The Galaxy S III, announced at a highly anticipated event last week, immediately impressed me with its advanced software. Samsung has stuffed the SGS III with so many features that my mind explodes every time I try to remember all of them - and what you saw during the unveiling is only half the story. There's more, a lot more, which is why the S III is going to be the most interesting Android phone to play with and review this year.
Since Kyocera was one of the only companies actually announcing something new at CTIA this year (this conference seems to get less and less relevant each year), I stopped by their booth to play around with the newborns - the waterpoof Hydro and the QWERTY Rise.
Both of these devices are definitely low- to mid-range, if you can really call a 2nd gen single-core Snapdragon mid-range anymore (no, you can't).
To the more budget minded, services like Hulu are a godsend; for a fraction of the cost of Cable TV, you can get a large chunk of the content. The deal isn't great for everyone, though, since it cuts into cable providers and networks' huge profits (instead, they just get... normal profits). Clearly this is a serious problem, and it's been speculated that it's probably the main reason companies like Comcast have instituted bandwidth caps on their internet service - so as to curb enthusiasm for streaming services in favor of their own (more expensive) in-house offerings.
Yesterday, Samsung started promoting a cryptic site, tgeltaayehxnx.com, which sported nothing but a countdown due to run out about half an hour ago, at 4am Pacific time. The most observant souls quickly figured out that the domain is an anagram for thenextgalaxy.com, a site registered by the same advertising agency (The Upper Storey) and, to our disappointment, password protected.
Come 4am, and password protected it is no more, revealing [if you can get through]...
The Google Maps team added support for Street View in Israel's major cities this past weekend - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. If you haven't had a chance to check out Street View yet, it can take you on a virtual stroll down city streets right inside Google Maps - on the web or on your Android device.
Pan, click, move, show your friends and family - it's especially impressive to those who have never seen Street View in action, which could be the case if, you know, you actually live in Israel.
There's really no point in denying it anymore for the folks up at Mountain View. Google's cloud storage solution, likely to be called Google Drive, is happening. In today's Android developer Hangout when the Googlers were talking about apps, the Drive icon and name can be clearly seen in the Android sharing menu.
The developer phone in the video could have a fully functional version of Drive running on it, which would lend some credence to the rumor that the service could be launched next week.
After the infamous attempted AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile (also known as the biggest failure in telecom in 2011), the latter has apparently been working on restoring its image in the eyes of consumers with a complete brand re-launch, due this fall. The first step - a new Carly. We know the old Carly in a magenta dress showing off her long legs, but the new Carly is going to turn into this bad-ass Ducati rider.
Instagram is so yesterday's news. If you're a fan of pictures with a little more life and movement, the folks at Cinemagram might have just the thing for you. Currently available on iOS, Cinemagram lets you create a fascinating hybrid of still images and video as an animated GIF right on a phone. One user that was quite taken with what he saw reached out to the developer, and got some good news back: the Cinemagram team is actively working on an Android port.
I know, I know, who wants to hear about yet another tower defense game? Actually, I do - I still find this genre to be one of the most enjoyable on a mobile device and pretty much the only one that can keep me interested for longer than a day (I've been playing Com2uS' Tower Defens: Lost Earth nonstop for the last few days). And you might too, when you see the video of Hexage's upcoming title, Radiant Defense.
Budget smartphones are a lot like those miniature cans of Coca-Cola you'll find on supermarket shelves - cheaper by the half-dozen than their higher-volume counterparts, but with the obvious catch that you're getting less sweet, delicious corn-juice for your dollar. It doesn't take more than 30 seconds to stop, think about this, and realize that even if you won't finish the big 12oz can during your lunch (or don't want to drink that much soda), you're still basically paying more for choosing to buy less.