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Google’s Eric Schmidt envisions Google TV on majority of new TVs by summer of 2012

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has become the unofficial chief bearer of good news for his company at the LeWeb Conference in France this year, in his onstage interview just today. Known for lofty predictions (such as his anticipations for self-driving cars and semantic search engines) when he speaks at conferences, Schmidt spoke about his big plans for Google TV, which he believes will embedded in the majority of new television sets by the summer of 2012. That’s quite a prediction to make, even for the Google Chairman, especially since not much ground has been broken by Google TV, at least at the moment.

“By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded in it,” Schmidt said onstage at the LeWeb conference, although the optimistic claim seems to contradict the current standing of Google TV, which isn’t something users rave about these days, has faltering reported sales numbers, and stands to face with rising competition in the television entertainment industry, possibly from Apple, just to name one company.

When asked about the comparative quality of Android apps versus iOS apps, Schmidt said that the Android Market was on the verge of overtaking that of Apple’s App Store, saying that Android could possibly become the first-choice mobile platform to develop for in due time. These are all some lofty claims, and we hope that Google, with Eric Schmidt’s visions, will succeed in them.

[via Paid Content]

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Google’s Eric Schmidt envisions Google TV on majority of new TVs by summer of 2012 is written by Paul Fang & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Facebook for Android updated, inherits speedier UI from iOS

Facebook just launched their updated Facebook app for Android, which the social networking giant claims is “now quicker and easier to view photos, get messages and navigate around the app”. What does this actually mean? Basically put, it’s inherited the interface from the recently updated iPad and iPhone versions of the app. The UI has also been redone for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with the upper-right drop-down menu instead of the previous hidden menu interface.

From what Facebook says, photos and albums are up to twice as fast than the previous Android app (not surprising, for those of you who’ve used the old app, it’s nowhere near as smooth of an experience as on, say iOS or Windows Phone 7). Sharing photos, viewing comments and editing captions on the go have all been made easier, too. As long as everything is faster, than I think users will be content. The Facebook app on Android at the moment is incomparable in terms of overall user experience to the one on the iOS app.

The updated Facebook app puts messages and notifications at the top of the screen, and you can respond to friends and stay updated without leaving the page you’re on. Furthermore, you can also quickly access the News Feed, Groups, games and apps from the new left-side menu. The Facebook app update isn’t out live on the Android Market yet, but Facebook has just promised that it will be available soon. I’m probably speaking for all Android users when I say that hopefully happens very soon.


[via The Facebook Blog]

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Facebook for Android updated, inherits speedier UI from iOS is written by Paul Fang & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Instagram app for Android confirmed

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom finally confirmed at the LeWeb conference today that the Android port of the massively popular photo-sharing app on the iPhone was coming soon. Systrom told LeWeb attendees that the photo sharing app had two engineers onboard to accomplish the task. Though currently, there isn’t a set release date for when the Android app would be finished, the popularity of Instagram on the iOS platform has spawned a number of photo-sharing app clones on Android, and it’d do Instagram good for them to release as soon as possible.

Systrom stated that they initially started on the iOS platform because “the screen and the camera on the iPhone 4 really was a turning point. It was really disruptive. Somebody had to come along and take advantage of that disruption.” And the iPhone 4′s huge leap in camera quality last year, along with the inclusion of the stunningly, seemingly pixel-free Retina Display both added more value to the app itself. Instagram’s future release of its Android app (Android owning the largest segment of the smartphone market at the moment) could definitely increase Instagram’s popularity and overall reach.

The Instagram CEO also spoke about plans for an ad system based on the Instagram platform, hinting at future partnerships with brand names such as Audi, Kate Spade, and Burberry. “I think the advertising experience is going to be extremely engaging,” Systrom said. “Obviously, we didn’t start a business to not make money,” he said. “Our focus now is on growing the network. You really need to build up the network, or no advertisers care.” Right on. Good luck to Instagram on their upcoming Android app.

[via CNet]

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Instagram app for Android confirmed is written by Paul Fang & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Toshiba Excite A200 “World’s Thinnest Tablet” Shows Up On Official Website – Hitting Canada In January

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Toshiba Canada has listed their all new Excite Honeycomb tablet on their site today and it looks like it will be hitting ‘ol America Jr. sometime in January. Originally announced back in September, the AT200 boasted the world’s thinnest and lightest tablet, most likely in hopes of washing away the bad taste the almost “Nerf-like” Thrive left in our mouths.

