At last, my collection is complete. Just the other day I received my invite to the beta of Redbox Instant. I was excited. The idea sounds great: it's like Netflix, but you also get four monthly credits at Redbox rental kiosks! Awesome, right? What's that? Verizon has something to do with it? Well, no matter. It's not exclusive to the carrier's handsets, so I'm sure it's nothing to worry about!
Whatever you have planned this evening, I suggest you clear some time in your busy schedule to play a little Tupsu. What is Tupsu? It's a physics-based puzzler that you can play on your Android device, and you can leave the (Google) wallet in your (virtual) pocket – Tupsu is totally free.
Tupsu (the thing, not the game) is a furry little ball with sticky eyes on long flexible stalks.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
Looking for the previous roundup editions?
Did you know it's national "new mobile banking day?" Because I surely didn't. First, Simple brought its online-only banking setup to Android, and now Green Dot has announced its own bank, which was designed from the ground up specifically for smartphones. Intriguing, no?
GoBank is pretty similar to Simple in a few new ways: it's online only, designed for mobile use, and turns the traditional banking system on its head.
Sure, the Tylt Vu sort of looks like it was custom-tailored for a Windows Phone 8 device, but it's also officially our favorite Qi charger after seeing it at CES last week. If you've never used a wireless charger, it's probably not immediately apparent why the Vu is particularly want-worthy. But have no doubt - it is.
The Vu has two distinct advantages over competing chargers. First, it's also a phone stand - you can set your phone on the Vu, and still use it like you would a normal dock, because you can still actually see your phone's screen without having to strain your neck.
A few days ago, Samsung starting pushing Android 4.1.1 to the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and 7.0 here in the U.S. Almost immediately we heard a collective shriek from Note 10.1 owners, as they realized that their flagship device was still stuck on 4.0.x.
Well, guys, relax: Samsung's not only hooking you up with Jelly Bean, but it's doing one better by bringing 4.1.2 (build JZO54K) to the table. That's right – none of that .1 business, it's the best that 4.1 has to offer.
Simple, the online bank co-founded by Twitter engineer Alex Payne, has been a long time coming (to Android, anyway). The service was actually announced a couple of years ago, with the iOS app arriving about eight months ago. And now it's finally our turn.
From the looks of the app, it appears the wait was worthwhile – instead of just cloning the iPhone app, Simple knew that Android users would want a native experience.
It's nearly that time: the biggest awards show in movies—and in media in general—is set to begin in a little more than a month from now. The Academy Awards will take place on February 24th, but you can download the official Oscars app right now. The surprisingly-well-made-for-a-TV-network piece of software comes loaded with features, including news, photos, videos, and a comprehensive list of nominees for all categories. You can even view the trailers for each movie directly within the app.
If you're one of the few who dropped the coin and got a Samsung Galaxy Camera, good news: the Galaxy Camera toolkit is available now over at XDA. This comes from developer mskip, who is also responsible for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, Nexus 4, and Nexus 10 toolkits, so you can rest assured that it is about as stable and secure as they come.
With the software, you can easily install drivers, root the camera, perform a full Nandroid backup, and so much more:
- Install drivers automatically
- Backup/Restore a single package or all apps, user data and Internal Storage
- Backup your /data/media (virtual SD Card) to your PC for a Full Safe backup of data
- Root any public build (different options)
- Flash Stock Recovery image to device
- Perform a FULL NANDROID Backup of your system via adb and save in Custom Recovery format on your PC
- Pull /data and /system folders, compress to a .tar file and save to your PC
- Auto Update ToolKit on startup (donators feature)
- Dump selected Partitions, compress to a .zip file with md5 and save to your PC
- Install BusyBox binary on device
- Rename Recovery Restore files if present
- Download, Extract and Flash Stock Rom (full steps)
- Flash Insecure Boot Image for adb mode
- Flash Stock Boot Image back to your device
- Create tar file to flash via Odin with 1-click process
- Rip cache.img to zip file in CWM format
- Install a single apk or multiple apk's to your device
- Push Files from your PC to your device
- Pull Files from your device to your PC
- Set Files Permissions on your device
- Dump selected LogCat buffers to your PC
- Dump BugReport to your PC (if installed)
- Help, Information Screen for various tasks
- Mods Section to modify your device (increase bitrate for video, increase camera quality settings, fix permissions in Internal Storage)
- Reboot Device options in adb mode
- Change background, text colour in ToolKit
While Android 4.2 may have brought a number of enhancements, it also brought its fair share of issues to the platform. Among those, there has been a real problem with Bluetooth – especially when it comes to A2DP streaming audio. Basically, audio lags and cuts out constantly, making a streaming experience far more frustrating than enjoyable.
Good news, though – Google has just confirmed that this issue will be fixed "in the next release," which should be Android 4.2.2.