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4 years ago

Forever Drive brings unending user-generated racing tracks to Android

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Forever Drive, one of my favorite racing games on iOS, made the jump to Android this weekend. From a top-down perspective, players tilt or tap their way through an endless series of user-created courses for as long as they can before time runs out. Players earn experience points, level up, and get access to new cars and license plates. The real selling point are the smooth, stark, pseudo-Tron graphics that set a truly unique atmosphere. Here's a quick feature run-down.

  • In-Game Track Editor: extremely easy-to-use editor to make beautiful, winding city tracks with just a few touches!
  • Weekly challenge mode: race against the world and competitors’ ghost cars on specially created tracks
  • Regional Leaderboards: see how you stack up against other players around you and compete against them
  • 4 different control types: arcade, tilt, digital pro, analog pro
  • Unlock new cars, paintwork, buildings and license plates!
  • Race against the clock to accumulate XP for LEVELING UP, and access to brand new content.
  • Custom 3D engine rendering

The game is free with optional in-app purchases, which I found were generally done in a classy way. Give it a shot and lets us know about any device compatibility issues. 

Download: Forever Drive (Free, IAPs)

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4 years ago

LG Canada Twitter account says no Android 4.0 ICS for the Optimus 2X

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The ongoing saga of "Will my Optimus 2X get Android 4.0?" takes another twist courtesy of LG Canada. Previously, LG Singapore had said via their Facebook page the update was coming in Q3 but now, LG Canada has taken to Twitter to say that's not the case at all and that it was a mistake based on a general statement from HQ. We're not entirely too sure what that means unless it's code for stuff we just say to calm people down and can then later retract. In any case, we've reached out to LG to hopefully get a better response on the matter because social media accounts aren't always the final word.

Source: LG Canada via: IntoMobile

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4 years ago

Samsung/Apple trial by jury begins today, don't expect a clear outcome anytime soon

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Following months of legal wrangling, injunctions and appeals, Samsung and Apple will face off in a federal court in San Jose today. The two companies accuse each other of patent and design infringement, with Apple seeking more than $2.5bn in damages, and Samsung looking to claim royalties for five of its own patents.

The narrative is all too familiar -- Apple accuses Samsung of being a "copycat" and imitating its products and inventions rather than coming up with its own stuff. Samsung counters that Apple's claims are overly broad, and that its actions are anti-competitive and monopolistic.

Apple will argue that Samsung has copied its patented designs, and that Samsung's products, in both hardware and software, are "confusingly similar" to the iPhone and iPad. It's a tactic which has been met with some success, notably in the German courts, over the past year. However, it's backfired in the UK, where a High Court judge recently ruled that Samsung did not copy Apple's iPad designs, and ordered Apple to take out ads to this effect.

So we're in for yet more claims and counterclaims, with the certainty of appeals to follow whatever verdicts the court reaches. So strap yourself in, and prepare for endless back and forth lawyerin' over the coming weeks. As our own Jerry Hildenbrand noted in his recent editorial, this is just the way things have to be in the mobile tech world in 2012. Let's just hope that whatever the decision, it doesn't impact consumers' freedom to choose the phone they want.

via: BBC News

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4 years ago

Monday Brief: NFC hacking on Android, Guide to Siri, Windows 8 SDK preview and more!

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4 years ago

Sony's tiny Xperia Tipo headed to O2 and Orange in the UK

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Sony's latest entry-level smartphone, the Xperia Tipo, is set to launch on O2 and Orange in the UK from next month. Announced in mid-June, the pint-size handset comes loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as well as Sony's UXP NXT software. That makes the Xperia Tipo the first entry-level Sony handset to ship with ICS.

Hardware-wise, the Xperia Tipo provides enough horsepower for a basic Android smartphone experience -- a 3.2-inch screen, an 800MHz CPU, a 3.2MP rear camera and 1500mAh battery, which Sony says can deliver more than 24 hours of usage. Internal storage is split between 768MB for apps and 2.5GB for media, and that's expandable via a microSD card slot. That's all wrapped up in a neatly-designed package reminiscent of last year's Xperia Active.

An O2 "coming soon" page indicates that the Xperia Tipo will be arriving sometime in August. There's no word on pricing yet, but we'd expect the phone to sell for around £100 on Pay As You Go, or to be given away for free with 24 month contracts. 