Not much here has changed. Measuring in at only 7.7mm thick, this Honeycomb tablet is actually thinner than a Galaxy S II. Other features include a 10.1-inch 1280×800 resolution display, 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 processor, 5MP rear/2MP front facing cameras, micro HDMI and will come available in either 16 or 32GB versions. If Toshiba can come through with Ice Cream Sandwich, I’ll definitely be listening.

[Toshiba via UnwiredView]

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T-Mobile Confirms White Samsung Galaxy S II To Make Its Debut Next Week

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Today, T-Mobile let the world know via Twitter, that the all new white version of their Galaxy S II superphone will be making its debut next Wednesday, December 14th. The new paler looking GS2 will only be available online so don’t bother getting dressed and into your T-Mobile store if you were looking to get one. Let’s cross our fingers T-Mobile can throw in some kind of promotional pricing to go along with it. As it stands, the GS2 is still $230 after $50 mail-in rebate and a 2-year agreement. So tell me. Which do you prefer, black or white?

[T-Mobile via T-MoNews | Twitter]

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Controversy Over Mobage Games In The Android Market Requesting Root Permissions – What’s Going On?

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We received a Phantip this evening about some growing concerns around Mobage, a mobile gaming publisher in the Android Market, who’s games have mysteriously been asking for super user permissions on devices that are rooted. Understandably, there’s cause for alarm given root permissions are typically used for gaining access to features — whether legit or malicious — on an Android device. Just imagine you fire up a casual game of Pocket Frogs and all of a sudden you’re prompted for SU permissions. That’s enough to make anyone paranoid.

After digging around, we’ve found a few responses from Mobage explaining the situation. Apparently, the issue involving app SU requests has little to do with the actual game and more to do with the ad partner Mobage is using to generate revenue from their free apps. According to Mobage, the ad partner’s SDK looks for root on a device and for whatever reason, blocks ads to those devices. Mobage is still unclear as to why an ad agency would want to do this, with speculation involving things like increasing performance for rooted users who use adblocking apps.

It should be noted that our tipster did notice an “extra download” of 15MB after Pocket Frogs asks for SU which is a tad bit sketchy although “security apps” like AVG and Avast didn’t detect a threat.

Mobage did make it clear that they put their top engineer on the case with a fix is already in the works. They hope to have the “offending” apps updated in the Android Market in the coming days and rooted users everywhere can go back to farming for zombies.

While I trust Mobage, the same can’t be said for ad partners who could be doing who-knows-what with the data they phish from your phone. Developers should always be crystal clear with the description of their apps published to the Market and the permissions they request. Malicious apps are an ever growing concern in Android and transparency from developers and publishers are the only way to give some kind of peace of mind. When I download an app, the first thing I look for is how few permissions it asks for. Hope this article helps shed some light on the situation.

Thanks, Thomas!

[Imgur via Reddit | Mobage]

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Verizon and Redbox Plan To Offer Streaming Movie and TV Shows In 2012

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Verizon is reportedly in talks with Redbox to team up and compete with Netflix by offering streaming video content to a variety of devices and set top boxes. The new service, code named Project Zoetrope, will be an internet only service and be available for devices running iOS, Android, Google TV, Xbox and other streaming boxes and browsers. Apparently, it’s still being worked out with content providers and will follow the typical blackout and release timings for new movies and television to keep execs happy.

According to TechCrunch, you can expect a launch on May 28th with a beta starting sometime in late April. Pricing structure is a little bit out of the norm with monthly credits along the lines of $6 for 6 credits to rent a movie costing 1 credit. Seeing how Rebox also offers physical disc rentals at their kiosks around the country, there will also be various pricing tiers offering physical rentals as well. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

[Via TechCrunch]

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OnLive Officially Announced and Now Available For Android – Brings Full Console Gaming To Android Devices

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It feels like it’s been ages since we’ve last seen OnLive and their promises to deliver cloud-based gaming to Android tablets. I almost thought it was never going to happen having focused on more “old school methods” like playing games downloaded to a device. Well, the future is finally here and OnLive has announced that their gaming service will finally be available starting tomorrow from their app in the Android Market. The company showed off their service on a variety of devices ranging from the HTC Flyer, Motorola Xoom, Kindle Fire and HTC Rezound Most games will have to be reworked for full compatibility with all touch-screen controls with only a handful of titles currently available for touch-only and a few heavy hitters like L.A. Noire already in the works.

