Headlines

3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 years ago

CloudOn office app launches in 60 additional countries worldwide

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CloudOn, the app that brings a Microsoft Office experience right to your Android tablet, has just gone a whole lot more Global. The app has now been released in 60 new countries around the world. 

The app has also received a bit of an update bringing a couple of new features to the Android version. Voice dictation and password support is now included, as is the ability to open documents from within an email. 

Those lucky new countries are listed below, where you'll also find a handy download link to the application. It's free, although it does require an account. The good news, getting an account is also free. 

The list of new countries reads like this: 

Albania, Algeria, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands. Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus/Malta, Czech Republic, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks & Caicos, UAE, Ukraine, and the Virgin Islands.

Download: CloudOn

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3 years ago

The Dark Knight Rises review - Batman is ready for Android

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Batman is on a mission to beat the snot out of crime. If the bad guys happen to be in your Android phone, so be it. 

The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters today, and along with it is an Android game from Gameloft. Much like The Amazing Spider Man, The Dark Knight Rises for Android is inspired by the movie, and though the mechanics are similar, the brooding atmosphere is what really sets the Batman game apart. 

Players get to zoom across a bleak cityscape by gliding, swinging, or motoring through Gotham. Missions follow closely in the footsteps of the movie, but as you go, you can kit out Bruce Wayne with the latest tech and upgrade particular parts of his suit and vehicles to suit your playstyle. There's plenty of open world exploration too, and a whole bundle of hidden items to find. 

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3 years ago

Dead Trigger now free and updated with new content

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Yesterday we heard that Dead Trigger would be offering a bunch of new weapons for dealing with the zombie apocalypse, but what we didn't know is that the game would be going free to play. This is great news, considering how much the game leans on in-app purchases. Here's a recap of the new features. 

  • New weapons: Chain Saw, Lewis Machine Gun, Marine Engine with blades and American West Rifle
  • New gadget: Head-Flator X100 to inflate the heads of zombies to XXXL size!
  • New zombies: mutated mobsters or armoured SWAT members
  • New environments: underground car park or secret research base
  • Survival arena, that is tailor-made for massacre of hordes of zombies
  • Daily rewards
  • Casino: try your luck with a slot machine
  • Save game data with cloud backup
  • Support Adreno 205, including Sony Xperia Play

Madfinger Games warns that folks with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus or a Nexus 7 running 4.1.1 shouldn't install due to an issue on Google's side that causes the game to force close after opening. As for other devices, the developer promises that they're gradually adding more and more support as fast as they can. iPhone and iPad owners can expect this updating landing on the iOS side sometime next week. 

You can get downloading at the link below, or check out my review of the game over at iMore. It's an awesome, action-packed game with stellar graphics and more than a little bit of goofiness. Anyone else eager to try out the Head-Flator X100?

Download: Dead Trigger

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3 years ago

Jet Set Radio skating onto Android 'this summer'

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Here's a blast from the past for everyone. Sega has been pretty good at bringing us some of our favorite games from yesteryear to play on our Android devices, and this summer we get to play another one. It's been announced today that the HD remake of Jet Set Radio, due to land on consoles, will also be coming to Android. 

Anyone who owned a Sega Dreamcast will quite possibly remember, fondly, Jet Set Radio from the first time around. In my case, I've still got a copy. The mobile version will have some mobile-centric features too, one of which is Openfeint integration. Apparently, players will also be able to use pictures taken on their device as the in-game graffiti. Now that's a nice touch. Just don't do anything rude with it, OK, kids. 

We're really looking forward to this one, and despite no more accurate date than "this summer," we're sure it's going to be worth waiting for. Check out the full press release after the break. 

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3 years ago

Hailo branches out, can now hail a cab with your Android device in Dublin, Ireland

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Hailo has been something of an overnight success since its launch towards the end of 2011. The idea was so simple, but truly a way in which Londoners could use their Android devices in actual, real world, day-to-day situations. By making a sometimes unpleasant experience -- trying to flag down a cab -- and getting your Android device to do the work. Anyone in London for the Olympics, seriously, download a copy of this app while you're there. 

Today the Hailo team marks another milestone since the launch of the service, in their first expansion outside of London. The second city to go live, is the Irish capital, Dublin. This is fantastic news, and hopefully the start of a bright, and widespread future for the service. There's a whole lot of cities around the world that could benefit from something as useful as this. 

Source: Hailo, Download: Hailo

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3 years ago

How to: Activate the Google Sound Search widget in Jelly Bean if it's not in the drawer

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One of the many added goodies within Jelly Bean, is the Google Sound Search widget, sometimes referred to as Google Ears. It's really simple, but also a really nice touch to have built in to the OS. 

For some reason -- quite possibly some licensing stuff -- it isn't always there to choose from in the widget drawer for everybody. True, that when both my own Galaxy Nexus got the 4.1 update, and my new Nexus 7 arrived, neither had this widget. Being based in the UK, I imagine that it's got something to do with location. There are alternative apps, Shazam, Soundhound for example, but why should you have to use an alternative application when Google supposedly builds the functionality into the OS. 

Installing the apk that's been doing the rounds for a while doesn't do the trick either. On Jelly Bean it doesn't seem to like installing, but it works great on ICS. The app itself isn't missing from the device, it's just frozen so you can't use it. As too is Google Play Magazines, and Google Wallet. 

So, how do you use it? Well, to unfreeze it requires root. But from there, it's real simple. Titanium Backup is a fantastically useful root application, and is what we'll be using here to make things happen. If you're not sure on what freezing and unfreezing is, we'll walk you through it.

