Amazon famously misread the market when it launched the Fire Phone in 2014 without any Google apps. Scarcely a year later Amazon had abandoned the device in the face of minuscule sales figures. Now, it's rumored to be prepping a new smartphone, but unlike the Fire Phone, this one will apparently run a version of Android with Google services.
Did you know there are other kinds of games out there besides 8-bit platformers? I was as shocked as you are. As it turns out, though, some people prefer to play things that don't involve shooting guns, jumping on enemies or collecting coins. Things like Puzzle Retreat which is a delightfully clever yet simple game for the casual player.
The basic premise is simple. You have a set number of ice cubes that need to be slid into place. In later levels, new blocks that change the direction the cubes slide, or that melt already placed cubes show up.
CyanogenMod is a pretty big deal in the Android modding world, and there's a good reason for that: it's fast, lean, well-featured, and supports a ton of devices that manufacturers have abandoned. When Android 4.0 was released, the CM team made it clear that CM9 (based on ICS) would be a long time in the making, as they were going to focus on doing everything properly and cleaning up the code. And now, as promised yesterday, CM9 stable is rolling out en masse.
So far, the supported devices:
LG Nitro HD/Optimus LTE
Samsung Galaxy Tabs
Samsung Galaxy Note (Intl)
Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GSM/CDMA)
Sony Ericson Xperia Mini Pro
Samsung Galaxy S II (Intl/AT&T/GSM)
Sony Ericson Xperia Neo
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Epic 4G
LG Optimus Sol
Samsung Nexus S (+/- 4G)
Sony Ericson Xperia Arc
Sony Ericson Live With Walkman
Clearly the list so far is dominated by Samsung and Sony Ericson, but builds are still going up every 20 minutes or so - the build bot is just churnin' them out.
Depending on how fanboyish you want to be you want to look at it, things are either getting better by the day, or still dismal as can be. First, the charts:
Obviously, the good news is that in the past month, Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0+) has moved up from 7.1% to 10.9% - and considering there are hundreds of millions of devices running Android, that seemingly meager 3.8% is actually quite a few devices.
And then there's the bad news. First, the fact that ICS is the latest (and by far the best) version of Android and yet we're happy to see it on just under 11% of devices is sad; it's even worse that it's literally 8.5 months old.
If you're either a fan of Disney's animated show Phineas and Ferb, or you simply prefer your detectives have evolutionarily curious anatomy, you'll want to pay attention. Where's My Perry? is a new game from Disney centered around Perry, also known as Agent P, a super sleuth that's just as comfortable on land as he is in water. Which is handy, because you need water in all of its forms to solve the puzzles in this game.
The game is actually pretty clever and great for kids, as you need to convert H2O between its various forms to complete puzzles by using various lasers.
Prepare to mash the System Update button, A100 owners: the promised update to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich, or ICS) has apparently been rolling out since yesterday. Word came to us last night from Canadian reader Graham, who provided a handy-dandy picture as proof:
An XDA thread confirms Graham's update wasn't a fluke, with users all around the world receiving the update. So far the thread is 10 pages long but contains little by way of comments on the user experience after the update, but it does look like the ICS update is preceeded by a smaller 17MB update. Other than that, we have little by way of details at the moment.
MEIZU may have gotten its start as a maker of crappy knock-off electronics, but lately, the company has been making an impressive push into the mainstream. Take a look at the specs of the flagship MEIZU MX and you can see what I mean: 4" qHD screen, 8MP rear shooter, 1.4GHz dual-core CPU, and all the other usual goodies. The smaller (and 15 month old) M9 packs a punch too, with a 3.5" qHD screen, and 1GHZ CPU - also damn respectable for its time.
Luckily for owners of both devices, the company has released a public Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) ROM that's available for download - something many who own phones from larger, more established companies can't say.
At this point, the list of HTC devices that will receive ICS isn't new - they initially announced most of them via Facebook on February 9, and expanded the list a little (again via Facebook) just over a week later. Now, the company has posted the list on the HTC Blog. While there are no surprises to be found, at least they're going super official with the announcement - and putting things in nice list form:
Here’s the scoop. The following HTC devices are confirmed to get a tasty treat of Ice Cream Sandwich:
DROID Incredible 2 by HTC
HTC Amaze 4G
HTC Desire S
HTC Desire HD
HTC EVO 3D
HTC EVO Design 4G
HTC Incredible S
HTC Sensation XL
HTC Sensation 4G
HTC Sensation XE
The company provides no real guide for timing aside from the Sensation devices, whose update will be rolling out over to carriers over the next few weeks.
In early January, ARCHOS let everyone know that the update to Android 4.0 would be coming "in the near future" to all G9 tablets, and a week later we saw them demoing a said update at CES. The rep at CES said the update was scheduled to roll out in the first week of February - a target which the company obviously missed. Now they've taken to their Facebook page once again to apologize for the delay and announce that "they fully anticipate deploying the upgrade within the next two weeks."
While the "anticipate" in that sentence leaves the company some wiggle room, it's nice to see the PR-challenged little company who has a spotty past on Android devices at least try to address both shortcomings.
Back in the early days of Android, HTC's Sense UI really stood out as a much-needed step up in the UI department, compared both to stock Android and to competitors custom UIs. Like a hard-partying rock star, though, it just didn't age well; it went from sleek, helpful, and attractive, to bloated and borderline obtrusive. Sense 4.0 - which we spotted slapped atop of Ice Cream Sandwich - was definitely a step against that direction in some ways, but still offended some people - Cameron included.
Earlier today, Kouji Kodera, HTC's chief product officer, addressed these concerns in an interview with Pocket Lint at MWC.