Headlines

3 years ago

Turn-based Star Wars: Assault Team now available in Google Play

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Another bit of Star Wars gameplay for any fan of the series

More Star Wars games are coming to mobile devices lately, and the most recent release is a turn-based game called Star Wars: Assault Team. The game is a card battle style layout, where each player will assemble a team and fight enemies, all set with the characters and scenes you know from the movie series. You'll play through a variety of missions, using each character's abilities to move through the levels. There's even a player-versus-player battle mode where you can go up against others online to win extra rewards.

The game is free in the Play Store at the link above, and of course has in-app purchases associated with it for in-game content. The game style may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's worth a look if you're a fan of the franchise.

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3 years ago

Samsung introduces new Smart Bulbs controllable by Bluetooth

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Bulbs provide 10 years of efficient light before burning out

Never to be outdone in any consumer electronics category — especially by LG — Samsung is introducing a new range of LED "Smart Bulbs" for residential lighting. The new line consists of a standard lightbulb shape, a higher-performance lamp style (in two variants) and a more efficient tube form factor. The basic Smart Bulb (shown above) will provide up to 15,000 hours — equivalent of 10 years of normal use — of lighting, with the ability to dim down to just 10 percent brightness and tune from 2700K to 6500K for different ranges of whites.

For more advanced applications, there's also a PAR (Parabolic aluminized reflector) style light, which offers a swivel head and improved lighting suitable for professional lighting applications. There's also a "Classic Lamp" that's designed to fit larger light fixtures and provide a simple light that is reminiscent of incandescent lights. Finally there's the L-Tube style light, which is most likely to be used in commercial or garage applications, and comes in 600, 1200 and 1500mm sizes.

What sets these new Samsung Smart Bulbs apart from others is that they're controlled directly by your phone over Bluetooth rather than via Wifi with a router in the middle. By just installing an app on your phone or tablet you'll be able to control up to 64 Smart Bulbs at a time. While this cuts down on the usability when you're not in the room, it makes setup and control drastically simpler for a number of applications where a router just isn't available.

Samsung isn't spilling the beans on pricing or availability on these, but you can expect them to make their way out at prices higher than your average lightbulbs.

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3 years ago

AT&T's Galaxy Note 3 getting KitKat update today

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AT&T's Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the latest model to receive its Android 4.4 KitKat update, with the OTA now starting to push out to devices. Like previous Note 3 KitKat updates, owners can expect a slightly refreshed UI with white notification bar icons, along with standard Android 4.4 features like immersive mode, album art on the lock screen and wireless printing support. AT&T also says GPS performance should be improved in this latest update.

The carrier has the full list of changes over on its blog for those wanting more details. If you're seeing the update on your AT&T Galaxy Note 3 today, make yourself known in the comments!

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

LG G Flex headed to Rogers on April 3

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$199.99 on a two-year contract

A quick heads-up for folks up in Canada, that LG has today dropped word that Rogers will be exclusively picking up the G Flex. It'll run you for $199.99 on a new, two-year contract when it goes on sale on April 3.

For more on the G Flex, be sure to check out our full review of the AT&T version.

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3 years ago

Freemium Rising: Mobile game developers on the 'freemium' trend

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“I think everybody’s happy with free-to-play for now.” That's Kyu Lee, founder of Gamevil, a veteran mobile game developer with more than a decade of experience. They’ve been churning out freemium games — free to download and play, but full of in-app purchases — at a solid clip for years now, resulting in plenty of players and a well-known RPG series.

Will Stallwood, founder of Cipher Prime, is on the other side of the fence, saying, “Having a paywall is almost disgraceful.” Cipher Prime has been carefully crafting paid games since 2008. The music is amazing. The gameplay is varied and polished. The graphics are beautiful. You won’t find ads or purchase prompts anywhere. Playing any of their titles is a pure experience.

On the one side are established developers that are casting a wide net and trying to maintain user loyalty. On the other you find a group of independents trying to maintain the experiential integrity of a game, and leaving players alone once they’ve paid up. Which one is doing it right?