Once you've opened Titanium Backup, and all the application data has loaded, go ahead and hit the "backup/restore" button at the top. You should then be presented with a comprehensive list of every single application installed on your device. Including, all the system apps. Scroll through until you see "Sound Search for Google Play" -- which will also be highlighted by a purple bar -- click on it, and hit the defrost button. Next time you go into the widget drawer, there it will be, ready and waiting. 

Also, remember that clicking on a song once it's been identified won't do anything either, other than take you to the main Google Play Store front page. One day, maybe, Google will bring the full range of content to non-U.S. users. We can hope.  

The same tactic also applies to Google Play Magazines, and Google Wallet. But, outside of the U.S. there's not really anything you can use these for anyway, and Google Wallet will tell you so if you try to launch it. 

The only downside -- when you reboot your device, things will be reset and the app will be frozen again. But, if you're like me, your device rarely gets rebooted unless you're going in and out of recovery. So it's inconvenient, but not massively. 

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3 years ago

Google snags e-mail genius Sparrow

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Those of you dreaming of a better Android e-mail client might one day get your wish -- Google has acquired Sparrow. Sparrow's been an iOS/OSX staple, and we can only hope it'll bring its talents to Android, along with Gmail at large. 

Writes Sparrow:

We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.

Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application. While we’ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.

We're still way early into this one, but this much is clear: This is nothing but good for Gmail, and here's to hoping Android gets a boost as well.

Update: Our pals at iMore.com, who have a good bit more experience with Sparrow, have penned a few thoughts. Read them here.

Source: Sparrow

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3 years ago

BIG Launcher updated with slew of new customization options

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BIG Launcher has just updated their replacement Android launcher built for the visually impaired. As the name suggests, BIG Launcher provides a bare-bones, high-contrast interface with gigantic icons. Size can be changed, and individual icons can be read out loud through text-to-voice wizardry. Here's the 2.0 changelog for BIG Launcher.

  • sms editor
  • sms forwarding
  • unlimited screens
  • background image on screens
  • buttons can have any icon
  • buttons can link to contact detail
  • big battery and signal icons
  • search in applications list
  • new upgrade dialog with changelog
  • ability to set external dialer application
  • ability to delete call log enteries (optional)
  • battery, signal content description on home header for talkback
  • localized buttons in preferences dialogs
  • safe borders
  • favorite contacts moved to second position in phone menu
  • sent sos sms saved to database

You can check out our review of BIG Launcher, or download version 2.0 at the link below. Anyone having a hard time convincing grandma to try out an Android device? Think something like this would help?

Download: BIG Launcher ($1.49)

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3 years ago

Gameloft's The Dark Knight Rises released in Google Play today

Ed. note: We're all painfully aware of what happened in Aurora, Colo. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved. And we're turning off the comments on this post. - Phil

Today is a pretty huge day for Batman fans around the world. Finally, the long awaited third Christopher Nolan adaptation, The Dark Knight Rises, hits movie theaters around the world. And, as promised, Gameloft's official companion game also sees release today into the Google Play Store. 

We're talking a premium title here, and as such, it carries a premium price. In the UK it'll set you back £4.99, and in the U.S. that equates to $6.99. But one look at the visuals alone, and it pretty much justifies the asking price. If you're still carrying some of that free Google Play credit around, what better device to play it on than your new Nexus 7? 

Be prepared though, the download is big. Actually, it's huge -- 1.7GB. But the visuals, and the huge Gotham City maps taken into account, you can see why it's so big. We're just getting started with this one, and we'll no doubt be back with more when we've spent some real game time with it. To grab it for yourselves, head on over to the Play Store, hit download, and go make a coffee while you wait. 

​Update: ​Seems we were a bit keen in wanting to play this on our Nexus 7. Doesn't look like it's compatible at the moment. Darn shame.

Download: The Dark Knight Rises

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3 years ago

Sky Go Android app gets ICS support on Galaxy Nexus, Note and S III

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Just as was promised a few weeks back, British broadcaster Sky has opened up its Sky Go on-demand video app to certain Android devices running 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III. The update brings ICS support to the Sky Go app for the first time, allowing Sky subscribers with these devices to view the same streaming content available on approved Gingerbread devices like the Desire S and Desire HD. Unlike many other app vendors, Sky tailors its offerings to specific phones, usually high-selling models, so Sky Go remains restricted to a small number of handsets for now.

As we reported a few weeks back, Sky Go recently launches new streaming content across its range of Sky Go apps, including entertainment channels Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1. An app update also allowed subscribers to view and manage their accounts on-the-go.

If you find yourself in possession of both a Sky subscription and one of the supported devices, you download the Sky Go app for Android via the Google Play web interface linked below.

Download: Sky Go for Android; via The Verge

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3 years ago

Leaked field manual for Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies appears, indicates an Android launch

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Fans of shooting zombies listen up. The good folks over at Xperia Gamer have uncovered a field manual for Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, that specifically mentions the title being on Android. To add to the legitimacy of this, it was discovered on the official Call of Duty website. 

As is so often -- sadly -- the case with big titles such as this, our iOS toting friends have been enjoying this for a while now. But, big titles are big titles, just so long as we get them. Some of the details of the game are to be found within too, such as having 50 levels, plus even some hidden ones. It's also set to have local multiplayer via Bluetooth, and online multiplayer modes too. 

Sadly, no release dates were mentioned, so we'll just have to keep our eyes peeled for this one.

Source: Xperia Gamer

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