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2 years ago

Chaos Rings brings classic JRPG action and hefty pricetag to Google Play

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Chaos Rings, a role-playing game franchise created by the venerable Square Enix about two years ago on iOS, has found its way to Android. If you remember the ports of their classic Final Fantasy titles, you'll know that Square Enix has a habit of charging a fair bit for their mobile games, and Chaos Rings is no different with a $12.99 pricetag. That said, reviews for the iOS version have been unanimously good, so at least you're getting quality for what you pay for.

The game's story revolves around a mysterious tournament where pairs of contestants fight for their lives in the imposing and surreal Ark Arena. There are 8 characters to chose from, spread between 5 pairs, each with their own histories and plotlines to unfold. 

On the one hand, it's easy to laugh openly at just about any app trying to get away with a pricetag of more than $10 in Google Play, but on the other, I admire developers that have the moxy to try to stem the race to the bottom in app pricing. Only really big-name publishers can afford to create high-quality apps for bargain basement prices, and even then, they only work if supplemented by ad and in-app purchase revenue. What do you guys think - is the labor that goes into making an application just as valuable as it used to be (as Nintendo would contend), or is the app market so saturated now that old models simply don't work anymore? Is it worth paying a premium up-front to combat the trend in in-app purchasing?

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini render leaks ahead of announcement

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Samsung confirmed the existence of the Galaxy S3 Mini just a few hours ago, and now it seems we have a leaked press render and purported specs to go with it. According to German blog MobileGeeks, which obtained the render above, the S3 Mini will sport a 1GHz dual-core ST Ericsson U8420 CPU, along with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a microSD card slot. That's apparently packed behind a 4-inch WVGA SuperAMOLED display, running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Sammy's TouchWiz Nature UX. Other notables include a 5MP rear camera and 1500mAh battery.

So it's not quite a Galaxy S3 packed into a smaller shell, as some had hoped, but the Galaxy S3 Mini could be successful in its own right, assuming the price tag isn't too high. Speaking of which, the site reports that the Mini will go on sale from €399 SIM-free in the eurozone, which isn't terribly expensive.

Would you be up for this kind of miniature, mid-range, Jelly Bean-based handset at this price point? Let us know in the comments.

We'll know more about the Galaxy S3 Mini after tomorrow's announcement.

Source: MobileGeeks, via: Slashgear

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2 years ago

Lookout for Android gets a redesign and dialer threat protection

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As mobile devices become smarter and more prolific, mobile security threats are continuing to diversify. And with more and more of us becoming more security conscious these days, mobile security apps like Lookout are becoming increasingly popular. 

The latest update to the popular security app, now available on Google Play, includes a fresh coat of paint, as well as new features. Most notable is the "safe dialer," which protects against that nasty USSD code exploit on certain Samsung phones.

  • Intuitive user-friendly design.
  • A new Activity Feed – an intelligent dashboard which allows you to see your mobile activity and how Lookout protects you in one glance.
  • Signal Flare – allows you to locate a missing device, even if the battery has died.
  • Safe Dialer – protects against a new mobile threat: dialer-based attacks. It scans every phone number you click to call from your mobile browser, alerting you to potential threats.

You can grab the latest version using the Google Play Store link above. Check past the break for the full presser.

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2 years ago

CoPilot Live announces compatibility with over 250 Android devices

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It was only last week that we got the news that TomTom was available for Android devices - well, some of them. TomTom was incompatible with many of high-profile handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X, which excluded them from a large portion of the market.

In what's probably more than a coincidence, ALK Technologies has today announced that its CoPilot Live offline GPS navigation apps are now compatible with over 250 Google-certified Android phones and tablets. The company even hand picks some devices that don't play nice with TomTom  for mention in today's presser --

 “Our mission is simple – to make sure CoPilot runs brilliantly on as many Android devices as possible.” said David Quin, Head of Consumer Applications at ALK Technologies. “We have been developing GPS navigation apps for the Android platform since the launch of T Mobile G1 in 2008 and we’ve learned an incredible amount about handling differing screen sizes and resolutions. The latest additions to the Android family such as the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X are perfect for GPS navigation with their high resolution touch screens.”

So despite Google Maps navigation being bundled on all Google-certified handsets, it seems the GPS navigation market is still alive and well on the platform. We've got the rest of today's announcement after the break.

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2 years ago

'LG Nexus 4' spotted in Carphone Warehouse inventory system

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With each passing day, it's looking more and more likely that LG is indeed Google's manufacturer partner of choice for this year's Nexus smartphone. Yesterday we saw three rounds of leaked photos from the device, known by its codename LG-E960. Today it seems the device has started showing up in one UK retailer's inventory systems.

The shot above was passed to The Verge by an anonymous tipster, who claims it's from the Carphone Warehouse's back-end system -- and it certainly matches earlier CPW leaks. As you can see, it clearly shows listings for an LG Nexus 4 in both black and white. Details of pricing and availability are unfortunately nowhere to be found.

