Epic Games’ Jay Wilbur Talks Android Game Development

The good folks of The Slowdown are at the Dubai World Game Expo (grumble lucky sods grumble) and were able to snag an interview with Epic Games’ Jay Wilbur. In this review, he discusses the Unreal Engine, the Unreal Development Kit, developing games for the iOS, and well as a little bit about developing for Android. Here’s a clip wherein Mr. Wilbur is showing the interviewer a demo of Epic Citadel on his Galaxy S:

What are the challenges in developing for Android? The demo there seems to be running great.

It runs really well and really fast. One of the problems with the Android marketplace is hardware fragmentation, that’s a really big issue. The other thing is marketplace fragmentation, there are so many different appstores out there. The Android marketplace is a little more difficult [to develop for] because there is less control. I think the Android marketplace is robust … I find it very easy to buy things on it, it’s just that Apple has very tight control. So anything in the Apple world is perfect. It’s just perfect. We like that, we like that a lot. We know that it’s just gonna work. Sometimes that’s not always the case in the Android marketplace.

Can’t really dispute his comments, can we? As much as we love our Androids, fragmentation is and will continue to be an issue for a while. However, it didn’t stop the PC from becoming the dominant computing platform in the world. Just sayin’. ;)

You can read the whole interview by heading over to The Slowdown by clicking the link below.

[via The Slowdown]

AT&T to Start Pushing Android Phones

Since AT&T has been the exclusive carrier of the iPhone since its launch, it was no surprise that they have pushed that, almost to the exclusion of all other Smartphones.  A cursory glance over their lineup shows a noticeable shortage of Android and Blackberry devices, compared to the other carriers.  But, according to AT&T’s CEO, now that Verizon is getting the iPhone as well, that’s about to change.

We showed you a metric a few days ago reflecting how light Android is on AT&T compared to other carriers, but Randall Stephenson, CEO, stated “We’re going to be a heavy participant in the Android market this year, so you’re going to see a significant shift in mix.” He went on to say that they will be marketing Android phones “very aggressively” in the near future. When it comes to phone sales, it seems like a lot of the time public perception has more to do with the numbers than the actual feature lists, so perhaps AT&T being a little more open about Android’s capabilities on its network will help keep Android numbers strong as Verizon starts bringing in iPhone sales.

We’re likely to see a lot happening in the next few months as the initial iPhone sales start hitting Verizon, and it could bring some really interesting changes. Glad to see AT&T stepping up their Android game…we’ll see what that leads to in the marketshare battle in the next few months.

[via YahooNews]

Samsung to Reveal Galaxy S 2 and Galaxy Tab 2 at Mobile World Congress?

Samsung has been teasing us with talk of big things to be revealed at the Mobile World Congress meeting in Barcelona for quite a while now.  Well, the meeting is just a couple of weeks away, and our suspicions look to be confirmed: the “something big” appears to be none other than the second generation of Galaxy S phones and Galaxy Tab devices. A leak from Samsung’s PR department detailing their schedule shows both the Galaxy S 2 and the Galaxy Tab 2 appearing in the lineup.

We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for the news, and bring it to you the minute we find anything, so stay tuned!

[via AC]

Update to Nook Color Firmware, Brings Version 1.1.0

The Nook Color has been selling like crazy, and for good reason — it’s a great e-reader, and also functions as a very capable Android Tablet. Because of this, we’re glad to see Barnes and Noble giving it the support they need, and they’ve released an update that includes a ton of bug fixes — though no Froyo yet. The update includes:

  • Improved performance of Wi-Fi connectivity, Home and Shop.
  • Ability to pinch and zoom in browser.
  • Enhanced reading experience for magazines and children’s books.
  • Access helpful NOOKcolor related information and support tips on the new
    default browser home page.
  • Reduce mistyped passwords with “show password” option during registration
    and Wi-Fi set up.
  • Easily identify NOOK kids Read To Me™ books with a new text banner next to
    the titles in Shop.
  • General bug fixes and performance improvements.

This is a big update, and brings lots of great stuff to the table, so head over to Barnes and Noble’s site to pick it up!

[via Android Central]

AmazonUK Releases Android App

Our friends over in the UK just got a handy addition to their phones. AmazonUK has released an Android app putting the full scope of products that Amazon offers on its site in the palm of your hand. It gives full support of order tracking, wish lists, and one-click ordering. It allows you to scan bar codes for items and searches for their availability on the site. It’s secure. And best of all, as you might expect, it’s free. Hit the source link, or scan the QR code below to get it yourself.

[via AmazonUK]

Android 3.0 Honeycomb SDK released – features, images and changes


There’s been a lot of anticipation over Android 3.0, especially since CES 2011 in Vegas a few weeks ago. With the launch of so many Android tablets, and some launching with Honeycomb like the Motorola Xoom, and LG G-Slate, many are curious how different the new version of Android “built for tablets” will be from it’s previous versions. Since Google launched it’s SDK for Honeycomb, many have been digging in deep to see what we’ll find. Here is a summary of the new features and changes within.

See the features and changes below…

Google Acquires SayNow, Plans to Integrate Into Google Voice?

