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Samsung is committed to releasing a foldable smartphone next year

Android Guys - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 1:16pm
Samsung-5.7-inch-flexible-AMOLED-img_assist-400x280 (1)

We’ve seen foldable displays demoed at tech shows for a few years, but they seemed like a thing of the future and there is still no consumer available product that utilizes a foldable screen. However, Samsung is vowing to end that and bring the future to customers now. Vice President of Samsung Display Lee Chang-hoon says, “We will secure production capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 [flexible displays each month] by the end of next year.” While that is a lot of displays, it falls far short of the millions of smartphones Samsung sells each year. This means that the foldable smartphone will only be available in a small quantity. So there goes the dreams of a flexable Galaxy S6 or Note 5. Lee also adds that while they plan on releasing a foldable device by the end of 2015, “nothing has been decided on the finished product”.

We will probably see a prototype of this device in early 2015 with the final product becoming available towards the end of next year. Of course, since this device will be produced in small numbers and will contain some of the newest screen technology, it will most likely be expensive. We all know how much the Note Edge is off-contract and its screen is only curved. Hopefully Samsung can provide customers with a foldable smartphone without ravaging their wallets.

What do you think of a foldable smartphone? Tell us in the comments!

Via, Source

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T-Mobile Says The LTE-Equipped Nexus 9 Is Coming In Early December

Android Police - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:57pm

nnAs is the tradition with tablets, Google launched the Nexus 9 recently as a WiFi-only device. The LTE version would be along later, we were told, but no one knew when. Now with T-Mobile's Nexus 6 announcement, they're throwing in an update on the Nexus 9 with LTE—it'll be out in early December.

2014-11-19 13_51_38-Google Nexus 9 Tablet _ Nexus 9 Tablet Reviews & Specs _ T-Mobile

The LTE version of the tablet will have 32GB of storage along with the mobile data connection. It should be available in the Play Store around the same time T-Mobile starts selling it, but it should be the same device with support for multiple LTE networks.

T-Mobile Says The LTE-Equipped Nexus 9 Is Coming In Early December was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is shipping today

Android and Me - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:50pm

Amazon has announced today that its powerful answer to the Chromecast and the fastest selling Amazon device ever, the Fire TV Stick, is shipping today. For those of you lucky enough to have order one when they first went on sale, you can expect the Fire TV Stick to arrive at your door shortly. Everyone else has quite the wait ahead of them.

With early orders of the Fire TV Stick now shipping, new Fire TV Stick orders will be shipping on a first-come first-served basis. According to the official listing page for the Fire TV Stick, the device won’t be in stock until January 15, some two months from now. There is a chance you could receive yours sooner if you reserve your place in line, but don’t rely on it.

For the price, the Fire TV Stick is a great deal. At $39, if Amazon were able to keep up with demand this holiday season it could have undoubtedly sold an astonishing number of Fire TV Sticks. We’ll be sure to update you if Amazon is able to get more in stock before the current January ship date.

Check out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 running Android Lollipop in this video

Android Guys - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:48pm
android lollipop

It seems that the final builds of Lollipop are getting ready for the mainstream as the leaks begin to build up. We’ve already heard the HTC One GPe is due to get Android Lollipop soon, and now a leaked video shows off the material design goodness on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Courtesy of SamMobile, we see the year-old device running Android 5.0 Lollipop, all-be-it with Samsung’s added extra touch of TouchWiz. Despite this added skin, it seems Samsung have stuck to the same design language Google have implemented with material design, so TouchWiz doesn’t stick out as much as maybe it has done in the past.

Check out the video below.

SOURCE

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An (Official) Introduction To APK Mirror

Android Police - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:35pm

apkmt

Over the past month or two, you may have noticed a change in our "APK Download" posts. Previously, we went through an admittedly tedious process of first hunting down the APK we wanted, and then uploading it to a selection of various mirroring services, each with their own interfaces, ad concerns, and other quirks. In fact we have switched mirroring services several times because of intrusive advertising or other issues our readers faced.

