I need to be real with you guys here: I've never liked any device that forced me to use whatever garbage skin the manufacturer was putting on them at the time. In other words, I've always been an "Android Purist," if you will — it was stock Android and nothing else for me, and it's really been like that since I became an Android user. Now, I've had no trouble being objective when it comes to reviewing devices with skins; just because I don't like it doesn't make it "bad."
While I wouldn't go as far as to say that the V10 is a game-changing phone in general, it has definitely been a game-changer for me.
Five months after demoing working InkCase Plus prototypes at this year's Mobile World Congress, Oaxis has taken to Kickstarter to get its hands on some cold hard cash. And it's paying off. Already the company has amassed over $100,000 in pledges, surpassing its funding goal on just the first day. The idea of a case that adds a Bluetooth-connected secondary e-ink display to a phone apparently has a lot of people plenty excited. As of right now, over 500 of them. Nevertheless, $30,000 of their funding has come from three $10k sales, $15k from five $3k sales, $13k from thirteen $1k sales, and $7.2k from eight $900 sales.
Remember Zeebox? You know, the NBC and Comcast-backed app that promised to bridge the gap between television and social media? You could be forgiven for forgetting - the app warranted exactly one post from us 18 months ago, and hasn't made any significant changes to get back on our radar. Today the app has been re-branded as "Beamly," a move announced with a swanky app redesign.
All the core functions of Zeebox seem to have made it over to the new Beamly app: the basis of the experience is still the TV schedule, which will learn your tastes and recommend new shows.
After the big steaming pile that was the Super Bowl, American sports fans must be anticipating the Winter Olympics with even more keenness. NBC is more than willing to oblige with the latest in an already-long list of Sochi 2014 apps - the NBC Olympics Highlights app (which seems to have a plural problem). In addition to standard replay videos, the app serves as a second screen for NBC's nightly recap show.
The app itself seems pretty good as these things go - we've definitely seen worse Olympic-themed entries already. But there are a few issues, starting with the fact that you'll need to be in the United States to use it; hooray for the IOC's media contracts.
EA just loves its companion apps, and despite the fact that this one is two behind the release of 2013's Need For Speed Rivals, I'm sure that at least a few racing game fans will appreciate it. Need For Speed Network is a combination social network and second screen app for the aforesaid game, and it's compatible with PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC versions.
NFS Network is basically an extension of the "Autolog" feature that's been a part of the franchise for years now. The semi-detached social network runs through several of EA's racers, but this one focuses on Need For Speed Rivals alone.
"I want my MTV" was the promotional slogan that Music Television used to get itself onto just about every American cable company. Twenty years later the network seems to have just about anything except music on its lineup, but if you still want it, the new official app can deliver MTV's programming right to your Android phone. The self-titled MTV app grants access to current shows in an on-demand setup, but only if you already pay for cable or satellite TV.
Like HBO Go, the app insists that you sign in with your cable provider ID before you get to any of the full episodes.
NASCAR, left turns, Keystone Light, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now that we've got the requisite good-natured ribbing of NASCAR fans out of the way, you've got to check out the impressive race coverage features in the latest official tie-in to America's biggest stock car racing tournament. NASCAR RaceView Mobile '13 is intended to be a "second screen" experience for watching the race on TV, providing a plethora of live information on drivers and vehicles.
But wait, there's more! In what might just be the first implementation of its kind, RaceView recreates live races in a virtual 3D environment, using telemetry to track individual racers and their relative positions in real time.
Just in time for the fall TV premieres airing over the next couple of weeks, Shazam has announced that its 'Shazam for TV' service now supports any show on any channel.
The app now has a staggering quarter of a billion users, and those in the U.S. will be able to access cast information, music featured in shows, trivia, social feeds, and other tailored data such as stats for sports games.
In addition to this, the company is really pushing the social side of its second-screen service, allowing users to tag events that they are watching and share them with friends on Facebook.