The Nexus line is still one of the few places you can find Android 4.2. The software on most Nexuses has zero interference from carriers and OEMs. That's great for Google as it gets to control the entire software experience. The downside is that there is no one else to point the finger at when something goes wrong. And something is pretty hilariously wrong in the startup wizard on the iPhone – I mean, the Nexus.
In a pair of new thirty-second ad spots, Google is showing off what it does best – search. The spots both feature Google's Search app for Android, using the same cozy, refined aesthetic as Google's other ads in recent memory, even showing off Search's new "search with camera" functionality.
The first spot follows the story of a nervous job candidate, gaining some insight into his prospective employer's interests with a last-minute Google search, while the second spot shows us a "smart Dad" who uses Google Search as a cheat sheet to answer his inquisitive son's astronomical questions.
As Google continues the work of expanding its Play Store services across the globe, it only makes sense that the giant is also working to provide a cohesive, pleasant experience for users in the 130+ countries that now support paid apps. To that end, Google has announced in a post to the Android Developers blog that developers can now include localized promotional graphics and video in their Play Store listings.
Basically, what this means is that developers can upload separate assets to ensure that users in, for example, the United States will see English-language graphics and video, while others around the world see materials in their own language.
Playmobil, famous for miniature people and toy sets covering themes from knights to doll house life to Native Americans, has partnered with Gameloft to bring their Playmobil Pirates game to the Play Store. While Pirates is significantly different from its Nintendo DS namesake, the game features the same animated Playmobil pirates and environments you'd expect, plenty of missions, and social integration.
Starting out, players will need to build a "pirate camp," or home base for a team of pirates you'll assemble to help in your ultimate quest to defeat Blackbeard.
One of the bigger mobile games that still somehow manages to disappear under the marketing behemoth of Angry Birds is Cut the Rope. Now, the company behind that title has released a new adventure: Pudding Monsters. The basic gist is, there is red, gelatinous pudding in the fridge, and man is the guy who owns that fridge a jerk. He keeps eating all of these clearly-sentient and terrified desert creatures.
If you've never played Anomaly Warzone Earth, it's worth looking into - the game took the tower defense genre and turned it on its head, quite literally. Anomaly is a tower offense game, in which you send in and guide your forces through a defense-laden map and achieve various objects in the process. The sequel to that game is now out - Anomaly Korea.
The gameplay looks basically similar (though I'm certain there are some new features), so players of the previous game should have no problem jumping right in.
You know, if I'm honest, I feel a little sympathy for Archos. While they don't usually stand out as a manufacturer of the best tablets, they've gotten a decent reputation as being good for the low-end. Then the Nexus 7 came out and redefined what "budget tablet" means. Still, the company has to make money somehow, and putting its custom video player on the Play Store is as good a way as any, right?
If you're looking for an LTE smartphone on a serious budget, look no further - MetroPCS may have just unveiled the cheapest LTE phone to date, in the form of the $150 ZTE Avid 4G. Yes, really, an LTE phone that costs $150. Color us shocked (well, as shocked as we can get about budget phones).
Of course, the Avid 4G is designed to also work with Metro's CDMA network, (thus that whole PCS business) so it won't do much good outside America's smallest national carrier.
Everyone's favorite mind-reading keyboard, SwiftKey, just received an update that brings a handful of new languages (Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Hindi, Hinglish, Irish, Macedonian, Latin American Spanish, and Tagalog), as well as improved language pack downloads, improved key layouts for some keyboards, general bug fixes, and a split keyboard layout for "normal-sized" devices. Horray for making things better!
As if that's not enough, though – the keyboard is also on sale for the holidays.