Thursday, 4 October 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Samsung Galaxy S III Mini rumors “accurate” according to some Android devs

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 11:13 AM PDT

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest rumors, you’ll know that Samsung may be plotting to reveal the Galaxy S III Mini at an event in Germany next week. It wouldn’t surprise us in the least to learn that Samsung has a miniaturized version of the Galaxy S III up its sleeve, but aside from that German event invitation that surfaced a couple days back, there hasn’t been much in the way of actual evidence to go on. Today, however, a handful of unnamed Android developers are adding fuel to the fire by claiming that the Galaxy S III Mini rumors are “accurate.”


Earlier today, NASDAQ received an email from Trip Chowdhry, who serves as the Managing Director of Equity Research at Global Equities Research. In that email, Chowdhry talked about the likelihood of Samsung pulling announcing the Galaxy S III Mini. “We spoke to 3 Android developers, and they think that the above rumor that Samsung is going to launch Galaxy S3 mini is accurate,” Chowdhry wrote. “Looking at the source code of Jelly Bean, a small screen size support looks very plausible, was the converged view we got.”

We’re not really sure what he means by “small screen size support,” considering that Android is already running on a number of 4-inch screens, and that is presumably the screen size Samsung would run with if it were to launch the Galaxy S III Mini. Still, for what it’s worth, there are a few Android developers saying today that an S III Mini launch is likely, so take that as you will.

But really, the Galaxy S III Mini seems more a matter of “when” and not “if.” The Galaxy S III is already an incredibly popular phone, but some are turned off by that massive 4.8-inch screen. If that’s the only barrier to entry for a decent number of consumers, then you can bet that Samsung will launch a smaller version of the phone to net those additional sales. We should be finding out soon enough, as Samsung is said to be announcing the new handset at an event on October 11 – one week from today. Stay tuned.


LG Optimus G Nexus handed out to Googlers according to reports

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 11:05 AM PDT

The past few days the Google Nexus rumors have really been heating up. It was odd that we were nearly into October with hardly a peep regarding a Nexus device, but it sounds like Google’s attempts at silence are soon coming to an end. Now that we’ve heard multiple reports on the LG Optimus G Nexus — new claims are stating the device was handed out this week to Google employees.

Yup, new claims from the folks at AndroidandMe are stating that multiple sources have confirmed Google’s handed out the Optimus G Nexus to members of the Google staff — Googlers as we like to call them. Apparently the leak claiming to have “hands-on time” with the device is from a friend, and not an actual Google employee — but we’ll never know as they like to remain anonymous.

This new report suggests that the LG Optimus G Nexus is in fact real, and will be the first of many “Nexus” branded devices coming this year. The leakster had this to say regarding the smartphone:

“I can confirm the next nexus is LG Optimus based. The phone looks surprisingly like the Galaxy Nexus and does not have sharp corners like the LG Optimus we already know. It has a silver'ring like the iPhone 3G around the outer edge of the screen which seemed to be similar to the Galaxy Nexus in size but was much better in brightness.

I couldn't have said if it was larger in the few minutes that I had the phone. Also, it has Nexus written on the back like the Nexus 7 except there is a color element to it. The 'X' is in four colors. There was also the LG logo on the back.”

The anonymous tipster also states the device is indeed running Android 4.2 but sneakily just says it looks like Android 4.1 we know and love. He doesn’t state Jelly Bean or Key Lime Pie in his comments. Earlier reports that the homescreens will be replaced with a tabbed system like many web browsers wasn’t confirmed, and he said that wasn’t present. This could still be a very early version, but you’d think it would be further along if the device will truly be announced next month.

These reports also claim the Nexus will be very similar to the LG Optimus G for AT&T where they’ve replaced the 13 megapixel camera for the 8 megapixel zero shutter lag snapper instead. You’ll want to see our Optimus G hands-on video below for an idea of what to expect. The details on the device being more rounded than squared is something I favor, as I’ve always loved the rounded off edges of Nexus devices. For now we have nothing but rumors, but this sounds like the first bit of actual concrete evidence, although we can never be too sure until the device leaks in the wild. If the new Nexus was actually handed out to staff surely we’ll have more leaks soon. We’ll be sure and report back as soon as we hear more.

