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.
As a recent convert to the Nexus 4 (after waiting months for my Sprint ETF to drop), I'm in love with the wireless charging orb. That's not to say it doesn't have issues (besides its price), though. While I've had nary an problem with the orb, I have heard a few times that it has one serious issue – failing to keep the Nexus in place as it charges.
A few days ago, I came across a potential solution to this problem – the Nexus 4 Charging Orb Cradle by Etsy user Pixil3D.
It's been a little while since we last saw a nice deal on Samsung's Galaxy Note II. If you're still lusting after Samsung's latest (for now) and greatest phablet creation, but haven't convinced yourself to shell out the requisite cash, listen up – both the Verizon and Sprint-bound variants are enjoying a nice price slashing.
Amazon Wireless is offering Verizon's Note II for just $79.99 with a new account, and $150 on upgrades.
Have you got a shiny new HTC One in your pocket, but the company's lackluster advertising has only made you more aware of your hatred for Sense 5? Do you long for stock Android, but crave power user features? Does your heart know no fear of voided warranties? Then today is your lucky day, assuming you're using an international GSM or Sprint model. The CyanogenMod custom ROM is now available in 10.1 (Jelly Bean 4.2) flavor for both versions of the One, albeit only in a test build (pre-nightly) format.