The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a strange beast. Sitting more or less between the Note II and the Note 10.1, the Note 8.0 feels like a Frankenstein Android device, mixing elements of both smartphones and tablets. Of course, that's kind of the point: in territories where carriers don't have such a stranglehold on the wireless industry, the Note 8.0 is exactly the giant phone that it looks like. Here in the States, we'll have to make due with an 8-inch WiFi tablet - a mid-sized device for the category, with a premium price.
When we reviewed the MOGA Pocket (then simply called "MOGA") back in October of last year, we loved the controller, but felt it lacked a lot of functionality users want out of a game controller (emulator support, anyone?). Enter the MOGA Pro ($50): a larger, more full-featured version of the MOGA Pocket. With this controller, it appears that PowerA has taken into consideration everything it did "wrong" with the Pocket, and used that to improve things with the Pro.
Just two days ago I decried the relative lack of innovation in mobile gaming, and after climbing EPOCH's surprisingly steep difficulty curve, I get to eat humble pie. This cover-based shooter from Android newcomer Uppercut Games blew me away with its original control scheme and immersive graphics. It's not flawless, but its combination of mobile-friendly gameplay and and impressive presentation should make every action gamer (and developer) sit up and take notice.
When Jawbone's UP wristband was released in late 2011, I was excited. Then I was disappointed. The motion-tracking band seemed like a perfect step into wearable tech at the time, but its companion app wasn't available for Android. Whether and why Jawbone didn't see fit to invest resources in developing for Android was a mystery, but now – thankfully – it's immaterial. Just over a week ago, Jawbone released an official UP app to the Google Play Store, and I wanted to be first in line to try it out with Jawbone's updated 2012 wristband.
Real Boxing has garnered quite a bit of success on iOS, and with a little help from NVIDIA, it's grabbed headlines on its way to Android as well. Though the game was first spotted running on the Shield hardware, it's now available on other Tegra devices. With a title as pretty as this, it would be a shame to run it on anything less than the most advanced hardware out there - too bad we'll have to settle for a Tegra 3 for the time being.
Yeah, we know – it doesn't run Android, and really, it has nothing to do with Android. But it is a Google product, so by default it's at least tangentially related - call it Android's cousin. It's also Google's statement that ChromeOS is important, that it's not just some side project. It's saying that we should all pay attention. That ChromeOS is the real deal, and the Chromebook Pixel is the best experience that ChromeOS has to offer.
When we first covered Adobe's "new" Photoshop Touch for smartphones, we were skeptical - after all, the tablet version wasn't cheap, a and an extra five bucks for what was essentially the same app seemed like a bit of a rip-off. (Adobe isn't exactly known for their reasonable pricing in any case.) But after using it extensively, I can say that not only is it worth every penny, it's worth it even if you already own the tablet version.
The term "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" (MOBA) is a relatively new way to refer to an old idea: a multiplayer, somewhat symmetrical game, in which teams of players face off against each other. It's the bread and butter of online shooters and racing games, but up to this point hasn't enjoyed much success on Android, just because mobile controls aren't well-suited to the ultra-twitchy competitions that comprise most of the genre.
If there's one product from the last year that's managed to capture the attention of just about everyone in the tech arena, it's Pebble. Between the somewhat tenuous underdog status of all Kickstarter projects, a general swell in "wearable tech" interest, and months and months of frustrating delays, it's proven to be even better fodder for bloggers than speculative hardware backers. Finally, 8 months after being successfully funded (and four months after the initial ship date) I've got one sitting on my wrist.