[via AndroidandMe]


Samsung: Galaxy S III Jelly Bean “coming soon” to the US

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 10:25 AM PDT

We’ve heard quite a bit of talk from the folks at Samsung regarding the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for their highly popular Galaxy S III smartphone. For those outside of the US the wait wasn’t so bad with them stating in late August it was coming soon, then it arrived in September for many in Europe. Today however we’re hearing the words “coming soon” only this time in regards to the US models.

We’ve been hearing chatter about early October for the US Galaxy S III flagship smartphones to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and now that we’ve seen builds leak for AT&T’s, T-Mobile’s, and even Verizon — it’s safe to say things are extremely close. Today Samsung has issued another quick update although they don’t give any definitive dates, but they do have a new page we can go to and check for updates. You’ll want to check out this Samsung webpage.

Europe and other international models received Jelly Bean just a few weeks ago in late September, and soon here the US models will be enjoying the same buttery smooth treat. The support page linked to above doesn’t really tell us anything new, but at least we have a dedicated place to check for updates for the handset.

With more than 20 million Galaxy S III units already sold it only makes sense that they’re giving it such high priority. The Galaxy Note II has just started shipping in Europe and will be available in the US later this month — also with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The rollout for the US Galaxy S III smartphones is probably only a few weeks away at best. Although the Verizon SGSIII could be another story. Stay tuned for additional details!

[via AndroidGuys]


Google Nexus rumors heat up – LG Optimus G Nexus incoming

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 09:58 AM PDT

Who loves a round of good rumors? We haven’t heard too many this time around regarding the next Google Nexus smartphone but it looks like things are about to change on that front. Last year we were knee deep in Galaxy Nexus and “Nexus Prime” rumors, but this year things have been quiet. The most recent reports are on the LG Optimus G becoming the next Nexus — along with 3-4 others to follow all this year. Lets take a look.

Now lets start with the idea of multiple Nexus devices. Back in May the Wall Street Journal posted rumors that Google will adopt a Nexus Program and let multiple manufacturers all participate and create their own Nexus — which would be awesome. We even wrote our own column asking for a Nexus Certification Program. We’ve slowly been hearing more and more on that front, but these new details make it sound highly likely. Now obviously these are nothing but rumors at this point, but coming from Taylor at AndroidandMe, who’s been right in the past, we’re getting a little excited.

According to reports Google and LG will team up and launch their impressive 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 TrueHD IPS display packing smartphone powered by Qualcomm’s 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, with 2GB of RAM, 32GB storage, and even 64MB cache for media streaming — which will be a requirement for all the Nexus devices. They’re officially calling it the LG Optimus G Nexus — which I think could use some shortening. The rumor also states Google will announce the Nexus program later this month, and the first device will be released in early November — that being the LG Nexus.

The other exciting news is the Nexus program won’t be locked to one OEM each year. Instead the new Nexus devices can come from multiple manufacturers and Google will be introducing a “customization center” in Android 4.2 (either Jelly Bean still, or Key Lime Pie) where the manufacturer can use their own custom skin if they chose but it will be optional. This means you can run stock Android or choose to use the custom skins like TouchWiz from Sammy, Sense UI from HTC, Blur from Moto, etc. That’s something I’ve been waiting for since the first Nexus — and would love to see that approach seriously put into effect.

These rumors also state Android 4.2 won’t be a massive change over Jelly Bean and instead offer improved power management, better battery life, improved UI tweaks, and a new Google Play Store — as if Google hasn’t changed that enough times already. The most important change could be the multiple homescreens will be changed to a tabbed approach. Overall this is a lot of rumors, tons to read into, and all highly unknown at this point.

In the end multiple manufacturers can join in on the Nexus fun, will be required to support the customization center if they want their skins included in Android, must offer 64MB cache for media streaming (which will learn more on soon I’m sure) as well as be fully prepared to support Android 5.0 next year. We are being told Andy Rubin will unveil the Nexus Program at the end of October at the AllThingsD: Dive event, and then they’ll announce the next Nexus in November with LG, and more will follow. Get ready to buy some Nexus phones from the Google Play Store folks.

Thoughts, comments, or concerns?


Motorola officially announces Viewdle acquisition

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 08:46 AM PDT

For the last few days rumors were circling around that Motorola, and by extension Google, were planning to purchase facial recognition company Viewdle. Turns out those were much more than rumors, as we have confirmed that Motorola is acquiring the company. Of course, because Google owns Motorola, this means they also own Viewdle.

