Tag Archive: IOS


In case you haven’t heard, a new version of Angry Birds is being released. But unlike the original version we have seen on iOS, Android, PC, Google+, and Facebook, Angry Birds Space will be available exclusively to Samsung Galaxy Note. I could hear a chorus of consternation nearby.

Rovio’s latest creation was formally unveiled at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Angry Birds Space, as you can tell from the title, puts the laws of gravity and weightlessness into the fray of this physics-based trajectory game. Users will find a bonus level of play, as well as a free Danger Zone add-on, which consists of 30 levels that would be available to the public as an in-app purchase.

Angry Birds Space will officially debut on March 22.

Source: Engadget

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The iOS 5.1 OTA update

Just hours after the iOS 5.1 update was announced at Apple’s iPad event in San Francisco the update is live for you to download.

The update brings Japanese language support for Siri as well as the option to selectively delete photos from Photo Stream in iCloud. Also, the lockscreen camera shortcut is now constantly visible on the lockscreen and more.

Go check your iDevice for the update, but keep in mind that you may experience issues with its download. If you get an error message just keep trying or leave it for tomorrow as the Apple servers are probably having trouble coping with the high initial demand.

Apple just unveiled the brand new iPad on Wednesday. As far as we can tell it’s just being called the “new iPad.” Not the iPad 3 or the iPad HD, although there are references to the “third generation iPad” on Apple’s website. It’s a pretty stunning device and I’ve already argued that it offers new enhancements to change the tablet game all over again. You may have been there for our live blog or hitting the TechnoBuffalo homepage as we broke the news, but in case you weren’t, here are the top five features of the new iPad as we see them.

Retina Display

The Retina Display is definitely the highlight feature of the new iPad. It doubles the sharpness of the previous iPad 2 with a 2047 x 1536-pixel resolution. That’s like having an HDTV in your shoulder bag, folks, except it can be used for email, gaming and more. You already know that. Just know that it’s much sharper and a huge advance over any other tablet’s display currently on the market. Yes, I’m fanatically in love with the Super AMOLED Plus screens on Samsung’s smartphones, but the sharpness just wins this round for me, hands down.

4G LTE Support

Oooo weeee! This is what we were looking for and Apple included it. The new iPad is capable of running on AT&T and Verizon’s brand new and super fast 4G LTE networks. Here in New York City, I’ve noticed that both are capable of providing faster download and upload speeds than my Time Warner Cable connection — that’s impressive and I’ve loved the speeds on other smartphones and tablets, including the Motorola Xyboard 8.9 tablet that I use regularly. Add in support for sharing the connection with other Wi-Fi enabled devices and the new iPad is that much sweeter. Better yet, the tablet supports HSPA+ and HSDPA networks, which means you’ll be able to take advantage of “4G” or 3G speeds in international markets. Seriously, it supports all of these bands:

  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 technology
  • Wi-Fi + 4G for AT&T model: LTE (700, 2100 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Wi-Fi + 4G for Verizon model: LTE (700 MHz); CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

Quad-Core Graphics

Apple’s new iPad is equipped with a dual-core A5X chip, but it also supports quad-core graphics. That means we can expect some killer games, including Epic Games’ Infinity Blade: Dungeons. As a huge fan of Dungeon Hunter 2 and other dungeon-crawler hack-and-slash style games I can’t wait to give this one a whirl. NVIDIA has killer games for its Tegra 3 quad-core processor in the pipeline too, and that chip offers 16 graphics processing cores, but at this point I think Apple’s going to beat it to the market with the amount of games available. It’s going to be a wait-and-see approach here, though, and I won’t make too many judgements until I try games that take advantage of the quad-core GPU in the new iPad and NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 chipset.

5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording

Plenty — and I mean plenty — of other devices already offer 5-megapixel cameras, even 8-megapixel cameras, with 1080p HD video recording. But it’s nonetheless one of the newer and more appreciated features on the new iPad. It remains to be seen how great the images and videos turn out, but we know for sure that the iPhone 4S offers among the best recording and photo snapping cameras on the market today. Aside from, perhaps, Nokia’s freshly announced 808 PureView phone, which has an incredible 41-megapixel camera!

Killer Battery Life

Apple included a 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery in the new iPad. Despite adding a better GPU, a faster processor and support for 4G LTE networks, there’s little to no sacrifice on battery life. The Cupertino-based company still promises 10 hours of battery and 9 hours of juice on 4G LTE networks. The iPad 2, by comparison, offers the same 10 hours of battery life and 9 hours of battery life on 4G LTE networks. Usually, we see a sacrifice in usability time when it comes to 4G but that appears it won’t be the case with the new iPad. Of course, we’ll know much more once we get a unit in for testing.