An (Official) Introduction To APK Mirror was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Android and Me holiday gift guide: wearables

Android and Me - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:32pm

It’s that time of the year again. Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, the smell of cinnamon and spice fill the air, football is on the TV and you’re trying to figure out what to get your brother for the holidays. Fear not, Android and Me reader, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re trying to appease your audiophile cousin, help your clumsy mom, surprise your friend or give yourself something extra special this year, we’ve got your back. We’ve sifted through the junk to give you some recommendations for what we think are the best Android and mobile tech-related products you can buy this holiday season.

Each day this week we’ll be publishing a post covering a different category. Today, we’re taking a look at wearables.

Smartwatches

Last year, our pick for the best smartwatch was a no brainer. This year, things get trickier.

If we were writing about more than just Android here, we’d have to recommend the Pebble or Pebble Steel. Yes, the e-ink display is starting to look very, very dated, but it works with multiple platforms, has great app support and lasts for forever on a single charge. But there’s a new face in town for Android users that will simply blow Pebble out of the water.

If you want to get the most out of Android and your smartwatch, get a Motorola Moto 360. Sure, we wish it had a full-circle display like the LG G Watch R, but it just looks so much better than anything else you can strap to your wrist right now. And Motorola is killing it in updates for the Moto 360. It keeps getting better and better.

Android Wear is still in its infancy, but to be frank, it’s a hell of a lot cooler than anything else available right now. We still say no one really needs a smartwatch right now — not like they do a smartphone, anyway — but there’s no denying how cool Android Wear is shaping up to be. A regular old Pebble still works fantastic if you just want to monitor incoming notifications, but the Moto 360 will make the techie in you shine like a string of cool white LED lights.

Fitness trackers

fitbit sync

Everyone knows a fitness junkie, right? Or at least someone who is interested in tracking their health. Fitness trackers can make for a great gift. And they come in at a variety of price points.

You know the saying the best camera is the one you always have with you? The same goes for fitness trackers. Android Wear watches come with fitness tracking capabilities baked in now. So if you want to kill two birds with one stone, check out our recommendations for smartwatches. If it’s a dedicated tracker you’re after, there are two brands you can’t go wrong with.

Both FitBit and Jawbone are doing a stellar job in the fitness tracking arena, should work with most modern Android phones and they both just refreshed their lineups. So how do you choose between the two?

One of the biggest perks of FitBit products is the community. If you are buying for someone who has friends and family already using FitBit, then a FitBit product is probably the way to go. Motivation is key in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which is what fitness trackers are all about.

Even if you don’t know a ton of people using FitBit products, we still really like FitBit. FitBit offers the widest range of prices and features in fitness trackers. You can go as simple as the clip on Zip, or go with something a little more robust like the Charge. If we were buying today, the Charge would get our money. It has a clock built in too. But again, there are Android Wear watches that cost about the same as a FitBit Charge. Deciding between a Charge and an LG G Watch is a hard choice. If tracking activity is your main goal though, stick with a FitBit.

Lose your keys and phone often? Motorola Keylink is your solution!

Android Guys - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:23pm
Moto Keylink

Do you lose your phone and or keys often? We’ve all done it and it is very frustrating sometimes. One minute, you have your phone, the next minute it is mysteriously gone… Today, Motorola announced their solution to all of our troubles: Motorola Keylink.

Motorola Keylink is a device you attach to your key chain that can help you locate your phone, from upwards of 100 feet away. It can also go the other way. Say you misplace your keys, using the Motorola Connect app on your phone, you can make the Keylink ring.

Keylink

What makes this device unique is that it is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, costs $24.99, and the battery will last upwards of a year. The device operates on a button battery, similar to ones found in car key fobs.

The device can be purchased from Motorola or T-Mobile starting today.

Source

 

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Watch this: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 running Android 5.0 LolliWiz, er – Lollipop [VIDEO]

Phandroid - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:15pm

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop TouchWiz

Late last month we got a sneak peek at the Samsung Galaxy S5 running a leaked Android 5.0 Lollipop build and today, the folks at SamMobile are back yet again, this time giving us a look at Google’s latest update as it runs on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Really, there’s not too much here we haven’t already seen in the previous Galaxy S5 video, but for those curious to see how Samsung has butchered tailored the OS to fit on the big screen, including adding their new flavor of TouchWiz into the mix. Check out the video below.