The "Nexus 4" moniker has long been suggested as a name for the upcoming 2012 Nexus, ever since the Nexus 7 made its debut at Google I/O. In addition to shipping with a 4.7-inch screen, LG's Nexus would be the fourth smartphone to bear that name, so it'd certainly make sense on a few different levels. The only other plausible alternative doing the rounds was the slightly clunky-sounding "Optimus Nexus."

But this shouldn't be taken as conclusive proof of the final next-gen Nexus branding. Retailers aren't infallible, and there's no way of knowing if this isn't the result of an over-zealous CPW employee entering info into the system based upon Internet rumors. Nevertheless, it's another piece of the LG Nexus puzzle, and we're sure we'll start to see the full picture emerge in the coming weeks.

Source: The Verge

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2 years ago

4-inch Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini comes to Germany Oct. 11

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Samsung Mobile head JK Shin has announced the 4-inch Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini will be available in Germany on October 11. As the smaller cousin to the 4.8-inch Galaxy S3, don't call the Mini entry-level, as Shin says it will be "full form factor". There was no word about the internals, but we're hoping Samsung has found a way to cram everything we see in the full size version into the 4-inch form factor.

Shin says the demand for a 4-inch class device is high in Europe, and we can't help but think many in North America would also appreciate a slightly smaller version. We'll keep our eyes and ears open for more on that front as it unfolds.

Source: News 24 (Korean); via The Verge

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2 years ago

Foursquare updated with usability enhancements, spam reporting options

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Foursquare for Android has seen plenty of revisions since it was initially released into the Google Play Store. This time around they're once again bringing some features back while continuing the tradition of adding some other goodies that improve upon the overall app experience. The update is live right now in the Google Play Store and here's what has changed:

  • Points back in for check-in detail pages
  • We're now bolding out those shout-outs and mentions of friends for check-ins
  • Report tips that are spam, offensive or no longer relevant via the Tip detail page
  • New categorization of venue photos, now we show you what's more relevant at the top, and no more duplicates!
  • Quick save capability from the activity stream

Although the changes aren't a huge overhaul from what we know, there is still quite a bit there to appreciate. The spam reporting tool on the detail pages should come in handy as there seems to be an increase of ridiculous ads posted hidden within tips.

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2 years ago

AT&T LG Escape hands on

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In its next step towards world domination, LG is here in San Diego showing off its latest wares, including the recently-released, budget-friendly Escape, available now on AT&T. The Escape joins Verizon’s Droid RAZR M as an entry-level device with specs that impress: the 4.3-inch qHD display is nicer than we would have thought, and the 1.2 GHz dual-core processor is truly hard to fault. Paired with a full gig of RAM, LTE-connectivity, and a 5MP shooter (sans flash), the Escape is hard to pass up for its $50 price.

I’ve been using the Escape on-and-off for about a week now and while I’ve become really spoiled by Droid RAZR M, which is truly top of the line in terms of performance and design, I have to give credit for creating an entry-level phone that isn’t awful. It’s not going to replace your flagship smartphone, but for those first-time buyers and those with strict budgets, the LG Escape shouldn’t be missed.

I’ll share my full thoughts in the coming weeks, but for now, enjoy some photos and a video below. (Note: the hands-on video,  incorrectly states that the Escape is available for $99 on contract, when in fact the price has dropped to $50.)

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2 years ago

First look at T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy Note 2

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Fresh off the heels of this morning's announcement, T-Mobile is on hand tonight in San Diego showing off its branded version of the upcoming Galaxy Note 2. This is the same mega-phone we've been seeing for weeks now, with the nice little addition of a T-Mobile stamp right smack dab on the back and some carrier-brand apps preloaded onto the device. T-Mobile's Galaxy Note 2 will be available in Titanium Grey and Marble White, and both look really stunning. Read on for more hands-on impressions.

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2 years ago

T-Mobile LG Optimus L9 hands-on

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Entry level is the name of the game for the LG Optimus L9 on T-Mobile. We knew that, of course, from T-Mobile and LG's positioning of the Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, as well as from the specs on paper. Let's recap:

  • Android 4.0 (ICS)
  • Dimensions: 5.19 x 2.69 x 0.36
  • Weight: 4.41 oz
  • 4.5-inch qHD Corning Gorilla Glass 2 Display (540 x 960)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB built-in storage
  • MicroSD storage expansion (up to 32GB)
  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • 5-megapixel camera w/ LED flash
  • 0.3-megapixel VGA front-facing camera
  • 2,150mAh Battery
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n/a

Nothing the spec-conscious crowd will write home about, no? But here's the thing: It's a surprisingly solid entry-level device. You can't quite appreciate just how light it is until you grab it. 

