Google would love for you to put a Nexus 7 under someone's tree this holiday season, but they also don't want anyone who can't part with $229+ at the moment to feel left out - so they're now offering customers who purchase a Chromecast from Google Play with a free HD movie rental. If Play Movies isn't quite your cup of tea, you're also free to take $6 in Play Store credit instead.
The Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition started its Android 4.4 update yesterday, a little later than many of its owners would have liked. For those who are eager to get KitKat on their expensive AOSP phones and don't want to wait for the rollout, we've got a download link for the manual OTA update ZIP file.
Those of you who are Nexus veterans know how this goes: download the file on your PC and use ADB to reboot into recovery, copy the file over, and then flash it.
Christmas is fast approaching, and if you were already considering picking up a Nexus 7 for a special someone, Google's offering a little something extra to sweeten the deal. For a limited time, both 16GB and 32GB Nexus 7s purchased from the Play Store will come with $25 in Google Play credit. That's not as appealing as saving $30 off a device, especially once taxes are taken into account, but it's still a nice way to fill a new purchase with content.
Back in April, I said that BLU "is a company to keep an eye on moving forward." A few months later, I reviewed (and loved) my first BLU device: the Life Play. Since then I've also taken a look at the Life View – the company's take on a large-screened phone – which was also very impressive for the cost. I'm definitely a fan of what BLU is doing right now, and the company seems to be keeping a nice momentum with the Life series.
If you're a regular user of the iHeartRadio service, there's a big update waiting for you in the Play Store. The most useful addition in the new version of the Android app is undoubtedly the expanded control options: you can now pause, play, or advance your streaming music on the lockscreen or the new notification. The notification is even expandable - are you watching this, Pandora?
The user interface gets a fancy new slide-out menu, accessible from the main player and home screens.
Google is in the habit these days of selling extremely well-priced mobile devices like the new Nexus 5, but the same cannot be said for the accessories. Cases and chargers are all more expensive from the Play Store than the third-party alternatives, but sometimes it's worth the cost. Last year's Nexus wireless charger was one of the few Qi-compatible units out there, but the same cannot be said this year. Google's updated Nexus Wireless Charger comes in a little cheaper than last year's at $50, and it has some cool features.
We've talked about the Fuhu Nabi 2 quite a bit over the last year or so, and it's probably my favorite tablet designed specifically for kids. It's built tough, packed full of useful educational software, and sports enough power to stick with your little one for at least a few years.
Update: It looks like Wal-Mart has 'em beat, because they're letting the Nabi 2 go for $99 November 28th thru December 1st.
Do you have an affinity for the early 90s? Rockstar Games is preparing to take you back in time with GTA: San Andreas, which is coming to Android in December. This isn't just a straight port, though. Rockstar is doing some work to make the experience of playing San Andreas (which is a massive game) better on a mobile device.
GTA: San Andreas was by far the biggest GTA game of the PS2 era, so the developers have reworked the checkpoints to make it easier to advance.
If you've been hankering for a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the high price for Verizon's contract phone may be off-putting. Wirefly is offering the Verizon Note 3 for $199.99 with a new contract, but Amazon has one-upped them - they've got the same phone-contract combo for just $169.99. The price for both is $249.99 ($50 off Verizon's price) for returning customers.
You could take the view that Wirefly has a better deal here, at least if you're willing to wait.