The new iPad is up for pre-order beginning today and starts at $499. It should arrive in your hands by March 16th. You can bet we’ll be doing in-depth video and text reviews of the new device as soon as we get our hands on one, so be sure to stick around!

Apple just unveiled the next-gen iPad at its event in San Francisco. Packing a Retina IPS display with the mind-blowing resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels and a bumped up GPU, this shapes up to be one of the hottest slates on the market. And yes, the iPad has kept its Home button alright.

Strangely, rumors about the new slate being called iPad 3 or iPad HD turned out wrong and the new device is simply called iPad – just like the first generation device.

The event started with the announcement of iOS 5.1 – it’s available starting today and will roll out in Japan over the next few weeks, bringing Japanese language support for Siri, as previously rumored.

The new Apple TV also got a spot under the sunlight at the event – 1080p-capable, running iOS with a new UI with big “billboard images for movies”. It will be available for $99 and will be available next week with pre-orders starting today.

Moving on to the main course for the night, the new Apple iPad offers a Retina display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 with around 263.92 ppi. Apple also says that it has better color saturation than the iPad 2.

The processor inside is not a quad-core A6 but a dual-core A5X with quad-core graphics. The camera is dubbed iSight – it’s a 5 MP BSI unit with auto-focus, sporting a 5-element lens. The new iPad’s camera offers 1080p video recording. The new iPad features 21Mbps HSPA+ and 42Mbps DC-HSDPA and 4G LTE up to 73Mbps.

The new iPad will keep its acclaimed 10-hour battery life, save when in 4G mode when it will be able to do 9 hours. The 16GB version of the new iPad will cost $499, the 32GB abd 64GB will be $599 and $699. The 4G versions will be $629, $729 and $829 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. It will be available on March 16.

Along with the third-gen iPad we saw the iPhoto for iOS and updated iMovie app as well as new versions of Infinity Blade – Dungeons and Sketchbook Ink.

Crytek, the studio responsible for the Crysis franchise and the positively regarded CryEngine, are set to take a crack at the mobile gaming sphere with a puzzle game.

The game is called “Fibble – Flick ‘n’ Roll” and is currently set to launch for both the iOS and Android platforms during the spring of this year. The pricing and exact release date have not been announced.

The title supposedly sports easy to understand navigation and gameplay based on physics. It features leader boards for competition amongst friends and strangers, and it also rocks its own set of achievements.

In speaking with Develop during GDC, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli expressed the company’s decision to get into mobile games as exciting. He went on to talk a little about what Crytek can bring to the platform:

“Going mobile is an incredibly exciting step for us as a game development company…

…The way that people play games on mobile devices is a real blessing. This allows us to get back to our roots, experiment and focus our energy on creating great gameplay experiences while still keeping Crytek’s high production values…”

The game’s first teaser trailer sits at the top of this post. You can head to the official site to see some assets or read about the game in a more in-depth fashion.

Does the prospect of seeing the traditionally FPS focused studio of Crytek try their hand at mobile game development excite you? Or, would you rather the studio works on more core titles for the PC and console gaming crowds?

[via Official SiteDevelop]

Developers for Android have had to work around the crippling 50MB file size limit for a long time now. To take care of this problem, many developer devised an idea where you first download a small application from the Android Market and upon launching it will download the rest of the files from the developer’s server.

This came with its own set of problems. The user would not be aware of the total size of the app before downloading it. You were also often unable to refund an up, because by the time the additional data got downloaded, the 15 minute refund period for the app would be over.

To take care of this situation, Google has now finally increased the total application size limit to 4GB for the Android Market. But it’s a bit different than the way things work on, say, the App Store, for example.

The total apk size for the Android Market is still 50MB but now the developer can have two additional expansion files that can be 2GB each in size. The developer can store these expansion files on Google’s servers instead of their own and they will get downloaded along with the apk file. Also, the user will be made aware of the final size of the app before downloading it.

One of the advantages of having this system is that when the time comes to update the app, the user won’t have to download the entire thing again. Although the developers are free to use the expansion files whichever way they like, Google is advising them to use one of the expansion files to host all the important data and the other for updating purposes. This way, when the app needs to be updated, the developer can only modify the second expansion file and the user will only have to download it instead of the entire 4GB application all over again. Think of it as being similar to the delta updates available on iOS.

Of course, the user won’t have to worry about or even know about these things and the process or purchasing or updating will remain identical. All of this expansion files business will happen behind the scenes.

