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2Jan/120

Steam for Android App Isn’t Official, But Still a Good Companion for Steam Users

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Some folks that go by the name IBF Programs named “Steam for Android,” and while the name makes it sound as if the application is official, it isn’t. It’s a third party companion app that helps users keep up to date with their friends’ activity on the go, the daily specials Steam tends to offer and a lot more.

If ever there needed to be an official Steam app for Android, we’d implore the PC games repository company to contract IBF as they have really done a nice job on the user interface here. You swipe left and right to access the different tabs including Friends, Specials, Groups, Summary, Games and Favorites.

Those of you on Android 4.0 will especially appreciate that they’ve built their Android application using the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK making for a seamless-looking and feeling experience compared to other ICS apps. The polish here is extremely good in both looks and animation. Aside from aesthetics, though, it’s just a really useful application for those who frequent Steam.

Unfortunately since this is a third party app that parses its data from the web you won’t get features like being able to purchase games within the app, message friends or add/remove friends. Still, until Steam decides to get on over to mobile this is the best app you can have to help you keep up with things on the go. Find the free download in the Android market here. [Thanks Ashley!]


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2Jan/120

What Are Your 2012 Android Resolutions?

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So 2012 is finally upon us and, according to some calendar by some ancient civilization, the world (as we know it) is supposed to end. Well, that doesn’t mean you have to stop using your Android phones and run for the stores to stock up on water and tissue. Assuming this year does, in fact, go as planned, what will be your 2012 Android resolutions?

For me, I need to stop flashing so many custom ROMs. I have missed tons of calls and text messages this way and it’s a main reason why I now use Google Voice almost exclusively for messaging and sometimes voice calls. And, well, having a Nexus sort of subsides my urge to flash ROMs as I think Ice Cream Sandwich has nearly everything I want.

I do still have a ROM – Android Revolution HD –  and plan to keep it updated, but I won’t be switching back and forth between 15-20 different developers’ wares like I was back when I had my G1, EVO 4G, Epic 4G and Epic 4G Touch. The backup and restore processes alone are excruciating even if it is all automatic.

I also need to stop buying so many phones. Within the past 4 months I’ve had about 5 different phones. To date, since the G1 was released, I’ve owned about 12 different Android phones between Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. I don’t even want to get into my old Windows Mobile days.

Twice I have broken contract to get a certain phone on a certain carrier, and since I’m on a family plan and often break contract early it costs me a LOT of dough. That definitely needs to stop. With my Galaxy Nexus I don’t think I’ll need another phone for a long time anyway

What about everyone else? Will you be doing some storage cleaning? Getting rid of some apps or games you don’t use, perhaps? Will you be doing any of the things I mentioned above? Let’s hear what you vow to do in relation to Android this upcoming year in the comments below!


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2Jan/120

All-In-One Root and Custom Recovery Now Available for the LG Esteem

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LG Esteem users will be pleased to know that all-in-one root and custom recovery is now available for their 4G LTE smartphone. The AIO work was done by AndroidForums.com ROM developer PlayfulGod, though credit should go to Koush and RaidZero for their recoveries as well as zergrush for their root method.

If you were holding off on rooting the LG Esteem in hopes that a simpler and less involved method would come around then this most certainly would apply to you.

Both versions (one for Koush’s recovery and one for RaidZero’s) can be used on Windows and Linux so Mac users may have to borrow someone else’s PC for a sec to apply it. Be sure to read ALL instructions carefully before proceeding and remember that whatever you do to your device is your own responsibility. Head to the Androidforums.com thread here to get started.


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2Jan/120

Rumor: DROID 3, LG Revolution Hit End of Life Status

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If the rumor we’re reporting on right now is true, a few of Verizon’s top devices – including the relatively-recent Motorola DROID 3 and the LTE-enabled LG Revolution – are set to hit end of life status.

End of life means you’ll be hard-pressed to find them for sale by Verizon or their third-party retailers, but they will still offer hardware and software support. You usually see a few quick bug-fixing OTAs after end-of-life hits and warranties are often fulfilled long afterward, if not replaced by newer devices if Asurion happens to run out of them.

For what it’s worth, a few hotspot units are also hitting the bottom of the ocean but expect Verizon to introduce new ones following CES. As for the Android devices, we, of course,suspect that the DROID 4 will be taking the DROID 3′s place sometime soon.

