Google releases factory images for Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S devices on Sprint and AT&T

It has been a good week for hackers who want to experiment with their Android powered devices. Earlier this week Samsung released source code for several devices, like the Galaxy S III Mini, the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note II, and their Galaxy Tab devices. Now it is Google’s turn to contribute a little something back with the posting of factory images for several Nexus devices.
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Huawei Ascend D Quad XL headed to WIND Mobile

A leaked promotional poster from WIND has revealed that the carrier is gearing up to release Huawei’s impressive Ascend D Quad XL smartphone. The Canadian carrier has already rolled out the LG Optimus 4X and Samsung Galaxy Note II, so another quad-core device is simply icing on the figurative cake.

There’s no official information regarding when the device will actually see a launch or how much it will cost when it arrives, but considering the handset has launched elsewhere for around $500, we’d expect more of the same. As a refresher, the Ascend D Quad XL sports a 4.5-inch 720 x 1280 panel, an in-house 1.4GHz quad-core SoC and an 8-megapixel rear shooter. There’s also a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front for video chat, as well as 8GB of on board storage and 1GB of RAM.

Source: MobileSyrup

Images leak for the Sony C6603 ‘Yuga’

We reported about a new Sony beast dubbed the “Odin” or C650X (the X gets replaced with a number) from a leaked agent profile and shortly after, an image leaked. Now we have images of a C6603 compliments of German site Android Schweiz, with a codename “Yuga”. I am assuming this is the same phone, but with a new bump in the model number. The specs seem the same as anticipated, 5-inch 1080p display, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, and running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. They are claiming the camera is 12MP, but you would think it would be the 13MP Exmor RS. Who knows, that could still change. Another tidbit is that it will sport a unibody design so that means no removable battery, but they will include a microSD slot and microHDMI port. Could we see this at CES? More pics after the break.


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Apple lands a patent for a rectangle with rounded corners

Oh my, our broken patent system is at it again. Yesterday Apple was awarded patent D670,286, which is a design patent pertaining to the iPad’s “ornamental” design. In a sense it’s a patent for a rectangle with rounded edges covering a “portable display device.” Before everyone screams foul, it remains to be seen if it will be worth anything to Apple.

Apple already has a design patent D504,889, and they successfully convinced Judge Lucy Koh that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 should be banned based on it. Of course, in August, a jury didn’t find the Tab 10.1 infringed on that patent. Back then Samsung was quoted as saying it was “unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners.” Interestingly enough Apple now has the patent with this new ’286.


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Rumored Microsoft Office app for mobile devices screens captured

Last month we reported on an event in the Czech Republic where a representative of Microsoft revealed native versions of Microsoft Office were being prepared for both the Android and iOS platforms. The timeline hinted at mobile versions being ready sometime in the first quarter of 2013.

Today, The Verge was able to obtain some screenshots of the app that seem to indicate development is well underway. The screenshots suggest that at least MS Word, MS PowerPoint and MS Excel files will be supported. It is not clear how much editing may be possible using the app, assuming you would want to try that. The screenshots also seem to confirm the information suggesting an Office 365 subscription will be required.
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AT&T refunds wireless overcharge fees after FCC investigation

AT&T has had their share of unlucky business with the FCC, and it looks like it’s happened again. Back in 2010, AT&T had discovered an error in their systems that moved some subscribers onto more costly data plans without the subscriber’s consent. Even though AT&T owned up to the mistake and refunded customers who contacted them about being overcharged, the FCC started an investigation about a year ago.

According to AT&T, the switch affected only .03% of their customers, and on average only incurred an extra $25 – $30 per month charge, which could have been much worse, although I certainly would’ve been pretty upset at an extra $30 per month. On top of reimbursing customers for those charges, AT&T has agreed to pay an additional $700,000 fine, as well as spend more resources properly training employees and notifying customers of changes to their bill. AT&T definitely looks eager to keep their customers happy and make efforts to keep them happy in the future. You can’t fault them too much for that, even if it came a little late in this situation.

source: Reuters

Sprint set to buy US Cellular’s Midwestern airwaves and customers

 

Sprint has agreed to buy airwaves and customers from the Midwest section of US Cellular’s market to the tune of $480 million. Not a cheap acquisition, but Sprint hopes to use this band of coverage in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio to bolster their 4G LTE coverage. Considering Sprint is falling pretty far behind in LTE coverage compared to AT&T and Verizon, I’d say that’s a pretty smart move.
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Shadowgun:Deadzone officially out of beta and on Play Store November 15th

About a month ago, Madfinger Games released the multi-player version of their popular 3rd-person shooter Shadowgun. The beta was initially open only to those with Tegra 3 devices and then later opened up to other devices. On November 15th the game will come out of beta status for all to enjoy. Once the finished product is released onto the Play Store, it’ll contain ten playable characters, a variety of weapons, equipment, and two game modes with up to 12 players total. The game will also feature a ranking system which, as you progress, will unlock other features. As mentioned, the game will be available on November 15th free of charge, but will have the option for in-game purchases.

