As if you needed another reason to hate cell phone contracts. For the last few years, Verizon's upgrade cycle has been 20 months long - that is, you bought a new, discounted phone on-contract, and you could upgrade after 20 months. (Not to be confused with the cellular contract itself, which is a full 2 years/24 months.) According to an official statement from Verizon Wireless, customers now have to wait the full 24 months before upgrading.
Verizon has just announced the Jelly Bean update for the Motorola DROID Bionic, bringing Android 4.1.2 to a handset many thought would never make it past Gingerbread. Motorola has been on an update spree the last few months, and the decision to bump the Bionic to Android 4.1 was made official by Motorola back in October 2012. The version number for the Jelly Bean update is 98.72.22, and it will begin rolling out in phases on April 15th.
Today, both of Facebook's current apps have been updated to prepare for the arrival of Facebook Home. The main app merely added an extra permission that Home will eventually use. However, the real fun came to Messenger, which now has the ability to pop out Chat Heads, regardless of if you're using the replacement launcher.
As you may recall from the Facebook Home launch event, chat heads are little bubbles that float over whatever you're doing and allow you to jump straight into a conversation no matter where you are in the OS.
Good news, everyone! ...or at least, everyone with an international LG Optimus G and an inclination to try out custom ROM builds. The ubiquitous CyanogenMod ROM is now available for LG's flagship, beginning with nightly CM 10.1 (Android 4.2) builds. CyanogenMod developer Ricardo Cerqueira broke the news on his Google+ account, noting that the new builds are possible thanks to the FreeGee tool expanding to the international (E975) model.
As always, you'll need a custom recovery to apply the ROM, and ClockworkMod has also been ported from to the international Optimus G model.
Stock Android has had built-in tethering since version 2.2 way back in 2010, but most carrier-branded devices in the US have the option disabled. Sure, there are root apps and various workarounds, but they can be a mess. If you don't need web access, but want your devices on a local network, you're often out of luck. A new app from well-known developer Chainfire gives you back some control (on some devices), and it doesn't require root.
If there is a parallel universe in which World War 2 didn't occur, I'd bet there are far fewer games there. Well, like it or not Hills of Glory 3D is a WWII-themed title that's part strategy and part "castle defense." On the upside, it's pretty enjoyable.
This is a follow up to the original Hills of Glory, but this time with a whole extra dimension. The graphics are clean and cartoon-y – it actually looks surprisingly good for only being a 49MB download.
The founders of Do@ (often spelled DoAT) believe your smartphone is boring and stale, and they want to make it "dynamic" with Everything.me Launcher. I always love new and innovative launchers, or, just about anything that could dramatically change how I interact with my smartphone. When I saw the video, which promises your smartphone will adapt to whatever you are interested in, I was more than a little intrigued. The idea is for people to declare what they want to see at the moment, and then immerse them with imagery and apps.
Since the introduction of expandable notifications in Jelly Bean, the shade has increasingly become the home for widgets and easy-access controls. StatusAgenda brings this concept to your calendar, creating a persistent list of upcoming events accessible from anywhere in the operating system.
At the moment, the app is pretty barebones, but it doesn't need too much fluff. You can choose from either a larger or more compact layout, and the list of events can be collapsed with the regular gestures you use to open and close expandable notifications.
Death is a subject that no one likes to discuss – be it that of a family member or our own. Unfortunately, it's a part of life that we'll all have to deal with at one point or another. When it comes to preparing for your own death, however, what's left behind in the digital space is often overlooked. Considering our digital life is becoming such an important part of who we are and the legacy we leave behind, a simple way to manage what should happen to our data in the event our passing is quickly becoming requisite.
When it comes to pushing Jelly Bean to devices, Samsung wants us to know that it hasn't forgotten about any of its current-gen devices. Take today's update for example – do you remember the Galaxy Victory? Didn't think so. Still, Samsung and Sprint are sending the 4.1.2 update over-the-air right now.
The update brings several features to the less-than-memorable handset: