Posts Tagged Old

Project Eternity Reaches 50K Backers, New Stretch Goals Announced

We are now halfway through Obsidian Entertainment’s Project Eternity Kickstarter fund, and it has reached 50,000 backers with $2.2 million pledged to the project. That is nearly twice as much as Obsidian originally asked for, which just means we are going to be seeing an even better game than what it was originally going to be. Even though they have already earned a whopping $2.2 million for their game, they are trying to push the stretch goals even further to keep the money flowing and the excitement kindled. The next stretch goal sits at the $2.4 million mark (which happens to be very likely due to almost being at $2.3 million). At this point the company will be adding a crafting and enchanting system to the game. As you might expect (due to the amount of games we play with crafting in it), this will allow you to combing x amount of items to make potions, upgrade your gear, make scrolls and etc.

All of that aside, Obsidian Entertainment has also announced that they will be adding a new, extra dungeon into Project Eternity in celebration of reaching a whopping 50,000 backers. The Endless Paths of Old Nua are going to be something players will be able to venture in after a crazed architect died and left his catacombs unattended. Honestly, this dungeon sounds really exciting, as crazed architects and unattended catacombs always mix together well, right? A few preparations may need to be made before going on the adventure, but surely it is going to be perfectly safe (not really)! Project Eternity is really starting out to shape up like a fantastic RPG. Obsidian has always been great about these games, even if it hasn’t been their very own IP before. They have done a fantastic job on the Fallout series in the past, along with other titles like “Icewind Dale.” I’m really excited for this.

So, we’re getting close to the project ending, but I wonder if Obsidian will be able to break the record and surpass Double Fine in the record amount of money earned off of Kickstarter. The only problem is, Double Fine is pretty huge on point and click adventure games, while Obsidian loves their old school RPG classics. I guess it depends on what the community is wanting and what company has more appeal. I’m excited for both companies, but it would be awesome to see that record broken and prove that Kickstarter is, once again, the number #1 crowd-sourcing tool.

Is anyone excited for Obsidian Entertainment’s Project Eternity? With it being an old school-like classic based off of the Infinity engine,  there is a lot of excitement surrounding it from some of Obsidian’s older fans. Heck, I even donated and I’m more of a newer fan. Obsidian really has something special here, and I am extremely glad that they were able to surpass the funding goal that they were looking for. Project Eternity is truly going to turn out to be one of the best RPG’s that was ever made.

Any thoughts about this upcoming game? Let us know in the comments below!

source: pc gamer

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HTC’s Trade Up Program Will Get You Up to $300 for Trading in Old Phones After Buying a New HTC

HTC is so excited about their current and future lineup of phones that it wants to reward you for purchasing one of them. To do that, they have launched a new trade in program called “HTC Trade Up,” which can land you up to $300 depending on what your old phone is. It works a lot [...]

Click through to continue reading…

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Review: Metal Slug 3 Brings an Old Favorite to the iOS Platform

METAL SLUG 3  
Developer: SNK PLAYMORE  
Price: $6.99   Download

Since 1996, arcade machines, Neo-Geos, and consoles of all shapes and sizes have been bestowed by the glory of Metal Slug, a truly amazing run-and-gun by Japanese developer SNK. More than a dozen different games have been sold in the franchise. Now Metal Slug 3   is available on your favorite iOS device, bringing with it the gameplay you love and a few new tricks, too.

By far (and like many game-ports) this is not a new, fancy edition in the Metal Slug franchise. Instead, SNK has taken Metal Slug 3 and rebooted it for the iOS , tossing in some neat features such as record keeping and mulitplayer via bluetooth.

While not exactly original, SNK does justice to the legacy of Metal Slug on Apple’s high-end hardware. For gamers, the iOS edition of Metal Slug balances the classic gameplay you want with the modern features you expect.  (more…)

Finish reading “Metal Slug 3 Brings an Old Favorite to the iOS Platform” and see screenshots for the app on AppCraver.com.

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Is A Black Version Of The Galaxy S III On The Way? This Leak From Carphone Warehouse Points To "Probably"

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We’ve received some interesting information from an insider at Carphone Warehouse suggesting that a black version of Samsung’s Galaxy S III is in the works, and we’re inclined to trust it. Here’s our evidence, from the company’s internal product database:

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If you recall, way back when the Galaxy S III was but a rumor-laden twinkle in our collective eyes, GSMArena received a similar leak from inside Carphone Warehouse confirming the white and blue colors the phone was launched in.

gsmarena_001

Old leak

This is on top of two images that recently popped up on a Samsung Facebook page, as part of an Olympics-themed gallery for the Galaxy S III.

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Is A Black Version Of The Galaxy S III On The Way? This Leak From Carphone Warehouse Points To "Probably" was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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News: Cute New Nursery Rhymes App For iPhone/iPad To Sing-Along

Nursery Rhymes For Kids  
Developer: Internet Design Zone  
Price: free   Download

Internet Design Zone, an iOS application developer company, today is very happy to release Nursery Rhymes For Kids 1.0, a new entertaining educational app for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch. This app has funny animations, interactivity, songs with music and lyrics so that kids (ages 2-6) can learn and sing the Nursery Rhymes themselves. The app is free to download and try out.

The app features three popular nursery rhymes: Old MacDonald had a farm, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Mary had a little Lamb. The app promises a wonderful sing-along dance and music experience where they will learn and enjoy at the same time. Different animations/sounds get triggered when a kid taps on screen while the nursery rhymes play.

(more…)

Finish reading “Cute New Nursery Rhymes App For iPhone/iPad To Sing-Along” and see screenshots for the app on AppCraver.com.

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Google Nexus 7 available at Carphone Warehouse from Friday

Android Central

Wanting to get your hands on the Google Nexus 7 in the UK, but come up empty-handed so far? Carphone Warehouse sends word that it'll be stocking the highly-anticipated (and highly-demanded) Jelly Bean tablet from this Friday, July 27. Carphone's only stocking the more expensive 16GB version, which retails for £199.99 in the UK. That's also the version that's currently sold out on Google Play, so if you want to get hold of a 16GB Nexus 7 in Old Blighty, this may be your best bet.

