The new Google Maps app seems to be positive on balance, but there are always some features that get left behind in big updates. There's the odd caching functionality and the complete lack of My Maps, for example. While it may look at first like the missing traffic widget has taken some functionality with it, that's not quite the case. Google Maps v7 contains a new one-tap directions widget that does much more than the Traffic one did.
Update: It's been brought to our attention that the Directions widget existed before the update under the name Directions & Navigation.
Anyone looking for an affordable handset might want to take notice of the Samsung Galaxy Prevail II available today from Boost Mobile. The device comes with Android 4.1.2, a 4-inch screen, a 800 by 480 resolution, and a 1750 mAh battery. A 5MP camera is embed in the back and the typical 1.3MP camera can be found in the front. The device will set you back just $180, and it comes without a burdensome two year contract.
If you prefer for your phone to be waterproof, Sprint and Boost both now offer the Kyocera Hydro Edge. It's a rugged little thing, but like every other handset Kyocera makes, it's not the most impressive performer.
Hot on the heels of Bluebox's disclosure of the "Master Key" exploit, a Chinese blog has posted details of a similar vulnerability. This attack also sidesteps a bug in the signature verification step and allows seemingly innocent APKs to include a potentially dangerous payload; and like its brethren, Google has already patched the flaw and posted it to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The information comes to us from a China-based group (or possibly individual) calling itself the Android Security Squad. The original post is in Chinese, but a vaguely comprehensible translation can be had thanks to Google.
In what PhoneArena calls a "leaked internal memo," launch dates for the Verizon versions of the HTC One and the upcoming Moto X are allegedly revealed - August 1st and August 23rd, respectively. It also adds to the growing pile of evidence that the Moto X will be coming to Verizon sans-DROID branding. Is there any reason to take stock in this rather generic looking document, though?
My gut leaning is "yes," but there are caveats to leaked internal communications like these. First and foremost, phone launch dates are always subject to change, especially when they're a month or more away.
Looking for a great deal on the 32GB version of Verizon's Galaxy S4? Well, too bad - you aren't going to find one. Big Red is hoarding the supply of handsets like they're the only bar in a dry county, and it's their way or the highway. Verizon originally announced the 32GB S4 would be available for a staggering (but utterly believable) $299 on contract, $100 more than the 16GB edition, despite the fact that it was actually only $50 more off contract.
Well, Verizon has apparently caved to logic (and probably fiscal sense, because I doubt they were selling any at $300 a pop) and lowered the price of the 32GB S4 to $249 in its online store.
Pacific Rim comes to theaters tomorrow, and I'm already planning my route. Giant robots, Godzilla-style monsters, and a complete absence of Shia LaBeouf - what more could you want from a summer blockbuster? How about an official Android game... or two? The "full" Pacific Rim game comes from Reliance Games, a developer that tends to specialize in licensed titles. It's not to be confused with the other official game, which is more of an AR gimmick. Their current game library doesn't really inspire much confidence, but come on! Giant robots!
Unfortunately, the game takes the incredibly stale approach of copying Infinity Blade and Rage of the Gladiator, with swipes and taps replacing real fighting in a reaction-based environment.
Birds crap on things. It's an unavoidable fact of life. A driver who hasn't walked out to a vehicle coated in bird feces is a driver who hasn't had their license for very long. But those birds can't be allowed to get the only enjoyment out of this experience. 2K Games' Turd Birds gives us a chance to experience what it's like to be on the feathered end of a frosty white bombing run.
Turd Birds is roughly a Temple Run clone where the goal is to crap on as many targets as you can, all while avoiding airborne hazards.
If there's one belief I have when it comes to mobile devices, it's that you can never have too many weather applications. I'm not sure where that obsession comes from, but I periodically have to remind myself to clear out the ones I no longer look at.
Given my love for good weather apps, I can't help but grab all the latest ones as soon as they hit the Play Store (if they look good, of course), and when I hear the name Wunderground, I immediately know it's going to be one worth keeping. The latest offering from the minds behind Weather Underground is WunderMap, a map/radar-centric weather application designed exclusively for tablets.
My power went out last night. This wasn't as scary of an experience when I had a dumb phone, which could last multiple days without having to be charged. Now that I'm toting around a 5-inch monster with a quad-core processor, I'm nervous if my phone will even last until nightfall. That's why when I saw that SolePower had met their $50,000 goal on Kickstarter in order to develop a shoe insole that charges portable electronics while we walk, they had my undivided attention.
SolePower's insole slides into your usual footwear and charges a small battery as you walk, generating power both between steps and on impact.