I'd be lying if I said this story didn't just make my day. According to Business Insider, Facebook employees are being strongly urged and in some cases required to use Android phones instead of their smartphone platform of choice. Why? Because the Facebook for Android app sucks. Of course, this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who's ever used it. Despite a string of tiny, incremental, minor updates—or worse updates that add features nobody wants only to remove them almost immediately—the app has remained largely the same for the last six months at least.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.
One small and two major sites that have a long history of distributing pirated Android apps have been seized in a first of its kind operation conducted by the FBI, DoJ, and a variety of U.S. and foreign governments. These sites are:
Each of the taken down hosts is now displaying this FBI seizure notice
According to PC World, FBI agents downloaded numerous copies of paid Android apps as part of the operation before seizing all three domains and executing nine search warrants on August 21st.
With a 1.4GHz single-core CPU, a majorly outdated version of Android, and a $50 price tag, the MyTouch Q is a hard sell to enthusiasts. (In fact, I'd bargain that literally no enthusiasts would buy it.) But as I explained just a few days ago, there's a lot more to the smartphone picture than devices that cost a few hundred dollars and can do everything short of make breakfast. A very large percentage of consumers have no desire to use their phone as a media streaming device or a mobile gaming powerhouse.
Movies by Flixster has a very interesting design history. The developers behind this app are usually among the first to adopt new Android design guidelines—they had a Honeycomb-style action bar back when the Xoom was the only Android tablet around—and today it got another new refresh. The good news is that now it looks better on the Nexus 7, as opposed to the broken mess it was before. Now, for the bad news.
Acer's newest offering illustrates what I'm talking about. The company has launched two phones - the Liquid Gallant and the Liquid Gallant Duo - that are very low-end and amazingly low-price, checking in at just £149 (about $235). Take a look at the specs:
- 1GHz MTK6575 (single-core) CPU
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB storage + microSD slot
- 4.3" qHD display
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- 5MP rear shooter
- 1500mAh battery
- 129 x 65.5 x 9.9mm, 145g
- 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
That may not be a lot of punch, but at that price, it will be enough to pull a lot of dumb- and feature-phone users into the smartphone world.
Look around the web and it seems like whenever anyone has a "how can I make my <Android device> do ______," the answer is invariably "root it." And to anyone involved in the Android community, you get the impression that most Android users are rooted. Unfortunately, what people tend to forget is that while a few million Android users may be rooted, there are hundreds of millions of active Android devices out there - meaning rooted users represent a small minority of owners.
Jetpack Joyride, a game that's already seen huge success on iOS, finally came to Android today. The game – which ranks with Temple Run in terms of interest and demand from Android users – comes to us from Halfbrick Studios, the minds behind the insanely popular Fruit Ninja, and delivers the same action-packed, stylistically awesome experience as its iOS counterpart.
The game invites players to "take to the skies on a one-way trip to adventure," following the story of Barry Steakfries, who breaks into a secret lab to free experimental jetpacks from evil scientists, causing plenty of mayhem in the process.
Google is currently pushing out a quick follow-up update (v3.8.17) to the new Play Store (v3.8.15) that rolled out a couple of days ago. 3.8.15 brought significant under-the-hood changes, such as support for gift card redemption and wishlists, but 3.8.17 seems to be just a minor bug fixer. I have absolutely no clue right now what problems it resolves, and decoding the apk to compare with the previous version didn't really shine a light in any helpful way.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
Looking for the previous roundup editions?