In addition to the option to buy an N7 outright, Carphone is also offering the ASUS-made tablet on a tethered contract, which includes a Mifi and an (undisclosed) data allowance. Normally we'd say you'd have to be a bit mad to pick up a tablet on-contract with a mobile operator, but if you're after a Mifi anyway, you could certainly do worse than picking yourself up a free Android 4.1 tablet in the process. Prices on the tethered contracts are said to start at £20.50 per month.

Check the full press release after the break, and make sure you read up on our full Nexus 7 review before parting with your cash.

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HTC DROID Incredible 4G LTE Review: DROID Doesn’t

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If Verizon’s DROID brand is the Alamo (and at this point, it sure seems like it is), then the Incredible is Davy Crockett’s trusty rifle Old Betsy (yeah yeah, I know he didn’t he use it at the Alamo.)

The original Incredible was the best Android phone available when it stormed onto the scene in April of 2010. The follow-up Incredible 2 was still a hot-shot, though its 4″ display and lack of 4G had it outgunned from the start, relegating it to a “high end of the mid-range” role in Verizon’s Android lineup. And now, the Incredible 4G LTE is riding in with reinforcements – a modern S4 Snapdragon dual-core processor and Verizon’s 4G LTE.

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HTC DROID Incredible 4G LTE Review: DROID Doesn’t was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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ESPN Replaces Its Old, Crappy ESPN Radio App With Brand New, ICS-Ready Hotness

espnradioESPN hasn’t exactly been the poster child for great app design in the past. While the company has made several Android apps, many of them have looked rather atrocious and a bit too iOS-y. ESPN, however, has re-launched its ESPN Radio app. The old app appears to have been made by independent company Airkast, while the new app has been brought in-house. And, apparently, ESPN’s house does a fine job of making an app. Just take a look:

oldespnradio1 oldespnradio2 oldespnradio3

The old ESPN Radio app

espnradio1 espnradio2 espnradio3

And the shiny new one

The new app adheres much more closely to Google’s app guidelines and looks much better for it.

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Cthulhu has a change of heart, tries to saves the world [App Review]

The Great Old Ones spend a lot of time trying to devour souls, but in Cthulhu Saves the World for Android, one is trying to do something nice – even heroic – for a change. 

Cthulhu has a change of heart, tries to saves the world [App Review]

Of course, it's just to regain the terrible powers that have been stripped from him, but that's besides the point. Cthulhu Saves the World originally launched on PC through Steam and Xbox Live Arcade, and quickly followed-up with a mobile port for iOS and Android. 

The gameplay will be more than familiar to anyone that has put any time into old-school RPGs on the original Nintendo. You guide Cthulhu and a party of adventurers through a linear series of quests that usually end up in wacky hyjinx. You'll get 6 – 10 hours of gameplay, with some additional unlockable game modes (including Highlander Mode, which quadruples your XP, but only allows one hero to fight in each encounter) and vanity collectibles. 

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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Makes Your Old Galaxy Nexus Feel Like New Again [VIDEO]

Wondering what your Galaxy Nexus will look like once it’s gotten Jelly Bean 4.1? Chris and the gang have pulled the upgrade down to their Google I/O-provided handsets to take a look at how this operating system performs on phones. Chris focuses on Project Butter’s ability to make the Galaxy Nexus’ dated (but still not bad) processor look like it’s a quad-core beast.

He also gives us a look at the new camera preview features and shows us an option to boot into safe mode. Of course, if you want to try any of these features out yourself on your Galaxy Nexus there’s no need to use the shoddy Android emulator: find more details about how you can install it on your own Galaxy Nexus right here. Here’s what Chris had to say about the update:

If there was one feature I was most excited about it in the new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update, it was Project Butter. This was something I even passed along to Matias Duarte in my chat with him, right before he told me that I was his favorite part of Android 4.1, kissed me on the forehead and exploded into a pile of jelly beans (that last part may, or may have not actually happened).

When Android 4.0 first came onto the scene, it was supposed to address some of the stutters and choppiness that have long been associated with older versions of the Android UI, and although it did make things smoother in some areas, it was inconsistent. For instance, app drawer was smooth (although some stutters on the Galaxy Nexus), but the homescreen remained choppy as all heck. Of course, I shrugged this off thinking this meant nothing more than I needed to get myself a new phone with a more powerful processor.

We’ve seen Jelly Bean running on the Nexus 7, and it was pretty much a no brainer as to why it was so smooth — it’s powered by a freakin’ Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, with 12-core GPU, for goodness sakes. Butter or not, the UI on Ice Cream Sandwich with a Tegra is smooth as silk (but still not butter). What I really wanted to know was, how well this “butter” would translate to the aging Galaxy Nexus and it’s fairly weak dual-core processor (complimented by an even weaker GPU).

Late last night, the Galaxy Nexus (the one we got from Google I/O) received its Jelly Bean OTA update and I wanted to show you guys the new user experience on the phone, and see if Project Butter would live up to the hype. Did it fall short? Is Project Butter on the Galaxy Nexus nothing more than “Project Stutter?” Watch the video and find out.


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Google Play Store Website Adds Support For At Least 20 New Language, Indicates A Large International Rollout

playstoreOpen the flood gates and let the Play Store news come in this morning! It looks like Google has updated support of its web store at play.google.com for at least 20 new languages. One of our esteemed tipsters pointed out today that the languages list has gotten bigger. Much bigger. We checked it out for ourselves and it’s true.

oldlist 2012-06-27_11h05_37 2012-06-27_11h05_50

Left: Old list of languages. Center, Right: So many more languages!

As you can see the list of languages is much, much longer. Including such hits as Filipino, Kiswahili and the very odd and remote dialect of English (United Kingdom).