There is no official word on how much Motorola paid for Viewdle, but rumors said they are paying somewhere in between $30 to $45 million dollars. Motorola says they have been working with Viewdle for a while before the acquisition, so the transition should go smoothly.

Viewdle’s technology could prove a huge benefit for Android owners. A little deduction tells us that Motorola makes devices, Google makes Android and Viewdle makes facial recognition software. Put that together and there is good chance that we should see some new facial recognition features coming to Android devices at some point.

Besides Android, the newly acquired technology could see usage in Google Glass. Imagine looking at a friend and having the glasses recognize them and tell you key facts such as when their birthday is or what their favorite topics of conversation are. We will keep you posted on this acquisition as it happens, so keep your browser locked on Android Community.


Limited edition Entertainment Weekly magazine totes Android display

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 08:03 AM PDT

Who says print media is dead? Entertainment Weekly has put out a limited edition version of their magazine that features a functioning Android smartphone embedded in one of the pages, as reported by our friends at SlashGear. Let that sink in for a second; an Android device embedded in a magazine. It sounds like something out of a scifi movie.

The device has a 2.3-inch screen that displays commercials for upcoming CW TV shows. Commercials cover upcoming shows such as The Arrow and Emily Owens, M.D. After a couple of ads, it links to a live version of CW's Twitter page. That means the device is connected the Internet at all times, and upon taking the device apart, it turns out there is a T-Mobile sim card installed.

As far as the insides of the device, it is appears to be a gutted ABO 810, a budget smartphone running Android 2.2 FroYo. If a user were to go and buy a similar device it would set them back around $40. The device is chargeable and can be tinkered with by more adventurous users.

Clearly, this ad is working. Android Community and almost every tech site on the Internet is talking about it, which is clearly brining CW the attention the ad is seeking. Does this mean we will see more ads like this in magazines? Probably.

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[via Mashable]


SlingPlayer for Android gets higher quality HQ mode for 4.x+ devices

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 07:09 AM PDT

SlingPlayer just launched an update for their Android application that brings some pretty slick new features that should make their users quite happy. The main feature of this update is higher quality viewing for 4.x+ devices. Not long ago, they launched HQ mode, and this update makes HQ mode look even better on the latest Android devices.

Another feature added to this update is the addition of an electronic program guide. This should make it easier for users to find the shows that interests them. It looks pretty slick and easy to navigate.

This update also adds the ability to set reminders directly from the newly added program guide. To use this feature users will need to long-press a future program and the reminder will be added for them. This new feature should come in handy for users who have a hard time remembering to watch their favorite shows.

This update also brings some minor changes to the look and feel of the app. Early user reports are mixed on the update. Some user reviews are claiming it is the best thing since sliced bread, and others do not seem nearly as thrilled. The price of the app has not changed and is still $29.99. Interested users can snag it from Google Play.


Google Rolls Street View Out To Mobile Browsers

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 07:02 AM PDT

Google is officially rolling Street View out to mobile browsers everywhere. Just like on a computer, Street View allows you to get a view of what places around the world look like if you were standing right there. With the feature on mobile browsers, users can see what it would like to stand somewhere while they are actually standing there.

Google offers some interesting suggestions for using Street View on a mobile browser. They suggest using it to get a feel for the ambience of a restaurant before you arrive or checking out a new shop across town to see if it’s worth the treck. There is also the time-killing aspect of checking out locations you may never get a chance to visit in real life.

Using Google Street View in your browser could not be much easier. Users simply point their mobile browser to maps.google.com and click the little stick man on the bottom of the screen. From there, users simply slide their finger around the screen to change the exact area in which they look.

Users can also use Street View to get more information on a location such as Google+ local pages, interior panoramas, and photos shared by other Google users. I checked out the web app on my device, and it worked exactly as advertised. Let us know in the comments if you checked it out on your mobile device.


Motorola cuts cost Google $340m, and it’s only just the beginning

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 06:07 AM PDT

Google has already incurred a massive $340m bill for severance packages and other fees due to the Motorola cuts. Unfortunately, that is only the beginning of the layoffs Google will be doing at Motorola. Google has given indications that many of the next round of layoffs will include additional regions outside of the US, according to a regulatory filing . With that, Google could be forced to incur some more fees, some of which could be quite large.

When it’s all said and done, Google intends to cut around a fifth of Motorola’s staff. Around a third of those cuts will be in the United States, with the rest distributed to Motorola’s worldwide staff. Asia is expected to be heavily affected by the layoffs.

