IconBit announces Four new Android TV/Media Player Set-Top Boxes at CES, Two with 3D Functionality

Most of you are familiar with Google TV, but I am sure not that many of you have heard of an Android TV. Yes, Android TV. Imagine having the capability of a full blown android experience on your television just by adding a neat little set top box. A Russian based company called IconBit has created just that — a line of set-top boxes that will bring the Android OS to any HDMI compatible television.

We had a chance to meet with the IconBit team at CES and got a rundown on their latest Android endeavors. They have created 4 different boxes that all access the Android Market and a couple that come with a gesture controlled remote (think Nintendo Wii). One of the more exciting bits of news was the announcement that all 4 devices will be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future. All units provide a tablet-like experience on your home television and can be linked up with an external hard drive for storing your favorite media files.

Like Fast Paced Puzzle Games? Check Out Speedx 3D For Android (Video)

If you’re into fast paced arcade & action games and you want to make the best out of your CPU, GPU and accelerometer, then boy do we have the game for you.  While Speedx 3D for Android isn’t new, it has received some hefty updates to be optimized for running optimally on your Android device.  The game offers stunning 3D graphics as you use the accelerometer driven controls to tunnel race your way through various objects in an attempt to whiz by unscathed.

“Challenging and addictive gameplay” – AndroidAndMe.com

“A slick, stylish and addictive Android exclusive” – PocketGamer.co.uk

“Like many excellent games, Speedx 3D starts with a simple premise that quickly becomes addicting”. ***** review – PCWorld.com

As you make your way through the 3D tunnel, your challenge is to avoid, as best you can, a multiple array of colorful blocks all using tilt motion functionality on your device.  But be aware, as you progress, the level of difficulty only increases with every level.

Collect bonuses to increase your shield resistance, destroy blocks, break warnings or to slow your speed. In addition, Speedx is a first game on the market which supports red-cyan and green-magenta 3D glasses!

Ready for the challenge?  Head on over to the Android Market for the download or hit up the QR code below for an added convenience.  Don’t forget to hit the break to check out some more screen shots and to watch a quick demo of the game in action.  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.  Happy racing.

CES 2012 Breaks All Prior Records

This year was my first year in attending CES and what an event it was. According to CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) 2012 was the biggest CES event to date, bringing in more than 153,000 attendees which included 34,000 people from overseas. Talk about BIG! The show floor(s) consisted of 1.861 million net square feet of exhibit space which was filled with more than 3,100 exhibitors who all wanted to show you what great things they have in store for 2012. While it was my job to focus solely on Android, I found it difficult to pass by all the other great technology advancements that were on display at this years show. From amazing TV’s to 20MP pocketable cameras, I was a kid in a candy store.

Among the thousands of people in attendance to this year’s CES, more than just techies and journalists made the trip. Many government leaders from the US and other countries were present, as well as some well known Hollywood stars including Eliza Dushku, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Wil.i.am, Wayne Brady, Jillian Michaels, LL Cool J, Ryan Seacrest, Will Smith and Kelly Clarkson.

All in all, after returning home from a grueling work filled week in Vegas, I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. Not only did I get to see awesome gadgets and meet some really influential people, we were able to complete a couple months worth of work in a matter of 4 days. In an effort to keep you guys, our readers, up to date, it behooves us to attend events like these and we will continue to do so whenever possible. After all, you are the reason why this team works so hard and we appreciate having you around and hope you enjoyed all the cool videos and write-ups we gave you throughout the week of CES 2012. :-D

Jump past the break to read the full CES stats press report.

Google Shortcuts, A Quick And Easy Way To Access All Of Your Google Services In One Interface

If you’re checking out this site, chances are you have an Android device (or you’re an iPhone fan-boy scoping out the competition).  And if you have an Android enabled device, you most likely utilize quite a number of Google services.  That’s the case in my situation.  I use so many Google products that it only makes sense for me to use an Android device where I can seamlessly sign into my phone and bam, all of my services are accessible from my mobile device while on the go.  On any given day I can be found using services like Google Search, Gmail, Currents, Music, Images, Goggles, Maps, Reader, News and Docs.  Nothing is more convenient that to be able to access these features on a daily basis without being confined to an office or PC.  So, this is why Im taking the time to tout the application Google Shortcuts, by dev Pauland, an application that allows you to access any of the 45 different offerings from Google in one simple, intuitive interface while on the fly.  You can modify the shortcuts as you see fit as well as sort, display and even hide them.

