This weekend's poll is simple, and quite related to a poll we had at the beginning of this month. After weighing the pros, cons, and costs of a Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 or HTC One, did you end up dropping cold, hard cash to get your hands on one? These "vanilla" Android devices provide a Nexus-like user experience on what are likely the two best Android phones currently on sale, something enthusiasts have been clamoring for since, well, probably before I ever started writing for Android Police.
If you listen to the Android Police Podcast, you may be well aware at this point that I'm not the biggest fan of Samsung's Android-powered cameras. And I have reasons for this! I've used the Galaxy Camera as a replacement for my crappy little point-and-shoot for weeks at a time, and it just never grew on me. It was insanely bulky for the very average photos it produced (for a point and shoot costing well over $350), and the lack of simple but powerful features like manual focus (yes, really) was a total turn-off.
We're going to keep this weekend's poll simple: how big do you think your tablet should be? We've asked this question before, but that was quite a while ago. I'm curious to see if the dimensional preferences of the average AP reader have changed since, and what influence devices like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 have had on people who are in the market for a tablet.
The choices this time will be a bit different, as sub-7" tablets really never panned out in a big way, and we've got a few popular sizes out there now.
With all the Android gaming hardware announcements of late, I've really started to wonder: are people actually going to buy any of this stuff in meaningful quantities? You've got Moga's new controllers, Mad Catz is doing a console, BlueStacks is doing a console, and then there are the already-announced things like Shield, Ouya, GameStick, and the seemingly ever-growing list of "made for Android" wireless controllers.
There's something that's been eating at me about all this stuff, though: it really does feel like a lot of the hype around the Android gaming segment is self-generated.
With the announcement of the two leading-edge Android smartphones, the HTC One and Galaxy S4, in new "Nexus User Experience" editions, there really is only one remaining question: are you going to buy one?
The Nexified software experience has been something I've seen internet commenters clamoring for since the day I started writing for Android Police. And yet, somehow I feel pretty confident saying that these phones will fail to gain much traction outside a small, hardcore group of enthusiasts.
The elusive white Nexus 4 has popped up on our radar on more than one occasion in the past, but as of yesterday, things got really real. And by real, I mean heavily augmented, stylized, and touched-up in Photoshop. We were provided some press photos of the device, leading us to believe that this baby (this baby being a pearly-white Nexus 4) is coming. The rumored released date, according to AndroidAndMe, is June 10th.
We all know that Samsung's working on a new version of the Galaxy Note smartphone. And we can probably assume it's going to debut later this summer, as it has the last two years. Unlike the last two years, though, it doesn't seem like it will be released to a market free of any real competitors. In any practical sense, the Galaxy Note and Note II went basically unchallenged in the jumbo-phone segment.
On April 12th, Facebook Home will arrive in the Play Store... for select devices. It's a homescreen replacement app, and for those who use Facebook regularly, might be something worth looking into. The demos of the app looked smooth and simple - there's a lot of that gesture business going on - and while I'm not exactly big on Facebook, I know I'm going to give it a whirl just to see what it's like.
The wireless service landscape is undergoing significant changes in the US this year. T-Mobile just launched it's kind-of no contract plans with monthly hardware payments, something no other US carrier offers. Sprint is in the early stages of its LTE rollout, a buyout from Japanese firm Softbank, and the acquisition of Clearwire (which seems more likely with each passing day). AT&T has already gained the #2 LTE spot in the US, but may have turned off a good number of potential Galaxy S4 buyers by pricing the device at $250 on contract, while continuing to push its own shared data plan model.
On last week's podcast, the question "HTC One or Galaxy S4?" came up, and was posed to each host. We all made our call, and now it's your turn. While I know many of you have no interest in either of these phones, today's question is not what your ideal phone is, but given a choice between them - which would you get? And no, 'neither' is not an option.
Each phone has its advantages and disadvantages - that's clear.