Apple Applies For Facial Recognition Patent, Sticks Tongue Out At Google’s Attempt Of Facial Unlock Feature

by Roy Alugbue on
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Leave it to Apple to try to outdo anything Android. An Apple patent application was just released today describing a facial recognition system and works whether you’re indoors or outdoors. Here’s how it works: the technology compares a current image of yourself to a reference model user profile made using “high information” portions of the human face, like eyes and mouths. In other words– the technology takes any picture or image of you, compares it against other images or pictures affiliated with user accounts on the device and decides if the two images or pictures are similar enough to allow you access to your device. It’s definitely an interesting and exciting concept because it will ultimately force Google to improve the Facial Unlock feature now in Android 4.0… especially considering how there’s that little potential security flaw we’re aware of.

There’s one major thing to note though: Apple submitted the paperwork for this patent in June of 2010– it’s only now being disclosed to the public. That means Apple was ahead of the curve long before Google introduced the Facial Unlock technology.

[via Engadget by Apple Patent Blog]

DroidMote Highlights Dual Analog Stick Gameplay In Grand Theft Auto 3

by Roy Alugbue on
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Who’s ready to see a new toy used for playing Android games? Sure there are already traditional controllers out there, but Android gamers love trying out new and interesting concepts aimed to help enhance the overall gaming experience. Enter the DroidMote– which is aimed at enhancing the overall experience.

The DroidMote works in an interesting way too. You’ll first need two devices. The preferred setup is a tablet and phone combination— of course you can always use a phone/phone or tablet/tablet combo, but the bigger screen on the tablet and size of the phone for controls would probably feel most natural to the vast majority of Android gamers. Whichever device you want to control will then need to be rooted and have the DroidMote Server installed. After that the DroidMote Client is then installed on the device you want to use as the gamepad and that device does not need to be rooted. Once you’re done, you map the keys and voila, you’re all set for some serious gaming. Hit the break to see the dual-analog stick action in Grand Theft Auto 3. » Read the rest

Mr. Android 2011 Infographic Shows Us How Males Use Their Android Devices

by Jack Holt on
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Have you ever sat at your computer and wondered who uses the Android OS and how they actually use it? Well, neither have I, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not something that would be interesting to see. Thanks to the people at BlueStacks, who sent us an infographic called Mr. Android 2011, we can now see a breakdown of such things. However, this isn’t a normal sort of breakdowns for Android stats, but rather, a breakdown of the male gender and how they interact with Android daily. They show various stats such as hair color or hair length, what kind of clothing is worn, or even how many male android users have zero paid apps on their phone (33%). So if you are interested in the breakdown hit the break below to check out Mr. Android 2011.  » Read the rest

[Deal] Gameloft Offers All Games for 99 Cents Through Sunday

by Stacy Bruce on
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Gameloft is having the sale of all sales this weekend where all Android games are only 99 cents and it starts…NOW! That’s right, all Gameloft games found in the Android Market are on sale through Sunday so you better start adding to your collection.

If you’re anything like me, your first inclination is to grab the new Modern Combat 3 at a whopping $6 discount. Whoa there fella — according to Gameloft, while MC3 IS apart of the 99 cent sale, the deal will only be offered for an undisclosed 24 hour period. You could either check the Android Market every day to see if it has gone on sale, or you could just follow @gameloft for a heads up on the promo. In the meantime there are a butt-load of other good games for you to check out.

Dude, what are you waiting for? Hit the market link below and go get your game on!

[via Android Market]

 

 

Verizon Wireless VP of Network Engineering explains recent network woes

by Robert Nazarian on
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Verizon Wireless had a tough December to say the least. There were three major outages, and of course, with all the holiday buying frenzy, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Should we panic? Absolutely not. Verizon has the best network in the U.S. and they are the leaders in 4G LTE. With that comes growing pains.

Verizon Wireless VP of network engineering Mike Haberman recently spoke with GigaOm to explain what’s been happening and what they’re doing about it.

“Being the pioneers, we’re going to experience some growing pains,” Haberman said. “These issues we’ve been experiencing are certainly regrettable but they were unforeseeable.”

» Read the rest

Custom Controls and Themes Added to CyanogenMod 9′s Music Player

by Jack Holt on
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The other day we brought to you a preview of CM9′s brand new launcher, Trebuchet. Well today we bring you news regarding CyanogenMod’s take on the stock music player. While Ice Cream Sandwich‘s music player is no slouch, the Cyanogenmod team is slated to have a host of features on top of those already there. The folks over at The Verge, were able to wrangle out the details on the music player by one of CM9′s developers, Andrew Neal.

