I’ve been testing Press since its release a few weeks ago, in hopes of writing a full review. I didn’t write a review because I didn’t see the point: Press is the best news reader for Android, and it’s a strong contender for Reeder’s design crown. The interface is minimalist without being stark, and the designers put in just enough features to give power users what they need without overpowering more casual news junkies. It works great on tablets, more than can be said for most Android apps, and syncs with Google Reader.
Network signal apps on Android are a dime a dozen. Most of them manage to do a pretty good job gathering information about your network, but all but a select few fall apart displaying that data. It’s easy to gather and show exact information about signal strength, but interpreting that data and presenting your interpretation in a meaningful way isn’t as easy. It doesn’t help that most of the network signal apps in the Play Store seem to be built by and for engineers with a bare minimum of design experience (here’s looking at you network signal info or network signal booster). They’re great for power users, but not so good for casual tinkerers.
The Pebble smartwatch was the first big Kickstarter success story. In a little over a month, Pebble raised over $10.2 million dollars, thanks to nearly 69,000 backers. Today, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky announced at CES that Pebble has finally entered manufacturing, and that the first devices will begin shipping out to backers on January 23rd. At full power, Pebble’s manufacturing partners will crank out 15,000 watches per week, so Migicovsky says it will take 6-8 weeks to fulfill all of their Kickstarter orders, at which point Pebble will start shipping to those who preordered through getpebble.com after the Kickstarter campaign ended.
2012 has been a monumental year in technology. This year we’ve watched Facebook truly realize the complete “American Dream,” as it went through with an IPO that valued the social network at $90 billion in May, lost 47 percent of its value in 94 days, and subsequently began a slow ascent back to respectability. The Internet rallied its voice and defeated major legislation across the globe, including SOPA and PIPA that attempted to regulate the Internet. Major gadgets were released, including the Nexus 7, iPad mini, Microsoft Surface and iPhone 5. Copyright and patent laws around the world were put to the test as Apple and Android OEMs embarked on a game of ‘who can file lawsuits against each other in the most countries,’ with Samsung arising as the first victim of the lawsuits to the tune of $1 billion, which of course is being appealed.
All in all, it was a very eventful year in tech. Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights.
Join Current Editorials as we take a look back at the top trends, gadgets, and companies of 2012 in our year-end series “2012 in Review.”
Two new versions of Android, new flagship phones, new tablets—2012 was good to Android fans. While the rest of the mobile world didn’t exactly stand still, few ecosystems were the subject of as much news coverage and occasional drama as Android was. Let’s take a look back at what happened this year, and what 2012 meant for the future of Google’s mobile operating system.
2012 was a big year for Android smartphones. Anyway you slice it, the market for Google-powered phones grew by leaps and bounds, putting even more space between it and Apple’s iPhone. Microsoft’s Mango point release to Windows Phone failed to put a dent in Google’s march forward, and the once menacing Redmond software company found itself (again) rebooting its mobile operating system. RIM was… well, let’s not talk about RIM. Thorsten Heins has his work cut out for him.
Join Current Editorials as we take a look back at the top trends, gadgets, and companies of 2012 in our year-end series “2012 in Review.”
Google enjoyed what I would call a blockbuster year in 2012. They made a few major acquisitions, released a successful line of new Android products, bolstered their internet services, and introduced their vision for the future of computing. In 2012, Google cemented their position as an unstoppable internet behemoth, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
If you ever thought, “I could really use a phone that I can’t use with one hand,” well, you’re in luck. The LG Intuition is a monstrous device, checking in with what feels like an underrated 5-inch screen. Now, you may be saying, “the Galaxy Note is bigger than that!” and it is – but what kills this Android-powered device is the aspect ratio — a ridiculous 4:3. It’s like holding a brick to your face. Here are the details.