 

source:  @MADFINERGames

Android adoption rate six times that of the iPhone

Internet trends guru, Mary Meeker, released her latest reports recently and the news is very favorable on the Android front. At an event in San Francisco she presented minutia of data focusing primarily on mobile growth. It doesn’t seem like enough can be written about the sheer size and scope of mobile growth these days, and Ms. Meeker’s numbers certainly reflect that. The fact that stands out most of them all? Android adoption rate is 6 times that of the iPhone.

We knew adoption had to be high with well over one million Android devices being activated each day, but six times the adoption rate is very impressive. This figure seems to be growing exponentially with each passing quarter as it was only at a ’4-times’ clip back in May. What are your thoughts on this? I know, like most data, we can spin it in all sorts of directions, but this has to be good for Android, right? What are some of your theories?

source:  TechCrunch

Featured Android Game Review: 9th Dawn RPG [Arcade & Action]

If you’re a fan of old school RPG games, you will want to check out 9th Dawn from Valorware. It’s by far the largest open world RPG game available on Android. You will start the game in a small village called Agaria, which is in the large island continent of Montelorne. As with any RPG, you will find mystery, danger and adventure.

For characters, you have your choice of being a knight, an archer, or a wise mage. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses giving you a chance to select the right one that suits your play style. The knight is by far the strongest with the ability to possess heavy armor and weapons. The archer is nimble and can take out enemies from further away with its bows and daggers. Last but not least, the mage is the most intelligent and can cast powerful magic spells.

Controls couldn’t be simpler. At the bottom left is the navigational circle or thumbpad. Just slide your finger in the direction you want to move. You will find another thumbpad at the bottom right which utilizes your weapon of choice. You can simply aim your weapon in the direction you want and if you’re utilizing a bow, just pull back in the direction you want to fire. You will also use this same thumbpad to cast spells with a simple tap. The rest of the controls is simple taps on the screen when you want to do something such as talk to someone or unlock a door.

As you take out opponents, you will earn attribute points, which can be used to increase certain attributes of your hero such as strength and wisdom. Also some enemies will drop things that can be used at a later time, and there are various amount of weapons and healing foods that you can purchase with silver, the currency of choice. Eventually you will have a pretty good sized inventory of weapons and useful items. You can access them from the menu, but sometimes you will want to get things quicker. You can add any items to mini boxes at the bottom of the screen, which will allow you to grab them quickly without going through the menu.

As I mentioned, 9th Dawn is the largest open world so there is so much to explore. You can simply explore wherever you want or you can go on quests by helping some of the characters. Every area or region is not only unique with different characters, dungeons, forests, and caves, but each area presents different types of enemies. In some areas, you will need to be more equipped before entering, while others have much weaker enemies.

Another thing that is exceptional in 9th Dawn is the soundtrack. It’s actually one of the best I have heard in a game. If you agree, you can purchase the entire soundtrack by naming your price (between $1 and $5), of which 100% of the money will go towards further development. If you’re interested, click here to find out more. I also need to mention that Valorware is one of the more communicative developers out there. They have a Tumblr page in which they will highlight the updates to the game. You will find the information to be very detailed as opposed to what you normally find in the “What’s New” section in the Google Play Store for each app.

All in all 9th Dawn is an awesome game for RPG fans, but those that aren’t as familiar with the genre can still have blast. 9th Dawn brings together old school RPG and the openness of today’s games, which makes it attractive to all gamers. There is a free version, which limits the area that you can explore, but it’s plenty large enough to give you an idea of the gameplay. If you like it and find yourself totally engrossed in the game as I expect you will, you can buy the full version for a reasonable price of $1.99. PC fans will also be happy to know that Valorware started a Greenlight campaign page to bring it to Steam. Just hit the link to help make it happen.

So check out the demo video below and hit one of the download links to get started. As always, let me know what you think.

 

 

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