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4 years ago

BlueStacks announces Android-powered GamePop gaming console and subscription service

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Popular mobile game titles on your TV, using your phone as a controller

BlueStacks, which is best known for letting users run Android apps on Windows and Mac computers, is going in a completely different direction with the introduction of a new gaming console called GamePop. But the console is just half of the story -- GamePop also encompasses a monthly subscription service that lets users play as many games as they want on the console with no additional charges. The console itself is running Android, and can be connected to your TV and controlled from either your phone or a dedicated game controller. Outside of that, we don't have any details on the internals of the device, although the design certainly looks interesting.

To make sure there's a good selection of games to choose from, BlueStacks has partnered with some of the biggest mobile developers out there right now. Names like Halfbrick, Glu Mobile, OutFit7, Intellijoy, Deemedya and many more are all on board to bring their titles over to GamePop. From the developer's perspective, they will receive 50-percent of the subscription price per user -- based on gameplay time -- for having games available on the platform. Additionally, BlueStacks will not take a cut of any in-app purchases if developers choose to have them in their games. Hopefully this generous revenue sharing model can help boost the number of games that come over to GamePop.

GamePop is available for pre-order starting today, and interestingly will be offered for free with a monthly subscription of $6.99 during the month of May. After the initial May pre-order period ends the console will have an up-front cost associated with it, however, which hasn't been specified. Given the quick rise in number of users of its desktop software to run Android apps, we have to think BlueStacks may be onto something. Does it have what it takes to challenge competitors like OUYA though? We'll have to see going forward. Stick around after the break to see a nice introductory video and a full press release for the device, and follow the source link if you're interested in pre-ordering a GamePop console.

More: GamePop

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4 years ago

Get your comic book fix with Marvel Unlimited, now available on Android

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13,000 Marvel comic books at your disposal on your Android smartphone or tablet for $9.99 per month

Comic book fans are sure to be excited for this one, for Marvel Unlimited has finally made its way to Android. Having been available on iOS for a couple of months now, it's our turn to dive into 70 years worth of content over 13,000 back issues. For anything more recent, you'll still likely need to turn to something like Comics by Comixology, but for the classics Marvel Unlimited should more than have you covered. 

Subscription rates stand at $9.99 per month, but until May 15 you can take advantage of a special discount on a yearly subscription: down to $59.88 from the regular price of $69.00. The Android app allows you to save up to six comic books to your device for offline reading, as well as being able to use your subscription to read content on your computer. 

Grab the app from the Play Store link above, and we'll kind of forgive you if you go quiet for a little while. But be sure to jump into the comments and let us know what you're reading. 

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4 years ago

OUYA gets $15 million in new funding

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OUYA and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers today announced that the Android gaming upstart has raised $15 million in funding. The money comes in part from NVIDIA, the Mayfield Fund, Shasta Ventures and Occam Partners. That's alongside the $8.5 million (give or take) pledged through Kickstarter in 2012.

OUYA's goal is to be a nimble, $99 Android gaming console, with frequent updates and the big-name titles you'd expect. 

“The message is clear, OUYA founder and CESO Julie Uhrman said in a news release. "People want OUYA. We first heard this from Kickstarter backers who provided more than $8 million to help us build OUYA, then from over 12,000 developers who have registered to make an OUYA game, next from retailers who are carrying OUYA online and soon on store shelves, and now from top pioneering investors.”

OUYAs are shipping to the early backers now and will hit stores in late June.

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4 years ago

How to get lock screen widgets on the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Lock screen widgets are easy to enable on the Galaxy S4, but there are a couple of extra settings to get to grips with

When you first pick up the Samsung Galaxy S4, it might appear that lock screen widgets aren't available. After all, the default lock screen is just a big clock widget with "life companion" or some other message up top. But as an Android 4.2 device, the S4 includes full support for lock screen widgets, it's just a case of enabling them in the phone's lock screen settings.

Head to Settings > My device > Lock screen and check "Multiple widgets." Once you've done that, you're able to swipe to the right and add more lock screen panels. There's the standard list of Google widgets as well as some new stuff from Samsung, including a new WatchON widget. This ties into the WatchON app, which is the Peel-powered universal remote included on the Galaxy S4, giving you an expandable universal remote right from your lock screen. Third-party offerings like Dashclock Widget should work just fine, too.

In stock Android, there's always a camera shortcut on the right-most lock screen panel. On the GS4 you can choose what goes here -- either a big, Nexus-style camera shortcut or a grid of favorite apps. Head to Settings > My device > Lock screen > Lock screen widgets > Favorite apps or Camera to configure this.

Like some of the other Samsung widgets, the main clock widget is customizable too. You can change or get rid of the message, have a dual clock if you're roaming overseas and customize the style and size of the on-screen fonts.

Check the quick video demo above to see lock screen widgets in action on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean update rolling out to Samsung Galaxy Note in Canada and the UK

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TELUS, Rogers and Bell Galaxy Notes get Android 4.1.2 update, as does the UK SIM-unlocked version

Just a few days after the AT&T model got its Jelly Bean update, other Samsung Galaxy Note variants are starting to see the update to Android 4.1.2. According to reports from MobileSyrup and XDA, the Canadian carrier-branded versions on TELUS, Rogers, and Bell all have updates waiting for them. Meanwhile on the Android Central forums, a number of OG Note owners in the UK report that their GSM unlocked Notes are getting a similar update.

