Monthly Archives: February 2013

Android

AOKP JB-MR1 Build 4 custom ROM based on AOSP Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean is now available for 20+ devices

Android 4.2.2 AOKP JB MR1 Build 4 ROM available for 22 devices

The AOKP team doesn’t sleep and now they’ve managed to release the ‘build 4′ of the AOKP JB MR1 and upgrade from Android 4.2.1 to Android 4.2.2. Which means that they’ve managed to offer the latest Android OS in stock shape for over twenty devices. Installing this custom ROM is easy as you simply have […]

Android

Exent GameTanium For TV Brings Android Games To The Living Room

Exent, provider of game subscription services, announced a new service at MWC called GameTanium For TV. Although billed as a gaming console-conversion for your Android device, it appears more like it just streams gaming content to your TV. GameTanium is currently available for Android and works in much the same way as Steam for PCs. If you’re already a GameTanium subscriber then this is great news. For the rest of us, the yet to be announced price will be a big factor. Well, price and whether or not you’ve already plopped down $100 for an OUYA.

The device/service is not without its appeal. It would be nice to fling birds across the TV using my phone as the controller then continue the game even after I’ve walked out the door. And like Steam, the subsciption model is sure to appeal to avid gamers. The question is: is there such a thing as hardcore Android gamers? Follow our 2013 Mobile World Congress coverage here.

Press Release after the break.

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2013 – /PRNewswire/ — MWC 2013 – Exent, provider of game subscription services for the world’s leading mobile operators and device manufacturers, today unveiled plans to further extend its GameTanium™ Mobile service to the TV platform through GameTanium for TV.  The forthcoming service delivers a revolutionary gaming experience to the big screen – games run on Android smartphones are displayed on the TV while the mobile device serves as the game controller. The GameTanium for TV service, which will be commercially available later this year, is being demonstrated at Mobile World Congress this week, along with Exent’s GameTanium Mobile product suite for smartphones and tablets.

The new GameTanium for TV service enables full-featured gaming on a TV using an Android device as both the controller and gaming platform.  As a result, all the benefits of smartphone gaming interfaces – including touch, tap, drag and accelerometer functionality – are available to gamers while playing on the TV.  GameTanium for TV further extends Exent’s “Play Anywhere” vision by enabling players to start a game on their phone, continue the game on the TV when they are home, and resume the game on the phone when they are on the go.

GameTanium presents a valuable opportunity for mobile operators and device manufacturers to engage consumers on smartphones, tablets and TVs.  Exent’s GameTanium turnkey, fully-managed game subscription services give operators a premium content offering that increases average revenue per user (ARPU) and strengthens brand loyalty. Combining GameTanium’s content and programming expertise with customizable elements ranging from a brandable UI to pricing and packaging, the service provides carriers with the industry’s most comprehensive game service on the market.

“We remain focused on delivering a revolutionary, all-you-can-play subscription games service that supports anytime, anywhere game play,” says Zvi Levgoren, CEO at Exent. “Our GameTanium for TV service represents the next evolution of that vision and a tremendous opportunity for mobile operators, as it enables them to keeps their customers actively engaged whether they are on the go or relaxing on the couch at home.”

Exent will be demonstrating the GameTanium for TV service at the Exent booth (Hall 5 Stand 5i70) at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Feb 25-28.

About Exent Exent is the world’s leading mobile and PC game service provider, enabling operators and OEM partners to deliver thousands of premium games to users through all-you-can-play subscription and free ad-supported offerings.  Exent’s ability to increase consumer engagement and raise ARPU has led large operators and OEMs such as Verizon, AIS, Telmex, CenturyLink, Lenovo, ASUS and others to select Exent as the provider of their game services.

For further information please visit www.exent.com

Media Contact: Gerald Kimber White 781-455-8250 Exent@rfbinder.com

 

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Android

NVIDIA back with videos showing off gaming graphics at MWC 2013

ru_golf_nvidia_tegra_4_comparison_screenshot

NVIDIA is back on their blog today about their new Tegra 4 chips, this time with information about games primed for Tegra powered devices. Games are a great way to show off the computing power of a new chip as NVIDIA demonstrates in a couple videos from Zombie Driver and RU Golf. With more computing power, graphics can display better textures and more polygons, making for smoother results. The new Tegra 4 chip will also let game developers take advantage of features like dynamic lighting to create accurate shadows.