Before any critiques can be made, it’s important to remind yourself that, again, this is an early version of Samsung’s software running on the Note 3. That being said, we’re not too enthusiastic about how Samsung hasn’t — at least at this point — adhered to Google’s new Material design guidelines but then again, this is Samsung we’re talking about here. They could be on the right track in terms of color scheme, but overall the OS seems dull and lifeless with none of the fancy animations we’ve come to expect from Lollipop.

No word on when a Android 5.0 rollout could begin, but given the excitement over the biggest Android update ever, we imagine Samsung wont be dragging their feet.

Arowana Fish 3D Live Wallpaper Review

Android Guys - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:00pm
arowana fish 3d live wallpaper

Do you like fishes? Your aquarium too heavy to take with you every time you go somewhere? Maybe you are just in need of some extra luck. Then you should consider checking out Arowana Fish 3D; a live wallpaper that probably won’t help you win the lottery, but it will allow you to at least have a tiny virtual aquarium.

The author states that these two fish are considered lucky, mainly in Asian cultures. Weather or not that’s true, you can at least change that wallpaper of that kitten you found last week to something that, while not as cute, is probably more colorful. The live wallpaper comes with a few setting to allow you to customize your fish and their surroundings. You are given the option of having an Arowana fish, a Flowerthorn fish, or both, if you don’t want them to get lonely. As for the background, you can choose from the following three: Greenery, Smooth Stones, or Red Stone, which is pictured above. Once you have chosen your settings, the live wallpaper works like any other. Clicking on the screen does allow you to cause a ripple effect though and make the fish turn, as if you were tapping on a real glass container.

If this sounds appealing to you, you can get the live wallpaper for free on the Play Store, and it comes with a donate version that will set you back a buck if you feel generous.

Arowana Fish 3D Live Wallpaper (Playboard) | Arowana Fish 3D Live Wallpaper (Play Store)

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Keeping Your Saved Games in the Cloud

Android Developers Blog - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:47am

Posted by Todd Kerpelman, Developer Advocate

Saved Games Are the Future!

I think most of us have at least one or two games we play obsessively. Me? I'm a Sky Force 2014 guy. But maybe you're into matching colorful objects, battling monsters, or helping avians with their rage management issues. Either way, there's probably some game where you've spent hours upon hours upgrading your squad, reaching higher and higher levels, or unlocking every piece of bonus content in the game.

Now imagine losing all of that progress when you decide to get a new phone. Or reinstall your game. Yikes!

That's why, when Google Play Games launched, one of the very first features we included was the ability for users to save their game to the cloud using a service called the AppState API. For developers who didn't need an entire server-based infrastructure to run their game, but didn't want to lose players when they upgraded their devices, this feature was a real life-saver.

But many developers wanted even more. With AppState, you were limited to 4 slots of 256k of data each, and for some games, this just wasn't enough. So this past year at Google I/O, we launched an entirely new Saved Games feature, powered by Google Drive. This gave you huge amounts of space (up to 3MB per saved game with unlimited save slots), the ability to save a screenshot and metadata with your saved games, and some nice features like showing your player's saved games directly in the Google Play app.

...But AppState is Yesterday's News

Since the introduction of Saved Games, we've seen enough titles happily using the service and heard enough positive feedback from developers that we're convinced that Saved Games is the better offering and the way to go in the future. With that in mind, we've decided to start deprecating the old cloud save system using AppState and are encouraging everybody who's still using it to switch over to the new Saved Games feature (referred to in our libraries as "Snapshots").

What does this mean for you as a game developer?

If you haven't yet added Saved Games to your game, now would be the perfect time! The holidays are coming up and your players are going to start getting new devices over the next couple of months. Wouldn't it be great if they could take your game's progress with them? Unless, I guess, "not retaining users" is part of your business plan.

If you're already using the new Saved Games / Snapshot system, put your feet up and relax. None of these changes affect you. Okay, now put your feet down, and get back to work. You probably have a seasonal update to work on, don't you?

