Headlines

3 years ago

Acer C720 Chromebook now available from Google Play in 4 new countries

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Canada, France, Germany and U.K. can now get their hands on the entry-level 2GB RAM model

Availability of the Acer C720 Chromebook from Google Play is expanding outside of the U.S. for the first time since its launch, heading to four new countries as of today. Now Chrombook buyers in the U.K., Canada, France and Germany have a new option for buying the $229 / £199 laptop, building on hit-or-miss availability from other retailers like Amazon.

For your money you'll be getting the same C720 as the other retailers are pushing — that means the standard non-touch screen and 2GB of RAM paired with a 16GB SSD and an Intel Celeron processor. You'll still have to head out to another retailer if you're interested in having 4GB of RAM or 32GB of storage and a touchscreen (that model's called the C720P).

But if you don't care much about the specifics and want what is still one of the best Chromebooks out there, you can now get the C720 straight from Google.

Source: Google Play Support

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3 years ago

GDC 2014: Dungeon Link mashes up RPG and puzzle games

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Another title we saw from Gamevil at GDC 2014 was Dungeon Link. It takes the tried and true puzzle mechanic of Flow, whereby you trace a line between two same-colored dots without overlapping with other lines, and tosses in a few role-playing mechanics. Instead of simply connecting the two points, players are trying to trace their paths through monsters peppered on the board. Every color represents a character you've chosen, each with their own attributes. gear, and abilities. If you manage to attack all enemies with all of your heroes in the same turn, you get a combo bonus on damage.

It's a neat, light twist on a familiar genre. It reminds me a little bit of Nimble Quest in that sense, but I think Dungeon Link is very much going to stand out on its own. This free-to-play title will be out around Q3 this year.

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3 years ago

GDC 2014: Zenonia Online updates classic mobile RPG as an MMO

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Gamevil was at GDC 2014 showing off a whole bunch of upcoming Android games, including the next iteration of their well-known RPG series, Zenonia. Zenonia Online, as you might expect, adds a whole layer of massively multiplayer mechanics to the core action gameplay. In addition to hacking and slashing your way through a rich fantasy world, players can now party up co-operatively to take on particularly challenging raid bosses, or turn on each other in player versus player content.

It's great to see Gamevil approaching the mobile MMO space, since right now it's almost exclusively occupied by Gameloft's Order & Chaos Online and Arcane Legends by Spacetime Studios. Zenonia Online is already out in Korea, but will release globally some time this year, and like all Gamevil titles, it's going to be free-to-play.

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer ready to roll with Chromecast, no update required

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The BBC did indeed build the functionality into a recent update

We recently heard from some folks who'd been digging through the BBC iPlayer app that Chromecast support had been built in ahead of a launch in the UK. Turns out that was indeed correct, and as of today the app is 100% ready to cast. After opening it up you may find you need to wait a minute, or even relaunch the app – as I had to – in order to kickstart things.

But once things are set you'll see the standard Chromecast icon across the top of the apps main interface. Getting things from device to TV are simple, though you need to connect the app to the TV first. Tap on the Chromecast icon, select which room you want to pair to, and you're done.

From there, just go ahead and select what you want to watch and let everything else work its magic. I've been playing around with it for a little while now and am really happy with it. It's pretty quick to start playing, the video quality is good and you can even mute the video from the notification tray on your Android device. Pretty slick.

All you need is the current version of the BBC iPlayer app which you'll find at the Play Store link up top.

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3 years ago

Sony brings boarding passes to Smartwatch 2 with Vueling

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Sony has announced what it says is the "world's first wearable boarding pass" for its Smartwatch 2 device in partnership with Spanish airline Vueling. The app, due to launch on Google Play from the end of the month, allows users to display a boarding card barcode on the watch's display, as well as displaying details of upcoming flights. (Regular travelers will be aware that similar functionality is offered by many airlines' smartphone apps.)

The news comes less than 24 hours after Google's Android Wear announcements, a promotional video for which featured a traveller using an Android smartwatch to scan a virtual boarding pass at an airport. Sony was an early entrant into the smartwatch market, however it wasn't listed as an Android Wear partner in yesterday's announcement.

Source: Sony blog

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3 years ago

Poll: Which Android Wear watch is worthy of your wrist?

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Moto 360 and LG G Watch

Along with the announcement of Android Wear, we received a cursory look at two of its first smartwatches — the Moto 360 and LG G Watch.