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Samsung to Open First Two ‘PIN’ Retail Locations in the UK on May 29th

 

When Samsung announced the upcoming Galaxy S III they made sure to tell us that they had “one more thing” up their sleeve. No, it wasn’t the previously rumored S-Cloud, or even the rumored mysterious 10-inch tablet, it was the announcement of their new “PIN” pop-up retail locations. If you will remember back, PIN is a small retail store in where Samsung plans to give people an up close and personal experience with the new GSIII. At the time of the announcement we really didn’t know when and where these temporary kiosk-like stores would pop up, but now we are hearing that UK folks will get first glimpse. Scheduled to open on May 29th, Westfield’s Shepherd’s Bush and Old Spitalfields Market will be the first two PIN locations to open with more to follow in the coming months. Samsung also has plans to erect many of these overseas so you may eventually get one in your home town as well.

Anyone in the UK planning to stop by one of these two locations on the 29th? If so, send us some pictures!

source: Engadget


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Visualized: Samsung’s PIN pop-up stores take London

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Samsung deflated a few enthusiast tires when its “one more thing” Galaxy S III reveal turned out to be a pop-up retail plan. No matter now, as those great mobile expectations have shifted to the device’s imminent launch, a debut the company’s only too happy to showcase. Starting May 29th, PIN glass housings, like the one you see above, will begin to populate commercial centers in and around London, letting eager consumers gets hands-on with the ICS handset’s nature-made design. Westfield’s Shepherd’s Bush and Old Spitalfields Market will be the first two UK locations for this temporary retail presence, with larger 7-by 7-meter versions, as well as a smattering of overseas appearances to follow in the coming months. In the meantime, check out our full review to get yourself well-acquainted with this flagship follow-up.

Visualized: Samsung’s PIN pop-up stores take London originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 26 May 2012 19:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung “pop up” PIN shops ready for Galaxy S III launch

Samsung has been busy erecting a couple of Samsung-branded standalone shops here in the UK, to help the Galaxy S III launch push, which are currently residing in London at the Westfield shopping hell in Shepherd’s Bush, plus another at the Old Spitalfields Market.

Clearly Samsung would like to have a few £499 Galaxy S III purchase prices all to itself. Two more pop-up PIN stores will launch this summer, in Hyde Park and within London’s Olympic Park. This is the Westfield installation:

samsung-pin

THE GALAXY S III IS NEARLY HERE is what this means, plus you can go there and have a go on one for something to do. Here’s the thing from Samsung:

SAMSUNG MOBILE PIN, PREMIUM POP-UP EXPERIENCE SPACE LAUNCHES TO INTRODUCE THE GALAXY S III

An innovative destination inviting customers to experience Samsung’s smart mobile devices

25 May 2012, London, UK – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in wireless communications, today announced the launch of the Samsung Mobile PIN, an innovative new space that will be one of the first European locations to sell the Galaxy S III, starting in London from May 29th.

To celebrate the launch of its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III, Samsung Mobile PIN offers the first premium pop-up experience space. The Samsung Mobile PIN will encourage consumers to fully interact with the latest intuitive technology and to try out Samsung solutions. The conceptual idea of the PIN is a moving landmark experience like a pinpoint on a map.

Younghee Lee, Samsung’s Senior Vice President and Head of Global Marketing at Mobile Communications Business, said, “We welcome everyone to this dynamic and energetic place to fully experience and enjoy all the core features of Samsung mobile products”.

Visitors to the Mobile PINs will meet fully trained staff members who are on hand to share their product knowledge and provide demonstrations, allowing customers to try out Samsung’s smart mobile devices, functions, services, and apps.

The first two Samsung Mobile PINs will open on May 29th in London at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush and Old Spitalfields Market. During the summer, Samsung will launch two additional PINs in Hyde Park and Olympic Park.

Samsung Mobile PIN Design
Samsung Mobile PIN is a unique glass-housed engineering marvel that is easily moved to different locations. One of the more prominent exterior features of the PIN is its walls, built with a two-way customised mirrored glass. Within the PIN, the furniture has been specially designed for showcasing the product experience and for being flexible and expandable to fit perfectly in any location.

Additional Events
Visitors are also invited to participate in events surrounding the Mobile PIN, such as the Galaxy Studio event. Using the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note, customers will have a hands-on opportunity to learn more about the unique and fun features in Samsung smartphones. Visitors will be able to compete in events like a drawing competition using the Galaxy Note.

Samsung GALAXY S III
Designed for humans and inspired by nature, the Galaxy S III is a smartphone that recognises your voice, understands your intention, and lets you share moments instantly and easily.

This sleek and innovative smartphone has enhanced intelligence to make everyday life easier. With Samsung Galaxy S III, you can view the content like never before on the device’s 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display. An 8MP camera and a 1.9MP front camera offer users a variety of intelligent camera features and face recognition related options that ensure all moments are captured easily and instantly. The Galaxy S III is powered by Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, with enhanced usability and practicality to make life easier. Packed with intuitive technology, the Galaxy S III delivers a uniquely personalised mobile experience.

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Facebook Starts Tweaking Mobile A Little Early, Makes Photos, Posts Bigger On Mobile Apps/Site

facebooklogoRemember when Facebook said that it was going to finish its IPO, and then work on improving its mobile experience? Well, reverse that. Ahead of the company’s IPO, the social networking giant has already announced at least one minor improvement to its mobile apps and website: bigger pictures and posts!

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Old version on the left, new version in the center and right.

In an effort to make use of all those wonderful high-resolution displays you kids are carrying around these days, Facebook is making photos look bigger, and posts wider, to the point of reaching the edges of your display.

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Verizon’s Droid Does Campaign Back With a More Cozy Vibe

You remember back in 2009 when we started seeing the Droid Does commercial campaign? Remember how it called out the iPhone in what it couldn’t do? Remember how we just stopped seeing the Droid Does commercials? Well the point to this line of questioning is that the Droid Does Campaign is back but it’s much less edgier in its presentation than before. Given that Verizon sells both the iPhone and the Droid line nowadays it makes sense for Verizon to tone back the iPhone bashing.

So instead of the in-your-face campaign it once was, it’s now a more “warmth-of-a-cozy-fire” direction. If you don’t believe me you can hit the break below. There we have the new commercial for you that shows off the Droid 4, RAZR, and RAZR MAXX. We also have two of the older commercials too for the sake of comparison. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Is this new direction a nice breath of fresh air for the campaign or did you prefer the old anti-iPhone direction?

