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Posts tagged ‘News’

9
Feb

Amazon’s Lumberyard is a free triple-A game engine


Amazon has announced that they are launching a new game development engine called Lumberyard. However, what makes this newsworthy is that the A-Z service/content/product provider is putting this system in your hands for the low, low cost of Free.

In terms of visual technology, Lumberyard takes its cues from CryTek’s CryEngine. It has everything you would need to create lush, triple-A game environments from advanced particle effects to real-time fluid dynamics. You’ve even got the vegetation tools that made the Far Cry series so lush right at your fingertips. Amazon says that their engine can create games for Windows, Xbox One, and PS4. However, updates are in the pipeline to make game development possible for Mac, Linux, iOS, and – you guessed it – Android.


Game Development With UnitySee also: An introduction to Unity3D for easy Android game development4

So what’s the catch here? I mean, sure it’s great for Amazon to help lower the bar set for game developers and make high-end tools available to indie designers looking to make a real impact on the gaming world, but what’s in it for them? Altruism looks nice enough in PR, but it doesn’t pay your employees.

The hitch is that Lumberyard limits what servers you can use for the games developed on it. Even if you create the next Dota 2, you won’t be able to use cloud resources from Amazon competitors like Google or Microsoft. You’ll have to buy server support from Amazon.

While that seems restrictive at a glance, it’s really not that bad of a trade-off. If you’re designing a single-player game, for instance, there’s no need to buy server time anyway, so you just got to develop a high-end game with tools that didn’t cost you a penny. And even if you are creating a multiplayer game, as long as Amazon doesn’t start price-gouging indie devs – which seems unlikely – then this looks like a pretty fair arrangement for both parties.

What are your thoughts regarding Lumberyard? If you’re a game dev, let us know if this is a tempting offer in the comments, and let us know what you think the pros and cons of getting into bed with Amazon would be!


best Android gamesNext: 10 best new Android games of January 201616

9
Feb

Marshmallow rolling out to the LG G4 on AT&T


lg-g4-first-look-aa-1-of-32

Are you the owner of an LG G4 on AT&T? If so, you’ll be happy to hear that Android 6.0 Marshmallow is now rolling out to your device.

LG has been pretty good about rolling out Marshmallow to the G4 in a timely fashion. G4 owners on US Cellular, Sprint and T-Mobile, as well as users in Canada, Korea and Europe have already received the update, and now it’s AT&T’s turn. The update, which will bring your device’s software up to version H81020n, comes in at a size 971MB.


Android 6.0 marshmallow logo DSC_0126See also: Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates roundup – February 2, 2016104

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While Android 6.0 Marshmallow doesn’t bring along all too many visual changes, there are a handful of great features under the hood that come with the update. For starters, you’ll get to take advantage of the wonderful Google Now on Tap, which essentially brings the power of Google Now to every corner of your phone. There’s also an improved app permissions system, Doze Mode for saving battery when you’re not using your phone, access to Android Pay, and much more.

It should be noted that the update might take a few days to reach your device, so don’t worry if you haven’t received it yet. If you’d like to check for it manually, head to Settings>About phone>Update center>System updates>Check for update. Have you received Marshmallow on your G4? If so, let us know how you’re liking it!

9
Feb

Deal: original Nexus 5 for $140


Google Nexus 5 black aa 13

With the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P all proceeding it, there’s no denying that the Nexus 5 is, well, getting up there in years. Don’t let this fool you though, despite its age, the Nexus 5 is still an exceptional device, particularly for those that are just looking for up-to-date software and a no frills experience.

With this age also comes plenty of discounts, with the phone going as low as $129.99 back in November. While that price was pretty temporary, Ebay seller mobilepros1 comes pretty close, selling the handset (refurbished) in your choice of black or white for $139.99 with free shipping in the US. The phone can also be sold in “many other countries”, though you’ll obviously have to pay extra for the shipping costs.

So what kind of specs we talking about with the Nexus 5? The Nexus 5 is powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage. Other specs include a 5-inch 1080p screen, an 8 MP rear camera, a 1.3 MP front-facing shooter, a 2300 mAh battery, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow (via OTA upgrades). While that’s certainly not bleeding age, the Nexus 5 is still more than capable of keeping up with other phones around that price point and even performs better than devices like the Moto G 3rd gen, which cost around $40 more.

For those with modest needs, or if you are just looking for a backup phone, we still highly recommend the Nexus 5. Keep in mind this is the US model, designed for proper use with Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile, though it should also work in many international markets. What do you think, is the Nexus 5 worth picking up at this price? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Buy on Ebay

9
Feb

Final Fantasy IX arrives to Google Play


Square Enix has been chugging through its Final Fantasy back-catalogue pretty quickly over the last few years, and while it still hasn’t brought us the much-anticipated mobile port of Final Fantasy VII, today Square brings us the very first Playstation Final Fantasy port, Final Fantasy IX. (For the record, Tactics was also a PS game, but the port was based off the PSP version.)

