Headlines

2 years ago

Half of mobile gamers use phones and tablets as primary home entertainment console

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A recent survey of U.K. and U.S. mobile gamers by PopCap shows that around 50% of respondents preferred their phone to PC, console, or dedicated handheld gaming console (like a  PSP or Nintendo DS). Tablet owners ranked a bit higher with 57%. Despite the portability that tablets and smartphones offer, 69% reported to play on their phones at home on the couch (78% among tablet owners), 41% while watching TV (52% for tablet owners), and 57% while in bed (51%). 10% of the 602 American respondents had played mobile games while in a place of worship, driving a car, and/or while watching a movie at a theater. The survey's sample size was a little over a thousand-strong - take that as representative or not as you will.  

With stuff like Ouya coming out of the woodwork, I'd be interested to see just how much Android manages to displace the traditional console gaming industry and which players are savvy enough to get with the times. So far, EA has done a great job of adapting to and addressing the mobile market, meanwhile Nintendo has been vocally against the app store model.

Will players really take to switching to mobile full-time, though? I know I've definitely spent less time on my Alienware since getting really involved with mobile games, but what about you guys? Is your Xbox getting jealous of your tablet?

Source: Information Solutions Group

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2 years ago

Epic Meal Time review - the bacon-covered turkey-stuffed pig of Android games

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Epic Meal Time has just turned their debaucherous online cooking show into an Android game, and as a meat-lover, I couldn't be happier. It's a simple game that involves guiding steaks, slices of pizza, and bacon strips into the host's face, while flinging away broccoli, turnips, and other greens. Energy drinks, booze, chocolate syrup, and whole pigs keeps things interesting while players earn Internet Money to finance new swag and a wider variety of food.  

For those of you unfamiliar, Epic Meal Time has been on YouTube for a little over two years, showcasing extravagant abominations that can barely be considered food by traditional standards. Rarely does a weekly episode go by that doesn't involve Jack Daniels, Four Loko, or bacon of some kind. Lately they've been branching out into desserts with obscene calorie counts, but at its core EMT is all about making carnivore dreams come true. Vegetarians (or anyone with a sense of modesty) may want to skip this video, one of their earlier breakout episodes. 

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2 years ago

Retro Olympics becomes Retro Athletics, still don't mention the Olympics

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What we see here is a perfectly innocent Android game known as Retro Athletics. But, it didn't always go by that moniker. No, sadly it seems the world has officially gone mad, as the title had to be renamed for using the 'brand' of the Olympics summer sporting occasion taking place in the UK this year. 

We're not going into politics, that's not why we're here. But, it's a pretty sad day when the Olympics summer sporting occasion taking place in the UK this year is deemed more as a brand to be infringed upon, than the global event it's meant to be. The point to note here is that should you have previously downloaded the title under its old name, it's probably a good idea to uninstall and download again from the Play Store. Seems that Google pulled the title completely, so should you want to benefit from any future updates you'll need to have this variant. 

Source: Droidgamers, Download: Retro Athletics

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2 years ago

Gameloft unveils five new free-to-play casual games for Android

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Gameloft has announced that they will be expanding their Let's Play brand with five more games launching this summer on Google Play. Let's Play is geared towards casual mobile gamers in a free-to-play (read IAP-heavy) format. The new games will be:

  • Cosmic Colony: The action unfolds on a mysterious planet where players must create and organize their colony and make it prosper. Surprising events and space missions await players of all ages as they become space pioneers.

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2 years ago

Dungeon Hunter 3 adds multiplayer support

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Gameloft's free fantasy hack-and-slash game, Dungeon Hunter 3, now lets players team up or duke it out online with new co-op and competitive multiplayer modes. 

As usual, you chose one of multiple standard classes, and defend against waves of monsters for as long as your weapons, armor, and powers will allow you. 

As with most of Gameloft's free titles, this one's rife with in-app purchases, but I never found them particularly intrusive in the time that I put into Dungeon Hunter 3. To start slaying some dragons with buddies, hit up the download link below. 

Download: Dungeon Hunter 3 (Free)

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2 years ago

Onkyo Remote for Android updated for greater compatibility

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Just a quick heads up for those of you with Onkyo receivers that the Onkyo Remote Android application has been updated for improved compatibility with a few models. Here's the breakdown:

  • Home Media Function added for the TX-NR414/515/616
  • Added compatibility for the TX-NR1010, TX-NR3010 and the TX-NR5010.

You can check out our full look at the Onkyo Android app here.

Download: Onkyo Remote for Android

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2 years ago

Don't mention the Olympics, but SwiftKey has language pack updates for the Olympics

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The Olympic Games kicks off in London in just a few days, and popular keyboard replacement SwiftKey is getting in the mood by launching updated language packs for the Olympics, while making sure not to directly refer to the games so as not to anger the London 2012 brand police. Y'see, organizations not officially sponsoring the games are forbidden from using a number of words in their promotional materials, including Olympics, London, 2012, Olympic Games, or simply 'the games.'

