Alongside that new white Nexus 7, UK buyers can today pick up the official Nexus wireless charger, priced at £34.99 and shipping in 1-2 business days. It operates using the Qi (pronounced "chee") wireless charging standard and is designed to work with the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 5 — though if you've got other Qi-supporting gadgets they should work too.
Here's what our own Phil Nickinson had to say after a brief time with the inductive charging plate —
If you've got an Amazon gift card burning a hole in your virtual pocket, now might be a good time to take a look at the Qualcomm Toq smartwatch. It's now available on Amazon for the same price as you'll get it from Qualcomm — $349.
Still no sign of the white model, but if you've just got to have the black version, Amazon Prime can have it at your door as soon as tomorrow.
Tired of ever-changing layouts and the important features not being where you want them? Try these Twitter Android alternatives.
Twitter's been experimenting on us, its users, for some time now with its official Android app. But the latest update might just have sealed the deal for many. We don't necessarily want to call it an abomination, but pretty clearly Twitter's all about expanding your timelines — thus the moving of the "discover" and "activity" tabs front and center — rather than showing you the information that you want, when you want it, where you want it.
It's kind of a mess, and it only appears to have gotten worse over time.
So now's a good time to take a look at a few of our favorite alternatives.
Available in Wifi + 32GB version only, priced £239.99
The new white Nexus 7, announced yesterday for the UK, U.S. and Japan, is now available for Brits to buy. The tablet appeared on the UK Google Play Store yesterday along with a "coming soon" notice, but now it's on sale at the regular price of £239.99 for the Wifi-only version with 32GB of storage. As is the case in the U.S., that's the only white Nexus 7 available at the moment — so if you want LTE connectivity or the cheaper 16GB storage option you're limited to the traditional black version.
White Nexus 7s ordered today in the UK are due to ship within 1-2 working days, with free ground shipping being offered "for a limited time."
Additions including Somali, Zulu and Punjabi bring total supported languages to 80
Google has updated Translate service with support for nine new languages from Africa, Asia and Oceania, bringing the total number of supported languages up to 80. The new additions include Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Somali, Zulu, Mongolian, Nepali, Punjabi and Maori, with more than 200 million native speakers between them. In the case of Maori, spoken by just 160 thousand people, the addition is the result of a volunteer effort by native speakers of the language.
The new languages are available now through Google Translate on the web and on mobile, including the Android app in the Play Store.
4.3-inch mid-range phone turns into a 7-inch mid-range tablet
As widely anticipated, ASUS has today announced the latest addition to its Padfone line of convertible Android devices, the Padfone Mini. Like other Padfone products, the Padfone Mini comes in two parts — a 4.3-inch phone and a 7-inch tablet dock — meaning you can slot the former into the latter. This lets you use a single data plan for both tablet and phone mode, and charge the phone while it's docked in the tablet.
Unlike previous Padfones, the Padfone Mini is aimed squarely at the mid-range market. It's got a quad-core 1.4GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU with 1GB of RAM and a qHD (960x540) display on the phone, which expands to 1280x800 on the tablet. There's microSD expandability in addition to the 16GB of built-in storage, as well as a 1500mAh battery in the phone and a 2200mAh bank in the tablet. For your imaging needs there's an 8-megapixel camera with burst mode and ASUS' PixelMaster tech for boosting brightness in dark scenes.
And on the software side, the Padfone Mini runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and ASUS' own software customizations.
So the specs aren't earth-shattering, but given the price point of NT$11,990 ($405) that's not entirely surprising. The Padfone Mini is due to go on sale in China, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, according to Engdget, with no word on any Western release plans.
Mobile gaming giant Rovio has launched its latest title on Android and iOS today. Anry Birds Go is a free "kart" racer based in the Angry Birds universe, featuring feathered friends from the popular artillery shooter. If you've played Mario Kart or any similar titles you'll know what to expect here — fast-paced 3D racing with a focus on power-ups and weapons, featuring familiar characters (birds and pigs, in this case.) There's a variety of game modes to choose from besides a straight-up race to the finish, including Time Boom, Fruit Splat, Champion Chase and Mega Match.
Naturally you can also upgrade your vehicles by earning points in-game or buying them through in-app purchases — and you can add more characters to the game by capturing Rovio "Telepod" toys with your devie's camera. The base game itself, however, is completely free, and it's available now at the Google Play link above.
Just in case you were looking for yet another reason to pick up a Nexus 7 and Chromecast, Google Play is running another deal on the devices. If you buy both at the same time, you'll be offered $35 in Google Play credit to spend on apps, books, movies and whatever other digital content tickles your fancy. Further, you'll get free shipping on the order as well.
This follows a $25 Google Play credit previously offered for picking up just the Nexus 7, but is more beautifully timed with the recent announcement of 10 new apps coming to Chromecast. If you planned on picking up both devices this holiday season, now's probably a better time than any to do so from Google Play.
PDF and ePub files can be shared to Google Play Books using the Android intents system
Google Play Books is getting a nifty little update. The app has the same look and feel, but performance tweaks and new sharing features make for a worthwhile upgrade.
For starters, things have been tweaked to make your books — both your own uploads and Google Play purchases — open faster. If you've ever had to sit through the spinning cursor while the app looks for your bookmark, you'll appreciate this. Also included are improvements to your highlights and notes, the ability to dismiss recommendations, and a lower brightness setting for low-light reading. All good stuff.
But the best new feature, and one plenty have been wanting, is the ability to upload your own ePub and PDF files right from your phone or tablet. Using the standard Android intents system, selecting a compatible file gives the choice to send it to Google Play Books. Once uploaded, it will be available for reading at your leisure.
As usual, this is a slow rollout so it may take several days before you get an update notification. If you understand the risks, you'll likely find the file at the usual locations.