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28
Dec

GTA Online starts pushing user-created missions, mobile updates arrive for San Andreas and Chinatown Wars


Ready for a slew of Grand Theft Auto updates? We sure hope so. First up, developer Rockstar Games has put its stamp of approval on ten of the GTA Online community’s million-plus custom-match submissions. Because these races and deathmatches — including a NASCAR-style circuit atop a skyscraper and a melee-weapon prison-yard fight — are now Rockstar Verified, they’re available on both PS3 and Xbox 360, regardless of which platform they originated from. If your magnum opus didn’t make the first cut, relax: The outfit says there’s more verified missions coming ahead of the multiplayer heists and single player DLC due next year.

If you fancy mobile mayhem however, GTA: San Andreas‘ Grove Street Families arrived on Android late last week. Check the reviews before clicking that buy button though, performance issues and glitches have been noted even on high-end flagships like the Galaxy S4. While San Andreas‘ appearance on Google’s mobile OS may have been tardy (and buggy), it’s still MIA on Windows Phone 8 despite the simultaneous release we were expecting. Last but not least, GTA: Chinatown Wars is back on iTunes, and now compatible with iOS 7 and your iPhone 4 or 4s’ Retina display — should you favor a Liberty City built specifically for mobile gameplay to SA’s ported faux-SoCal. We’ve reached out to Rockstar about the Android issues plus a timetable for our WP8 ride with Big Smoke, and will update this post if we hear back. Until then, happy car-jacking.

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Via: Joystiq

Source: iTunes, Google Play, Rockstar Newswire (1), (2)

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28
Dec

RAVPower Element 5600mAh Battery Pack review


The RAVPower 5600mAh Battery Pack is a great option for anyone on a budget.

Are you finding yourself constantly running out of juice on your phone? Have you ever thought of investing in an external battery pack? Personally, I didn’t think I needed one. After using this for some time, though, I’d definitely say that I’d be lost without one.

Battery

Let’s dive-in to the most important part of the pack – the battery. There are certainly other battery packs out there that are bigger, more pricey, and prettier, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one better than this for the price. The model we received is a 5600mAh, which is twice the size as the Nexus 5 battery (the phone we tested it with).

It turns out, I got exactly two charges out of the battery pack, which is what should be expected. When you plug in a device to the pack, tap the power button once to start charging. One nice feature is that if nothing is plugged in, it turns off within 20 seconds to conserve energy.

Hardware

This battery pack features a sleek design, complete with a glossy plastic chassis. The top of the pack has a mirror-like panel, with four lights that glow blue to indicate battery life. The mirror material is not at all scratch resistant. In fact, ours came completely scratched. This isn’t a make-or-break “feature” for us, but for the price, it’s hard to complain about the build quality. Other than a few scratches, our model has held up pretty well, so far.

Ravpower

The pack comes with a mini-USB cable, which is about 12 inches long. It does not come with a charging brick, however, so you’d need to plug it into your phone charger to give it power. An added bonus is the built-in flashlight, which can be turned on with two taps of the power button. From our testing, the light doesn’t take up too much battery. The light is pretty dull, so the average user probably won’t use it too much.

ravpower

To buy, or not to buy?

All in all, this is a great product. It has held up well, and aside from a few nicks and bruises, should hold up for quite some time. RAVPower offers the black model on Amazon for $25.99. If you’d like to look at larger variants, head over to the official RAVPower website.

The post RAVPower Element 5600mAh Battery Pack review appeared first on AndroidGuys.

28
Dec

Feedback Loop: frustrating applications, form factors vs. operating systems and more


Welcome to Feedback Loop, a weekly roundup of the most interesting discussions happening within the Engadget community. There’s so much technology to talk about and so little time to enjoy it, but you have a lot of great ideas and opinions that need to be shared! Join us every Saturday as we highlight some of the most interesting discussions that happened during the past week.

Engadget Forums

The Engadget community never sleeps. That’s why discussions this week revolved around our favorite mobile operating systems (since we’re constantly on our phones), the best mobile applications that don’t require a data connection, rage-inducing applications that we still use for some reason and a deep discussion into how operating systems ultimately affect how we use our devices. Click past the break and read what fellow Engadget users like you have to say.

Best mobile apps that don’t require WiFi?

Whether you’re constantly on the move or just saving some money, LukeARussell wants to know what are the best mobile apps that don’t require a data plan. Games and photography apps come to mind, but anything else? Share your answers with him.

Frustrating applications

Spinning beach balls, tumbling hourglasses, blue screens, beeps, chirps and lots of swearing. It seems that there’s always some application we force ourselves to put up with. I asked fellow Engadget readers to share the most frustrating application they still use. What is yours?

Favorite mobile operating systems

xVxMatthewxVx wants to take stock of the Engadget community’s favorite mobile operating systems. Are you partial to Android, iOS or Windows Phone? Maybe you’re blazing trails with Firefox OS. Whatever the flavor, be sure to chime in on the forums!

