NOTICE:
Check out my awesome new project over at www.zettai.moe!

January 31, 2013

Google Play store to surpass Apple App Store by the end of the year?

google vs apple app store
It’s no secret that Google and Apple are dominating the mobile business right now, with everyone else battling for third position, and we have a new report that says the former will pass the latter by the end of 2013 when it comes to app revenue.

The guys over at Android Authority looked at a new analysis from App Annie which has been looking at the Play Store and App Store and their performances in the last few months and concluded that the Play Store could surpass the iTunes in revenue by the end of the year.

According to the data, Apple is still making a lot more money for app developers at this time than Google is: in Q4 2012 Apple brought in 350% more app revenue than Google.

But growth appears to be more impressive for Google, with App Annie seeing a 33% growth from November to December and a 100% gain from December to January for Apple. Meanwhile, Google saw a 700% growth from December to January when it comes to app revenue. Overall, in Q4 2012, Google Play revenue grew 200% compared to Apple’s 20% growth.


While percentages do not translate into cash, and they’re relative to each of the two company’s prior revenue performances, if real, they do suggests that at some point the Play Store will indeed be more profitable than the App Store.

That seems to be a given considering that there are more Android users than iOS device owners, so in theory, in time they should download more content, including paid apps.

[via Android Authority]

Google+ update adds new notification tray and link posting

Google+ Notifications
The Google+ app for Android has been updated yet again and it brings some much need features such as an improved notification tray, posting links and Google+ Communities moderation tools. With the previous update, the app received a new post composition screen that lets you add a photo or mood to the post. This new update ands a "link" option between the two. Tapping it lets you manually add a URL, although most people will by copying/pasting links in. The main UI's notification tray has been moved from the side-bar into it's separate section in the top bar between the refresh and settings buttons. Tapping the number will bring out the whole notification tray.

The update also brings some much anticipated Google+ Communities moderation functions. Now, Moderators of a Community can either "Remove" or "Make Visible" posts that are flagged as spam in the community.

January 30, 2013

XMBX 12 now available for Android and Raspberry Pi

XBMC
XBMC has been around for a long time. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a media center that’s already available for Linux, PC, and Mac. Over the last year or so, XBMC has been making an effort to support Android and other operating systems. With the release of XBMC 12, called Frodo, the popular media center has added support for Raspberry Pi and Android.

You can get XBMC from their official website. The downloads for all the various operating systems are free, so just download and install.

Mashing manga with Android gives you this

Sweet Android high school japanese manga
Geeks love Android and geeks love manga, so the Japanese comic called “Sweet Android High-school” seems a match made in heaven.

Featuring characters that symbolize the major Android manufacturers, from Moto-Laura-chan (Motorola) to Soni-Eri-chan (Sony Ericsson), the new comic is published in the storied Japanese PC magazine ASCII.

Here’s the basic premise – Professor Google teaches at the Android highschool, where students include:
  • Moto-Laura-chan (Motorola)
  • Sam-Sung-chan (Samsung)
  • H-T-Syee-chan (HTC)
  • Elle-G-chan (LG)
  • Soni-Eri-chan (Sony Ericsson)
Sweet Android high school japanese manga

These are all international students, but Japanese manufacturers are represented by Sharp (Sharp-chan), Fujitsu-Toshiba (Fuji-Toru-chan), and Casio-NEC (Kashio-Nko-chan).

All the students are girls, depicted in typical manga fashion. They all wear distinctive signs that give away their identity; for instance, Moto-Laura-chan chews bubblegum and wears an M-shaped tiara in her blond hair, which resembles the Motorola logo.

Fittingly, Professor Google is married to Moto-Laura-chan, but worry not, he doesn’t give her any advantages over the other students.

Apple is represented too. As you would expect, Apple-kun attends a different high school and he constantly argues with, who else, Sam-Sung-chan.

If you want to learn more about Professor Google and the gang, head over to the source.

[via Android Authority]

January 29, 2013

Instant Upload Picks: Coffee and Nexus 7

So I have having a nice Latte the other day over at Max Brenners in Southbank whilst surfing Google+ on my Nexus 7. I decided to make a post about it because having nice coffee whilst using an awesome device is just a wonderful experience. I have been playing around with the Nexus 7 for a little while now and I have grown accustomed to it. The games, the interaction and the seamless social integration to all my internet accounts is just awesome.

Google+ catching up to Facebook in numbers

Google plus logo
It’s a numbers game for social networks. And while Facebook is still king of the hill, there’s one competitor that might soon overtake the leading social network. Google+ has reportedly climbed the social ladder, so to speak, and has taken the second place, with 343 million active users as of fourth quarter of 2012. This is about half of Facebook’s 693 million active users (out of 903 million accounts).

This data comes from a recent report from the Global Web Index, which has also determined that another Google product is fast catching up on the social action. YouTube is at #3 spot, with 300 million users.

Find out more

SwiftKey Flow beta update adds new content and fixes

SwiftKey Flow beta
The launch of SwiftKey Flow is edging ever closer, but before the final release goes public another beta version has been made available for public download. SwiftKey Flow is pretty much a hybrid between the popular Swype and SwiftKey keyboards, adding new and improved ways to swipe and type on your Android keyboard.