Originally released back in 2000, the latest FF port takes place in a world called Gaia, though no, not the same world as the Gaia in FF7. For those that never experienced it, not going to spoil the story for you, though I will tell you the story features a unique cast to say the least including Zidane (a mischievous thief of sorts), a princess, and six other characters. While not nearly as dear to my heart as FF7 or the NES/SNES era Final Fantasy entries, I admit this is still one of my own personal favorites and look forward to giving it a go.

ff-9

As for changes made to the mobile version? The port sticks mostly to the original, though there are some changes to let you get through the story quicker (like we’ve seen in other FF ports), an auto-save feature, and some of the video and character models have been altered slightly for today’s higher-resolution displays. Obviously, the port also features touchscreen integration, though the ability to use a more traditional controller remains.

Final Fantasy IX is available right now through the Play Store, and in usual Square Enix fashion, is priced for a pretty penny at $16.99 – which is supposedly a 20% sale price, so expect it to go up even further a bit later.

It’s also worth mentioning that you better have a bunch of room at the ready, as this port takes up 4GB free space. It also requires Android 4.1 or higher.

Get it on Google Play

9
Feb

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 3600 mAh battery confirmed, thanks to FCC


Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Quick look-12

While the Galaxy S6 family got a lot of things right for Samsung, there were at least a few small missteps too. First, there was the lack of microSD, and the lack of a removable battery. The GS6 family also removed waterproofing from the mix, and had relatively unimpressive battery life compared to many other phones of the time. With the Galaxy S7, Samsung is set to follow the same design philosophy as it did last year while also addressing some of these shortcomings.

The rumor mill already has suggested that microSD, waterproofing, and bigger batteries are all par for the course with the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Now thanks to a FCC filing for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, we can confirm that small battery size is one issue that the GS7 family won’t have to contend with.

fcc-galaxy-s7-edge

The rumors already pointed to a 3000 mAh and a 5.1-inch display for the Galaxy S7, with a 3600 mAh battery and 5.5-inch display for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Now an FCC label document confirms the 3600 mAh size, though no similar documentation exists for the Galaxy S7 as far as we can tell. That said, it’s probably a safe bet that if the 3600 mAh rumor was right, so is the 3000 mAh claim for the standard Galaxy S7.


samsung galaxy s7 s7 edgeSee also: Samsung Galaxy S7 rumor roundup: release date, price, specs, features71

The big question now is if a 3600 mAh battery means that the Galaxy S7 Edge will have monster battery life, or if the power demands from its hardware are so great that this is merely a means of keeping up. For what it’s worth, the Nexus 6P has one of the best battery lives out there (the Mate 8 beats it easily, though) in the Android world and manages to get about a day and half battery life for the typical user. Considering the Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890 are supposedly optimized to further improve battery life, we’d expect similar, if not better, battery performance here. Of course, it’s really too early to say for sure.

What do you think, excited by the Galaxy S7 Edge? Disappointed by the jump in screen size, or do you think it will prove to be a wise move?

9
Feb

Deal (US only): Nexus 9 for as little as $239 for Valentine’s Day


htc-nexus-9

It’s no secret that the Nexus 9 has failed to gain the same type of attention as its predecessor, the Nexus 7, largely due to a high price tag and some pretty big bugs upon initial release. Thankfully, patches have fixed the performance issues, and pricing has gone down a little too over time.

Still feel like Google and HTC are asking too much? In Celebration of Valentine’s Day you can get the 16GB Nexus 9 for just $239, the 32GB Wi-Fi for $287, or the 32GB LTE model can be yours for just $349. The latter of these will even come bundled with a  Logitech keyboard at no additional cost. For those doing the math, the Valentine’s special brings a 40% discount to the Nexus 9, and it’s also worth noting that HTC will also offer 40% off from its accessories too. While we’ve seen a 40% discount in the past, the last time was during the holiday 2015 season.

Nexus 9 in video:

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As a refresher, the Nexus 9 is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra K1 processing package, 2GB of RAM and comes with a QXGA (2048×1536) resolution display. A very good choice if you fancy doing a little tablet gaming. There’s also an 8 megapixel camera on the back and a 1.6 megapixel front facing camera for video calls. For a closer look at everything the Nexus 9 has to offer, be sure to check out our full review.

The sale has already started and will end on Sunday. In other words, if you’re at all interested, you better move quickly. Unfortunately, it should also be noted that this deal is only applicable to those in the United States. What do you think, is the HTC Nexus 9 still worth picking up?

Buy now from HTC

Next – Best Android tablets

9
Feb

HTC One M10 reportedly will feature a 5.2-inch display


htc-one-m9-4

While most of the next-gen spotlight has found itself casted onto Samsung and LG, it’s only a matter of time before HTC also unveils its next flagship. It is still unclear if the phone will arrive at MWC later this month, though most rumors point to a release sometime thereafter. Despite a lack of launch timeframe details, we are starting to see a clearer picture of what to expect from HTC with the One M10, including the design – which is said to follow a similar path to the HTC One A9. One area that has been less clear is screen size, until now.

