When Samsung released the Galaxy Note 8.0 in Canada a month ago there was a “Limited Quantity Available.” The same quantity is available today, but the price has been dropped by a few bucks. If you’ve been waiting for a sale to hit this tablet then Best Buy or Future Shop are game to save you $30, which takes the 8-inch Jelly Bean tablet to $400 outright.
The Wi-Fi only Galaxy Note 8.0 runs Android OS 4.1.2, has an 8-inch display (1280×800 resolution), sports the S Pen stylus, 1.6 GHz Exynos quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 5MP camera with a 1.3MP front-facing camera, 4,600mAh battery, 16 GB Internal Storage (holds up to 64GB with a microSD card).
That blood-spattered recurring nightmare you had as a kid may have been formed by playing too much Carmageddon. The 1997 game has been resurrected for mobile devices after earning over $400,000 on Kickstarter from the company’s founding studio, Stainless Games.
All the carnage, swearing and pedestrian-maiming mayhem is intact here, though the on-screen controls are a bit too finicky for my liking. The game doesn’t stray too hard from the original premise, but there are new goals and plenty of updated HD graphics including “buckets o’ gibs” that shine on HD screens.
I noticed a bit of frame dropping on the HTC One, but for the most part performance stayed solid; the little human sprites are not detailed, but things can get hectic onscreen when there are multiple cars vying for a piece of you.
The game’s economy revolves around Profit, a generic currency that can be used to repair your car and buy new items or unlock vehicles. Repairing your car, which you will inevitably repeat throughout the match, is easy — one tap on the top right corner — but in later levels it costs more and Profit is less freely available.
Via: Android Central
Google Earth for Android has been updated with some nice interface tweaks and support for Street View.
While the main Maps app has had Street View support for a long time, Google Earth offers a far more comprehensive data set, with more of an exploration slant and less focus on directions. Its 3D Maps are considered some of the most accurate in the world, and it’s always great fun seeing how close you can get to your favourite landmarks around the world. The addition of Street View allows users to get even closer — floating down the road — in many major cities.
Google Earth for Android now has a left-side navigation menu to quickly toggle various map layers. It’s a great update to an under-utilized tool.
Download Google Earth for Android.
Apex Launcher was one of the first custom launchers to come out of the Android 4.0 era, and has since slowly but surely improved both its performance and feature set.
Apex 2.0 emphasizes some Pro-only features, but increases its usability for users of the free version as well. Notably, the Settings workflow has been significantly updated and simplified; double-tapping anywhere on an unused portion of the screen brings up the new menu options. Users can adjust the vibration duration of most tappable objects, too, so for users of a device like the HTC One, which has an annoyingly-powerful motor, things can be a little more tolerable.
Apex Launcher Pro users get a few bells and whistles thanks to integration with Apex Notifier and Dashclock. While the latter portion is limited to users running Android 4.2 or higher due to lockscreen widget limitations in earlier builds, Apex Notifier is still extremely handy for the average ICS and Jelly Bean 4.1 user. It puts a little badge on top of compatible app icons — Gmail, SMS, Calls, etc. — outlining any missed or unread pieces of information you may need to look into. You can customize the look and frequency of badges on an individual app basis, and there are lots of ways to make the launcher look more personal.
The update also allows for folders in the app drawer, something that Sense 5.0 introduced on the HTC One. While this may have a limited use case, it’s significant for those who keep their home screens clean or empty.
Apex Launcher Pro goes for $3.99 and is well worth the investment, but the free version works quite well on its own.
Via: Android Police
If you’re into saving a few bucks and want a ‘lightly loved’ – also known as slightly used and refurbished – then WIND Mobile might be your next stop. The wireless carrier has organized a huge sale on devices that have been returned. For example, the Galaxy Nexus is $169, LG Optimus 4X HD is $199, Galaxy S III is $299, HTC Amaze is $229, and the Galaxy Note II is $349.
WIND notes that “Our Lightly Loved phones have been returned within 2 weeks of purchase, 30 minutes of talk or have been refurbished by the experts… All Lightly Loved devices are final sale and non-returnable to WIND. Offer only available while quantities/supplies last. Cannot be combined with WINDtab.”
