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15
Sep

Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium only renders media in 4k to preserve battery life


Android smartphones_Sony_Xperia_Z5_Premium_smartphone_091515Sony’s new Xperia Z5 Premium stole the show at IFA 2015. It’s the first smartphone in the world to feature a whopping 4k display with nearly 8 Million pixels. However, there are some things that should be noted.

According to PhoneArena, in order to lengthen battery life, the Sony Xperia Z5 will only render media in 4k resolution. Otherwise, when scrolling through your homescreen, apps and web pages you’ll be looking at 1080p. This is because Sony’s UI is yet to be upscaled to 4k quality. Until manufacturers figure out how to sustain battery life with the addition of pixels, many might follow Sony’s lead by only rendering media in 4k.

Sony stated users can still set 4k wallpapers in their full native resolution if you so choose. Everyone is still in debate whether the human eye can see the difference in quality. Sony’s stance on this might be appreciated by many but spec heads will see it as a downfall.

Sony made the following statement depicting the 4k rendering:

Xperia Z5 Premium features a 4K display with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels based on SID Standard and enables all video and image content to be enjoyed in 4K resolution. All other content is displayed at 1080P or lower resolution in order to optimise the performance and battery stamina for this device, ensuring you can enjoy the 4K resolution when you need it most.

On the spec sheet, the display remains a 2160 x 3840 pixel screen and battery life is clocked at two days. It looks like those wanting a full-fledged 4k smartphone will have to wait a little bit longer. We can’t wait to get our hands on the new Xperia line and test them out for ourselves.

So, what side are you on? Extra battery life, or full 4k screen?

Via: PhoneArena

Come comment on this article: Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium only renders media in 4k to preserve battery life

15
Sep

Griffin Unveils ‘Survivor Play’ Case for Apple TV Siri Remote


Griffin today debuted its first accessory for the Apple TV, introducing a new case designed for the Siri Remote. The Survivor Play for Siri Remote aims to add protection to keep it safe from scratches and dings when dropped and it adds a non-slip grip to make it easier to hold when playing motion-based games that require a lot of movement.

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The Survivor Play, which is made of a soft, textured silicone, fits around the back of the Siri Remote and is similar to the wide variety Wii Remote skins that make the Nintendo controller easier to hold during gameplay. According to Griffin, the Survivor Play was designed primarily with gameplay in mind, adding extra thick grips to make it more comfortable to hold.

Now that Apple TV has added gaming, your Siri Remote will be working harder than ever. Survivor Play was designed with gaming in mind. Its easy-to grip shape surrounds the remote’s back and edges with impact-absorbing silicone. So just in case things get rowdy while you’re playing Beat Sports, your Siri Remote stays safe.

The case also adds cushioning and protection for the edges and the corners of the Siri Remote, the places most likely to be damaged should the remote be dropped or flung across the room during a heated gameplay session. Because it wraps around the back, the Survivor Play leaves the Siri Remote buttons, touchscreen, microphones, and Lightning port easily accessible.

When it launches later this fall, the Griffin Survivor Play for the Siri Remote will be priced at $19.99.


15
Sep

Cable cutters rejoice! Get your favorite CBS Programming for only $5.99 a month


If you’re a junkie for great TV shows, and more importantly CBS shows, then those Android TV owners and other cable cutters are in for some great news. Earlier today, CBS announced CBS All Access which is a subscription service that offers everyone another way to cut the cords, without losing everything.

For $5.99 a month, subscribers to CBS All Access will get access to full seasons of TV shows in their lineup. In addition to being able to watch all of your favorite NCIS episodes, you will also be able to watch your local CBS channel through your Android TV. This could come in handy for those areas, like Baltimore, that broadcasts your local NFL team, and every other option is blacked out.

