Thursday, January 24, 2013

Google X-Phone ready for this spring

Last year, rumors began about a X-Phone – a device to be produced by Google and its Motorola division. Unlike the Nexus phones, which ran Android software, but were manufactured by other companies, the X-Phone would be entirely Google. In December, the Wall Street Journal said the device was "a marquee handset with cutting-edge features." Another way to put that is that it was something for Samsung and Apple to watch out for. A few weeks later, a new report on the X-Phone emerged, and said the device is ready for a May 2013 launch. According to a forum thread spotted by Droid Life, the X-Phone will be at the Google I/O conference in the spring, and unveiled in July.
Google has 12 to 18 months of existing devices from Motorola, but once those months are up, they can do as they please.
Google CEO Larry Page framed a few features he'd like to see on the next Google phones – "Battery life is a huge issue," said Page, according to The Verge. "You shouldn't have to worry about constantly recharging your phone. When you drop your phone, it shouldn't go splat. Everything should be a ton faster and easier. There’s real potential to invent new and better experiences."

Google has not yet acknowledged the existence of an X-Phone. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Temple Run 2 available for iOS, coming to Android within week

Temple Run 2 has just made its way on to the iOS App Store, but it doesn't look like Android users will have to wait as long as they did for its predecessor. In an interview with Imangi co-founder Keith Shepherd says the game is almost done and expects it to come to the Play Store next week, but he also says "with these things, you never know." Android users should be very thankful though, however; Microsoft promised that the original Temple Run would come to Windows Phone at an event way back on October 29th, but unfortunately that release never happened. 

Source: Droid-Life

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kite Tablet runs both Android 4.0 and Ubuntu 12.04

DaVinci Mobile Technology is now accepting pre-orders for its Full-HD Kite tablet. This European slab features a gorgeous 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, a Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core processor, 32GB of internal storage, a VGA front-facing camera and a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera. While having some decent specs, the main selling-point for this device is that it dual-boots Ubuntu 12.04 for ARM and Android 4.0. Us Americans will never know if it will hit U.S. soil, but our European friends can get their hands on one of these for €309 (about $413 USD).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crucial M500

So that hard drive you were looking at had 1000GB of storage, yet you really want that SSD over there, but it is only half that at 500GB, there shall be no more compromises. Crucial and Micron have come together to release the M500 SSD. This is not your run of the mill drive because it has 960GB of storage for less than $600. By using Micron’s MLC NAND technology and Crucial’s controller they could accomplish such a feat. This specific drive will be in the retailers in the next two months or so with the 1tb version at $600, as long as 120, 240, and 480gb models for less. As for specs they all have about the same read speed at around 500MB/s and 130MB/s write speed on the 120, 240, and 480GB models, and about 400MB/s on the 960 GB model.
To put all of this in retrospect, Samsung is the leader in solid state drives at the moment, and their highest capacity drive is 512GB of storage (830 series), and the pricing of 830 series is about $480 which means if you put in about $120 more you would get twice the storage with about the same read/write speeds.

And here is a chart to wrap your brain around: 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Google launches Chrome beta for Android users for access to new features early

Google has launched the new Chrome beta app for the people that want to test Google's new features before they implement them into the actual app. You can't find this app with a search in the Play Store, so you are required to get the link. Another minor note is that this won't actually replace your current Chrome app.

You will find CSS Filters (HTML 5 feature), and up to 20 to 30 percent better benchmarks on Octane benchmark. Android 4.0 or later is required to download and install this application, so if you are okay with a lot of bugs but fast performance you should definitely give Chrome beta a try. 

Sources: The VergeDroid Life, Google Play 

Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10 Get Jelly Bean Update

It seemed that Samsung's budget tablets would never officially get Jelly Bean and all of its goodies. Though some unofficial builds of Jelly Bean did make it to these tablets most of them weren't stable. Luckily Galaxy Tab owners can now get buttery goodness on their tablets starting today.

Of course the operating system is still layered with Touch Wiz, and has all of the standard bloatware included and the update is only rolling out to tabs in the U.S and Canada and is only rolling out to the wifi variants right now. You can get the update via Kies (Samsung's companion software) or OTA.

