Google I/O is almost here, so surely you've got Google on the brain. Why not take your mind off things with some neat new apps and games? Oh, but the cost! At least there are some cool sales going on to reduce the impact on your wallet. The selection is solid today, ranging from classic utilities to polished games. These deals aren't just in Google Play – Amazon's Appstore is makes a few appearances this time, as well.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it was preparing a proprietary virtual currency specifically for its Appstore. Then the incorrigible Eric Ravenscraft spent a few thousand words explaining exactly why Amazon Coins, and any system that substitutes real money for meaningless points, is just a pretense for sucking money out of people's wallets. If you can't wait to pay Amazon's tax on those without common sense, you can now hand over your real dollars for fake ones to spend on apps and in-app purchases.
Here's hoping all of our readers are having a peaceful Mother's Day. If any of you gave your mom a Google Play Store gift certificate (and your mother is particularly fond of action games or weather widgets) you might point her towards this story for a few bargain-priced suggestions. Sega has a couple of their Android ported games on sale, and Minecraft is discounted over on Amazon. The surprisingly powerful eWeather HD/Radar HD is also on sale, along with the gaming-focused remote access suite Kainy.
It's been a little while since we last saw a nice deal on Samsung's Galaxy Note II. If you're still lusting after Samsung's latest (for now) and greatest phablet creation, but haven't convinced yourself to shell out the requisite cash, listen up – both the Verizon and Sprint-bound variants are enjoying a nice price slashing.
Amazon Wireless is offering Verizon's Note II for just $79.99 with a new account, and $150 on upgrades.
We're featuring this external battery charger for three reasons. One: it's a pretty neat piece of kit in its own right, with a huge 12000mAh capacity (4-8 charges for most recent Android phones) and four USB charging ports, three of which can be active simultaneously. Two: the manufacturer made some small but pertinent additions to the hardware design after receiving feedback from a knowledgeable customer. Three: at $40, it would be a pretty good deal even for a basic 1-port charger of this capacity.
We first heard about the Jambox's larger sibling, the BIG Jambox, just over a year ago. At the time, it promised to be bigger (of course) and better than the original, offering a bigger battery, a wall power adapter, and "unbelievable sound". If reviews are to be believed, the Jambox managed to deliver good sound and power, while maintaining the unique design language of its smaller counterpart.
If you're in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, the BIG Jambox is a decent choice, and Amazon's sweetened the prospect by putting the device on sale for $249.99, down $50 from its usual $299.99 price.
Today's Amazon Appstore deal is quite the bargain, and its value speaks for itself. Jump Desktop isn't the only remote desktop client out there, but it has no shortage of features. The app supports both RDP and VNC protocols, so if you have either already configured on your PC, you're good to go. Jump Desktop does not require that you install additional software on your machine. Awesome? Awesome.
The app allows you to control your computer as though it were a tablet, with pinch-zoom and two finger scrolling both supported.
Amazon's Kindle app has just received a significant update, bringing the reader up to version 4 and introducing a refreshed UI, among other things.
Just when I'd decided to try switching to Play Books (despite giving up things like quick two-finger brightness adjustment), Amazon has introduced a redesigned library that's much more lively than a simple grid of book covers. The new library interface has your books plus a nice "carousel" up top for recent items.
At the moment, the Amazon Appstore is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan. But that's hardly enough for Amazon's global ambitions. In a press release, the company announced plans to widen the Appstore to "nearly 200 countries" across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. A specific timeframe was also absent, but prospective developers can manage their international distribution on the Mobile App Distribution Portal.
A little less than a year ago, we saw a report that showed the Galaxy Tab was the most popular Android tablet, followed closely by the Kindle Fire. A lot has happened since then. The Nexus 7 has rolled out and set the new bar for what a small, cheap Android tablet should be. So, what's changed worldwide? Well, according to Animoca, not much.
According to the firm—which distributes games and entertainment apps—the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is the top Android tablet with 11.8% of its network, followed closely by the 10.1 model of the same line.