The advantage of using this method instead of the aforementioned method currently being employed by the developers is that the Android Market allows downloads to run in the background and will even let you pause and resume the download. You can use Wi-Fi or 3G to download these large apps but if you use Wi-Fi and you move out of coverage the download will automatically be paused.

Hopefully, the developers will take to this new way of distributing large apps, which should make the lives of the users a bit easier.

Source

iOS App Store hits 25 billion downloads

A picture is worth a thousand words, or in Apple’s case, 25 billion. Two weeks after revealing its App Store was nearing 25 billion downloads, Apple announced on Saturday the incredible milestone had been hit. One lucky downloader just won themselves a $10,000 App Store gift card.

By industry standards, the App Store is still relatively young – it was only launched in July 2008, making it less than four years old. But that’s not even the most amazing part. Remember Apple’s “Thanks a billion” announcement in April 2009? That was just under three years ago, meaning since then, iOS owners have downloaded 24 billion applications.To put things in even more perspective, an average of 18 million apps were downloaded a day. I think it’s safe to say Apple’s App Store has been a success.

No winner has been announced yet, but I’m sure Apple is in the process of contacting the lucky person.

Did you download anything from the App Store last night? You could be the winner.

Just a couple of days after uncovering the security loophole in iOS, whereby an application can copy the user’s entire photo library and upload it simply by asking for location information in photos and videos, The New York Times is back with similar issue found on Android devices as well.

In case of Android, the issue is a bit more worrying, as was demonstrated by the Times, using the same method they used with iOS. They built a simple time app for Android, which, in its permission dialogue, made no mention of accessing the photos on the device but simply for Internet access. This app was then able to not only access the photos on the device but also post it on a website, all behind the user’s back.

When The Verge contacted Google regarding this, it gave the typical developer argument of it being a feature and not a bug. Google said Android was designed in a way to facilitate access to your files because older devices had memory cards in them. But now that more and more Android device are having a fixed internal memory, the will be looking into adding permission for apps to access images.

Like we mentioned in our previous article regarding the iOS bug, this is no different than the way images can be access on your desktop computer. However, with Google now monitoring apps using its Bouncer program, like Apple, it too has fewer excuses to allow such behavior from apps on its store.

iPad 2 cockpit

Nearly a month after making a proposal to replace its inflight manuals with 18,000 iPad 2s, the U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to Phoenix-based vendor Executive Technology to make the purchase. Apple’s tablet supposedly beat out competition from the PlayBook, Xoom, Galaxy Tab and Nook Tablet.

Bloomberg reports the Air Force will opt for the 32GB, Wi-Fi model at a subsidized price of $529 compared to the normal rate of $599. Someone ought to warn the USAF that Apple is planning an event for its next iPad next week. Actually, Executive Technology has acknowledged a refresh is looming, but noted it has a year to make purchases with the funding – so far 63 iPad 2s have been purchased.

The devices will act as electronic flight bags for paper manual and chart replacement, which can sometimes weight up to 40 pounds. In comparison, an iPad weighs in at a fraction. Apple’s iPad was previously adopted by both Delta and Alaska Airlines as part of a trial program in 2011. The USAF has plans to implement the devices largely the same way.

“Aircrews fly nonstop worldwide missions and require access to flight publications both on and off the aircraft, throughout all phases of flight,” Captain Kathleen Ferrero told Bloomberg in an email. In the USAF’s eyes, the iPad 2 was the perfect device for the job.

[via Bloomberg]

Dungeon Hunter:Alliance review

BY 

The popular mobile-turned-PSN series comes to the Vita, and very little has changed—except the price.

This review is going to be short and to the point:Dungeon Hunter: Alliance is an upgraded version of an iOS game. But it costs $40. Wrap your head around that for a moment.

Gameloft’s Dungeon Hunter series is a bright spot in mobile gaming. The hack-n-slash dungeon crawling Diablo-clones push the limits of what a game on a mobile device can be. It is at the tops of the technological pyramid. But only compared to other mobile games. Dungeon Hunter: Alliance isn’t quite the same as the Dungeon Hunter series on iOS devices, but it is hard to tell the difference.

The game offers you the choice of three classes (Mage, Warrior, or Rogue), and as you progress you receive more and more quests, which almost always involve you going somewhere that is enemy infested and killing anyone that looks at you funny. As you murder your way through the fantasy setting, you begin to collect loot from downed enemies and chests as you progress through the 30 or so levels. There are fleeting hints of a story, but it always takes a backseat to you sallying  forth and killing.