Google has not explicitly said where and when the next cuts will take place. They have also not given any indication of the total timescale for all the layoffs to happen. This obviously puts Motorola employees in an unfortunate situation of not knowing when word could come from above that their job has been downsized.

Google is taking Motorola in a slightly different direction. Going forward, Motorola will have a more focused approach with their devices, which would explain why Google does need the entire large staff that Motorola was carrying. Motorola devices going forward will probably fall more in line with Google’s vision.

[via SlashGear]


TomTom for Android finally released with a catch

Posted: 04 Oct 2012 05:42 AM PDT

TomTom has finally brought its popular navigation service to Android users everywhere. Well, maybe not everywhere, as the app is only compatible with screen resolutions up to WVGA. SlashGear noticed that the app is not compatible with many of the newer devices such as the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, Galaxy S III.

For those who can use the app, it looks like it’s pretty full of features. It has offline driving directions, 2D/3D maps, updated mapping for the life of the app, and voice guidance. These are the same features that users expect from a standalone GPS unit, so it’s good to see them implemented into the mobile app.

The app is currently available in North America, Europe, UK & Ireland, and other geographical versions. All maps are stored locally, so the app is massive. For example, the US and Canada version comes in at a whopping 2.3GB. Obviously, you will need some serious space to store it, but as long as you have it, you will be able to get directions even in places your device has no cellular signal.

The app also comes with life traffic data, which is quite helpful for avoiding your problem areas on your commute. There is also multistop routing, so you can hit up your favorite burger joint on your way to your destination without getting lost. The app also supports TomTom’s database of POIs. The app is on Google Play for $49.99 for the US and Canada version, £30.99 for for the UK app, and £49.99 for the full Europe maps.

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Acer Iconia Tab A100, A200, and A500 won’t receive Jelly Bean

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 04:08 PM PDT

If you’re an Acer Iconia Tab Android tablet user we could have some bad news for you. We’ve heard a few mixed reports on their update schedule but some new comments today have us worried that multiple models will not be seeing the latest version of Android. Multiple models including the Iconia Tab A500 and more.

Interestedly enough Acer just last week updated their new Iconia Tab A700 to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Which runs on the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor. The older models like their Iconia Tab A100, A200, and A500 all run the older, but highly capable NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor and come with 1GB of RAM. Today we’re hearing all three of those tablets will not be updated past Ice Cream Sandwich.

According to TabletsMagazine an Acer UK representative stated that these “old” models will not be updated to the latest version of Android. That being Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. And as they say — this will certainly cause some discontent and anger among the Iconia community.

We’ve heard a few reports that the update is in the testing phase, so this could be a sign that things aren’t going as well as planed. The tablets were late to receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so we can’t expect them to be fast like ASUS to Jelly Bean either. We’ve reached out for additional comments and will report back. So far what we’re hearing today isn’t good. There’s multiple custom ROM’s already available for those who want Jelly Bean, but an official update would be nice. Stay tuned!

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : ICONIA Tab A500
    Manufactuer : Acer
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : February 16, 2011
    Release Date : April 26, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.10 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.24 Inch
  • Width : 6.97 Inch
  • Depth : 0.52 Inch
  • Weight : 730 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 3260 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 3.1.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AMR
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 2
    CPU Clock Speed : 1000 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16.384 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 5 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 720p Video Recording
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 2.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via NotebookItalia]


Google Wallet, Drive, Movies and Music all get updated in Play Store

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 03:05 PM PDT

In the usual Google fashion we are seeing updates arrive today for multiple apps by Mountain View. The folks from Google like to send out updates all in one quick push, and today have done just that. They’ve issued updates to Google Play Music, Google Wallet, and Google Drive all today in the past hour.

So far it appears that Google Wallet and Drive are the only ones that actually have any new features, and for the most part these updates are all about bug fixes and performance increases. My Verizon Galaxy Nexus still won’t show Google Wallet in the store, but it works great.

Google Wallet’s update has added a few new security features — which we’re sure no one will complain about when it comes to our credit card information being on device and in the cloud. Google also states performance fixes and a few battery saving features. Wallet should also be more stable although I’ve never experienced problems to begin with.