The CBS All Access app brings all of the benefits currently available to CBS
All Access subscribers to Android TV, including:

  • Full current seasons of 19 primetime shows with episodes available the
    day after they air, including NCIS, SCORPION, THE GOOD WIFE, NCIS: NEW
    ORLEANS and more.
  • The ability to live stream the local CBS station in more than 85 markets
    across the U.S., with more to be added as affiliates join the CBS All
    Access service.
  • Full past seasons of 10 major current series including THE GOOD WIFE,
    NCIS and HAWAII FIVE-0.
  • More than 6,000 episodes of CBS Classics in an advertising-free
    environment including all episodes of hits like STAR TREK, CHEERS, FRASIER,
    and CSI: MIAMI.
  • Access to exclusive additional content for CBS Television’s biggest
    special events like THE GRAMMY® AWARDS, THE ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS and THE VICTORIA’S SECRET FASHION SHOW.

In addition to being able to use the CBS All Access subscription with your Android TV, those users who are without one, can jump in on the fun too. CBS All Access also has support for Chromecasts and Roku devices. So there is more than just one way to view your favorite CBS shows.

Currently, you can head over to the CBS All Access page and get signed up for a free 1-week trial today. So head on over to the CBS All Access page, get signed up, then jump on your Android TV and download the app.

Source: CBS All Access

The post Cable cutters rejoice! Get your favorite CBS Programming for only $5.99 a month appeared first on AndroidGuys.

15
Sep

Is Acer’s Predator 8 tablet a Shield-killer or just a nice try?


Does another promising device bite the dust?

At IFA 2015, it was quite obvious that Acer is aggressively pushing its Predator line of elite devices.  There was a whole flashy area dedicated to it, surrounded with the brand’s industrial, red-accented theme.  To recap, we were shown powerhouse gaming laptops, large curved monitors packed with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, a smartphone with a 10-core CPU monstrosity, and a sweet-looking 8-inch gaming tablet – the Predator 8.

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Acer’s new elite tablet brings some fresh features to the gaming tablet segment, a segment that previously existed by one other – the Nvidia Shield tablet.  So does the Predator 8 stand a chance?  Let’s check it out.

In picking up the device for the first time, you can tell one of Acer’s objectives for the Predator tablet was to wow the user with the design.  This thing is flashy and totally not for someone who doesn’t want to draw attention.  Everyone will know this tablet is special, a completely different take from the subtlety of the Nvidia SHIELD.  I love it.

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Unfortunately, the feel did not back up the awesome appearance.  There’s no other way to break it down, it feels cheap.  The chassis is mostly plastic.  OEM’s sometimes make plastic work, but Acer just didn’t with the Predator 8.  My word to Acer:  You can’t skimp on build with a premium device.

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Okay, so it’s apparent Acer cut some corners to make the Predator 8 a reality, but how far does that fact extend?  Let’s go over the performance, but first, a breakdown of the specs:

Display:  8” FHD (1920×1200) IPS LCD

SoC:  Intel Atom X7 processor with Intel HD Graphics

Memory:  2GB of RAM

Storage:  64GB internal with microSD expansion (up to 128GB)

Cameras:  5.0MP rear and 2.0MP front cameras

OS:  Android 5.1 Lollipop

 

In addition, one of the staples of the Predator 8 are four front-facing speakers.  You read that correctly, four.  Like many OEM’s are doing these days, the external audio is supported by some Dolby Audio software trickery.

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So with all that said, how does it sound?  It’s good, just not superb.  It can get loud, but the quality leaves to be desired.  It is treble-heavy, almost shrilly sometimes.  It reminds me a lot of the Nexus 6 speakers, where Motorola obviously made loudness a priority over quality.  On the Nexus 6, bass was almost non-existent.  I would have to do a review of the Predator 8 before I can conclude the same, as Acer’s booth wasn’t the quietest environment.

Next up is the display.  Unfortunately, it left to be desired as well.  This is often my experience with Acer displays, but I was hoping a premium product of theirs would be of better quality.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible.  Looking at the screen straight-on it’s fine, and colors have particularly nice vibrancy.  However, tilt the device and the image slightly (but noticeably) washes out.  We should be past the days of washing-out displays.  Maybe I’m just spoiled by Samsung’s fantastic S-AMOLED panels.