The latest beta update adds improvements to corrections, allowing you just tap on the word for a choice of optional corrections. They’ve also included an accelerated long press delete so that you can erase entire sentences with ease, and predictions will now work in more text fields in a wider variety of applications.

The app’s various themes have also been updated, and a split layout if you put your phone in landscape mode. A load of additional languages have also been added, so you shouldn’t have trouble using the app in your native tongue.

Along with the feature improvements, there are also a host of bug fixes included, but there are still a few known issues which are yet to be ironed out. You can check out the full change log on the SwiftKey Flow blog.

[via Android Authority]

January 28, 2013

Full screen mode in Chrome Beta!

chrome-beta-android
A recent update has given Chrome Beta the option to enable WebGL. While that usually has a lot to do with graphics, this time it’s given us a fun new way to view webpages.

Here are the steps:
  • Open up Chrome Beta
  • Type chrome://flags/ into the omnibox (that’s the address bar at the top)
  • Scroll down until you see “Enable WebGL” and click on it to activate
  • Navigate to the “Boids and Buildings” experiment page (bookmark this)
  • Launch the experiment
  • Close all tabs, and reopen Chrome Beta
Simple as that! Now, a few notes. We asked you to bookmark the page in step 4 because when you turn the device off or force-stop Chrome Beta, the full-screen function goes away. You’ll have to run through steps 4-6 again to re-engage the feature. It really makes mobile web browsing a much better experience.We’re sure this is a feature we’ll see on future Chrome updates (once the beta tag is removed), but an early gift is never a bad thing.


New Options Added to ‘Ubuntu Phone Live Wallpaper’ for Android

Minor customization options have been added to Ubuntu Phone Live Wallpaper – an Android app that apes the look of  the Ubuntu mobile lock screen. Although none of the new additions are of the brain-melting variety they will be welcomed by tweakers looking to tailor the drape to suit their tastes.
Resizing and Reposition Options Added
The major change concerns the “circle” centre-point of the wallpaper. This can now be resized and repositioned from the ‘Live Wallpaper Preview‘ screen.

Pinching in and out will make the circle smaller and bigger respectively; whilst a simple tap and drag on it will allow you to move it anywhere on the screen.


January 27, 2013

RetroArch: All your emulators in one app

Retroarch-emulator
Do you ever play old school games on your Android? There are many different emulators in the Play Store that enables you to play those addictive games from back then. However, gathering all those emulators can be inconvenient and expensive. Here, we introduce RetroArch.

The emulator allows you to play thousands of classic games from a surprising large number of platforms. Here is the complete list:
  • PlayStation 1 (emulator: PCSX ReARMed)
  • Super Nintendo (emulator: SNES9x Next)
  • Nintendo Entertainment System (emulator: FCEUmm / NEStopia)
  • GameBoy / GameBoy Color (emulator: Gambatte)
  • GameBoy Advance (emulator: VBA Next)
  • Arcade (emulator: Final Burn Alpha)
  • Neo Geo Pocket Color (emulator: Mednafen NGP)
  • Virtual Boy (emulator: Mednafen VB)
  • Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (emulator: Genesis Plus GX)
  • Sega Master System/Sega Game Gear (emulator: Genesis Plus GX)
  • Sega CD / Mega CD (emulator: Genesis Plus GX)
  • PC Engine / PC Engine CD (emulator: Mednafen PCE Fast)
  • WonderSwan Color / Crystal (emulator: Mednafen Wonderswan)
  • Cave Story (game engine: NX Engine)
  • Doom 1 / Doom 2 / Ultimate Doom / Final Doom (game engine: prBoom)
The app also supports PnP detection of various USB and Bluetooth gamepads, real-time rewinding of games, advanced pixel/vertex shader, customizable touchscreen overlays, and more. One of the best things about RetroArch is that it’s completely free with no nagging ads whatsoever!



Chrome for Android getting password sync

Chrome
Nearly all versions of Chrome currently support password sync. The ability to save your passwords and have them transferred to a new machine when you sign in there can be very useful. Going from a laptop to a desktop? Password sync will help making signing in easy. Inexplicably, this feature isn’t available on Google Chrome for Android.

Not having this feature on mobile wouldn’t be so bad if the iOS version didn’t already have it. So there is likely some resentment that they got theirs first. Considering the desktop version works too, that leaves Android in the dark as the only one that doesn’t have it.

However, according to Phandroid’s Quentyn Kennemer, Google states that it’s because it was easier to get it working for iOS than it was for Android. This is because of how Android handles user accounts. So never fear, Android fans, Google is working on it.

[via Android Authority]

January 26, 2013

Three top tips on how to master Temple Run 2

Temple-Run-2
Temple Run 2 was released not too long ago on the Android platform and most of us has already tried it at least once. Imangi Studio has three tips for us on how to master this game of lengthy proportions.