Services supported:

G. Plus, Gmail, Android Market, Android Market Console (for developers), Google Music, Picasa, Maps, Youtube, Earth, Books, Docs, Reader, Translate, Blogger, Analytics, Admob, Contacts, Cloud Print, Checkout / Wallet, Calendar, Adsense, Adwords, AppEngine, Google Apps, Goo.gl, Finance, Orkut, Shopper, Talk, Remote TV, Offers, Catalogs, News, Currents, Goggles, etc …

If you’re a Google freak such as myself, you’ll definitely want to give this app a try.  It could wind up saving you invaluable amounts of time over its day to day use.  If you’re ready for the download you can head on over to our popular apps database where you’ll also find a QR code for convenience or you can simply point to the Android Market for the download as well.  Either way, let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

 

 

ThinkGeek’s Articulated Android Plush, just $9.99

True die hard Android fans like to show their pride for the best mobile OS. So in addition to recently acquiring an official Android beanie, and to give my Dyzplastic Android a new friend, not too long ago I picked up the articulated Android Plush from ThinkGeek. Designed and manufactured by ThinkGeek, this 9″ Android has a posable articulated head and arms. Normally retailing for $12.99, you can grab yourself one now for just $9.99. Here’s mine hanging out with another great item for the Android afficianado; Hello, Android – Third Edition. Head on over to ThinkGeek to get yours and if you haven’t already, pick up the Dyzplastic Vinyl 3.25″ Android while you’re there.

 

 

 

 

Hands on with the Huawei Ascend P1 S, The World’s thinnest smartphone [Video]

Huawei just announced the Ascend P1 S, which is their newest flagship phone. This one dethrones the DROID RAZR as the World’s thinnest smartphone. It comes in at 6.68mm thin, and we probably won’t see a release until around April. For now, there is no schedule for a U.S. release since a carrier hasn’t been finalized at this time. There will be three color choices – metallic black, ceramic white, and cherry-blossom pink.

The unit at CES was a stock Ice Cream Sandwich experience, but it most likely won’t stay that way as they will add some UI tweaks by the time it’s ready for release.

Full Specs after the break:

Hands-On With The Toshiba Excite X10 at CES

Toshiba certainly brought their A-Game to CES 2012 when they unveiled their new flagship tablet, the Excite X10.  The X10 definitely has something to boast about among the rest of the tablets in the market today much in the same way that the Droid Razr has some bragging rights within its smartphone community, and that is that it’s thin as hell!  The 10.1-inch device is a breakthrough milestone as stated by the Toshiba rep we spoke to at the event.  Not only is it rightfully claiming to be the world’s thinnest tablet, it’s also one of the lightest.  The device comes in at 1.1 lbs or 535 grams and only .3 inches (7.7mm).  That’s pretty darn thin if you ask us.  The device offers a premium tablet experience thanks to its multiple port access on hand despite how thin the device is.  There’s a micro sd card slot, micro HDMI out and a micro usb sync port for syncing and sharing.

The flipside of the device is definitely something that commands a look as it offers a premium surface with magnesium alloy backing.  The glass is none other than the popular Gorilla glass technology so as to add to the durability of the device.  OS wise, we’re looking at Android Honeycomb 3.2 with a confirmation that the device will receive Ice Cream Sandwich.  In addition, the rep says depending on when the official release date is, this bad boy could ship with ICS already on-board.  Under the hood is the ever popular TI OMAP 4430 for its dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU.  In the camera dept you’ll find a 5 meg camera capable of capturing 1080p video recording.  There’s two offerings in the size dept, a 16 gig and a 32 gig.  The 16 gig will run you $529 and the 32 gig will cost you a whopping $599.  Ouch, that’s a bit steep if you ask us.  Check out our hands-on video of the monster tab and don’t forget to let us know what you think of the device in the comments below.  And if you’ve missed any of our special CES 2012 coverage, be sure to check it out here.  

Hands On with Tagg the Pet Tracker and Android App

As dog lover and owner of two awesome pups, I am constantly worried about their whereabouts and often fear losing one or both of them while hiking off-leash through our local woods. While walking through Show Stoppers, a CES event, I ran across a company called Tagg the Pet Tracker and asked for a brief rundown on how their product can keeps tabs on my best friends.