And last but not least is the gaming performance.  Bear in mind that this is not a full review, and I give the Acer the benefit of the doubt of maybe not having finished software.  Asphalt 8 was loaded up on the device, which serves as a good gaming benchmark.

For some reason the gameplay stuttered, too much for my taste.  It was playable, and bits where it didn’t stutter were smooth, but every time action ramped up (i.e. crashing into a wall, because I suck at racing games), the performance struggled.  On a normal tablet I could look past this occurrence, but not on a “gaming” tablet.

So can I recommend the Predator 8?  It depends.  Acer does bring some neat things to the tablet, that weren’t there before, such as quad, front-facing speakers and gaming-tuned haptic, vibrational feedback.  Only, quality isn’t where it should be for a stand-out, elite device.  It’s almost like a normal tablet in disguise.

If you can look past the cut-corners and really want a sweet-looking, gaming tablet, there’s no other that pulls it off like the Predator 8.  If you want a better overall package, look to the Shield.

Both tablets have near-stock software, 8-inch 1920×1200 displays, front-facing speakers, and run $299 retail.  However, Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chipset should have significantly more gaming power than Intel’s HD graphics.

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The post Is Acer’s Predator 8 tablet a Shield-killer or just a nice try? appeared first on AndroidGuys.

15
Sep

Latest ‘Game of War: Fire Age’ commercial features Mariah Carey


We see this a lot with Facebook and mobile games: tons of lofty advertising on the web or even the TV, but little substance when it comes to the actual game. Game of War: Fire Age does better in offering a good experience than most, with over 600,000 5 star ratings, but with around 160k 1-stars, it obviously is far from perfect. Where it really shines is in advertising.

Game of War: Fire Age has previously featured a Super Bowl ad, a series of ads with Kate Upton, and now they are bringing Mariah Carey into the fray. It remains unseen whether or not this was a one-off ad or Carey plans to replace Upton in future ads. You can imagine the budget that went into producing this one, though.

Not only did Carey get a “seven-figure” payday (no exact amount has been specified), the advertisement was directed by Alan Taylor, the director behind Thor: The Dark World and Terminator Genisys. Does the ad actually tell us anything about the game? Not really, but the point is merely to pique curiosity, either through its action sequences or simply by leveraging celebrity appeal. For those who aren’t aware, the game is a strategy RPG that lets you build your own empire in a free-to-play multiplayer world.

Has anyone here been swayed by this ad, or former ads, to give the game a try? If so, did you actually enjoy the game, once they got you in the door?

Get it on Google Play!

15
Sep

Spotify lists for runners arrive to Android, months after iOS update


Back in May Spotify introduced a new feature to its app geared towards runners. Unfortunately, this feature only made its way to iPhone users initially, but a new update is bringing the same functionality over to Android.

Dubbed “Spotify Running”, this special mode will recommend multi-genre playlists based on your previous listening habits, as well as ready-made running lists that are based on moods like “Burn” or “Epic”. You can also have the lists catered around the tempo of your workout, too. Spotify’s tech should ensure that only genres and music types you enjoy will be played. So if you only listen to rock, odds are Britney Spears shouldn’t show up in any of the auto-generated playlists. Of course, the pre-made lists might be another story.

It seems a little strange that it took Spotify so long to bring this feature over to Camp Android, but better late than never. At the time of this writing, the update isn’t live just yet, but Spotify ensures it will be showing up sometime today.

Check for it now on Google Play!

15
Sep

Apple TV Games Must Work With Apple TV Remote, May Not Require External Controller


When creating games and apps for the new Apple TV, developers are required to build in support for the touch-based remote, making all content accessible to all users without the need for additional accessories like an MFi controller.

As noted by developer Dustin Westphal and shared by our sister site Touch Arcade, Apple’s App Programming Guide for the tvOS says the following: “Your game must support the Apple TV remote. Your game may not require the use of a controller.”

The new Apple TV works with third-party Bluetooth controllers, but because they are an optional accessory, they are not allowed to be the primary input method for a game. This requirement will force developers who want to build games around controller use to also include a touch or motion-based control scheme for use with the Apple TV remote.

