We've become pretty wary of featuring Kickstarter projects here on Android Police - too many have overpromised, under-delivered, or just delayed themselves into oblivion. (I'm looking at you, Star Command.) But this one has too much potential to ignore. A pair of San Mateo engineers have created a MicroSD card reader that plugs right into a MicroUSB port, making it a perfect travel companion for phones or tablets with no expandable storage. The project has been successfully funded after just three days.
There's a lot to like about this Kickstarter. One, the hardware is incredibly simple, but well thought-out: the housing is a tiny dongle that hangs off of a device's USB port, just far enough to enclose the SD card itself. Read More
Update: It looks like Facebook has killed the leak remotely. Users who installed it are now reporting that their feeds have gone dark. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.
Facebook Home, the company's trumpeted home screen replacement effort, has been a popular point of discussion since before it was announced.
For those who missed the announcement, Facebook is looking to replace your device's normal launcher with a continuous in-your-face social bonanza, featuring a huge news feed on your lock screen, a new pop-up chat called Chat Heads, and pretty complete integration with the social network, allowing for status, photo, and other updates on the fly. Read More
There is no joy in Taoyuan this morning, as HTC's first quarter financial results have become public. The Taiwanese company has reported the lowest profit in its 16-year history, with just $2.8 million USD ($85 million Taiwanese dollars) in net income for Q1 2013. It's the sixth quarter in a row that HTC has posted declining profits, and a staggering year-over-year drop of 98%.
The news came from a somber release on HTC's website, without any of the usual fanfare. Analysts reaction compiled by Bloomberg blame the drop on delays for the flagship One phone, which has now been pushed into an April launch in the US and other markets. Read More
The final piece of the Play Store 4.0 puzzle was posted on Google+ today. A YouTube employee by the name of Eileen Rivera posted a screen shot of previously-unseen Play Store front page:
The design is a perfect match for the leaked build we got to play with a few weeks ago, and, if you ignore the action bar, a big improvement.
Of particular interest is the new Up button, which features the Play Store logo and a bone in a dog bowl. This is a reference to "Dogfooding" - a term Google uses to denote internal beta testing. Read More
From poorly-executed "leaks" to potential legitimate sightings, there's been a lot of hubbub about Google's supposed unified messaging service, likely called Babel. This isn't necessarily surprising. After all, if you asked most Android enthusiasts what feature they most wanted from the platform in its next iteration, you'd hear a lot about unified messaging. We've tried to stay clear of covering every flurry of Babel-related murmurings so far, but today we saw something new – Google+ user Patric Dhawaan posted a screenshot of what he says is a notification in Gmail, triggered when "pruning" his inbox.
At first, we were a bit suspicious of the screenshot. Read More
At this point, we've covered the benefits of having a portable charger/battery pack so much that you probably have all the reasons to buy one engrained in your memory. If you still haven't invested in one (or need to upgrade), however, tech.woot has a pretty solid deal on a couple of chargers from uNu.
The 5,000mAh Enerpak Tube is going for a mere $34, while its larger brother – the 11,000mAh Enerpak Vault – is available for $50. Considering the latter is pushing $80 on Amazon, those are both solid deals.
Both chargers feature a 5V 1A input and 5V 1A output, but the Vault also has a larger 5V 2.1A output for charging more power-hungry devices like tablets. Read More
Talkray, from the makers of the incredibly popular touch-talk app TiKL, is an ambitious app – it looks to be your one-stop shop for mobile communication on the go, communicating through text, pictures, videos, and voice all for free. Until now, though, the app has had a fatal flaw – its design. While not the worst design we've seen, Talkray had, shall we say, unfortunate looks. Inconsistent styles, gradients mixed with flat elements, and Gingerbread-style tabs abound.
In its latest update (to version 1.17) though, the app underwent a bit of beautification, bringing it closer to a true holo standard. The redesign isn't perfect, but it's undeniably better. Read More
The long-running Worms franchise made an ungraceful exit from the Play Store when franchise owner Team 17 Digital deemed Electronic Arts' support unworthy of the brand. Now they're back in Worms 2: Armageddon (a sequel to the XBLA/PSN Worms, and not to be confused with the 1999 Worms Armageddon game) from Team 17 itself. The game is now available on the Play Store... in Canada. And only in Canada. At the moment it's a soft launch for the northern territory, so there's no word on when it will get a wider release.
If you've never played Worms, it's a lot like the old Scorched Earth and other 2D tank games. Read More
HTC's newest flagship is doing its best to turn heads with innovative features and funky buzzword-branding. If you've been sipping the Kool-Aid and simply must have this up-and-coming powerhouse, Wirefly's got a pretty solid deal if you are (or plan on being) a Sprint customer: you can pre-order either the silver or black variants for $150.
With that said, if you're switching carriers and plan on porting your number, then Sprint's pre-order offering is still a better deal at only $99. If you're already a customer of The Now Network, however, Wirefly's deal has Sprint's $200 upgrade price beat by a fifty spot. Read More
While I'm not exactly a big puzzle game buff, The Room has me intrigued. Ornate safes, crazy locks, picking tools, and mysterious symbols - all in a wonderfully crafted 3D experience? It beats the hell out of trying to figure out which way to move a set of colorful blocks. The Room actually made its true Android debut as part of the latest mobile Humble Bundle, but now it's on the Play Store.
The game has received near-universal critical praise, and was a massive hit on iOS, where it achieved the much-coveted iPad Game Of The Year Award from Apple in 2012. Read More