Between the Pantech Marauder, T-Mobile MyTouch Q, and now Acer's Liquid Gallant/Liquid Gallant Duo, it certainly seems like cheap Android devices are the new feature phones.
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
4GB storage + microSD slot
4.3" qHD display
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
5MP rear shooter
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.
There seems to be quite a lot of movement happening behind the scenes at the Play Store - yesterday we discovered that Google Play Store gift cards and wishlist are getting prepped for launch, and today Google seems to have enabled those smart app updates that we've been salivating about since Google I/O.
Normally, when an update to an application comes out, the Play Store downloads it in full, which with large apps and slow connections can get quite painful (think 50MB+ sizes).
Chinese company Xiaomi (known for their popular ROM MIUI) has just announced a new phone, and this one looks to be every bit as impressive today as the original was when it was announced a year ago. The specs on the cleverly named Xiaomi Phone 2 stand out even in the world of quad-core superphones, and the company has managed to do so while maintaining a price point of just $310 USD.
A new Google Play Store v3.8.15 apk started rolling out to Android devices today, but upon running through its UI, I was unable to uncover anything different from the versions before that. Yet the apk size gained a few pounds kilobytes, and not knowing what the 300KB of code and resources added was killing me. Not to worry, a few minutes later, I decoded both 3.7.15 and 3.8.15 and compared their contents.
EA just announced at a GamesCon press conference that it will be bringing the popular Origin game store to Android (along with Facebook, Mac, and Smart TVs). For the unaware, Origin is basically EA's answer to Steam as a go-to place to purchase and download games.
At this point there are no other details, but it's worth noting the Mac version has a tentative release timeframe of February 2013. Perhaps we'll see the Android version around that time, too (but I wouldn't count on it).