The year was 2012. A mere two days before the alleged Mayan apocalypse—and about nine days before people stopped making tired old jokes about it—we got wind of the Developer Edition of the Galaxy Note II for Verizon. There were three differences between this handset and the version you could buy in the carrier's stores: it had an unlocked bootloader, it's unsubsidized, and it was not available for sale yet.
GameStick, the Kickstarter project that promises to "put big screen gaming in your pocket," has seen controversies, redesigns, and other fun things during its 30 day funding period; but alas, that time has come to an end and now there's work to be done. Lots of work, in fact – the funding was met with incredible fervor, with the project closing at 648% of the original $100,000 goal.
As mentioned earlier, the design you see above is far from the final look of GameStick, which underwent a full redesign close to the end of the campaign.
Sony's waterproof and dustproof flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z, is available to pre-order in the UK today from Three, although you'll have to wait until it's released on February 28th to get your hands on it yourself.
We first saw the 5-inch, 1080p phone last month at CES, and found ourselves impressed by its minimalist, elegant design. Water resistance comes at a price though, so you can expect to pay at least £34 a month if you want to take the phone home on a contract.
Update: The CyanogenMod team has chosen a new name: cLock. According to the Google+ post, the new name was chosen by virtue of its simplicity.
In a post to Google+ titled "Pitfalls of being so big" earlier this evening, the CyanogenMod team informed followers that CM had been served with a C&D (Cease and Desist) request regarding their Chronus clock widget.
For those unfamiliar, Chronus is CyanogenMod's acclaimed lock screen (or home screen) clock widget, introduced last December, that displays the time in Android 4.2 fashion along with configurable calendar and weather information.
Since the debut of the Nexus 4 last year, users have been craving official accessories. The Nexus line has never had great luck in seeing OEM accessories come to market, but the long-awaited release of the Nexus 7 dock brought a glimmer of hope.
It looks like Nexus owners have even more to be excited about today, though, as the Nexus 4's wireless orb charger is up for grabs from Pure Mobile.
If there's one thing we all know about the latest entries in the Nexus line, it's that they're hard to get a hold of. No one is quite sure why the launch turned out to be a total mess, but all eyes have been on the Play Store since October, waiting to catch the devices in an ephemeral moment of availability.
When it comes to value-added software on Android phones, I'm typically first in line to call "gimmick!" But today, Sony announced a new service for Xperia phones that actually sounds genuinely useful - my Xperia. It's pretty simple, really. You get a web UI that allows you to track your phone on a map, cause it to emit a sound (it even overrides silent mode), lock it and display a message, or remotely wipe it.
There isn't a lot to say about the newest update to the Yelp app for Android, but that doesn't matter - the one notable change is a biggie. Yelp has finally integrated Google Maps API v2 released back in the beginning of December, which rids Yelpers of the terrible WebView Maps API. The new maps API is hardware accelerated and vector-based, drastically increasing performance and level of detail. You get pan, zoom, tilt, and rotate, along with 3D buildings, indoor building maps, landmark labels, and terrain shading.
This week, we saw a new kid among Android decompilers hit the street - JEB. JEB is a full featured, commercial dalvik decompiler aimed at security researchers and reverse engineers. Although many other decompilers exist, such as DED, Androguard, baksmali, dex2jar, undx, etc and most of them are free and work quite well, JEB comes with features not seen in most free tools:
- Easy to use UI
- Direct dalvik to java decompilation
- Easy on the eyes bytecode
- Easy cross referencing of items
- Easy renaming of items
The downside is mainly the price, weighing in at a hefty $1000.
When it comes to buying apps, I try to wait until a sale comes along. I usually end up buying things on a whim most of the time anyway, but I try to wait – especially for games and such that may be outside of who much I'm willing to spend on one app. If you're also the type who waits for a good sale to roll around, some pretty decent price drops just hit the Play Store sales floor.