The New Droid Does

Click here to view the embedded video.

Droid Does of Old

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.


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Instagram vs. Streamzoo: It’s Not What You Think

 

The sensation that is Instagram has iOS as well as Android users snapping pictures and sharing them like never before. There’s no question that with the millions of users on the platform as well as the simple workflow, Instagram is a winner. But does that mean Instagram is the best game in town? Maybe not. We recently brought you a list of seven Instagram alternatives, and today I want to do an in-depth comparison with the one I feel is the closest competitor… Streamzoo, available for both iOS and Android.

Round 1: Adjusting Your Photos

There’s no question that one of the cornerstones of Instagram’s success is the retro-style image filters. Making your brand new pictures look like they were taken in the 1970′s is apparently very popular for whatever reason. Though I feel these filters have been overused and abused, I have to admit that using them can typically make your images feel a bit more artistic, or at least help hide any imperfections in your original.

Instagram
The first thing to note is that Instagram forces you to take square pictures only. So even though you can change Instagram’s default camera to use your phone’s own camera, the app will force you to crop the photo to a square. Buh-bye landscapes and panoramas. It’s an interesting, though puzzling, requirement.

Instagram does better with its 17 built-in image filters.

These include the following:

  • Amaro
  • Rise
  • Hudson
  • Sierra
  • X-Pro
  • Lo-Fi
  • Earlybird
  • Sutro
  • Toaster
  • Brannan
  • Inkwell
  • Walden
  • Hefe
  • Valencia
  • Nashville
  • 1977
  • Kelvin

No idea what the names of these filters mean, but it’s easy enough to just click through each one to see how it affects the image. Borders are integrated in some filters, and you have the option to keep or remove the border. There is also a lighting effect which you can toggle on or off, though I’m still not 100% sure what it does. Again, best just to try it see if you like the effect.

Lastly, you can rotate the image in 90 degree increments. That’s about it as far as editing your photo in Instagram. Simple, yes, but ultimately a bit limiting.

Streamzoo
One major thing I like better in Streamzoo is that it does not force a square aspect ratio of your image. When you first take or import your picture, you get the option to crop the image into various different aspect ratios, or keep it in its original shape. This is also when you can rotate the image, or even mirror it if you’d like.

As far as filters are concerned, Streamzoo comes with a total of 14… just a few shy of Instagram’s. However, Streamzoo also comes with 15 borders that can be used with any of the filters, giving it a big edge in flexibility, and many, many more artistic permutations. Below are screenshots showing how I applpied the Vibrance filter and the Vintage border.

The filters and borders included in Streamzoo include the following:

Filters
  • Lomo
  • Vibrance
  • C-41
  • Xprocess
  • Toy Hipster
  • Old School
  • B & W
  • Masterpiece
  • Sunshine
  • Sepia
  • Classical
  • Industrial
  • Vienna
  • Golden
Borders
  • White
  • Black
  • Canvas
  • Film
  • Old Film
  • Gritty
  • Fancy
  • Vignette
  • Old Vignette
  • Viewfinder
  • Vintage
  • Dusty
  • Retro
  • Paint
  • Throwback

Again, the names here don’t necessarily tell you much, and you will be left trying each of these to see which works best for your photo, but at least Streamzoo’s names are a hair more descriptive than Instagram’s. It’s also a nice touch having the borders be their own thing separate from filters.

There is no mysterious lighting toggle, but the customization of your photo does not end here. Streamzoo has a “tilt shift” option that allows you to blur certain areas of your photo to simulate a wider depth of field or bring focus to a specific area of your picture. Below, I chose the circle to keep the model’s face and t-shirt logo in focus while blurring the rest.

To be fair, Instagram also provides a tilt shift option, but only to its iOS users. The Android version of Instagram does not currently support it, though I’m sure an update in the future will remedy that.

Next, Streamzoo provides color options so you can tweak the hue, saturation, brightness, and contrast of your image. Let’s bring up the brightness a bit.

Winner: Streamzoo
It’s obvious that Streamzoo is infinitely more flexible with its filter/border combinations, tilt shift options, color tweaks, and aspect ratio allowances. Instagram got crushed in this round.

 

Round 2: The Network

Make no mistake, both these apps are social networks in their own right. They each create a community of people who follow each other and comment on the content.

Instagram
What makes Instagram so successful is not necessarily the features of the service itself, but more the sheer numbers of people using it. If you build the best technology in the world but no one uses it, it’s not that compelling, especially when the technology shines best with a large network of users behind it. Instagram reportedly has over 27 million iOS users at last count, and that’s huge. If we assume there are 200 million iOS devices out there, as reported last year, that’s huge penetration.

I immediately got 15 followers right after installing Instagram since many of my Facebook friends already use it.

Considering Instagram has been an iOS exclusive for so long, there’s no question the numbers will be heavily skewed toward iOS in the beginning.

Streamzoo
I haven’t been able to find any numbers mentioning how many Streamzoo users there are, either on Android or iOS, but it surely doesn’t have the penetration that Instagram has. It does seem to be an active and growing community, especially now that Instagram is out for Android and every blogger out there is doing comparison articles :-)

I have yet to get any followers on Streamzoo.

Winner: Instagram
There’s no arguing with the numbers. Instagram has a huge head start here.

 

Round 3: Sharing

Being able to share your photos to your favorite social networks is very important for a photo sharing app. So how do these two stack up?

Instagram
Built-in sharing in Instagram comes down to four sites: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Tumblr.

Streamzoo
There are also four built-in social networks in Streamzoo, but they differ slightly. It includes Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

Winner: Tie
This round is a wash. It comes down to which networks are important to you, and specifically, do you care if you have Foursquare, or do you prefer Flickr? One other thing to note is that with both apps, the final photo is saved to your SD card, allowing you to share it pretty much anywhere using the standard Android share menu from the image gallery on your device.

 

Round 4: Web Site

Both  services offer an online web site to access your photos. But there is a major difference.

Instagram
Every picture you share on Instagram gets hosted on their servers, meaning every picture has an Instagram address. However, that’s ALL you can use the site for. There is no way to actually log in to their site to see or manage your photos or friends. This is what you get when you go to Instagram.com.

