And right on cue, Verizon has announced that the LG Revolution -- a phone we've been eying since it was unveiled at CES in early January -- will finally go on sale this week. For $249 and a two-year Verizon contract, you, too, can have this 4.3-inch Android 2.2 device starting May 26. If you can get over the Froyoness (we're sure it'll get a Gingerbread update), remember that it's 1GHz device -- hardly anything to sneeze at. Add in the 5MP rear camera and LTE data, and you've got yourself one sexy little phone.
Sadly, the one thing the Verizon changelog lacks is an official release date, so we're still stuck waiting on that but it's nice to know that it'll be soon rather than later at this point, which is bound to make a lot of Droid X owners out there happy.
Let this also stand as a friendly reminder for those of you whom may be rooted -- you'll want to go ahead and decline that update notification when it pops up until some folks get to have a look at it and ensure root can be maintained. Hit the source link below for the full .pdf changelog or you can jump on past the break for the second half of the above image.
To everybody up in arms over HTC's locked bootloaders (most recently the completely unsurprising news that the EVO 3D is locked), we hear you. And know what? HTC hears you. And while there's not yet any sign that we'll soon see carrier phones as open as developer phones, HTC -- for the first time we can recall -- has publicly said it may be considering a change.
For you laymen out there, having open access to the bootloaders and NAND memory are the lifeblood of custom ROMs. And while the vast majority of Android users are running virgin devices -- remember that more than 400,000 devices are being activated every day -- the modding community is a vocal one.
Said HTC on Facebook:
Thanks so much for providing feedback, we hear your concerns. Your satisfaction is a top priority for us and we're working hard to ensure you have great experiences with our phones. We're reviewing the issue and our policy around bootloaders and will provide more information soon. Thank you for your interest, support and willingness to share your feedback.
HTC followed up on Twitter as well:
Thanks for the feedback, we're listening! We're reviewing our bootloader policy.
This won't happen overnight, folks, and there's no telling if HTC actually will open things up and allow users to undo its customizations at will. (Hey, a lot of work goes into the Sense UI and making a smartphone.) But from where we stand, choice and openness are more often a good thing than not, and we welcome the discussion.
We've been plowing through the news here at Android Central thus far this week and it's only Tuesday. We've got plenty more in store for you all for the rest of the week as well but in case you're looking for more info -- make sure you hit the Android Central forums and check out some of the threads below.
Big news for both the Xperia Play and its game lineup today, as Mojang studios unveiled that its mobile version of Minecraft for Android devices will be heading exclusively to the Xperia Play. There's no timetable for how long Minecraft will only be on the Xperia Play, but the fact it landed such a hit is definitely a boon for a phone that's been criticized as nothing more than a way to play old PSX games on-the-go.
The game will also be customized for the Xperia Play's controller, which leaves open how the game will be controlled when it does come to purely touchscreen devices. Mobile Minecrafters can also expect frequent updates, just like the desktop counterpart.
Does this excite anyone else as much as it does me? I was definitely searching for any Playstation games worth making the Xperia Play the phone for me, but Minecraft is something I can definitely sink my teeth into.
Anyone else? Fellow Minecrafters out there? We all know Minecraft is coming to Android, but does getting to play it first sweeten the Xperia Play in anyone's eyes? Let us know.
Maybe I should be productive in some way on my Android tablet. I could take notes about upcoming phones, or use the browser to pay the bills, but I don't. Games are way too fun on these things for all that jive. And since I'm a sucker for all things undead, GRave Defense HD is right up my alley! It's a tower defense game, but a damn good one. The graphics are amazing, and instead of fighting off endless strings of enemy vehicles or balloons, you must protect yourself from the hordes of zombies and assorted nasties using weapons ranging from machine guns, to lasers.
There's also a storyline if you're in to a more immersive experience -- you work your way through the ranks of the "Brotherhood of Steel" and you can follow and share your progress through Scoreloop. Killing zombies is fun, and apparently is social, too.
The most stunning part are the visuals. The levels are diverse, with things like a rainforest scene, the Bermuda triangle, even outer space -- you're not stuck in the same graveyard for the 20 levels of gameplay. Of course, all this comes at a cost. You will need a fairly high-end device to display this content. The developers recommend a device with over 384 MB of free RAM, and a minimum display of 800x480. Most phones sold this year will be just fine, but some of the more mid-range offerings just won't handle this one. All things said, GRave Defense HD rocks on any Honeycomb tablet
You can find GRave Defense HD, currently on sale for €0.70 (about $1.00), in the Android Market. It's for phones and tablets running Android 2.1 and higher. We've got more pics, a video, and the download link after the break.
