Living in this day and age definitely has its perks. Whereas 10 years ago we’d never be able to interact with engineers and designers of the products we use, these days it’s relatively easy. Take Matias Duarte, for example. Android’s Director of User Experience took to Google+ to tackle fans’ burning questions regarding the newly announced Nexus products.
One question he addressed first was about the new system button placement on Android 4.2 tablets. If you’ve noticed, Google has thrown out the old system/notification bar of older tablets and instead have incorporated a Nexus 7-like experience. This was an obvious move to keep user experience consistent when switching amongst devices, which I happen to be a fan of. Part of brand loyalty is knowing exactly what to expect no matter which device you pick up. Bravo, Google.
Another issue he took on may be of interest to a lot of you. Why no SD card on Nexus devices? In Matias’ own words, he addresses that below:
Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it’s just confusing for users. If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card? Should there be a setting? Prompt every time? What happens to the experience when you swap out the card? It’s just too complicated.
There you have it. It’s all about streamlining the user experience and possibly making the Nexus brand more appealing to the casual crowd. Probably not the worst business decision.
source: +Matias Duarte
LG announced the Spectrum 2 available today on Verizon for $99 with a two-year contract. The Spectrum sequel gets bumped up to a 4.7-inch True HD IPS 720p display, sports a dual-core 1.5GHz processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 , 8-megapixel rear camera, and 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot. If those specs sound familiar it’s because this is the same phone leaked by Best Buy last week.
The Spectrum 2 doesn’t quite measure up to LG’s quad-core Optimus G or Nexus 4 but at $99 your wallet won’t mind too much. Unlike the Nexus 4, it won’t run Android 4.2 just yet in favor of Ice Cream Sandwich, but it can take advantage of Verizon’s market-leading LTE network.
Full Press Release after the break
Leading Android developers, Google Android representatives, handset manufacturers and operators will be appearing on Apps World’s Droid World stage early next year at the world famous Moscone Center in San Francisco, California delivering valuable developer advice and ideas around the world’s most popular smartphone OS.
Some of the industry’s most successful developers will there to shed light on their creative, technical and business processes in open, interactive workshops where attendees will be encouraged to suggest discussion topics, debate and collaborate.
ZTE, whose website proclaims is the world’s 4th largest manufacturer, announced the cheapest quad-core smartphone yet. The ZTE U950 packs a 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM but its most impressive spec is the 999 yuan price (approximately $160 USD).
The low-priced Android device comes with a 4.3-inch display and is only 9mm-thick. It will have Ice Cream Sandwich at launch but appears to have the specs to support Jelly Bean. It has a 2,000 mAh battery, 5 megapixel rear camera and VGA front facing camera. No word on expandable storage or if the battery is removable.
The first 100,000 people to register on the U950 sign-up page will get to order the device starting November 11th. This is a China release only but might be precursor of what ZTE is planning for other markets. It hasn’t exactly set the US market on fire but an unlocked sub $200 quad-core device would certainly make a splash.
A lot of games are adding Halloween themed updates and My Car Salon is no exception. My Car Salon, created by Animoca, is a time-management game for car lovers. Characters such as Ratchet, Socket, Hammer, and Torque can now dress up like a ghoul, bat, pumpkin, monster, or other silly costumes. This update also includes an eerie new level involving ghosts and goblins that have taken over the repair shop.
Chances are you have already played My Car Salon since it has been downloaded over 2 million times. If not, and you’re looking for something new that includes the spirit of Halloween, then check it out because it’s available now and it’s free. Hit the break for a quick demo video, download links, and the press release.
Earlier this month we reported on EA’s teaser video for the latest installment in their Need for Speed franchise – Need for Speed Most Wanted. Today, the game was released and is available in the Google Play Store for $6.99. The game enables you to drive over 35 different cars using either touch or tilt controls. By logging in to the Origin service, players can check out who is most wanted either across different platforms or just among your friends, then challenge them to a street-racing showdown. Adding to the pressure of the competition is a police force trying to put an end to your fun and games.
EA indicates Android 2.3.3 or higher is required. If you are interested in grabbing a copy, use one of the download links below.
Google Play Download Link
Infinite Dreams recently released a Halloween-esque update to their app, Shoot the Zombirds. It’s an addictive little game that feels a bit like the NES classic, Duck Hunt. You play a crossbow-wielding hero, defending Pumpkids from swarms of undead birds. It’s simple, but it’s extremely polished and plays well.
The newest Halloween based update brings three new spooky characters, two new Halloween backgrounds, and a Halloween-themed game icon. If you’re in a creepy holiday mood and need a new time waster while waiting for the bus, it’s hard to go wrong with this (free) app.
Full press release and download links after the break:
Google and UK wireless carrier O2 are generating quite a bit of excitement in anticipation of the newly announced Nexus 4 smartphone by announcing one heck of a promotion. In the spirit of O2 being able to secure the title of being the only UK wireless carrier to offer the Nexus 4 for one month, it has announced it will offer a free LG TV to the first 100 customers who are able to get the phone. Of course customers will need to keep in mind that the cost of the smartphone and especially the monthly tariffs will probably end up dwarfing the overall cost of the television, but hey— we all love anything free right and who wouldn’t want a new LG TV set?
It’s no secret that 4G LTE has been a luxury only to a select few in the UK, but now more customers will be able to get in on the action thanks to wireless carrier EE. It has announced it will launch the incredibly fast network service to its customers in 11 markets including Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton. While that’s a major start, EE doesn’t stop there as it has announced it plans to bring 4G LTE service to an additional 5 markets by year’s end. This means that those of you who plan on owning the Galaxy S III or HTC One XL will have a lot to look forward to— especially since you’ll likely be taking advantage of cutting edge features like streaming high-quality audio or video and the ability to access much more content or download faster on the go.
Many of you may not have the luxury of enjoying a stock or simplified launcher due to those pesky customized UI skins, but one of the better launchers in the game has just come back with a new update that’s sure to make many users happy. The latest ADW.Launcher update brings the software version to 22.214.171.124 and brings pretty much a new ummm…. “everything”— whatever that means. The hope is that there are new themes and even more customizations to make even the pickiest owner happy. As expected, users will be able to do anything from resizing widgets to developing specialized app folders and all.
The app is compatible with Android 1.6+ devices, so that means that all users looking for a solid alternative have no excuse but to give the latest update a try today.