Along with the enhancements, NVIDIA also released some information about five games that will be released soon specifically targeted at Tegra-powered devices, including:

  • Burn Zombie Burn from Tick Tock Games, your typical zombie-fighting console game;
  • Carie: Blood Mansion from Neowiz will include an exclusive map for Tegra device users in this action adventure game. Tegra device owners will also be able to enjoy high-res textures, enhanced physics simulations and optimized fire and smoke effects;
  • RPG CODEX: The Warrior from Devclan and Playbean is an action/fighting title in which the player is battling a variety of monsters. The title will take advantage of real-time dynamic shadows and HDR lighting;
  • Dead on Arrival 2 from N3V Games, another game pitting the player against zombies, this one taking advantage of high-res models;
  • RU Golf from Nutgee takes the Tegra platform to a different genre where the cartoon/anime graphics take advantage of dynamic specular lighting, shadows, bloom and lens flare effects.

You can check out the comparisons between the current capabilities of Tegra devices compared to the new Tegra 4 chips in the videos below. Be sure to check back for more MWC 2013 coverage.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

source: NVIDIA

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Android

MetroPCS sets March 28 as date to vote on T-Mobile merger

TMobile_MetroPCS_Merger_Date

 

Save the date folks. Wireless carrier MetroPCS has set March 28th as the date to vote on its merger with T-Mobile. The two phone carriers have been in talks to merge that was reported as early as October 2012. According to reports, this merger will be classified as a “reverse merger” meaning that T-Mobile will merge into MetroPCS’ structure rather than the opposite. Deutsche Telekom will benefit from this merger by getting 74% of the company’s shares. The remaining 26% will go to MetroPCS shareholders which equals a total amount of $1.5 billion.

While the date has been set, there looks to be some potential roadblocks in the form of some opposition to the merger. Among the different opponents out there is P. Schoenfeld, a firm who holds a total of 8.3 million shares, or about 2.3% of shares in MetroPCS. The firm has expressed the intention to vote against the merger using its shares. Along with them is another firm expressing opposition to the merger, Paulson & Co. Paulson & Co. has a total of 8.7% of shares in MetroPCS and may join in the efforts to oppose the merger of the two wireless carriers.

It will be interesting to see how this developing T-Mobile/MetroPCS saga will play out.

Source: MarketWatch

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Android

Pick of the Day: PowerFlask

Welcome to Pick of the Day, a daily post which aims to highlight various goings-on in the Android space. Whether it’s an app, a game, an accessory, or service, we’re here to share the news. Our goal here is to help you new and season Android users discover new and wonderful things for your device.

We understand that some of you may already know about the highlighted product(s) so we’re asking for your help. If you see something that you consider to be similar or perhaps better than what we showcase, be sure to share that in the comments below. Together, we can educate each other as a community.

powerflask

Accessory of the Day: PowerFlask

What they say: An essential item for both travel and day-to-day mobility, the PowerFlask delivers a vigorous 13000mAh of charging power for all of your mobile devices. Featuring a pocket-friendly design for handy portability, the PowerFlask lets you simultaneously charge three mobile devices at once, making it the perfect choice for families and individuals with multiple mobile devices.

What we say: We love the idea of charging up to three devices at one time, even if they are not all Android. The  30-pin iPad/iPhone connectors, a USB-to-Micro-USB charging cable, and USB-to-Dual-Micro-USB-charging cable make sure we can charge up just about anything we would carry around. At 13000mAh, the battery is strong enough to top off a phone, tablet, and MP3 player… twice. As a bonus, there are two bright LED lights for emergency situations.

Where to Buy: PowerFlask and Amazon

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Android

Google debuts Google+ Sign-In, the Facebook Login and Open Graph killer

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You know how many of your favorite Android games let you sign in with a Facebook account? You know many times that sign-in leads to spammy wall posts or clutter in your news feed? Google today announced something similar with Google+ sign-in, however there’s nary a trace of that added junk. Today, Google debuts its Facebook Login and Open Graph killer.

Google+ Sign-In lets users sign in to your Android app with their existing Google credentials, and bring along their Google+ info for an upgraded experience. In addition to basic authentication, today’s release includes features that can accelerate both app downloads and engagement.

Now, instead of asking you to log-in with Facebook or create an account, you can bring your Google+ profile along for the ride. Once tied to the app, your credentials are synchronized and you’re off and running. A number of developers have already been using this feature, including Fancy, Flixter, OpenTable, Shazam, and USAToday.

