5 years ago

Sega's Jet Set Radio is a half-gigabyte, $4.99, and available now


I'm not normally one to worry about the size of Android applications these days. Twenty megabytes? Download without thinking. Fifty? Sure. Why not?

Sega's much-anticipated Jet Set Radio, however, clocks in at a whopping 587 megabytes. Not exactly a record or anything, but this sucker's big. Took about 8 minutes from download to first push. 

This game is worth the $4.99, though. If you're into the skate culture at all, you'll find something here. The premise, if you're new to the game, is that you're a "Rudie" in Tokyo-To, with magnetically-driven in-line skates. They're powered by some sort of "netrium" battery -- and you're powered by Jet Set Radio, "a pirate radio station manned by the DJ Professor K that plays nothing by non-stop hardcore music." And you skate around, tagging stuff and giving the finger to the man -- all that jazz.

Gameplay is pretty good. You get the feel of the on-screen joystick easily enough (and I've never been a big fan of those). The four-button layout is simple, and the tutorials get you going. The graffiti tagging gets a little more intricate as time goes on, so pay attention to that.

Hit the download link above to give it a go (again, remember, it's $5, so keep in mind that 15-minute refund window if this isn't your thing), and we've got promo video after the break.

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5 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Advance due for Jelly Bean update in January


Despite the size of its Android smartphone portfolio, Samsung's doing a pretty good job keeping popular handsets up-to-date with OS upgrades. That's further evidenced by today's news that the humble Galaxy S Advance, a recent mid-range offering from the Korean manufacturer, will be getting its Jelly Bean update sometime in January 2013.

Roughly translated, a message posted on Samsung's German Facebook page reads --

Dear fans, more and more devices will now receive the update to Android Jelly Bean. Even the Galaxy S I9070 Advance will get this update in January, through Kies and over-the-air.

There's no word on which version of Jelly Bean will be heading to the Galaxy S Advance, but as the Android 4.2 source code hasn't been available for long, we'd imagine 4.1 will be what's on offer here.

Still, it's a substantial upgrade from the Gingerbread-based ROM that ships on the Advance.

Samsung is expected to push out Jelly Bean upgrades for the Galaxy S2 and original Galaxy Note, though no timetable has been offered for these updates. Equally, whether these updates make it to U.S. variants of these phones remains to be seen.

Source: Samsung Germany Facebook; via: SamMobile

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5 years ago

Consumer Reports rankings: AT&T worst carrier, Verizon best


Consumer Reports has published its annual customer satisfaction rankings for U.S. mobile networks. The rankings reveal that Verizon customers are happiest, while once again AT&T scored lowest out of the four major carriers.

The rankings are based upon consumer surveys, based upon categories including data network, call quality and customer service. Of course, your mileage will likely vary depending on the networks available where you live, so don't let today's stats dissuade you if you're a happy AT&T customer or a miserable Verizon subscriber.

Are you happy with your mobile carrier? Let us know down in the comments.

Source: Consumer Reports

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5 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 now available on Verizon Wireless


Hey, how about that -- it's Nov. 29, and that means Verizon Wireless' Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is now available to buy online and in stores. Verizon's Note 2 sells for $299 with a two-year service plan, and comes with a rather ridiculous home button bearing the carrier's logo.

Besides the cosmetic differences, this is the same Galaxy Note 2 we've been seeing since its debut at IFA -- it rocks a massive 5.5-inch non-PenTile HD SuperAMOLED screen, a Wacom-powered S Pen, 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos CPU and 2GB of RAM. And it's running on Verizon's 4G LTE network, of course.

If you're buying today, you may want to think about a sticker to cover up that unsightly home button. If you're still on the fence, check out our review of the international Galaxy Note 2.

Anyone picking up a Note 2 on Big Red today? Shout out in the comments!

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5 years ago

Pioneer updates AV receivers with HTC Connect support


Pioneer has announced that it's updating firmware on its range of 2012 networked AV receivers with support for HTC Connect streaming capabilities. Announced back in June, Pioneer's HTC Connect support lets users with HTC smartphones stream multimedia content to supporting Pioneer devices, similar to the way HTC's own Media Link HD works.

