Brass Monkey Raises $750k In Seed Financing, Looks To Turn Android Devices Into A Wii-Type Controller For Browser Games

by Roy Alugbue on
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While using your Android device as a controller is nothing new, Small development company Brass Monkey has just made a potential breakthrough. They developed and released SDKs for Android and iOS devices not too long ago which allowed those devices to act as a remote controller for Flash-based, Unity3D-based and desktop games and apps. There was some understandable excitement generated at the idea of using your device as a sort of Wii-type controller, but there was one problem– there was no support for being able to play games on a web browser until now. Brass Monkey has officially enabled the ability to play games right through your browser.

It works in a pretty straightforward manner too. Using the brilliant mind of Francois Laberge of Emotely, Brass Monkey developed the necessary technology to convert devices into controllers and run games on the browser using HTML5 for both the interface and communication layers (with HTTP and WebSockets). That means Brass Monkey has turned browsers like Safari, Firefox or even Google’s own Chrome into virtual gaming consoles that work with your device and turn it into a controller. Moreover, the same SDKs Brass Monkey released to developers includes the ability to create games similar to those from Wii, Xbox, and PS3 consoles. Pretty neat, isn’t it?

Of course this technology is still quite young and needs to be developed further. Brass Monkey realizes this and has announced it has raised over $750,000 in seed financing from various investors. Also, it’s development efforts have not gone unnoticed. It was after all a finalist in the 2010 MassChallenge which is a competition for networks and startups. CEO Chris Allen is excited about the direction of the company and has since announced an Android version is in the works and will arrive to devices by March, while there is an iOS version out now. How many of you all will be trying out this cool concept? Be sure to sound off in the Comments section below and let us know what you think of the cool technology.

[via Tech Crunch]

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 Under $200 Again, Today Only

by Jack Holt on
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With more and more budget conscious tablets coming out, such as the Kindle Fire or Nook tablet, the sub $300 tablet is no longer a myth. Folks are combing the internet looking for deals on tablets. Well if you’re one of those folk looking for a good deal on an Android tablet, Lenovo is selling the IdeaPad A1 for only $199.20 at its online store. This isn’t the first time that this device has dropped below the $200 mark as Lenovo did the same in both September and October. However a lower price does come at a, well, price. It has the following features: » Read the rest

According To Samsung: One In Ten South Koreans Are The Proud Owner Of A Samsung Galaxy S II

by Joe Sirianni on
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Again I say, who can deny how popular and widespread Samsung’s Galaxy S II is?  It’s pretty evident that the device spread like a wild fire upon its release both overseas and here in the good ol’ US of A.  I myself am a proud owner of a Galaxy S II on T-Mobile.  The device is certainly without a doubt a power-horse for me as I pretty much use every Google service known to man on it along with some other day to day productive functions.  Samsung aims to convey this to the masses as the company has recently revealed a few tidbits confirming the popularity of the hit device in South Korea.  According to Samsung, the device sold 5 million strong since its release in April of 2011 which roughly translates to about 10% of South Korea’s population (48 million users) now possessing the powerful handset.  According to Tech Crunch, it’s the first cell phone to reach this milestone for the mobile centric people of South Korea where the feature phone was once a dominant contender. Just to tally things up respectively, Samsung says in 2011 the company cornered 53% of the market share for South Korea’s mobile industry.  Say what you will, but that’s pretty impressive and something to be proud of as a company.  Now all the device is missing to make it top notch is a little ol’ update we in the industry like to call Ice Cream Sandwich.  Are you the proud owner of a GSII?  What you do think about the handset?

[via Samsung Hub by Tech Crunch]

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Wallpaper [Review]

by Roy Alugbue on

Let’s face it, you love your live wallpapers— especially if they’re running on premium devices. Many Android owners love the fact there’s plenty of options when it comes to choosing a unique live wallpaper which enhances the overall Android experience. While it is true that many live wallpaper skins may be sluggish because of a slower processor and/or using a resource-hogging custom UI skin or launcher, there are indeed a handful of gems available just ready to be sought out and downloaded by users. This is especially true if you find a gem that is specifically optimized for your device. That’s what happened to me last month when I was browsing around and stumbled upon The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim wallpaper, which is optimized for Tegra-based devices. Read on to see what’s unique about the wallpaper and why it deserves a look or two.

 

» Read the rest

Penguin Palooza Comes To Android Thanks To Polarbit and Pixelbite, Another Great Physics Puzzler (Video)

by Joe Sirianni on
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Having been playing Sprinkle for Android non-stop, I seem to be all about the physics puzzler lately.  And damn if this one doesn’t look cool too.  Two of the industries most influential entities have teamed up to bring you an Android instant classic.  From the makers of Reckless Racing, Publisher Polarbit teams up with game studio Pixelbite to bring you this crazy penguin packed pass-time, Penguin Palooza.  The object of the game is to assist the flightless birds across a chasm set with various obstacles in an effort to hinder your quest to reach an ancient breeding ground.  We can’t have that now can we?  A bird has to do what a bird has to do, if you know what I mean.  In your journey to reach the breeding ground, there’s only one way to get your penguin safely across the chasm, and that’s to draw a trampoline under them just in time to bounce them along.  The game will run you 99¢ but is well worth it for the fun you’ll gain.

