Android Lollipop is now officially released for all and for all of us who don’t own Nexus devices, now begins the excruciating wait for software updates to the latest version of Android. With various manufacturers making their promises for when their devices are going to be updated, many people have turned their attention to Samsung to see if the Android giant is going to do anything differently than it has in the past. As it turns out, it might, as the Samsung Galaxy S5 Android Lollipop update is allegedly going to be available sometime in December.
This information comes to us via SamMobile, who’s sources have narrowed their previous claim down from “November or December”. SamMobile has also already given us a sneak peek of Android Lollipop on the Galaxy S5 so when the update does finally roll out, it’s unlikely that we’ll see anything that’s too foreign to us. It’s worth noting that while December is the quoted window for this update, depending on your region, the update may not end up reaching you for a few more weeks after it is officially released. At least we know it’s coming though.
What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy S5 Android Lollipop update schedule? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Closely following the news that the Samsung Galaxy S5’s Android Lollipop update might be coming sometime in December, a rumour has emerged that says the LG G3 Android Lollipop update will also be arrive before the end of the year. This information was apparently conveyed by the European branch of LG which promised its Dutch and Belgian LG G3 customers that the update would be coming before the end of 2014.
This is a relatively ambitious timeline from LG which didn’t get out the LG G2 Android KitKat update out until February/March earlier this year. Still, it’s always good to hope, and it’s obviously in LG’s best interests to make its best selling flagship so far the best it can be, particularly in a climate that now actually has competitors with Quad HD displays to rival the G3’s.
What do you think about the LG G3 Android Lollipop update schedule? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Trying to keep a journal has always been difficult for me. Before the age of smartphones, I tried to rely on text files or a physical notepad. If I wasn’t forgetting to write down my thoughts, I was losing the file or my handwriting was so bad it would make a doctor jealous. I did the LiveJournal thing, too, except it fostered too many passive-aggressive entries. Finally, while browsing the App Store I come across an interesting-looking piece of software called Day One. The features, design and presentation prompted me to give journaling another go. And I’m glad I did.
If you’ve never heard of Day One, here’s a quick rundown: It’s a journaling app with an emphasis on ease of use. MultiMarkdown text allows for cleaner, faster writing, and you can import location, activity, music and weather data from the apps. More recently, the app added a Publish feature that allows you to share entries with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Think of it as having a personal blog without every entry being public.
With the latest version, Day One made some tweaks to take advantage of some of the new features introduced in iOS 8. Previously, I would have had to go into the app to attach a link or photo. I can now share directly from any application where developers have taken advantage of Apple’s new “extensibility” feature. I can now use Touch ID to unlock my journal. Entering a PIN isn’t hard, of course, but using a fingerprint feels more secure over the standard four digits. Apple also added a widget option, allowing you to view two random picture entries as well as journaling stats for the last 50 days, all from the iOS Notification Center. For the most part, these aren’t the kind of changes that make or break the product. Instead, they’re the type of updates that help round out an already good experience.
When I first tried Day One, I had trouble making everything work. At the time I was using an Android phone, but unfortunately, the app is iOS-only. This proved to be an issue because I had no way of capturing thoughts or photos on the go. Sure, I could have taken a picture of that awesome graffiti I saw on the street and write about it when I got home, but without fail I would end up forgetting. The desktop client offers a notification option, but it’s too easy to dismiss by telling myself “I’ll do it later.” Getting an iPhone is what really made using Day One a more regular part of my routine.
Creating new entries is an easy experience. Whether I’m writing an entry or snapping a picture, the app makes it effortless. One feature I didn’t think I’d fully appreciate is MultiMarkdown. This style of text input allows me to write new entries with detailed formatting — without HTML messing up the flow. Simply wrapping a word in an asterisk can italicize it, or if I want to create a link, I can use brackets and parentheses instead of writing a full HREF statement. The app even has a swipeable bar to quickly input different Markdown tags so I’ll never forget how to bullet a list or insert a link. It seems silly to spend time discussing writing syntax, but it makes for more efficient writing.
Tagging — a pretty standard feature in any archiving service — is also present in Day One. This has always been beneficial with bookmarks, but I’m getting a lot of utility out of it with journaling, too. I use it for tracking potential medical issues as well as my hobbies. For example, I have one called “Invisalign” where I’ve been writing once a week about my experience with this alternative to traditional braces. Before my next visit, I can pull up the tag to quickly remind myself of any issues I ran into. I’m also a huge coffee fan. I enjoy trying out different roasters, but tracking the various bags can be time consuming. Using a modified Launch Center Pro action, I can quickly create an entry with pre-filled fields. Triggering the actions brings me to a series of boxes asking for roaster, origin, method, rating and tasting notes. All of this gets formatted into a clean-looking table, then auto-tagged for easy reference later.