If you're using the old AppState system, you should start migrating your player's data over to the new Saved Games service. Luckily, it's easy to include both systems in the same game, so you should be able to migrate your users' data with their ever knowing. The process would probably work a little something like this:

  • Enable the new Saved Game service for your game by
    • Adding the Drive.SCOPE_APPFOLDER scope to your list of scopes in your GoogleApiClient.
    • Turning on Saved Games for your game in the Google Play Developer Console.
  • Next, when your app tries to load the user's saved game
    • First see if any saved game exists using the new Saved Games service. If there is, go ahead and use it.
    • Otherwise, grab their saved game from the AppState service.
  • When you save the user's game back to the cloud, save it using the new Saved Games service.
  • And that should be it! The next time your user loads up your game, it will find their saved data in the new Saved Games service, and they'll be all set.
  • We've built a sample app that demonstrates how to perform these steps in your application, so we encourage you to check it out.

In a few months, we will be modifying the old AppState service to be read-only. You'll still be able to read your user's old cloud save games and transfer them to the new Saved Games service, but you'll no longer be able to save games using the old service. We are evaluating early Q2 of 2015 to make this change, which should give you enough time to push your "start using Saved Games" update to the world.

If you want to find out more about Saved Games and how they work, feel free to review our documentation, our sample applications, or our Game On! videos. And we look forward to many more hours of gaming, no matter how many times we switch devices.

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T-Mobile now offers Nexus 6, Nexus 9 coming next month

Android and Me - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:40am

If you’ve been eyeing the new Nexus 6, T-Mobile has you covered. The contract-free carrier is now offering the 32GB Nexus 6 online and in stores. It’ll set you back $27.08 a month for 24 months with no down payment. And if you happen to want a 64GB model, you won’t be able to get it in stores, but T-Mobile Underground is selling the device for $29.16 a month for 24 months.

What about the Nexus 9? Thankfully, T-Mobile has announced it will be carrying that device too. The 32GB LTE model will be coming to the Underground store in early December for $24.99 a month for 24 months with $0 down, which will price it at exactly what you’d pay getting it upfront.

It’s good to see T-Mobile offering a wide variety of devices, especially off contract Nexus devices. If you want to get your Nexus 6 with an installment plan, head over to the T-Mobile site or a store and get it today!

Nexus Player Review [VIDEO]

Phandroid - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:29am

nexus-player-artsy-2

Google is taking another stab at entering your living room with the introduction of Android TV and its flagship device, the Nexus Player. The new platform promises a simplified, content-driven approach to home entertainment, but will a lack of options ultimately doom the Nexus Player’s chances to get a foothold in the market? How long until Google reinvents its TV strategy again? Read on to find out.

11 Things new Nexus Player owners should know

Hardware

nexus-player-angle

For Google’s simplified television solution it makes sense that the company would go with a simplified hardware design. The discreet set-top box, which is manufacturer by Asus, has been compared to a hockey puck, and that’s not so far off. It’s more like a regulation hockey puck that has been run over by a truck. It’s thinner but takes up a larger footprint overall. All that is to say, once you have it setup among your home entertainment options, it’s hardly a focal point of the living room. This isn’t the eye-catching design of the short-lived Nexus Q and it’s not as bulky as many of the Google TV devices that came before.

The Nexus Player is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.8GHz. The Imagination PowerVR Series 6 Graphics 2D/3D Engine makes the Player a more-than-capable gaming device, but some might be disappointed to learn that Google only provides 1GB RAM. The Nexus Player only includes 8GB of on board storage and no options for expansion.

Setup is quick and easy. Connect the Nexus Player with an HDMI cable to your TV and plug in the power supply. Throw some batteries in the remote and you are done. It takes less than five minutes to go from the box to completed setup (not including software).

nexus-player-puck nexus-player-bluetooth-sync-button nexus-player-remote-2 nexus-player-remote Connectivity

The smooth circle of the Nexus Player is interrupted by a cutout for its various ports. There are only three: HDMI-out, microUSB, and power jack.

There is no ethernet connection (though ethernet is listed as an option under the Nexus Player’s settings menu). There are no outputs for digital or even analog audio to connect to a home theater system. There is no HDMI pass-through (you’ll have to switch television inputs to access Nexus Player content). Oh, and that USB port? Lest you think you will be expanding storage or sideloading apps out of the box, Google says the port exists solely to allow developers to debug their app experiences. [Editor’s Note: While this appears to be Google’s official stance, users have reported that the USB port can indeed support wired peripherals including keyboards and mice in addition to expandable storage, though it is not its intended use and therefore is not as simple as plug-and-play in all cases. MicroUSB-to-ethernet adaptors will also work, apparently. We are working to confirm.]