The LG Revolution may or may not get a “replacement” per se, but the rumored LG Connect 4G is said to be headed to their LTE network and is pretty much a dual-core upgrade.

I know end-of-life sounds bad, but it’s really not that bad. If you want these phones and you don’t already have them by the time stock evaporates I’m sure a couple quick tricks to eBay, Amazon and Craigslist will get you on your way. [The Verge]


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2Jan/120

Mac Pro shipping times slip, refresh imminent

A new sign that a Mac Pro refresh is imminent has appeared today on Apple’s online store. Shipping times for almost all configurations of the built-to-order Mac Pros have slipped to 1-3 weeks, suggesting that the company may be paring down its inventory ahead of launching updated models with Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge E Xeon processors.

The Mac Pro refresh has long been overdue as the machine has not been updated since July 2010. The update has been waiting on Intel’s new Sandy Bridge-based Xeon E5 processor, which was originally set to launch in late 2011, but has been delayed to early 2012. However, rumors suggest that the issues in the chipset could delay the Xeon E5 until March.

Other upgrades to the Mac Pro include the graphics card, which has been hinted at in the developer builds of OS X 10.7.3. References can be found in the upcoming platform to support for AMD’s “Tahiti” line of graphics cards, suggesting that the high-end Radeon HD 7970 or the 7950 could be an option in future configurations.

[via MacRumors]


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Mac Pro shipping times slip, refresh imminent is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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2Jan/120

Apple planning media event in NYC late January

Apple may be planning to hold a media event at the end of January. Citing sources familiar with the plans, AllThingsD reveals that the event will take place in New York City and will not be hardware-oriented. This means it won’t be for unveiling the iPad 3 or the much rumored Apple TV.

Eddie Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, is believed to be involved with the event. His presence suggests the announcement will revolve around media, such as iTunes, iBookStore, iAd, iCloud, or the App Store. For instance, it could involve new developments in the company’s iTunes video subscription service.

However, given the location of NYC, which is where Apple last introduced the addition of News Corps’ The Daily, the event could be tied to publishing. This would explain why the event is being hosted in NYC since it’s a major hub of the magazine and newspaper industry.

[via AllThingsD]


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Apple planning media event in NYC late January is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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2Jan/120

CES 2012 mobile app now active on all platforms: tell us where to go!

There’ll be no guarantees here, ladies and gentlemen, but if you do so desire, feel free to have a look at the brand new official CES 2012 guide application and find every little stand and event you’d like us to go to for you, and let us know! What this app contains is both each of the groups represented at the CES 2012 band of events as well as the keynote speeches that’ll be going on throughout. The user interface here is rudimentary, but it does appear to work OK at the moment – have a peek!

First, you can grab the official app for either iOS or Android today, both from the Android Market and from the iTunes App Store, and all of it for free. You’ll find that it’ll either be working like a charm for you or it’ll have one massive web of problems: we’ve heard both sides from users thus far. There won’t be any bad effects on your device though, just the app is what has a few bugs in it. That said, for the most part you’ll still be able to get around – no worries!

Once you’re inside, tap on some videos to get a good idea of what CES 2012 the business is pushing forth, then head back to SlashGear to our [CES 2012 portal] to see what we’re finding out about the events beforehand as well. This is the biggest tech event in the USA all year, and you can bet we’ll be there with bells on. Let us know what you want to see!


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CES 2012 mobile app now active on all platforms: tell us where to go! is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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2Jan/120

iOS finishes 2011 with 52% share of mobile web browsing

Apple has finished 2011 with its iOS commanding 52.1 percent share of mobile web browsing. The data comes from Net Applications, which keeps track of the unique visitor count to its network of websites. Although still in far ahead, iOS did drop from a 54.06 percent lead in January 2011.

The dominance of iOS in mobile web browsing has been generally steady throughout the year with only a few fluctuations. Its market share had climbed to 61.5 percent in October, likely due to the launch of the iPhone 4S. Its lowest point was in February when it fell to 46.57 percent. This low was possibly due to more customers selling their iPads in anticipation for the iPad 2, which arrived in March.

Although Android dominates in overall smartphone market share when it comes to the number of devices sold and activated, the platform’s share of mobile web browsing is oddly far behind. Android rose from 12.75 percent to 16.29 percent over the course of this year.