In typical OnLive fashion, you will need a solid WiFi connection if you want to do some gaming on your Android devices and if you’re looking to take the gaming on the road — Verizon’s LTE should more than do the trick. The “true” way to play games on your OnLive enabled Android device of course is their new universal controller with dual-analogs, d-pad and retailing for $50 from the OnLive store. The controllers even come with a USB dongle for some multiplayer fun on their “microconsole” or PC — current Android devices will hook in using Bluetooth. The only problem is you can’t actually buy a universal controller just yet with OnLive saying they will be available “soon” but no solid release date given.

The app will be available for “most” devices with some handsets and tablets needing a little more testing before they’re officially supported. The best part? There is also a Google TV version in the works making the Honeycomb rollout that much sweeter. Full console gaming, anywhere and everywhere.

[Market Link | TheVerge]

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Free App Alert: Zombie Gunship and a Handful of Others

The app store has some impressive freebies today including the AAA title  Zombie Gunship.  Zombie Gunship is probably my favorite iOS game and it is available for free for today only, so run over to the app store and download this sexy little gem.  While you are at it, you can go ahead and download Illusia, Ninja Pong, Glow Hockey 2 and Call of Mini: Double Shot for free as well.

Zombie Gunship

Have you ever wanted to sit in the gunner’s seat of a heavily-armed AC-130 ground attack aircraft to methodically take down a swarm of zombies?  Well, me neither, but this game kicks ass and it is free for today only!

From iTunes Description:

JUST UPDATED with an all new scenario and AirPlay mirroring support, Zombie Gunship™ puts you in the gunner seat of a heavily-armed AC-130 ground attack aircraft. Strategically fire your powerful guns to slay endless waves of zombies and protect the remaining survivors of the zombie apocalypse!

• IGN Editors’ Choice 9/10 “Amazing”

“Limbic Software has done the impossible: make zombie killing feel fresh again.”

“Meet the real angry bird: the ultimate anti-zombie weapon.” – Forbes

“iPhone and iPad gamers may have a horde of zombie-themed games clamoring for their attention, but few deliver on as many levels as Zombie Gunship.” – Macworld (4.5/5)

Toggle between white and black hot modes. Use your radar to quickly detect and eliminate the zombie threat.

• 25mm Gatling gun
• 40mm Bofors auto-cannon
• 105mm Howitzer cannon

Use coins to upgrade your armaments and increase your zombie killing efficiency.

Challenge your friends and other gunners on the Game Center Leaderboard!

NEW and EXCLUSIVELY for iOS 5 – AirPlay Support!
iPhone 4S and iPad 2 players with an Apple TV can now stream Zombie Gunship to their HDTV WIRELESSLY!

Kill Em All!


Illusia is an Action/RPG platformer developed by Gamevil and is “free” for the next three days. Notice how I put the word “free” in bunny ears?  That is because the game still includes in-app purchases.  Honestly, though, what freaking iOS game nowadays doesn’t include in-app purchases?  Greedy bastards!  Anyway, you can still have a satisfying experience without having to shell out your hard-earned Washington’s.

From iTunes Description:

The makers of ZENONIA have extended to a new side scrolling casual action RPG containing all the core elements of traditional role playing games presented in visually appealing anime style graphics.

Explore through quests, refine your gear, and battle your way to unravel the secrets behind the mysterious tower of ILLUSIA that nobody has entered before!

Annihilate evil and preserve good, on your adventure of restoring peace to the land of Aztaran…

Look at those gorgeous sprites!

Ninja Pong

From iTunes Description:

In the specialized Ninja Master training one skill is extremely important.

The skill in Bouncing.

In the tough Ninja’s life full of spying, sabotage and infiltration there is always something to jump over. You have to stay focused and concentrated if you don’t want to fall dawn. It becomes more complicated if you’re a tiny Ninja with gigantic head and you have to deal with a precipice larger than you could have ever imagined!

