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4 years ago

N.O.V.A. 3 added to MLG's Xperia Mobile Gaming Arena, shoot things and win money

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If serious gaming is your thing, then no doubt's you'll be already familiar with Major League Gaming. Gameloft's stellar FPS title, N.O.V.A. 3, has been added to the series' Xperia Mobile Gaming Arena, offering up cash prizes for playing the game. Various challenges are on offer, naturally all of which involve a lot of shooting things.

Running until December 16, bi-weekly prizes of $250, $150, and $50 will be awarded to players who occupy the top three places in the rankings. An additional $50 prize goes to the highest ranked player using a Sony Xperia device. 

To take part, you need to link your Gameloft ID to your Major League Gaming ID, and be over the age of 13 residing within the U.S. or Canada. 

Source: MLG via Pocketgamer

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Tipo hands-on and initial review

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As much as we focus on the higher end of the smartphone food chain here at Android Central, there’s been no shortage of innovation among budget phones over the past year. Hardware which just a couple of years ago would’ve set customers back £300 or more is now coming in at around the £100 price point. With this comes proof that you don’t have to break the bank to to be part of the world of smartphones.

The Xperia Tipo is one such device -- with an 800MHz CPU, 512MB of RAM and a £100-120 price tag, the Tipo is undeniably a budget smartphone. But with the inclusion of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Sony manages to deliver a solid, reliable user experience at a relatively humble asking price.

The Tipo is the definition of cheap and chearful -- a small, light, compact smartphone with a reasonable price point. The 3.2-inch HVGA (320x480) screen may be a turn off to those accustomed to the 4.3-inch-plus panels of more expensive phones, but that kind of device isn’t for everyone. Physically, it’s very similar to last year’s Xperia Active -- it sports a curved, soft touch back panel that contrasts with its glossy front, which houses three capacitive buttons. The design is simple and elegant, and despite its budget leanings, the Tipo doesn’t look or feel cheap.

On the software side, we’ve got Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich in addition to Sony’s UXP NXT software. Sony’s UI skin hasn’t changed much since earlier Gingerbread-based builds, but what’s most striking about its ICS efforts is its performance. It’s speedier than you’d expect from an 800MHz chip, and it puts most of Sony’s Gingerbread phones -- including dual-core models -- to shame when it comes to responsiveness. Despite the bump up to ICS, most Sony’s own apps, such as Calendar, Messages, Music, PlayNow and Music Unlimited remain unchanged.

One area which has suffered, however, is the camera. Sony’s included a 3.2MP fixed focus rear camera on the Tipo, and it’s pretty dismal, even for a budget camera. Video recording is limited to VGA (640x480) resolution too, which is adequate  for playback on the Tipo’s small screen, but little else.

We’ll be testing the Sony Xperia Tipo thoroughly over the next week or so, so check back soon for a full review. In the meantime, we’ve got more photos and hands-on video after the break.

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4 years ago

PopCap Games officially announces sequel to smash hit Plants vs Zombies

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Plants vs Zombies has been around for a while now, and is genuinely a smash hit across multiple platforms. Word now comes from the developers, PopCap Games, that a sequel to the hugely successful title is on the way. Slated for release by late Spring 2013, there is a bit of a wait to be had. Android isn't specifically mentioned, in fact no platform is specifically mentioned, but we're sure we'll see it. Check out the press release after the break. 

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4 years ago

Sony reminds that Android 4.0.4 is coming for Xperia phones, we await word on Jelly Bean

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Sony this morning is reminding folks that it's bringing Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich to a number of its smartphones. That includes the Xperia Arc, Arc S, Neo, Neo V, Mini, Pro, Active and Ray, along with the Mini Pro, Neo L and Live with Walkman. Some of the phones are already on ICS, version 4.0.3 to be exact. So with that we present the following question: What's up with Jelly Bean, Sony?

Source: Sony

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4 years ago

Acer officially announces the Liquid Gallant and Gallant Duo, on show at IFA 2012

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Having made a premature appearance on their website last week, Acer has gone and officially announced their latest entry level Android smartphones -- the Liquid Gallant, and Liquid Gallant Duo. Basically the same phone, the Duo as the name suggests is a dual-SIM device. 

Running what looks like near stock Android 4.0.4 out of the box, and coming with on-screen buttons, the 4.3-inch, qHD Gallant isn't a bad looking old Hector for the entry-level market. Additionally Swype will come pre-installed as a choice of keyboard. Coming in a choice of Gentle Black or Ceramic White, the devices will go on sale in September and will be shown off at Acer's booth at next weeks IFA 2012 show in Berlin. The full press release can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus Black looks set to receive Android 4.0, eventually

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Will they, won't they, Android update stories are one of the more frustrating topics to read about. Particularly, if you happen to be a proud owner of a device which seems to be teetering on the edge of getting an update or not. When it comes to updates, LG owners are all to aware of the pain, and the waiting, and the pain. While making great hardware, it is absolutely no secret that LG is less than positive with software updates. 