Just a Big iPod touch

JasonTsay shares his thoughts on how operating systems ultimately dictate how we use our devices, regardless of form factor — and that’s why the iPad is really just a big, old iPod touch. Sick burn! But more seriously, do you think mobile operating systems will ever be as capable as their desktop brethren? Make your prediction in the forums.

That’s all this week! Do you want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!

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28
Dec

Tegra Note platform receives OTA to Android 4.3, enhancements and bug fixes


If you own a Tegra Note 7 device, you should be seeing an update soon – if you haven’t already.

NVIDIA announced earlier this week that it was releasing an OTA update that brings new features and capabilities to all devices on the Note platform, including devices from EVGA, ADVENT, Gigabyte, Shenzhen Homecare Technology, ZOTAC and XOLO.

The OTA updates the device to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (sorry no KitKat yet), brings an enhanced the Tegra NOTE stylus experience with support for left-handed users and improvements in overall response, a DirectStylus help option under the device setting’s menu, a stylus removal and insert notification on the notification bar and the ability to capture the notification bar with full-screen capture.

Other features in the update include an always-on high-dynamic range (AOHDR) capability for the camera, which “utilizes Tegra 4’s processing power and Chimera computational photography architecture,” video stabilization, tuning and optimizations to improve camera performance under certain lighting conditions,  the ability to transfer app and data files from internal memory to an external microSD card, and some security and bug fixes.

via NVIDIA

The post Tegra Note platform receives OTA to Android 4.3, enhancements and bug fixes appeared first on AndroidGuys.

28
Dec

Win an NVIDIA SHIELD prize bundle [12 Days of Giveaways]


We’re in the home stretch of our 12 Days of Giveaways promotion and things are not slowing down. Over the remainder of the year we’ll be giving out some more awesome stuff, including an NVIDIA Shield, Nexus 5, and Moto G!

Prize #1 NVIDIA Shield Prize Bundle

Click to view slideshow.

Today’s prize is an NVIDIA SHIELD gaming and entertainment console. As one of our favorite devices of 2013, it’s the perfect way to game on Android and it makes for one heck of a portable movie experience, too. It’s as powerful as anything you’ll find this year and only gets better with each software update.

In addition to the Shield, you’ll also earn a $50 Google Play credit and carrying case from NVIDIA. Worth upwards of $400, this prize pack is certainly one to enter.

Learn more about NVIDIA or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Prize #2 Bundled Goodies

Micro_USB_Transperent_1_grande_grande AF_Sock_FullGreen_800__50256.1385501216.500.375

We’re also giving away a ChargeCard MicroUSB which comes from the fine folks over at Nomad. This credit card-sized device fits inside of your wallet or purse and can be used as a MicroUS charger for your on-the-go time. Don’t worry about carrying around a full cable when you can break this thing out!  Learn more about Nomad or follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Also, we’re tossing in a pair of Android socks from our friends at Andrew Bell/Dead Zebra/Android Foundry. Wear these bad boys with pride and show off your love of Android.

Learn more about Andrew Bell or follow him on Twitter!

Daily Prizes

Oh… don’t forget we’re also giving out Google Play credits over the remainder of the month. On some days we’ll randomly pick someone to win $10, others will be $25 and higher!

How to Enter

We’re going to keep this short and simple. To enter today’s contest all you need to do is leave a comment below! We’ll let this run for 24 hours and then randomly select the winner(s).

Win Google Play Credits!

To enter to win one of the Google Play credits all you need to do is share the following on your social media platform of choice: “I want to win Google Play Credits, AndroidGuys! http://goo.gl/dGQhG6 #12DaysAndroid

Yes, you can share over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. Yes, you can enter as often as you like.

Finer details

This post will be updated with the name(s) and we’ll reach out via the comments as well. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the 12 Days of Giveaways page where we’ll keep a running tally of prizes and winners.

Note that we’ll give each winner a 24 hour window to respond. Should the winner not reply in time, we’ll re-draw and announce a new name. Be sure to check back!

Here’s the rub: We’re limiting this contest to U.S. residents only. Yes, we know it sucks – we hate doing it. Also, you can only win one prize per household. If you happen to win a Google Play Credit as well, then so be it!

 

The post Win an NVIDIA SHIELD prize bundle [12 Days of Giveaways] appeared first on AndroidGuys.

28
Dec

Nike updates Training Club app to help you keep those New Year’s resolutions


You know what always comes after pigging out during the holidays: a New Year’s resolution to get fit, this time (you swear!) for sure. Well, Nike’s hoping to kickstart your quest to fitness by updating its Nike Training Club (N+TC) apps for Android and iOS. New features include the ability to customize exercise routines, as well as earn reward content and sharable milestones whenever you reach a goal. Nike has also added six new exercise videos (of athletes and celeb trainers) to its archive of more than a hundred. Other than that, the app’s now more tightly integrated with other Nike products: it’s now possible to add minutes from each run on the separate Running app to your N+TC total, and you can tag N+TC sessions on the FuelBand app. The update will hit both platforms’ app stores on December 31st — just in time to make you feel less guilty about that third slice of cheesecake on New Year’s Eve.

