Stories by Armando Rodriguez

  • HTC First is the phone for Facebook junkies (and no one else)

    The HTC First is one of the more intriguing Android phones I've had the chance to review. The result of a collaboration between HTC and Facebook, the First is the first phone to ship with Facebook Home preinstalled--doing away with the traditional Android home screen in favor of a continuous Facebook news feed. Apps such as Gmail and Maps are hidden away, while the official Facebook and Messaging apps take center stage. The phone is aimed at fans of the social network, but the First's unassuming design and modest $100 price tag (with an accompanying 2-year contract on AT&T) should prove enticing to anyone looking for a smartphone on a budget.

  • The phones have left the building

    Sorry folks, the phones have left CES - and it doesn't look like they'll be coming back. What was once a waterfall of shiny new handsets has turned into a pitiful trickle as phone manufacturers and carriers opt for mobile-only conferences and private events to launch their hot new devices.

  • Hurricane Sandy shuts down Google's Android event

    Sorry, Android fans, looks like you'll have to wait a little longer to hear more about the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10. Google has cancelled its Monday morning event in New York City because of safety concerns related to Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to hit the island in the next few days.

  • The Best Apps for Android and iPhone, 2012 Edition

    A smartphone is only as good as the apps you have on it. We've filtered Android’s Google Play store and the Apple App Store to select the most useful and fun apps for your phone. Check out our picks for the top mobile utilities, entertainment software, news apps, productivity tools, and games available today.

  • Opinion: Dear Google, Android needs your help

    Listen, Google, we need to talk. You seem to be ignoring our green robotic friend. I know you've been battling lawsuits, getting your self-driving cars licensed, and focusing on Google+, but it might be time to show Android that you still care.

  • Motorola Droid 4: Snappy performance and a great keyboard

    With its slide-out QWERTY keyboard and latest version of Android, the <a href="">original Motorola Droid</a> stood for everything the iPhone wasn't. However, Motorola's interest in QWERTY Android phones has been downplayed with each new model. The Motorola Droid 4 ($200 with a new 2-year contract on Verizon; price as of 2/13/2012) is the latest in the keyboard toting Android phones. Unfortunately, the Droid 4 lacks the same excitement the original Droid sparked-- the excellent keyboard and zippy processor is overshadowed by a blurry screen and poor camera.

  • Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0: a mini movie theatre in your pocket

    Samsung's Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0 are the Android answer to Apple's iPod Touch, which has long been the king of portable media players. Of the two, the Galaxy Player 5.0 ($US240 as of January 4, 2012) is a particularly attractive device for anyone who wishes to remain within the realm of Android for music, video, and apps, but who doesn't want to pay for monthly services with an Android phone. Offering specs similar to its iOS rival, the Galaxy Player 5.0 makes a gallant attempt at beating the iPod Touch at its own game, but falls short in audio quality.

  • HTC Rezound review: A high performance Android phone

    The HTC Rezound ($300 with a new two-year contract as of 1/3/12) is one of the more capable devices released this year. With beefy specs, including a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor and Verizon LTE 4G connectivity, the Rezound stands its own against other Verizon smartphones.

  • A user's guide to Android Ice Cream Sandwich

    After months of waiting, <a href="">the Galaxy Nexus</a> (and by extension, Android 4.0, aka "Ice Cream Sandwich") is finally here. We've already done an extensive review of <a href="">the hardware</a>, so here we will be looking much more closely at Ice Cream Sandwich. Whether you are an Android veteran or a smartphone first-timer, this new version of Google's mobile operating system has a few things you should know about before getting started.

  • Android in 2012: What’s next?

    Google only scratched the surface with the latest improvements to its Android mobile operating system. Users have been left wanting more, and they are likely to get it in 2012.

  • Get started with Google's new music store

    Users of Google Music can now purchase albums and songs online, and have them sent directly to their Android phones or Google Music locker. But should you use it? We took it for a quick spin and, so far, we're impressed.