The actual gameplay is simple enough, and familiar to anyone that has played any dungeon crawler before. You have a primary attack button, and three special attacks. There is also a potion button (which you will use frequently) that you will need to refill as often as possible to have a chance of staying alive. The touchpad on the back can be used to move your fairy companion, but there isn’t much need for it, and it is a bit awkward to use. You can cycle between a primary and secondary weapon and a first and second set of abilities with the D-pad, then you go forth and smack enemies. Transitioning between the weapon sets can be a pain, but it adds a bit to otherwise slightly generic combat.

To better describe the gameplay, you can use this handy description: stab, stab, stab, stab, stab. Special attack! Special attack! Stab, stab, stab, run for your life while you heal, then repeat the process. And that’s your game.

The combat is painfully unoriginal, and the levels are nothing more than shiny backgrounds. There’s very little strategy involved. The designs do try to look original, and the graphics aren’t terrible, just woefully inadequate compared to the potential of the Vita. The bigger issue on this front is the frame rate. When too many things happen on screen at once—which is often—the display can’t keep up, leading to some frame rate issues.

All of that paints a bleak picture, but the truth is that is can be a fun game in a totally mindless way. It still feels like an iOS game rather than a Vita game, but it can be entertaining to collect a ton of weapons and dropped loot while hacking your way through armies of suckers. No matter what though, it will eventually get tedious.

The multiplayer is a heavy focus, and both online and ad hoc gaming is possible. When you have multiple players, it can actually be fun, but four players can lead to constant frame rate issues, and confusion on where to go. Finding people online can also be a problem—that may change once the game has been out for a bit, assuming people buy it. And that leads to the thing that really kills this game.

The cost of this game is insane. The iOS versions, which are admittedly smaller but don’t look or play all that differently, topped out at $6.99. The most recent version was free. There is even a version of this exact game available for PSN, and it is $12.99. By comparison, this title is $39.99. That is ridiculous.

Even $12.99 feels a bit high for it, but that would still be understandable for as many areas you get, but $39.99 is unbelievable. About $30 too much.

Conclusion

There is a decent game in Dungeon Hunter: Alliance, but it is badly positioned. It should be a downloadable only title that costs around $10–maybe $20, but even that would be pushing it. Instead it prices itself at a cost point where you have to compare it to other Vita games at the same price. And that is a terrible mistake.

This tank-like iPhone case is perfect for outdoorsy Apple fans

By: 

The iPhone is a slick, attractive device. It’s light, relatively small, and has an appealing combination of glass and steel. Have you ever wanted to take all of that and wrap it in a thick, heavy, camouflaged hunk of polycarbonate? No?? Well, in case you ever change your mind, a new Kickstarter project has you covered.

Meet the new Aqua Tek S from Snow Lizard Products. It will take the smart design of your iPhone and hide it inside of a tank-like case that could be mistaken for an Autobot.

It’s easy to mock the phone’s appearance, but there are plenty of good reasons to give your iPhone the Zack Morris treatment. What the Aqua Tek S lacks in svelte design, it makes up for in practical purpose. Hikers, campers, snowboarders, and extreme sports athletes will love it (Rollerman might be first in line).

This bad boy will keep your iPhone protected from water (waterproof up to 20 feet). It will protect it from drops. The project’s creators even claim that it will shield it from dirt. It has an extended battery hiding inside, with a solar charger on the outside; under the right conditions, this could keep an iPhone charged for days (or longer?) without a power outlet.

Despite its monstrous appearance, the Aqua Tek S could be a crucial accessory for a niche audience. It’s not as if anyone is going to put his iPhone in one of these to go to work or go shopping. It’s simply a way to take the device that you already use, and prepare it for your more extreme outings.

The Aqua Tek S has raised $3,271 of its needed $75,000 with 24 days remaining. You can find out more at the Kickstarter link below.

Kickstarter, via Max Borges Agency

PlayBook OS 2.0 Reportedly Launching February 21

By 

PlayBook OS 2.0

When Research In Motion’s PlayBook OS 2.0 was revealed early last month, rumblings suggested the update would hit sometime in February, although no specific date was given. According to N4BB, the date in question is next Tuesday, February 21.

We detailed RIM’s new tablet experience when the company unveiled the OS during CES 2012, and it looks like it’s finally ready for public consumption. In short, PlayBook OS 2.0 will offer native email, calendar and contact apps – features that quite frankly should’ve been included from the get-go. Unfortunately, N4BB‘s sources said BBM will be a no-show in the 2.0 update, though it can still be accessed through BlackBerry Bridge.

