Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I wish I could get a real smartphone for $150 with no contractual commitment"? Well, you can. One with a 4" display, front and rear cameras, a microSD card slot, and a 1GHz processor. For half the price of the original Motorola Pebl (that thing cost $300 back in the day).
Oh, how far we've come.
But do you want a $150 smartphone? I mean, that all depends.
"The new Motorola starts today." That was new CEO Dennis Woodside's proclamation during the unveiling of the new RAZRs, and I think that statement gives away a little more than intended. Smartphone development takes the good part of a year, so they're implicitly admitting that these phones were made by someone else. That "someone else" being the old Motorola.
I make no bones of the fact that I find 3rd party voice assistants to be increasingly redundant, especially with the arrival of Google Now on Jelly Bean.
But Google Now doesn't do certain things. One of those things has annoyed me since the early days of Google's Voice Actions: you can't make calendar events through voice input. And as a person that absolute despises digital calendars, this is something of a "must have" feature.
Recently, Vector Unit - the team behind Riptide GP and Shine Runner - released a new game called Beach Buggy Blitz. This one is slightly different than VU's previous offerings, as it leaves the boat/hovercraft racing behind and takes to the beach for a fun, whimsical spin in a buggy.
We've been playing around with this game since its release and are pretty impressed so far. Here's a look at what you can expect from BBB.
In the modern world, watching TV shows isn't what it used to be. Back in the old days (or the present for some), shows simply existed at a certain time and you tuned in when they aired, and then they were cancelled and then you never heard from them again. Today, though, it's not uncommon for most viewers to discover a show a few seasons in and then find their way through the backlog of episodes.
The real-time strategy genre has a lot to recommend it: tactical thinking, fast-paced unit and resource management, and multiplayer atmosphere that's unlike anything else in gaming. But it's hard to escape the fact that in order to have a real RTS, you just need a mouse. Precise movements and commands are nigh impossible on a touchscreen. Sega's Total War Battles: Shogun is a spinoff from their wildly successful Total War PC franchise, which breaks with tradition and tries to adapt the RTS genre to the touchscreen.
As a tech writer, I read a lot of RSS feeds. Hundreds, maybe more. All day, every day. It's one of the first things I check every morning, and the last before bed. And dozens of times throughout the day. When I first started as a writer, Google Reader was my go-to RSS reader, both on my PCs and mobile. It didn't take long to realize GR's shortcomings on both platforms, however.
Bluetooth speakers are rapidly becoming a thing that people, you know, buy. And because of that, a lot of companies have started making them. One of those companies has become the unabashed leader of the pack with a little device called the Jambox. But the Jambox is over a year and a half old. Competitors have started springing up, and some of them are actually quite awesome. And we know Bluetooth speakers aren't a "one size fits all" affair, so we're going to give you some of favorites in a variety shapes, sizes, and styles.
Android developer Noodlecake has a reputation for making clean, incredibly fun games. Its newest effort is called HueBrix, and it just arrived in Google Play a few days ago. This is a puzzle game that has a simple premise: fill in all the squares. You will only make it a few minutes before the cunning level design starts the slow process of melting your brain.
Gameplay And Controls
There are over 400 levels in HueBrix, but all of them start in basically the same way.
While GoogleTV still hasn't really taken off, the idea of an Android-powered set-top box is still a good one if properly executed. Diamond Multimedia recently tried its hand at such an execution with the AMP1000 (Android Media Player), its first venture into the Android realm.
But, like with any new project attempt, there is plenty of room for failure. As we've seen so many times before, what seems like a good idea on paper can easily be a disaster in execution.