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4 years ago

Hands-on with Iron Man 3 by Gameloft

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It's just like being Tony Stark! Minus the women, money, genius, and booze. 

You might have heard about the new free to play Iron Man 3 on-rails shooter coming soon to Android. We caught up with the Gameloft folks here at GDC 2013 to have a go, and it looks fantastic. Players have to tap, swipe, and tilt to avoid obstacles and blow up bad guys.

Along the way, players collect tokens which can be spent on buying bitchin' new Iron Man suits and consumable power-ups.  Even though it largely follows the simple endless runner formula, the awesome graphics and wealth of unlockables guarantees you'll be playing this one for awhile to come.

Keep an eye out for this one in Google Play on April 25. Anyone itching to catch the new movie?

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4 years ago

Springpad update brings redesign, better search and performance

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A much needed update makes Springpad feel fresh again

A large update brings Springpad up to version 4.0 today, with some notable improvements. The once cumbersome left toolbar has been simplified, and many of its previous controls are now intuitively integrated into the foreground of the app.

There are now three main screens: home, notebooks, and search. The home screen displays individual springs (notes). A slider can be moved to show only your springs, your springs and those of collaborators, or your springs and springs you follow. The notebooks screen is relatively unchanged, with the addition of notebooks being followed at the bottom. The search screen lets you search through your own springs, or find other people's springs and notebooks. Homemade Cadbury Creme Egg recipe anyone? Best of all, adding new springs is a breeze with the new static add button on the bottom right of each screen.

It seems Springpad has taken a few notes (no pun intended) from Google Keep. This leaner, meaner design makes Springpad much more enjoyable to use. Hit the Google Play link at the top to give it a spin for yourself.

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4 years ago

Google pledges to only use open-source related patents defensively

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Google has taken to its Open Source Blog today to announce that it is creating a new pledge to never use its patents related to open-source software unless attacked first.

The new pledge, officially named the "Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge" (or OPN Pledge for short), indicates that unless otherwise attacked by another creator of open-source software, Google will not use its patents against any other entity. The entire pledge runs a few paragraphs (and can be seen at the source link below), but the idea is that Google wants to be able to hold patents to protect itself (and software) from attack while agreeing to not attack themselves. A small excerpt from the pledge reads:

It is Google’s intent that the Pledge be legally binding, irrevocable (except as otherwise provided under “Defensive Termination” below) and enforceable against Google and entities controlled by Google, and their successors and assigns.

Meaning that not only does the pledge apply to Google's own operations, but also those of any company owned or operated by it -- such as Motorola, presumably -- as well as any company that buys or sells patents with Google. The pledge states that any company receiving patents from Google must agree to the terms of the pledge in their own use, and also have similar requirements if it were to ever transfer the patents again to a third entity.

It is worth noting that the OPN Pledge only applies to other entities that are also making open-source software, and makes no mention that Google's patents couldn't be used offensively against one making closed-source software. And while Motorola presumably falls under the category of "entities controlled by Google", because it is technically being run as an independent company we're unsure on how this pledge affects it.

Reiterating that it believes that open internet and open software systems are the best choice for everyone, Google is hoping that the OPN Pledge "will serve as a model for the industry". It also notes the devotion to open-source software by other entities like IBM and Red Hat, which are said to be examples for what the OPN Pledge was built on.

Source: Google Open Source Blog; OPN Pledge

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4 years ago

Factory images posted for 4.2.2 Verizon Galaxy Nexus and 4.2.1 Sprint Galaxy Nexus

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Like a trail of breadcrumbs, Nexus factory images are your safe way back

Google has posted a pair of new factory images on the Google Developers site today, allowing folks using a Verizon Galaxy Nexus to have access to the 4.2.2 software, and folks with the Sprint version to grab a copy of the 4.2.1 files. These images are a must have if you like to do any sort of tinkering to your Nexus, as they allow you to restore everything to the stock state with a simple fastboot flash.

