Headlines

3 years ago

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit now available in the Android Market, we go hands-on!

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Gentlemen, start your engines!  Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is now available in the Android Market.  No longer an exclusive for the Xperia Play, the latest in the Need for Speed series, Hot pursuit promises racing action from the perspective of both sides -- the pursuer and the pursued.  Play as a scofflaw in one of the exotic super cars like the Pagani Zonda Cinque, or be Johnny Law in your high speed police interceptor (the Lamborghini Reventon makes for a hell of a cop car!).  If you love racing games, this looks like a real treat.

The game is available in both U.S and international versions (links below) and you'll need to be running Android 2.0 or higher -- also don't expect stellar performance without a beefy piece of hardware.  The Market download is about 7.5MB, and you'll need to download an additional 291MB of content on the first run. 

Check out our hands-on video after the break!

Android Market link (US version)
Android Market link (international)

Thanks, @niwasiuk!

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3 years ago

Shocker: Quad-core devices benchmark higher than single- or dual-core

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You should know by now just how we feel about benchmarks -- they're easy to manipulate, and really don't tell you anything about how a device will actually behave. And so you should know by now that we're really not going to get all that worked up over the ASUS Transformer Prime showing up in a benchmark app. Look, it'll be fast. It'll be great. Hell, we got to experience some early quad-core processor action some nine months go. It's going to rock. And that a quad-core device tops out like you see here should really surprise no one. But, anyway, there it is. Huzzah.

Source: Tech2; via Engadget

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3 years ago

Swiftkey testing multitouch in its latest keyboard alpha

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Swiftkey's long been in our rotation of top keyboards, and it's now testing a feature that may make your fast phalanges even faster. Multitouch is in the works for tablets and smartphones, and it's currently being tested in a two-week alpha period in the developer's VIP track. Here's the low-down:

We have made improvements for rapid typists. We now properly support multi-touch so you shouldn't get accidentally repeated letters or accidentally missed letters when typing at speed with more than one finger. If you could try this out and in particular look out for issues with long-press keys, alternative character selection or keys where the highlighting gets stuck. We are particularly interested in results from tablet users touch typing as well as phone users with two thumbs.

It's still very early in the game, and bugs are expected. So if you opt to give this a go, you're a guinea pig, not a customer. But no matter, it's going to make a great keyboard even greater.

Source: Swiftkey VIP

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3 years ago

Nook Simple Touch dropping to $99

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So we've given you the scoop on the new Nook Tablet, and the price drop on the Nook Color. Lastly, we've got the Nook Simple Touch. It's going to see a price drop down to $99, from its current $139. And that's just about where the dimunitive Android-based e-reader should be. (Check out our full review.) Looks like a new software version is on the way, too, with v1.1 set to hit. Huzzah.

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3 years ago

Nook Color dropping to $199; new software update brings Hulu Plus, music

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Will cost just $50 less than the new Nook Tablet

The venerable Barnes & Noble Nook Color hasn't been left out in the cold just because the new Nook Tablet specs and pricing are here. No, the Nook Color's going to find itself with a nice little price drop down to $199. That's only a $50 drop, and for that difference you'll get a pretty big spec boost in the new Nook Tablet, but we'll take what we can get.

And along with the price drop, a new software update is on the way for the New Color. Nook Color v1.4 will bring TV shows, movies and documentaries with Hulu Plus. You'll get music from Rhapsode, MOG and Grooveshark, with free trials. (Pandora is still included.) You'll get even more magazines and special Nook editions, expanding on current content. And more apps are on the way, too.

So, if you're in the market for an e-reader tabelet this holiday season, and don't want to break the $200 mark, the Nook Color is about to become very, very attractive.

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3 years ago

Leaked: Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet release date, pricing and full specs!

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Pre-orders start Monday,
Nook Tablets in your hand Nov. 16 for $249

Behold, the Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet. Faster, lighter and no longer just a mere e-reader, if the promo materials we've been slipped have anything to say about it.

Let's back up a second, though. Barnes and Noble is in a horse race with the likes of Amazon and its new Kindle Fire to stake claim to the more-than-an-e-reader/not-quite-a-tablet realm. And The Nook Color did wonders for that over the past year. It was a slightly pricey (but still excellent) e-reader at $249, and it quickly became an above average Android tablet thanks to the Android hacking community.