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As Touch Arcade points out, the requirement is bound to be a hassle for developers, especially those with games that have complicated control schemes.

There will be games that will have control schemes that are too complicated for the remote, for sure. What if Apple rejects apps that feature terrible controls for the remote, designed only to achieve the bare minimum functionality? Or developers with complicated controls decide to skip making their app compatible with the Apple TV because it won’t be worth it? Ideally, we don’t want to get to a point where games aren’t coming to the Apple TV, or being actively rejected, because they won’t fit the remote.

Apple appears to have originally planned to allow developers to require a game controller to play Apple TV games, but the company later nixed that policy and is now requiring all games to support the Apple TV remote in addition to a controller.

Apple’s choice to require support for the Apple TV is not surprising, as it also has the same requirements for iOS devices. Developers can build controller support into their iPhone and iPad apps, but apps must also include touch-based control schemes for users who do not have a controller.


15
Sep

Run The Joint with your old ball and chain (app review)


Every once in a while there are apps that surprise me. Run The Joint is one of those apps. When I first looked at the app I wasn’t really very excited to review it. After all it’s a side-scrolling running game and that’s been done several times over by several different developers. However, Run The Joint has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Run The Joint overview


The premise is simple. You are one of many convicts trying to escape prison. Your character is actually a disembodied head that moves by bouncing and jumping. Of course, because your character is an inmate, he is shackled to a ball and chain. It turns out that this ball and chain is also a playable character. While impossibly happy, he can jump independently of your character. Not only do you need to escape, but you must take your smiling ball and chain with you.

While you are trying to escape, the guards and their dogs will try to capture you. The guards will remain stationary and can be easily evaded. The dogs, however, will chase you down. Meanwhile, there are missiles shooting at you. The world can also rotate to add an additional level of difficulty.

There are 10 different levels to escape before you are finally free.

  • Drop-off point
  • Old town
  • The street
  • Pig farm
  • Bridge
  • Oil fields
  • Manor house
  • Car dealership
  • Motel Gorman
  • Docklands

There are 7 different characters that you can unlock to aid you in your escape

Run The Joint

  • Highway Bob
  • Voodoo Kid
  • Penguin Boy
  • Funny Man
  • Mutant Beast
  • Goldie
  • Big Tash

Run The Joint setup

It’s super easy. All that is required is to download it from Google Play.

Run The Joint gameplay

I was pleasantly surprised at how fun this game actually turned out to be. I liked that there were defined levels and that it wasn’t just another endless runner. The ads were also minimal and nonintrusive. The double runner element with the ball and chain added a unique element to the game.

What we liked

  • Double runner element
  • Unlockable characters
  • Defined levels

What could be better

  • More unlockable characters
  • More levels

Run The Joint summary

Overall it’s a fun game and an entertaining way to kill a few minutes here and there. Indie developer Naked Penguin Boy did a great job of making the game feel polished.

The post Run The Joint with your old ball and chain (app review) appeared first on AndroidGuys.

15
Sep

Ultimate Ears announces the UE Boom 2 360-degree waterproof speaker


Ultimate Ears, a leader in consumer audio, is releasing the second generation UE BOOM bluetooth speaker. Building upon the success for the UE Boom, the UE BOOM 2 will feature a similar 360-degree design, completely-waterproof design, as well as 100-feet of wireless range. The range is absolutely incredible at 100-feet, as similar priced bluetooth speakers such as the Bose Soundlink II and the newest generation Beats Pill only offer 30-feet of wireless distance. The UE BOOM 2 was clearly designed to be used anywhere.

With a 15-hour battery life, rugged design, and IPX 7 rating(to withstand drops up to five feet), the UE BOOM 2 is designed to go anywhere no matter what you’re doing. Take it to the beach, on a mountain bike ride, or listen to it in the peace of your own home – the UE BOOM 2 was designed for everywhere. In addition, the speaker can be paired with any other Ultimate Ears bluetooth speaker through the UE BOOm 2 app giving you double the sound.

The UE BOOM 2 is due out this month in the US and select countries in Europe and Asia for $199.00.

