We're all loving the new version of Google Maps and its vector based graphics, and Google has spent the time to explain exactly what makes them better. There some great detail about vector graphics, and how using them improves things like drawing roads or place labels as well as enabling the things like 3D tilt view, and explanation of how things used to work with the tiled graphics (360 billion tiles were needed to cover the earth!), and most importantly, explanation of how offline caching works -- places you frequent will have a lot of detail, while places you don't venture to as often won't have as much, all done using about 100 times less data.
I know a lot of us were expecting an offline version of Google Maps, and it looks like that isn't here just yet. But Google did say they are continuing to work on the algorithms used to display the data, and we'll see even more improvements over time. Check it out at the source link. [Google Mobile Blog]
We've been patiently waiting to hear some more news about Dungeon Defenders: First Wave since we first caught wind of it back in September. Here we are now, December and the wait is finally over. Dungeon Defenders: First Wave; the first game using the Unreal Engine 3 will be hitting Android devices on December 23. Pricing is where we would like it to be as well. When released Dungeon Defenders will be available for only $2.99. You'll want to note the basics you need for this game to run though.
512 MB RAM
GPU capable of OpenGL ES 2.0
Android 2.1 Eclair
800 Mhz CPU or greater recommended
SD card with at least 400 MB free storage
3D graphics, online and offline campaign modes, co-op game play. You can hit the break for the full press release and video but to break it down we'll just say you better believe we're excited to get our hands on this. [DroidGamers]
College football bowl season is almost upon us, and Sprint and ESPN have teamed up to give subscribers access to 30 different bowl games -- including all five BCS bowls. To get in on the goodness, you will need to head over to Sprint's football website and download the Sprint Football Live app unless you already have it. In addition, the games can be watched from the ESPN Mobile TV channel of Sprint TV. Full press release after the break. [Sprint]
For your folks who like to compile and run your own ROMs straight from the source (and who doesn't?), know that the Android 2.3 Gingerbread source code is being pushed to the Android Open Source Project right ... about ... now!
For 90 percent of us or so, this doesn't mean much. But for you developer types, it means you can download the base code straight from Google.
Interestingly enough, however, is a warning against using the AOSP code to roll a version for the Nexus S. Says Google's Jean-Baptiste Queru:
"Even though Nexus S is designed to be suitable for AOSP work, there are some caveats. I very strongly recommend against trying to use Nexus S for anything related to AOSP at the moment. Trying to unlock or use your Nexus S for AOSP work could easily turn it into a Nexus B (where B means "brick"); I have two of those, they're not very useful. I'll send some guidelines about what is currently possible once I've finished pushing the source code. "
Again, not something most of us have to worry about. But all this does mean your favorite ROM developer likely will be incorporating Gingerbread fairly soon. [Google via @romainguy]
Rut ro! Twitter apparently is making popular Twitter client Touiter change names, seeing as how it's sort of a misspelling of Twitter. (Yeah. OK.) The good news is that you can help developer LevelUp Studio choose the new name! Right now "Plume" and "CuiCui" are in the lead, but we bet you guys can do even better than that. Just head on over to the voting page and let 'em know what you'd like to see.
The Cyanogenmod series of ROMs has done a lot of great things for a lot of phones. But one feature that's been sorely missing on the Evo 4G has been Wimax data. The 4G radio uses code that hasn't been readily available, so it's been a long road getting it to work. But today, folks, it works. It's still not quite ready for prime time, but rest assured, it's coming, folks. Keep an eye out for updates soon. [via @shinzul, @toastcfh, @kyledotodonnell, XDA Developers] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Blu-rays these days are becoming more and more prevalent. People love watching movies in HD. Heck, even grandma is playing movies in 1080p these days. Not only do these viewers love their high definition media, they enjoy all the cool things they can do while accessing the movie's online content via BD Live. The pocket BLU app, created by Deluxe Digital Studios, is an app that allows owners of new Universal (the movie studio) Blu-ray discs, to access most of the disc's extra movie content on the go. It also makes for a decent Blu-ray player remote control. Not bad for a free app, right? Make the jump to see the app in video form.