The latest LG news comes courtesy of the guys over at Tech Covet. While official information is often scarce, in this case it is the retail packaging that's doing the talking. This new, sealed Optimus Black proudly wears a sticker saying that it will be upgradable to Android 4.0. Huzzah!

Still treat this with a healthy pinch of salt though. Above all, it's just a sticker on a box. We're not saying it's all a marketing ploy to get the device into peoples hands, before a "sorry, you won't get ICS" statement comes out, not at all. But, until we see the software pushing out to devices, and with LG's track record, it's difficult to get overly excited just yet. 

Source: Tech Covet via GSMArena

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia J gets previewed ahead of an official announcement

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Following recent tradition, a forthcoming Sony device has been extensively leaked and previewed. The ST26i, Xperia J, has been shown off by the chaps at ​mobile-review.com, and reveals a distinctly lower -end offering. 

The Xperia J is a 4-inch device, although apparently the screen quality leaves something to be desired. It is noted that it suffers from an element of glare, low viewing angles and poor color reproduction. Then again, the screen is one of the first areas to be sacrificed when a low end device is designed. There are no on-screen buttons either for the Xperia J, these are capacitive unlike the higher-end leaked 'Mint.' 

The battery is said to be a 1700mAh unit, which should provide a decent level of battery life given the reduced screen size and the same entry-level processor as the Xperia Tipo. RAM is set at 512MB. There is also a microSD card slot hiding away under the battery on the Xperia J.

The rear camera is a 5MP shooter with an LED flash, but apparently only shoots video at a pretty dreary 640x480. There is also a front facing camera, but nothing is said of it's specs. Given the rear camera, we're not expecting a lot from it. 

And then the software. As with the other leaked Sony devices, the Xperia J is at least running Android 4.0 out of the box. It is noted though that this is an 'older' version of the Sony ICS software, seen on the current Xperia devices, and not the newer version we've seen leaked on the 'Mint.' 

So, we're just a week out now from Sony's big press conference at IFA 2012 in Berlin, and given the sheer volume of device leaks we've seen, we're pretty much expecting there will be plenty to see. Of course, Android Central will be on the ground in Berlin all week to bring you all the very best. 

Source: Mobile-Review (translated), via Xperiablog

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4 years ago

Everything Everywhere gets 4G LTE approval in the UK

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UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has granted Everything Everywhere -- the company formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile -- a license to deploy 4G LTE services on its existing 1800MHz spectrum. The change to its 1800MHz license puts it at a potential advantage over other UK carriers, which must wait for 800MHz and 2600MHz bands to be auctioned off next year before they can roll out their 4G services. EE is also reportedly in the late stages of talks with rival network Three regarding the sale of some of its 1800MHz spectrum to the fourth-largest network, potentially opening the door for Three to run 4G services on these bands, too.

In a statement released today, Ofcom acknowledged that the 4G head-start would provide Tmo and Orange with a short-term advantage, but shrugged off assertions that it would result in any long-term “distortion” of competition.

The change in license terms kicks in from next month, and previously-released timetables indicate Everything Everywhere could have a fledgling 4G network by late 2012 or early 2013.

It’s exciting news for Orange and T-Mobile subscribers, as well as UK mobile buyers who’ve been frustrated by the legal bickering that’s held up the 800/2600MHz spectrum auction several years already. However, the decision has already provoked the ire of rival networks, with Vodafone UK releasing a statement accusing the regulator of displaying “careless disregard” for British consumers.

Source: TechRadar, Cellular News

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4 years ago

From the Android Forums: Multiple Google accounts on one device for Google Play

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Super Turtleman asks in the Android forums,

My kids are getting to the age where they're about to start having Android devices. I'd like to create a master account I can have on my phone (separate from my current google account) that I can use to download apps onto my kid's devices. Is there a simple way to do this? Can I have two different google accounts on one device and have them not interfere with each other?

Lucky kids! We think it's great that you're exposing your children to Android, and even better that you're exploring options to provide them with awesome games and apps. The good news is, what you want to do is easy!

Open Google Play on your device, and tap the action bar (or menu button, as the case may be), and select "Accounts" from the list. A new window will open, listing the current active Google accounts in use on your phone or tablet. If the account you want to use is not listed, tap the "Add account" button and follow the prompts to add a new or existing Google account. Make sure this account is selected when purchasing an app, and the app will be available on any Android device using the account in question.

Add this account to your child's Android devices, select in in Google Play, then download and install all the apps you have purchased. It's worth noting that you can tell the Google Play app that you only want to purchase apps or media, or make in-app purchases, by using a PIN. This keeps the kids from being able to charge up your account, and allows you to monitor applications being bought.

It's not quite device profiles, but it's a good way to do what you're looking for. 

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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4 years ago

Waiting on 4.0.4, What new apps have you tried lately? [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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4 years ago

Jetpack Joyride review - the gleeful rampage of a disgruntled bureaucrat

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Jetpack Joyride’s classic one-touch endless running action is finally available on Android! The free game puts you in command of Barry Steakfries, a disgruntled bureaucrat who decides to run amok in his place of employment: a top secret laboratory full of dangerous toys.