So what about all the times you log in with an app and favorite a song, station or movie? Will that show up for all of your circles? Only if you want it to. You can customize who sees what and how often.

Users’ app activities will only be visible to the Google+ circles they specify (if any), and they’ll only appear when they’re relevant. Putting users in control, and not spraying their stream builds trust in your app, and encourages meaningful sharing.

Another great feature is that users will find that many websites can lead to a seamless and even more better expression. Log in with your Google+ account on one of these websites and you’ll be asked if you’d like to install the Android app – instantly.

It’s pretty obvious that this move will lead to more Google+ adoption and peel away at Facebook’s strangle on social login. This is an uphill battle, sure, but Google is positioning themselves quite nicely. I don’t know about you but I really enjoy a simple login experience. Conversely, I cannot stand how many apps and games tell me that my friends just got a new high score or that they just listened to a specific song.  Here’s to Google doing it right.

Google

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Android

Get this look for your Android: Rust

Rust-MCS2

One of our absolute favorite things about Android is the fact that you can bend and tweak the platform to your needs.  Sure, there’s rooting and modding for deep level personalization, but that stuff does not always concern the everyday user. Some of just want to change the home screen around a bit and create a new user experience. To that end, we present our weekly series of Get This Look posts.

In a nutshell we will show you a new look for your Android handset and tell you which apps you’ll need if you want to mimic the feel. Note that the following details are but the ingredients to which you can create your own delicious Android dish – results will vary.  But that’s awesome. In fact, many of the designs we highlight tend to use the same apps.

Rust by BadBrad

WHY WE LOVE THIS LOOK:

We decided that we’d pick a look that was almost completely opposite of the clean and Google Now-like stuff that has been highlighted the last few rounds. We say almost because we’re still stuck on the white and minimal looking icons. No matter how hard we try, we just like the way things look when you employ such simple touches.

Rust-MCS

The apps used to create this look can lead to some great creations and the wallpaper can be swapped out with anything else along those lines. If you’re looking for gritty, rusty, and grungy wallpapers, we recently showcased a handful.

We really appreciate having the Google Search icon/widget so close at hand and find it convenient in the middle of the screen. It’s unobtrusive and works well here – a welcome departure from the norm. The top widget is a real gem and we cannot believe we’ve not featured it here before. We suspect, however, that Zooper Widget Pro will become quite popular over time.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Anything Else?

MyColorScreen is dedicated to the great ways you can modify your home screens.

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Android

Is Google worried about Samsung?

google_worried_samsung_720bThere’s an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal today which suggests that Google’s Andy Rubin may be troubled by the growing momentum in Samsung. The post Samsung Sparks Anxiety at Google tells of a Google which has become worried that Samsung will soon try to throw its weight around.

X-Phone

You know the whole Google and Motorola acquisition? Reportedly, that was not only about securing patents but also a hedged bet against Samsung. The chatter about an X-Phone to combat the iPhone and Samsung seems to carry more weight. Initially, I couldn’t understand why Google would want to compete against Samsung but now I do.

More advertising revenue

Samsung is reported to earn roughly 10% in online-advertising revenue that Google generates from its search engine. But, with growing market share and no foreseeable threats, Samsung may ask for a bigger piece of the pie. In fact, Samsung is already said to have indicated that they do want more.

More Android leverage

In addition to a larger advertising revenue split, Samsung could also ask for earlier access to Android. This, as I see it, would likely compound the “threat” of Samsung. Google giving a head start to Samsung would only add to the appeal of a Galaxy product.

Consider that it’s also not only about what Samsung asks Google to provide but what Samsung could get from others. Imagine a scenario where Samsung begins to build in Microsoft Bing as the search engine and cuts Google out of ads. Samsung already works with Microsoft for mobile devices running Windows Phone. Samsung is also developing an OS with Intel, Tizen, which could help to fracture relationships.

Really, who could blame Samsung for such a move? Two years ago, the Droid brand was synonymous with Android as a platform. Today, people ask, “Is that your Galaxy?” as if it’s either iPhone or Galaxy. Android has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years, largely on the backs of Samsung.

Samsung has worked hard to offer branded experiences and services (Media Hub, Samsung Apps, etc). Are they not allowed to take on Google, Amazon, and Apple? Amazon uses Android for its Kindle Fire series and also provides an app ecosystem. Can they not also do the same for its handsets and tablets? I’m not saying I like the idea; however, I cannot fault them for having lofty aspirations.

