KitKat and Jelly Bean. KitKat is up from a share of 1.9% last month to 2.5% this go around, likely owed to the widening rollout of Android 4.4 to the Galaxy S4 and a number of other devices.
Jelly Bean continued to gain ground, too, up slightly this month at 62% as compared to 60.7% in February, with the individual breakdown still heavily favoring Android 4.1 as opposed to 4.2 or 4.3.
We received a tip last week suggesting that Verizon Wireless planned to release the LG G Pad 8.3 with LTE (or the LGGPLTE for short, differentiating it from the LGGPGPE) on March 6th. Today, that leak's been confirmed. Verizon has announced that the tablet will launch on said day for $99.99 with a new two-year activation, with this price lasting for the first four days of availability. After that, it will go up to $199.99.
We're still a bit more than a month out from Samsung's Galaxy S5 and Gear smart watches, but Samsung is looking to keep the hype train going with its new intro videos. You know the drill – it's super-pretty, everything works perfectly, and there's calming music in the background.
The Galaxy S5 video goes down the Samsung-approved bullet points one by one, showing off each feature. There's the camera, heart rate monitor, MIMI WiFi, ultra power saving mode, fingerprint reader, and so on.
One of the biggest advantages of Motorola's latest phones is that they've been rapidly updated to Android 4.4. But at least some owners of the low-cost Moto G are having serious issues after updating to 4.4.2. Many posters on the official Motorola support forums are saying that their phones are intermittently dropping all cell signals, and in some cases even losing connection with the phone's SIM card. These issues were not reported before the Android 4.4 update.
Roughly a year has gone by since XBMC 12 hit metaphorical store shelves, and the time has apparently been well-spent. The upcoming version introduces hardware decoding, so your device can actually utilize more of its power to push those pixels. The beta has has been streamlined enough to run on a Raspberry Pi, so you know you can expect a zippier experience on a more powerful gadget.
When using XBMC on a touchscreen, the app will now recognize gesture controls during video playback and swiping controls when navigating around.
If there's one thing I can say for Out There, it's that this title does not sugar coat the harsh reality of space. Things go wrong that are totally out of your control, and sometimes that means you're going to die. If that was literally the only thing I had to say, this game would be pretty lame. In fact, there's a lot going on in Out There. This is a sci-fi choose-your-own-adventure game that doesn't fall back on laser blasters and explosions to create tension – it's all about survival.
Saving power while using your phone then bragging about it on the internet is all the rage these days – it's like hypermiling for smartphones. If you're not into flashing custom kernels to get the job done, there's now Per-App Modes from the developer behind Franco's Kernel.
Per-App Modes lets you automatically set a CPU frequency, temperature threshold, GPU clock, and more that will be activated when you're using specific apps.
You only need a little bit of self-control to save some real money on apps and games. Don't blow your app budget on whatever comes up – spend smarter with on-sale apps. You might not even have to spend anything. Now that's thrift.