There's still a lot we don't know. We don't know the display tech being used. We have no idea about battery life. And we don't know price. But that's never kept folks from forming an opinion before, and there's nothing wrong with preferring the look of one over the other.

So we ask you: Which watch works best for you at this point? The round Moto 360? Or the square LG G Watch? Take our poll, then let us know in the comments your reasoning.

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3 years ago

Oppo's Find 7 boasts up to 1440p display, 2.5GHz Snapdragon and 50MP photos

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Oppo Find 7

Two flavors of Oppo's new high-end phone launching in China this spring

Chinese manufacturer Oppo has taken the wraps off its latest flagship smartphone, the Find 7. With an enormous 5.5-inch display and up to QHD (2560x1440) resolution, the Find 7 rivals the latest flagships from Samsung and Sony, boasting 538 pixels per inch. The top-end Find 7 model also features a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor (MSM8974AC) and 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 3000mAh battery. There's also a less pricey 1080p version with a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 2800mAh cell.

But the major talking point is the Find 7's camera. It's got a 13-megapixel Sony IMX214 sensor, but software trickery allows it to shoot up to 50-megapixel images though a "Super Zoom" feature. And early sample shots from Engadget seem to show plenty of fine detail, even when viewed at full size. The Oppo Find 7 offers 4K video recording to boot, along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

Other hardware tricks include rapid charging — Oppo claims it'll go from 0 to 75 percent in just 30 minutes — and MaxxAudio plus DiracHD audio enhancements. And software-wise, you're looking at Oppo's ColorOS, previously seen on the N1. Based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

The 1080p Oppo Find 7 (dubbed the Find 7a) will be available in China from mid-April, with the 1440p model following in May or June.

Source: Oppo; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Dayframe makes Chromecast slideshow free for all users

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Prime upgrade $0.99 for a limited time

With version 2.3 of Dayframe, out now in the Google Play Store, we're treated to a couple of new features, but best of all everyone gets Chromecast support for free. Free version users will get no time limits or ads interfering with their pictures, but instead will get a small logo on the screen and a "pop-up reminder/nudge" about the Prime upgrade once in a while. The Prime upgrade itself is going down to $0.99 for a limited time as part of the update.

So, what else is new?

  • Can now add multiple Facebook friends at a time
  • Better support for wireless chargers (i.e. the Tylt)
  • Faster and easier to create playlists (as part of Prime)
  • Slideshow lighter makeover
  • Bug fixes

Grab the latest version for yourselves at the Google Play link up top.

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3 years ago

Chromecast also available from Currys/PC World + Amazon in the UK

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Stores selling Chromecast for £30

Google's Chromecast streaming dongle launched in a raft of new countries early this morning, including the UK. But if you don't want to wait the extra couple of days for delivery, the device is also on sale at Currys and PC World. Both stores are now listing the device as available for home delivery or collection, meaning brick-and-mortar stores should also be stocking Chromecast. And it's also available from Amazon UK with next-day shipping.

The stores are listing the device with the same price as Google Play — £30 including VAT.

Source: Amazon.co.uk, Currys, PC World

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3 years ago

Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact and Z Ultra KitKat updates now rolling out, says Sony

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Z1 Compact

Major software update for Z1 series devices also brings new Sony UI

Sony has announced the rollout of Android 4.4 KitKat for the Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact and Z Ultra, starting today. The new firmware also includes updated Sony apps, such as Walkman, Album and Movies, and a refreshed UI — likely similar to what we've seen on the Xperia Z2. That's in addition to standard KitKat features like immersive mode and built-in cloud printing support.

We're not yet seeing the update on any of our devices, and Sony reminds us that rollout timing will vary depending on market and carrier, as per usual. So there many be a bit of wait before all devices are fully up to date.

Next up, The manufacturer says the Xperia Z, ZL, ZR and Tablet Z are due to get Android 4.4 from mid-Q2. And the Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia E1 and Xperia M2 have also been added to the list for KitKat updates, though there's no firm timetable for those devices just yet.

Source: Sony blog

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3 years ago

Motorola posts AT&T Moto X Android 4.4.2 changelog, update rolling to devices now

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AT&T Moto X

Changelog is sparse, with the same small fixes seen on other variants

Following what appears to be a short-lived and successful soak test, the AT&T Moto X is receiving its Android 4.4.2 update starting today. As it usually does, Motorola has posted the changelog for the update on its support pages, indicating that the update is ready to go out to everyone rather than just testers.