By installing a tracking device on your pets collar, Tagg will monitor your pets location on command, or if your pet travels beyond a pre-set boundary. The collar attachment works off of GPS and can be monitored from the web interface, or from the Tagg Android app itself. At only $99 for the device and the charging station, I would consider that areasonable price for huge piece of mind. You get the first month of service free with the purchase of the unit and following months will cost $7.95 each. Jump past the break for a demo video and app download links from the Android Market and be sure to check out the rest of our CES coverage.

Hands on with the Asus Memo 370T at CES (Video)

CES 2012 has been an insane trip down technology lane and Asus has made a great presence here with its most recent lineup.  And joining the Asus Memo 171 is the Asus Memo 370T model, the first 7-inch tab to utilize an IPS display.  The device runs Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 and should launch around May sometime.  It will be available for $250 and offers the new Tegra 3 quad-core CPU.  Check out the quick hands-on video and don’t forget to check out the rest of our CES coverage here if you’ve missed any of it.

Hands on with the OnLive gaming service [Video]

We had a chance to sit down with OnLive CEO Steven Perlman. As you know OnLive is a cloud based gaming service that was officially launched about a month ago. It’s basically a Netflix type of service for gaming. You can buy in at a monthly rate of $9.99 a month or purchase individual games for approximately $40+ each. Right now there about 200 games available from every genre. You can play with people all over the world and even watch games in action as they are happening as a spectator. You can quickly and easily save highlights from your games and share the via them and others can rate them.

OnLive works on your tablet, smartphone, Logitech Revue, or the recently released Vizio VAP430. Since it’s cloud based, it always saves your game data so you can seamlessly switch from the TV to your tablet or vice verse. You can even pair the controller with tablets and the USB connector works with the Logitech Revue. The app for the revue just launched, however, you can only use it as a spectator. In the coming weeks an update will take place in which it will give us the ability to play any of the 200+ games.

This is truly an amazing service and I believe it’s the future of gaming. Whether you’re a hardcore or casual gamer, you need to checkout this hands on video presentation by Steven.

 

Hands on with the DROID RAZR MAXX at CES [Video]

Yesterday Motorola and Verizon announces the DROID RAZR MAXX. This is one is a slightly thicker DROID RAZR, but trust me it’s a good thing. They put in a 3300mAh battery in this bad boy, which is exactly what you need for LTE/4G. They’re promising nearly 24 hours on one charge, and basically it adds 1.8mm of thickness. Unfortunately it will launch with Android Gingerbread for now with most likely an Ice Cream Sandwich update in quarter 2. The extra thickness actually gives the phone a better feel in my opinion.

Don’t forget to checkout our CES 2012 coverage here.

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Make Lightbox For Android Your Next Photo Capturing, Editing, Enhancing and Sharing Application (Video)

Photo editing apps are a dime a dozen on the Android Market, however, it’s a little difficult to find a “good quality” application that will allow you to perform a number of operations seamlessly and effortlessly with online services and those you love the most.  In steps Lightbox, a popular photo capturing and editing application that gives you a big bang for your buck, especially because it’s free.  Lightbox allows you to take regularly taken photos and enhance them like never before.  In addition, you can organize and then upload them to a Lightbox community timeline very much like post cards, something that’s setting the service apart from most right now.

Photos you share publicly will also get posted to your very own Lightbox website that other users can follow. You just focus on taking photos, and we’ll automatically create an attractive timeline of photo postcards for you.

You have the option of keeping them private or choosing who gets to see them and have access to them.   There is also an online interface for you to interact with all of your photos.  Lightbox.com offers safe storage for all your important snapshots and thus being in the cloud, you can quickly and easily download them onto any device that supports the application.  If you’re ready to give it a try, hit the break for the download links and to check out more offerings and info from the developer.  There’s also some screen shots and a quick video of how the service works.  Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts about the app below as well.  

ICS running on the Original DROID [Video]

The Cyanogen Team recently dropped a bomb on OG DROID owners by stating they would no longer support the device going forward. Since then, XDA member kfazz has been hard at work implementing Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 for the OG DROID, and while he isn’t finished yet he’s certainly ahead of the competition. I took his ROM for a spin and was pleasantly surprised by it’s performance on this now two year old device. It just goes to show that Android 4.0 is chock full of performance enhancements, and it also serves as reason to believe any Android phone could potentially be updated, either officially or through Android’s many popular “unofficial channels”. See it for yourself just past the break.