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3 years ago

Android Quick App: WipEout for Xperia Play

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If you owned a PlayStation (of the original, gray variety) back in the late nineties, then the WipEout series should need no introduction. WipEout was one of the first titles to bring futuristic "kart" style racing into 3D, and was massively successful when it launched in 1995, alongside the original Sony PlayStation.

Now Sony has brought the original WipEout to Android, in the form of an official port for the PlayStation-certified Xperia Play. And like many of the PlayStation classics currently offered by Sony on the Android Market, WipEout looks and plays just as it did on the PS1 sixteen years ago. You can steer your ship using either the Xperia Play's D-pad or analog controls, and air-breaking is taken care of by the left and right trigger buttons.

The aim, of course, is to work your way to the front of the pack by using speed pads, weapons and other power-ups to get the best of your opponents. Just like the PlayStation original, WipEout can be pretty brutal at times. There's a near-vertical learning curve and AI which will punish you when you're caught up in the middle of the pack, and rubber-band its way back to you if you take first place. Once you hit your stride, though, WipEout is a highly enjoyable racer, though not as newbie-friendly as more casual titles on the Market.

If you decide to pick the game up, you'll get a fair amount of content for your £3.99. There are six tracks to play across championship, single race and time trial modes, and an unlockable seventh track if you beat the game. Unfortunately, the exceptional licensed soundtrack of the original PlayStation version isn't included, but in its place you'll find the alternate Sega Saturn soundtrack by Tim "Cold Storage" Wright.

If you're unfamiliar with the WipEout series, then you'll probably find more accessible and enjoyable casual racers elsewhere. However, if you're a PlayStation veteran and fancy a trip down memory lane, then asking price is more than reasonable in our opinion. WipEout is currently available on the Android Market (Europe only for the moment) for £3.99. Join us after the jump for Market links and QR codes.

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3 years ago

News360 for phones now available

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Last May we saw the release of News360 for Honeycomb devices, and today they have released the version for the smaller screen.  In a nutshell, News360 is a news aggregator app with over 4,000 global sources (find us in the Android section!) and it's visually stunning.  The features are there, too -- the social integration with Facebook, Twitter, ReadItLater, Instapaper, and TripIt, the ability to favorite articles and and content to create your own customized newsfeed, and "automatically identifying and linking more than 700,000 companies, people, brands and locations with stories, and creating encyclopedic, wiki-style dossiers accessible with a single tap, without ever leaving the article."  That means when you open an article, keywords are highlighted and a tap takes you to page inside the app full of pertinent information and other news links.  Another very intriguing feature is set to come out this summer:

News360 will introduce a new cross-platform content personalization mechanism based on interests and reading preferences gathered from integrations with Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader and Evernote, among others. Automatically generated profiles will enable users to instantly discover the content that is relevant to them with one click of the News360 icon.

But the highlight here is easily the application design.  It's smooth, with a fluid transition between pages, rich high resolution images, and quality inline video.  It's also uniquely Android; versions are available for multiple platforms, each having the same overall look and feel yet keeping the controls and layout in the stye associated with each individual platform.  The iPhone version, for example, has a familiar icon bar across the bottom, with the settings and favorites where you would expect them, and the Android version has those same controls in the upper right corner.  It's the little touches like this that separate it from the pack.  News360 is free from the Android Market for phones running Android 2.2 and higher, and you'll find the download link, some images showing off the interface, and the official press release after the break.

More: News360

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3 years ago

Vlingo version 3.0 brings additional language support, overhauled UI

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Vlingo, the popular voice-activated personal assistant app, has been updated to version 3.0, which brings with it a completely overhauled UI and graphic design. The app’s functionality remains the same: simply speak a command and Vlingo will carry it out for you. In addition to the makeover, 3.0 now supports additional languages including French, Italian, German, Spanish and Chinese, with Japanese and Korean support currently in beta. The update is also said to improve the local search function. Grab the Market link after the break.

Source: Vlingo

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3 years ago

Mid-summer Android phone release roundup

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You want leaks, we got leaks!  In the past couple days news has been coming out of the woodwork about upcoming Android phones, so I'll take a minute and wrap it all up neatly here in one place.  Remember, these aren't 100 percent guaranteed dates by any means (cough Thunderbolt cough Droid Charge), but we're pretty confident in them.

First up we have the LG Thrill 4G and the HTC Status for you folks on AT&T.  There's no exact date given for these two, but it looks like we'll be seeing them this month, as leaked docs show a July release date at Sam's Club.  Both look to be awesome phones, each geared to a different audience.  Folks wanting raw power and a 3D screen will love the OMAP4 powered Thrill 4G, and the HTC Status looks like a social networker's dream come true.

T-Mobile subscribers are in for a treat on July 27, when the MyTouch 4G Slide rolls out, again, at Sam's Club.  Combine a physical keyboard and a zero shutter lag, backside illuminated wide angle lens camera and great new software, then throw it on the MyTouch 4G for one hell of a nice phone.  T-Mobile has the MyTouch 4G Slide pages ready to go, so it's close. (Thanks, Andrew!)

