You’ve likely heard the news… and if you’ve been using 8.1 preview, there’s not really much “new” in that news. At any rate, Windows 8.1 has made it’s official release which – more than anything – is supposed to be “the big change” that ends Windows 8 hatred… yet I’m still face-palming.
Android’s always been known for it’s explosive success… it came from being an extremely distant and unpopulated underdog to a superstar in record-breaking time. It’s app growth rate decrowned iPhone, and it’s user adoption grew at such a rate that the opposition’s brand loyalists had to damage control iPhone’s lack of variety by trying to spin Android’s assets against it.
As hard as they wanted it not to be, the ubiquity that opposition wanted to be a flaw better proved that Android has the true sense of variety and intuitiveness to make it suit the wants of each individual user. Where iPhone users have no choice but to conform to the subset they’re given, any desire of any faction has it’s welcoming on Android. As much as they wanted “fragmentation” to be the Achilles heel of Android, the wiser, the more intelligent knew the fact that fragmentation was nothing more than fools’ terminology created to cover up the truth about what happens when an operating system is in a state of real advancement.
This event was bound to happen and it was a long time coming – but Android’s Google Play Store has now officially de-throned the Apple App Store in the only remaining area that it still held the crown. With Google’s newest reports live, we confirm solidly that the Google Play Store that fuels Android now officially has more apps than the Apple App Store.
So lately I’ve been using Windows Phone. I figured it would serve as a nice compliment to my Microsoft Surface Pro and recent spark of interest in Xbox 360.
My phone of choice is the Samsung Focus Flash… which I went with for a couple reasons. Firstly; It’s a Windows Phone that doesn’t look hideous (a rarity in itself), it only cost me $80… and aside from not looking hideous; it’s shape actually somewhat resembles the Surface.
To my surprise, I’ve actually become extremely fond of this phone!
It’s got build quality on it’s side, it’s shockingly solid, stable and smooth for a phone as old as it is, it’s beautiful just to look at, and the live tiles really do give it the feeling of being “alive”.
The XBOX Live integration was another surprise to me. While gamers all over internet forums are waiting for the second Microsoft enters the handheld gaming platform… their Windows Phone platform is already delivering that. As someone who loves buffing their gamerscore, this has been extremely appealing to see that the same achievements, leaderboards and social gaming that I enjoy on Xbox 360 and Windows 8 are integrated with Windows Phone.
There’s things to enjoy about Windows Phone, and obviously a lot more fulfillment in the app selection than people give it credit for… but it is an unpopular solution… so unpopular that a lot of developers are scared to make anything for it.
There’s a huge opportunity Microsoft is missing out on, and it could take Windows Phone to the next level.
The OUYA Gaming Console came bringing a lot of promise to an area desperately in need. The explosion in smartphone gaming has been phenomenal; but if there’s anything more phenomenal than all the developer attention being brought to smartphones, it’s the sheer magnitude of disapproval coming from core gamers who don’t think Android/iPhone gaming involves the hardware necessary to be taken seriously.
Honestly, it’s a valid point. The amount of times a game had to have it’s design elements crippled to match insufficient control options is too high to count and the end result is a new generation where the gaming scene ousts core gamers. Hardware that allows mobile operating system games to be more than a novelty needs to happen… and so far, the Xperia Play has been the only one with enough developer support to break the mold. Developers know it, serious gamers know it… and apparently so did over 63,000 backers. Born as a kickstarter concept, the OUYA demolished it’s $950,000 goal in hours, then proceeded to raise over $7.6 million more. People want to see smartphone gaming ascend beyond itty bitty time waster casual games and become something substantial.
The question arises now, how has the result of these donations shaped up now that it’s mere weeks away from seeing it’s official release?
Rumors about this service have been circulating for no less than a year, but it’s one thing to hear a rumor – and another entirely to see something come to life… and; in essence, it’s everything that Android gamers have been asking for!
I’ll admit, when I first looked into reviews for this, I let myself be completely susceptible to believe what reviewers would say about this. The Microsoft Surface had a big claim to fill, and a lot of people who would be extremely unhappy to have it meet it’s claims because then the tablet market would be compromised.
And with something making a claim as big as “The Best of Both Worlds,” fulfilling the demand definitely would mean the entire tablet market could become one-sided. But does it deliver upon these powerful claims?
Is this ushering in a future where Android isn’t bound by one-active app limits? We think so.