Display: The display is quite beautiful, with a 1024 x 768 5-inch screen coming in at 256ppi, but the 4:3 aspect ratio damages what could have been a fantastic display. Sure, the aspect ratio is great for web browsing and reading text, but when you get into apps that aren’t built for a 4:3 display, they get stretched to the brink of recognition. If you want the LG Intuition strictly for screen real estate, get a Galaxy Note.
it’s 3.56-inches wide, or about the size of an average sidewalk brick
Hardware: Let’s start with the good first. The LG Intuition has some great hardware — Android 4.0 (ICS), 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of memory, 4G LTE, and a decent 8MP camera that records in full 1080p, along with the front-facing 1.3MP camera. The bad — it’s 3.56-inches wide, or about the size of an average sidewalk brick.
Software: The skin that comes with the LG Intuition is downright awful. ICS looks amazing stock, so LG decided to go change all of it. The skin is useable, but it doesn’t look good. One thing LG did get right is the keyboard. If you text or type a lot of emails, this keyboard will be your best friend. I type relatively fast on any keyboard, but the lack of mistakes I had on the Intuition separates this one from the pack. As usual with any Verizon device not named the iPhone, there is bloatware, and a lot of it.
There is no real reason to buy this phone
Performance: With a 2,080 mAh removable battery, the Intuition easily made it all day with a normal workload. The LG Intuition comes with a stylus — which while not as great as the S-pen, works pretty good. If you’re an artist, or enjoy taking handwritten notes, this is your best bet on Verizon. Calls were awful. People complained about the call quality, and said it sounded miles better when I switched to a mid-range Motorola device. For a phone that comes in at $199, that doesn’t bode well.
There is no real reason to buy this phone. It’s horrible as a phone, mediocre as a drawing or note-taking device when compared to the Galaxy Note, and while it’s a good for viewing text, that’s not a good enough reason to spend $200 plus a two-year commitment. But, if it’s been your lifelong dream to have a device half the size of your head as a phone, or you’ve been searching for that perfect smartphone/weapon combo — go ahead and get it. It fits that criteria perfectly.
Motorola has just announced three new Droid RAZRs for Verizon: the RAZR M, RAZR HD, and RAZR HD MAXX. All three phones run on Verizon’s LTE Network and will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich and Chrome pre-installed. The phones still feature Motorola’s not-Blur Android skin, but its gotten better since the days of the Droid 2 and Droid X. It’s not as buttery smooth as stock Jelly Bean, and some of the widgets are a little annoying, but Motorola’s smart actions are genuinely useful. All three devices will ship with the same dual core processor.
The Droid RAZR HD is the highlight of the show, it sports a 4.7 inch Super AMOLED HD display. The 720p display is the stand out feature, but Motorola’s also touting faster performance. Motorola also announced a MAXX version of the RAZR HD that packs on a bit of girth to add a larger battery and more storage.
The RAZR M is a lower end device that ditches the higher resolution of its older sibling for a tiny chassis. Motorola trimmed down the M’s bezels to fit a larger screen in a body roughly the size of an iPhone 4. THe RAZR M is available for pre-order today, but, buyers should be wary of picking up the RAZR M: Motorola has a long history of using Pentile displays, which look especially bad at lower resolutions.
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility today announced that they are adding three new and exclusive smartphones, DROID RAZR™ M, DROID RAZR™ HD and DROID RAZR™ MAXX™ HD, to the DROID RAZR™ by Motorola family on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.
All three devices offer the power and reliability that customers have come to expect from Motorola and Verizon Wireless. DROID devices give customers speed, power and revolutionary technology, while the RAZR design delivers a thin, compact device built with strong, top-of-the-line materials and long-lasting battery life. The new smartphones are powered by the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network, giving customers the capability to simultaneously talk and browse the Web and also access the blazingly fast speeds that cover more than 75 percent of the U.S. population. With three brand new options, this lineup has something for everyone.
DROID RAZR M: The Full-Screen Phone
DROID RAZR M is an unbelievably compact smartphone that puts the world in the palm of your hand with an edge-to-edge 4.3-inch Super AMOLED™ Advanced display. Customers will be amazed with the DROID RAZR M’s design, which is significantly shorter and narrower than the original DROID RAZR, yet includes the same size display, making it the most compact 4.3-inch 4G LTE smartphone.