The changelog is a carbon copy of the small x.x.2 bump that has already hit other versions of the Moto X, with the added change that is AT&T-specific related to roaming:

  • Printing documents and pictures: Added support for printing photos, Google Docs, GMail messages, and other content via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and hosted services like Google Cloud Print and HP ePrinters.
  • Improved battery life: Fixed bugs which caused a small number of users to experience shorter battery life after upgrading to Android 4.4.
  • Fixed email sync delays: Fixed a bug that could cause email services like Microsoft Exchange to experience intermittent delays in data synchronization.
  • International roaming fix: Fixed a bug that caused data connectivity issues for AT&T Moto X users while traveling outside the US.

These updates often take some time to roll out, but you now have a reason to start checking your AT&T Moto X for an update more often than usual. If you're seeing the update on your phone, be sure to hit the forums and let other members know how your experience is with the update.

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

9 watt Nexus wall charger now available in Google Play

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Nexus all the things

Looking for a dedicated AC to micro USB wall charger? Google has your answer, and you can grab it from Google Play for just $15.

It's a nine-watt charger, which means it's going to charge the heck out of your phones compared to their puny factory-issue chargers. And don't worry, because the circuitry should keep things from catching on fire. Just kidding. These are surely UL and CE mark certified and safe. Just like that HP charger was ...

All kidding aside, this looks like a great way to charge all your Nexus devices quickly. Grab one before they sell out.

Source: Google Play

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3 years ago

GDC 2014: Swipe through a futuristic color-matching robo-arena with Smash Derby

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Besides Gates of Osiris, the guys at Fenix Fire also showed a free-to play action game called Smash Derby at GDC 2014. This light and fast title pits players in a gritty arena full of orange and blue robots. Tap your own bot to switch colors, so you can successfully bash into same-colored mechs with a quick swipe. It's a battle against the clock to wipe out the other bots while making sure you don't accidentally bump into those of opposing color. Between rounds, you have the opportunity to drop defensive structures around the stage and take on the next batch of would-be robo-champions.

From the bit we've seen, Smash Derby looks fun and fluid. It should be out some time next month on Google Play first (don't let the iPhone demo device fool you) and Ouya, with other platforms like iOS, Windows Phone and maybe even BlackBerry due afterwards thanks to easy exporting through Unity. More info and screenshots can be found at the Fenix Fire site.

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3 years ago

GDC 2014: Gates of Osiris to offer space bug blasting and gritty sci-fi survival

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Among our many game demos at GDC 2014 was Gates of Osiris from indie developer Fenix Fire. Players mount up in a rover to patrol their base and precious resources and blow away any alien life forms that may be threatening your continued existence on the post-Earth planet. Resources are used to expand your base, repair your vehicles, and otherwise make it another day without getting sucked into the vacuum of space.

The sci-fi survival game was inspired in no small part by the aliens from Starship Troopers, but manages to steer clear of any mid-90s-flavor hoakiness. The graphics are fantastic thanks to deep integration with Unity and Qualcomm, complete with varying visual filters, powerful baked-in shadows, and stellar lighting effects. The game is still a work in progress, with a release on Android due this summer. Expect to see this gritty survival title in the Play Store for around $4.99. In the meantime, hit up Fenix Fire for screenshots and status updates.

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3 years ago

Zens introduces two hot new high-capacity Qi wireless chargers

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Zens' new 4,500mAh Power Bank chargers bring the juice and the tunes

We're big fans of the Zens Qi wireless chargers around these parts, and we're really digging the news Zens sent us today.

They have two 4,500mAh Qi wireless Power Banks in the works to dole out all sorts of electrons to keep your compatible device going and going. The standard Power Bank charges via USB, and the huge capacity means you're always close to power when you need a top off or when that battery dips into the red. Since it uses the Qi standard, there are hundreds of different devices that are compatible. Set the Power Bank down, drop your phone or tablet up top, and the magic flows.

Their next product takes everything above, and adds a wireless speaker to the mix. Using Bluetooth, the two 5-inch speakers should deliver a lot of sound, even when you're charging your Qi-compatible device up. The ZENS Qi Wireless Portable Audio Speaker also uses NFC to tap and pair with phones or tablets automatically.

The Power Bank will retail for about € 69.99, and should be in stores by March 30. The Qi Wireless Portable Audio Speaker will retail for € 99.99 and will also be available March 30. The units are a little pricey, but as we've all experienced, you get what you pay for sometimes. We'll be checking them out as soon as we can.

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