Competition in Android smartphones is better now than it's ever been, and not just in the flagship segment. With devices like the Moto G, the ZenFone 2, and various Blu designs, the mid-range is heating up with phones that are jam-packed with value. But how about the low-end, entry phone segment? For those people who just want a device that runs a few apps, plays a nice round of Threes, and maybe browse for some sports scores? Before a few years ago, they were limited to whatever bottom-of-the-line, low-margin phones Samsung and LG would spare.
Ah, the 90s, when computers were only good for Word Perfect, Minesweeper, and whatever "edutainment" software the school had budgeted for this year. One of the standouts among some pretty decent educational games was Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, a series of puzzles centering around the titular tiny Smurf-like critters. If you have fond memories of that game, or later entries in the series, mosey on over to the Play Store. A new and updated version is now available for download.
Right now we're hearing about off-season trades and commitments for pro sports like the NFL, NBA, and NHL. A similar phenomenon has happened in the somewhat smaller world of Twitter clients for Android. Joaquim Vergès, the well-known developer of the Falcon Pro Twitter client, has been hired by Twitter itself. According to a series of tweets posted Friday afternoon, Vergès says that he's been hired specifically to work with the "Android core UI team."
Guys, big news. It’s finally official. I'm joining the @Twitter Android core UI team!
Falcon Pro has won fans for being a full-featured Android client that outshines the first-party app in basically every respect, from interface to performance, even to supporting the built-in features of the Twitter platform itself.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a super-realistic flight simulator, a super-unrealistic duck simulator, another Q*bert-style climber, an Adventure Time rhythm game, and an action-RPG from Ubisoft. Without further ado:
Avion Flight Simulator ™ 2015
You wouldn't think that many developers would be champing at the bit to do a realistic flight simulator on a mobile platform, but it's slowly becoming an established niche on Android.
Verizon has begun rolling out an update for the Galaxy Note Edge that should address the vulnerability in Stagefright, one of Android's media libraries, that could potentially compromise a user's device. This is the first Stagefright-related fix we're aware of Verizon rolling out.
Of course, the changelog doesn't specifically mention Stagefright... but it's really obvious that's what it's for, given the timing of the update and terseness of the document. You can probably expect a slew of Samsung Stagefright fixes (as well as other OEMs, of course) on Verizon to follow, if this is any sign.
If you use Plex, you already know it's an amazing tool for managing your completely legitimate media library. It really is great - and today, it just got a little better, especially if you've been hankering to play back 4K videos on your Android or Android TV device.
Plex v4.8 for Android adds three things, but they're all pretty significant. First on the list is 4K HEVC (aka the H.265 codec) playback support. Now, the main reason that's really useful is, essentially, for playback on Android TV devices connected to a 4K display. While it'd be fine to downscale to 1080p on smartphones, if you've got a 4K television, you want 4K content.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here. As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: we continue our Android History series with 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich. We also discuss the Android M Preview 3 delay, Sony's mobile troubles, a Snapdragon 820 leak, and more!
SanDisk is rolling out new Ultra series microSD cards, and the pricing is pretty fantastic. The sweet spot is a new $59.99 128GB option, but the smaller cards are selling for good prices right now too. If you've got a card slot and need a lot of storage, this is kind of a no-brainer.
Say goodbye to the era of the $200 on-contract smartphone. Verizon has just announced a new plan structure, and part of the change is an end to phone subsidies. From now on, you'll purchase phones from Verizon on a payment plan or at full price. The new plans aren't substantially cheaper, but they are a bit more straightforward.
Motorola just "gets" Android. Rather than cover Android with a custom interface and countless add-ons, it has developed a handful of really focused, useful features for its devices. One of these features is Moto Assist, and an update to the Moto app in the Play Store has made it even better with the addition of location triggers.