Gameloft announced today that it has partnered with LG to optimize a number of its titles for the Korean manufacturer's upcoming Optimus 3D MAX smartphone. The following games will take advantage of the MAX's glasses-free 3D technology and will be available through LG Smart World upon the device's release:
Assassin’s Creed 3D
Dungeon Hunter 2 3D
James Cameron’s Avatar 3D
N.O.V.A. 2 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance 3D
Shrek Kart 3D
Fishing Kings 3D
Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus 3D
Shadow Guardian 3D
Spider-Man: Total Mayhem 3D, Order & Chaos
Splinter Cell 3D
We got our hands on the Optimus 3D MAX back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and while LG hasn't done much in terms of bumping the specs of its original Optimus 3D, it has added the ability to turn your plain old 2D apps into 3D ones. The titles above aren't so much simply converted as they are "optimized", so we're looking forward to seeing what Gameloft has done in terms of turning its titles into full-blown 3D experiences. Gameloft's announcement can be found after the break.
The venerable Samsung Droid Charge is about to get another software update. And included in version FP1, along with a bevy of bugfixes, is the new Verizon Remote Diagnostics application we've already seen added to the LG Revolution. That's the one that -- with your permission -- would allow Verizon customer service to temporarily take over your phone "for troubleshooting, device training and application demonstrations." Again, we (and Verizon) stress that nobody's taking over your phone without your permissions, and Verizon already has told us that this isn't a background monitoring tool.
Other additions in this software update include:
Updated User Interface (UI).
Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
No longer receive a promotional notification popup when using Mobile Hotspot.
Device allows for USB tethering while in Wi-Fi mode.
No longer lose data connectivity when the USB cable is connected or disconnected.
Easily view data activity with the Wi-Fi icon located in the status bar.
Resolved “no tones” dial pad issue, allowing for easy access to voice mail and other automated systems
Plus, VZ Navigator has been updated, Google Play Books, the Play Store and Gmail apps have been updated (that really should be done outside of a software update, folks), the browser now defaults to google.com, and desk dock crashes are said to have been resolved.
Two words that should never go together -- "charging" and "proprietary." But that might be what we see in the Samsung Galaxy S3 (or Galaxy S III, if you prefer), if a Korean publication is correct. DDaily is reporting that the SGSIII might well have a proprietary inductive charging system -- a la on the now-defunct Palm line of phones (and modded onto a number of Android devices) -- included as the stock back. (Or it might be optional. DDaily's not sure.) It also would have some sort of magic that would let it charge without actually touching the charging pad. (Woe is the child, pet or insect who steps foot between them.)
Hey, sounds great. Wireless charging (or at least charging via plugless contacts) should become the norm. But anytime we hear the word "proprietary" included with "charging," the hairs on the back of our neck start to stand up. Charging should never be proprietary. We've finally gotten all the manufacturers on board with microUSB (even if they do cheat sometimes -- say, in the case of the Nook Color's extra-long microUSB plug, or that not all manufacturers' chargers play nicely with each other's phones). We don't need a wireless charging war.
Anyhoo, we're still a long way out here, and there's a better than average chance that things will shift by the time anything's announced.
The past year has seen many a transformation at Sony Mobile, formerly known as Sony Ericsson. In addition to the buyout by Sony and subsequent rebranding, the company has refocused on smartphones and brought to market a well-rounded lineup of products in several form factors. So hopes are high as the manufacturer launches its first high-end smartphone under the Sony banner, the Xperia S.
On paper, the Xperia S is a tantalizing piece of kit -- buyers get a 4.3-inch 720p screen, a fast dual-core CPU and a best-in-class camera for less money than many competing devices. And unlike 2012 flagships from Samsung and HTC, the Xperia S actually exists, and you can go out and buy one today.
The catch? It’s running Android 2.3 out of the box, and it could be months before the phone’s updated to the latest version of Google’s OS. So join us after the break as we take a closer look at the Xperia S, and decide whether there’s a place for a high-end device running Gingerbread in Spring 2012.
A well-built phone which feels good in the hand. Sharp, bright screen. The Mobile Bravia Engine makes for a stunning video experience. Best smartphone camera available.
Still waiting on Android 4.0 update. Bizarre button setup, keys sometimes unresponsive. Occasional software lag. Soft touch finish is a scratch magnet.
It's tough going back to Gingerbread, and we think Sony's dropped the ball in shipping its first major handset of 2012 with an old version of Android. But the Xperia S makes up for this shortcoming in other areas. Once it gets that sorely-needed ICS update, the Xperia S could be one of the first great handsets of the year. Until then, it's another decent Android phone with a handful of outstanding features.