It's also a testament to just how hard Google works with partners to get licensing issues sorted so they can post the bits that aren't open source. We take this sort of thing for granted, but I'm sure we shouldn't.

If you have either of these Nexus phones, follow the link below and download your safe way back. Here's hoping you never need them, but thank goodness they're there.

Source: Google Developers

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4 years ago

HTC One official 'double dip' hard shell case review

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The official shell case for the HTC One aims to make it impervious to knocks and scrapes

If you pick up a phone as beautiful and well-designed as the HTC One, chances are you're going to want to keep it that way. Full protective cases -- like the official HTC offering for the HTC One -- aren't for everyone, but tough plastic covering just about everything that's not a touchscreen, it's hard to match the level of protection they offer.

We'll take a closer look at HTC's official "double dip" shell case after the break. That's also where you'll find a quick video walkthough and more photos.

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4 years ago

iFixit tears down the HTC One, finds HTC One parts inside that sexy aluminum shell

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Professional on closed course, do not attempt this at home

The machined aluminum unibody and zero gap construction makes the HTC One a very attractive phone. It also makes it extremely difficult to take apart. Scoring a 1 out of 10 for reparability, iFixit warns that it is nearly impossible to open the phone without damaging the back case. Dead batteries and shattered screens are going to be problematic, since iFixit found them nearly impossible to replace. Make sure to keep that warranty number and accidental insurance handy, because like a fine European car this phone is not cheap to repair. On the plus side, the solid construction makes for great durability.

Bottom line: make a case the first accessory you buy for the One.

Source: iFixit

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean update now available for the Sprint Epic 4G Touch

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Update only available over KIES

The Epic 4G Touch is getting its Jelly Bean today, courtesy of Sprint. Don't bother looking in system settings for a notification, as this one is only available through Kies due to its large size. Sprint is not listing any specific changes on its update page, but this update to build GB27 should bring with it the usual Jelly Bean goodies like Google Now and Project Butter

Hit the forums for more discussion about what's new and improved, or for help updating using the Kies method.

Source: Sprint; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Meet Fynch: Not just another Twitter app

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You can get a regular Twitter client that just replicates functionality anywhere, but what if you want something more?

There are plenty of Twitter clients out there that aim to replace Twitter's official offering, often bringing along enhanced design and features -- Fynch for Twitter goes in a different direction. The idea of Fynch is to instead analyze your Twitter feed and instead of display everything, it just display what it thinks will be relevant, and group it into nice categories so the information is easier to digest.

Hang with us after the break to learn a bit more about Fynch for Twitter, a new app that tries to go beyond being just another client.

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4 years ago

Confirmed: Nexus 4 shipping with updated design

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Small nubs now lift the back of the phone up off a table; camera lens gets a slight redesign

Android Central has confirmed that the Nexus 4 has undergone a little bit of a design tweak. As first reported by German site MobiFlip. there are now a couple of small nubs on the rear of the phone, where the glass meets the foot, positioned just above the two screw holes. 

We've confirmed the change on a pair of Nexus 4s we ordered on Monday this week and received on Wednesday. In the image above, our original Nexus 4, now some four months old, is on top, with a new retail unit (still in its protective plastic) at the bottom. Note the little nub between the screw holes of the two phones.

This small design change has a couple of effects. It lifts phone up ever so slightly, allowing sound to escape the flush speaker. We can confirm that sounds are a little fuller and louder. Not a great deal, but we can tell. The change also should help keep the glass back from getting the little hairline scratches it's been prone to pick up.

And perhaps more important, it should keep the ultra-slick phone from sliding off any similarly slick surfaces.

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4 years ago

HTC One official flip case review

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HTC's stylish flip case also doubles as a kickstand

With the HTC One starting to become available in more countries, it's time to start taking a look at HTC's official accessories. The first is a protective case that doubles as a stand when the phone's in landscape orientation, which just might make it an ideal accessory for heavy multimedia users and anyone flying with an HTC One.

Check past the break for a quick video tour, more words, and an extensive photo gallery.