[via AppleInsider]


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iOS finishes 2011 with 52% share of mobile web browsing is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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2Jan/120

iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 both beat Nokia Lumia 800 in browser benchmarks

Despite Microsoft’s claims earlier this year that its Windows Phone 7.5 Mango devices running IE 9 would beat out mobile Safari in browser benchmark tests, the latest video comparison uploaded by 359gsm shows quite the opposite. Placed side by side, the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 both beat out the Nokia Lumia 800.

The iPhone 4S can be seen significantly surpassing the Lumia 800 in performance in all tests, which include Browsermark tests, Speed Reading test, Sunspider, Acid3, and HTML5. The iPhone 4 also didn’t do too shabby, beating the Lumia 800 by a smaller margin in most of the browser tests.

The iPhone 4 is running iOS 4.3 while the iPhone 4S is running iOS 5. The tester notes that with the Speed Reading Test, iOS 5 on the iPhone 4 gives it a big boost up in speed. You can take a look at the video for yourself or catch the complete scores below. A higher number is better in most of the tests, except for the Sunspider Test where a lower number is better.

iPhone 4 – iOS 4.3
Nokia Lumia 800 – WP 7.5 (aka Mango)
iPhone 4S – iOS 5

Browsermark Test: Higher is better
iPhone 4 (iOS 4.3) – 37 503
Nokia Lumia 800 (WP7.5 aka Mango) – 30 452
iPhone 4S (iOS 5) – 86 702

Speed Reading Test:
iPhone 4 (iOS 4.3) – 2 fps (iPhone 4 with iOS 5.0 – around 37 fps)
Nokia Lumia 800 (WP7.5 aka Mango) – 40 fps
iPhone 4S (iOS 5) – 60 fps

Sunspider Test: Lower is better
iPhone 4 (iOS 4.3) – 4018.2 ms
Nokia Lumia 800 (WP7.5 aka Mango) – 7188.7 ms
iPhone 4S (iOS 5) – 2266 ms

Acid3 Test:
iPhone 4 (iOS 4.3) – 100/100
Nokia Lumia 800 (WP7.5 aka Mango) – 100/100
iPhone 4S (iOS 5) – 100/100

HTML5 Test:
iPhone 4 (iOS 4.3) – 210
Nokia Lumia 800 (WP7.5 aka Mango) – 141
iPhone 4S (iOS 5) – 296

[via MyNokiaBlog]


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iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 both beat Nokia Lumia 800 in browser benchmarks is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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2Jan/120

Official Apple Store grab bags have customers dropping cash on random swag

This New Years Day, yesterday for those of you living in a basement with the lights off, Japanese shoppers got a chance to pick up what’s called a Fukubukuro, or “Lucky Bag,” that being an official grab bag of relatively randomly assorted items from the store for their enjoyment! While we’ll never, ever, ever see such an awesome situation happening here in the United States, this practice is said to have been going on each year since the onset of 2005. While most shoppers got a selection of accessories like headphones, cases, and Apple 1-inch buttons, some were lucky enough to snag gems like a MacBook Air or iPad 2.

Each of these bags cost 33,000 yen (about $428) and has a lovely New Year’s design on the side. Over at AppBank it seems that they’ve happened upon at least one lucky customer’s bag contents, that being the following:

• Porter Bag (gray)
• iPod Touch 4th Generation 8GB
• mophie Juice Pack Reserve v2
• Uncommon Capsule Case
• iZON Remote Room Monitor
• INCASE Reflex

It’s been reported that the big ticket items, again, were MacBook Airs and iPad 2 units, specifically the 16GB Wi-fi version for the iPad 2. For the MacBook Air, they were the (11-inch, Mid 2011) / Core i5 1.6GHz/2GB/64GBSSD units you know and love. Ringo Sanco also had the following image showing the front of the store they went to – season’s greetings!

Given the cost and the relative uncertainty of the items inside the bags, would you drop some cash on a Fukubukuro? I can’t say I wouldn’t be curious, but for $428 I might just have to add a few bucks and buy an iPad 2 and be done with it. Maybe next year we’ll see the stakes go up!

[via MACnn]


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Official Apple Store grab bags have customers dropping cash on random swag is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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