Initial rumors suggested we were looking at a larger 5.1-inch QHD display this time around, an upgrade from the 5-inch 1080p display on the One M9. According to well-known HTC-leaker @LlabTooFeR however, it appears that the screen will be even larger than originally suggested at 5.2-inches diagonal (QHD). We can’t say we are surprised by the claimed jump up .2-inches, as 5.2 to 5.5-inches has seemingly become the accepted standard for flagships over the last year.

Years ago, 5-inches was thought to be “massive”, and yet, ironically, it is increasingly becoming the screen size associated with “small handsets” these days, thanks in large part to ever shrinking bezels that allow manufacturers to pack larger displays into smaller spaces.


htc one a9 first impressions aa (12 of 45)See also: HTC One M10: Everything you need to know

As for the HTC One M10’s other specs? While @LlabTooFeR brings us no new information, previous leaks suggest we’re looking at a Snapdragon 820 powered device with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Sense on top. Little has been said in regards to battery, RAM, or storage configurations at this point.

What do you think, are you excited to see what HTC has up its sleeve in 2016? Or have you completely lost interest in the once-king of mobile?

 

9
Feb

Andy Rubin wants to give you a free dashcam, in exchange for the data


Andy Rubin Forbes

While Andy Rubin is probably best known for his involvement as one of Android’s founders, his ambitions certainly don’t end there. After leaving Google in 2014, Rubin has been involved with a number of projects, including creating his own tech incubator called Playground Global. Rubin has also invested in a number of companies such as CastAR, and is rumored to be working on a return to the mobile game. And now Rubin seems to have his sights set on creating a massive real-time visual map of the world, using dashcams.

In an interview with Wired, Rubin talked a bit about his latest project and how he would like to give away a specialized dashcam to those who signed up to work with his program, and in exchange they would give him the data collected from it. This data would be used to create a map of traffic areas in real-time, allowing drivers to potentially get a much more realistic look at traffic conditions before they headed into these congested areas.

dashcam brownpau

The idea of a service that gives you real-time street views and traffic views sound pretty cool we have to admit, but Rubin doesn’t talk at all about the obstacles that would be involved.

First, there’s the cost of free dashcams. Rubin isn’t exactly the richest man in the world, and so he’d need some pretty big partners to pull off the financials needed. Also, they’d need to convince enough people to use dashcams in order to make the information collected truly useful. More than likely that would mean demoing the program in a select city/region and slowly rolling it out to other areas. Lastly, if the idea is real-time traffic analysis, these dashcams would have to access a mobile network, and that’s a whole other cost to consider.

Barring these potential obstacles, would you be interested in a free dashcam if Rubin was offering? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

9
Feb

Get the new Galaxy S7 wallpapers: download them here


samsung galaxy s7 leak

A bunch of Galaxy S7 wallpapers have been leaked, courtesy of a Sam Mobile forum member with the suspiciously familiar name of J.K. Shine. All told, there’s 13 Galaxy S7 wallpapers which you can grab individually below. The wallpapers include some that we’ve already seen in leaked renders although the details don’t quite match up.

Assuming the leaker isn’t Samsung Mobile’s ex-CEO, it seems reasonable the wallpapers are either from pre-release firmware or cleverly designed Photoshop guesses. On the “fake” side of the evidence fence sits the weird mix of JPGs and PNGs in the dump and the mix of resolutions (2,560 x 2,560 and 2,240 x 2,240). Official or not, they certainly look the part, so grab the ones you like below.

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If you’d prefer to grab the original dump (we converted all the pics above to JPGs because we’re nice), grab the zip file linked in the original thread.


samsung galaxy s7 s7 edgeSee also: Samsung Galaxy S7 rumor roundup: release date, price, specs, features71

9
Feb

Samsung trademarks “Always On Display” for Galaxy S7


Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Colors-8

A month ago when Evan Blass leaked multiple details on the Galaxy S7, we first heard the term “Always on Display” with respect to the upcoming Galaxy flagship. Samsung has now trademarked the term “Always on Display”, supposedly for use with the Galaxy S7, which will be announced later this month on February 21 at MWC 2016.


samsung galaxy s7 s7 edgeSee also: Samsung Galaxy S7 rumor roundup: release date, price, specs, features71

Samsung’s “Always on Display” will make use of the S7’s AMOLED display to provide information on weather, notifications, calendars and S Health data among other things. It will reportedly use as little as one percent of battery per hour but it is unclear if it will be a full-screen mode like Motorola or Google’s Ambient Display or something smaller like LG’s Glance View.

AMOLED displays, by virtue of only illuminating individual pixels, can be used to display information when the rest of the screen is off without consuming much battery power at all. LCD screens don’t permit this kind of energy-saving feature because the entire screen is backlit, even when displaying blacks.

SAMSUNG VIDEOS:

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The idea of an always-on display is hardly anything new and, if anything, it’s peculiar that Samsung hasn’t included something like it already. Even the name isn’t new, with YotaPhone using the term “Always On Display” for years with regards to its e-ink second screen devices. Samsung is sure to have something very different in mind though, and we only have a couple of weeks left until we see it in action.

How do you think Samsung’s Always on Display will differ from Moto’s, LG’s and Google’s?

See Next: AMOLED vs LCD: difference explained

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