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6
Mar
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[New Game] Physics game, Smash Hit, released by Mediocre


Smash Hit MediocreMediocre has a pretty good track record for creating fun games using physics and a  little bit of comedy. Many of you should be pretty familiar with the Sprinkle series and Granny Smith. Endless hours of good clean fun right there. Mediocre has announce the release of a totally different style of game today though called Smash Hit. As the name would suggest, it will be a Smash Hit. Well, hopefully anyways. In reality, you get to break a whole lot of stuff with metal balls. Being a man that likes destruction, I am definitely intrigued.

Smash Hit Mediocre Smash Hit MediocreYou will explore 50 different rooms with 11 different graphic styles. Audio effects create a crashing atmosphere filled with echoes and reverb. The games music is set to play in connection with what you are seeing, meaning that glass object movements will play into the music of each room you are gliding through. To keep you coming back, the levels are randomized. The trailer has a hint of Star Fox 64, with much better graphics, and a rather eerie look and feel. Check it out.

Looks pretty great doesn’t it? How can throwing metal marbles at glass not be a good time waster?

Smash Hit is FREE to install, but the Play Store does list ‘In-app purchases’, so that might turn some of you away. Feel free to hit the Play Store Badge below to go check it out and give it a try.


Get it on Google Play

 

Smash Hit Mediocre
Smash Hit Mediocre
Smash Hit Mediocre
Smash Hit Mediocre
SmashHit (1)

6
Mar
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Sony’s turning The Last of Us into a movie with help from the game’s creators


The Last of Us made its debut last year to critical (and commercial) acclaim from the gaming community, and it appears that the film industry’s just as smitten with the story it tells. Deadline Hollywood reports that Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems production company has decided to develop a “live-action adaptation” of the PS3 version of the game, and Neil Druckmann, who was The Last of Us‘ creative director, will be writing the screenplay. Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, the co-presidents of Naughty Dog, the studio that created the game, and the game’s director, Bruce Straley will also lend their talents to the project as “creative architects,” whatever that means. Naturally, since the deal has just been done, we don’t know when to expect The Last of Us to make its way to the silver screen, but at least we know it’s coming… at some point.

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Source: Deadline Hollywood

6
Mar
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PlayStation US head Jack Tretton parts ways with Sony


Or at least, he will have done so come April 1st, no foolin‘. Sony just announced that the long time SCEA executive will be making way for his replacement Shawn Layden, current EVP and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International. According to the company, Tretton’s parting is the result of a “mutual agreement,” but naturally, neither side’s saying how that agreement was reached. The move certainly comes as a surprise, as Tretton had been with SCEA for almost 20 years, and was a part of the PlayStation team from the very beginning — most recently overseeing the successful launch of Sony’s most recent console, the PS4. Evidently, that wasn’t enough to keep him around… time will tell if Layden’s a worthy successor.

Image Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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Source: Sony Computer Entertainment

6
Mar
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HereO’s GPS kid’s watch isn’t the first of its kind, it’s just cuter and cheaper


HereO's GPS kid's watch isn't the first of its kind, it's just cuter and cheaper

GPS leashes trackers for kids are hardly new, but damn if this isn’t the cutest we’ve seen so far. Like other trackers of this sort, the HereO watch allows parents to create so-called safe zones around schools, et cetera, and then receive alerts should the child leave or enter the area. Additionally, parents can broadcast messages using an app, or send kids directions to help them reunite with a family member. On the surface, though, it’s quite a bit cheaper than competing trackers: $99 on Indiegogo, compared with $200 for the Filip. It’s also smaller than most kid’s watches, not to mention better-designed, though we’ll admit cuteness is in the eye of the beholder.

The catch? Because this won’t be sold through a carrier, like AT&T, you’ll instead need to pay a monthly fee for the GPS service. Specifically, if you buy on Indiegogo you’ll at least get the first six months free, but it’s still $5 a month thereafter. (If you purchase it at retail once it comes out, you’ll pay $149 with presumably no free service.) Should you buy in, the watch will work with a free app for either iOS or Android (Windows Phone and BlackBerry are coming soon, says the company).

