It seems like the Android world is getting a ton of extra tablet love in the past few months. Today, Skype joined the party by finally introducing an optimized UI for those of you with a little more screen to love. While the new look is nice, it bizarrely forces your slate into landscape mode. Even on the Nexus 7, you have no choice but to use the wider layout. This probably isn't a bad thing, since it looks great in this mode, and might seem cramped otherwise.
Eight cores, in a mobile processor? Balderdash! But according to EETimes, that's just what Samsung's planning on unveiling in February at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (that sounds so exciting).
Now before you get too excited, this isn't - technically speaking - an eight-core processor. It's a dual quad-core, which is to say, a two-processor chip. The design is based on a reference architecture thought up by ARM themselves, dubbed "big.little," and is designed to combine the light-load battery life of a high-efficiency quad-core 28nm ARM A7 chip with a super-hi-po A15 processor for heavy lifting.
It's pretty disheartening to get an awesome new phone only to realize the bootloader's locked down tight. That's means no custom recovery, no ROMs, no custom kernels, no... anything fun. Until, of course, some dedicated developers get ahold of the device in question and bend it to their will. That's exactly what Project FreeGee has done for both the Sprint and AT&T variants of the LG Optimus G.
The tool essentially unlocks the bootloader of both devices, allowing a custom recovery - and eventually, custom ROMs - to be flashed.
The Amazon Appstore has been updated to version 188.8.131.52C, and this release brings a few new goodies, along with a much-needed Android 4.2 compatibility fix. Previously, switching users on an Android 4.2 tablet would require you to log into the Appstore on each user account every time you switched, this has now been rectified. A battery drain bug has been stomped as well, along with the typical "other bug fixes and stability enhancements."
The UI of the Appstore has also received a light refresh, probably to be a little more in line with its appearance on the Kindle Fire HD and the latest iteration of Fire OS.
If you're a Comcast subscriber, there's a good chance you're already using the Xfinity TV Player app. The problem is, though, if you're not around a Wi-Fi connection and want to watch something, you're just out of luck. Well, you were out of luck anyway - the app was just updated to allow certain content to be downloaded and viewed offline. That's awesome.
Among the downloadable content, you'll find TV Shows and movies from Showtime, Starz, Encore, and MoviePlex.
HTC CEO Peter Chou has come out swinging against allegations that HTC is paying "$6-8 per handset" in royalties to Apple, calling the estimates "outrageous." Of course, those estimate were indeed just estimates, and they were also commented upon by HTC insiders at the time as being a little on the high side.
So, what do we take from Mr. Chou's statement? HTC is probably paying a royalty, but a $6-8 royalty (that's about 1-1.5% on a $600-800 smartphone)?
Amazon Wireless has been on a roll lately. Yesterday, they dropped the price of the Optimus G and a slew of Verizon phones, and today they've taken a bite out of the titanium variant of Sprint's Galaxy Note II for new customers. Originally $299, you can now score this powerhouse not-quite-a-tablet-but-more-than-a-phone handset for just $229 when you sign a new contract with The Now Network. Sorry current Sprint subscribers - you'll have to shell out $280 for this device.
Most of the time when an app is updated, it's pretty clear what the update brings. New features? Enhancements and tweaks? Bug fixes? Whatever the case may be - it's right there in the changelog. However, there are those circumstances when that's just not the case. The recent update to HBO GO and MAX GO are a perfect example of this - especially the latter.
We touched lightly on Orgarhythm THD back in June, but it's finally hit the Play Store, at least for those of you rocking Nvidia Tegra-based phones and tablets. Formerly a PlayStation Vita exclusive, it's a strange mix of strategy and rhythm games that looks a lot like a more serious, groovy version of Nintendo's Pikmin. The music game comes from Acquire, the same Japanese developer that brought us the visually interesting but ultimately disappointing Sumioni.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
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