Too soon to worry?

Of course, much is being made about something before it has actually happened. Samsung is not threatening to drop Android and Google is not giving a head start to other handset makers. At least, this is what we see publicly. Google has said on a number of time that it does not care what happens with Android and that it’s free to use in any manner. Then again, for Google not to worry at all would be be folly.

There are countless other handset makers using Android and the platform is rising as a whole. Unfortunately (or not), there does not appear to be anyone making the level of noise that Samsung is. Sure, names like Huawei and ZTE are growing their base and steadily rising around the world. Still, at 40.2% of the market, Samsung is far ahead of second place Huawei and its 6.6% share.

HTC, LG, Sony, and Motorola are the names we are most familiar with in the United States however we should also not discount Pantech, ZTE, and Huawei. As a whole, these guys are moving the needle forward; some, are doing better than others. The HTC One looks to be an excellent flagship experience for 2013 and the Xperia Z is one of the best devices we’ve seen yet. Looking forward, LG will continue building steam and the Optimus G series could become a much-anticipated line.

The Motorola X-Phone could be Google’s way of combining in-house expertise on hardware and software, much in the manner of Apple’s iPhone. Google has repeatedly denied any special favor or advantage for its mobile arm but that does not mean they would not consider such a thing. The biggest problem, here, is not that it could strain a relationship with Samsung, but that it could do the same for all other Android phone manufacturers.  It’s a fine line to be sure.

Backup plans

The name of the game right now is contingency plans. We can see that with handset makers employing Windows Phone, buying up WebOS, or developing new platforms. Toss in Mozilla’s Firefox OS and things get even muddier. A web-based platform such as Chrome works exceedingly well for netbooks; 4G LTE could give way to a similar experience for mobile devices.

Remember that Android is only a few years old and that things change quickly in the mobile space. Ask RIM or Nokia and they’ll tell you how fast things can move.

What’s next?

I suspect that much of what happens in the next year is already being mapped out and that we’re waiting for things to unfold in the public eye. I get the sense that Google and everyone involved is staring at each other with their hands on their hips, ready to draw.

We’ll likely see hints of  Google’s ambitions with the unveiling of the X-Phone where we will see how the device is positioned. How will it be offered? Will it be advertised any differently than Nexus products? Will consumers buy into the idea?

What’s your take?

What do you think of all of this? Should Google be concerned about Samsung and the momentum of the Galaxy brand? Would they be justified in giving the X-Phone special favor? How would you treat the relationships with other handset makers? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

WSJ

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Android

Google: Andy Rubin denies rumor of physical Google retail store anytime in near future

Google: Andy Rubin denies rumor of physical Google retail store anytime in near future

Recently, there were a couple of reports circulating that Google might get into the physical retail store business by the end of 2013.  Given the recent expansion of Google related products, it makes sense — to an extent — why Google might pursue opening physical store locations.  Moreover, it would be another way to drum up interest for the Nexus line of products by allowing prospective customers to simply stroll into a store and pick one up.

Unfortunately, Andy Rubin, Chief of Android, commented on the rumor at hand and simply announced Google has no plans to launch any stores in the near future.  Rubin believes in his company’s ability to sell products online (such as through the Play Store).  We have seen the fallacies of the Play Store, especially given its crash during the initial Nexus 4 launch.  However, besides that instance, the Play Store has been pretty successful for Google in terms of selling products.  Might we one day see a physical Google retail store remains to be seen, but Andy Rubin remains adamant that such a venture is not in Google’s immediate future.

[All Things D]


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Android

Samsung to employ multiple processor types for Galaxy S4, report indicates

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We’re but a few weeks away from finding out officially, but Samsung looks to  be using multiple processor types for the flagship Galaxy S4. Reportedly, the U.S. model will house a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset while the rest of the world, namely Europe,  gets a Samsung Exynos 5 Octa. As was the case for the Galaxy S III, the former will be used for our 4G LTE networks while the latter is for the areas where it is not so widespread.

unpacked_save_date_march14_galaxys4_720

Recent rumors suggested that Samsung had dropped its own processor in favor of the Qualcomm chip but this new report somewhat clears things up. In essence, we should expect both.

Read more at What we expect: Samsung Galaxy S4

PhoneArena

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