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Source: Nike, Google Play, iTunes

28
Dec

BlackBerry urges BB10 users to roll-back its glitchy Twitter app


After loads of BB10 user complaints, BlackBerry is pulling the latest Twitter update from its app market. Should you still need your 140-character fix however, the beleaguered smartphone maker has a solution: roll back to the application’s previous version — 10.2.1 — via the simple step-by-step instructions posted on its blog. First, delete Twitter from your device. Then, open BlackBerry World, refresh it and search for the micro-blogging service by name. Voila, a (hopefully) stable app should appear. If anything, this proves that the QWERTY king listens to more than just those in its boardroom. So, the next time that you notice an app go wonky, speak up — it likely won’t be in vain.

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Via: Mobile Syrup

Source: Inside BlackBerry

28
Dec

HTC One 2 Spotted…Kinda! Galaxy S5 Screens Seeing Mass Production! – The ManDroid Show


htcone2-oppofind7display

Happy Friday my Android friends. Time for some of that ManDroid madness. The HTC One 2, or HTC M8, has “sort of” been spotted in the wild. Oppo also sent out another tweet talking about the FInd 7′s screen, and how beautiful it will be. Next year should see some pretty displays. Enjoy the show!

News topics
HTC One 2 3D model
Oppo Find 7 display
Galaxy S5 displays being mass produced
Samsung evolution of display
Noia Normandy images

28
Dec

Microsoft connects Windows 8 for PCs, phones with new Solitaire, Minesweeper and Mahjong


As a late holiday gift, Microsoft is finally syncing up some of the popular software from its desktop and tablet Windows OS with the latest version of Windows for phones. We are, of course, referring to classic Windows games like Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Minesweeper (which also has a WP7 version) and Mahjong, which as of today are available on Windows Phone 8. Better still, they’re enhanced for Xbox leaderboards, achievements and stat-tracking, with the ability to pause and resume games across Windows PCs, phones and tablets. They’re all free, so hit the links to download them and waste time on the go just like you do at work.

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Source: Windows Phone Blog

28
Dec

Highlights from Apple’s Preliminary Proxy Statement, 2014 Shareholders Meeting Proposals


carl_icahn_potrait Apple has released its preliminary proxy statement in a filing to the SEC. The filing is an announcement of the 2014 annual stockholders meeting, as well as proposals that will be voted on at the meeting and details of executive compensation arrangements.

Among other things, the filing details a forthcoming vote on investor Carl Icahn’s proposed $50 billion share repurchase program that was filed for earlier this month. If approved, the proposal would still be on a non-binding “advisory” basis, and would specifically call for the company to commit to fulfilling no less than $50 billion of share repurchases during Apple’s fiscal year ending on September 27, 2014.

However, Apple’s Board of Directors has recommended a vote against Icahn’s buyback program, stating that it is still “considering options“ for how to return cash to shareholders:

The Board and management team are thoughtfully considering options for returning additional cash to shareholders and are currently seeking input from shareholders as part of the Company’s regular review.

With breakthrough products and services such as the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and App Store, the Company has created huge market opportunities, and the Board and management team believe the opportunities that lie ahead are just as exciting. Given such large and global markets, the Company competes with large companies around the world, many with their own significant technical capabilities and significant capital. This dynamic competitive landscape and the Company’s rapid pace of innovation require unprecedented investment, flexibility and access to resources.

…The Company is updating perspectives on its capital return program for 2014 and beyond. The Company is collecting input from a very broad base of shareholders, believing that the input of all shareholders is important and should be considered holistically. The evaluation of the capital return program continues to be thoughtful, deliberate, and consistent with a conservative financial policy that supports risk-taking and innovation. Consistent with its pattern for the last two years, the Company is on track to complete its regular review and thorough analysis and to announce any changes to the current program by March or April of 2014.

Since first disclosing his position in Apple back in August, Icahn has been vocal about asking the company to increase its buyback as he has dramatically increased his stake in the company. Apple, for its part, announced a significant increase in its capital return program back in April of 2013, and management pledged to reexamine its share repurchase and dividend programs in the first half of 2014.

Also detailed is a proposal on establishing a separate entitled committee that would oversee human rights issues raised by the company’s activities, such as the recent accusations of labor violations at primary suppliers like Pegatron and Biel Crystal and the welfare of its own employees.

However, Apple also recommended a vote against the proposal, stating that its Supplier Responsibility team and report already audits suppliers to an effective extent and that establishing a committee would be “redundant“ and add little value to its existing commitment to human rights and social responsibility.

The preliminary proxy statement also noted the earnings of CEO Tim Cook’s total compensation for 2013. While Cook saw an increase in his salary this year to $1,400,006 from $1,357,718 last year, the CEO gave up about 7,100 shares tied to his bonus stock award that was changed in June to be more performance based. At the stock’s current price of $560.09, this would mean that Cook lost out on $3,976,639 in bonus earnings.

Overall, the shareholders meeting will hold votes on eleven proposals related to director reelection, compensation, and more.

The 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders will occur at Apple’s 1 Infinite Loop headquarters on February 28, 2013 at 9AM.

    



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