Sunday, October 13, 2013

Google is killing off Google TV, will rebrand it Android TV

The signs were all there, and now after only 3 years since Google first debuted the Google TV platform, they’re finally ready to put it out to pasture. Well, the branding anyway. A report out of GigaOM suggests that Google will soon retire the Google TV branding in favor of something a little more familiar: Android TV.

Evidence for Android TV mounts

Although Google declined to comment, the new name transition was further confirmed by a consumer electronics manufacturer who produces Google TV devices. Don’t forget that back when Sony announced their all new Bravia TV HDMI stick, there was curiously no mention of Google TV in the press release. Instead, Sony’s marketing manager simply stated that the Bravia TV stick brought “Google services” into the living room.

This was echoed by LG who recently announced a handful of new devices, saying only that they ran Android and — you guessed it — featured “Google services for TV”. The nail in the coffin could be a Google TV developer conference held in Korea dubbed “Android TV Developer Day”. After the event, former Google TV developers soon began updating their online profiles to “Android TV”.

Sony Xperia Z1 f

A more powerful brand name

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The struggling Android platform has never fared very well in the television space, with only a few big name manufacturers ever jumping on board the GTV train. With Android 4.4 KitKat soon to become a household name (just check the candy aisle of your grocer), it only makes sense that Google is once again trying to better align the fragmented Google TV platform with “regular” Android. This was an initiative Google first took when they announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (one version to rule them all) but we all saw how that turned out.

Google TV’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update was announced back in May, and aside from giving Android developers access to newer APIs, the update was also said to bring Chromecast functionality to ARM-based devices. Since then we haven’t seen any devices actually make the jump, but LG is promising to update their devices by the end of this month, with more OEMs to follow. If Google is really planning to unify their products and renew their efforts with their television platform, blanketing everything under the same Android name is a great start. Guess Google Android TV still has some fight left in it.

Droid Stars

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hell, The Dungeon Again! Review

When you imagine what the average dungeon-crawler plays like, you most likely picture a game that looks identical to Hell, The Dungeon Again! This turn-based dungeon-em-up from Anton Skvortsov is the very definition of a dungeon crawler, with all of the elements that make up the genre clearly polished up and spat out in regular, as-you'd-expect succession.
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You know what you're going to get with Hell, The Dungeon Again!, make no bones about it – this is a tightly-designed experience that takes homage from dozens of other dungeon crawlers, and does much of it right. What this game doesn't do is, well, anything very new at all. If you're looking for a run-of-the-mill dungeon-goer, then Hell, The Dungeon Again! is your poison – but anyone looking for a more unique, bold, and clever take on the genre won't find those traits here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Plants vs Zombies 2 for Android rumored to be delayed by Apple bribe

There seems to be some drama behind the prolonged delay of the international release of Plants vs Zombies 2 for Android, with Apple being pointed as the culprit. Naturally, Apple denies giving game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) a “truckload of money” to exclusively release the hit game on iOS first before unleashing it to the rest of the world.

There is no doubt about the popularity and success of the game, and the figures since the launch of the sequel in August speak for themselves. Unfortunately for us, the game launched first and only on iOS, which isn’t actually uncommon with some big titles. However, just a few weeks ago, an Android version of the game popped up for the Chinese market, with an international Android version nowhere in sight.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sprint concept video shows what an always connected world could look like

With the innovations we’re seeing in most areas of technology these days it’s hard to not let our minds wander to what could be. While some are dreaming of innovations that could take us beyond our planet, there are others who are dreaming up the next idea that will make our lives closer to home a lot easier. The folks over at Sprint are no different. In a five minute video they demonstrate what an always connected world could look like. It includes kids from two different countries playing baseball together.  Adult’s could check in on their aging parents and get on their cases about their health if they so choose.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sony “Lens G” QX10 and QX100 user manual leak brings more detail

Sony has been a hot topic for rumors lately and many of these seem to be camera related. There are the 20MP Honami rumors and then there are the more recent such as the Sony Xperia “Lens G” setup. This is basically a clip-on lens for mobile devices. An earlier leaked image (sitting below) has it shown attached a smartphone, however it could just as easily be attached to a tablet.

We had already seen details about how this Lens G setup would be available in at least two models. Those model numbers are DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 and while Sony has yet to make an official announcement, it looks like a few additional details have since been revealed by way of leaked user manual. Or more specifically, by way of portions of a leaked user manual.

Verizon HTC One to launch with Android 4.2.2, no cherry red version

After months and months of waiting the folks from Verizon Wireless finally announced a release date for the HTC One. We thought it would never come, reports and rumors of August 1st came and went, but today we can officially confirm the day. The HTC One will be available on August 22nd, and now we’re learning a few additional details.

We have no way of knowing just exactly why Verizon took so long, although we have our guesses. One possible reason is to launch with Android 4.2.2 on board, rather than 4.1 like the other carriers. Now that HTC’s updated the international One to nearly the latest version, Verizon will launch with it as well. Sadly there’s no Android 4.3 here, even if the Google Play edition already has it.

Ubuntu Edge breaks crowdfunding record, still sits far shy of ultimate goal

Canonical has recently shared some news in regards to the Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo campaign. It seems they have crossed the $10 million milestone, which means they now have the “world’s biggest ever fixed crowdfunding campaign.” Or for those curious, this means the Ubuntu Edge smartphone has now raised more than the $10,266,845 that was raised by Pebble. Android apps

The interesting thing here, while raising that amount brought success for the folks at Pebble, it probably doesn’t mean quite as much for the folks at Canonical. Simply put, despite breaking this record the Ubuntu Edge campaign is still sitting way short of the ultimate goal of $32 million. This Indiegogo is showing a total raised of $10,448,195 with 6 days remaining.