3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S5 yours to try from today at Phones 4U

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Ten stores across the UK offering a sneak peek ahead of pre-orders opening

If you're anxious to see the Samsung Galaxy S5 for yourselves, Phones 4U in the UK might be able to help. Ahead of pre-orders for Samsung's latest and greatest opening there tomorrow, the retailer sends word of demo units in 10 stores across the country for folks to go and get their hot little hands on.

So, where are the 10?

  • Birmingham, Bullring
  • Cardiff, Queens Street
  • Cambridge, Thurrock Lakeside
  • Manchester, Trafford Centre
  • Newcastle, Metrocentre Gateshead
  • Glasgow, Dundee, Overgate Centre
  • Crawley, Southampton
  • London, Westfield White City
  • London, Stratford Westfield
  • London, Oxford Street

If you're close to one of those stores, head on out and take a look! Phones 4U also took the opportunity to remind us that pre-orders for the Galaxy S5 open at 00:01 tomorrow, March 28 on their website.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z2 will still be available in the UK in April

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Sony working hard to deliver pre-orders made through key partners though demand might not be met across the board

There has been some talk that the new Sony Xperia Z2 may be delayed from its expected April availability in the UK and other locations. The potential issue was highlighted once more by Android Central Forums member, jiggyb21, who received an email from Unlocked-Mobiles declaring stock delays until May. But thankfully, it's not all bad news.

We reached out to Sony and they came back with a slightly less doom-and-gloom outlook:

Xperia Z2 will be available in the UK during April and we are expecting to deliver to all consumers who have placed a pre-order through our key partners. We are working tirelessly to maximise stock levels in April but currently we do not expect to meet the high demand across all our sales channels. Please stay tuned for further information and confirmed retail availability.

So, some folks might not be getting theirs in April, but largely Sony still expects to deliver on time. Since no specifics were mentioned on which sales channels may be, if you're concerned the best course of action is to speak to the retailer you lodged your pre-order with.

The Xperia Z2 was launched back at MWC in February, and there's a lot of folks eager to get their hands on one. For now at least, things are largely unchanged, and April is going to be a very, very busy time.

More: Sony Xperia Z2 hands-on from MWC

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3 years ago

Lego Minifigures Online MMO bringing signature blockiness to Android this fall

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At GDC 2014, we scoped out a very exciting Lego game coming from Funcom. Unlike most of the mobile Lego games which latch onto a franchise like Batman or Harry Potter, this new multiplayer action game will cover the whole swath of classic Lego settings, like Pirate World, Medieval World, Space World, and lots more.

Here's the gist: you control and switch between three Lego minifigures, each with their own unique abilities. Like most MMOs, you team up with friends, embark on quests, amass loot, and progress each character through ten levels of experience. There are a few twists that makes Lego Minifigures Online particularly interesting. For one, this is going to be fully cross-platform between PC, Android, and iOS when it launches this fall. The demo we had at GDC was primarily on PC, though we did get to sneak a peek at early versions for mobile. The other cool thing is the tie-in with physical Lego figures. You can already go out and buy specialty minifigs in individually wrapped bags, but starting with a certain series, they'll start printing codes on the inside packaging which you can punch into the game to gain access to that character. As much as I'd like to mix and match parts in the game, the Funcom guys opted instead to have highly specialized and unique animations and attacks for every character, which isn't very practical with modular gear.

As a kid I played a ton of Lego, so this is pretty exciting. It looks like Lego Minifigures Online has enough depth to keep adult players interested; defender, striker, and builder roles spread across over 100 characters is a lot to explore. The game is going to be free-to-play, so players can spend in-game stars to unlock new characters, which are acquired through gameplay or in-app purchase. Hit up the Lego Minifigures Online site for more information and update notifications. Any takers?

Aaaaand now I've got Everything is Awesome stuck in my head again.

