NVIDIA's Tegra 2 chipset -- you know it on devices such as the Motorola Xoom, LG Optimus 2X and a wealth of other new top-end sets -- has quickly solidified its place as the go-to chipset for gaming on Android. And NVIDIA's been showcasing Tegra 2-optimized applications in its own TegraZone app.
One app that's been teased the past couple months is Riptide GP. It's a graphically beautiful racing game. You're on a souped-up Jet Ski on a slick man-made track. You compete against other riders and can perform tricks to earn pin-your-ears-back speed boosts. The graphics are pretty stunning considering you're on a mobile device. The game flies on a 4-inch screen, but it's on the larger ones (we used the Motorola Xoom) where it really shines.
The only problem is that gameplay is so fast you don't have much of a chance to appreciate the subtle shading in the water, or the landscape, or the giant Android robot banners. Have someone else play and peek over their shoulder. You'll see what we're talking about.
But enough talk. Check out our demo of Riptide GP after the break.
The ability to control things right from your Android device is always a great feeling, and today Sonos has given that ability to users of its high-end multi-room music system who also rock an Android device. Sonos officially announced that you can now transform your Android device into a wireless controller for your Sonos system, giving you the ability to play the same song throughout the house, or different songs in different rooms.
“We’re pleased to deliver a great new way for music lovers to tap into all the music on earth,” said John MacFarlane, founder and CEO, Sonos, Inc. “Now Android owners can pull out their phones and bring music home with Sonos.”
If you are a Sonos enthusiast, and own an Android device be sure to head to the market and download this free application now. Download links available after the break. [Sonos]
The HTC Thunderbolt is the latest in the line of new HTC products that are less than hacker friendly, and the steps needed to root it have proven to be a thorn in the side of many, leading to the emergence of "easy root apps.. Now I still say you should read up and be familiar with what you're doing when you hack your phone, but if you still need a bit of assistance (or are just plain lazy like I am) Android Central forums adviser DroidXcon has you covered with a new option -- one that includes an un-root function should you find a need to roll back. He's written a Windows command script that does it all for you, and all that's needed is to read and say yes or no. He says it's he has ideas to streamline things (hence the alpha tag), but as-is it works just fine and will get your TBolt rooted, or un-rooted, in a jiffy. [Android Central Thunderbolt forums]
If you are a HBO subscriber and an Android lover, you will be happy to know that HBO has announced they will be bringing HBO Go to Android devices. HBO Go is a streaming service that will allow subscribers to bring all their favorite shows on the go with them (thus the name), giving them the ability to watch them at any time, from any where. Unfortunately there is no release date given in the video, though the end appears to not-so-subtly hint at May 2. [Youtube] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Ruh-roh. Here's some bad news for European Galaxy S owners following the triumphant roll-out of the handset's Gingerbread update last weekend. According to Vodafone UK, the update has been "temporarily suspended" by Google due to "an issue".
Vodafone doesn't say exactly what the problem is, but claims that its Galaxy S variant isn't affected by it, and that it's working with Samsung to have the update reinstated. Based on Vodafone's comments, it's looks like all Gingerbread updates for all European Galaxy S phones should be subject to this suspension, though we haven't been able to confirm this yet.
In the meantime, Vodafone has apologized to its customers and says it's "working hard to address the matter with Samsung." [Vodafone UK forum via Engadget]
If you've gotta have the latest unofficial ROM for your new HTC ThunderBolt, you're in luck this morning. An RUU has leaked out of one of those places RUUs tend to leaked out of (don't ask, you don't wanna know), stripped down and put back together again. And the list of known features is interesting enough.
New radio, version 1.16.00.402
Fixes to SQLite
GPS Location Services
LTE/3G handoff (huzzah!)
Proximity sensor drain
Those are some fixes we'd certainly like to see. For those of you who know your way around a rooted ThunderBolt (you'll need S-off), head on over to the source link to check it out. For everyone else, let's hope that this shows up in an officially sanctioned update right quick. [Radio 1.16.00.402, how to root the ThunderBolt]
CNN just released its Android smartphone application. And it's just about the perfect mix of overkill of breaking news, video, still images -- and the all-important "iReport," or the ability to document news yourself and sent it in. (No, we will not call it "citizen journalism.")
The application is as intuitive as it is overwhelming. You're greeted with a host of news in a number of categories -- top stories, U.S., world, politics, justice, entertainment, tech, health, living, travel and opinion -- and those are just for CNN's Lindsay Lohan coverage. (Zing!)
You have easy access to CNN's treasure chest of videos, though you'll have to sit through a 5-second advertisement to watch them. There are ads embedded in the stories, too, but they're not intrusive.
There's also the ability to share stories via e-mail or through the usual social networking sites you might have linked to your phone, or you can go a step further and link them directly to the CNN application.
All in all, it's a great news app from a great news organization. Our only complaint thus far is that it took so long to get it. Check out our video review and grab the download links after the break.
Some new pricing and launch date info on the LG G-Slate for T-Mobile has emerged, just a couple days away from its expected in-store availability. The highly anticipated tablet from T-Mobile and LG will cost you $529.99 on contract after a $100 mail in rebate and $749.99 at full retail price. The tablet is set to hit stores this Wednesday, April 20. That $529.99 pricing is the same number we saw a few weeks ago. Not surprising, but this is also the same day as the T-Mobile event coming up this Wednseday night in New York City (we'll be there!).
