Dear Barnes & Noble: bless you, ladies and gentlemen, for making the Nook Color. Without it, the Android modding scene might be less vibrant than it is now. On that note, the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight (a Kindle-style e-ink reader, also running Android) has received another price drop. Now you can pick one up for a cool $99 - not bad for a device that launched at the already-low price of $139.
The Google Play Store, as always, was abuzz with new apps last month. More than just new apps, though, the Play Store gained plenty of well-crafted, quality apps. The kind that have spurred the market's recent growth spurt, and which allow users to discover functionalities they never knew they needed. As always, we've sifted through all last month's new apps and selected our top five picks – a kind of short list for those looking to get the most out of their device with awesome apps.
Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of live wallpapers. I love the idea, but in practice I've never found one that suits my taste and is compelling enough to stay on my device for more than a few minutes. That changed today with Cypher Cove's release of Audio Glow to the Play Store.
Audio Glow is actually a stand-alone app with a similarly named LWP companion which also launched today. The app is a music visualizer, which in itself is not so exciting.
Well, this one sure is going to bend your brain a bit. Avoider is a puzzle game with a very basic premise. You have to move two colored squares to opposite corners of the screen without hitting any obstacles. The catch? They're movement is locked together, and you only control the blue one. When you move your box, the red one moves in perfectly-synced symmetrical motion. Yeah, it gets convoluted. Though, reading this site, I'm sure you're used to that.
Back in the day, Android games sucked. There were so few of them and the quality of most games was so awful that it was hardly worth playing. In those days, Radiant was a beacon of light in a cold, dark Market. It may be too soon for nostalgia, but color us excited when we saw Radiant Defense on the Play Store.
Yes, it's a tower defense game. Yes, you're probably sick of the genre.
Acer just revealed their newest budget smartphone, and unfortunately details are pretty light at the moment. What they have told us: it's going to ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), a 3.7" screen, 5MP rear shooter with LED flash, and NFC support. As you can see below, it will also ship in 3 colors: Sakura Pink, Alpine White, and Cat's-eye Black. Oh, and "the onscreen display style varies with the external color, making each smartphone a unique fashion statement."
No word on further hardware specs or when/where the phone will launch, but the phone will be displayed at the Acer Pod in the Google Android Booth at MWC - presumably they'll be sharing more details there.
As you may have seen, Google took the covers off Gingerbread today and released the new SDK, which allowed me to immediately jump into an emulated Gingerbread instance. After playing with the new UI for a while, I've taken a bunch of screenshots, which you can find below, along with some of my notes.
Before I dive into the Gingerbread screenshots, here is a side-by-side comparison of the same Settings screen in Donut (1.6), Froyo (2.2), and Gingerbread (2.3):
From left to right: Donut, Froyo, Gingerbread
As you can see, not much has changed since Froyo, except for most of the elements getting darker and/or greener.