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6
Mar

Review: Incipio ATLAS Ultra-Rugged Waterproof case for Galaxy S4


Incipio, one of the more popular brands in the mobile accessory space, has been putting out products for many Android smartphones. Some products have even passed through here; check out our reviews of the various HTC One cases. We recently had a chance to review the Incipio ATLAS Ultra-Rugged Waterproof case for the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The case is made up of four layers which provide superior defense against shock and drops all the while remaining lightweight. One of the best things about this case is that it’s really slim, yet it’s waterproof, dustproof, shockproof; thanks to Tempered glass, rigid Plextonium Polycarbonate, supportive TPU, and shock absorbent silicone. It’s a mouthful to be sure, but they combine to create quite the protective shell for your device.

Click to view slideshow.

For a rugged case, the ATLAS Ultra-Rugged Waterproof case is quite good looking. It’s quite easy for a rugged case to end up making your phone look like a brick but this is not the case with Incipio’s design. Your phone stays relatively slim yet it feels solid as a rock.

While there are a lot of good things about this case, there was one issue that really bothered me. Sure, we use phones for all purposes (browsing, messaging, emailing,etc) but the most vital feature is making and receiving phone calls.

We found that with this case on our Galaxy S4 our callers complained of not being able to hear us loudly or clearly. Moving it closer to your mouth and speaking loudly helps, but it’s not our natural tone. Yes, we could go with a Bluetooth headset or hands free device, but that’s another product and more money. Perhaps the model we tested did not have a complete cutout for the microphone. We’ve not run into this issue with other Incipio products so we’re willing to bet this is an anomaly.

Also note that if you have a screen protector on your Galaxy S4 you might run into issues with display sensitivity and touch response. We had one in place ahead of our review and found that the screen did not respond to our touches quite like we hoped.

Generally speaking this was not Incipio’s best work but we still found it to be a better than average unit. If you work in a field where protection is a must (or if you are Bear Grylls) then this case will keep your Samsung Galaxy S4 clean as a whistle. And dry as a bone.

The Incipio Atlas Ultra-Rugged Galaxy S4 case retails for $89.99 and comes in four color options. You can also find them at Amazon for as low as $73.95, depending on the color you want.

The post Review: Incipio ATLAS Ultra-Rugged Waterproof case for Galaxy S4 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

6
Mar
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Samsung Galaxy S5 versus Moto X


The Samsung Galaxy S5, introduced at Mobile World Congress 2014, will likely go on to become one of the top-selling Android smartphones of the year. And why not? It’s the latest in Samsung’s flagship line of devices and it’s better than ever. But, how does it fare when you compare it to other top smartphones of the day?

Let’s stack the Samsung Galaxy S5 up against another key Android handset, Motorola’s Moto X. We’ll take a look at how they match up in terms of hardware, yes, but we’ll also touch on some of the differences in software and user experience.

 samsung_g25_250  moto_x_250X375
Operating System Android 4.4.2 KitKat (w/ Samsung UI) Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Display 5.1-inch Super AMOLED (1920×1080) 4.7-inch AMOLED (1280×720)
Storage 16GB, 32GB 16GB, 32GB
Processor Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Duad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
RAM 2GB 2GB
Connectivity 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, HSPA+, NFC 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, HSPA+, NFC
Camera (Rear) 16-megapixel 10-megapixel
Camera (Front) 2.1-megapixel 2-megapixel
Battery 2800mAh 2200mAh
Weight 145g 130g
Size (mm) 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1 129.4 x 65.3 x 10.4
Bluetooth 4.0 4.0 + LE
Expansion Card Yes (up to 64GB) NO
Fingerprint Scanner YES NO
Water Resistant Yes (IP67) NO
Charging USB 3.0 microUSB

 

General Hardware

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the hardware differences in the two devices put the Galaxy S5 heads and tails over the Moto X. This makes a lot of sense when you consider how many months have passed since the Motorola smartphone debuted.

Samsung’s bigger, faster, and more powerful in nearly every sense of the word. But, does that mean you should rush out to buy it? Not really. Motorola’s phone is one of the best we’ve used in the last year and is more than adequate to suit the needs of your average customer. If you want the latest and greatest, Samsung is both of those. If you’re looking for something that works wonderfully and has mass appeal, Motorola becomes more attractive.

