We all know that Samsung's working on a new version of the Galaxy Note smartphone. And we can probably assume it's going to debut later this summer, as it has the last two years. Unlike the last two years, though, it doesn't seem like it will be released to a market free of any real competitors. In any practical sense, the Galaxy Note and Note II went basically unchallenged in the jumbo-phone segment.
On April 11th, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 officially went on sale in the US in a Wi-Fi only flavor. I can tell you this already - if someone were to offer me one of those or a Nexus 7 3G, I'd take the Note 8.0 no questions asked. I think it's probably the best all-around Android tablet currently on sale, squeaky plastic and giant-Note II look be damned.
That said, it also costs $400!
On April 12th, Facebook Home will arrive in the Play Store... for select devices. It's a homescreen replacement app, and for those who use Facebook regularly, might be something worth looking into. The demos of the app looked smooth and simple - there's a lot of that gesture business going on - and while I'm not exactly big on Facebook, I know I'm going to give it a whirl just to see what it's like.
I still can't believe that Android Police has been around for three years now (we've just celebrated our third anniversary last week). It's been hell of a roller coaster of leaks, emotions, interesting news, editorials, contests, and... writers. You may not realize this, but in the past years, we've been through probably over 60 contributors, the strongest 11 of whom now comprise the core team.
But today is not the time for sob stories.
The wireless service landscape is undergoing significant changes in the US this year. T-Mobile just launched it's kind-of no contract plans with monthly hardware payments, something no other US carrier offers. Sprint is in the early stages of its LTE rollout, a buyout from Japanese firm Softbank, and the acquisition of Clearwire (which seems more likely with each passing day). AT&T has already gained the #2 LTE spot in the US, but may have turned off a good number of potential Galaxy S4 buyers by pricing the device at $250 on contract, while continuing to push its own shared data plan model.
On last week's podcast, the question "HTC One or Galaxy S4?" came up, and was posed to each host. We all made our call, and now it's your turn. While I know many of you have no interest in either of these phones, today's question is not what your ideal phone is, but given a choice between them - which would you get? And no, 'neither' is not an option.
Each phone has its advantages and disadvantages - that's clear.
Samsung just unveiled the next.. next big thing: the Galaxy S4. And while some might argue it's more Galaxy S III 'Plus' than brand-new, standard-setting flagship, there's no denying Samsung is going to sell a ton of these things. Our question, though, is will Samsung be selling one to you?
If you're in the market for an Android smartphone right now, you've got plenty of options: HTC's One is on the way shortly, there's the Xperia Z / ZL, and of course, the Nexus 4.
Back in the day, when I was using a Nexus One, custom launchers were all the rage on Android - not using one was strange. And when I had a DROID BIONIC, I still found myself using my go-to option - ADW.ex - most of the time. Today, though, my primary device is a Galaxy Note II, and I haven't had the urge to use a custom launcher for a moment since using it.
Now that Andy Rubin himself has officially snubbed what were apparently rather strong rumors of Google opening its own retail stores in the US, there's a lot of humdrum floating around about whether or not a Google Store would actually make sense.
On the one hand, with its increasing arsenal of hardware products on the Play Store, Google definitely has a wide enough selection of toys to at least give a standalone brick and mortar location (or two) a shot.