A great thing about new flagship phones is that they usually come packed to the brim with new technologies we can get excited about. The Galaxy Note 3, announced a few days ago, is no exception. While Samsung made a point of featuring Category 4 LTE with Carrier Aggregation, which can achieve 150 Mbps, the company neglected to mention the Note 3 also includes the Qualcomm QFE1100 chipset which should significantly reduce power consumption and heat associated with the LTE radio.
We were lucky enough to spend some time with Qualcomm's upcoming Toq smartwatch this afternoon, and I left impressed. The Toq's primary value comes in the form of a Mirasol display. Mirasol was demoed in "production ready" form in 2011 at CES by Qualcomm, but the actual products never came.
If you're not familiar, Mirasol is a full-color e-ink style display without e-ink's terrible refresh latency. As its name suggests, Mirasol displays actually get better in sunlight, as they refract incoming ambient light to make the display more vivid.
The Professor Layton series has been lighting up the sales charts on the Nintendo DS and 3DS for six years, and now the spin-off of the addictive puzzle games is available on Android. Following an English debut on iOS three months ago (which isn't too terrible, all things considered) Layton Brothers Mystery Room is now available on the Google Play Store as a free download.
You play as Scotland Yard's Constable Lucy Baker, assistant to Alfendi Layton, son of Professor Layton.
As promised, Motorola is making at least some of the bootloaders on its new flagship Moto X unlockable, opening the door for relatively easy root privileges, custom recoveries, and aftermarket ROMs. The Sprint, US Cellular, and forthcoming Latin American models of the Moto X can now be unlocked using Motorola's My Moto Care portal. Customers will need to create an account and have their device ID ready.
Naturally, unlocking your device's bootloader will void your warranty, even if you never do anything else with it.
It's a situation too many Android users are intimately familiar with. You get a shiny new phone, and you love it. Then the days turn to weeks, the weeks to months, and suddenly a new version of your phone is released. Oh sure, at first you think it will be fine. The new phone is faster and thinner, but you like your smartphone. Then the updates dry up like a puddle in the unforgiving desert sun, and your phone slides slowly into complete obsolescence.
Lets face it, email just isn't sexy. The Gmail app has done a lot to pretty things up, adding in fancy swiping gestures and associating pictures with each contact, but the experience is still somewhat clunky. There are alternatives, such as the stock Android app (pretty basic), K-9 Mail (the kitchen-sink approach) and Dextr (innovative, but very limited) - but all have their drawbacks. Evomail is the latest kid on the block, and it hopes to make managing email a task you actually want to do.
When it comes time to pull the trigger on a new app, the reviews are typically what make or break the decision. If the app's instable, laden with malware, full of bugs, or is generally all-around janky, the reviews give us a heads up. The only problem is that it's difficult to sift through all the reviews to find the ones most relevant to our needs. This used to not be a problem, but the ability to filter reviews went the way of the dodo following the Play Store's relatively recent redesign.
It's almost the weekend, and what does that mean? Friends? Outdoor activities? Goodness, no. It means you've got time to sit in a dark room – alone – and enjoy some new apps and games. Well, you can probably do a mix of things, but it's none of our business. However you want to roll. Either way, here are some sales.
If you've already made the decision to give someone your money for the Galaxy Note 3, Verizon is more than happy to take it. You can now put down $299.99 to pre-order the Note 3 on a two-year contract, a whopping $699.99 for an unsubsidized phone, or reserve a no-money-down phone on Verizon's Edge upgrade plan.
Verizon will also be selling the Galaxy Gear smartwatch directly. You can reserve one along with your Galaxy Note 3 for $599.98 (the same price as a $300 Gear and an on-contract Note 3).
As Android users, we've all grown accustomed to getting apps ported to our devices that originated on iOS. It's for this reason that Music Maker Jam by MAGIX's Android debut comes as a bit of a surprise. This app comes to us not from the Apple App Store, but from the Windows Store instead. Music Maker Jam makes mixing your own songs an easy experience and offers a large selection of professionally produced material to work with.