A couple of months ago, we heard a rumor that Blackberry was working on 2 new midrange Android smartphones, one with a physical keyboard and one without, slated for release this year. Now Evan Blass (@evleaks) is following up with more details and specs, a third smartphone, and possible release dates.
The first phone, scheduled for July-August, is Neon. It has a 1080p 5.2" display, Snapdragon 617, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 2610mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, a 13MP camera on the back and 8MP on the front. This midranger supposedly has an aluminum frame and a plastic back and should be priced free on contract.
There isn't a shortage of Tron-inspired watch faces for Android Wear with bright neon blue colors, but finding one that is customizable to different styles and watch shapes can be a bit difficult. Enter NAVI, from Tha PHLASH (lots of capslocking there), a cool watch design that hits all the right notes.
Available for both round and square watches, with a setting that lets you remove the redundant digits on the G Watch R (finally someone thought of that!), NAVI comes in both a day and a night mode. It has several colors and settings for the clock hands, with weather, date, and battery placeholders, and a very battery-friendly ambient mode.
CyanogenMod and other aftermarket ROMs are often the last recourse for tech-savvy users whose hardware has fallen behind the curve, or just been forgotten by a manufacturer or carrier. But even the CyangoenMod team can't keep supporting devices forever. In a Google+ post today, the CM team states that due to technical limitations, support for phones and tablets using the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset will end with the next major Android release. CyangenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2) will be the last official version for these devices.
The reason is the NEON Media Processing Engine, a data instruction set that allows for smoother, more standardized hardware acceleration for media, among other things.
Of course after our app roundup earlier today, we've got to have a roundup of the very best games from last month. This time we have a few more than usual, bumping the count to eight. While our shortlist isn't so short this time around, all the games discussed are well worth checking out. From racing to hidden object, April 2013 had something for just about every type of gamer.
First up is CSR Racing. If you sense a lack of super-shiny racing games on Android, CSR Racing by NaturalMotionGames will fill the gap. Check out the promo video, which itself is as fast as the racing.
Bringing to market a simplistic, clean take on the puzzler genre, Appxplore released Sporos today. The concept behind Sporos is simple: place sporos (which, by the way, is some sort of "special seed") on the board, watch the adjacent rows or columns light up, and repeat until every cell on the board is illuminated.
Seems easy, right? It would be, except that the levels get progressively harder, with more complex cell patterns, and you've only got a certain number of sporos to work with, each able to light up a certain set of directions.
To keep you from getting too frustrated, the game has calming electronic music, which pairs nicely with its neon, pseudo-biological graphics.
VLC is one of those tools that's in every geek's toolbox. The video player that supports every video format known to man still doesn't have an official, finished Android version, though. In the meantime, however, developer cvpcs, has done us all the courtesy of setting up an hourly build server for the alpha of VLC for Android.
The builds come in both NEON and non-NEON flavors. So, folks with older phones, or devices with the Tegra 2, for example, should probably download the non-NEON version. Newer devices packing the likes of the T3, S4, and modern Exynos SoCs can enjoy the NEON version.
Android is known for its customizability and freedom, therefore it's not a surprise that it supports a variety of theming methods. Unfortunately, the vast majority of themes are either low quality or incomplete, which is a natural side effect of what happens when everyone is given a chance to contribute. When a truly great theme comes along, one worthy of changing the default launcher, it needs to be given credit. And the Tron Legacy Pro theme by Mariux is definitely one of those themes.
The theme doesn't just change the wallpaper or a few icons - it is what the author describes as "ultra-detailed." What this means is Tron's infamous neon effect was actually studied by Mariux to match the movie, a ton of icons have been changed, including popular applications outside of what ships stock (Angry Birds, Aldiko, Foursquare, Facebook, Goggles, etc), and even widget styles match the overall theme.