Pioneer is the first manufacturer to roll out HTC Connect support. Currently-supported AV receiver models include VSX-822-K, VSX-1022-K, VSX-1122-K, VSX-42, VSX-60, SC-1222-K, SX-1522-K, SC-61, SC-63, SC-65, SC-67 and SC-68.

On the HTC side, phones supporting HTC Connect include the One X, One S, EVO 4G LTE, Droid Incredible 4G LTE, One X+, One VX and Droid DNA. On early 2012 phones like the original One X and One S, you'll want to make sure you're running the latest firmware update before attempting to use HTC Connect.

Pioneer says supported devices can be updated through a network update or via a manual update method using a USB drive.

More details in today's presser after the break.

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5 years ago

Daily news roundup: November 28 2012




New phones, special deals, news from carriers, great  apps -- you name it and it happens just about every day in the wide world of Android. We know that you can't spend every minute glued to your screen to keep track of it all, so here are highlights of the day all wrapped up and easy to read.

Software everywhere

Carriers and manufacturers in the news


Tomorrow, we get to do it all over again! See you then.

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5 years ago

Chrome for Android updated


Chrome for Android has been updated to fix some stability issues, says Google.

This news comes on the back of Google’s announcement last week on their Google+ page that it will bring mobile Chrome version numbers up to speed with desktop versions by early next year. With desktop Chrome at version 23 right now and mobile Chrome at 18, we can expect releases to be streamlined eventually.

For reference, the stable channel for the latest Android Chrome release for ARM devices is 18.0.1025469 and 18.0.1026322 for x86 devices.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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5 years ago

Jelly Bean 4.1.2 leaks for the original Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000


Folks with the OG Galaxy Note (the world version GT-N7000 -- the one with the home button) are in for a treat, as SamMobile has a leak of 4.1.2 for the big gal. Be aware that this is a testing version, and may not be up to release standards. Known issues are the lack of S-Pen features.

The list of enhancements and what is working is a good read though. According the the source, here's what to expect.

  • Android 4.1.2 – Build JZO54K
  • Project Butter
  • Multi-View (can also be disabled)
  • Page Buddy
  • Notification Panel can now be customized
  • New Additions in Notification Panel
  • Smart Rotation
  • New Samsung Keyboard
  • Samsung’s Cloud services
  • Direct Call, Smart Stay and Pop-up Play Features
  • New Widgets From the Galaxy S III
  • 2 Home screen modes
  • New Notifications bar
  • Google Now

As for when to expect this one to become official, the sources think that will happen near the end of he year or early 2013. There's no word on when we may see anything for the US versions of the Note. For more instruction and the download links, hit the source link below.

Source: SamMobile

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5 years ago

Google apps package updated today, just in time for the new AOSP ROMs


The folks who do this sort of thing have updated the Google Apps package today, handing you a shiny new flashable to go with that 4.2.1 AOSP ROM you're about to download.

Technically a grey area, Google doesn't release their closed source applications for redistribution. Instead, they get sucked out of a phone running the current version, and blood, sweat, and scripts are used to create a package that gives you all the Googley services you would expect from an Android phone.

Yesterday's 4.2.1 updates didn't bring about any new versions of the Gapps, so we imagine this update is more along the lines of streamlining and enhancing the installation process -- the biggest step in the whole process. Grab em from the source link below so you have them the next time you need them.

Download gapps-jb-20121128-signed.zip from Goo.im

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5 years ago

Sailboat Championship all but gets wind in your hair and saltwater in your veins


Sailing is one of those things that can be explained in a couple of minutes, but it really takes a lifetime to master. Sailboat Championship (from Infinite Dreams) marries the fundamentals of being on the water with excellent Android gameplay. You've got to pay attention to where the wind is coming from, first and foremost. That affects your course, of course. Depending on the difficulty level, you might only have to worry about steering -- and the wheel has a good bit of travel to it, adding to the realism of steering. Or, you might have to handle the lines, and that's where things get intricate. 

