We take a hands-on first look at the new HTC One Mini, the latest upper mid-range Android phone from HTC, and a challenger to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.
The hotly rumoured and much leaked HTC One Mini has finally launched. It’s an upper mid-range handset that effectively replaces last year’s One S, but shares the exact same styling, software, and most of the features of the very well received HTC One.
HTC says the Mini is an attempt to take the One range to as wide an audience as possible. Yet curiously it’s unlikely to be massively cheaper, nor is it considerably smaller. It’s a tall handset, thanks to the presence of the impressive BoomSound speakers at either end, and with the same aluminium unibody chassis as the One – and the same build quality – it is a solid, weighty device too.The HTC One Mini next to the red HTC One
The device has been shrunk to fit around a 4.3″ display (720p and over 300ppi pixel density), and it does feel particularly good in the hand. It’s easy to manoeuvre your thumb around the screen, and easier to reach up to the power button still located on the top left edge of the phone.
The web version of the Google Play store has had a major redesign.
Many of us have been fortunate enough to have had access to the new Google Play design on our phones for some time now, but the redesign of the web version has been in development for some time and has only just been released to the public.
The new card interface is in full swing with the new update, enabling users to have a much easier time navigating through the site and finding the apps or media files they want. Other changes include bigger versions of screenshots when you select an app and a new sidebar to push you quickly through different sections of the store.
Let us know your thoughts on the new update in the comments section below.
We review OUYA, the £99 Android games console that wants to take over your living room. Is it still relevant with the Xbox One and PS4 just around the corner?
With $8.5 million in crowd funding and an extensive marketing campaign to rival that of its console counterparts, OUYA is without doubt the pioneer of the new generation of Android gaming consoles.
Unboxing the OUYA reveals a small silver square alongside a smart looking controller. Both the controller and console are light, a bit too light infact, but they both have a nice aesthetic quality to them, even if the OUYA might be smaller than you first thought.
Around the back of the console are a range of ports which ramp up the variety of connectivity options available to you. There’s the standard power port, full USB, microUSB and also a HDMI port to boot. Due to the consoles small stature, having both the power and HDMI cable plugged into the console when you begin playing is a real eyesore.
Samsung has shipped a record number of Galaxy S4 units around the world
Samsung’s behemoth flagship device, the Galaxy S4, has certainly hit the headlines since its release a couple of months back and the initial hype has led to 20 million devices being shipped during that time.
Although that doesn’t mean all 20 million have ended up being sold, it does show the S4 has shipped more than Samsung’s previous flagship, the Galaxy S3 and looks set to be the best selling smartphone of all time.
Three UK launch cheaper rates for PAYG customers.
To help those get more from their hard earned cash, Three has introduced cheaper PAYG rates for prepaid customers. From today onwards, customers who don’t use one of the company’s ‘add-on’ packages will pay 3p per minute for calls, 1p for a megabyte of data and just 2p for a SMS text.
If you’re currently a PAYG customer then the new changes will be updated on to your device automatically enabling you to keep in contact with your friends and family for even less than before.
Source: Three UK
Are Google crowdsourcing content? • Android Studio opens coding to enthusiasts • New book teaches app development
This year’s Google I/O was an incredibly exciting event, despite the lack of device launches, carrying with it one of the largest updates to Google services that has ever been seen and also introducing a swathe of new tools for Android developers. While for many the focus was on frontmen like Play Games and Play Music’s All Access, the back-end is where the true innovations can be found.
Google are well known for thoroughly supporting developers. The Developer Console has been providing them with a comprehensively supported gateway to the Play Store for years, as well as one of the most thoroughly documented support websites for developers working on anything from the integration of the Maps API into their website to multi-screen apps for Google TV. Moreover, this information is freely available and developers need only pay $25 to be able to upload and manage their Play Store apps.
Looking at this alongside, for example, the Artist Hub – which allows anyone with a collection of home-grown tracks to upload them to Play Music, again for a low $25 registration fee – we start to see that Google really does love Indies. Andy Betts, Editor of Android Magazine, said that ‘we may even start to think we’re seeing a very subtle, clever kind of crowd-sourcing for Play content, where Google is not only embracing independently developed apps and albums but actively encouraging it, and tooling up everyone who walks through the open (source) door’.