We've teamed up with Handy Apps several times in the past to give away some fantastic devices. Nexus 7s, Galaxy Note IIs, Xperia Zs, and many more have all found new homes thanks to our partnership with Handy Apps. But it's never just about giving stuff away – these guys make some fantastic and useful application. In fact, they may even be handy.
If you've spent as much time on the Google Play Store as I have, you begin to recognize a pattern: developers asking (and sometimes begging) users to email them directly with complaints or bugs, because they can't reply to that snarky review left in lieu of a bug report. After years and years of frustration for devs who just want to make their apps better, Google has finally rolled out a direct reply feature.
Headphone audio on smartphones is something we rarely think too much about, because, well, most people don't really care. As long a smartphone produces sound that is listenable and loud enough, your average Joe isn't particular concerned about the quality.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it was preparing a proprietary virtual currency specifically for its Appstore. Then the incorrigible Eric Ravenscraft spent a few thousand words explaining exactly why Amazon Coins, and any system that substitutes real money for meaningless points, is just a pretense for sucking money out of people's wallets. If you can't wait to pay Amazon's tax on those without common sense, you can now hand over your real dollars for fake ones to spend on apps and in-app purchases.
Unveiled in December of 2010, Notion Ink's original Adam was intended to be an innovative, disruptive Android tablet that could compete with the iPad. Its primary selling point - besides a relatively high-end (at the time) dual-core Tegra 250 processor and 1GB of RAM - was a UI overlay known as Eden, which promised to make underlying the Android 2.2 more tablet-friendly. Launched to much fanfare in January 2011, the Adam never quite caught on the way Notion Ink had hoped; shipping delays, software issues, and poor build quality led the company to sell fewer units than anticipated.
Most mobile users these days are happy to get LTE service (and a few of us just wish we could get 3G reliably) but there is already a surprising push towards the next big thing in wireless speeds. Samsung thinks it has the solution, or at least what might become one: expanding existing LTE networks into the super-high 28GHz range, the lower part of what's known as the millimeter wave bands.
The Xperia Z is a pretty spiffy flagship phone, and tough as well, thanks to its IP55/IP57 Ingress Protection rating. But now there's a more specialized model coming, the Xperia ZR, designed specifically for waterproof functioning in even wetter environments. The new phone is manufactured to the higher IP55/IP58 standard, meaning that it can be safely submersed in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
The Xperia ZR roughly follows the Z's design, getting rid of some of the slim lines and premium materials for the sake of its more waterproof chassis.
Considering Samsung's tendency to release mountains of phones, the Galaxy S4 Mini seemed like a lock from the moment we saw the Galaxy S4. And what have we here? The Galaxy S4 Mini appears to have broken cover in China, and it looks more or less as you'd expect – like a smaller GS4.
Like last year's pint-sized GS3 variant, the Galaxy S4 Mini has the same general industrial design as the S4 proper.
Just over two weeks before LG's likely Optimus G2 announcement, Sprint's variant of the Optimus G's received another price drop. Amazon Wireless is now offering the Nexus 4's manufacturer-skinned cousin for just a penny with a new account, and just $30 on upgrade or when adding a new line.
For those who don't remember, the 4.7" device (that's got a 768x1280 display at 318ppi) also houses a 13MP camera, a Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB RAM, and a 2100mAh battery pack.