The three tips that will help you excel in the game are as follows:
  • Multiply and Conquer: The easiest way to get a larger score (so you can brag to everyone you know) is to utilize your score multiplier. To do this, you need to complete different objectives. Each objective ups your multiplier by one, so focus on those objectives first to get your score really high.
  • Coins, Coins, Coins: Coins are the currency in Temple Run and they are used to upgrade the characters and gameplay. The fastest way to start earning coins is to upgrade the “Coin Values” under abilities. Doing this will make the double and triple coins appear on the track. Also, everyone’s favorite powerup is the magnet- it helps you get every coin near you as you run.
  • Going the Distance: Clearly, you want to run as far as you can. To do that, it sometimes means you must sacrifice extra coins for bonus items. The shield power will help with obstacles, but remember, it won’t protect you from falling. The Boost, at the beginning of the game, can also help you move forwards faster.

January 25, 2013

Skype update adds portrait calling on tablets

The latest update to Skype for Android brings an improved UI and portrait calling, but unfortunately the rest of the app is locked in landscape. The portrait calling seemed like a no-brainer fix, especially considering many smaller tablets -- like the Nexus 7 -- have camera setups meant for portrait orientation. The unfortunate bug (or at least it is considered a bug) is that for now the rest of the UI is locked into landscape orientation. This means that browsing your contacts and initiating calls is all in landscape, then you have to rotate the tablet to hold the call.

Overall the new UI is great and pretty well mirrors the styling of the phone UI, but the perpetual landscape really puts a damper on things. Let's hope Skype pushes out a new update soon to add back in the portrait support. At least for now, you can enjoy portrait video calling.

Check out some deals for Australia on Google Play

Android Central
Good news for those in Australia looking to save some money in the run up to Australia Day. The Australian Google Play Store is right now offering discounts on Australian-made apps, games and movies. Hop into the Play Store app from Australia and you'll see two new promotional blocks for the featured items.

In addition, some Australian-made movies are on sale as little as A$5.99, including the likes of Young Einstein, Muriel's Wedding and Mad Max. Definitely worth checking out over the next few days if you're looking to pick up an Australia Day bargain.


January 24, 2013

Temple Run 2 for Android now available in Google Play

Temple Run 2
Temple Run 2, the highly anticipated sequel to one of the biggest games ever, is now available in Google Play. It has all the twists and turns (and monkeys) of the original, but it's been completely redone with great new graphics, new environments, and even bigger monkeys! It's free to download (of course you can spend money via in-app purchases if that's your thing) and you can grab it below.


Looks like Google owns the app space

Android Central
Google has captured five of the top six spots in the mobile app space, and it isn't likely that they will be slowing down any time soon. That chart as shown above is the number of unique (as in you only get counted once) users of the top 10 mobile apps on Android and iOS for the month of December 2012, and as you can see Google is just tearing it up. In fact, according to Comscore, Google would have also grabbed the number one spot were it not for the maps fiasco in iOS 6.

Google has consistently stated that one of Android's primary goals was to put the Internet, and their apps, into as many hands as possible. With upwards of 75-percent market share alone, and close to 95-percent when combined with the Google-friendly iOS, it sure is a straight highway down to domination.

12 Default Ubuntu Phone Apps to be ‘Community Created’

twitter-app
Canonical are to seek community involvement in the design and development of 12 core apps for the Ubuntu Phone. This initiative, they say, will give the wider community ‘a fantastic opportunity to create software that could run on millions of handsets.’

So far, as part of this specific project, 12 applications are currently being sought. These will ship as default apps in the Ubuntu Phone.

They include 8 “traditional” apps:
  • File Manager
  • Calendar
  • Clock/Alarm
  • Weather
  • Terminal
  • Calculator
  • E-Mail Client
  • Document Viewer
And 4 “social” apps:
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS Reader

January 23, 2013

New icons and window animations lands in Unity

new-window-snap
Ubuntu 13.04 will bring about new changes with a new window snapping effect.

Dragging an application window to the left, right or upper-top of the Unity desktop previously invoked an orange 'highlight' box transition that denoted the space the window being snapped would fill when released.

However, for the Ubuntu 13.04 release, the transition has been tweaked slightly.

Now, instead of having a highlight box, there is now a 'ghost' window that appears where you want the window to be 'snapped'. So what was the problem with the orange box? According to user testing conducted by Canonical users found the the incumbent transitions to be ‘unpredictable’ and the orange expanding box to be ‘confusing’.

In addition, Ubuntu 13.04 will feature new icons.
bfbf
lens-icons
You can check out more changes in the video below.


January 22, 2013

Galaga Special Edition now available in the Google Play Store

Galaga Special Edition
Galaga is easily one of the best classic games out there and it’d be definitely nice to play an updated version of it on our smartphones though. Thanks to Namco, Galaga can be now played on Android smartphones and tablets.

Galaga Special Edition is available in the Google Play Store as a free download. It still offers that same classic shoot ‘em up gameplay we all love, while having been graphically overhauled. This was a good decision on Namco’s part since most of us are expecting top of the line graphics in the games we play.

There are many other awesome things in this release. One of those things is that a very wide range of people now have access to Galaga. After all, Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread and Android 2.2 Froyo is what the majority of people are running. If your device is running Android 2.0 or higher be sure to snag Galaga Special Edition for free here!