So understand that it's merely our own interpretation of SwiftKey's latest announcement that leads us to believe it's launching language pack updates with a variety of new words associated with the London 2012 Olympic Games. Really, the statement below could apply to any major athletic event occurring in London the nation's capital in the summer of 2012 the present calendar year.

Over the next several weeks this summer, we’re pretty sure many of you will mention One Thing in particular. To give you a clue, we’re based in the UK’s capital, where that One Thing is hard to ignore because it’s taking place here.

So, we’ve created a special and entirely coincidental update for our two most-used language packs, UK English and US English. It contains a whole host of important names and terms that may be useful when you’re sitting on your sofa shouting at the TV, wanting to mention something to do with that One Thing in a text or tweet.

SwiftKey users can update to the latest version of the language pack by finding "SwiftKey" in the app drawer, and heading to "Languages and layouts," where updates for UK and US English should be available. If you're a SwiftKey user, be sure to let us know how you're getting on with this latest update, using the only the IOC-approved remainder of the English language, down in the comments.

Source: SwiftKey

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2 years ago

Late-night poll: Have you ever pirated an Android app?

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Madfinger Games has caused quite a stir in the Android community today, when they blamed "unbelievably high" piracy rates for changing the cost of Dead Trigger from $0.99 to free. They give no solid figures, other than "soooo giant" and many are questioning their reasoning. We're not going to discuss that here tonight, but Phil has a few thoughtful questions about the lack of numbers if you want to go down that rabbit hole and join the discussion. We want to talk about piracy and Android.

I've said before, a big part of the reason people steal apps is because they have no choice. When you see all the reviews about great apps on Android, and they aren't available in your country, you have no other option many times. Of course, some folks just steal apps because they don't want to pay for them. Piracy happens, it's just not a good thing for developers. 

So, here we are, 100-percent anonymous. Have you ever pirated an Android app? The poll's below -- you know what to do.

Have you ever pirated an Android app?

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2 years ago

Word Lens review - great translations for single words

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How well can an Android device translate text locally and in real-time?

Word Lens arrived on Android last month, promising the uncanny ability to translate text from a live camera feed from your device. The demo video would have you believe that simply pointing your phone's camera at a sign would magically recreate that sign on your display with fully translated text. 

For $4.99, users get two-way translation between English and one language of choice: Spanish, French, or Italian. Anything beyond the first costs an extra $4.99 After the camera focuses on the text you're aiming to translate, a pause button allows users to capture the translated text with each word linked so that you can tap them and see compare it to the translation.

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2 years ago

Plex for Android gets updated, adds remote control features for ease of use

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Although I'm sure many folks are waiting to see what XBMC on Android will fully offer, there is some pretty good options that already exist in the Google Play Store for streaming content around. One I like to use is Plex and a few days ago, it got a nice healthy update that brought one of the most requested features to Android as well as quite a few bug fixes:

  • Android devices can now be remote controlled.
  • Network logging for troubleshooting
  • Media Info displayed at top of screen when playback controls are visible.
  • Experimental Transcode method (Quicksilver)
  • FIX an issue where sometimes Plex would get stuck on 'Loading'
  • FIX playback issues on some ICS devices (e.g. HTC One)
  • FIX an issue where hints in setup screens were not appearing on some devices
  • FIX weird seekbar skipping behavior

The remote control feature is of course, what I was referring to feature wise as it allows you to control various Android devices running Plex from another Android device. Now, I can sit with a tablet connected to the TV and control it with my phone which, makes for a great experience overall.

The other big change in the app comes by way of Quicksilver transcoding. It's a new experimental encoding method that Plex is trying out that is specifically tuned for Kindle Fire users to offer better streaming to those devices. As it stands, it's not enabled by default so if you're a Kindle Fire user, you'll need to enable it in the settings. The update is live now, and available for purchase in the Google Play Store.

Source: Plex, Download: Plex for Android

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2 years ago

UNO & Friends to give classic card game major social overhaul

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Gameloft has just announced a new version of UNO for Android that will launch simultaneously alongside iOS, Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, and Facebook iterations. UNO & Friends will be, as you might expect, all about multiplayer; the new game will allow players from all of the above platforms to play against one another. Though Gameloft is being shy about screenshots right now, I don't suspect the gameplay will differ much from the original Android game (pictured above).

Odds are you've played the original UNO card game at some point, but if not, it's pretty simple - everybody is trying to discard all of the cards from their hand until there are no more to draw from the deck. Cards that are played have to be the same number or the same color as the previous play, though there are lots of action cards that can change the active color, force opponents to draw more cards, and all sorts of other nasty tricks. It's a lot like Crazy Eights. 