Source: O2, Orange

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4 years ago

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity getting update with stability and performance improvements

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ASUS' new flagship tablet, the Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700), is receiving another over-the-air update, according to reports from the Android Central forums. It looks like latest update to version 9.4.5.26 is pushing out to the U.S. and worldwide models, with compatibility fixes for some SD cards, along with general performance and stability improvements. In particular, several Transformer Pad Infinity owners on the forums are reporting that the tablet seems more responsive to touch on the latest software version.

To check whether your tablet is ready to be updated, head to Settings > About tablet > Software updates, and hit the button. Not all users are seeing the update to 9.4.5.26 just yet, so you'll have to keep checking over the next few days if your update isn't pushing out just yet. Still undecided on the Transformer Pad Infinity? Check out our full review.

Source: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Touchnote postcards free until Aug. 31 courtesy of Samsung

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In its latest Olympic promotion, Samsung has teamed up with postcard peddler Touchnote to enable users to send free postcards until Aug. 31. For the uninitiated, Touchnote allows you to turn any photo or image on your phone into a real, physical postcard that you can send anywhere in the world. Normally this would set you back £1.49, $1.49 or €1.49 depending on where you live, but this summer Samsung's footing the bill as part of its ongoing sponsorship of the Olympic Games.

The promotion is available to all Touchnote users on Android, iPhone or iPad, so it doesn't matter whether you're using a Samsung device or not. And it's not limited to Olympic visitors or postcards either, so if you're nowhere near London and want to send yourself a postcard of your cat, you're free to do that, too.

Touchnote users can also submit their postcards to Samsung's Olympic postcard wall, which you'll find linked below. To get started, you'll need to grab the Touchnote app for Android -- direct your eyes a few pixels down for a handy Google Play link.

More: Samsung Share Great Moments; Download: Google Play

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4 years ago

HTC closes office in South Korea following slow sales

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HTC has announced it is to close its office in South Korea, according to reports from Korean news agency Yonhap​. The move reportedly follows slow sales of HTC's smartphones in the country, and continuing difficulty in competing with Samsung in its own back yard.

In a market dominated by domestic manufacturers, analysts at Canalys estimate HTC had just one percent market share in South Korea in the first quarter of the year, down from two percent in 2011. By comparison, a recent report from Korea's ​MK​ news site estimated up to a 70 percent share of the Korean market for Samsung by the end of July, following the recent Galaxy S3 launch in the country.

HTC has taken a beating in terms of profits and market share over the past six months, after it saw record earnings in 2011. The Taiwanese manufacturer saw a 57.8 percent year-on-year fall in net profits during the second quarter of 2012, a situation it blamed on lackluster European sales of the HTC One series, in addition to litigation from Apple which briefly delayed the phones' U.S. launch.

Source: Yonhap; via: ZDNet

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4 years ago

Samsung announces UK availability of Galaxy Beam

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​Update: Carphone Warehouse is now offering the Galaxy Beam for free on a number of contracts starting at £31 per month.

​Original: It's been more than five months since we first saw the Samsung Galaxy Beam at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and now it looks like the phone/projector hybrid is set to officially make its way to the UK. A Samsung press release indicates that the Beam is available in Britain from today, though no specific retailers, networks or price points are mentioned. Pre-order prices have suggested a fairly hefty £454.80 including VAT, or £379 (~$600) excluding VAT to buy the Beam outright.

The reason you might pay that much is the Galaxy Beam's built-in pico projector, which allows you to fire images up to 50 feet away from the device, depending on various factors like ambient lighting. Other specs are relatively run-of-the-mill -- a 1GHz dual-core CPU, a 4-inch WVGA display, 5MP camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread (yeah, we know) backed up by Samsung's TouchWiz software. So there are certainly better deals to be had elsewhere for mainstream buyers, but if you want a portable image projector that ties into your smartphone, this is, for the moment, the only way you'll be able to get it.

We've got the full spec sheet and today's press release after the break.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Beam

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4 years ago

Instapaper seeing huge increase in downloads since the Nexus 7 launch

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We heard earlier in the week about the success the guys at Shifty Jelly have had since the launch of the Nexus 7, but, it seems they're not alone. Mobelux, the developers of the Instapaper app for Android, has shared some of their own numbers. And, much like Shifty Jelly, there has been a definite increase in download numbers since the launch of the Nexus 7.