The graphics are pretty stunning and gameplay is fast and smooth -- and it's also pretty hard. Or maybe it's just that I've spent too many years as a landlubber and I'm rusty. There are enough races to keep you interested long past the time the sun drops below the mast. And for its special introductory price of $1.99, it's a game you're not going to want to pass up.

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5 years ago

Latest Google Drive app update brings native spreadsheet editing, home screen shortcuts and more


If you're the sort of person who likes to edit spreadsheets on the go, then you'll be pleased to learn that the latest version of the Google Drive app for Android allows you to do just that. A new update to the Drive app released today introduces a half-dozen fairly significant features that should make mobile document editing a little easier.

Previously limited to a slightly janky web-based interface, spreadsheets have gotten their own native UI, complete with the ability to zoom, directly edit formulae and resize and re-style cells. The same applies to tables in the Google Docs editor, which can now be similarly manipulated.

There are also a few minor changes, like the ability to maintain formatting when copying and pasting within Docs, and the ability to add home screen shortcuts to specific files or folders.

To grab the new version of Google Drive, you can use the Google Play shortcut at the top of the page. We've got the full changelog after the break.

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5 years ago

HTC gets new marketing chief in executive switcheroo


HTC has announced that a new head of marketing will join the company from January, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal. Benjamin Ho is a former CMO of Motorola currently in charge of marketing at Taiwanese carrier FarEasTone. He will report directly to HTC CEO Peter Chou.

HTC's current marketing and sales chief Jason Mackenzie will focus on sales strategy, the WSJ reports, while current CMO John Wang will be stepping down.

HTC said that Mr. Ho’s first project at the company will be dubbed “Marketing 2.0,” with a goal of “refocusing HTC’s efforts around holistic marketing and mass-market brand outreach.”

The past year has seen HTC lose ground to rivals Samsung and Apple, and suffer financially as a result. Samsung dominated the Android smartphone space over the summer with marketing efforts tied into the Olympic Games in London. With these top-level changes, HTC will be hoping to set the stage for an improved marketing performance, and greater public mindshare, in the new year.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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5 years ago

Adobe Photoshop Touch updated and optimized for 7-inch devices


Following the launch of Adobe Photoshop Touch a couple of weeks ago for the Amazon Kindle Fire, the app has been updated today in the Play Store with optimization for 7-inch devices. The one caveat is that the screen resolution must be at least 1024x600, but that puts the Google Nexus 7 right on deck. 

Besides this there's a smattering of other new features included, one of which is new ways to share your creations to Facebook and Twitter. Additionally to this there's some new effects, and enhancements to both performance and the visual side with an improved grid layout. The update is now live in the Google Play Store for current owners, and if you're picking it up for the first time it'll cost you $9.99/£6.99. 

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5 years ago

Angry Birds Star Wars to be updated starting Nov. 29 with new Hoth levels


By now, you've most likely catapulted, slashed and shot your way through the first two worlds in Rovio's latest Angry Birds title, Angry Birds Star Wars. But, good news for those patiently awaiting the next set of levels, an update is due to drop starting tomorrow with more bird flinging fun. 

Following on from Tatooine and the Death Star, next up is the ice planet of Hoth. So, expect snow, snow, more snow and some AT-AT Walkers thrown in for good measure. Rovio has released a teaser trailer which we can see here, but we'll know more tomorrow. 

Source: Rovio Mobile (YouTube)

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5 years ago

Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Note 2 available Nov. 29


After a month of preorders, Verizon just dropped word that its version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 -- differentiated by that not-at-all gaudy Verizon logo on the home button -- will be available online and in stores tomorrow, Nov. 29.  The 5.5-inch oversized phone with its excellent Wacom S Pen will run $299 on contract. But you also get that Verizon-branded home button for free, so it's really a bargain if you stop and think about it. 

The Note 2 is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a quad-core Exynos processor at 1.6 GHz, with 2 GB of RAM. It's also got an 8MP rear camera and 1.9MP shooter out front, plus all the usual Samsung software bells and whistles. Plus, Verizon has put its logo on the home button. You won't get that anywhere else.

Source: Verizon
Also: The first Galaxy Note 2 accessory you'll want -- a home button sticker

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