We’ve all had one of those days. You’re just minding your own business in a jungle-slash-desert with your snowboard, when a sudden apocalypse forces you to flee an oncoming tidal wave of molten lava while meeting the whimsical demands of a colossal, stunt-hungry grizzly bear. Well, now you can enjoy all the thrill and excitement of such an adventure without damaging your snowboard or risking third-degree burns all over your body!
RAD Boarding has finally arrived in the Google Play Store. It’s a fast-paced, side-scrolling game in the style of Tiny Wings and Time Surfer. Developed by Other Ocean and released by Noodlecake Studios, RAD Boarding kicks the genre up a notch by bringing vibrant graphics and stunt mechanics to the table.
The point of the game is to vault off the endlessly-scrolling hills to gain air for stunts. You have to be sure to land at a clean angle, because nosediving your board into the broadside of a mountain is a good way to wreck your run. Along the way, you’ll find collectibles such as coins and frogs, which you can use outside of the action to purchase upgrades. If you get into a flow, you’ll fill up your RAD meter and enter “RAD Mode,” a heightened state of play where you get a terrific speed boost, a bump to experience gain, and the ability to suck collectibles toward you with the assistance of a coin magnet.
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Gameplay is pretty straight forward. You long-tap the screen to rotate your character in mid-air and use swiping gestures to perform stunts. In every map, Tiny the angry bear will appear and demand a quick succession of stunts, and if you want to survive, you’ll have to appease him. Eventually, you can unlock more advanced stunts that require multiple fingers.
There are only four different environments in the game, but at the low, low price of “Free,” RAD Boarding feels like a handful of fast-paced fun. There are, of course, optional IAPs. Developers gotta eat, after all. What are your thoughts? Does RAD Boarding look like something you’ll pick up? Grab a copy in the Google Play Store and let us know what you think in the comments!
We previously told you about a new update coming to the Play Store that brings many new visual changes. However, it also brings at least one new practical change too. That is the ability to copy changelogs and descriptions.
This probably won’t matter to many of you, but for some of us, it’s a huge change. Before, for unknown reasons, you could not copy any descriptions or changelogs from the mobile app. In the new version (5.10.29) you now can.
The new Play Store design may not be out yet, but you can download the apk if you would like to try it yourself.
Via: Android Police
Come comment on this article: Mobile Google Play now allows you to copy app changelogs and descriptions
Another year and another Sony Xperia handset, which to be completely honest, looks just like past Xperia devices. Yet, with plenty of struggles in its mobile division, Sony is looking to the Xperia Z5 – along with the Xperia Z5 Compact and the world’s first 4K smartphone, the Xperia Z5 Premium – to improve its fortunes.
With the Compact and Premium featuring almost identical specs (with regards to the processor, internals and the camera) to the Xperia Z5, do Sony’s latest handsets deliver? Will the Snapdragon 810 and its perceived overheating problems rear up again or have Qualcomm finally sorted out an issue that’s plagued most Snapdragon 810 devices? Let’s take a closer look.
Since the launch of the Xperia Z1 just over two years ago, Sony’s smartphones have followed a particular design and the Xperia Z5 is no different, bringing with it the same rectangular design that has become synonymous with the Xperia range.
If you’ve used a previous Xperia smartphone, you’ll definitely find the Xperia Z5 comfortable to use but for me personally, the design is beginning to feel a little dated. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the handset design but in an era where companies are innovating with the design of their smartphones, the Xperia Z5 does feel like it belongs to an era past.
One of the biggest issues with the Xperia Z5 is the location of the keys on the right, as they feel a little cramped in actual use. As I covered in our live unboxing of the Xperia Z5, the switch to a fingerprint sensor in the power button (more on that below) and the position of this means the volume keys are quite low on the handset.
Almost all manufacturers position the volume key so that it’s towards the top of the handset and this makes it comfortable to use. With the Xperia Z5 power button being in the middle of the handset, Sony made the ultimately-strange decision to move the volume keys beneath it and as such, it’s very very uncomfortable when you attempt to use them. As someone with large hands, using the volume keys when the phone is in my hand is near impossible unless I grip the handset at the very bottom (which increases the risk of it slipping and becoming damaged).
Moving to the other side and Sony has (again) opted to combine its SIM and microSD card trays into one tray located under a flap, which feels like it’s destined to break. Taking the tray out is difficult unless you have a nail with which to grip it and it feels as flimsy as it did on the Xperia Z3Xperia Z3+. Putting the tray back into the handset also proves to be a challenge as, on more than one occasion, the SIM card fell out while trying to insert the card tray.