Yeah, just a little blurb about getting the apps. Also notice how heavily iOS their page is. Not only do they use an iPhone as their sample device, but the default action when clicking the “FREE download” is to go to the iTunes store. Interestingly, when clicking the button on that page to “Get it on Google Play”, you are taken to a very similar page with an Android look to it.

Streamzoo
Streamzoo takes a completely different approach to their site. They make it another way to interact with their service. You can upload images (as long as you have uplaoded at least one from the app, and have at least 5 followers), follow users, browse photo streams, comment, and more. You basically have a fully-functioning photo sharing site that stands on its own.

Winner: Streamzoo
Yeah, Instagram got crushed in this round, though I believe they built their service intentionally with an app only model in mind. I understand their approach, wanting to make sure everyone on the service is on a level playing field (might explain their forced 1×1 photos as well) but ultimately, I think people appreciate the flexibility of full access from more than one device.

 

Round 5: The Rest

We’ve already covered the features that both apps have in common, but what about the unique options specific to each?

Instagram
Umm… well… I think everything Instagram can do we’ve already covered above. Nothing more, nothing less.

Streamzoo
This is really where Streamzoo pulls way ahead. Here’s a list of some of the other features available:

  • Share videos as well as photos
  • Earn points for your activities and compete in the leaderboards
  • Unlock over 30 badges for such things as Cat Lover or Foodie
  • Full hashtag support with trending and popular streams

Winner: Streamzoo
The gamification aspects of Streamzoo (leaderboards and badges) provide a great incentive to use the service. A discreet description field to add your hashtags also helps self-categorize your images into huge collections on the service for maximum exposure.

Video uploads are also a great differentiator for Streamzoo, however you cannot add any filters to videos.

 

And The Winner Is…

After looking at all five rounds, it becomes pretty evident that Streamzoo is our winner, taking a total of three rounds, tying one, and losing one to Instagram. So why all the fuss about Instagram? Well, the one round that Instagram won is arguably the most important round there is, and that’s the network. With so many people using the service, it has pretty much become the de-facto  standard in the social photo sharing space.

As more Android users come on board and start comparing competing apps, it’s likely that services like Streamzoo may get a boost in users, though it’s a long hill to climb to reach what Instagram has already achieved.

Personally, I prefer Streamzoo by leaps and bounds, but I will keep both installed just because most of my friends only use Instagram (yes, I have a lot of iOS friends). Maybe the more I post on Facebook and Twitter with Streamzoo, the more my friends will begin to check it out.

In the end, though, does it really matter since we are mostly posting to sites like Facebook and Twitter? It’s not like you have to be a member of either service to view a picture.

Which do you prefer? Sound off in the comments below!

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Streamzoo Play Store Download Link

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Instagram Play Store Download Link


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Adobe Photoshop Touch – Worth $9.99?

I used to own an old Windows Tablet that supported pen input, and being able to use Photoshop with a pen was fantastic. Ever since capacitive screen tablets have become popular, those of us who create graphical images have been clamoring for a powerful photo editing and drawing app that puts fingers to good use. The loss of pen input (Galaxy Note users notwithstanding) has made drawing on a tablet a bit tougher, and though you could never get as accurate with the tip of your finger as you can with the tip of a pen, the software could help make the touch experience better.

There have been many drawing apps for Android tablets, such as AutoDesk’s SketchBook Mobile, and Fresco. Though these apps are good in their own ways, to me they have always felt slightly lacking. This is probably because I have been using Adobe Photoshop since the early 90′s and have become accustomed to the way Adobe does things… layers, filter effects, selection tools, etc.

Last year, I had the opportunity to be part of the beta team for an Adobe tablet app codenamed “FunTa”, short for “Fun Tablet”. Yeah, I know, not the best name, but it was just a codename. This tablet app is what is now known as Adobe Photoshop Touch, part of Adobe’s Touch series of apps, which include Adobe Photoshop Touch, Adobe Collage, Adobe Debut, Adobe Ideas, Adobe Kuler, and Adobe Proto.

Before I get into the review, here’s a couple of sample drawings I created using the beta version of Photoshop Touch.

Beyond the Beta
After the beta testing of FunTa was over, I decided to pay the $9.99 for the released version of Adobe Photoshop Touch. Installing the public release I noticed just a few minor differences between it and the beta. Mostly, it was just a final bit of polish added, and the social side was enabled, namely integration with Facebook and Google images. Also, the Creative Cloud, Adobe’s own free 2GB of cloud storage, was now fully active.

The Creative Cloud
Adobe is positioning Photoshop Touch more as a supplement to the full desktop version of Photoshop. To that end, they use the Creative Cloud as a “Dropbox” for your Touch projects that can then be opened in your desktop Photoshop with all layers intact. This is useful if you are using Photoshop Touch to do some work while mobile, and later plan to finish on your desktop. One limitation, however, is that Photoshop Touch can only work on images up to a maximum size of 1600 x 1600 pixels. That’s pretty small for most serious art work. You could, with a little work, use the Creative Cloud to work on smaller portions of a larger desktop project. The reason for the size limitation is purely hardware based. The larger the image, the more memory is required to handle it. Tablets are limited both in RAM and storage space for swapping to disk. Placing a hard size limit to your images allows Adobe to make sure the app runs smoothly on most tablets. In other words, it’s a necessary evil.

Built-in Tutorials
When you first launch Adobe Photoshop Touch, you are presented with two choices: Begin a Tutorial, and Begin a Project.

If you are familiar with the traditional desktop Photoshop, the user interface of the touch version won’t be too unfamiliar, at least in a general sense. But for those who have never used Photoshop at all, there is a bit of a learning curve, especially since most options are presented as simple icons, so it’s not immediately obvious what each icon does. Also, how to use each feature in a useful workflow can only really be learned by doing it. This is why Adobe included a set of tutorials walking you through some common real-world use cases, such as how to add or remove people in images, create camera layers, make photo frames, etc.