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4 years ago

Iterate 43: Pocket Casts and going Android first

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Russell Ivanovic, Philip Simpson, and Matt Kelsh of Shifty Jelly talk to Marc, Seth, and Rene about being indie in Australia, making Pocket Weather, and why they decided to go Android first for Pocket Casts. Note: All accents in this show are, we assume, fake.

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4 years ago

OUYA shows up for pre-order at UK retailer GAME

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Android powered console appears on GAME's website for pre-order priced at £99, but without a release date

Today is OUYA day. With the console set to begin shipping to Kickstarter backers, there's also the official launch party in San Francisco too. So, now it's time for OUYA to make its way into the big wide world, there's no doubts a few of you that'll want to be getting in on the action. Here in the UK, no official stockists have been confirmed for the console, but high street gaming retailer, GAME, has already started taking pre-orders. 

There's no indication of a shipping date, but there is a price, and thankfully it's what we would expect -- £99. GAME will also be shipping the additional controllers for OUYA, and these are priced at £39.99. We may have to wait a little while to be able to head out onto the British high streets and pick one up, but it's a positive note for the fledgling console that we'll soon see it line up on the shelves next to offerings from Sony and Microsoft. 

The OUYA may not be packing the most bleeding edge hardware on the market, but it's still one of the most anticipated device launches of 2013. Android, a dedicated gaming console, and under £100, what's not to be excited about? Anyone out there waiting on theirs being delivered? Be sure to jump into the comments, or better yet, head on into the OUYA forums. 

Source: GAME

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4 years ago

HTC One now available on Three UK

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Free HTC One plus unlimited data starting at £34 per month

Right on schedule, we're starting to see broader UK availability for the HTC One, and today Three UK has officially launched the silver version of the handset.

Three's 24-month plans start at £34 per month for its "Ultimate Internet 500" deal, which bags you a free HTC One, unlimited data, 500 minutes and 5,000 texts. For £36 per month you'll get Three's "One Plan," which gets you unlimited data (with tethering included), 2,000 minutes, 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes and 5,000 texts. The phone is also being offered on Pay As You Go for £479.99.

The black HTC One is available for pre-order on the same price plans. More details at the source link.

More: HTC One review

Source: Three UK

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4 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S4 preorders start April 16 for $249 on contract

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Storage options still not known for AT&T's Samsung Galaxy S4

AT&T this morning announced that it's Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available for $249 on contract. Preorders start April 16.

Said the operator in a brief statement:

Continuing our legacy as the first carrier to launch Samsung’s Galaxy series, we are excited to announce AT&T customers will be able to begin pre-ordering the Galaxy S4 beginning April 16 for $249.99 with a two-year commitment. We are proud to offer this iconic device and continue to offer our customers the best smartphone line-up, with a variety of devices for every lifestyle and budget. For more information and to pre-order, please visit http://www.att.com/galaxys4.

We still don't have an exact launch date for the Galaxy S4 on AT&T, but figure a week or two of preorders (at least) before it's available. Nor do we have storage options for AT&T's Galaxy S4. 

T-Mobile has announced that its Galaxy S4 will be available May 1.

Source: AT&T
More: Our Galaxy S4 hands-on preview; Samsung Galaxy S4 forums

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4 years ago

Commuters text while driving more than teens, AT&T-sponsored survey finds

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Some 77 percent of kids say their parents aren't setting a good example

A pair of recent surveys commissioned by AT&T found that 49 percent of commuters reported having texted while driving, compared to 43 percent of teenagers in a companion study.

Some 97 percent of the 1,200 teens surveyed in April 2012 said they knew texting while driving was dangerous, with 70 percent recognizing that texting while at a stoplight also wasn't safe. 

Perhaps more sobering for those of us with children is that 89 percent of the teens surveyed said they believed their parents were bad role models for not texting while driving, and 77 percent of them believed their parents text "all the time" in the car.

It's simple. Do not text and drive. Better yet, keep the phone in your pocket. Period.

Source: AT&T; More: Commuter survey (pdf), teenager survey (pdf)

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