[via Android Authority]

January 21, 2013

Toyota Unveils Official Girls & Panzer Itasha Car


Automobile museum Toyota Auto Salon Amlux began a Girls und Panzer-themed event on Saturday. The event runs until February 11 with activities such as a stamp rally, a bingo tournament, 2000GT plastic model bulding, a Gran Turismo game simulation competition, a safety driving test via a simulator — and a Toyota itasha car decorated with an official Girls und Panzer decals:


[via ANN]

Android App Spotlight: AirDroid

AirDroid
I recently bought a Nexus 7 and tried to connect it to my Linux operating system; but it didn't work. It seems that Linux still doesn't support MTP out-of-the-box natively and require some external software and tweaking to get it working. I tried many different methods but none of them worked. In the end, I decided to give AirDroid a try...and I was amazed.

AirDroid is a fast, free app that lets you wirelessly manage your Android from your favorite browser. Similar to an FTP server, you just download the app, connect to your WiFi network and open up the web address link on your PC.

AirDroid allows you to transfer files between your phoen to the PC. It also supports drag & drop! You can pretty much do everything with AirDroid just like you are using Windows Explorer. Not only that, you can also receive, send, forward and delete SMS messages, install apps, view photos, customize ringtones and much more! It is one killer app, and I would recommend it to anyone that has an Android. Best of all, it is free!


Kim Dotcom's Mega comeback

kim dotcom
Kim Dotcom is back in his newest venture, the Mega file storage site. It’s been the talk of the internet all day today. The numbers seem to indicate that it was a mammoth success. According to Kim Dotcom’s Twitter account, the service has over 250,000 registered users already with 100,000 in the first hour. The servers are at full load and things are just going so well.

What’s making this such a success? There are several factors. First and foremost, new members are getting 50GB of free cloud storage upon signing up. That’s always a good start. Another factor is the site’s crazy good encryption.

According to The Verge’s Kimber Streams, this is to help protect both the users and Mega itself. Due to the encryption, the service doesn’t have access to the content being uploaded. This helps indemnify Mega to prevent the kinds of problems MegaUpload had.

With the encryption and all that free storage, it’s hard to say no to Kim Dotcom’s Mega. Some have even suggested that it could compete with very popular services like Dropbox. Currently, Mega doesn’t have all the features that Dropbox has, but we’re all but certain features will be implemented as time goes. However, they’re off to a good start by making the interface and using the site pretty easy. To upload files, simply drag and drop them.

[via Android Authority]

January 20, 2013

Anime Review: Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle

"It's puzzle time!" will be the most used phrase you will hear in this anime - and that is all the anime is about. A bunch of 'Solvers' solving puzzles challenged by the 'Givers'. "How is this even interesting? "you may ask. Well, let me explain.

Phi Brain: Kami no PuzzleSynopsis:

Kaito Daimon would be a completely average high school student except for one thing: he's a 'demon' at solving puzzles. Kaito is so brilliant, in fact, that when he's asked to take some 'special' tests of his unique ability, he immediately suspects that the test itself is a test. Kaito suddenly finds himself caught up in a lethal Philosopher's Puzzle made by the sinister group POG, a murderous maze of trap upon trap, where failing to solve the secret correctly will result in death! Fortunately, Kaito's skills prove up to the first test, both for himself and his childhood friend Nanoha, who is also caught up in the deadly scheme. But now that he has been designated as a Solver, he is pulled into a new life where he must travel the world with other Solvers, attempting to solve the latest deadly riddles left by POG. There's a new conundrum around every corner and each deception could lead to death, but once a riddle has been posed, you can count on Kaito to unfold, unravel and unlock it!

Review:

It is rare for a puzzle genre to be transposed as an anime. Some do pretty well, whilst others are outright failures. However, Phi Brain adds in some action and adventure elements that will rack your brain and keep you entertained throughout the duration. Simply put, they turned the puzzle genre into a whole dramatic game. Don't worry if you don't understand the puzzles, as most of them are quite complex indeed. You don't need to analyse the complex puzzles to understand the story, just sit back and let the main character do all the solving for you. That said, "It's puzzle time!". The story is set in a shounen way where the good guys are the Solvers and the bad guys are the Givers. Kaito is the protagonist in this story, he is actually quite smart but doesn't show it to anybody. With a hidden dark past, he uncovers the truth about himself, his parents, and the people around him. Quite the interesting anime to watch if you are into deep puzzle solving mystery and suspense.

Although the art isn't groundbreaking, the animation and the overall presentation of the puzzles was quite we;; done and engaging to the audience. One question the producers must have encountered was "How to make puzzles appealing to the average person?". The answer was use of awesome imagery, quick action shots, and unbelievable huge puzzles with death-dealing punishments. The character design was also quite good but not really my style. In the end, it was well presented and fit the "personality" of the anime perfectly.

The voice acting was also quite good although not totally perfect. Some character's personalities and voices seemed a bit too forced or unappealing or boring to listen to. That may just be me. Anyhow, the opening song was really catchy and the ending song was simply wonderful to listen to. I had no issues with the soundtrack throughout the series.

As for characters, there were quite a few unique persona here and there. Mainly though, you will be dealing with Kaito and his few friends. They all have different titles and skills so it doesn't get boring watching them socially interact with one another. As for the POG, there is quite a few minor characters that only appear in the anime as Givers. They don't really help the main story but they are just there to give puzzles to Kaito to solve. On the other hand, there is a plot twist in the whole POG thing that gets half explained at the end.