Smart phones are expensive. More-so if you buy them off contract and unlocked, but even subsidized with a new agreement the high-end phones are going to cost you about three-fiddy after taxes and that's a whole lot of money. When you spend that much money, you want to try to take very good care of something lest you break it, and for many of us that means a case of some sort. On the other side, it's awful nice to use a hot new Android phone without a case. The Galaxy S II or the Bionic are super thin and beg to be felt in the hand. It's a difficult decision.
I use a case sometimes. I have one that I will slap on a phone if I'm headed outdoors doing something that sounds like it would tear up a phone, but most of the time I just slip my phone into my pocket and roll the dice. So far, so good.
Tripit easily is our favorite app for frequent travelers, and it's just gotten an pretty significant update for tablets as well as phones.
On the larger screens, there's a new layout that includes interactive maps and multiscreen views. Trips and points accounts all share space on the main screen. There also are larger (and scrollable!) widgets available if you're running Android 3.0 and up.
On the phone side, the points accounts section has been redesigned -- your account details, status and activity all have their own collapsible sections -- and the app refreshes faster while using less data.
All in all, a good update to an indispensable application for frequent travelers. We've got download links after the break if you need 'em.
Rockstar has announced the availability of L.A. Noire: Touch Edition built specifically for tablet play via OnLive Desktop. If you're not familiar, have a look at our hands-on with OnLive, and see how it streams programs installed in a Windows 7 desktop environment to your tablet or smartphone. L.A. Noire is no exception, and what you'll be playing on your tablet is a natively installed Windows game, with controls optimized for the touch interface.
Rockstar has optimized the award winning game to make controls and menus designed for tablet use, and it appears they have done a very nice job. It's the first time a game of this scope and complexity has been re-built this way, and it a good indicator of things to come. If you already have L.A. Noire, or L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition through OnLive, your game has already been updated with touch support. If you haven't tried it yet, you can rent or buy it through the OnLive Game System for as little as $5.99 /£3.99.
Of course you'll need the Android OnLive client, which is completely free and runs on any Android device with Gingerbread or higher installed. You can find the download link after the break.
Aussies using Optus can pre-order the HTC One X online today. According to Optus, folks who order early enough will have a One X with it's quad-core Tegra 3 in their hands as soon as April 2. The price varies according to the plan, with a $59 monthly plan having a cost of zero per month and the $19 monthly plan costing an extra $17 monthly for the handset. This puts it on par with the Galaxy Nexus, and looks to be the norm for high-end handsets on contract.
LogMeIn, the popular remote support client, announced today that it has entered a partnership with HTC in which the manufacturer will preinstall the software on its Android devices for remote technical support. Future HTC smartphones and tablets will ship (with the wireless carrier's consent) with LogMeIn Rescue onboard, allowing users to connect to HTC technical service representatives with one click. Once initiated, technicians will be able to run remote diagnostics, tweak settings, and access the device in the event of a problem. The service, as is current HTC technical support, will be free to use.
Today's announcement comes just days after Verizon announced that with its latest OTA update for the LG Revolution, it has begun adding similar remote diagnostic software to its devices. Like Verizon, LogMeIn's policy states that the information it collects is used strictly to diagnose malfunctions and other technical problems. It is unclear whether Verizon will include LogMeIn Rescue or its own remote diagnostic software on its line of HTC devices.
LogMeIn is currently used on over 150 million devices worldwide including PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets. The company's full announcement can be found after the break.
Mondays mean more than just hangovers and piles of work in ye olde inbox around here; it means the start of another Android Central photo contest! This week we're going all out and asking you fine folks to snap a picture of the subject you know best -- yourself. Use that front facing camera, or do up a solid MySpace bathroom mirror shot, or get a friend to take your mugshot and share it with the world.
We're looking for creativity. Make us laugh, make us cry, or make us ohh and ahh over the awesome scenery behind you, but give us something a little extra. We're not about to hold a beauty contest here. Don't be shy, grab your Android phone (or tablet) and join in. Here's the rules:
Use an Android device to take the picture.
Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a name we can use and the model of Android you used to take it. We like knowing this kind of stuff.
If you send in more than one, or send me a link instead of an attachment, your entry gets filed in the trash folder, so don't do it. I hate it when I have to do that.
Get me the pictures before the end of the night on Friday.
This week we're giving away an Android Central t-shirt to the top five, so the next time you take a self-portrait you'll look good rocking a little bit of Lloyd. Good luck everyone!