With the help of If This Then That (IFTTT) and Launch Center Pro I can also automate some of my entries to make life a little easier. Using the two services, I can notify my phone of any photo I post to Instagram with the tag #dayone. Interacting with the alert will pre-populate a new post with the image and the text from the tagged ‘gram. I also combine them with Strava to auto-create entries for any new activities I complete. This allows me to stay on top of my training log, something I’ve tried to do numerous times over the years to little or no effect.
The downsides to Day One? As I mentioned, there’s no Android app — it’s currently only available for iOS and OS X. Unfortunately, Windows and Linux users are out of luck, too, though the team does link to a few tools for generating entries. As for Android, I’ve seen a few apps offering import/export abilities, but I personally haven’t used them so I can’t report on how well they work. Additionally, you may be turned off by the prices: $4.99 for the iOS app and $9.99 for the desktop client, or $15 total. That’s something I questioned at first since there are cheaper journal solutions, but after using Day One for a while, I’m convinced the cost is more than justified.
Filed under: Software
Since its creation, the Amazon Appstore stood apart, banned from being offered in the official store for Android apps, Google Play, until now… sort of. When Amazon recently updated its main Android app, it got a new “Apps & Games” department that duplicates the content found in the standalone Appstore app — effectively making it both unnecessary and obsolete. Naturally, because Amazon’s still delivering apps outside the confines of Google Play, you need to change your device’s security settings to accept downloads from unknown sources to install them. The change is a welcome one — reducing app clutter’s a good thing — and the convenience factor afforded by this consolidation should have Amazon selling more apps. Still, we’re pretty sure that’s not enough to make up for the Fire phone’s hit to the company’s bottom line.
Super clever and confusing title huh? The short of it all is that those of you that happened to get your Inbox by Gmail invite from Google the other day should now have 3 invites in your Inbox to send off to friends who weren’t so fortunate. Simply open your Inbox app and tap the round compose button. It might take a second to appear, but you should see a golden ticket to kick some love to a a few friends. If you are on the web portal, inbox.google.com, just hover over the compose button.
I am not entirely sold on the app yet myself. I have been trying to use it, but keep running into mental road blocks. Mostly the fact that I don’t use my personal Gmail for anything. At all. Everything of importance goes through my Androidspin email. Unfortunately Google App emails aren’t supported. I certainly do love the look of it and can see a huge organizational benefit. Especially when you start to create your own Bundles to filter what is important for your life.
P.S. Sorry, I am all out.
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Time to break out that Google Wallet account one more time if you didn’t spend it all on the Grand Theft Auto sale. Rubicon Development is having a weekend sale that is sure to get you to fork over a buck or two. Their best known titles are Great Little War Game, Great Little War Game 2 and Great Big War Game, but they also have Fruit Blitz, Yachty Deluxe Premium and Zombies Dead in 20. The Great Little War Game titles are pretty good, I have yet to play any of the others myself.
The Great Big, and Little, War Game titles are all strategic strategy war style games. You build out your troops and move them around the map in turns. The whole series is quite entertaining if turn based strategy games are your cup of tea. Each title brings a single player story line, Skirmish mode and a multiplayer mode. Different versions of the game offer different things like a Pass N Play multiplayer mode. Check out some gameplay footage from Great Little War Game All Out War to get the general idea of the games.
- Great Little War Game
- Great Little War Game 2
- Great Big War Game
- Great Little War Game All Out War
- Zombies Dead in 20
- Yachty Deluxe Premium
- Fruit Blitz
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Nintendo was dropping Smash Brothers info-bombs left and right last night, but the company also felt compelled to dive a little deeper into how the Wii U version of the game will play with those curious little Amiibos. You know, the Nintendo character-themed figurines that both look adorable and store game information via NFC? Now, thanks to the marketing wizards in Redmond, we’ve got a four-minute chronicle of young love, combat and tiny figures that explains just about everything. Key takeaways? You’re not actually playing as your Amiibo character — instead, the little avatar springs to life as a support character, getting in people’s faces and generally having a grand ol’ time once you tap the figure to your Wii U’s gamepad.