Overall, it was a surprisingly interesting anime to watch. If you think an anime about puzzles would be boring, think again. The way it is presented and structured was really well done and I look forward to watching the sequel in the near future.

STORY: 8

ART: 8

SOUND: 8

CHARACTER: 8

ENJOYMENT: 8

OVERALL: 8

LINE hits 100 million

The logo of the Line free-telephone service (Provided by NHN Japan Corp.)
Line, a free-telephone app for smartphones, has won 100 million users worldwide, establishing a dominant lead over rivals hoping to emulate its success.

The service, which started in June 2011, has attracted 100 million users in just 19 months or so, a faster pace than Facebook, the world’s largest social networking service, the company said.

A type of Internet protocol phone, Line enables users to talk free of charge except for standard data communication fees. People on both ends of the line need to download the free app on their smartphones.

Line boasts a subscriber base of 41.5 million, mainly young people, in Japan alone.

NHN Japan has yet to make money on a monthly basis due mainly to investments for expanding overseas. But monthly sales from pictograms and messages that Line users can send to one another reach several hundreds of millions of yen.

[via Asahi]

January 19, 2013

Linux Help: Your Nexus 7 to Linux Mint via MTP

I recently bought a Nexus 7 and I was quite happy with how it worked and everything. I was about to copy some files over to the device when I suddenly discovered that Linux Mint doesn't detect it at all! Then, I remembered that the latest Android operating system now uses the MTP protocol to transfer files to and from your device.

I quickly loaded up Google and rampaged through the Linux forus, hoping to find a solution. I tried many different suggestions; such as downloading gMTP (failed), using custom scripts (failed), and gvfs just doesn't work.

With all despair, I stumbled upon a post on WedbUp8. It gave a helpful tutorial in connecting your Nexus 7 to Linux by using Go-mtpfs.

Go-mtpfs is a FUSE filesystem, created by a Google employee because "mtpfs was very unstable" for him, which works great.

You can check out the video tutorial below.


To view the full tutorial, hit the source link above in the text and follow the instructions. If you are using Linux Mint 14, you will not need to install the Ubuntu Unity stuff.

Ubuntu One Music Store Plugin Dropped from Ubuntu 13.04


Ubuntu’s default music player won’t ship with the Ubuntu One Music Store plugin in 13.04.

With the Ubuntu One Music Store now available via the web, and all Dash music recommendations linking there, the decision has been taken to retire the Rhythmbox plugin ‘in favour‘ of the web store.

But this change will make the store more discoverable.
No More Music Store in Ubuntu 13.04
The Ubuntu One Music Store plugin debuted in Ubuntu 10.04, and since that time it’s not changed a great deal. It also limited itself to just two media players: Rhythmbox and Banshee.

But now that a link to the Ubuntu One Music Store is pinned on the launcher of Ubuntu 12.10 by default – and is likely to remain in place in 13.04 - every user of Ubuntu can see and access it without needing to open (or even use) Rhythmbox.


Despite the store bidding adieu other features of the Ubuntu One Rhythmbox plugin will remain.

This includes the “auto-sync” feature that automatically adds purchased tracks to your library.

[via OMG! Ubuntu!]

Chrome Beta update fixes issues, has a new icon

Android Central
Since a proper Chrome Beta channel app came into the Play Store, we knew we'd be in for some frequent updates. Alongside a new icon that has a black/white "BETA" tag on it, rather than the angled grey/white one before, this update brings many small fixes:

  • 165783 - Enable compositing scrollable frames on Android
  • 168368 - Chrome progress bar should be displayed as soon as the user clicks a link
  • 165244 - Text handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 162486 - iframe scrolling broken

There are still some glaring bugs, as is the case with Beta releases, such as yahoo.com page links not working and some intense graphical glitches on certain devices. This is all part of the fun though, and we know what we're getting into when moving to the Beta channel of a browser.

[via Android Central]

January 18, 2013

On Facebook, users can no longer hide from search results


In the wake of its “graph search” announcement, Facebook removed the ability for users to opt out of appearing in search results on the site. Because graph search relies on the content of profiles to fuel its results, the move will allow more comprehensive returns on searches but may violate the privacy of users who previously relied on that feature.

Before Facebook’s changes to its privacy policy and the implementation of graph search, users were able to keep their profiles—even their most basic information—out of the searches of non-friends. This setting would make it impossible for non-friends to locate a Facebook profile, unless the hidden person reached out first.

Such profiles would hinder the progress of graph search, which relies on profile content to cull information. Facebook asserts that a “single-digit percentage” of profiles had previously opted out of being searchable.

Now, Facebook has pushed everyone into the limelight. The guys over at Ars Technica have noted a couple of profiles, formerly non-searchable, now appear in search results. Presumably, once graph search is turned on for their friends, the information in their formerly hidden profiles will be tallied along with the rest.

Get ready for Temple Run 2 on Jan 24

While we may not today be basking in the glow of Imangi Studios' sequel to their smash hit Temple Run like our iOS friends, we shall not be waiting long. British newspaper, The Guardian, ran a lengthy interview with the developers, and garnered a release date for the Android version of Temple Run 2. One week from today, Thursday Jan. 24.

