Over the past couple of weeks, there's been a bit of a kerfuffle surrounding HTC and its shut down of HTCRUU.com. The general consensus across the Android community has been quite understanding in some respects – after all, HTC has every right to protect its intellectual property. The problem was, however, that in the original takedown request, it also demanded that all hosted RUUs and Sense-based ROMs be indefinitely removed, as well.
You're probably familiar with the Android vinyl figurines from Andrew Bell and Dead Zebra. They're nifty little collectibles that pay homage to the platform we all love. Some folks, however, take things more seriously. Rather than display the same collectables as everyone else, they employ their skills to modify and embellish the basic Android figures. One of these artists, Hitoshi Mitani, has been so kind as to post all of his amazing work online for us to see.
What would you say if I told you that a new series of phones is coming out that can get you some pretty top specs, while keeping the pricing around $300 off contract? Would you be intrigued? That's exactly what BLU Products is doing with its upcoming lineup of Quattro phones.
If you haven't heard of BLU before now, let me give you a brief intro: this is a company to keep an eye on, because they're putting out some beautiful hardware while keeping the prices extremely affordable.
United Kingdom readers, never say we didn't do anything for you. If you've been patiently waiting for Sony's new flagship phone, you can pick up some pretty sweet studio-quality headphones at the same time. If you pre-order the Xperia Z through one of Sony's partners, you can pick up a pair of Sony MDR-1R headphones for free, gratis, and nothing.
You don't even have to buy it outright - O2 and Three UK are both offering subsidized versions which qualify for the free headphones.
If you've spent any time gaming on Android, you probably remember OpenFeint. Nearly every major game integrated it in some way, usually allowing players to log in with a single username, collect achievements, and post scores to a global leaderboard. It was handy for what it did, but if you didn't care about competing, it felt a lot like obnoxious spamware. Unsurprisingly, it closed down in December of last year. Today, however, it's being sort of reborn as OpenKit, a project headed by one of the co-founders of the original service.
The HTC One X+ may be a rehash of the original One X, but it's a good rehash. It's easily the best HTC phone on AT&T right now, and if you're looking to pick one up without breaking the bank, Amazon Wireless has the deal for you.
Right now, if you agree to a new two-year term with Big Blue, Amazon Wireless will hand over this little beauty for $80.
Believe it or don't, Fourquare has grown beyond hipster urbanites who desperately want to be the Mayor of the 6th Street Starbucks. More than a few businesses - independent or otherwise - are seeing the value in the location-based service. To that end, Foursquare has released its free business app on the Play Store, allowing local managers to update their business status for single or multiple locations.
Within the Foursquare for Business app, you can keep tabs on recent check-ins, set specials for users, and look up in-depth statistics for your business's performance on Foursquare.
The year was 2012. A mere two days before the alleged Mayan apocalypse—and about nine days before people stopped making tired old jokes about it—we got wind of the Developer Edition of the Galaxy Note II for Verizon. There were three differences between this handset and the version you could buy in the carrier's stores: it had an unlocked bootloader, it's unsubsidized, and it was not available for sale yet.
GameStick, the Kickstarter project that promises to "put big screen gaming in your pocket," has seen controversies, redesigns, and other fun things during its 30 day funding period; but alas, that time has come to an end and now there's work to be done. Lots of work, in fact – the funding was met with incredible fervor, with the project closing at 648% of the original $100,000 goal.
As mentioned earlier, the design you see above is far from the final look of GameStick, which underwent a full redesign close to the end of the campaign.
Sony's waterproof and dustproof flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z, is available to pre-order in the UK today from Three, although you'll have to wait until it's released on February 28th to get your hands on it yourself.
We first saw the 5-inch, 1080p phone last month at CES, and found ourselves impressed by its minimalist, elegant design. Water resistance comes at a price though, so you can expect to pay at least £34 a month if you want to take the phone home on a contract.