Google Drive however has a huge list of changes that includes pinch to zoom in documents, then we can create, upload, and move folders now. They’ve also added filters, Google Cloud Print, and a whole bevy of new features. Then you have Google Music — which we’re big fans of here. Google only states “minor fixes” so it doesn’t appear there’s much to talk about on that front. In other news Apple’s Co-founder Steve Woz wants iTunes on Android — do you? Hit the links below for the respective app updates.

Update: Looks like Google Play Movies & TV also was updated today. While it only lists “bug fixes” as well we’re seeing new permissions for NFC, as well as pairing with Bluetooth devices. Interesting.

Google Drive
Google Wallet
Google Play Music


LG Optimus G heads to AT&T with quad-core, 2 GB RAM and 8 MP camera

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 01:52 PM PDT

The folks from AT&T and LG have just officially confirmed the new flagship LG Optimus G superphone is headed to AT&T. LG unveiled the new smartphone late last month and until today we’ve only heard rumors of an AT&T launch. Today however we can now confirm the impressive quad-core smartphone is coming soon with 4G LTE in tow.

The LG Optimus G rocks some of the most impressive specs of any smartphone to date. Truly at this moment nothing can compare — on paper at least. You’ll be getting the brand new 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor by Qualcomm, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, micro-SD support, and a massive 2,100 mAh battery for all day usage. Sadly however they’ve dropped the impressive 13 megapixel camera in favor of a 8 MP shooter instead.

The Optimus G has one of the best displays on any smartphone we’ve used to date, being a 4.7-inch TrueHD IPS panel by LG. It features their new screen technology making the screen closer to your finger (and eyes) for a vivid and colorful experience that is also very accurate and has a great response time. We’ve already checked out this awesome phone and you’ll want to take a peek at our LG Optimus G hands-on.

Here’s what Jeff Bradley, Senior VP of AT&T had to say about this awesome new smartphone:

“The LG Optimus G lets our customers work and play as hard as they want with one of our first quad core processor designed to deliver a great multitasking experience.” and “We think customers will really enjoy having the power of a computer in the palm of their hand.”

This is LG’s newest flagship device aiming right at Samsung’s Galaxy S III. LG’s improved their interface although we still have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and not Jelly Bean, but you’ll get zero shutter lag with the camera, simultaneously take pictures and video, picture-in-picture features for videos and apps and much more. This device was previously rumored as the LG Eclipse 4G LTE but it appears they’ll be sticking to that Optimus G name after all.

AT&T and LG haven’t announced pricing or an official release date, but previous rumors put this device coming in right around the end of October so stay tuned! We’re also hearing the Now Network will get this impressive phone too. Hit the links below for all our Optimus G coverage.

Screen Shot 2012-10-03 at 1.44.40 PM Screen Shot 2012-10-03 at 1.44.52 PM IMAGE_-_Optimus_G_front_angled_201210021203523 IMAGE_-_Optimus_G_side_201210021203521 P1030906-540x303
Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Optimus G
    Manufactuer : LG
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : September 18, 2012
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.7 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x768
  • Screen Type : IPS LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.19 Inch
  • Width : 2.71 Inch
  • Depth : 0.33 Inch
  • Weight : 145 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 2100 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 335 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • AMR
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • 3GP
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
  • IM
Hardware
    CPU : APQ8064
    CPU Clock Speed : 1500 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 2000 MB
    Internal Storage : 32 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 13 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • A2DP
  • Bluetooth 4.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via AT&T]


NBA 2K13 launches on Google Play Store

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 01:33 PM PDT

Can’t get enough NBA 2K13? It just launched yesterday on Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii, so you’d be forgiven if you’re horribly addicted at the present moment. Luckily for you, 2K Games launched an Android version of the game on the Google Play Store today, and while it may not be the quite the same as its big brother on consoles, its release means that you can have NBA 2K13 with you anywhere you go.


The mobile version of NBA 2K13 features special one-touch controls developed specifically for playing on a touch screen, but purists can rest assured that classic control mode is present as well. The game also features Multi Season Mode, which is pretty self-explanatory (hint: it lets you play through multiple seasons as you build your team), as well as commentary from Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg. You’ll also have the updated 2011-2012 roster at your disposal, along with a soundtrack put together by none other than Jay Z.

The graphics look pretty impressive for a mobile game, and this version seems to pack in quite a few features. As stated above, it isn’t going to be as full-featured as a console game, but 2K Games has done a pretty good job with the port nonetheless. There’s just one small issue: NBA 2K13 on Android costs $8, which is a lot for a mobile game.

