It may be taking longer than many potential customers would like, but Google is still working on bringing its goods and services to interested parties around the world. Today, those in New Zealand and Taiwan will be happy to find that the Play Store now has a "Devices" section in their countries.
For now, it seems that only the Nexus 9 and the Chromecast are available in these two countries, but this is still a promising development.
Thanks for the screenshots, Shaun!
If you're in New Zealand or Taiwan and haven't already got your hands on Google's latest tablet or trusty media streamer, head over to the Play Store and go wild.
With all the limited promotions, holiday sales, and convoluted pre-order schemes, you'd think that OnePlus would get it freakin' over with and just sell the flagship One phone directly to consumers already. And they will... for just one day. Considerably less than one day, in fact, since the promotion will actually only be available for two hours, 7-9PM Eastern Standard Time. That's in North America - in Europe it will go on sale at 7-9PM Greenwich Mean Time, and in Hong Kong and Taiwan it goes on sale from 7-9PM Hong Kong Time (presumably tomorrow, since it's already passed for the 20th).
Play Movies is hardly a one-stop-shop for all of your video consuming needs on a mobile device, but that doesn't mean it's not a convenient option to have around. People throughout nine countries predominantly concentrated in Europe can now choose to turn to Google to rent or purchase certain films. The service has expanded to new countries, many of which also recently received Play Music.
If you click on the red Play Movies icon on an Android device in Macedonia, what you will see should look something like this.
If you're in Ukraine, this is what the app will look like.
We've heard about the newest HTC Butterfly before from Japanese carrier KDDI, but now HTC is officially welcoming it into the Butterfly family. That's not a name you hear much in the US, but it's one of HTC's premier brands overseas. This device will be known as the J Butterfly HTL23 in Japan and the Butterfly 2 in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and throughout Southeast Asia. It's a reasonably high end device, but it's not all metal like the M8. As a tradeoff, it's water-resistant.
As we saw late last week, ASUS is looking to bring its unique Padfone concept to different form factors and price points. Enter the Padfone Mini, a new entry in the series that retains the dockable phone-tablet hybrid idea but shrinks it down to make it more affordable. The phone itself isn't much smaller at 4.3", but the tablet dock now has a 7-inch screen instead of 10, not to mention a vertical orientation.
The hardware inside is decidedly mid-range as well, and the tablet dock roughly matches some of the least expensive slates in ASUS' lineup. The smartphone core uses a qHD screen, a 1.4Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, a disappointing 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (plus MicroSD card slot), and an 8 megapixel rear camera.
HTC Americas President Jason Mackenzie just finished saying HTC One Dev Edition owners could expect an Android 4.3 update this week, but it also looks like the update is rolling out en masse in Taiwan. The 4.3 update appears to be coming to all Ones in that market, but a rollout for other regions is still up in the air.
The HTC Butterfly S is not too unlike the HTC One, just with a larger screen, a slightly more powerful processor, and a micro SD card slot. With its 3200mAh battery, this is a beefier phone for people with perhaps more demanding needs than HTC's flagship phone can satisfy. It still has 2GB of RAM, the same UltraPixel camera, Beats Audio sound, and the latest version of Sense. The catch? HTC traded off the One's premium aluminum build for glossy plastic, and the company did so without making any changes to make the device more attractive. That has now changed with the reveal of the Hello Kitty edition of the HTC Butterfly S in Taiwan.
Rumblings of delays aside, we've been waiting to hear more concrete information about the arrival of the new HTC One. Well, today we got something closer to solid facts. According to the company itself, the new flagship phone should launch in the UK, Germany, and Taiwan next week. Dates may vary by local carriers, but it won't be too long of a wait.
As for the rest of the world, more countries in Europe, as well as the North American and Asia-Pacific regions should see the handset land 'before the end of April.' No specific dates are given, nor any carrier information, but we already know that in the U.S.
Around a year and a half ago, Google removed access to paid apps from the Taiwanese Play Store after a complaint was issued claiming that the company violated a local law demanding a seven day return window. A surprisingly short court battle ensued and 8 months later Mountain View walked away with a $34k fine (you read that right), and a losing appeal. The company opted, at that point, to simply remain out of the Taiwanese market. Until now.
We reached out to Google to confirm that it was, indeed, offering paid apps again. The company had this to say:
It looks like a couple of HTC's Asian One X variants are receiving updates to Jelly Bean which appear to have begun rolling out earlier today. XDA users confirm that the update carries Jelly Bean 4.1.1 (not the latest 4.1.2) along with HTC's latest and greatest version of its Sense UI, and weighs in at about 353MB.
You may remember that HTC North Asia's general manager Jack Tong promised that One X owners in Asia could expect the update to begin rolling out to the One X today, with the One S slated to receive some Jelly Bean goodness at an unspecified later date.