These tutorials are great since they walk you through the process step-by-step while actually using the tools in the app. By the time you finish any of these tutorials, you will know how to use all the tools that tutorial was focusing on, plus you get a good idea of some ways to apply those tools. Very nice touch, Adobe.

Starting a Project
When you start a project, you get the option to import an image from your camera, your device’s gallery, Facebook, the Creative Cloud, or Google. If you don’t want to start with an image, you can simply create a blank image of any size up to 1600 x 1600 pixels. In my example, I am going to import a picture from my Facebook feed.

I chose this picture of a cat statue we have in our backyard.

Adding Depth of Field – Blurring the Background
So let’s say you want to take this image and blur the background to create a greater depth of field to the photo, making the cat statue stand out more. To do that, we’re going to have to select the background. Photoshop Touch provides many selection tools and modes, just like the desktop version, but it adds one new selection method unique to the touch version: Scribble Select.

Scribble Select is a special selection mode that takes advantage of your fingertip. The way it works is that you use your fingertip to draw around the very edge of what you want to select, then you draw a second line just outside the first, basically around the edge of what you don’t want to select. Sounds harder than it is. Here’s the first line:

 And here’s the second:

Once the second line is finished, the selection is made. Of course, I said I wanted to select the background, but I selected the cat in the foreground. So next I have to invert the selection. This is done through the selection menu dropdown at the top of the screen.

Once the background is selected, it’s usually a good idea to feather that selection, which essentially just makes it a softer edge. The feather option is available from the same menu dropdown as above. Once you select it, you can control the edge of the selection.

Now that we have the background selection how we want it, we need to apply a blur. The blur effect is found under the FX menu.

Select the Gaussian Blur tool and adjust the parameters until satisfied.

As you can see, the background is now blurred and the foreground pops.

Color Adjustments
Other features ripped from the desktop version includes a whole slew of color adjustments.

 Let’s apply Black & White.

Make it Look Old
Making a photograph look old is usually done using a Sepia tone filter. Adobe Photoshop Touch makes it easy by including an Old Sepia filter under the FX menu.

The Old Sepia filter has a couple of adjustable parameters, namely saturation and intensity. This is a nice addition since it makes it easy to dial in the exact amount of “oldness” you want applied to your photo.

Adding Text
All this image needs now is some text. I decided I wanted to name our little statue “Old Mr. Whiskerson”. The text tool is available under the ampersand icon in the top menu.

The fonts available are plentiful and you should be able to find one that matches your design.

After selecting a font and entering text, you can select a color, change text size and position, and more.

Layers
One of the most powerful features of the desktop version of Photoshop is the concept of layers. Layers contain designs, such as images or text, and can be stacked on top of each other and operated on independently. In this example, when the text was added, it was created in its own layer on top of the cat layer.

Layers can be hidden or deleted, reordered, and their opacities can be adjusted. Also, the blend mode of each layer can be changed to create some interesting effects between layers. Blend Mode basically adjusts how one layer is displayed over another layer, with options such as Darken, Multiply, Lighten, Difference, and more. The best way to see what each mode does is to try it.

Saving and Sharing
Once your work of art is complete, you can just touch the back arrow at the top left of the screen to get the save prompt.

Once you save your project locally, it will show up on your main projects page.

From here you can choose to share your image. The icons across the top of this screen act on the projects. The first icon allows you to upload your project to your Creative Cloud account. The second icon displays the share options, which include Save to Camera Roll (local gallery), Share to Facebook, and Share by Email.

Interestingly, the email option would better be labeled “Share by Email or Other” since what it actually does is open up the standard Android share list so you can choose any app to share to.

Here’s what the final image looks like:

Conclusion
What I’ve done in this review is go through an example project from start to finish to give you a good idea of some of the features that Adobe Photoshop Touch provides. It is indeed very powerful, but also comes at the cost of a moderately steep learning curve. Users of the desktop version should feel right at home after half an hour of use, but newbies will need a little more time to digest all the concepts and tools this powerful app provides. The built-in tutorials are highly recommended for all users to go through at least once.

Let me list what I feel are the pros and cons of the app:

Pros:

  • Layers support
  • Creative Cloud integration
  • Many color adjustment filters
  • Many special effects filters
  • Designed with the fingertip in mind
  • Full set of powerful selection tools, including Scribble Selection
  • Facebook image integration
  • Google image search
  • Very well done tutorials built in to app
  • Makes great use of your tablet’s camera (importing as well as live camera fill during editing)
Cons:
  • Maximum image size of 1600 x1600
  • Touch is still not as good as pen for precise drawing
  • Can get slightly laggy with large images or multiple layers
  • Text is not editable after being added
  • No Google+ images or Picasa integration.

Overall, I give Adobe Photoshop Touch a huge thumbs up. For those of us who use traditional Photoshop on a daily basis, a powerful mobile version is a nice supplement. Will it ever take over for the full version? No, but that’s not what it’s meant to do. I can see using it to create small images for blog posts or websites, but not for doing a final print ad or poster design. Also, it’s a great tool to get inspired and work out some ideas while on the go, a sort of mobile digital sketchpad with enough depth to get your ideas across meaningfully.

For me, it is certainly worth the $9.99 I paid for it. For those just looking for a simple drawing app for your tablet and don’t plan to do anything serious, it’s probably over the top. This is truly a professional tool.

Download Adobe Photoshop Touch from the Play Store link or QR code below.

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Play Store Download Link 


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[New Game] ‘HEIST: The Score’ Lands In The Android Market, Brings Old School Gangster Action To Your Mobile

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Dane Cook said that there are certain things every man wants, one of which is to be part of a heist. I can’t say that I personally disagree with Mr. Cook, except I’m not sure that I’d fare very well in prison if my team of bank-robbing rebels was caught. That’s where HEIST: The Score comes in handy.

HEIST is a rail shooter that puts you in the middle of a bank robbery back in the golden age of gangsters: the 1920s. You’ve got something to prove, and the heist seems relatively straight forward; until the whole thing goes horribly …

Official Android Police t-shirts are now on sale, with over 25 designs to call yours.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[New Game] ‘HEIST: The Score’ Lands In The Android Market, Brings Old School Gangster Action To Your Mobile was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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RuniK – A New Twist on an Old Classic

These days, matching and bubble popping games are a dime a dozen. They’re all pretty much the same. So when I decided to try RuniK, I already had an opinion of the game before I even installed it. Fortunately, my snap judgment was way off base. RuniK is one of those rare games that gets everything mostly right, and keeps you coming back for more.

