If you're a Verizon Wireless subscriber looking to get your hands on a shiny new Galaxy S4 come release day, you're probably weighing your various pre-order options already. Well, Wirefly's one you can toss into the mix, and with a half-decent deal - their Verizon GS4 is just $179.99 for new account or upgrades, $20 less than Verizon's price. Here's the white version, and here's the black.
Even better, Wirefly doesn't charge sales tax for many states, and that's actually a big savings, since generally you're charged the full MSRP of the phone for sales tax. In California, for example, tax in my region would otherwise be over $60 if I were to buy from Verizon.
If you're in the small portion of the Venn diagram where Google Ingress players and Google I/O attendees intersect, I'm about to make you very happy. It looks like the big G is paying quite a bit of attention to Niantic Labs' social geo-game, because every single registered attendee for Google I/O 2013 will be given an automatic invitation to Ingress, which is still in beta. Ingress will also be given at least some coverage in the initial I/O keynote on May 15th.
There are also going to be organized games on both Tuesday, May 14th and Wednesday the 15th in the Moscone Center, leading up to a "major Ingress-wide game event in San Francisco" on the 17th.
The Droid DNA may not have Boomsound, Ultrapixels, or other HTC-branded buzzwords, but it's most definitely the best HTC device you'll find on Verizon right now. And if you're dead set on not paying more than a fifty spot for a new phone, the DNA is your ticket to a high-end smartphone that won't break the bank - , so long as you're willing to buy directly from HTC.
It's pretty rare that we find the manufacturer of a device selling its phones cheaper than, say, Amazon Wireless or Wirefly, but that's exactly what HTC is doing here with the DNA.
There are still very few "universal" docks available for Android users, but if you own a Samsung smartphone, this little baby comes pretty close. The Samsung Galaxy Multimedia Desktop Charging Dock includes a spiffy flip-out stand big enough to support the biggest of Notes, plus an audio-out 3.5mm jack for easy output to a nearby speaker. One Amazon vendor is selling the dock for just sixteen dollars American, a discount of more than two thirds off the retail price.
This is an official Samsung first-party dock, not some cheapo cash-in. It seems to be a slight variation of this dock, which retails for $49.99.
Toshiba is kind of all over the place when it comes to Android. It has released some absolutely fantastic hardware in the past, but the lack of support for said hardware is awfully damning when it comes to recommending its devices in good conscience.
Still, it looks like the company is knee-deep in the development of a new tablet, which is currently being called the "AT10LE-A," and is said to be powered by NVIDIA's newest baby – the upcoming Tegra 4. While this isn't the first device we've heard about with T4 roots, it is the first tablet leak we've seen thus far.
It's no secret that I've long been against calling the Nook and Kindle Fire series "Android tablets," as neither is more than a glorified e-reader to me. Today, Barnes & Noble dropped a bomb on that way of thinking, as it announced that the full array of Google Play services will now be available on the Nook HD and Nook HD+, essentially turning them into full-fledged tablets.
Moving forward, all Nook HD and HD+ tablets will ship with Google services – including the Play Store, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, and the like – but for those who already own HD/HD+ units, the new features will be showing up via an OTA update to v2.1.0, which should begin rolling out today.
A couple of days ago, we found out that LG's latest powerhouse, the Optimus G Pro, is going to be exclusively available on AT&T in the United States. We had our eyes on this device ever since David reviewed the Korean version and found it "decidedly superior to the Galaxy Note II in many ways."
The 5.5" 1080p device packs a competitive Snapdragon 600 clocked at 1.7GHz, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 13MP/2.1MP cameras, and a 3,140mAh battery. Not bad, right? The only thing it seems to be missing compared to its two major competitors, the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, is 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but chances are that by the time you are able to fully utilize that kind of speed, you'll be due for an upgrade.
The stock Gmail app is one of the best mail experiences on a mobile device, but it can still be nearly impossible to tame particularly active inboxes. XonoMail Beta has just arrived in Google Play, and it promises to keep your email in order without a ton of configuration. Best of all, it's completely free and has no ads while in beta.
XonoMail is based on the open source K-9 Mail project. The official K-9 app doesn't get a lot of attention these days, and it's UI is extraordinarily outdated. XonoMail goes the Holo route (#YOLO) and pulls multiple mail accounts into one place.
If you're an Android power user who regularly applies mods or flashes new ROMs, you've likely run across Koushik "Koush" Dutta's work. He's the maker and maintainer of the ClockworkMod recovery and ROM Manager, and a publisher of several of his own independent applications. One of those apps is the powerful Carbon backup app, which we've featured before. It looks like the name "carbon" was a bit too close for comfort for the makers of Carbonite software (a more mainstream backup solution for desktops and mobile), who sent Koush a cease-and-desist letter back in February.
Need new shoes in a hurry? Today Zappos updated its Android app to version 3.0, ushering in a host of new features. You can now color code and nickname your credit cards, a big plus for those of who you need shoes so quickly you couldn't possibly be expected to stop and compare card numbers. Additional changes to the various payment screens allow for a more pleasant checkout experience overall.
Zappos touts improvements to UI controls, load times, and animations. Basic multi-touch controls have also been included, and the addition of a UPS package tracking widget allows you to monitor your shipments from the comfort of your home screen.