It’s a much needed step in the right direction for RIM. Let’s hope the company can keep it up and bring BBM to the PlayBook sooner rather than later. Once (if) the update hits, we’ll be sure to bring you an extensive hands-on.

[via N4BB]

zAPPed Makes Your iOS Gadgets Part of the Board Game

By Joshua Schnell, Feb 14, 2012 4:44 PM

Photo: Hasbro

Hasbro plans to release new editions of three of its classic games this year. The spin? The zAPPed games will use iOS devices to help bring them to life.

The Game of Life zAPPed is available in stores now. Instead of being represented by tiny, featureless pink and blue pegs, players can completely customize their virtual pegs, adding hair, hats and other accessories. The iPad is also used to play a series of mini-games that have been integrated into the main game, as well as serving as the spinner, complete with an authentic tick-tick-ticking sound. Hasbro additionally partnered with America’s Funniest Videos to bring life stage appropriate videos to the game.

In Monopoly zAPPed, you can use any iOS device as a digital bank. That’s right; there’s no paper money in this version of the game, which is good for those with limited math skills but bad for those who liked to hedge their bets by hiding a few hundreds under the board. [Crap; there goes my entire strategy. –Ed.] Instead, each player gets a “debit card” that lives on your iOS gadgetry–just tap it to complete a transaction. The Community Chest and Chance cards have also gone digital, replaced by more digital mini-games. You can play additional mini-games to get out of jail or avoid fines. [Man, imagine if that existed in real life… –Ed.]

With Battleship zAPPed, you place the battleships onto the surface of an iPad. Special conductive paint on the battleships will allow the iPad to track their positions (Monopoly zAPPed uses a similar technology to differentiate the debit cards).

Monopoly zAPPed should be out this June, with Battleship zAPPed following in September. The games should all be priced around $25, but they of course do not include the iOS devices, which could be the bigger price hurdle for some. The accompanying iOS apps will be available for free in the App Store.

Samsung Launches Low-Cost Android 4.0 Tablet

By Mikael RicknäsIDG News    Feb 13, 2012 10:30 pm

 

Samsung Electronics has launched the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), the first of its tablets to ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and its own Touchwiz user interface, the company said on Monday.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0)The latest addition to Samsung’s tablet portfolio is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and has a 7-inch screen with a 1024-by-600 pixel resolution.

The tablet will cost about €270 (US$350) excluding taxes for the Wi-Fi version, according to a statement from Samsung in Sweden, which also says that it will start shipping in March.

Samsung will also sell a 3G version of the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), which can function as a phone and connects to the Internet using HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) at 21mbps.

The tablet is 0.41 inches (10.5 millimeters) thick and weighs 0.75 pounds (344 grams), compared to the iPad 2, which is 0.34 inches (8.8 millimeters) thick and weighs 1.32 pounds (601 grams).

The specification also includes two cameras; 8, 16, or 32GB of integrated storage and MicroSD card slot; and a 4000 mAh battery that should last for up to 39 hours, according to Samsung.

With a lower price, Samsung hopes to attract a larger audience to its tablets. Sales of Android-based tablets more than tripled during the fourth quarter of 2011, but Apple still dominates the market, according to a recent report from Strategy Analytics. The Android camp had a 39.1 percent share of global tablet shipments, compared to 29 percent a year earlier. Apple’s share dropped from 68.2 percent to 57.6 percent, according to Strategy Analytics.

Upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS screenshots leak

CrackBerry.com has acquired an internal email from RIM, which shows off the UI of their next generation OS, the BlackBerry 10. The hardware in the pictures below might be current the current 9860 but the OS is all new.


In this picture we can see the new homescreen, which is quite a bit different from the one we saw before. You can see large widgets on the screen that remind you of the live tiles in Windows Phone. And they are not static either and you can see information like weather, call information, album art and current location on a map on the respective widgets. There is also a new bar at the bottom that vaguely reminds us a bit of Nokia’s Belle OS.

Moving on, we have the application drawer here. Looking at the screenshot it’s hard to say which direction it scrolls in. We can’t find the usual tabs at the top of the drawer as in the current OS 7 either, so maybe RIM has gone for a single, long list. We can see new icons, as well as a folder that you can use to put icons in. It’s unclear how you invoke this application drawer from the homescreen.

Finally, we have an image of the in-call screen, showing a large picture of the caller on top and large touch buttons, including one for video calls, below.

Overall, the new BlackBerry 10 is looking quite promising. Unfortunately, there will be quite a wait before we could actually get our hands on it.