But the new G-Slate isn't the only new Android powered device we'll see this Wednesday. The G2X, T-Mobile's first dual-core powered phone, and the Sidekick 4G will also launch this Wednesday. The Sidekick on contrant will set you back $99.99 after a $50 mail in rebate on a new two year contract. If you don't want to do the contract thing, the phone will cost you $379.99. As for the G2X, the 3D powered cell phone on contract will be $199.99 after a $50 mail in rebate. And again, if you don't do the contract thing, it's gonna cost you $499.99. Whooo... okay, now who's getting what this Wednesday? [TmoNews]
The LG Phoenix, AT&T's post-paid version of the Optimus One, can be had at AmazonWireless for a penny. The phone may be brand new for AT&T, but we've seen (and loved) the whole Optimus One line since it first showed up last year, and think it's a great way to get into the world of Android. Snagging one for a penny makes it even better.
Like all other subsidized phones, there's a bit more to it than forking over a tiny portrait of Abe Lincoln. You'll need to either qualify for a new line of service with AT&T, or have an upgrade available. And don't forget to read Amazon's fine print, which says if you drop your service before six months is up, you'll owe them $250.00 for the phone, which is about $40 bucks more than their full retail price. Details and ordering at the source link. [Amazon Wireless] Thanks, Doug!
British retailer PC World will sell the Wifi-only version of HTC's 7-inch Flyer tablet for £479.99, according to a newly-updated product page. This matches the current price for the Wifi-only Motorola Xoom in the UK, and is considerably cheaper than the 3G version of the Flyer, which is priced at £599.99.
HTC announced last week that the Flyer will launch across Europe on May 9. However, PC World is listing May 17 as the earliest delivery date available for both the Wifi-only and 3G versions of the tablet, so it looks like the UK release may lag slightly behind continental Europe. Check out our hands-on coverage of the Wifi-only Flyer from CTIA to find out more about the device. [PC World]
Samsung released the Android 2.3 Gingerbread source code today for the original Galaxy S I9000 phones. If you're a developer and you love releases like this, get your kitchen going and start cooking up some ROMs. Or, if you just like peering into the source code, go on over to the source link, type "GT-I9000" into the search box, and download the GT-I9000_OpenSource_GB.zip file. [Samsung Open Source Release Center] Thanks, imnuts!
You guys all set for another fun filled week of Android news? It's off to a great start -- I mean, the Apple legal department is already angry and off filing law suits that has to mean it's going to be a good week. Make sure you jump into the forums and let us know what's happening. Some threads below will help you all get started:
Facebook's Android app just got a little bit better as the social giant has pushed an update that adds in the ability to tag your friends in posts from within the app. Previously, you would have to load up the full website to get that functionality. As a reminder, to tag a friend you start by typing the "@" symbol and immediately start typing out the person's name. A box showing the most likely results pops up below the text entry field and you can close in on the person you want by typing more of their name.
Other features of version 1.5.3 include a "Find Friends" feature and the ability to add your phone number to your profile plus a smattering of bug fixes. Open the Android Market and go to "My Apps" to get the update or check out the download links past the break. Thanks to ZSearcy for the tip!
Give that WordPress powers some of the top blogs out there I'm pretty positive a few of you are also using it as your personal blogging platform as well. If you are -- then you should be pleased to know WordPress for Android just got a healthy update that corrects quite a few bugs and adds some new functionality. Now sitting at version 1.4 the following changes have been made within mobile app:
Post Scheduling - You can now easily set the publish date and time in the app when creating a post or page. The date can be set to the future which will set the post status to ‘Scheduled’ and publish on your blog when the time arrives. You can also edit existing posts and tweak the published date and time if desired.
Post Password - At the bottom of the post editor we’ve added a Post Password field to help protect your content. Simply enter a password here and the post will require that the password be entered for viewing on the blog when published. You can also add or remove a password from published posts as well.
HTTP Authentication Support - Is your self-hosted blog protected with an HTTP Authentication username and password? We’ve added support for entering the Authentication credentials in the blog settings so that you can manage your blog through the app. To access the Authentication settings, add a self-hosted blog to the app and select ‘Optional Settings’ in the setup area.
In addition to the new features, you'll find some crash bugs addressed and also when users comment, unapproved comments will now have a yellow tint to them -- making it more obvious from those of approved comments. And of course, as always -- WordPress remains Open source so if you find any other bugs or are looking to help out you can hit the developer blogs for more info. You'll find the download past the break -- or just fire up the Android Market if you have it already installed [WordPress]
Looks like our friends in Cupertino have taken an issue with some of Samsung's products, namely the Galaxy S-line, Nexus S, Epic 4G, andGalaxy Tab, and they're looking to take them to court over it.
“Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products."
There haven't been any public comments from either company as of yet, but we can only imagine this one will continue to heat up as both continue to defend their stance.
Does Apple have a case on their hands? Should Samsung settle out of court if they're given the chance? Or is Samsung in the right and Apple's just trying to quash some of their Android competition? Give us your take either in the comments or the forums. [WSJ]
Update - More from Apple:
“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,” an Apple representative told Mobilized. “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.” [Mobilized]
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