If you’ve never heard of SayNow…you’re not alone. You may, however, remember that a lot of celebrities went through phases where they would blast a phone number on Twitter, Facebook, a commercial, or at a concert and say “Call me.” When you called that number, it gave you some pre-recorded message. You know you all called one of them, at least once…heck, I did. But this service has now been acquired by Google, and they have made it clear that they intend to incorporate it into Google Voice, although at this point it has not been stated exactly how they intend to do that or what service they will add.

SayNow also provided a service that aimed to make business conference calls easier. This service was apparently created by an intern in about a week, but in our (admittedly brief) searching for information about it, it seems to have been a very solid offering. So perhaps Google wants talent? They didn’t really say.

Regardless, it’s very likely that we’ll be seeing some new additions coming to Google Voice soon, beyond the number porting service that they just announced. We’re eager to see what they come up, so stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted.

[via AllThingsDigital]

Buzztime Introduces Mobile Playmaker App to Android

If you spend much time at restaurants or bars, particularly sports bars, you’ve probably seen the Buzztime trivia games playing on TVs around the room. If you ask, your waitress will bring you out a little “Playmaker” device that interfaces with the Buzztime servers so you can enter your name, login, and play along with other people — in the restaurant with you, or even people at other Buzztime locations in other states. You can engage in trivia games, puzzles, and even card games right from your seat in the restaurant. And now, you don’t even need the Playmaker device, because you can have a mobile app on your Android phone that accomplishes exactly the same purpose.

The Mobile Playmaker app brings several advantages over the traditional Playmaker device. For starters, you’ve probably already got your phone with you — no more waiting on the waitress to bring you one. And while I’ve never encountered the problem myself, hypothetically, the restaurant you’re out could have already passed out all their Playmaker devices. But one of the biggest perks, in my book, is that if you’ve used a Playmaker, you know they’re…bulky. The interface is clunky. In a world of flashy phones and touchscreens, the Playmaker is just not a fun device to use. I won’t lie — I’ve been wanting this app for quite some time.

Buzztime is quite happy to be offering the app to Android users. Michael J. Bush, Buzztime’s President and CEO, offers the following:

“Buzztime continuously looks to bring innovation to our players and partners with new technology and exciting games…The company’s Android phone application further deepens our ability to attract the ever growing smart phone market and invite them into the Buzztime game universe. We continue to provide our players with improved experiences and our bar and restaurant clients with added value.”

If you frequent Buzztime locations, or think you might start soon, be sure and get the Buzztime Mobile Playmaker app from our database, or by scanning the QR code below.

[via Buzztime]

Is RIM Planning on Equipping the Blackberry Playbook to Run Android Apps?

So RIM has been talking up its Playbook tablet device for a while now, but today an interesting possibility is developing. RIM is considering which Java VM to use in their upcoming device, and they are looking heavily at the Dalvik VM — the same one Android uses.

If they go the open source route and pick up Dalvik VM, there’s a good chance that the Playbook will be able to run Android apps, provided that you are able to track them down from their sources. Obviously, you won’t be able to just download apps from the Android market on the Playbook. However, according to BGR, who broke the story, RIM is also considering “courting” Google to get some sort of licensing agreement, which would give the Playbook access to the Android Market, Gmail apps, and other Google services.

So, right now this is firmly in the “rumor” category. It makes sense for RIM to be looking into this avenue, but will it pan out? Google seems very unlikely to “license” a non-Android device to run the full gamut of Android apps and the market — especially given that some Android tablets don’t even have full Google support. I’m sure RIM is willing to throw some money at Google in this equation, but they have to be picky about how much they can offer, because while full support of Android apps would definitely help the Playbook sell, they still don’t know how successful it will be in the market. And it seems to me that if people are REALLY buying a tablet based on the ability to run Android apps…well, they’d probably buy an Android tablet. But if RIM can’t provide access to the Android Market, I don’t know how much of a bullet point that would really be for them, even if they could run “sideloaded” apps.  So their situation is a tricky one.

All that said, it’s kind of interesting to think about. There’s really no reason they couldn’t go with the open-source Dalvik VM, and that would most likely allow access to at least a lot of the Android apps out there. What would this do for them? Would it hurt Google at all? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

[via BGR]

South Korea’s Galaxy S Hoppin Includes Media Dock

SK Telekom in South Korea is releasing a new Galaxy S phone — dubbed the “Hoppin,” named for the built-in entertainment system software (I know, we didn’t get it at first either.) The phone comes with a dock that will connect it to your TV and run the Hoppin software to stream movies directly from your phone, much like Samsung’s media hub that the US Galaxy S owners are familiar with. It’s being reported that movies will cost anywhere from 1,000 to 3,500 won (.89 cents to $3.12 in USD), which is a very reasonable price to download a movie, especially via cell network.

Aside from that, it’s pretty much your standard Galaxy S fare with the Hummingbird processor clocked in at 1GHz, 5 megapixel camera, wifi, etc. And unlike the US Galaxy S phones, it’s shipping with Froyo.

[via Engadget]