The Google Play Store is getting a fresh coat of paint beginning today with the release of the official 4.0 update. What's so great about Google Play 4.0? Well, for starters, the images are larger, making it easier to see what exactly your about to download. Content grouping has also been improved, providing better recommendations of other items you might be interested in, and the checkout process also sees a slight overhaul as well. Google Play 4.0 starts worldwide rollout today, and may take a couple of weeks before hitting your particular device. It'll run on any smartphone or tablet running Android 2.2 or later.
Read More | Android Blog
OUYA, the Android-based home game console that took Kickstarter by storm, is now available for pre-order on Amazon for those who missed out on the campaign. The cost is $99 for the unit, which includes the OUYA console and one controller. The draw of OUYA is that anyone can develop and publish games for the console, and there's no huge financial barrier to entry for devs. This could mean that there will be just a bunch of random stuff, but it also means that you'll have more developers working on quality games--and for the first time on a home console, you'll likely see games as inexpensive as the ones you play on your iOS and other Android devices. OUYA is powered by a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and 1 GB RAM with 8 GB of storage and 1080p output. Pre-order it now for $99 and it'll deliver in June, and don't forget to grab an extra controller.
Read More | OUYA pre-order
The LG Optimus G was released a couple of months ago, and was a statement from LG that it would no longer be seen as a mid-range smartphone manufacturer. The company took its time with this one, focusing on a few key areas that it felt would set this phone apart from the wildly crowded Android smartphone pack, where Samsung has been recognized as the leader. The phone is available on both Sprint and AT&T for $199 with a two-year contract. The question is, did LG deliver? On the surface, it seems to have checked all the right boxes, what with 4G LTE, quad-core processor, Corning Gorilla Glass 2, and a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display. Is it enough? Follow along with us in our full LG Optimus G review for the answer.
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2011, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2012!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone original:
iPhone 5 certainly got a lot of attention this year, and our image gallery comparing it to previous iPhone designs served as our most popular post in all of 2012.
In this episode we open up the Sprint LG Optimus G smartphone, which runs on Sprint's new 4G LTE network. LG's Optimus G device has a great display, is super-thin, and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at launch. You also might recognize the back of the device, as this is the phone that the Google Nexus 4 was based off of. The Sprint model sports an impressive 13 megapixel camera, allowing you to take super-high quality shots, which pairs up nicely with its stunning display.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is currently the hottest-selling phone in the US. Want one? Good, because we have one to give away! We've teamed up with TRENDOY!, the daily gadget newsletter to give away a Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone, and we've made it super-easy for you to enter to win. All you need to do to enter is head on over to our TRENDOY! page and subscribe! We'll choose a winner of the Galaxy S III from our subscribers in a week. Good luck!
Oh, and be sure to subscribe to the Gear Live Newsletter too - we've got a few fun holiday giveaways planned there!
Alongside the Droid RAZR HD that Motorola and Google announced this morning, there's also a version with a much bigger battery--the Droid RAZR Maxx HD. It's pretty much the same as the RAZR HD, with the exception of packing in 32GB of internal storage, and an incredible 3,300mAh battery that Motorola claims will provide up to 21 hours of talk time, or 8 straight hours of LTE-powered web browsing. The RAZR Maxx HD is 9.3mm thin, so a tiny bit thicker than the regular RAZR HD, but that's the price you pay to be a road warrior, right? You'll be able to nab your own Droid RAZR Maxx HD this holiday season from Verizon. Be sure to check out the full Motorola. On Display. event video.
If you though that the Galaxy Note II was the only giant Android phone we'd be seeing this year, LG has other plans. The LG Intuition will be coming to Verizon Wireless for $200 with two-year contract, and it'll sport 4G LTE compatibility. It's got a huge 5-inch display, dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Verizon will start taking orders online starting tomorrow, while in-store shoppers should see the Intuition in stores on September 10.
If you're a Sprint customer who's been waiting on a new Android device, and you demand that a real QWERTY keyboard be a part of the action, then the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE is exactly what you're looking for. Aside from the keyboard love, it also packs support for LTE, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel rear camera, and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. You can pre-order the Photon Q today, and it hits stores on August 19th for $199.
Read More | Sprint