This weekend's poll is simple, and quite related to a poll we had at the beginning of this month. After weighing the pros, cons, and costs of a Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 or HTC One, did you end up dropping cold, hard cash to get your hands on one? These "vanilla" Android devices provide a Nexus-like user experience on what are likely the two best Android phones currently on sale, something enthusiasts have been clamoring for since, well, probably before I ever started writing for Android Police.
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.
We're going to keep this weekend's poll simple: how big do you think your tablet should be? We've asked this question before, but that was quite a while ago. I'm curious to see if the dimensional preferences of the average AP reader have changed since, and what influence devices like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 have had on people who are in the market for a tablet.
The choices this time will be a bit different, as sub-7" tablets really never panned out in a big way, and we've got a few popular sizes out there now.
With all the Android gaming hardware announcements of late, I've really started to wonder: are people actually going to buy any of this stuff in meaningful quantities? You've got Moga's new controllers, Mad Catz is doing a console, BlueStacks is doing a console, and then there are the already-announced things like Shield, Ouya, GameStick, and the seemingly ever-growing list of "made for Android" wireless controllers.
There's something that's been eating at me about all this stuff, though: it really does feel like a lot of the hype around the Android gaming segment is self-generated.
With the announcement of the two leading-edge Android smartphones, the HTC One and Galaxy S4, in new "Nexus User Experience" editions, there really is only one remaining question: are you going to buy one?
The Nexified software experience has been something I've seen internet commenters clamoring for since the day I started writing for Android Police. And yet, somehow I feel pretty confident saying that these phones will fail to gain much traction outside a small, hardcore group of enthusiasts.
The elusive white Nexus 4 has popped up on our radar on more than one occasion in the past, but as of yesterday, things got really real. And by real, I mean heavily augmented, stylized, and touched-up in Photoshop. We were provided some press photos of the device, leading us to believe that this baby (this baby being a pearly-white Nexus 4) is coming. The rumored released date, according to AndroidAndMe, is June 10th.
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.