Aside from these gripes, the Xperia Z5 is quite comfortable to hold in the hand and the keys themselves provide ample tactile feedback. The display is an IPS panel, which while not being the best on the market, is better than previous displays used in Sony handsets. On the front, there is a front speaker which is much louder on previous devices, which is again a welcome improvement.
The front and the back of the Xperia Z5 are protected by Gorilla Glass, with the back a frosted glass panel that looks quite intriguing while the plastic adorning the sides is plain and somewhat boring. Sony’s design definitely works but does feel like it’s lost the same appeal that made it stand out in the first Xperia Z smartphone.
Under the hood, the Xperia Z5 is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor coupled with an Adreno 430 GPU, 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. Compared to other flagship Android smartphones, the specifications are certainly up there with the best (although some handsets do offer 4GB RAM) but does the performance live up to this?
In actual day-to-day usage, the Xperia Z5 is definitely snappy and even installing a lot of data (or recording an hour’s worth of 4K video) doesn’t have an effect on the handset’s performance. When switching between applications, there doesn’t seem to be a delay and for the most part, the processor and RAM combination certainly seems to work.
There is one area that the Xperia Z5 is a let down; the fingerprint sensor. The first Xperia to come with a sensor built in, the Z5’s power button houses the sensor and the position of this, where your thumb would naturally sit. is meant to make it quick and easy to use. The problem; you need to be quite precise with your thumb placement.
When you’re precise, it works pretty quick and is on par with most flagships (albeit not as fast as the fingerprint sensor on the Huawei Mate S). However, more often than not, you’ll find you have to lift your thumb and place it again and it can be quite frustrating when it doesn’t unlock.
Quite likely due to accidental presses of the fingerprint sensor, I’ve often found that the Xperia Z5 also awakes itself when it’s in a pocket, resulting in several vibrations and the inevitable message to try entering your pin again. This is definitely not ideal and the handset also seems to wake itself in the pocket even without fingerprint security enabled. The power button is clearly rather sensitive and while this has its positives, it certainly also has negatives.
Does it overheat?
Now to the question that many people have about any Snapdragon 810 powered smartphone; does it overheat. This is a rather subjective topic but based on some informal testing, it’s safe to say that it does overheat.
During every day tasks, the handset temperature doesn’t rise by much and certainly doesn’t feel like its overheating but power up the 4K video recording and the temperature starts to increase. Just like the Xperia Z3+, when you power up the camera, you’re greeted with the following warning:
And sure enough, it does overheat. After 14 minutes and 30 seconds of recording a 4K video, the handset overheated to the point that it shut the camera down. Personally, I found that when the handset did overheat due to the camera, it became quite hot and in a cold climate like London during the fall season, it’s definitely warm enough to add to your own body heat. For those wondering, a 15 minute 4k video takes up 5.8GB which means the 32GB internal storage should be good enough for around 1 hour’s worth of 4k video.
To test the overheating a step further, our very own Gary did some testing of the Z5 Compact camera for the review and found the temperature raised by 20 degrees Celsius when recording 4K video. Yes, the Xperia Z5 does overheat but it’s worth keeping in mind that some others handsets do overheat as well, and the updated Snapdragon 810 v2.1 definitely improves the experience compared to the Xperia Z3+, where the handset would shut down almost immediately.
It’s safe to say that Sony and Qualcomm have definitely improved the experience and no doubt, this is due to Sony’s decision to use dual heating pipes to dissipate heat away from the processor. Without doubt, this definitely serves its purposes and aside from when using the camera, the Xperia Z5 doesn’t seem to overheat more than any other handset.
Under the unibody build, the Xperia Z5 has a 2900mAh non-removable battery and during the past couple of weeks, the handset has delivered interesting battery life. The battery size is on par with most current flagships and the handset will last a day under most conditions. We say most, as there are certain tasks that will hamper the battery life massively.
One of these is a big issue for me, as I use my phone as a navigation device and when using the Xperia Z5 and Google Maps, the battery drained by 20 percent with just under an hour’s screen on time. Extrapolating this further, a three-and-a-half-hour journey resulted in a 65 percent drain in the battery and while some of this was due to the screen, the navigation does seem to drain the battery more than on other devices that I’ve used.