Your only 381MB from 4.1.1 goodness...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Liquipel introduces the new and improved Liquipel 2.0

Last year at CES 2012 Liquipel announced a very unique product that they claimed would make your phone water-resistant, or even waterproof becuase they would add a nano coating of water-resistant material to your phone's parts, and ship it back to you within 48 hours. This ended up failing on many devices so it became an afterthought for people to buy.
Well this year at CES 2013 the company announced Liquipel 2.0 which is they claimed would be 100x better than its predecessor. Liquipel 2.0  should be able to be submerged in 1 meter deep water for about 30 minutes.  It also comes with the Liquipel performance guarantee which protects your phone from accidental liquid exposure. This means if you accidentally drop your phone in the toilet, in the sink, or get rain on it, and Liquipel 2.0 fails they will make sure that you are covered. Starting out at $60 (U.S.A. only at this time) they will start coating your devices with Liquipel 2.0 in Q1 this year.

Source: Engadget

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pantech Discover: Get SIII Specs for a SII Price

Ever since the original Kindle Fire, electronics have made a shift towards a lower price. This trend has continued with the Nexus 7. And with the help of Android, Pantech was able to make a name for itself again. This time in the form of the Pantech Discover. This device provides a 4.8 inch 720p display, running only Android 4.0, has stereo speakers, and a 12.6 megapixel camera. Plus it has the obligatory Snapdragon S4, the dual core variant.

The phone still has the Pantech skin, which even contains a "beginner mode" for people that aren't experienced with smart phones. The phone will be released on January 11th and you can look forward to custom ROMs for this device in the future.

Source: The Verge

Friday, January 4, 2013

Print Magazine Subscribers Can Now Get Digital Copies Through Google Play for Free

When Google Play first launched, print subscribers who wanted to get the digital copy through Google instead of the original third party were forced to repay as if they were new customers. And were forced again to pay if they wanted to read on a mobile device.

Starting today, users can now get their digital copy through Google Play directly. All for the low price of "Free". If you're a print subscriber of course. Not all magazines are available, for now Wired and GQ are the only confirmed working titles. To start just select "Subscribe" on the magazine of choice and there you'll see a new option "Free for print subscribers", from there select it and enter your account info and you're good to go.

Corning Introduces New Gorilla Glass 3

The ape themed glass never seems to get old. Now in its third revision Corning has brought some new improvements to their glass. This time bringing NDR or Native Damage Resistance. With a fancy acronym, comes fancy features. By improving the glass at a molecular level, it creates an improvement of scratch resistance three fold. Along with the number of visible number of scratches being reduced by 40% and retained strength increasing by 50% after the glass is damaged.

This doesn't mean the glass is nearly indestructible, but its getting close. But you have to remember its still glass. Meaning it still be scratched by something as minute as sand. On the bright side, you can look forward to your keys and phone becoming best buddies in the same pocket.

Source: Engadget

Thursday, January 3, 2013

GameStick Hits Kickstarter Goal in Only Two Days

The recently announced GameStick has reached its goal of $100,000 in only two days. The GameStick was a concept device from the people at PlayJam, a company that has been creating games for the SmartTV platform. Now this was the only logical next step. By providing a cheap and portable console that plugs directly in to a TV via a MHL compliant HDMI connection. And by providing a controller that connects to the HDMI stick via Bluetooth. The entire system is powered by Android, which should make it easy for developers to port existing games over. At only $79, it is $20 cheaper than the similar OUYA which is also powered by Android, but is more of a set-top box form factor, rather than a HDMI stick. Also the controller holds the entire console itself, meaing the HDMI stick that holds all the neccesary components and slides in to the controller itself.

Of course being cheaper, it forces the device to cut some corners. Whereas the OUYA has a quad core Tegra 3, the GameStick features a dual core Amlogic 8726-MX. Here are the other specs:
  • Memory - 1GB DDR3 / 8GB FLASH
  • Content Download Manager w/ cloud storage for games.
  • WiFi - 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth - LE 4.0
  • O/S - Android Jelly Bean
  • Controller - Bluetooth, 3 mode controller: gamepad, mouse and keyboard with support for up to 4 controllers.
  • Full 1080p HD video decoding
Even though the GameStick doesn't have a Tegra SoC, that doesn't mean graphics will be terrible. In fact the Amlogic 8726-MX has two Mali-400 GPUs, the same GPUs used on the international GS3. Most of these specs resemble a mid to high range Android smartphone which means that game play should be smooth. But there's been no word on Play Store support, meaning that all games will most likely be bought through a proprietary store. 

Though the future seems bright for this little console, it will be hard to get large commercial support for it due to the duopoly that Sony and Microsoft have on living room gaming. But only time will tell the fate for this device.

Source: GameStick