Gameplay
The basic goal of the game is to try to clear the screen of runes by selecting and removing adjacent runes of the same color. The bigger the number of runes you manage to remove in one go, the more points you earn. Removing runes is as simple as tapping once to select the group, then tapping again to remove.

If there are no more moves, the remaining runes on the board get frozen and cannot be removed. The game board then fills up again with more runes, and it starts over again.

Most games would stop there. But RuniK takes it further by filling in the six special runes at the bottom of the screen as you successfully clear runes from the top. So, for example, if you remove a large group of green runes from the top, a portion of the corresponding rune at the bottom would get filled in. Once a special rune gets completely colored in, it becomes a “Super-Rune”.

Super Runes
A Super-Rune has two abilities. One, it increases the number of points earned when runes of the same color are removed from the top. Two, if you get into a jam you can click on a Super-Rune and it automatically removes all runes of the same color from the board. This can save your butt when you get into a tight spot.

So the idea is to fill in as many super runes as you can to maximize your points, but if the screen gets too full, you can cash in the Super-Runes to help clear the board. In the screenshot below, you will notice that the green rune on the bottom row is glowing, meaning that it is completely charged and has reached Super-Rune status. It is now ready to help generate more points, or sacrifice itself to remove all green runes (including any frozen green runes) at once if you need the help.

Sometimes, a bright and glowing “joker” rune will appear on the board. This rune acts as any adjacent color when you need it. Tap a red rune that is next to the joker rune, and both get selected. This comes in handy since you always have a move if a joker is present, and it can help link together groups of same-colored runes.

Challenges
Another smart move from developers SoFresh Team was to add side challenges, similar to Xbox Live Achievements. These increase the longevity and replayability of the game. They add that “carrot-and-stick” element that keeps people coming back just to get that last achievement.

Some example challenges:

  • The Pecker – Get more than 10,000 points in a single shot
  • The Bursar – Get 5 different Super-Runes charged at the same time
  • Hyper Combo – Get 20 runes in a single shot
  • Bronze Medal – Reach 100,000 points
There are a total of 20 different challenges you can accomplish simply by playing the game. And trust me, you’re going to be trying over and over again to reach these goals.

Double Your Pleasure
If you happen to be good enough to completely clear a screen of runes (trust me, it’s difficult, though my wife seems to be really good at it),  your final score when the game ends will get doubled. Clearing a screen is also one of the challenges mentioned above.

Social Scoring
Your final score is compared to other player scores in the high scores section. Here, you can see just how pathetic you are at RuniK. But that only serves to motivate you further to reach higher and higher scores. You can also add anyone to your buddy list if you want to follow certain players.

 

Losing
Once the entire screen is filled with non-removable runes, the game is over. So when you’re coming down to the wire, be sure to start using your Super-Runes to help clear up some space. Inevitably, though, the game will end.

No worries, though, since all you’re going to want to do after losing is start over and play again!

Conclusion
RuniK is one of those rare games that is just enough of a challenge to keep you interested, but not overly difficult to frustrate you.  It’s the first “bubble matching game” that I have played that has remained on my phone (and tablet), and gets installed on any new devices. The background music also sets a chill mood and doesn’t detract from gameplay.

The developer is very friendly and responsive. When I first installed RuniK on my Xoom tablet, it had layout issues, but after contacting the dev, he quickly updated the app and sent me an email when it was ready. You can’t ask for better service than that!

RuniK is free in the Android Market, supported by ads that are unobtrusive to gameplay. So what are you waiting for? Click the market link below (or scan the QR code) and start collecting runes today!

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Android Market Link


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ZTE Stuck in the Old Ages, Set to Launch Light Tab 2 With Gingerbread in the UK

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With the advent of Android 3.2 and 4.0, we’d expect tablet manufacturers to want to use them for tablets. It’s 2012 – there’s absolutely no reason to be using Gingerbread anymore. No one seems to have gotten the memo at ZTE, though, as they’re set to launch the ZTE Light Tab 2 with a single-core processor and Android 2.3.

You’d be paying 235 pounds for an outdated tablet, pretty much, and I’ve seen much better tablets available for that same price point. Sure, some people might not necessarily need Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, nor might they need super fast processors, but I urge those people to look around and see that you can get all of that and more for the same price that ZTE is offering for this gimped experience.

Sorry, ZTE, but this just won’t cut it if you’re serious about becoming a premier OEM. If, for whatever reason, you do happen to be interested in this, check for it in UK stores next month. [AndroidGuys]


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Slacker Radio Kickin The Old School Jams

Our favorite online and radio mobile app, and host for TDGN , Slacker Radio, has announced the addition of a new “Old School” station.

The Old School station is a dj procured station where dj’s will host old school jams from the Motown era to the early 90′s.  You’ll be able to hear anything from the Four Tops and The Tempations to Mint Condition and Arrested Development.

When you’re not listening to TDGN on Slacker Radio, you should check out the Old School station for your favorite jams on Android of course.  Like TDGN the Old School station is free to every Slacker user but you can upgrade to premium for just $9.99 a month create deeper personal playlists, skip more songs, and go ad-free.

source: Allaccess.com

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Galaxy Nexus delayed, now expected 22nd/23rd November

A couple of mobile phone companies have updated us on the situation regarding the Galaxy Nexus launch date, which we were expecting to happen Thursday 17th. That’s now slipped a little, with network Three and SIM-free retailer Clove both saying the Android 4.0 phone won’t arrive until next week.

Three says it’ll now have stock on November 22nd, while Clove says it’s expecting the first batch of the new Nexus to arrive on the 23rd.

nexus delay

One more weekend of MISERY with your RUBBISH OLD PHONE to endure, then. We’ll keep an eye out for other date changes. Phones4U is still bravely sticking with the 17th at time of writing.