Temple Run 2 looks on the face of it a lot like its predecessor. After all, it's still an endless runner. But, Temple Run 2 has more aspects to the game this time around in that you pilot a runaway mine cart, running isn't just straight lines, and you get to slide down zipwires. There's also an in-app purchase available of a coin-doubler, and what looks like a power up for some crazy fast running. We'll naturally be giving Temple Run 2 the once over next week when it launches in Google Play, but for now, we'll make do with the official launch trailer.

[via Android Authority]

Life: The jump from Windows to Linux Mint

So I decided to make the jump today from Windows 7 to Linux Mint 14. Why? Well for one thing, I definitely don't want to upgrade to Windows 8 whatsoever. Anyhow, mainly though, I have come to realisation that I am getting too old for games now. I'm past that stage in life where everyone brought their DS's to school and just play Mario Kart with each other during lunch times. Yes, those were good memories.

January 17, 2013

Facebook's Graph Search - What is it?

Photograph: Getty Images
Facebook yesterday demonstrated its new service, Graph Search. The company is proposing to let people search their "social graph" to find new, useful information. (The social graph is the network of relationships between you, your friends, and their friends. Sadly, it is not a search engine for graphs.)

The company is positioning the search service as a competitor to, well, everything. Search for "music my friends like" – graph search is designed to take natural language input – and you've got something which can take on Last.fm or This is My Jam. Search for "restaurants in London my friends have been to" and you've got a rival to Foursquare. "Friends who work for PWC" could fill the same niche as LinkedIn, and "Photos taken before 1995" offers something which only Flickr does half as well.

However, there are concerns for the privacy of user's information. Hit the source link below for more information.

[via New Statesman]

January 16, 2013

Fedora 18 'Spherical Cow' Released

Fedora 18 screenshot
Fedora 18 "Spherical Cow" has been released today, featuring the latest stable GNOME 3.6 by default and a brand new installer UI. Here are some new changes:

New Install UI

Fedora 18 introduces UEFI Secure Boot support so it can now be used on system shipped with Windows 8, as well as a new user interface for the installer (Anaconda), which is now easier to use for new users, while more advanced users can still access advanced settings:
Fedora 18 installer screenshot

GNOME 3.6

GNOME 3.6 (with GNOME Shell as the default "shell" interface) is used by default in Fedora 18: Nautilus, GNOME Contacts, Boxes, Documents, Totem (Videos), etc. are all there.
Fedora 18 screenshots

Default Applications Shipped in Fedora 18

Fedora 18 screenshots
Fedora 18 ships with Linux Kernel 3.6 (3.6.10), but 3.7 is already offered as an update, X Server 1.13 and features default applications such as: Nautilus 3.6.3, GNOME Control Center 3.6.3, Evolution 3.6.3, GNOME Documents 3.6.2, GNOME Boxes 3.6.2, Deja Dup backup tool 24.0, Rhythmbox 2.98, Empathy 3.6.2, Firefox 18, Cheese 3.6.2, Shotwell 0.13.1, Transmission 2.72, GDM 3.6.2 and LibreOffice 3.6.3.2, among others, all on top of GNOME 3.6 and GTK 3.6.2.

Minecraft Pocket Edition update will add clouds, gravity-affected blocks and signs

minecraft pocket edition
Information about the upcoming Minecraft Pocket Edition update has been floating around for a little while, and now we have some idea about exactly what will be included when the update goes live.

Clouds in the sky and customization signs are confirmed additions to the game. The option to render clouds will be made available on high-end devices, whilst slower devices will have to make do with clear skies. Improvements to the physics engine should also appear in the update, as certain blocks will now obey the laws of gravity. So beware, as your epic sand sculptures could well end up collapsing in on you in the future.

Update 0.5.1 will also come with some less interesting, but equally important performance optimizations and bug fixes. There are also rumors of extra content like stone brick slabs, stairs and Redstone powered objects coming to Minecraft Pocket Edition soon. But these features might not appear until the 0.6.0 version, which is expected to follow soon after 0.5.1. Either way, there will be a host of new content available for Android Minecraft players in the near future.

The update is expected to roll out sometime near the end of January or early February, so get your pickaxes ready.

[via Android Authority]

January 15, 2013

Australia’s Guvera Offers Free Streaming Music On Android And iOS Devices

There are plenty of companies offering subscription music services in Australia, but virtually all of them ask for a monthly fee. Spotify is one of the few that offers a free ad-supported service, but you still have to pay to use it on a mobile device. Enter Guvera: An Australian developed free music streaming (supported by advertising) which you can access on iOS and Android devices.

You can sign into Guvera using Facebook or set up an account via your email address. The site claims “millions” of tracks; my searches suggest that the range isn’t as broad as Spotify and there are some problems with metadata on quite a few tracks, but there’s enough there to keep your playlist ticking over for quite a while. If you want to avoid the ads, you can sign up for an $11.99 a month Platinum account. The free option will probably be enough to please casual listeners; as with any streaming service, stick to Wi-Fi to avoid excessive data charges.