Aside from this, battery life is mostly average, with the Xperia Z5 lasting about 18 to 22 hours on a single charge with around 3 hours’ screen on time. Where the Xperia Z5 does do well however, is its standby time with the handset lasting two days without Sony’s stamina mode. Turn on STAMINA and this can push the standby time past four days and this is definitely impressive as it means you can take the handset away for a weekend, safe in the knowledge it won’t run flat halfway through your trip.
One of the big changes in the Xperia Z5 is the camera, with Sony’s latest flagship featuring the first major upgrade to the Xperia camera since the original Xperia Z1. The latest camera brings a 23MP Exmor-RS lens with effective image stabilisation and a hybrid phase detection autofocus system that Sony claims is the fastest on the market.
In actual use, the focus time doesn’t fail to disappoint, with the handset quick to focus even in low light conditions. Unfortunately, this doesn’t quite make up for the less than stellar camera performance in low light. In good light, images are crisp, clear and detailed but as the light reduces, so does the camera quality and quite drastically.
We’ve already put the Xperia Z5 camera up in a shootout against the Galaxy Note 5, iPhone 6S and LG G4 to test just how good Sony’s latest imaging sensor is and you can see this shootout here. We’ll be revealing which device took each image and talking through the cameras in more detail early next week and we’ll go more in-depth on the camera in the full Xperia Z5 review!
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There you have it – my impressions of the Xperia Z5 having spent a couple of weeks with Sony’s latest smartphone. The handset certainly isn’t perfect but with features like IP68 water and dust resistance, it definitely has a few unique points that set it apart from the competition.
That being said, some of Sony’s improvements definitely don’t seem to stand up to as close scrutiny as you might have hoped and with the camera especially, I think there’s still further testing to do to see whether it lives up to Sony’s claims that it is the best smartphone camera on the market.
Naturally, we’ll have a full in-depth review of the Xperia Z5 coming up shortly, with this piece focusing more on the design, performance and stability of Sony’s latest smartphone. Unlike previous years, the handset is certainly interesting and with the Z5 Premium and the Z5 Compact also on the market, Sony might yet gain more traction than it has done in previous years.
What do you think of the Xperia Z5? Is there anything you’d like us to test in the full review? Let us know your views in the comments below guys!
The BlackBerry Priv has been in the news pretty much every week for months now. We are yet to see it on sale, but we are finally seeing it in use. BlackBerry has released a new video showing just how easy the new physical keyboard is to use with Android.
The video starts by showing the phone looking nice with it’s dual curved edges and the person receiving a BlackBerry messenger notification. Rather than just opening the notification, the man decides to unlock the phone and head into BlackBerry Hub. This is basically a notification headquarters where you can see and search for all your messages in one place. The man sees the time requested by his friend to go grab lunch, and with one swipe down, checks his calendar. Out pops the physical keyboard to confirm he is free and it stays open to write the address in Google Maps.
Not really sure how much faster using the physical keyboard is compared to an on-screen keyboard, but I do like how fast he checked his calendar. I hate having to exit an app just to check one thing in another app. What are your thoughts so far on the Priv?
Come comment on this article: New video shows the BlackBerry Priv using it’s keyboard and BlackBerry Hub
If you enjoy listening to solo work from members of The Beatles, the library of options just got larger. The solo catalog of guitarist George Harrison hit most music streaming services today. This means that you’ll be able to access the musician’s tracks on the likes of Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, Rdio, Spotify, Tidal and others, including albums like Living in the Material World. If you aren’t familiar with Harrison’s solo music, now’s a good time to get acquainted. The newly-posted albums join those of former bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on streaming services, but the music of the group as a whole remains off limits there. To make things easy for you, we’ve embedded All Things Must Pass on the other side of the break.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Brich]
Some of the most notable changes to the latest version of Chrome are what’s going away, rather than what’s new. A few days ago, Google confirmed that it was removing the notification center in Chrome for Mac, Windows and Linux, and now with Chrome 46 out users are noticing another missing feature. It looks like you can no longer automatically kick off a Google search by using the “OK Google” activation phrase. The feature originally got its start in Android, but as of last year you could say “OK Google when you had a new Chrome window open (or were on Google.com) to start voice search. If you got hooked on voice search on the desktop, you can still initiate it by clicking the little multicolored Google microphone, but Chrome is no longer listening for your command. If you’re a Chromebook user, though, this feature will stick around. The Chrome releases blog has more details on what’s changed in Chrome 46.
Source: Chrome releases blog
Bethesda Software has just released an update to its Android app, Fallout Shelter. If you are unfamiliar with the game, then check out the Fallout Shelter app review. Up to this point, your post-apocalyptic experience has been pretty basic: provide shelter, electricity, water, food, explore the wasteland and grow your population. Now that you have had time to master the basics, it’s time for some challenges.