Using a jetpack powered by minigun propulsion, Barry dodges the facility’s various security precautions while gaining more and more speed. Along the way, Barry picks up coins which can be used to buy various gadgets as well as plenty of vanity items. Rare spin tokens allow Barry to use a bonus slot machine after wiping out, which can reward him with extra coins, a boost on the next run, or even a second chance.

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4 years ago

Woz: HTC Thunderbolt among worst gadgets he bought

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Normally I don't care about what other people think, especially when it's not on Android Central. I'm funny like that. But I'm also easily baited by Jerry Hildenbrand. And that brings us to the following: Gizmodo in its "Chatroom" feature today asked "What's the worst gadget you actually paid for?" We've all got one, of course. But one comment in particular stood out, for a couple reasons. It was from Steve Wozniak. Perhaps you've heard of him. And his poor purchase? The HTC ThunderBolt.

That's my HTC ThunderBolt you see up there. OK, maybe not exactly "mine." But until last Friday, it was still active on our company Verizon account -- and sitting on a shelf here in my house. We got it the day it (finally) came out, and for months it served as my Verizon LTE line. That mucked up display was but one problem. I'm a little rough on phones. I get that. But I've never had a display get that bad on me. And I have a few phones going in and out of my pockets. Then there's the kickstand, which for some reason decided to shed its skin on more than few of us. And then there are the legendary battery issues. Don't even think about using a ThunderBolt without one of those ridiculously big extended batteries. A year and a half ago, you'd have been relatively proud to take this thing out of your pocket. Now? You don't dare do so, but you also risk funny looks and "just happy to see me?" jokes.

HTC rebounded, of course. We hemmed and hawed and said "Hey, it's the first generation of LTE phones." And the 'Bolt indeed was one of those first phones. But that doesn't change the fact that what showed promise and power at the beginning turned into a lemon for many of us.

Woz, you're in good company.

More: Gizmodo

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4 years ago

Google: Software patents 'not helpful to the marketplace'

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Addressing the attendees of the Technology Policy Institute's conference today in Mountain View, Calif., Google public policy director Pablo Chavez made it plain that as a company, Google is fed up with software patents, patent wars, and the way they affect the consumer. During the question and answer period, Chavez said,

We think that these patent wars are not helpful to consumers. They're not helpful to the marketplace. They're not helpful to innovation.

It's not the first time Google has spoken out against software patents. During the infamous Oracle v. Google trial, Google lawyer Kent Walker said that they are "gumming up the works of innovation," and in a joint petition to the U.S. Supreme court with Metlife, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and others, Google said "The recent surge in patents on abstract ideas such as how to run a business or software that merely implements such methods has not promoted innovation in the financial services or information technology fields -- to the contrary, such patents create a drag on innovation."

It's plain to see that Google believes using patents and courtrooms to halt innovation or ban products as a bad idea. I couldn't agree more. Software patents are bad for business, bad for consumers, and bad for the industry as a whole. The small gains by winners of these suits is outweighed by the harm done, as small folks with big ideas can no longer implement them out of fear of litigation. If a company like Samsung or HTC can't stay out of court every time they move too much product, what chance do independent developers have? 

This is the Google I like seeing. The one who stands up to the silly notion that ideas are property, and instead places value on the methods used to achieve those ideas. The Google who knows that hurting the consumer is never the best choice. Not the Google who joins in the fray, then condemns the behavior three days later. Google is likely to find little sympathy after using Motorola's patents to go after Apple, then publicly saying they think companies doing such is a bad idea. Motorola may be doing business as a separate company, but Google, as the common owner, is ultimately responsible, and Motorola should share the same patent philosophy. 

We wish them the best in their campaign to reform the patent system in the U.S., as well as the abuse of it that some companies see as standard operating procedure.

Via: CNet

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4 years ago

MIUI updated to Jelly Bean codebase for some Nexus devices

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If you bought a Nexus device so you could happily flash all manner of custom ROMs, today is a good day. MIUI has updated their codebase to include Jelly Bean for the 2.8.17 release, provided you have a GSM Nexus S, a Galaxy Nexus (in either GSM or Verizon's CDMA/LTE flavor) or a Nexus 7. 

The ROM will have all the goodies you expect from MIUI, with the addition of things like Google Now, and that delicious butter that makes all the difference. On the surface, things will look a lot like the previous versions of MIUI. Like Samsung, or HTC, the folks at MIUI have a look, feel, and feature set they think is worth keeping. A whole lot of users agree.

No word on when to expect any newer versions for other devices, but you can be sure the team is hard at work, and much will depend on manufacturers providing the necessary hardware drivers and kernel bits. In the meantime, MIUI fans with Nexus devices can find all the details and download links at the source link.

Source: MIUI

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4 years ago

Retired Wizard Story review - sheep-nuking at its finest

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Retired Wizard Story launched on Android recently, adding a proactive twist on the Plants vs. Zombies wave defense formula. Instead of sitting back and letting minions do all the defending. players don the robe and wizard’s hat to stop accidentally-enchanted sheep from escaping their pen and ruining their quiet, anonymous retirement. This is done by casting spells with taps, swipes, and dragging and dropping scrolls creates mystical circles of power.

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