Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a high-end tower defense title, a throwback to old handheld LCD games, and a sickeningly cute puzzler.
Smartwatches are a young category. Superfluous at best and just plain dorky at worst, I've yet to see one that makes me say "wow, I've gotta have that." And if smartwatches have yet to receive their killer application, that's doubly true for the inevitable wave of cheap accessories that will try to cash in on the craze. Case in point: The Bem Wireless Speakerwatch.
This thing is a Bluetooth speakerphone strapped to a wristband.
The Droid DNA was sort of an unprecedented phone. It was the first device in the US to feature a full 1080p display – something that has since become the norm. But at the time, its 440 PPI was absolutely mind-blowing. While mobile technology has undoubtedly progressed since the DNA's release, this phone is still able to hold its own in nearly every situation.
However, if you're a DNA owner who has grown weary with Sense UI, good news: official CyanogenMod nightly builds are now available.
At last week's IFA Conference in Berlin, Germany, Samsung showed off a tablet-optimized version of the official Twitter app while talking up all the features the the 2014 Edition Note 10.1 has to offer. Of course, at the time we weren't sure if this was just a mockup or screenshot mishap on Samsung's part (it does look exactly like the iPad's version of the app, after all), but it now appears that it's indeed the real deal.
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.