In the hand, though, the L9's a ridiculously light device. It's decidedly plastic, but it's a soft plastic. (Kind of like a dry heat, I suppose.) The user interface seemed quick enough, though the device is loaded down in T-Mobile and LG applications. This is a buy-and-drive device, designed to be used out of the box, for folks who don't want to do a whole lot of customization.

The good news is that it's got a removable battery and microSD card. The power plant is respectable, but the four gigabytes of built-in storage most certainly isn't.

We've got a bevy of pics and video after the break.

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2 years ago

LG Nexus love and hate, Discussing Android 4.1.2 for the Nexus 7 [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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2 years ago

First cinematic trailer for Arcane Legends released

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Spacetime Studios is set to release another chapter in its "Legends" series of MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games, this time called Arcane Legends. As a teaser for the upcoming game, the studio has released a full cinematic trailer.

The 30 second spot shows the highlights of the new game, including three new classes -- warrior, rogue and mage -- as well as the use of loyal battle pets. As is the case with these types of games, players will be able to level up and hone their skills over time, customizing their characters and abilities.

Source: SpaceTime Studio's on Youtube

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2 years ago

LG Nexus design shown off in two new pictures

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The LG Nexus (LG-E960) just keeps showing up in leaked images, this time over on the XDA forums. These new images give us a much better look at both the back and front of the device. The back plate, now seen in proper lighting, looks very similar to what we've just seen today on Sprint's model of the LG Optimus G over at CTIA MobileCON, and is much more understated than it seemed before. The front of the device continues to look reminiscent of the current Galaxy Nexus, but with a chrome-like bezel and different speaker grille at the top. The home screen and buttons all look as they should for a Nexus device -- stock and on-screen.

As far as specs go, the poster gives the following list:

  • CPU: quad core ARMv7 1.5GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Memory: 8GB (no SD slot)
  • GPU: Adreno 320
  • Android version: JellyBeanMR1
  • Kernel 3.4.0
  • Screen: 768x1184 (320 dpi)
  • Camera: 8 MP

This is all lining up with the previous leaks, including the anemic 8GB of internal, non expandable memory. The seemingly odd vertical resolution of 1184px can be explained by the on-screen buttons taking up some room, while the horizontal resolution of 768px fits previous leaks. With those resolution numbers and the reported DPI, we're looking at a device with about a 4.7-inch display.

The poster also points out that the phone seems to only support HSPA+ data access, not LTE, which fits with what we've found in the FCC filings. To clarify on previous posts, if this device were to be on sale with the same bands tested and confirmed by the FCC filing, it will work on both AT&T's and T-Mobile's HSPA+ networks.

Things just keep falling into place for the next Nexus device. We've got one more picture for you after the break.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, Mike!

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2 years ago

Gameloft teases Zombiewood, a run-and-gun game for Android

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Gameloft is preparing a zombie-themed run-and-gun game with a Hollywood twist called Zombiewood. A new teaser shows a stuntman wearing a variety of costumes and using a bunch of different weapons to eradicate vast swathes of undead. It looks like the same old in-app purchase model with premium currency is in place, though there's no word if it's going to be free up-front.  In any case, the graphics look solid, and the action, though straightforward, is bound to entice at least a few people. 

Gameloft hasn't made any big official announcement about the game yet since they're busy pimping our Real Soccer 2013 for iOS, so details on Zombiewood are scarce. Over the last week, Gameloft's twitter account has been teasing the game with funny warning posters from the Los Angelas Dept. of Zombie Management, which read like "Check before you shoot - sometimes they're just ugly people", and "Fire is not a toy - flaming zombies are a safety hazard". 

There's no mention of a release date, but with Hallowe'en right around the corner, it can't be too far off. Any takers, or are games that rely on IAPs a deal-breaker? Does the game look like fun, or has the zombie thing been done to, err, death? 

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2 years ago

Weekly photo contest: Panorama

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Panorama of the DMZ between North and South Korea, taken with the LG Optimus G. Check the full size Image here.

This week the photo contest is going to be a fun one, with a great prize! If you haven't guessed based on the picture above, we're doing panoramas.

Panorama pictures are a series of shots that special software has stitched together into one big wide view. The software that creates them has been in Android phones for a while, but even if you're still happily rocking an older model Android phone you're in on this one. Check out all the Panorama apps available in Google Play, both free and paid. Get one installed, then read on!

Ready? Cool deal. Now grab your Android phone and head outside. Play with the panorama feature, or the new app you just installed. Get good with it, then snap a pic for the contest. Head into the forums to post it in the contest thread, and we'll pick the best one Sunday. 

The prize this week is the Supertooth Disco 2 Bluetooth speaker! The same one we reviewed here, in all its glory. You don't want to miss this one.

I'm also working on a great way to show off the winners, but in the meantime hit the break to view the last two contest finalists. When I get the new method worked up, we'll add them in -- the pictures are too good not to.

Enter this week's photo contest

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