The Galaxy Note Jelly Bean update brings the new Google Search app with Google Now and improved responsiveness through the "Project Butter" performance enhancements, in addition to a new UI and a selection of newer software features from the Galaxy S3.

If you've updated your Galaxy Note to Jelly Bean, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: Android Central forums, ​MobileSyrup, XDA

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4 years ago

ITV Player for Android exclusive to Samsung devices until Aug. 31

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Samsung announces deal to bring the UK TV streaming app exclusively to its devices

Samsung has announced that it's scored exclusive rights to the ITV Player app for Android until Aug. 31, giving users of its phones and tablets access to the British broadcaster's streaming content. The ITV Player app allows Brits to stream the past 30 days of TV content from ITV, ITV 2, ITV 3, ITV 4 and CITV, and so until September the only way to do that on Android will be on a Samsung device.

The strangest part of the deal is that the ITV Player app itself isn't new at all. The app debuted back in mid-2011 for all devices running Android 2.2 and up, though the Samsung deal seems to have put an end to that. A quick glance over its Play Store listing reveals that as of the latest update on May 7 it's "incompatible" with non-Samsung phones and tablets. 

Samsung says the new app is optimized for the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S III, Galaxy SII, Galaxy Note II, OG Note and Galaxy Note 10.1. The Google Play Store listing shows compatibility for a wide range of other Samsung devices, including the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Tab 7 Plu,s and even the Galaxy Camera.

ITV Player for Android is available from Google Play (linked above) and Samsung Apps on supported devices.

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Where do you store your contacts?

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Keeping track of the names and numbers can be quite the task. How do you tackle it?

Your contacts, and keeping the list of them safe and sound, is a pretty big deal for some of us. I've got a couple thousand, and that's after paring things down to just the people I might want to get in touch with one day. I'm sure a lot of you have even more. 

A smart phone is a convenient place and method to keep track of them all. And, just like everything else, there are several different places to store them. Most of us here will probably use Google to store the email addresses and phone numbers of the people we want to talk to, but that's certainly not a requirement. You can store all that data on your phone's memory, or even on your SIM card -- provided you keep the number reasonable.

So, we're curious. Tell us where you keep your contacts, and be sure to hit the comments to tell us why, or any interesting tales of woe that you may have. There's a poll over to the right, and you can also find it after the break. Let us know!

A quick look at last week's poll results:

What's your Android keyboard of choice?

SwiftKey is the big winner, with more users than the rest combined. We understand why, because that word prediction is so good it's scary!

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4 years ago

Google I/O app updated for 2013, new features abound

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Attendees and folks watching from home can keep track of all the happenings at this years Google developer conference

Google I/O 2013 is just six days away, and to help everyone get ready the folks at Mountain View have pushed a mighty big update to the Google I/O app. What began as a way to show off Android fragments and best UI practices has turned into quite the portal for anyone interested in Google I/O, whether you're attending or not. A quick look at the change log.

  • NEW! Scan attendee badges via NFC
  • NEW! Schedule changes are immediately synchronized between devices
  • NEW! Lock screen widget for viewing your agenda on the go
  • NEW! Vector-based maps with session info
  • NEW! Dedicated HDMI video output for livestreams
  • NEW! Automatic WiFi setup for attendees
  • NEW! Off-site attendee mode for livestream-only viewers
  • Use Google+ for login
  • Support for viewing Office Hours sessions
  • Improved support for devices with RTL locales

Upon installing the app using your Google+ account credentials, you're asked if you'll be attending. This way the app knows whether or not to set up your Wifi access and let you choose your event schedule in the agenda view. 

The whole UI is now very Google Now-like, with cards and swiping taking center stage, and is optimized for phones, 7-inch tablets and 10-inch tablets. Developer Advocate Roman Nurik has a great overview of the style and design changes and improvements on his Google+ page, be sure to check that out if you're into design.

If you're attending I/O this year, be sure to look for us. If you're watching from home, we'll have all the coverage you could ask for. Six more days!

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4 years ago

Google Earth updated with Street View, better search and directions, new interface

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Check out the world without ever leaving your chair, Street View has come to Google Earth

The Google Earth application has received a major update today, and with version 7.1.1 comes a trio of great changes. The most obvious, and definitely the coolest, is that you can now zoom the whole way down to Street View to check out the world at street level. Long a staple on Google Maps for Android and the web, this is a nice addition.

Besides Street View, Google has improved the search functionality, made directions allowing you to see a 3D view of transit, walking, bike and driving directions. Another major change comes to the UI, which now offers a slide-out panel from the left side much like the Google+ app. 

