Few people probably saw this one coming. Microsoft Windows has long faced off with Mac OS X on the desktop, and while only a distinct minority adopted Apple's platform, the conflict has captured the interest of the tech industry for years. Open source advocates have even entertained the idea that Linux desktops would one day topple Microsoft's empire. Far fewer people speculated that it would be a mobile operating system that would start to replace Windows on desktop machines.
Brown doesn't get enough credit as a hard-working member of the color spectrum. Despite representing such wonderful stuff as chocolate, wood grain, and varying degrees of melanin pigmentation, it's somehow thought of as boring. Brown keeps its head down and does its job all day long, while that swanky overachiever White and do-nothing Black get the top spots on modern gadgets. Brown's one time to shine was the Zune, and even then it was destined to fail, by virtue of not being an iPod.
If you listen to the Android Police Podcast, you may be well aware at this point that I'm not the biggest fan of Samsung's Android-powered cameras. And I have reasons for this! I've used the Galaxy Camera as a replacement for my crappy little point-and-shoot for weeks at a time, and it just never grew on me. It was insanely bulky for the very average photos it produced (for a point and shoot costing well over $350), and the lack of simple but powerful features like manual focus (yes, really) was a total turn-off.
If you've been looking longingly at the HTC One, now may be the time to make a move. Radioshack is selling the AT&T and Sprint versions for a good price with a new account, but you also get $100 in Google Play credit. That means the you can come out ahead on the Sprint version.
The Sprint One can be purchased online, but that sweet $79.99 price is only for new accounts and new lines.
You remember the ASUS Transformer Prime, don't you? World's first Tegra 3 device? One of the first tablets to use Ice Cream Sandwich? A name somewhat reminiscent of a Hasbro toy? Back when ASUS was still calling every machine "Eee"? For some reason, it took the indefatigable CyanogenMod team several months to get CM 10.1 (Android 4.2) ready for the metal-clad TF201, but nightly builds have finally started appearing on the download page.
What's that? You've never heard of the Pantech Flex? Don't sweat it – it's just a little AT&T freebie sporting various mid-range specs. But today, it becomes something more. Something better. Something Jelly Bean-ier. The handset is currently receiving its version bump to Android 4.1.2, which of course brings all sorts of goodies to the table.
According to AT&T's blog post, Flex owners should get a text message when the update is available on their handset.
It's not just the high-end Galaxy S4 that deserves to have it's kernel source plastered all over the internet. Budget handsets might as well get the same treatment. To that end, Samsung has posted the code for its Galaxy Ace 3 Duos and Galaxy Amp.
NEC's first entry into the American Android market isn't exactly auspicious, but it does fill a much-neglected niche. AT&T is now offering the NEC Terrain for sale, right on time and online only. $99.99 on contract gets you the QWERY candybar phone with a miniscule 3.1" screen, or you can shell out $429.99 to own it outright. Considering its ruggedized, semi-waterproof build, that's not such a bad deal... but you will have to live with Ice Cream Sandwich, a year after Jelly Bean 4.1 was released.
If you like to tinker with Sony Xperia devices, things just got a little more fun (funner, if you will). Thanks to Sony's newly-released Illumination API, developers can now tweak the illumination bar settings on compatible devices, including the Xperia SP, ZL, ZR, UL, A U, L, S, SL, P, sola, ion, acro HD, go, M, and M dual.
Sony is calling the Illumination API an experimental API (the first of its kind for the company), which essentially means it will be released with limited documentation and virtually no support; basically, you're on your own with this one.
It was way back in early May that the kernel source for Sprint and US Cellular Galaxy S4 variants showed up on Samsung's servers. The Virgin Mobile Canada edition was added in April. The Verizon and AT&T devices came in the following weeks, but no peep from the T-Mobile version. Well, until today – Samsung just posted the T-Mobile GS4 kernel source in all its glory.