Gameloft promises Android and iOS versions to and Facebook to be available "later this year" while the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita versions will come out in spring 2013. 

Any big UNO fans out three? Have any buddies with an iPhone you'd like to trounce?

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2 years ago

How high is 'unbelievably high' piracy? Dead Trigger dev's not saying

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This morning Madfinger Games took to Facebook to explain why it lowered Dead Trigger from 99 cents to free. The reasoning? Rampant piracy. "Unbelievably high" piracy, actually. "The piracy rate is soooo giant," the developer continued.

One thing, though: We have absolutely no idea what that means. 

There always will be piracy. It's unfortunate, but the fact remains that so long as applications can be stolen, they will be stolen. We wish that wasn't the case. How many people stole the 99-cent Dead Trigger? Raise your hands if you dare. Was it 10 instances? One hundred? One thousand? Dead Trigger is currently in the 100,000 to 500,000 download range on its Google Play listing. We've e-mailed Madfinger Games in hopes of getting some more details on this. If 1,000 instances of piracy were noted, that's just 1 percent of the minimum total downloads. We've got an e-mail in to Madfinger seeking some details. 

Here's Madfinger's complete statement on moving Dead Trigger to free:

Regarding price drop. HERE is our statement. The main reason: piracy rate on Android devices, that was unbelievably high. At first we intend to make this game available for as many people as possible - that's why it was for as little as buck. - It was much less than 8$ for SHADOWGUN but on the other hand we didn't dare to provide it for free, since we hadn't got XP with free-to-play format so far. - However, even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide DEAD TRIGGER for free. Anyway - DEAD TRIGGER is not FREEMIUM, it always was and still remains FREE-TO-PLAY, that means, all players are able to play it without IAP! We stand up for this statement, because all members of our team are playing (and enjoying) DEAD TRIGGER without IAP.

This is important just as it's important in the television industry, where piracy also is a real issue (though more self-inflicted, we'd argue). The vast majority of Android users out there, we presume, don't download pirated apps. 

Anyway. Kudos to Madfinger for making a great game even greater by making it free -- not that 99 cents should have kept anyone away. But let's hope the next time the piracy card is played, we see some numbers to back it up.

Source: Facebook

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2 years ago

Minecraft creator sued for patent infringement in Android game

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Uniloc, a patent protection company specializing in anti-piracy technologies, is suing Mojang, developer of Minecraft, for infringing on an Android-related patent called "System and Method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data". It's basically a system for authenticating license data. The lawsuit reads:

Mojang is directly infringing one or more claims of the ’067 patent in this judicial district and elsewhere in Texas, including at least claim 107, without the consent or authorization of Uniloc, by or through making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing Android based applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application, including, but not limited to, Mindcraft.

(You'd think they could at least get the game's name right.) You can see the full lawsuit over here. Notch, the beloved creator of Minecraft, is vocally against software patents. After getting handed the lawsuit, he wrote up am astute blog post linked below and tweeted: 

Ric Richardson, the founder of Australia-based Uniloc, begs to differ

It amazes me that people complain about paying a royalty for a technology that stops up to a third of a software companies sales from being lost to piracy. What are you saying? "Its all right to steal from Uniloc as long as it helps stop pirates stealing from me? ... I had to spend $40,000 back in 1992 to protect my idea. It was not frivolous for me... it was the difference between having a deposit for a house and having a patent.

Uniloc is requesting a jury trial and that Mojang pay in both previous damages and in future royalties. Hopefully Mojang can get away with simply changing the supposedly infringing lines of code. Let's just hope that these Uniloc guys don't start taking their litigations to other app developers.

Do you guys agree with Notch that software patents are obtrusive to innovation, or is there a legitimate use for them?

Source: The Word of Notch

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2 years ago

Apps of the Week - Shine Runner, SMod Forever, Camera Launcher and more

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Android Central's editors have once again picked their favorite apps for the week. We've got a lot of games this go around, but also a few utilities you might find handy. Anyone who picked up a Google Nexus 7 will definitely want to check out our picks this week. Dig in after the jump!

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2 years ago

The Dark Knight Rises now works with the Nexus 7

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A quick heads up for everyone, The Dark Knight Rises has had an update pushed that brings it to the Nexus 7. Many of us were disappointed yesterday, when the game launched but anyone with a Nexus 7 couldn't download it. All that's changed now though, and the game is right there in the Play Store waiting.

There was an apparent issue in some cases too where the games assets were downloading twice. Thankfully, this has also been fixed with this update.

The download link is below, so what are you waiting for? Have at it folks, i'll be cashing in some of that Google Play credit now. If you're still unsure, be sure to check out our review of the game first. 

Download: The Dark Knight Rises

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