Sprint has some love to share on July 24, with the Samsung Conquer -- the first entry-level Wimax phone from Mr. Hesse and crew.  Dual cameras, tri-band CDMA with 800MHz support, and Gingerbread sounds like a great way to have fun this summer. Guess where ... at Sam's Club

One more thing (you thought I forgot, didn't you?).  There's another phone that a few of you have been looking forward to called the Droid Bionic that looks to be hitting the shelves on August 4.  It's version three of the phone of your dreams -- dual-core OMAP might, LTE speed, and likely the best upgrade from an OG Droid or Droid X that anyone can imagine.  We'll be on this one like a hawk, just like you will. At Sam's Club.

It's worth noting that these leaked dates are for Sam's Club (we mentioned that, right?) and not the official carrier stores.  That means you might even be seeing these for sale a bit sooner at other retailers or at your carrier's brick and mortar location, something we've seen before.  It's going to be another busy summer reviewing Android phones, and that's the way we like it!

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3 years ago

And ... the Droid 3 is officially official

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The cat's been out of the bag on this one for quite some time now, but Verizon has just officially announced the Motorola Droid 3. Specs are as we've been telling you for a while -- 4-inch screen with qHD resolution, dual-core 1GHz processor, 8MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and so on and so forth.

It's available now online for $199 with a two-year plan, and will be in stores on July 14.

Note that Verizon's new data plans are now in effect as well. So if you're a new customer you'll have to go for one of the tiered packages -- see our complete breakdown here.

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3 years ago

Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles beta launches, we have 50 keys to give away!

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Spacetime Studios has released the beta of Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles, the new sci-fi MMO and Android Central has 50 beta keys to give away.  You might recognize the name Spacetime Studios, as they're the folks behind Pocket Legends -- another great MMO for Android.  This time around you'll play as a hero in the 41st century, against other players and the alien race known as the Vular.  You can choose from three different character classes, each with different strengths and weaknesses, for loads of exciting gaming.

If you're a Verizon subscriber, you can find Star Legends via VCast.  If you're not a Verizon user (or if the first thing you do is yank VCast off your phone), you'll either have to wait until the beta period is over (that's July 20) or win one of the 50 keys we're giving away.  If you're selected, you'll get the beta key and download link so you can install and play while the rest of us are waiting.  Have a look at some of the gameplay screens, the press release, and the official trailer after the break, and visit this link in the Android Central forums for a chance to win

More info: Star Legends site

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3 years ago

LG Optimus 3D gets a gaming boost from Gameloft

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Read our LG Optimus 3D review

What's a 3D phone without 3D apps, right? And the LG Optimus 3D just got a nice boost from Gameloft, which now has 17 titles ready for the first mainstream glasses-free 3D smartphone.

Included with the Optimus 3D are Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, N.O.V.A. and Let's Golf! 2. Rounding out the available downloads are:

  • Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles
  • James Cameron’s Avatar
  • Ultimate Spider Man: Total Mayhem
  • GT Racing: Motor Academy
  • Shrek Kart
  • Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus
  • Real Football 2011
  • Star Battalion
  • N.O.V.A. 2 -- Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
  • Dungeon Hunter 2
  • Fishing Kings
  • BackStab
  • Eternal Legacy
  • Shadow Guardian

Can't say there's not a sable of content waiting for the Optimus 3D, can ya? Be sure and check out of full review of the Optimus 3D, and check out the press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Fieldrunners HD now available in the Amazon Appstore

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There she be, folks -- Fieldrunners HD. It's tower defense done like never before, with excellent graphics and sounds. It's got more than 400 levels and four battlefields, seven towers and three difficulty levels, plus two additional modes once you beat the Classic game.

Fieldrunners HD is a pretty big download at 36MB, and it's available on Android smartphones (not tablets yet) running Android 2.2 and up. Download it from the Amazon Appstore for free today at the link below.

Download: Fieldrunners HD

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3 years ago

Droid 3 quietly assumes its place at Droid Does website

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There's still be little more fanfare than the odd Twitter reply and Facebook post, but the Motorola Droid 3 is now live on Verizon's Droid Does website. Fire it up and you'll be taken through the litany of new specs, including five-row keyboard, dual-core processor and 4-inch qHD display.

You've still got a week to go before you can buy the Droid 3 in stores, but it's available now through telesales, and other indirect methods.

Source: Droid Does

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3 years ago

Google+ invites return, but with a caveat

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Update: And ... they've disappeared again.

And there you have it, folks. No longer are the cool kids quite as cool as they were a week ago. Google+ invites are back, and you can have a friend invite you. And be sure to snag the Android app.

As Google's Dave Besbris recently posted:

Hey Google+ folks!

As I bet you've noticed, we are facing pretty incredible demand for Google+ invites.

As Engineering Director of Google+, I wanted to take a moment to explain why we're growing the system slowly. First, we want to make sure our infrastructure scales so the service remains fast and reliable. Second, we want to ensure that bugs are fixed while there are still a relatively few people in the field trial.

Things are going well with the systems right now so we feel comfortable enough to open up invites for a brief period. Our goal is to double the user base in the field trial. (Sorry, we're not giving details about how many folks are in the field trial yet).

So, in a few minutes, we'll open up invites again.

We continue to throttle invites, so please don't mass invite folks as it won't work. If you invite a handful of your most important friends and family you're much more likely to get these folks into our system.

Thanks again for providing so much wonderful feedback!

Note that Dave says they're throttling invites. So if you can't get in immediately, check back. And in the meantime, be sure to check out our complete walkthrough of Google+ for Android. Download links are after the break.

Source: Dave Besbris
More: plus.google.com; via @GooglePlusTweet

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