Rumors about Nokia‘s first Android powered device have been gaining speed, and the latest on the phone is that Nokia will debut it at the upcoming Mobile World Congress. The device was also under development when Microsoft first made their bid to buy Nokia’s mobile device business. So far the leaked specifications of the device suggest that it will be an entry level device, and even that it will feature a modified version of Android that won’t include access to the Google Play Store, but will instead use Nokia’s own app store.
In the “are you kidding” news of the day, Themer, from MyColorScreen, is no longer in the Play Store. It was removed on February 2 due to copyright infringement. Take a guess as to whom is complaining about the infringement? Yup, you guessed it, that wonderful company in Cupertino that would rather spend time on stuff like this rather than actual innovation.
In cast you aren’t aware, Themer is an app that allows you to change the theme on your Android device with pretty much one-click. At the time of the pull down, there were over 200 themes to choose from. Now get ready for this…..Apple is complaining about only one of those themes. The theme is called “Seven” and Apple says it uses icons that infringe on its own patents. There is no question that the theme (pictured above) does look like iOS, but who the hell cares?
It was back in September that consumers found out that Verizon wouldn’t issue new SIM cards for the Nexus 7 LTE tablet, even though it would work with an existing SIM taken from another device. Verizon’s response was that it wasn’t certified yet even though Google announced the tablet as compatible with the network. Still, Verizon said it would take about 8 weeks to get it certified. Well that was a long 8 weeks because it’s finally going to be available on Big Red this Thursday, February 13.
It will be priced at $349.99, but if you want to sign a two-year contract, you will get a measly $100 off the price bringing it to $249.99. Of course, if you already own the LTE version of the Nexus 7, you will be able to activate it with a new SIM card after a quick software update. Either way, you can add your existing or brand new Nexus 7 LTE to your Share Everything plan for $10 extra per month.
So you forgot to download Flappy Bird before it was removed from the Play Store (and iOS App Store), and you are in complete panic. Take a breath and calm down because you can play it right now using your phone or tablet’s web browser. You can even use your desktop. It’s written in HTML 5 and accepts input from touch or a mouse (via the desktop).
We gave it a try using the Chrome browser and it works well, but don’t expect it to be an exact replica. It actually moves a little quicker, and the edges will get cut off on smaller displays. If you’re an Android user, you might be better off searching for the APK and sideloading it, but this will work if you don’t want to go that route. Just hit the source link to get your flap on!!
In late January, word came out that Samsung and Google had reached some agreements to work on presenting a more unified user experience on Android devices. As part of that agreement, it appears Samsung is on the way to phasing out the Magazine UX it had been working on despite the recent release of new tablets equipped with Magazine. A new screenshot of the KitKat notification bar that Samsung is working on for their devices shows how the company is in fact reversing course to come closer to Google’s vision for the platform. The choice of color for the icons may seem like a simple thing, and it is, but it reveals a lot about the direction of development.
When Google released KitKat last year, one thing users noticed almost immediately were the white-only icons in the notification bar. The change to a monochrome design was significant enough that Google even had to spend some time explaining why this had occurred. The new image shows that Samsung has adopted Google’s direction in this area and extended this design cue to its own TouchWiz interface. Eldar Murtazin, @eldarmurtazin, indicates in his tweets about this change that it also means a lot for the future of the TouchWiz interface. This likely means the flat, monochrome concept may be extended throughout the user experience on Samsung devices.
source: @eldarmurtazin tweet 1, @eldarmurtazin tweet 2
While Flappy Bird may be dead on the Android and iOS smartphone and tablet platforms, at least “officially,” that is not stopping those who hope to capitalize on the craze or those players who must get their fix. A new port of the game, called Tiny Bird, has surfaced for Pebble smartwatch devices. To make it work on the Pebble form factor, developer Stuart Ha had to scale it down to only 144×168 dimensions and go with a monochrome graphics package. Since the Pebble does not have a touchscreen, the other challenge was figuring out how to flap the wings. That is achieved by repeatedly pressing on the up button.
This may not sound like it would produce the best gameplay experience. Fortunately for Ha, the game is really simplistic so it is able to overcome the hardware restrictions. Players clamoring for access to Flappy Bird or a clone will likely overlook the hardware limitations as well, which would explain why it has already skyrocketed up to the number one spot in the Pebble app store. Meanwhile, demand for Pebble smartwatches could be getting a bump about now.
Later this week we anticipate the official announcement of the LG G Pro 2, which should become one of LG’s flagship devices along with the LG G2. While some details have been leaking out about the device, like the photographer friendly features, the latest bit of information focuses more on some of the base hardware. According to some new entries in the AnTuTu Benchmark, the LG G Pro 2 will ship with a Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.26 GHz mated to an Adreno 330 graphics chip, 3GB of RAM, and a full 1080p HD screen. No word yet on the exact size of the screen, though it is believed to be close to 6 inches putting in the large format, frequently called phablet, category of smartphone. Read more
Well look at what we have here. A new handheld gaming device from ASUS, called the Gamebox, hit the AnTuTu benchmarks. On the surface, it would appear to be a NVIDIA Shield competitor, but it’s not all that different from the Shield. It sports a 1.9GHz quad-core Tegra 4, a GeForce ULP graphics chip, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and Android 4.3.
Remember all those licensing deals that Microsoft inked with Android manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Acer and others? Well here’s a little update for you. Microsoft is making a whopping $2 billion from those deals annually. According to Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund, Microsoft is making an average of $5.00 per Android phone sold, and they have about 70% of the market covered with their deals between OEMs and ODMs. If you factor in 90% gross margin on these revenues, It’s estimated that Microsoft took in $1.6 billion for the 2013 fiscal year, and they are expected to bring in $1.73 billion for the 2014 fiscal year. 2015 will bring in $1.82 billion.
Last week, reports indicated that HTC would be making a high-end Nexus tablet this year, and today we are getting a little more information. According to DigiTimes, HTC will be making the Nexus 10 followup. Now last week’s report indicated that whatever HTC was working on, it would not come until the 3rd quarter. If it’s really the Nexus 10, that is a little surprising since it would be close to 2 years from the original Nexus 10 launch.
Unfortunately DigiTimes didn’t offer a timetable, but they did offer something else quite interesting in that apparently HTC was offered the original Nexus 7, but they turned it down. At that time, HTC had taken themselves out of the tablet market. The HTC Flyer (pictured above) was their last tablet.