Bounce over thousands of brave warriors just by touching the screen and moving your finger horizontally. Stay out of bombs and arrows. Catch all bonuses, special Ninjas and pass incredible Nights. With two gameplay modes, diverse lands, many achievements, different leaderboards and a lot of additional, unlockable content and gameplay modifications you will keep coming back to the addictive bouncing more often than you think! Lose yourself in Ninja Pong!

Glow Hockey 2

It is the simple things in life that bring me the most pleasure!  Wait, wtf am I talking about again?  Oh yeah, Glow Hockey 2 is a simple yet pleasantly addictive (yes, I know that word is WAY too overused in app lingo) game involving a virtual rendition of air hockey.

From iTunes Description:

Glow Hockey delivers a new style of hockey game. Easy to play, hard to master. Challenge yourself with the computer opponents or play with your friends!

+ Colorful glow graphics.
+ Smooth and responsive game play.
+ Realistic physics.
+ GameCenter support for iOS 4.
+ OpenFeint leaderboard!
+ Bluetooth head-to-head (requires iOS 3.0 or higher). Bluetooth is not supported on iPhone 1G or iPod Touch 1G (hardware limitation).
+ LOCAL WiFi (head-to-head).
+ Support 2 players on the same device.
+ Championship mode with 3 saved games (unlimited AI levels, see how far you can go!).
+ Quick play mode (single player & 2 players), practicing with 4 difficulty levels (easy to insane) before challenge yourself with Championship mode.
+ 11 table themes (including realistic table hockey theme).
+ 4 selectable paddles and pucks (for each theme).
+ Vibrate when goal (iPhone only).
+ Support iOS 3.1.3 or higher.

At least you don't have to worry about having your fingers crushed in this version!

Call of Mini: Double Shot

Finally, I bring you the little game that I love to hate and hate to love, Call of Mini: Double Shot.  You know what I hate?  It is when I pay full price for an app only to watch it be reduced to a free app the next day.  Well, that is exactly what happened with Call of Mini: Double Shot.  It seems as though they are now pursuing an in-app purchase business model.  I freaking hate in-app purchases!!!  What kind of gamer spends two bucks to get a more powerful gun in a video game?  I guess there are enough people out there that do, but it just seems illogical to me.  Despite the fact that this game pushes in-app purchases as many of the weapon upgrades are only available by paying for them, it is still an impressive little title.

From iTunes Description:

The small town of Lakeside is suffering from something even scarier than economic crisis: Zombies. You are an unwitting truck driver stranded in the middle of it all, forced to kill for your survival. In the face of deadly new breeds of bioengineered zombies, you and one buddy are the only two left to hunt down the source of the infection.

With super high-tech weapons and totally unique armor, how long can you hold off the zombie hordes?

✓ radical FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE characters
✓ 500 THRILLING nail-biting stages!
✓ DO BLOODY BATTLE alongside your friends’ characters!
✓ 21 DEADLY weapons
✓ 40 EXTREME avatars
✓ 12 GRUESOME zombies
✓ 35 CHALLENGING achievements
✓ COUNTLESS more new maps, monsters, and guns to come!

Excuse me while I whip this out!

Copyright © iPhone App

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Verizon 4G LTE nationwide outage confirmed, limited 3G service

So it turns out that Verizon’s 4G LTE network isn’t only down in the Midwest region only, as we originally reported. Verizon has confirmed that 4G LTE is undergoing a nationwide outage at the moment, and that their engineers are working on the outage as we speak. Calls, texts and 3G should be working for the time being for some areas, although 3G is “limited”, as some customers have reported their devices operating on either 3G or having no data service at all. It’s kind of a bummer for what boasts the fastest network speeds in the nation.

We can confirm that 4G LTE coverage has been down in the Midwest, specifically users in and around Chicago, lower parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, have been all undergoing connectivity problems with their data service on smartphones, tablets, and Wi-fi hotspots. Also, I can confirm that LTE coverage has been down the whole day since the morning in Northern California, and 3G service has only been rolling in a couple hours ago – hope 4G is back up soon.

Until the 4G network is fixed, the best that LTE users can do is monitor the Verizon Wireless Support Twitter account over at @VZWSupport for updates, and we’ll definitely keep you in the loop when Verizon announces a fix or something of that sort very soon, hopefully. I’m sure that 4G smartphone owners sorely miss those lightning-fast LTE speeds.

[via VZWSupport]

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Verizon 4G LTE nationwide outage confirmed, limited 3G service is written by Paul Fang & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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