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Press Release

UE Introduces New Anywhere-You-Go-Proof Mobile Speaker

NEWARK, Calif. — Sept. 15, 2015 Today Ultimate Ears once again dares you to take the party anywhere by adding UE BOOM 2 to its colorful lineup of beach-, snow- and anywhere-you-go-proof wireless mobile speakers. Starting first with UE BOOM and now turning things up again with UE BOOM 2, Ultimate Ears is continuing to transform the way people experience music, together, out in the world by completely redefining the Bluetooth® speaker category.

Designed to get wet, muddy and beat up, UE BOOM 2 blasts insanely great sound in every direction. Using the same high-quality materials you have come to expect from Ultimate Ears, UE BOOM 2 is waterproof (IPX 7), drop-proof (from up to five feet high), disruptive and bold, plus a whole lot of fun. It’s the size of a water bottle, so stick it in your bike’s water bottle holder or clip it to your bag, turn up life and add dimension to any moment.

Building from the award-winning UE BOOM 360-degree speaker that Ultimate Ears introduced in 2013, UE BOOM 2 is 25 percent louder with a longer wireless range of 100-feet and a completely waterproof design, so your music can be shared no matter where you are or what you’re doing. It has a 15-hour all-day, all-night battery life, plus, new and innovative tap controls that allows you to skip songs, without needing to have your phone in-hand.

“Music is about making good moments great moments,” said Rory Dooley, general manager of Ultimate Ears. “And by taking your music with you, those great moments are now shareable, anywhere. That’s why every speaker Ultimate Ears designs is durable and adventure-proof with 360-degree sound, including UE BOOM 2. We’ve been leading the category in a new direction, and we’re breaking the mold yet again with UE BOOM 2.”

Plus, UE BOOM 2 gets better with time. Using the UE BOOM 2 app for iOS® and Android™, you can double the sound by pairing UE BOOM 2 with any other Ultimate Ears speaker, remotely turn the speaker on from your phone and even wake up to your favorite music. New updates are sent to UE speakers wirelessly through the app, so you can easily continue to expand features, making each speaker future-proof and even more awesome over time.

UE BOOM 2 comes in six new vibrant color variations: Cherrybomb, Yeti, Phantom, GreenMachine, Tropical and BrainFreeze.

Pricing and Availability

UE BOOM 2 is expected to be available in the U.S. and in select countries in Europe and Asia in September 2015, for a suggested retail price of $199.99. For more information, please visit _www.ultimateears.com.

 

The post Ultimate Ears announces the UE Boom 2 360-degree waterproof speaker appeared first on AndroidGuys.

15
Sep

WRIO keyboard app hopes to revolutionize typing from a smartphone


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From Swiftkey to Swype, Fleksy to Minuum, there are hundreds of keyboards both on Android and recently iOS that look to make typing on a small screen an easier and snappier experience. Each have their benefits, and each have their takeaways. WRIO Keyboard is a new entry into this world of symbols and keys, and they’re looking for support on Kickstarter to get the app to you.

 

WRIO keyboard wants to make typing on a phone easier and faster by combining the use of large keys with gestures. The video above demonstrates how it works, but here’s an image of what the keyboard looks like compared to a typical keyboard:

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It is certainly a unique keyboard! But it seems like a keyboard that will become quick once your thumbs are used to the unique layout. What’s great is they want to build this based off of user feedback, which is a good thing to hear. However, they hope the honeycomb-style of the keys and the layout will help make typing on a smartphone easier. The layout is based off the idea that those dark spaces is the natural place your thumbs go when at rest, so that no key is far from either thumb. What’s neat is that WRIO will learn your typing habits, and they say that the keyboard will adjust its virtual layer based on your usage. It also gets rid of some of the format keys by replacing them with gestures:

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I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the secret feature is. In the meantime, check out the Kickstarter page to see what perks you’ll receive for supporting them, and the timeline they have outlined, which claims launch for Android in early 2016.

The post WRIO keyboard app hopes to revolutionize typing from a smartphone appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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