As for wireless connectivity, WiFi 802.11ac is the only option for networking (remember: no ethernet port). We understand the reasoning behind it. As long as they have a fast, reliable WiFi network it won’t make much of a difference to the average consumer whether the device is connecting to their home network via a wireless or wired connection, and one less port means one less component adding to the cost of the device. Still, it’s a simple addition that would have gone a long way.

The Nexus Player also includes Bluetooth for pairing accessories like the included remote and optional gamepad. A button (the only hardware button on the actual Nexus Player) that initiates the pairing process is centered on the underside of the puck. We appreciate Google going with Bluetooth here. It opens up the possibility of connecting all sorts of controller accessories down the road, but it also means we aren’t dealing with pesky line-of-sight IR sensors. The Nexus Player could be stashed in a drawer and the remote would still work effortlessly.

The Remote

Google didn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel with the Nexus Player remote. It looks similar to the controllers included with devices like Amazon’s Fire TV, the Roku, and, yes, Apple TV.

A large circular D-pad is used to navigate system menus. It’s not capacitive so there is no scrolling simply by running your finger around it; you will have to click. The select button is centered within the circle and below both are Android’s standard navigation controls (home, back) and a play/pause button. Perhaps the best addition to the remote is a voice search button and built-in microphone, but more on that later.

The remote runs on two AAA batteries (included). The construction of the whole thing feels a bit cheap, but we don’t really need much more for a device like the Nexus Player. Alternatively, Android users can download an app that allows remote control from their smartphone.

Software and Experience

nexus-player-android-tv-menu

Time for a very brief history lesson: Google’s path to the Nexus Player began in 2010 with the launch of Google TV, a smart TV solution based on Android that acted as an intermediary between your television service provider and you. Google TV allowed users to search the internet alongside TV listings, jump from an app to live television, and access services like YouTube and Netflix. It never caught on with consumers and the consensus seems to be that Google TV attempted to do too much. It was feature packed but often clunky and buggy.

Why is this important to the story of the Nexus Player? Because the Nexus Player is the first consumer-ready device based on the Android TV platform, a completely revamped experience from Google TV. It is built off of Android 5.0 Lollipop as part of Google’s effort to unify the Android operating system across devices that now include smart watches, tablets, smartphones, and your television.

Android TV is far simpler than Google TV. Starting up the Nexus Player we are greeted with a main menu. A top row emphasizes recently viewed and suggested content and below are rows for installed apps and games. It’s Google, so of course there is a search bar at the top. Everything Android TV can do is accessible from this menu, which is to say it doesn’t take long to learn the ins and outs of the Nexus Player.

nexus-player-android-tv-voice-search nexus-player-android-tv-google-play-movies nexus-player-android-tv-google-play Native apps

As the first commercially available Android TV device, the Nexus Player suffers initially from a limited ecosystem when it comes to available apps and games. The Google services are there — YouTube, Play Music, Movies & TV, and the Play Store — though we don’t get the full suite. The included apps are all tailored toward the media experience (and mostly toward Google’s content ecosystem). Don’t expect to find full web access via Chrome or even the ability to check your Gmail.

The decision not to include such Google apps speaks to what Android TV is attempting to accomplish. It also shows when checking out the currently available selection of non-Google apps and games. Android is known for its wild west approach to openness, but here Google is being a bit more choosy about the content available for their television platform. Apps and games must be specifically tailored for Android TV or they don’t make the cut.

We are not faulting Google for wanting a consistent quality across the Android TV experience, but it does mean early adopters won’t be greeted with the widest selection. At worst, Android TV never catches on with developers and a lack of approved apps and games turns into persistent issue (as was the case with Google TV).

So what do users get access to out of the box? The aforementioned Google services are there plus Netflix and Hulu Plus. Users can opt to download from a selection of other streaming providers including Food Network, PBS Kids, Bloomberg TV, TED TV, and more. For music options include Pandora, Vevo, and iHeartRadio. A Plex app is available for local content streaming.