[via Gizmodo]

January 14, 2013

Featured Wallpaper: Toaru Majutsu no Index

Toatu Majutsu no Index is an anime about science and powers that collide in many forms. Which side will win? Ultimately though, it comes down to the skill levels of these users and how they overcome various obstacles that are thrown in their way. This wallpaper is all about a certain magical index. Level 5.

MeMuMo: Zoom by Last Dinosaurs

Title: Zoom
Artist: Last Dinosaurs
Year: 2011
Comments: So I have been playing Need for Speed: Most Wanted recently I have noticed quite a few catchy songs in there. This song is 'Zoom' by an indie band based in Brisbane! The songs is quite good and catchy to listen to. Makes you want to step on the accelerator and hit the nitro.

January 13, 2013

Your guide from Apple to Android

Android Apple
Some of you have wondered what would it be like to jump to Android from Apple. Some may have doubts whether Android can really satisfy their needs for apps or just how user-friendly the platform is. The main differences is quite distinctive. One is Android, and one is Apple. Well, not that simple. To further explain the major differences between the two operating systems check out this guide on Android Authority that will tell you all about the switch to Android.

January 12, 2013

Microsoft to kill the Messenger on March 15

Microsoft announced last November it would soon retire its instant messaging client in favor Skype, which Microsoft acquired in October 2011. Today it began informing Messenger users that the service would go dark for the majority of users on March 15.

Skype officials said in late October that Skype would most likely replace Messenger someday but had declined to provide a public timetable. A blog post in November indicated the switchover would occur during the first quarter of 2013.

Skype began testing new Windows and Mac beta releases in October that let users sign in to Skype using their Windows Live ID, allowing them to send and receive instant messages and see the presence information of those using Live Messenger, Xbox, Hotmail or Outlook.com.

After migrating from Messenger to Skype, users will be able to use Skype's instant messaging, as well as its video calling, landline calling, screen sharing, and video calling on mobile phones.

[via CNET]

Ubuntu Phone OS welcome screen on Android

Ubuntu Live Wallpaper is a new Android live wallpaper designed to look like the Ubuntu Phone OS welcome screen:
Ubuntu Phone OS live wallpaper for Android
"If you can wait no more, we have small substitute for your Android phone! You can enjoy a live wallpaper that is similar to Ubuntu Phone ‘Welcome Screen’ from Canonical" says the Ubuntu Live Wallpaper description.

The wallpaper is available for both phones and tablets and features an animated background and system clock integration, but more features are expected in future releases, such as battery integration as well as performance improvements.

Get it via Google Play.

[via WebUpd8]

January 11, 2013

Chrome Beta channel now available for Android

Android Central
The Chrome Beta channel for Android kicks off today with version 25.0.1364.8. Like the Beta channel for the computer, it's a preview of features and fixes that has already passed the development channel and is running through the final testing before it makes its way into the final version. That means it's a great way to try out things that may be broken, but still allow the software to work as a whole. Today's release comes with the following bugs:

  • Performance is sluggish, noticeably on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S
  • Frequent freeze on devices with specific versions of Qualcomm GPU driver
  • Text autosizing may break formatting on some sites
  • 164632 - Editing bookmark feature is broken
  • 165244 - Text position handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 163439 - Clicking on links in yahoo.com not navigating on Nexus 7
  • 166233 - Unable to submit comments on Facebook posts in desktop version of Facebook
  • 165244 - Text handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 167351 - Youtube video controls are lost after returning from fullscreen video mode
  • 162486 - iframe scrolling broken
Click here to get it. It installs along side your current version of Chrome for Android, so you always have a fail-safe.


January 10, 2013

Anime Review: Fate/stay night

Like many shounen anime featuring loads of action and supernatural powers, Fate/stay night certainly fulfills the conditions of such an anime. Interestingly enough, it doesn't get repetitive or boring at all. Thre is always something that will spark you interest along the way.

Fate/stay nightSynopsis:

Raised by a mysterious sorcerer after the horrific death of his parents, Shiro Emiya has only just begun to help others using the small tidbits of magic that he's learned. However, when he's suddenly caught in a battle between two more powerful Magus, Shiro finds himself performing a spell above his expected ability, summoning the beautiful spirit warrior Saber to protect him! But safety is only momentary as Shiro and Saber now find themselves thrust into in a secret world of dark magic and deadly challenges: a no-holds barred duel to the death known as the Holy Grail War! At stake: a prize of unimaginable power. But can the inexperienced Shiro and Saber survive long enough to even enter the contest? First they'll have to withstand waves of treachery and assassination, even as Shiro scrambles to learn everything he'll need to know to stay alive as seven teams of Magus and Spirit Servants face off in mortal combat!

Review:

I love it when shounen anime portray the main character to be all helpless with a seemingly weak power at first, but discovers that the power is actually really powerful and useful in the end. Something about that just ticks something inside. Apart from that, Fate/stay night is your typical shounen anime. Shiro Emiya is the main character of the story. He has absolutely little magic power in which he uses it to help people fix electronic goods. Then one day, being hunted by random people, he somehow summons a powerful warrior to his side. And then, he gets thrown into a world in which he has to fight for his life and of his Servant. It is a game involving seven Masters and Servants to claim the top prize; that which is the Holy Grail. The story was entertaining and engaging.