Let’s also not discount the fact that you can go to Motorola’s website and create a custom designed smartphone. It’s there you can mix and match colors for the front, back, buttons, and accents with thousands of possibilities. Samsung, for its part, will offer the Galaxy S5 in four color options at launch.

Camera

Based on pure specs, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has an edge over the Moto X. But, as many of you know, it’s not just megapixels that constitute a great camera. Suffice it to say, this is where Samsung pulls away with the lead. Features like the fastet-yet shutter speeds, HDR, and selective focus just add to the experience.  And, while we might not yet be able to take full advantage of it, the Galaxy S5 can record in video at 4K resolution. Should you have a TV or display capable of displaying that resolution then you’ll definitely be in business.

User Interface and Enhancements

Indeed, the Samsung Galaxy S5′s water resistance is a nice touch this time around and helps protect the phone from life’s accidents and spills. It’s not quite ready to go swimming all day but a spilled glass of water is not the end of the world.

We also like that Samsung has opted for the USB 3.0 option in charging as it opens the door to added functionality. No, not every user will take advantage of it, but we like future proofing devices.

Fingerprint scanning is likely to find a place in most of the bleeding-edge smartphones going forward. It’s not a perfect tool, yet, and has limited capabilities. Samsung, for its part, is playing nice with the SDK and letting developers hardness the technology.

You know what else matters to a lot of users? Freebies and value-added bundles. To that end, Samsung is giving upward of $500 worth of apps and services away with each Galaxy S5. Not all stuff that every user will want or need, but it’s pretty darn appealing nonetheless.

On the opposite side of the coin, Motorola’s added few custom touches like Motorola Assist, Motorola Migrate, and Touchless Control. Each of these gets better with successive updates and provides value to the Moto X.

Android

If there’s one thing that matters to heavy Android enthusiasts, it’s the software experience. While Samsung has added plenty of wonderful features, apps, and services, the edge still goes to the Motorola handset. That is, of course, if you care a great deal about timely upgrades and no carrier interference.

Motorola has impressed a great deal in the months that the Moto X has been out. Updates to Android are timely regardless of carrier and the phone is as current as it gets with 4.4.2 KitKat. Things are less certain down the road now that Google has sold Motorola to Lenovo. We’re cautiously optimistic that the phone will be supported just as well down the road, but won’t know for some time. On the other hand, the lack of bloatware of carrier-branded apps and services give us a reason to believe.

Availability

The Moto X is currently offered through Motorola for $399 (16GB) and $449 (32GB) in tons of color options. Pricing has yet to be determined for the Galaxy S5 but we’re thinking the $200 range is in order. The key difference, however, is that the Moto X does not require you commit to a two-year service agreement at that price. You can, of course, sign up for a contract with a host of carriers and get the phone for much cheaper – sometimes as low as a penny.

We expect that you’ll be able to procure an unlocked Galaxy S5 (and likely a Google Play Experience, too), but it will be in the order of hundreds more.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be sold starting in April in four color options and should be available through just about any carrier you can imagine. All of the major players are expected to sell the device as are a number prepaid arms.

Which is right for you?

Something should consider before purchasing any Android is whether you need to be on the cutting edge of software updates. Things have slowed on the overall platform front and features are coming at a slower pace. Truth be told, most smartphone users cannot identify the exact build of their OS or its respective code name. If you don’t know the difference between a Jelly Bean and a KitKat release then it should not bother you to go with a modified UI. 

Average consumers are going to flock to the Samsung Galaxy S5. Those who are coming out of contract with their Galaxy S3 are looking at this device as a huge step forward. At this point there’s nothing to stop the Galaxy S5 train; others may slow it a bit, but it will be the top-seller of 2014. For great reason(s).

Motorola, on the other hand, is off to a great resurgence with the Moto X. We have had no problem recommending it to anyone and everyone. The battery life is out-of-this-world and the little Motorola touches give it a slight edge over stock Android. Shh, don’t tell the fanboys this, but we love the experience. It’s really hard to pass up the Moto X, especially if you can get it for a penny with a service agreement.

Note: Pieces of this post were excerpted from Samsung Galaxy S5 versus Nexus 5.

The post Samsung Galaxy S5 versus Moto X appeared first on AndroidGuys.

