Rumors are tricky things. On the one hand, one of the best ways to verify that a suspicious-looking leak is legit is to examine the track record of the leakster. On the other hand, when an image comes out that's nothing but a rounded rectangle with a few gradients, it should be assumed that the picture is complete bunk or, at best, resembles a real device by virtue of adhering to predictable patterns.
It could oftentimes be unstable and not properly tested, lacking any changelogs, but eventually evolving into alphas, betas, release candidates, and finally stable releases.
After rolling out CyanogenMod 10.1 nightly builds for three other devices yesterday (along with M2 builds), the CM dev community has kept the steam going into today - adding 7 new supported handsets to the latest version of Android's most popular custom ROM.
As we get closer and closer to Google I/O, speculation inevitably ramps up about what Mountain View will be unveiling this year to set the Android world on fire. The most likely plans involve boosting Play Store features and availability, given the recent push not only to expand into new countries, but to frame the Nexus line as a great content consumption platform. If Fortune is right, then Google may have a huge axe to swing in that battle with not one, but two different subscription music services coming soon.
In a surprisingly quick update, the Android Open Kang project has reached its fifth Android 4.2 release, complete with some worthy additions to the list of supported devices. The much-demanded Samsung Galaxy S III international version leads the pack, with the Verizon and Sprint variants of the Galaxy Note II also making for some pleased users. (S-Pen support has been added for these models specifically.) The LG Optimus LTE, plus its American variants the Nitro (AT&T) and Spectrum (Verizon) round out the pack.
When Android first came out, there were a lot of concerns about an open source OS. One of the biggest ones was, what if a company takes Android, strips everything Google out of it, and builds an entirely new platform on top of it? Well, Amazon seems dead set on making sure we know what that's like. The company has already built its own Appstore, content delivery services, and closed hardware on top of Google's baby.
If you're looking for something new in the stagnating world of tower defense, this is it. City Conquest turns the genre on its head, by forcing players to defend their own territory and attack others simultaneously, with a combination of real-time and turn-based gameplay. It's a bit hard to wrap your head around, but trust me, the experience is well worth the effort. City Conquest is a free download in the Play Store (ad-supported, no in-app purchases) for devices running Android 4.0 or later with a resolution of at least 960x720.
Just a few days ago, we saw a hint that Google might be ready to expand its gift card program to the UK. Today, our suspicions are confirmed as the cards have started showing up at the distinctly British Tesco grocery stores. So far the only denominations confirmed are £10 and £25, though the support pages indicate that there are some £50 vouchers running around out there somewhere.
So far, Google has only seen fit to launch gift cards in the US and the UK.
The Galaxy Note 10.1, old as it may be, is still the de facto standard if you're looking for an Android tablet with a built-in stylus and at least some custom software to support it. Now, it's cheaper than ever to get your hands on it with Woot offering the 32GB model with a bonus leather pouch for $409. The slate has also received some updates in some regions since it first came out, so there's never been a better time to give it a second look.
We know that at least a few of you have been eagerly waiting for Samsung to release its stylus-packing Galaxy Note 10.1 in a more wireless flavor here in the States. Starting on Thursday, March 7th, you'll get your surprisingly specific wish: Verizon will start selling the tablet online and in stores for $599.99. For six Benjamins, you'll get the pleasure of the Note's S-pen function and related TouchWiz apps, plus the honor of promoting Big Red through what is quite possibly the most gaudy, ostentatious carrier branding in the history of mobile electronics.
It's been a long, long time coming, but the official Android 4.2 update for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is here. The black sheep of the Nexus family has waited for four months to get updated to the latest release, and while Verizon is currently testing the software for a probable release later this week or month, you don't have to wait that long. Long-time Android tipster WinDroidGuy got his hot hands on the update ZIP package, and eager users can download it right now.