If the muttering we're hearing through the Bloomberg grapevine is true, Google is planning to finally unveil their NFC mobile payment service on May 26. Google's system is going to be available on phones from Sprint, like the already-launched Nexus S 4G. (Not so coincidentally, the Nexus S is still the only Android phone in the U.S. with NFC.)
The NFC service will let consumers both pay and use mobile coupons with a swipe of their phone. However, Google and Sprint's offering will eventually see competition from ISIS, a joint effort between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
Google does have a press event scheduled for May 26, but as of now, no one's talking. Guess we'll all have to keep our ears tuned to the latest and greatest coming out of New York that day.
One of the coolest looking things in the new Windows Phone 7 "Mango" release (see all the coverage you can handle at WPCentral) is Microsoft's Bing Vision. It's essentially a Google Goggles clone (great artists copy/borrow/steal and all that), but the UI is really cool. Your search categories are visible while the camera is running, looking fancy and nice as a semi-transparent overlay while you're capturing the content you want to scan. Of course, WP7's Metro UI and its typographic look is in full force here as well.
As for functionality, Bing Vision doesn't look like it does anything out of the ordinary. No solving Sudoku puzzles, no translation built in, and the jury is still out about how it handles business cards. But that's not what people will think when they see it. I'm one of those "function trumps form" kind of guys, but the mobile market is growing like wildfire, and maybe it's time for Google to step up and revamp the UI and visual style of some of their apps so they look as good as they perform.
I use Google Goggles a lot, mostly because I'm a geek who loves to play with cutting edge tech, and I've went "all-in" with Googles apps and services. It works great, but visual appeal is lacking compared to the competition. See for yourself -- there's a video after the break.
Good news for Sonos owners out there, as today Sonos has officially launched the MOG music service on Sonos. After a short software update, you'll be able to tap into MOG's custom radio stations or 11-million song catalog.
For those of you using the Android Sonos Controller, an update enabling MOG integration is in the Market. Better yet, current Sonos owners get a free, 14-day trial to MOG, so you can see if it whets your whistle.
Yeah, it's only a dummy unit, and we've already crawled all over the real thing. But this is UC Cellular's HTC Merge, folks. And that means that ... it's the same HTC Merge we've come to know and love ... on US Cellular.
We are a little surprised that there's no USCC branding on the front of this dummy unit, but it does appear on the back (pictures are after the break). Otherwise, same ol' phone. The latest rumored release date is May 31 -- and USCC hasn't come yelling that it's incorrect (it's happened once before), so maybe there's a little more truth to this one. Stay tuned.
News360, the popularcross-platform news aggregator, is now available for Android tablets running Honeycomb. News360 takes a bit of a different approach, combining 1,500 global sources (yes, Android Central is in there, so no worries) and a beautiful visual style. If you're not familiar, the "360" view is a special treat, with article images floating in a spherical feeling cloud, hence the 360. The application makes great use of the new API's with the action bar and fragments, both in the search view as well as the article view. The developers have taken the time to really make a great example of a quality Android app, and we appreciate (and enjoy) that.
Besides the normal use of searching for tags, users can customize their own "feeds," and the developers say that future versions will analyze a your Facebook, Twitter, TripIt, and Evernote accounts to offer automatic personalization. That sounds like quite the feat, and I for one am very interested to see the result. In its current state, the application connects with your social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, ReadItLater, Instapaper, and TripIt) to share articles, and can filter results based on your location. Things are well on the way to a personal news channel.
And the best part of it all -- News360 is free. This makes it available for everyone with a Honeycomb tablet, and makes for a very easy way to download and evaluate the app for yourself. We've got the full press release, a series of pictures, and the download link after the break.
Believe it or not, folks, you're looking at the latest Android tablet/e-reader/thingy from Barnes & Noble. It's the all-new Nook -- six inches of E Ink Pearl on a Wifi-only device. It weighs just 7.5 ounces and is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the first-gen Nook.
It sports 2GB of storage for 1,000 digital books, and also has a microSD card slot for even more storage.
But, what gets us excited, really, is that it's running Android 2.1 -- so you know we're going to have some fun hacking this thing.
The new Nook is currently available for preorder for $139 and starts shipping on June 10. Full presser's after the break.
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