Once they’re in the game, you can level up their stats, too (the cap sits at Level 50, or so the video would have us believe), either by wailing on your Amiibo directly or lugging it into battle against others. Since all of that stat and level data can be stored on the Amiibo itself, it should be a piece of cake to lug your partner to and fro (it doesn’t appear in the video, but you’ll presumably touch it to the Gamepad once more when done to lock all that data down). Perfect companion for those ridiculous eight-person Smashfests? Nintendo certainly thinks so, if only because deep integration into already-popular games means its little figures are more than just your run-of-the-mill Skylanders knock-offs. Just remember that Amiibo pickins’ will be a little slim at first: the first batch of twelve are all Smash characters and will hit in late November, followed by another wave of six just in time for the holidays.
Source: Nintendo (YouTube)
The game industry is capable of building incredible worlds, engrossing us with believable characters, and empowering us to destroy (or create!) both. The unfortunate side of all that enchantment is the shaky business models that much of the industry are built on, which leads to cyclical, annualized layoffs that affect even the most successful franchises. Just look at the recent history of Joystiq‘s layoffs tag: it’s ridiculous. Why is this the case? Kotaku‘s Jason Schreier did an excellent job reporting that last year, right here, so we’re not going to duplicate efforts. This piece is about what you can do, should you find yourself being put through the wringer this holiday.
Oh, and yes, the annualized layoffs tend to happen around the holidays (which coincides with many companies’ financial quarters ending). Sucks, right?
Seattle-based animator Floyd Bishop took to his website, GameDevTalk, and laid out a list of best practices should you encounter the ever-swinging scythe of layoffs. First and foremost? Make sure you actually listen when human resources is walking you through the proceedings.
“There will be lots of information, and you’re still reeling from the initial shock. Try to write things down, if you can. If you didn’t hear something, or have a question, ask it now. They may also have some hand outs ready for you that tell you what happens next. Be nice! This is not a fun day to work in human resources.”
Okay, okay — that’s pretty general “I got laid off” advice. Fair enough. If you’re of the game developer variety, though, Bishop’s got targeted advice too. For instance, get your work online immediately, and sign up for job newsletters from the biggies. “Sites like Gamasutra, Creative Heads, and even Indeed have both job listings and job alert email lists,” Bishop points out.
Despite video games going mainstream, the industry that creates those games remains surprisingly small. As such, Bishop recommends, “Do not instantly talk trash about the studio you were just let go from.” Is it tempting? Sure is! These are the bastards who just fired you, right? Yes, they are, and they may also be the people who hire you for a new project in five years.
Bishop of course has far more detail than we’ve put in here, so we suggest heading over and reading the full piece if you’re in the regrettable position of being laid off as a game dev this holiday.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]
Rockstar Games is celebrating Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 10 year anniversary right now and that means it is sale time. It is hard to believe that GTA: San Andreas is 10 years old already. I remember standing in line the night before release at a GameStop, pretty sure it was a Gamestop, to pick it up for my Playstation 2. Time certainly does fly, doesn’t it? In celebration for the title Rockstar games is having a sale on the entire trilogy that is available for Android and iOS. Yes, there are more GTA games, Rockstar is calling it the trilogy because these are the only three GTA titles available for mobile.
The first two in the list are normally priced at $4.99, so you are saving $2.00 per title. San Andreas on the other hand is usually $6.99, so you are saving $3.00. I am sure some of you have some Google Opinion Rewards credit saved up for a rainy day purchase. It is raining here, so feel free to use that as an excuse. All three titles are discounted on iOS as well as in the Amazon app store for Kindle devices. It might also be important to note that all three also work with game controllers. ie. the Moga line Hit the links below after the video refresher trailer for San Adreas.
Play Store –
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The BBC’s extensively redesigned iPlayer has been gradually lumbering its way onto different compatible devices since it was first launched earlier this year. YouView’s hybrid Freeview/IPTV set-top boxes have, until now, been sorely neglected, which is somewhat strange given the BBC is one of YouView’s principal investors. Well, better late than never, the new iPlayer has finally started rolling out to YouView set-top boxes, alongside the addition of the BBC’s Connected Red Button features. If you’re in possession of a YouView- or BT-issued box made by Humax (Huawei’s also built a few), then these goodies will show up shortly, if not today. TalkTalk customers, however, are still playing the waiting game, though they can expect to receive the updates “in due course.”
To refresh your memory, the new-look iPlayer has a simpler, more image-driven UI that puts content discovery first, with a revised category list, suggestive search feature and new, themed collections of related content. YouView boxes that receive the update will now be able to access anything from the longer, 30-day catch-up window the BBC introduced earlier this month, too. Through the Connected Red Button, couch potatoes can get at even more content, like weather forecasts, the latest news reports, and various sports media, including video highlights, live scores and match analyses. While major sporting events are running, the red button is also your window onto all the live streams that aren’t being broadcast on any of the BBC’s traditional channels.