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3 years ago

Sprint's HTC One Max gets Android 4.4.2 KitKat

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According to our inbox and folks in our HTC One Max forums, Sprint today has started pushing out its Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for the HTC One Max. The changelog for software version 2.09.651.1 — which weighs in at 344MB — notes the new OS, security enhancements and cloud printing capabilities, along with new Bluetooth profiles. [Sprint]

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3 years ago

New HTC One supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0

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Faster charging for HTC's 2014 flagship, but you'll need to wait for an updated charger to take full advantage

Last year's HTC One, the M7, was great in a lot of ways. But charging speeds weren't exactly its forte. The device arrived just in time to miss out on Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology, which enabled faster charging on some Snapdragon-powered phones. But the new HTC One (M8) is set to enjoy even quicker charging speeds thanks to the device's support for Quick Charge 2.0. Only thing is, you might have to wait to take full advantage of it.

Qualcomm says charging through Quick Charge 2.0, first introduced as standard in Snapdragon 800, is up to 75 percent faster than non-Quick Charge devices. However HTC's bundled charger, a 1.5A unit, only supports Quick Charge 1.0. So it'll still be pretty fast — significantly faster than what you're used to if you're coming from last year's HTC One (M7). But for the full Quick Charge 2.0 experience you'll need to wait for a charger accessory HTC plans to release later this year, which will support 1.67A as well as the latest Quick Charge standard.

For more new HTC One hardware details, check out our M8 specs post and full review.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S5 and new Gear wearables priced in India

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Samsung has today officially announced its latest Galaxy S5 smartphone and Gear-series wearable devices for India, along with the first details of pricing in the country. While no exact figure is given, the manufacturer reportedly gave a price range of between Rs. 51,000-53,000 ($850-880) for its latest flagship. India will reportedly be getting the Exynos 5 Octa version of the GS5, not the Snapdragon 801-powered version heading to many Western markets, when it launches on April 11.

The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit will also arrive in India the same day. The camera-equipped Gear 2 will sell for Rs. 21,900 ($363), while the Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit are priced at Rs. 15,900 ($265).

More: Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on, Samsung Gear 2 series hands-on

Source: AndroidOS.in, SamMobile

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3 years ago

Vodafone UK offering Android phones on the cheap this weekend

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Vodafone UK sends word that it's reduced the price of three of its older Android smartphones on PAYG, as part of a promotion running this weekend. The deals include the last two Samsung flagships, a couple of weeks out from the global Galaxy S5 launch. The Galaxy S3, previously £170, now costs £119, and the Galaxy S4 falls from £475 to £330. Meanwhile the Vodafone Smart Mini III drops to £52, down from £75.

The deals are available in-store until next Monday, March 31.

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3 years ago

Korean carriers defy Samsung and release Galaxy S5 two weeks early

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Galaxy S5

Operators look to avoid government-imposed sales bans around planned April 11 launch window

The Samsung Galaxy S5 went on sale in South Korea today, more than two weeks ahead of the planned global launch date of April 11, as local carriers released the phone early. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, government-imposed sales bans affecting new contracts and upgrades looked set to interfere with GS5 launch plans in the country, after Korean carriers were found to be subidizing phones by more than 270,000 won, violating local laws.

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3 years ago

LG G2 Mini global rollout to begin in April

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The G2 Mini will start to roll down the line in just a few shorts weeks. Folks in Russia and other CIS areas will get first crack at the 4.7-inch device (crazy what we call "mini" these days) with the rest of Europe and Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa following close behind. No word on any North America availability, nor were exact dates or pricing given.

The G2 Mini is to be released in 3G only models, 4G LTE models, and dual SIM variants. The phone will also include the innovative Knock Code feature, and those hallmark G2 rear buttons.

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3 years ago

Some LG Optimus G models may see a KitKat update

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French carrier SFR has confirmed 4.4.2 update

Remember the LG Optimus G? It was pretty much the Nexus 4 on the component side, but came with a better camera and an LG-flavored operating system. Right now, it's sitting pretty on Android 4.1 for users who haven't abandoned all hope and went the custom ROM route. But all that could be changing.

French carrier SFR has announced the Android 4.4.2 update for the Optimus G coming sometime later this summer. We don't know what — if anything — that will mean for other carriers here in the states and abroad, but it is an inkling of hope.

The Optimus G would probably run KitKat very well. It would be nice to see it get one more big update before LG forgets about it. Let's hope this pans out, and other carriers take LG to task on it.

Source: SFR. Thanks, Adrian!

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