It's time for us to come clean. We've been collectively living a lie, Android fans. Hiding our deepest desires and hoping they go away. Praying that maybe, Duarte willing, that we'll get something that's close enough that we'll be satisfied. But no more! Today, we shed the façade and embrace the truth: all we really want is a clean, simple UI that's not cluttered by drawers, widgets, or icons in shapes other than rounded squares.
If you've ever wanted to learn a language but don't want to be tethered to a PC or stuck in some classroom, this might be your lucky day. Rosetta Course has just launched on Android, and you can try it out for free. You are welcome to choose from more than a dozen languages to explore, but only the first few lessons are available without paying up.
Rosetta Course uses a combination of text, images, and speech to help you learn the ins and outs of a new language.
The Kindle Fire HD is, at the moment, the best Android tablet that's not really an Android tablet but is still kind of an Android tablet. The LTE model, while pricier than the others, is handy for those that still need to download on the go. Now, AT&T is going to start selling the connected model for $399.
As a temporary introductory offer, AT&T has a "deal" that allows customers to sign a 2-year contract in exchange for $150 off.
If all-day-and-maybe-all-night battery life is an important thing in your quest for a new smartphone, you'll have a hard time finding something that lasts longer than the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD. The device's massive 3,300mAh battery should be enough to last you through the workday, the evening, a night out, and then some, while its 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 should keep everything humming along nicely on the 4.7" 720p display.
If all that sounds lovely, but you don't want to shell out a couple-hundred dollars to get one for yourself, Amazon Wireless has the deal that'll get a brand new one in your pocket for a mere $80 – so long as you're willing to throw your John Hancock down in agreement to be loyal to Verizon for the next two years.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
Looking for the previous roundup editions?
Back during the Humble Bundle for Android #5 (not to be confused with the current Android-focused Humble Mobile Bundle), NightSky HD made its first appearance on the platform. Now, the Steam-native game is available on its own in the Play Store for $5.
The title brings its distinct visual style to the genre of physics puzzlers. In this game you control a dark orb as you attempt to navigate a silhouette world of platforms and pits.
The Thunderbolt has had one weird life. It was VZW's first LTE phone. But it was less than stellar, and had lots of problems. Then HTC promised that it would get ICS, which got delayed again and again. And again. But it finally came out, and Tbolt owners were kinda happy about it for five minutes.
Now the brick-of-a-device is in line to get another small OTA, which fixes some stuff that you may or may not use:
- Microphone now works with HAC enabled
- HTC Watch now shows titles available for viewing or purchase
- Amber alerts are now visible
- Text messaging app has been improved
- Improvements to Yahoo and Microsoft Exchange Email Connectivity
The details of the update just hit VZW's site a bit ago, which generally indicates the OTA is ready to go and should start hitting devices in the coming days.
Update: The update is now live in the Store – find it by hitting the widget at the end of the post.
Last month, Google announced they'd be killing off Google Reader this July. Yes, in just a couple of short months, one of the most beloved RSS resources in existence would be kaput. Google says it decided to pull the plug because of dwindling use numbers. While there were plenty of discussions about Google's real motivation (everything from well-reasoned examinations of the situation to cries of "EVIL!"), there was something more important happening behind the outcry – there were people stepping up to fill the gap in as seamless and timely a fashion as possible.
We've managed to score a system dump of the Facebook phone! There's nothing in it that's too earthshattering, and you could probably guess most of the features, but, since we've got it, we might as well take a look at it.
[This is not an April Fool's joke. I promise.]
Now, this being Facebook, nothing really works unless you sign in. The problem is, all of this is pre-release, so it's set up to only work for Facebook employee accounts.
Earlier today, the DROID DNA disappeared from VZW's site. This, combined with all the Verizon-bound HTC One rumors, prompted some in the Android community to wonder whether such a One variant is almost upon us - after all, why would Big Red take down one of its most powerful smartphones so suddenly? The vanishing act didn't last long, however, as the DNA just returned, seemingly alive and well:
It's unclear at this point whether the phone was briefly missing by mistake or Verizon put it back because people noticed, but we've reached out to the media relations team to find out and will update this space if they respond (which is unlikely to happen before Monday).