One of the biggest updates is you can now test your dweller’s skills in the new survival mode, which will allow different enemies into your vault. You will also have the joy of saving in the cloud. This will automatically setup through your google drive, making it easy to access your vault across multiple devices. Just make sure to check the cloud box next to your vault number, for it to upload.
Other updates include Russian language support and sightings of a mystery character from time to time. Whether this is a character that you can unlock, or if he just appears from time to time is unclear. There are also some updates that are exclusive to the Apple app store only. This doesn’t come as a big surprise, considering the game was available from Apple first. Check out the detailed video below.
The post New Fallout Shelter update gives you cloud services, mystery sightings, and more appeared first on AndroidGuys.
For this week’s giveaway, we’ve teamed up with MEGAMAC to offer a 128GB Angelbird SSD2go Pocket, which is an ultra portable solid state drive that can, as the name suggests, fit right in a pocket. Angelbird is known for making high-quality products, and the SSD2go is no exception.
It has an aluminum casing and it’s highly resistant to physical impact, vibration, force, and temperature. Of interest to Mac users, the SSD2go Pocket is one of the only mobile USB solid state drives to offer TRIM Support.
We’re giving away an SSD2go Pocket in Black, but it also comes in silver, blue, red, gold, and purple, in capacities of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB. The 128GB version sees read speeds of up to 450MB/s and write speeds up to 150MB/s, but the higher capacity models are even faster at 450MB/s read and 390MB/s write for the 512GB model.
Pricing for the Angelbird SSD2go starts at $179 for the 128GB version and goes up to $449 for the 512GB version, with the mid-level 256GB model priced at $249.
One lucky MacRumors reader will win a 128GB Angelbird SSD2go from MEGAMAC. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winner and send the prize.
You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveawayhttp://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.jsThe contest will run from today (October 16) at 12:15 p.m. Pacific Time through 12:15 p.m. Pacific Time on October 23. The winner will be chosen randomly on October 23 and will be contacted by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen. The prize will be shipped to the winner for free.
Everyone has their own reasons to be excited about a new Moto X, be it the customization options available to you via Moto Maker, the near stock-like software experience that keeps things smooth and snappy, or the different features that it offers when compared to the competition. Granted, the last point may not have been true with previous generations of the device, but the new Moto X is certainly trying to provide more than any other flagship smartphone out there.
When it comes to the design, the Moto X Pure Edition retains a lot of the design language of its predecessor, with the only big difference here being that the signature Motorola dimple on the back is a lot smaller and more subtle this time around, and is now housed in a metallic bar along with the camera unit. This different look is a pleasant change, but I did like the larger dimple of the Moto X (2014) as well. Everything else remains largely the same, and once again, you find the two motion sensors up front below the display, but these are more noticeable if you decide to go with the white color for the front face.
Moto Maker allows for a lot of customization with the device, and apart from the colors of the body and the accents, you also get to choose between various materials for the back cover, including a soft grip rubberized plastic, real wood, and leather. While opting for a wood backing, bamboo in this case, allows for a great look, it does make for a very slippery touch, with the metal chassis not helping either.
The bump in size puts the new Moto X just outside the realm of comfortable one-handed use, and with the slippery materials not providing in the way of grip, you may find the device falling out of your hand. Unless you go for the soft grip or leather backings, the handling experience with this smartphone isn’t great, even if the curved back and slightly thicker profile do their part in making a slightly positive difference.
When it comes to the display, the Moto X Pure Edition comes with a 5.7-inch display with a Quad HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 515 ppi, but Motorola decided to make the switch from AMOLED to IPS LCD with their latest flagship. While AMOLED would have been the preferred choice here, if only because of its advantages with features like Moto Display, Motorola has done a great job with this IPS LCD panel by putting a good enough level of saturation to continue a solid display experience. Even if the handling experience has been a let down, the additional real estate available with this high resolution display means that everything from reading text, to watching videos, and gaming, has been fantastic on this screen.
Under the hood, the Moto X Pure Edition comes with a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, backed by the Adreno 418 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. The primary use with the Moto X Pure Edition for me has been to do with media consumption and gaming, and the device has managed to handle everything with ease. Typical usage involved watching or listening to some media, occasionally posting on social media, looking things up on Chrome, accessing the gallery, and other everyday tasks, and it was great to see everything remain smooth and snappy throughout. While the processing package is, of course, impressive, some of the credit for this performance has to be given to the near stock software experience that is available with the device.