So where does the all-new Nook Tablet fit in, with its "No, we're not an e-reader name"? We've got full specs, launch information and details on what we expect to see at next week's announcement. Keep on reading.

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3 years ago

Motorola Xoom 2, Xoom 2 Media Edition get priced in the UK

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Hot on the heels of Motorola's Xoom 2 announcement this morning, UK retailer Clove has given us the first details of the British pricing for both of Moto's new Android tablets. The 10.1-inch Motorola Xoom 2 will sell for £390.00, while the 8.2-inch Xoom 2 Media Edition will £358.80. Both prices include VAT at 20%.

Do a little currency conversion and these prices may seem a little steep in US dollars, at $624 and $574 respectively. However it's important to remember that US prices are almost always cheaper when it comes to consumer electronics. We'd be surprised to see either of these sell for much more than $400 in the US.

Clove also confirms what many suspected -- the 1.2 GHz CPU powering both new Xooms is indeed a TI OMAP4 chip similar to what you might find inside a Galaxy Nexus or Droid Razr.

Motorola Xoom 2 specs | Motorola Xoom 2 gallery | Motorola Xoom 2 forums

Source: Clove Blog; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

Motorola announces Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition, coming to UK and Ireland 'mid-November'

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We've seen the leaks and rumors, and now the Motorola Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition are both officially official. The 10.1-inch Xoom 2 and its 8.2-inch media-focused sibling will go on sale in the UK and Ireland from mid-November, at retailers including the Carphone Warehouse, PC World and Dixons.

As far as specs go, it's pretty much what we expected -- both tablets feature some variety of 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, alongside 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Both flavors also ship with "HD" displays, which we're guessing will be your standard, Honeycomb-friendly 1280x800 panels. Speaking of Honeycomb, you've got Android 3.2 on-board, along with what looks like some minor UI tweaks from Motorola. So no Ice Cream Sandwich just yet, but then that's to be expected.

The tablets also sport the unique curved style edges that we'd seen in leaked photos, as well as phones like the Photon, and we're interested to see how this design choice works on a larger device. Weight-wise, the Xoom 2 sits at 599g, just four grams heavier than Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, and two grams lighter than the iPad 2. The Media Edition, however, is significantly lighter, at 386 grams.

Moto's yet to mention any pricing information for the Xoom 2 series, nor when (or even if) it plans to release its two new tablets in the US. We'll keep you posted if we hear anything. In the meantime, hit the jump for today's announcement video, or use one of the links below to take a closer look at both Xoom 2 models.

Motorola Xoom 2 specs | Motorola Xoom 2 gallery | Motorola Xoom 2 forums

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3 years ago

Motorola Xoom 2 specs

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Motorola's official specs for the Motorola Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition.

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3 years ago

Motorola Xoom 2 image gallery

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3 years ago

Apple loses design lawsuit against NT-K (Spain) and is being countersued for damages

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image credit schmidling.com

The Spanish courts have decided against Apple, Inc. in its design patent dispute with NT-K, a small tablet manufacturer in Spain.  Using the same arguments that have been partially upheld in Germany, and dismissed in the Netherlands, Apple brought an import ban and subsequent lawsuit against the small OEM, had their company placed in a European list of "pirated electronics" and even went as far as pursuing criminal charges -- all over rounded corners and a similar look and feel.  NT-K decided they weren't going to take this sitting down, and aggressively fought back, -- finding victory in the courtroom.

While we consider the arrogance of filing criminal charges and mumble under our breath, we can also feel a tiny bit of justice ourselves -- NT-K has filed a suit for monetary damages, lost profits, and "moral damages," and is in the process of filing anti-trust proceedings against Apple alleging abusive anti competitive behavior.  I loathe lawsuits between tech companies, because in the end the consumers are the biggest losers.  In this case however, I hope NT-K wins their suit, only to teach Apple an expensive lesson (that they hopefully wont pass the costs of to their customers).  And if the Spanish courts find that Apple does violate antitrust laws, I hope other countries take a close look. 

There's nothing wrong with an iPad.  A good friend of mine just got himself one, and he agrees that other than the drag of iTunes, they make a great product.  There's a good reason why so many people buy an iPad.  But the way to keep their 100 percent market saturation was to innovate, not stifle competition.  I hope this hits home and they reconsider, but I'm doubtful. 