The artwork was quite good and it was fluidly animated. For a 2006 series, the characters looked appealing, the fight scenes were brilliantly played out, the still animations, everything just felt well connected. The environments were highly detailed and camera direction was perfect.

The sound quality was quite good. The voice acting was superb and I did not find any issues with any of the characters. The songs are catchy in their own merits and somewhat memorable. They do come off occasionally on the wrong scenes but for the most of the time they are spot on. Aside the soundtrack, the sound effects are also ok and fit the scenes they take part into.

All the characters are well made. They all have distinct traits, they all have particular looks, they all have background, objective and dept, but the problem is most of the time this is all crammed up so much it end up not living to the expectations. For example, about Saber and the rest of the classes. You don't get a proper explanation as to why they are there and how they got to be involved in the game. However, there is a prequel that came out after Fate/stay night and that will probably explain in more detail.

In the end, aside from the improper introductions of most of the characters, the story was quite entertaining to watch. The characters looked great and the art was simply stunning. I didn't really have any problems with the anime whatsoever. Even if some questions didn't get answered, I'm sure the prequel Fate/Zero will answer everything for me.

STORY: 8

ART: 9

SOUND: 9

CHARACTER: 8

ENJOYMENT: 8

OVERALL: 8

Firefox updated for all platforms including Android

Firefox
Mozilla has announced a new stable Firefox release for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. The ever-popular browser’s update includes improvements that will increase its speed and overall performance. The new features are available now.

The Android version of the new Firefox update includes a faster Javascript compiler called IonMonkey as well as Google Now integration. There is also support for loading new fonts. Firefox is also the first mobile browser to have Safe Browsing enabled. The desktop version of Firefox also has the new Javascript compiler, which allows web apps and games to run 25 percent faster. Mac users also get support for the Retina display on OS X 10.7 and up.

[via Android Authority]

January 9, 2013

Full Nvidia at CES

nvidia Jen-Hsun Huang
With all the full HD smartphones, genre defying phablets, and other cool stuff we’ve seen at CES so far, it’s possible that the most significant event that will happen at this edition of the show is Nvidia’s launch of Tegra 4 and Project Shield. The latest generation of Nvidia’s system on a chip will power some of the flagship devices that will come out this year, while Project Shield is the graphics company’s attempt to change the way we play games – mobile, console, and PC.

You can now watch the entire Nvidia event in HD. Check it out below and let us know what’s your opinion on Nvidia’s announcements.

Watch live video from nvidiaofficial on www.twitch.tv

[via Android Authority]

January 8, 2013

Gamarjobat

Gamarjobat is a comedy duo form Japan which perform a variety of sketches, including mines and physical comedy. This one of their performances. They are amazingly good and quite entertaining to watch.

January 7, 2013

What can we expect in Android 5.0?

jelly-bean
The Android universe is expanding rapidly. Every year we see new phones with more and more newer technology. There is tons of apps and games on the platform and plenty of people are enjoying the Android experience. With Google I/O nearing, we can expect more great technology being revealed. So what is in it for the future of Android?

GTasksGoogle Now

Can we expect anything less from Google Now? Google Now is the search and voice assistant for Android. Faster and more accurate than the rest, it makes Siri look bad. Also, it has the cleanest interface ever. What it does is simply amazing.

Although Google Now is a great product, the voice actions are of course not that perfect. You have to take in many factors as well such as the environment you are in and how clear you pronounce words. However, these kind of things improve with feedback over time.

Google Tasks

Google Tasks takes your noted everywhere and anywhere. It is simple, clean and effective. By going all-in and adopting Tasks, Google could have a huge hit. Having that feature sync across multiple platforms would be the best part.

3projectbutter_1

Project Butter

When Project Butter was announced with Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean, the initial reaction was “project what-now?”. However silly the name is, the proof is in the… butter. Scrolling and other gestures saw a remarkable improvement and it really made the entire Android experience better (bettah?). Like anything else, as good as it is, we want more.

Project Butter has room to grow, and I think it will. In a nutshell, Butter improves response time of your touch to the command given, making the whole experience faster and smoother. With so many improvements on the hardware side of things, there is no doubt we’ll see some improvements here. With faster processors come the ability to handle more info, giving Butter room to grow, or bloom, or whatever butter does.

Better lockscreen widgets

Better lock screen widgets, and more of them. Right now, Google’s selection of lock screen widgets is weak. If lock screen widgets are here to stay, we need some variety. Google has so many amazing services, it’s hard to believe it didn’t have more lock screen widgets available when it launched Jelly Bean. The possibilities are endless, really. A map widget for lock screens would be great, especially for travelers. With Ingress taking off, maybe we’ll see a widget available for it. It makes sense to have a Play Store widget, also. Linking directly to your revenue stream seems like a no-brainer for Google.

Longer Batter Life

Android needs a battery management widget. There are many apps and widgets available from developers. Good ones, too, but I’d like this kind of thing to be built right in to Android. It seems that everyone’s complaint with their awesome new Android phone rounds into a battery life discussion at some point. With so much focus on battery life, Google should really integrate some robust battery management features.