Google Earth has come a long way, and it's nice to see an app that can take advantage of today's high-powered phones and their processing muscle. If you've never tried it, or if it's been a while since you had a look, grab it from the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Gameloft's Blitz Brigade coming to Android and iOS May 9

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Grab your weapons and 11 friends, and get ready to play Blitz Brigade, a new multiplayer FPS from Gameloft coming tomorrow

Way back in January we talked about Blitz Brigade, an upcoming team FPS from Gameloft. We just got word that we'll be able to get our hands on the official release May 9 -- that's tomorrow. The game, which is a total rip of Team Fortress 2 combined with Battlefield Heros (not like that's a bad thing), looks like a lot of bloody fun.

Set in WWII, the free to play title will be focused on team-style multiplayer, but there will also be a full set of 120 single player challenges if that's more your style. Teams can be up to 12 players, using four different maps and in death match or domination mode. With five different classes (Soldier. Gunner, Sniper, Medic and Stealth), three different vehicle types, and over 100 upgradeable weapons it sounds like a whole lot of fun.

We'll know more, and have a good look at Blitz Brigade, after it launches tomorrow. In the meantime, hit the break for some more screen shots and the original game trailer.

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4 years ago

Apex Launcher hits v2.0 with new features, improved settings

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Several new "Pro" features and even more tweaks now available in the settings

One of the most well-known names in third party launchers, Apex Launcher, has just made the jump up to version 2.0 with several new features and improvements across the app. The biggest improvements come if you've paid for the "Pro" version of the app, where you'll now get folders in the app drawer, integration with Apex Notifier and notification badge support. If you've yet to spring for the paid version, you'll still see some big changes. The free version has added support for changing vibration duration, update translations, improved the activity and wallpaper pickers and made important changes to the settings menu layout.

If you haven't taken a look at Apex in a while, now may be the time to do it. You can download the free version from the Play Store link at the top of the post, and if you want some more advanced features pick up the $3.99 paid version right here as well.

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4 years ago

Sprint adds Path to preloaded 'Discover It' widget on Galaxy S4, HTC One

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This is just "a first step" of Sprint and Path collaboration

On its official blog, Path made a quick post today explaining that it will be included as one of the apps highlighted in a "Discover It" widget that is loaded on some of Sprint's latest devices. The widget, which effectively has stub apps that let you download the full apps with just one tap, is preloaded on the home screens of phones like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. While this is pretty innocent and something that many carriers participate in, we're a little weary of the promise from today's post by Kevin McGinnis, vice president of product at Sprint: “Sprint and Path are finding ways to collaborate to enhance our customers’ experience. This is a first step."

Which certainly hints at further integration of Path into at least some of Sprint's devices going forward. Given Path's less than stellar history of protecting user's privacy even when they willingly download and sign up for the service, we're not so sure that's a great idea. We'll be keeping an eye out for further Path "integration" on Sprint going forward.

Source: Path

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4 years ago

The OUYA gets an iFixit teardown, rates 9 of 10 for repairability

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With just a few common tools you can have your new OUYA torn apart and spread all over your desk

The $99 OUYA console is gradually making its way into the hands of Kickstarter backers, so the folks over at iFixit had to do what they do best -- tear it apart. The news is good here, and if you're the type who regularly has their electronics all over a workbench in multiple pieces, you'll appreciate the internal design and engineering.

The casing of both the console itself and the controller are simple to crack open, and extracting the big pieces is easy. No special tools are necessary, and you can put away that heat gun as you'll only need hex and Phillips head drivers to completely disassemble both parts. In fact, the only "difficult" user-servicable part to remove is the CPU heat sink, which is soldered in place versus using metallic clips.

Now we don't expect (nor do we recommend) that the average user will get out a set of screwdrivers and tear apart their new OUYA. But it's nice to know that if you ever need to do something like replace a dust-choked fan, or the circuit board of the joysticks, it's easy to do yourself or to have someone else do it for you. Hit the source link for a complete walkthrough of the process, chock full of part numbers and pictures.

Source: iFixit

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4 years ago

Spring Cleaning: Win an ASUS MeMO Pad tablet!

Comments are closed folks. Look for more spring cleaning soon!

Let's make a pretty big dent in the pile on my desk, shall we? The ASUS MeMO Pad might be far from our favorite 7-inch Android tablet out there, but that doesn't mean we don't want it to go to a good home. Despite what the box shows, we're giving away the same one we reviewed, in its "cherry pink" color. (Which really is more cherry than it is pink.)

To win this guy, just leave a comment on this post. We'll shut things down at midnight EDT tonight and pick a winner. (And, yes, we'll be announcing all the winners later this week.) Good luck, everybody!

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4 years ago

LG holding 'Optimus G series' launch event in Macau

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A wider Asian launch for the Optimus G Pro? Event scheduled for May 30.

LG has sent out "save the date" invites for a launch event in Macau, China on May 30. The event, which will focus on "a member of the Optimus G series" has started going out to members of the press, and the invite seems to suggest the LG Optimus G Pro will be seeing a wider Asian launch following the Korean and Japanese releases earlier in the year. (What's more, that phone in the image sure looks a lot like the black Optimus G Pro.)

We'll have to wait and see what LG's got up its sleeve, but with the event taking place in China, we suspect whatever it is will be tightly focused on that market.

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