Maybe we’re just nitpicking though – after all, the console version runs $60, so with that in mind, $8 definitely isn’t bad. Still, it’s a lot more than many consumers are used to paying for mobile games, so 2K may have a hard time getting the Android version of NBA 2K13 to take off. If you’d like to check it out, you can find it at the Google Play Store [download link] right this instant.


Twitter and Nielsen team up to offer new brand surveys

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 01:08 PM PDT

Advertising, as they say, makes the world go round. If you use Twitter frequently, you’ve probably seen more than few promoted tweets in your timeline, and now the company is looking to expand on that idea a little bit. Twitter has teamed up with Nielsen to deliver brand surveys to users in the same way it shows promoted tweets, allowing companies to get a better idea of how its Twitter ad campaigns are working.


It’s easy to see why Twitter wants to introduce this new feature. With 400 million people using Twitter on their PCs and mobile devices around the world, companies could collect a lot of valuable information even if just a teeny tiny percentage of users responded to their surveys. If advertisers can use the surveys to make their campaigns more effective, that means more money for Twitter.

This new feature comes native to the Android app, and users will see these surveys promoted by @TwitterSurveys, allowing them to answer the questions right there in the tweet. Having surveys embedded in tweets is a smart move on the part of Twitter and Nielsen, as users will be much more likely to answer the questions if they aren’t being shuffled off to another site. Twitter says that these new surveys will give brands “better insights to determine purchase intent, overall awareness, and other advertising metrics and analytics,” with the ultimate goal being greater user engagement with companies using the service.

It’s definitely a good idea, but we can probably also expect to see some Twitter users complaining loudly about seeing surveys in their timeline once this new initiative is completely rolled out. Twitter says that for now, it’s only working with a small selection of partners to test this new feature, but will be expanding it to others early next year. What do you think of these new Twitter surveys?

[via Twitter Advertising Blog]


Parrot details 3 new Android devices for in-car entertainment

Posted: 03 Oct 2012 12:40 PM PDT

Parrot released their first car stereo powered by Android last year known as the Parrot Asteroid, but today they’ve just detailed three brand new devices that will bring Android to your car entertainment needs. The first being a 6.2-inch Double-Din full out system known as the Parrot Asteroid Smart, then they have a few tablets as well.

The first Parrot Asteroid wasn’t all that great and had a rather small screen. This time around they’ve improved on all areas (except the OS) and the Asteroid Smart rocks a 6.2-inch capacitive multi-touch display and will fit in all double-din car stereo options. We have Android 2.3 Gingerbread (Really! Gingerbread?) for the operating system which is a serious bummer when Android 4.0 has been out far long enough for them to be more up to date. Aside from that minor oversight everything else about the new Asteroid Smart looks great.

The double-din stereo unit features four USB ports, although one is dedicated for iPhone or iPods, one Micro-USB, built-in GPS for Navigation, dual microphones, Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, and even WiFi. Then the usual analog outputs for backup cam, amps, and some JL subwoofers. From here you can obviously use Bluetooth for hands-free calling, but Bluetooth also works for data tethering from your smartphone. Users can also tether their smartphones data using WiFi or one of the many USB ports. The Asteroid Smart even offers 3G/4G dongle support for wireless hotspots. The UI has 6 large tiles for quick and simple navigation of the operating system, and Parrot has their own Asteroid Market with apps approved for their head unit. You won’t have the Google Play Store to keep drivers safe, but I’m sure we’ll find plenty ways around that.

For those that don’t want to replace their stock stereo or pay the $599 price for the Asteroid Smart, Parrot also has two Android tablets with a similar design and customizations set for in-car usage. Parrot will be offering the Asteroid Tablet, and the Asteroid Mini. The Parrot Asteroid Tablet looks like most Android tablets but is only 5-inches and sadly runs the same Android 2.3 Gingerbread tweaked by Parrot. Then the Mini is a 3.2-inch device that is akin to a Garmin GPS unit, only it also runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and doesn’t offer touchscreen controls. You’ll need Parrot’s control wheel to navigate that clunky thing.

We’re pretty interested in that 6.2-inch Asteroid Smart, but that’s about it. The Smart will run you $599 while the Tablet and Mini will cost users $399 and $299 — coming this November. Interested?

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[via Parrot]


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