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Calling all Android customization addicts, this month we’re dedicating half of our posts to making your phone look and behave in harmony with you. Whether you’ve only changed a wallpaper before but would like to learn more, or you’re a customization veteran, we have something tailored for you.

From custom ROMs to widgets, themes, launchers, icons, wallpapers and more, March on will be an epic month of gorgeous content to help you add back that sparkle to your old phone, or make your new one even more original.

So fasten your seat-belts, get your batteries charged, and prepare your thumbs and indexes. It’s going to be a fun ride!

For a couple of years now, it has been quite apparent that form factor innovation has stalled in the mobile industry. Big candybar touch devices are the norm, with no sliders, clamshells, qwertys or any of the other wackier designs in sight. But that seems to be changing — or at least there are companies that are thinking outside the box again, most of them employing “dual screens” to innovate and step away from the touch slab.

First there’s Asus and their Padfone lineup with the new member being the Padfone Infinity. It allows you to dock the phone into a bigger screen, transforming it into a tablet and letting you enjoy your content on a bigger screen. Then there’s the YotaPhone that keeps the candybar form factor but slaps an e-ink display on the back for lower power consumption on notifications and reading. And last, there’s the NEC Medias W that puts two touchscreens next to each other in a clamshell design, which is useful to run side-by-side apps, emulate a tablet UI with different fragments on the two screen, or simply put the keyboard on the second screen.

What do you think of these dual-screened devices? Are they interesting enough that you would consider buying them now? Or would you rather wait for the more established manufacturers to embrace them?

We’re into the third week of 2013 and the 62nd day of the year. You might know it as the birthday of Brian Cox, but it also happens to be the culmination of another week of Android news.

Since last week’s instalment, we’ve seen hardware announcements at Mobile World Congress, the release of Photoshop Touch on iOS and Android and more. Let’s dive in and take a look…


Let me save you the trouble and say what’s already on your mind: Twicca is old-school. Like Froyo-level old-school. In fact, it’s probably one of the few apps that I began using when I got my first Android device and continue to use even now — and I think the reason behind that is because I still use Twitter the same way I did back then.

On Android, I’m not a Twitter power user; I save the heavy lifting for web apps on my desktop, which is where I’m parked for most of the day. What I need is something that’s quick, easy to use and allows me to focus on reading tweets when I’m in between appointments, running mundane errands, or commuting.


This week saw the announcement of HTC’s flagship device for 2013: the HTC One. As Connor covered in today’s This Week In Android recap, the One sports a mind-boggling display density — 468ppi, which is leaps beyond the 300ppi standard that Apple introduced for “Retina” displays. But that’s not the only significant feature of the One.

Aside from the now obligatory processor and RAM bumps, the One features a new UltraPixel camera with optical image stabilization that captures a lot more light than a regular mobile phone camera. It also comes with dual front speakers for a sharper and louder sound, a built-in InfraRed port that allows you to remote control your TV, and packs it all in a full metal body with glare and scratch-resistant glass.

On the software front, there’s BlinkFeed on the homescreen that pulls data from your important services and sites, and Zoe that brings your Gallery to life by making any photo you capture into a 3-second video with 20 separate frames.

HTC is definitely hoping that this will be the One device to save it from the downward sales and marketshare spiral it’s been in over the past year. But will all of it be enough to make the One your One phone? Alright, no more puns. Wait, One more! OK, I’m done.

It’s February 24th and today, we not only celebrate the birth of the late Steve Jobs but also say goodbye to another week of Android news. This week has seen the HTC One finally announced, the reveal of the PlayStation 4 and its integration with your Android device and more!

Let’s dive in…

From the release of the Nexus 7 in the summer to a whole line of Nexus products in the fall, Android has come a long way in the past year. Sadly, hurricane Sandy struck the USA’s East Cost right when Google wanted to proudly unveil their newest line-up, so their announcement was restricted to mass e-mails and an online launch.

Alongside the Nexus 7, Google launched the Nexus 10, a 10-inch NVIDIA Tegra 3 powered tablet, and the Nexus 4, a 4-inch smartphone with a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. To support these devices, the company “refreshed” Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, giving it a version bump to 4.2, while retaining the Jelly Bean codename. Want to find out the improvements done? Read on.

Despite signing up for a Twitter account back in early 2007, I was a little sceptical to start with. It took me around a year to start to feel comfortable with the platform but I’m now fully immersed in it. Over the years, I’ve tested out countless Twitter clients, and few have lasted very long – there is always something that is not quite right.

But after years of searching, I’ve finally settled on Janetter. It has taken me a while to get here, but now I’m happy.


When it comes to pampering yourself with nice things, I’m all up for it. Clothes, accessories, cars, electronics,… if you have the money, why not get the best? But that’s the thing with luxury, most items aren’t really “the best”. They’re the most flashy, expensive, refined, and even ridiculous, but certainly not the best. So I draw a line between luxury and value.

That’s why I find the newly announced 10,000$ Vertu Ti rather ludicrous. I know this kind of device isn’t made for people who care about specs, but a WVGA screen and — most importantly — Ice Cream Sandwich? This phone is already two Android versions behind and will soon be even more outdated. Plus, the only selling point other than the build materials is the concierge feature. I would expect people who have 10,000$ lying around to already have a concierge at their disposal.

As Connor pointedly remarked when covering the news in his column, you could buy 33 Nexus 4s for the price of one Vertu Ti. But as luck would have it, there are people out there who have the kind of money that allows them to purchase this Vertu, try the Concierge feature a couple of times for fun, and either only take the Ti out with them to red carpet and socialite events while they use another phone daily, or use the it daily for calls and messages only.

Personally, at the rate technology is going, I think that’s a waste of Titanium — and human resources. As for the ten grand? I would consider paying that amount money for a 1cm thick phone that has a 1080p screen that works with gloves, a 40MP camera with Xenon flash, a 6000mAh battery and an octa-core processor, with the promise of instant updates to the next 10 versions of Android. That’s true luxury if you ask me, but one can only dream.

This week we saw Valentine’s Day and the industry certainly recognised our love of the robotic operating system with a consistent slew of news. Want to hear of the $10,000 Android smartphone, learn of the release of Nexus 4 wireless charging orbs or what’s new with the stock operating system? Be sure to check in after the jump! (more…)

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