There is a whole slew of customizations and features that make the music player that much more awesome. There will be a custom shake action feature that you can set up to go to the next song or play/pause for example. They will work through out the OS and even while the screen is off. You will see custom  notification area controls with the ability to add or subtract controls to your heart’s content. There will be an ability to search the Android Market, set ringtones, and you will see swipe-gestures through out. It’s also planned for a full theme engine addition that will allow you to customize both the look and feel of the app.  » Read the rest

Amazon Enjoys Record Year For Kindle Family

by Roy Alugbue on
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The celebration continues at Amazon. In addition to the Kindle Fire outselling the competition, Amazon can now lay claim for its Kindle family having record-breaking sales. While not giving a specific number, the company claims “customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers”. It isn’t as if it’s a complicated formula for Amazon either. That attractive $199 price point and assortment of features makes it much more accessible for consumers wanting to enjoy a tablet experience. All of this adds up to the Kindle Fire being the best-selling product on Amazon.com’s mobile website and across all of Amazon.com’s mobile applications.

Also of note are the successes of Kindle book downloads & sales from authors as well as the sales of products from 3rd party businesses. Amazon highlights “In 2011, Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace author CJ Lyons reached #2 on the Amazon best seller list, #2 on the New York Times best seller list, and #4 on the USA Today best seller list”. The company also points out “the number of sellers who exceeded $5,000 in sales during the holiday season increased 44 percent year-over-year. For the year, businesses on Amazon sold hundreds of millions of units worth billions of dollars worldwide”. The champagne certainly must be flowing at the Amazon corporate offices even though we’re still a few days from the new year. Hit the break to see the full presser from Amazon.

» Read the rest

Yup… Verizon Wireless Customers To Pay Extra $2 When Paying Bills Online

by Roy Alugbue on
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Verizon is set to create an unwanted trend among the mobile carriers. Starting January 15, 2012, Verizon plans to charge its mobile subscribers a new $2 fee every time they pay their wireless bills online or directly over the phone.Verizon has yet to come out and provide a formal response or press release regarding this, but the company can bet it will receive staunch criticism from both customers and the media.

Keep in mind this doesn’t apply to all Verizon customers. Verizon will not be charging the fee to those of you paying with an electronic or paper check, enrolled in automatic bill pay using a debit or credit card and finally, those paying with a Verizon gift or rebate card. Despite this, this is not the type of precedent to set if you’re a leader in an industry— especially if you’re the largest mobile carrier and experience record growth annually.

If you’re an Android owner or Verizon subscriber, feel free to let us know what you think and feel about this in the Comments section below.

[via CNET]

AT&T HTC Vivid review

by Robert Nazarian on

The HTC Vivid launched side by side with the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket two months ago as the first LTE phones available on AT&T. Currently it’s available in both black and white for $199.99, which isn’t a bad price considering Verizon is selling most LTE phones at $299.99. The only issue with the Vivid is that AT&T’s LTE service is only available in 15 markets. For those Sense lovers wanting something future proof, this could be the device for you. This is my full review, but you can also checkout my initial hands on video.

» Read the rest

Android 4.0 Port Gives DROID Bionic Taste Of Ice Cream Sandwich Glory

by Roy Alugbue on
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The list of devices running some sort of Ice Cream Sandwich build is steadily growing by the day. While most Android users are anxiously waiting for their particular phone to be graced with ICS— whether an official version or through a port, at least owners of the Motorola DROID Bionic have reason to smile today. We already know Motorola plans on upgrading the device to Android 4.0 in the not-too-distant future, but many of us just can’t wait for Motorola to bring ICS with their BLUR topping to the Bionic. As such, some crafty developers took matters into their own hands and decided to bring an Alpha ICS build to the Bionic.

Based off CM9, the ICS build is for the most part fully functional too. The touchscreen, capacative buttons, bluetooth and built-in screenshot are among the items that work like a charm. However there’s one major function that’s missing at this time and it’s a big one– the 3G/4G data does not work as of right now, though the developers are trying to work the kinks out and will likely get data working sooner than later. In the meantime, there’s always WiFi, right? Be sure to hit the DroidForums link below for additional details and progress of the ICS build for the Bionic.

[via DroidForums]