The figure, is a massive 600% increase in downloads of the app since the date of the Nexus 7 launch. There is of course every chance that the $25 free credit for the Play Store has helped their cause. But it's great to hear stories of developers increased success since the Nexus 7 came to town. An application like Instapaper is something that would naturally suit a 7-inch tablet -- it's a perfect size for reading on after all. The Nexus 7 is the first 7-inch Android tablet -- not counting Amazon's Kindle Fire -- to really capture consumer interest in large numbers, and so far everything is coming up roses. 

Source: TNW

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4 years ago

AT&T drops the price of the HTC One X to $99.99 on contract

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We already got the nod earlier in the week that Radio Shack was dropping the price of the AT&T HTC One X to $100, but now AT&T has followed suit. Thats right, you can now head over to AT&T directly and pick up the mighty HTC One X for just $99.99 on a new 2-year contract.

The no commitment price sits at $449.99 which for a smartphone as capable as the One X isn't a bad deal at all. It applies to both colors, and is available at these prices on the AT&T website right now. If you've been holding out, now is as good a time as any. And, if you haven't already, don't forget to check out our full review before parting with your dough.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

LG Optimus Vu goes to Japan with NTT DoCoMo

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Should you live in Japan and have the urge to purchase a pretty large smartphone, then good news from LG. The 5-inch, LTE compatible Optimus Vu can be yours on NTT DoCoMo, which carries the device as part of their "NEXT" range. As a Japanese exclusive, limited models of the Vu will carry a special "JoJo Bizarre Adventure" design on the rear and the UI. Only 15,000 of these special editions will be available, so snap them up quickly if it's something for you.  

NTT DoCoMo has added a million LTE customers to their books in under 2 months. With LTE subscribers appearing at that rate, there is a definite market for the Vu. With its 4:3 aspect ratio it won't suit everyone, but the Japanese version will come equipped with a high-definition multimedia broadcast receiver -- something to do with video, perhaps -- which is bound to make full use of that screen real estate. Interested? Don't forget to check out our hands-on with the device back at CTIA in New Orleans

Source: LG (translated)

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Winnipeg is still standing, mostly

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That's what's left of Manitoba's finest city. OK, not really, but I did spend much of last week in Winnipeg, in a series of well-caffeinated meetings with three other Mobile Nations editors. (From left, that's Rene Ritchie of iMore, myself, Dan Rubino of WPCentral, and ol' CrackBerry Kevin himself.)

Basically, we spent the week plotting our continued takeover of the world. We're in this for the long haul, and we've got some grand plans for the rest of this year, 2013, and beyond. 

But we've also got some fun short-term stuff we're working on. You've already seen a bit of that put into action, with our increased focus on accessories. And you're going to see some more this week with new features.

And now, a few other musings ...

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4 years ago

Motorola and Nextel Brazil team up to release the Motorola i867 Ferrari

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If you're a Ferrari fan who lives in Brazil, Motorola and Nextel are hoping you'll take that Ferrari love to the next level with the Motorola i867 Ferrari. The Android 2.1 powered device isn't exactly a new phone, it's actually a rebadged version of the device with the same name with some Ferrari 458 inspirations. It's also not the first time Motorola has used the Ferrari name in brazil with Motorola i897 already available on Nextel. For those wondering, the specs are:

  • 3.1-inch touchscreen
  • Integrated GPS
  • Integrated WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3MP Camera with 4X zoom
  • Push To Talk
  • 200MB of storage with 32GB microSD capacity / 2GB microSD  included

In Brazil, the device will retail for R$ 1,499 or for the promotional price of R$ 799 with a data plan. The full press release can be found below.

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Samsung supposedly set to produce 350 ppi OLED display

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One of the physical drawbacks of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays is that the manufacturing process can't quite reach the insane pixel density that traditional LCD makers can. We can argue about saturation, color representation, and pentile until we're blue in the face, but this particular issue is backed by real numbers, and because of it, high-end LCD displays like the ones on the HTC One X are more crisp and clear in some areas. 

That all may be changing soon, if we're to believe a report from Korea that Samsung has perfected their FMM (Fine Metal Mask) production techniques to produce OLED displays at up to 350 ppi. In comparison, the iPhone 4S display (labeled as "retina") is 326 ppi. More pixels per inch (that's what ppi stands for) means cleaner lines on text and image borders, and is generally considered a good thing. 

We'll keep our eyes on this one, and if it turns out to be true we should be seeing some interesting screens on Samsung phones late this year. We like interesting.

Source: ETNews (Korean); via  OLED-Info

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