Source: NT-K (Spanish); via FOSS patents

Thanks, BBPandy!

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3 years ago

Gingerbread for original Verizon Galaxy Tab rolling out

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We just told you guys the other day that Verizon was ready to push out Gingerbread to the OG 7-inch Galaxy Tab, and it looks like they have flipped the switch -- OTA's are now rolling out.  With all the new and shiny Android tablets getting built, it's nice to see the 7-incher wasn't forgotten by Big Red.  A refresher:

The update is to Android 2.3.5 and will bring:

  • Improved security for the PIN method. When using the PIN, the device will no longer request a symbol as a numeric entry
  • Improved word selection and copy functionality
  • A 'View Data Plan' icon so that users can adjust their plans accordingly
  • Verizon Data Service feature will allow users to see how much data they have used so that they won't go over
  • A new download manager app
  • The ability to use the front-facing camera as a camcorder
  • Widgets will resize to reflect landscape and portrait mode more accurately
  • Support for Verizon Pay As You Go prepaid plans
  • Google security patches

If you've resisted the urge to root your Tab, be ready for the OTA notification any time now.  Be sure to sing out in the forums once you get it and let everyone know how it's working for ya!

More: Verizon

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3 years ago

PSA: Use the factory-supplied charger and cable when applying the OTA to your Lenovo Thinkpad

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An OTA for the Lenovo ThinkPad (see our hands-on) went out for a while today, included was a firmware update for the battery.  Lenovo says they have halted the update, but just in case  -- use the OEM power supply and cable while applying.  According to the official Lenovo support forums:

Battery firmware update was included in the OTA released today. The battery firmware update is applied after your Tablet restarts.

If your tablet gets in the power off state as posted by some of the forum users, do this to recover it.

Use a pin and hold the "reset button" (between the SD card and SIM card slots) for about 20 seconds.

After debugging we have found out that the issue happens only if you are NOT using the original USB cable that was included with the charger that was provided with the Tablet.

You can recover your system as mentioned above and then complete the battery firmware update using the original USB cable and power adapter supplied with your tablet.

We have stopped the OTA update and are working on messaging this information in the update.

So if by chance you've left your ThinkPad sitting all day, and see an OTA notice when waking it up, you've been warned.

More: Lenovo. Thanks, Adam!

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3 years ago

8.2-inch Motorola Xoom 2 appears in Carphone Warehouse ad, priced €400

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Motorola Xoom 2 leaks are nothing new, but now we have the first hints of when the device may launch in Europe, along with tentative pricing information. A leaked Irish Carphone Warehouse ad obtained by Engadget shows the Wifi-only 8.2-inch Xoom 2 with a price tag of €399.90 ($545, £350). Given the ad's festive focus, a launch before the end of the year also seems to be on the cards.

Specs-wise, the ad doesn't reveal anything we didn't already know -- there's Android 3.2 on-board, along with 16GB of storage. No mention of CPU or RAM, but we've heard of a 1.2 GHz dual-core chip and 1GB from earlier leaks. All standard stuff. The price is the most interesting thing by far on this new flyer, though, and we're sure a few Europeans will be tempted by the €400/£350 price point over the holidays.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Google Reader website sees a major face-lift, new Android app expected soon

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If you use Google Reader to make all your RSS feeds a little more sane organized, be ready for a pleasant surprise.  Google has begun the rollout of the new look and feel for the reader website, and everyone should expect it by this evening.  Go on and hit F5 for a while, we'll wait (have to admit, I did just that).  The new look lines up with the rest of the updated Google service websites, including the black omnimagicbar across the top and your Google+ notifications baked right in to the upper left corner.

Speaking of Google+ and integration, the new Reader allows you to +1 and share stories right from the stream.  This is an easy way to share with friends, and should work much better than the previous friending, following, sharing, and comments methods, which have been removed in favor of the new integration.

It works the same as the +1 button does anywhere -- click it, and you're given the option to share it on Google+.  Type in your message, and the magic happens.

We're big users of both Google Reader and Google+ around these parts, and we're excited about the new look and the new + integration, but the last little tidbit Alan Green (Google software engineer) threw out on the official announcement is the best of them all -- expect a new Android app shortly.  Sweet.

Source: Google Reader blog

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