Related posts:

  1. Phones4U confirms November 17 Galaxy Nexus launch date
  2. Galaxy Nexus also coming to O2, from November
  3. Motorola RAZR UK launch date: November 1st

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Three UK Announces Galaxy Nexus Pricing

So there is this amazing new smartphone coming out really soon and it will be the first device to rock Android 4.0. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, maybe you have heard of it? The only thing we don’t know yet is how much the device will cost through each individual retailer, some charging more than others. Three UK is one of the first to offer the device and today they finally made the pricing breakdown available to prospective buyers, and you might be surprised to see what they have to offer.

If you sign a new two year agreement with Three UK, you can get the Galaxy Nexus for free. Yes, for free. The deal requires a two year commitment at £34 ($54) per month with the option to add unlimited data for an additional £3 ($4.77) each month. The device could even show up on your doorstep as early as this Friday, November 18th. Pretty good deal if you ask me, it kinda makes me wish I lived in the Old Blighty. Hit the source link below to check out the pre-order page.

Three UK Announces Galaxy Nexus Pricing


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Netflix Updated In The Android Market – Now Supports CM7, Subtitles and Alternate Audio

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Netflix updated their Android app today in the Market and I must say, I’m a little puzzled by this one. While I don’t actually subscribe to their service or use their app, I could have sworn some of the “new additions” were already there in the last version. Hmmm.. Well, whether it was just your typical bug-fixes or new features, Netflix did in fact update their app today, listing notable changes as Android 3.x support and support for CM7. Kinda neat to see a big company like Netflix officially supporting the Android modding community like that. Also thrown in was support for subtitles and alternate audio which means you can now watch those weird foreign movies like “Old Boy” without poor dubbing! And all from your handy smartphone or tablet. Woot!

[Market Link]


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[Exclusive Download] Google+ 2.0 From ICS – Offers New, More Polished Interface

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Earlier today we gave you a quick look at Chords from the new Google+ 2.0 app that should be included in ICS. Now, let’s take a closer look and compare the updated Google+ app to the current release, shall we?

What’s New

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Left: Old, Right: New

First off, the notification bar has been moved from the bottom to the top. Other than that, nothing really to see here (aside form Chord, but we’ve already talked about that).

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Much like the Music 4.0.1 app, this update seems to be all about polish. Everything looks cleaner…

Official Android Police t-shirts are now on sale, with over 25 designs to call yours.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[Exclusive Download] Google+ 2.0 From ICS – Offers New, More Polished Interface was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google Voice enters internal testing across Europe, international launch on the horizon?

Lather up your vocal cords, Europe, because it looks like Google Voice is on its way over. That’s according to the company’s European Director of Business Development, Jens Redmer, who told The Next Web yesterday that Google is taking “concrete action” to expand the service to the Old World. Redmer later confirmed that he’s currently conducting internal tests with Voice, adding that its voicemail transcription feature has performed particularly well within Europe. He stopped short, however, of offering a precise launch date, saying only that the service’s release would hinge upon legal and regulatory issues, rather than any technical obstacles. Now that the train has rolled into the testing phase, though, it may only be a matter of time before it arrives at the station.

Google Voice enters internal testing across Europe, international launch on the horizon? originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 21 Sep 2011 04:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceThe Next Web  | Email this | Comments

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HOWTO: Get the OLD Android Market Back on Your Rooted Device

When the new Android market was previewed at Google I/O, everyone was full of ‘oohs and aahhs’. Then the leak came out and then the updates. From that point forward the market has been a hot topic of conversation. Some people love it, others can’t stand it and just want to take a step backwards in time. For those of you that are not all that thrilled with how the new market looks or operates, there is hope. XDA member, Omnichron, has taken the time to get reverting back a version as easy as possible.

Installation:
1. Download files below, do not rename them! Transfer to SD Card.
2.* Use any file explorer and mount system as RW and delete file name (Root Explorer works nicely)‘Vending.APK’ and ‘MarketUpdater.apk’ from /system/app/. You can also delete folders com.android.vending and com.android.vending.updater in /data/data.
*Do a reboot.
* Open File explorer/ Root Explorer and Mount your file system as RW and copy ‘updater.apk’ from SD Card to /system/app/and do a reboot.
* Now, mount your file system as RW from explorer and copy ‘market.apk’ from SD Card to /system/app/ and Reboot phone.

It is not that horrible of a process and would make your life a little easier. Some of you might be reading this and wonder why anyone would want to go back. The reasons vary, lag issues on older model devices, don’t like the layout or any other number of personal reasons. What ever your reason might be for reverting to the old market, that is up to you. If you feel this is something you wish to do, feel free to head on over to Omnichron’s XDA thread for the download files.

Source: XDA

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DROID3 and Old DROID Bionic Appear in Verizon Cellebrite System

We see devices come and go all the time in Cellebrite systems (those phone data transfer thingies), but when two new DROIDs pop up in it, it’s worth a quick mention even if one of the devices was cancelled months ago.  That’s right, you are seeing the words “Droid Bionic” above, but the key here [...]

Click through to continue reading…


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EVO 3D $499 Off-Contract at Radio Shack, $399 with Old EVO Trade-In

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It looks like current EVO owners looking to upgrade to Sprint’s latest and greatest Android offering will find some help at Radio Shack who are offering a pretty darn good deal on the phone. Considering its impressive specs, $199.99 on a 2-year contract and $499.99 off-contract is a deal that stands out, even without 3D glasses (like the phone itself!). Add in a $100 credit for trading in your old EVO at the Shack and we’re talkin’ a seriously good offer.

While you could likely get more than $100 selling your old EVO on eBay, Craigslist or Android Classifieds, do you really want to go through the trouble? And for those wondering, sure you could get the EVO 3D for $99 if you trade-in an old EVO and sign a 2-year contract, but since the EVO line of phones hasn’t been out for 2-years this will be an opportunity on which only a slim number of people can capitalize.

Perhaps equally important is the mounting excitement for the phone’s actual launch, certainly imminent, made obvious by all the hustle and bustle on the EVO 3D Forum.

[Via Android Forums, thanks EarlyMon!]


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