FEATURES:

  • Palooza, VS and Challenge game modes
  • Physics-based trampoline action
  • Head to head battle on one device
  • GameCenter leaderboards and achievements
  • 36 challenges and hours of fun

Check out the quick demo along with a few screen shots below and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.  Enjoy.  Download links are after the break.   » Read the rest

New Kernel Source Available for Epic 4G and Epic 4G Touch, OTAs Probably to Follow

by Jack Holt on
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If you check out Samsung‘s open source portal you’ll see that both the Epic 4G and 4G Touch have a new kernel source up. The 4G has both a kernel and other open-source items for update version EL30 ready for download while the 4G Touch has theirs for version EL29. An OTA update usually follows when Samsung posts the source code so be on the look out for that. So for you developer folk out there you can hit the source below to get your hands on the kernel sources right now.

We don’t have details on what these updates encompass but it might be regarding Sprint‘s push to rid their devices of Carrier IQ as it did with the update for the HTC EVO 3D. We will keep you updated as we find out. Stay tuned!

[via Samsung Open Source]

 

Call Of Duty Elite Companion App Now Available In The Android Market

by Roy Alugbue on
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is already one of the best games on consoles and PCs around. And as you might remember, we previously talked about how game developer Activision planned on introducing a social media element called Elite for Android, which would greatly enhance the overall experience of the game, right? Although the companion app encountered some delays, I am happy to announce friends that Modern Warfare 3 is about to get better than it already is— the Call of Duty Elite app is now available in the Android Market and ready for you to download. There are some pretty useful features too:

 

  • Check your Career Summary for deep details on your multiplayer activity. Analyze your progress over time to see which areas you need to improve in and which areas you excel in.
  • Review Recent Matches to track your performance on a match-by-match basis.
  • View and edit your Custom Classes on the go. Push your changes into the game so you’re ready to play the moment you load up multiplayer.
  • Track your Challenge progress to help you work toward the highest XP gains.

The big kicker among the features is being able to view and edit your Custom Classes on the go. That means you can make the necessary changes to your Class during your literature lecture or conference calls instead of having to wait until you get home and firing up your console or PC.

The Call of Duty Elite companion app is available free in the Android Market today or using the QR code below. While the Elite service is available for free, there’s also the ability to subscribe to the Elite service for even more features for a nominal monthly fee.

Android Market

 

[via Droid Gamers]

Instagram could hit Windows Phone before Android

by Robert Nazarian on
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As we already know, Instagram is coming to Android and it’s a highly anticipated app. As Android fans continue to wait, the rumor now is that Windows Phone might actually get it first.

Fastcompany is reporting that a source said that Microsoft and Instagram are working together. That doesn’t seem out of the realm, but why would Windows Phone get it first? Maybe it’s less fragmentation or maybe it’s money that Microsoft might throw at the developers.

When asked about the situation, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom didn’t have much to say, “Other than having pre-announced Android, we don’t comment on roadmap stuff.”

I’m not sure there’s much of a story here. We just reported that Windows Phone has a 1.3% market share in the U.S. so it simply doesn’t make sense. The only way is if Microsoft threw a lot of money at them. If that’s the case, so be it. We know it’s coming to Android, and I find it hard to believe that Android owners will jump ship for an app that’s eventually going to be available to them as well.

[via fastcompany through slashgear]

Android and iOS continue to gain while Android continues to dominate

by Robert Nazarian on
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Nielsen just reported numbers for the 4th quarter and there are no surprises to report. Both Android and Apple continue to increase their market shares at the expense of RIM, Windows, and others. Android came in a 46.3%, which is a gain of 3% from the previous quarter and Apple’s iOS came in at 30%, which is a gain of 2% from the previous quarter.

For this period, Nielsen broke down the “other” category and showed Windows Mobile and Windows Phone, which is 4.6% and 1.3% respectively. The entire “other” category adds up to 8.7% while the previous quarter, they totaled 11%. In the other no shocker category, RIM continued further declines as they went from 18% to 14.9%.

Even with the iPhone 4S launch in the fall, Android still showed a decent increase which is great news.

[via nielsen]

 

 

Build 9.4.2.11 Rolling Out To An Asus Transformer Prime Near You

by Joe Sirianni on
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Those who experienced some “wacky” behavior after the most recent ICS update for the Transformer Prime, Asus has indeed begun rolling out their new update to make it up to you.  Build 9.4.2.11 should be rolling out to your device shortly and we’d definitely like to hear from you as to how well it’s working.  However, note that if you’re one of the individuals who rooted your device, THIS WILL BREAK ROOT.  Our own Editor, Stacy Bruce can attest to this as the OTA has recently rolled out to his rooted T-Prime.

“I noticed better GPS, less banding in apps and a faster browser”           - Stacy Bruce

He notes that you can use supercurio’s voodoo to restore root access, however.  And while there isn’t an official change log available we can note that the GPS is now showing version 6.9.13 from 6.8.13.  So, if you see anything different, be sure to report it in the comments below or in our forum.  In addition, it appears that the camera has been updated as well.  Stay tuned to the post as we’ll either provide the change log as soon as it’s available or create an entirely new post linking back to this one.  To check for the update on your Prime now, go to:  Settings—>About Tablet—>”System Firmware Update”.  And if you happened to miss our initial unboxing and hands-on of the device, be sure to check it out here.

[via Droid Life]