6
Mar
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Assassin’s Creed Pirates gets update with over 5 hours of new Content


Ubisofts Assassin’s Creed Pirates has received a new update today that brings in over 5 hours of new content. The update is live now for both Android and iOS players everywhere. The update brings in the following:

  • New map area
  • 3 new secondary missions
  • New treasures
  • New diaries
  • New mission type; Survival Missions
  • 2 new ships for Survival Missions
  • Face-off against historical ships

Assassin's Creed Pirates Ubisoft Assassin's Creed Pirates UbisoftSurvival Missions will give you the chance to survive at sea. You will have to fish and hunt for whales to keep yourself fed. That adds a new element to the game play.

The update is out now for those that have already purchased the game. If you haven’t picked it up yet, you can do so down below. It will set you back $4.99.


Get it on Google Play

Assassin's Creed Pirates Ubisoft
Assassin's Creed Pirates Ubisoft
Assassin's Creed Pirates Ubisoft
Assassin's Creed Pirates Ubisoft
Assassin's Creed Pirates Ubisoft

6
Mar
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Music intelligence company, Echo Nest, bought by Spotify


Spotify has gone and spent a little money today. They announced this morning that they are buying music intelligence company Echo Nest. Echo Nest powers Web radio, recommendations and playlists for a large number of media firms, including some of Spotify’s competition such as iHeartradio, MOG ( Beats Music), Rdio and Sirius XM.

Spotify buys Echo NestThe purchase will obviously help Spotify curate a better listening experience for the end users since Echo Nest is already doing a great job of that. The purchase will also give Spotify another kick in the revenue department. We know that listening, for the most part, can be free, and the radio function was just made free for tablets a few months ago. Echo Nest already licenses it technology to outside partners to create playlists, detect buzz around a particular artist and recommend similar songs. With Spotify in the wheelhouse, those licensing fees will help Spotify greatly.

 In a statement, chief executive and founder Daniel Ek said the company has “been fans of the Echo Nest for a really long time” and that the takeover will help Spotify’s “quest to play you the best music possible.”

Details surrounding the purchase price, or the terms or the buy out weren’t released. In the long run, it should help keep those random songs that don’t fit what you are listening to from popping up and it should help make some better playlist options as well.

Don’t have Spotify yet? Why not? It is free, for the most part, pick it up via the Play Badge below.


Get it on Google Play

Source: Cnet

6
Mar
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Facebook redesigns its news feed — again


In a never-ending bid to make its news feed easier to use, Facebook has changed its look yet again. For one thing, the font will now be in Helvetica for Macs and Arial for PCs, which will make it look a lot like the fonts already in use elsewhere on your computer. Further, different shared stories will no longer have indentations when a friend leaves a comment, and will instead be separated out into its own post for the sake of a less messy interface. The left-hand column, previously cluttered with icons, is now much lighter and cleaner. Lastly, shared photos will now be in full-width, while multiple photos will be presented in a collage. The roll out begins today, so keep hitting refresh — hopefully you’ll get to see it before Facebook’s next round of redesigns.

Update: As Re/code explains it, this latest redesign is a result of poor testing of the design it showed off last March. That particular look was only rolled out to a small percentage of users, almost all of whom disliked it, which prompted a complete UI rethink. Therefore if the left-hand column above doesn’t look all that different to you, it’s because you never received last year’s redesign in the first place. The primary difference that you’ll see in the latest redesign is that the photos on your news feed will be much bigger.

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Source: TechCrunch, Re/code

6
Mar
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Goophone copies the all new (still-unannounced) HTC One


Goophone M8, aka the all new HTC One's copy

If you’re going to clone one of 2014′s hottest Android flagships, you might as well clone others, right? Goophone certainly thinks so. It just launched the Goophone M8, a smartphone that bears an uncanny resemblance to the all new (and still-unannounced) HTC One. Not that the similarities are much more than skin deep, mind you. Goophone’s attempt at keepin’ it real fake uses capacitive keys instead of the new One’s on-screen buttons, and we doubt that the middling (if octa-core) processor, 1GB of RAM and 3G data speeds will have HTC breaking a sweat. It only costs $230 to get Goophone’s knock-off, though. And hey, it comes in gold — if you’re only looking for an ostentatious design, you might as well save some cash.

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Via: Unwired View

Source: Goophone

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