In a world where Samsung and Apple dominate the smartphone sphere, and multi-billion dollar companies like Sony, LG, and Motorola struggle to maintain single-digit market share, it's rather easy to convince yourself that real innovation and excellence costs lots of money. And, as an extension of that thought process, that there's little reason to look outside the current crop of popular phone makers.
But you'd be wrong.
Known mostly in the United States for its Blu-ray players (yes, really), Oppo is a Chinese electronics maker that is easily ignored. Read More
Google's Matias Duarte elicited some knowing chuckles when he revealed the existence of a wireless charging orb shortly before the Nexus 4 launched. Duarte came over to Google from Palm, which developed a similar accessory for the Pre called the Touchstone. The Nexus 4 Orb took its sweet time showing up in the Play Store, but it's finally on sale for $60.
Is there any universe in which spending that kind of cash on a phone charger is reasonable? Read More
The term "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" (MOBA) is a relatively new way to refer to an old idea: a multiplayer, somewhat symmetrical game, in which teams of players face off against each other. It's the bread and butter of online shooters and racing games, but up to this point hasn't enjoyed much success on Android, just because mobile controls aren't well-suited to the ultra-twitchy competitions that comprise most of the genre. Read More
It's surprisingly hard to make a mobile game, or at least, a mobile game that's worth playing. Mobile developers are still in their infancy, at least compared with their console and PC counterparts. So when someone manages to release a fun, polished game that works well on smartphones and avoids some of the more glaring pitfalls of the platform, we sit up and take notice. Such is the case with Roller Rally: Snake Pass, an Android port of a popular iOS title from MilkyTea. Read More
For the past few weeks, I've been testing Hideman - a VPN solution with a feature set I've been seeking for a very long time. I've been using both Android and Windows apps to test the service, and let me tell you - it is everything I was hoping it would be and then some.
Hideman is available for the following operating systems:
Since the Nexus 10's launch, users have been itching to make use of the device's pogo pins. No word has yet emerged from either Google or Samsung about the dock we spied last Christmas or the pogo charger many assumed was in the works, but in mid-December, a thread sprung up on XDA opened by a person who claimed to have the fabled pogo charging cable in the works and nearly ready for sale. Read More
Mobile data hotspots aren't the world's most exciting products, though if you travel consistently, they can be an absolute lifesaver. But let's be brutally honest: the average mobile data consumer really doesn't care about the hotspot itself - as long as it works. They care about the network, and the monthly pricing. That's really it.
The hotspot is basically just a tiny little Wi-Fi router with a cellular modem and a lithium-ion battery inside. Read More
Carbon has had a long and tumultuous journey on its way to the Google Play Store. It was a headlining app on the now-defunct webOS. After that it enjoyed a brief stint on Windows Phone before the developers rage-quit the Microsoft ecosystem. So here we are many months later and Carbon is finally tweeting from an Android phone near you. Was it worth the wait? Can it unseat the reigning champions of Twitter? Read More
If there's one product from the last year that's managed to capture the attention of just about everyone in the tech arena, it's Pebble. Between the somewhat tenuous underdog status of all Kickstarter projects, a general swell in "wearable tech" interest, and months and months of frustrating delays, it's proven to be even better fodder for bloggers than speculative hardware backers. Finally, 8 months after being successfully funded (and four months after the initial ship date) I've got one sitting on my wrist. Read More
With over 50 million downloads and almost a million 5-star ratings, Temple Run has set the bar rather high for its successor, Temple Run 2.
As is the case with most successful games, the basic premise of Temple Run 2 is the same as the original: you're in possession of an idol that's been stolen from an ancient temple, which has angered a particularly murderous monkey who wants to get it back. Read More