Certainly something to think about.
A thinner Nexus 7 with an HD display has been rumoured for months now. This news was first unearthed by DigiTimes in January, then Reuters jumped on board with the same claims, noting that Google and ASUS will launch a “higher screen resolution, a thinner bezel design and adopt Qualcomm’s chip in place of Nvidia Corp’s Tegra 3.”
Now days before Google I/O, another overseas analyst is backing the same rumours. Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities has compiled a list of specs that new Nexus 7 will encompass, namely 7-inch 1920 x 1200 high-res display, 1.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 5MP camera on the back, plus run Android OS 4.3 Jelly Bean. Here’s some more notable specs, but no indication if the second-gen Nexus is thinner
Facebook has given journalists a glimpse into its intentions for Facebook Home, and they’re a step in the right direction.
The company has listened to the feedback from its one million downloaders and thousands of daily users, and will strike a compromise between its fairly restrictive Android launcher and a more neutral style launcher like Nova or Apex.
To that end, it will add back a custom icon dock to the bottom of a user’s screen, but will hide it by default, much like it does with the notification shade at the top. Facebook will also create a Dash Bar, whereby you’ll be able to more quickly strike out messages to friends through Chat Heads.
Chat Heads will also be given some improvements through the Messenger app, and the core Facebook app will get an update today with performance improvements and bug fixes. The aforementioned usability improvements will come in a future update, along with a more thorough tutorial for new users.
Though there have been one million downloads since its launch, Facebook Home hasn’t maintained the momentum it promised, likely due to its restrictive nature. Initial users were dissatisfied with having to give up many of the customizability options and widgets that they were used to from their OEM or stock launcher. While only a small number of these changes will appease the average user who have already sworn off Facebook Home, it’s good news overall.
Google has updated its annual Google I/O companion, bringing a host of new features and some impressive design changes to what many will see as a throw-away app.
Meant for reigning in the often-confusing mess of attendee schedules, conference maps and various extracurricular programs, the companion app adds support for a lockscreen widget this year (Android 4.2+) and vector-based maps for more accurate renderings of indoor spaces.
The Moscone Center in San Francisco will be the stage for Google I/O this year, but those at home will be able to stream all three days of the conference to their phones, tablets or PCs. The app even allows HDMI output for those eager to hook into a monitor or television.
Attendees can scan their badges via NFC this year, too, which will help save on paper, and because of the new Google+ Sign-in, schedule changes are synchronized between devices (though don’t expect an iOS app).
Google I/O 2013 takes places May 15-17 in San Francisco, and we’ll be there covering all the ins and outs, so stay tuned for a good week!
Download Google I/O 2013 for Android.
Via: Android Central
Netflix for iOS got an update today that brings some functionality from its desktop and set-top box clients: auto-progression for TV shows. This comes after the company improved its TV show selector interface and added more rows to the iPad app in an effort to show as much content to subscribers.
Today’s update to version 4.1 also adds three movie suggestions after a film has ended, another effort to keep subscribers within the app. Netflix for iOS can also be more effectively utilized as a second-screen remote for the PS3 version of the app. These updates only apply to the iPad for now, but should come to iPhone eventually.
Download Netflix for iOS.
Amazon has been rumoured to jump into the smartphone arena for some time. Chatter started back in November of 2011 and various analysts predicted the Seattle-based company to release a smarptphone last November – clearly that didn’t happen. Today, according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is “developing a wide-ranging lineup of gadgets” that include a couple smartphones, one of which is a “high-end smartphone with the 3-D screen.”
As for the 3D smartphone, unlike the LG Optimus 3D that was released a couple years ago, the report indicated that the device can be viewed without 3D glasses and the images will “float above the screen like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles.” In addition, similar to Samsung’s S Scroll feature, the Amazon smartphone will reportedly give users the option to view content by simply “using just their eyes.”
The “people familiar with the company’s plans” declined to give any further details and stated that the products could be shelved because of performance, financial or other concerns.