As far as storage is concerned, the Moto X Pure Edition is available in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB iterations, but the good news here is that expandable storage, by up to 128 GB, is available to you. With expandable storage going by the wayside with some other current generation flagships, you have to a pay quite a hefty premium if you’re looking to get any of the higher storage options with them, but in the case of the Moto X, you can always opt for the base model, and then consider expansion depending on your needs, allowing you to save a little bit of money in the process.
The Moto X Pure Edition features a dual front-facing speaker setup that allows for really good sound quality, further enhancing the media-consumption and gaming experience that is available with the large display.
The Moto X Pure Edition comes with a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery, but the battery life it provides is unfortunately not very impressive. Depending on your usage, you may find yourself running out of battery even a couple of hours before your day ends. The device’s fast charging capabilities prove to be the savior here, and if you can manage to plug in the device for even a short time at some point during the day, that extra boost should be enough to then get you over the line. This is of course, not what is expected from our smartphone batteries, but until a better solution is in place, fast charging is a crutch that we can all lean on.
Motorola hasn’t had the best track record as far as the cameras of their flagship smartphones are concerned, but that is luckily no longer the case. The Moto X Pure Edition boasts a vast improvement in the camera department when compared to its predecessors. It may not exactly match the very high standards set by the best smartphone cameras out there, but it does feature high enough quality to make it a good daily companion.
Apart from the fact that having this camera means that you won’t be missing your DSLR too much, the best part about the camera experience has to do with how easy it is to get into the camera, requiring just a couple of twists of your wrist to launch the camera app. That said, the application that Motorola uses for its camera isn’t very good, with it not only lacking in a lot of manual controls, but also the way you’re expected to take a shot by tapping on the viewfinder, instead of there being a dedicated on-screen button on the side, isn’t something I like. Having to drag the focus point around is not necessarily the way I want to cater a shot.
When it comes to the 5 MP front-facing camera, there is now a LED flash accompanying it as well, but unless you are taking a lot of selfies all the time, and while in dark environments, like in a club, there aren’t a lot of situations where you’ll end up using the front-facing flash. When it is used, the subject tends to get washed out, and the selfies don’t end up looking all that great anyway.
Despite not being under the Google umbrella anymore, Motorola is still providing for an almost Nexus-like feel with the Moto X Pure Edition, with any extras that are baked in serving only to further enhance the software experience.
Among the extras in software is Moto Assist, that will know when the device needs to be completely quiet to avoid interruptions, and it can read your messages out to you, or let you know who is calling. Moto Voice is another very useful addition, which lets you use voice commands to get things done, and the best part here is the ability to customize the key phrase that wakes the device up.
Quad HD resolution, 515 ppi
|Processor||1.8 GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
Adreno 418 GPU
expandable via microSD up to 128 GB
|Camera||21 MP rear camera with dual LED flash
5 MP front-facing camera with wide angle lens and front-facing flash
Universal LTE bands
|Software||Android 5.1.1 Lollipop|
Coated Silicon Rubber
Horween leather and natural wood
Motorola has to be given credit for providing a pretty good smartphone at a decent price point. While the latest flagship device is more expensive that previous generations used to be, not only are you getting a more premium product this time around, but the Moto X Pure Edition is still cheaper than most other competing high-end flagship smartphones out there. The best part about this smartphone is that it is all about choice, and that is what makes for a very compelling smartphone.
It may not be perfect, but the Moto X Pure Edition is definitely one of the better smartphone offerings of 2015.
Android Pay has, thus far, been a successful launch with being available at a myriad of retailers and companies. The latest addition to join in on the Android Pay parade is Jamba Juice, which for a limited time, is giving out Android figurines at select locations for using Android Pay.
There’s no telling if this Android collectible will be awarded at the store or if Google will detect you purchased at a participating Jamba Juice store and send you one themselves. It’s likely the latter, considering that Google is the one promoting this offer.
Android Pay has seen a lot of success, but other mobile payment options are on the rise, such as Samsung Pay. While smartphone vendors may be the primary companies pushing mobile payment systems (as far as marketing goes), even banks are beginning to launch their own. Arguably, smartphone vendors advertise theirs much more, but either way, were quickly moving towards a much easier and more convenient payment method as a society.
If you haven’t setup Android Pay yet, be sure to check out our guide on how to do so!
source: Google (Twitter)
Come comment on this article: Get a Android collectible at select Jamba Juice stores by using Android Pay