DROID RAZR M also features powerful Web browsing capabilities by combining Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network with the speeds of Chrome™ for Android™ mobile browser for an unrivaled mobile Web experience.
The DROID RAZR M’s SMARTACTIONS™ feature maximizes battery efficiency with every charge, allowing customers to browse the Web and watch videos without worrying about draining their device’s battery.
DROID RAZR HD: Performance and Power
Building on the DROID RAZR legacy, the new DROID RAZR HD expands the innovation with a new 4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD display that allows movies, photos, magazines and even websites to appear with vivid clarity. DROID RAZR HD provides customers with 78 percent more pixels for a more vibrant display and features 40 percent greater battery capacity than the original DROID RAZR.
The viewdini app is at its best with the HD display and 4G LTE speeds to watch movies, television shows and other video content. Viewdini brings the power of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network to the screen by streamlining access to videos from a wide range of content providers, including cable operators, websites and other popular video sources. The viewdini app can be downloaded from Google Play.
DROID RAZR MAXX HD: Long Live the Battery
Packed with the same leading features as DROID RAZR HD, the DROID RAZR MAXX HD raises the industry standard for battery life with 32 hours of normal use. The DROID RAZR MAXX HD is remarkably thin, yet packs sufficient battery power for 13 hours of straight video playback, enough to watch a movie trilogy without needing a charge. Customers also have enough battery life to talk the day away with up to 21 hours of continuous talk time or browse the Web on 4G LTE for up to a full eight hours.
A Trilogy of Premium Design, Speed and Features:
· 4G LTE – customers can expect fast download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G LTE coverage areas.
· Interactive Circles Widget allows quick access to notifications, weather, time and more
· Quick Settings can be accessed directly from the home screen so customers can easily manage their volume profile, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, GPS and more
· Enhanced Help Guides provide interactive tutorials, help topics and tips to become a DROID RAZR expert
· Global Ready so customers can have voice and data service in more than 205 countries
· Business ready with enterprise grade security and data encryption, remote wipe, complex password support, IPsec multi-headed VPN client and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® support
· 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB RAM
· Mobile Hotspot – Share a 4G LTE connection with up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices
· 8-megapixel camera with LED flash and 1080p HD recording
· Front-facing camera for video chatting
· NFC-enabled so customers can send contacts, links, maps and more directly to compatible phones with Android Beam™
· Corning® Gorilla® Glass display, DuPont™ KEVLAR® fiber and water-repellent nanocoating
· microSD™ card slot with support for up to 32 GB
The new DROID RAZRs run Android™ 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (upgradeable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean by end of 2012) and come with the best of Google Mobile Services, including:
· Chrome™ for Android™, giving a personalized Web experience
· Google Play™, apps and games, millions of books and songs, thousands of movies and TV shows
· Google Maps™ for Android (Beta) for voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions
· Voice Actions for Android™, letting customers control their phones with their voice
· Google+™, which can automatically upload photos to a private album online
· YouTube™, watch videos in stunning HD, Preload subscribed channels or individual videos and the YouTube app will automatically download videos over Wi-Fi while the phone is charging – making them ready to watch in an instant
Pricing and Availability:
- DROID RAZR M will be available for pre-order starting today, September 5th, at 5 p.m. ET at http://www.verizonwireless.com/droidrazrm and will be available on September 13th in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at http://www.verizonwireless.com for the introductory price of $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Customers receive the rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted. The DROID RAZR M will be available in either Black or White.
- DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR MAXX HD will be available before the holidays. The DROID RAZR HD will be available in either Black or White and the DROID RAZR MAXX HD will be available in Black.
- Customers who purchase a DROID RAZR M, DROID RAZR HD or DROID RAZR MAXX HD will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless data plan. Share Everything Plans allow customers to add smartphones to their account for $40 monthly access. For additional information, customers should go to www.verizonwireless.com/shareeverything