What is almost inexcusable, though, is a lack of certain streaming apps that have become staples of competitors like Apple TV and Roku. Want HBO Go? It’s not available yet. Spotify as a music option? Not here. And forget about Amazon content. Perhaps some of these apps will eventually find their way to Android TV and the Nexus Player, but not having them at launch is disappointing to say the least.

Google Cast

Some of Android TV’s shortcomings in the apps department are addressed with the addition of perhaps the device’s most killer feature: Google Cast. Google Cast allows users to wirelessly beam content from a smartphone, tablet, or computer directly to the TV with the tap of a button (provided the service supports casting). No HBO Go app on the Nexus Player? No problem. HBO’s mobile app supports the ability to cast content to your TV. For apps that don’t support casting directly, the Chrome browser features tab casting, allowing for a quick and easy work around (provided the service can be accessed via the web).

So why isn’t the presence of Google Cast a true saving grace? A completely native app experience still trumps the ability to cast content from your phone or computer. It’s the most accessible option for a shared media device like the Nexus Player. More importantly, though, Google Cast capabilities can be brought to your television for much cheaper with a $30 Chromecast dongle. If beaming content is a suitable solution, there is almost no reason to justify buying the Nexus Player.

Voice search

Like Google Cast, voice search might not be reason enough to run out and buy a Nexus Player, but it is one of the better software features. Typing out search queries using the remote turns into a real chore, but pressing the microphone button on the remote and speaking the same query is a quick and easy task. Voice recognition is fairly good, though not perfect — background noise and others speaking in the room can be an issue — but the responsiveness is what we have come to expect from Google’s voice integration.

Your range of searchable options, like with other aspects of Android TV, is limited. You can’t search for web content, but you can still ask classic questions like “How old is Barack Obama?” and get a result. You can search for a specific movie, search for content by artist, tell your Nexus Player to start playing your favorite artist — it all works and works well.

Gaming

nexus-player-gamepadAside from streaming content, gaming is a huge part of what Google is hoping to accomplish with the Nexus Player and Android TV. Like with streaming content, options are limited at launch. The games that are available, though, really show off the best of what the Nexus Player can do. There is a range of content, including games designed to work using only the included remote.

There is a taste of console-quality graphics and gameplay with titles like Riptide GP2. We get to see the quirky, indie side of Android with side-scrolling title Badland. Arcade classics like Pac-Man offer familiar fun.

This was perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the Nexus Player. The games felt polished and ready for larger screens. The controls worked. The hardware handled it all without any major hiccups. We hesitate to say the Nexus Player has what it takes to be a serious contender in the console wars, but it provides an excellent gaming experience that is not strictly set on the casual market.

Gamepad

The Nexus Player’s optional gamepad is what allows the device to transcend above being simply a box for playing blown-up mobile games. It’s a full-on Bluetooth wireless gaming controller that most closely resembles that of the Xbox 360. The buttons are all there: two analog stick, one D-pad, four trigger buttons, and four action buttons. Like the remote control, it’s not the most premium-feeling thing in the world, but it gets the job done.

The nice thing is you can use the controller to navigate the entire Android TV system, and we actually almost preferred it over the standard remote if not for the lack of a microphone and voice command support.

Conclusion

nexus-player-hero

The problem with the Nexus Player is that it shows a lot of promise but is in many ways limited by its fledgling Android TV interface. It’s the sort of device where content like available apps and games make a huge difference, and should more become available in the coming months our opinions about the Nexus Player overall could change.

For now, though, it’s hard to say the Nexus Player and Android TV are the answer we were looking for. While Google TV was never the biggest success, it holds some advantages over Android TV. The same can be said the other way around, but neither of Google’s television platforms has gotten it completely right at this point. For $99, we can think of a couple TV streaming devices (Chromecast, Roku 3) we would purchase ahead of the Nexus Player, and it’s hard to recommend the average consumer not do the same.

If your are engrained in the Google content ecosystem it may the device for you, but otherwise you will want to weigh your options.

Pros
  • Google Cast expands content source options
  • Responsive voice search
  • Easy to set up and jump into content
Cons
  • No TV pass-through
  • Limited app and game selections
  • Lack of hardware ports (ethernet, audio-out) and internal storage
Overall: 3/5

Coding Android TV games is easy as pie

Android Developers Blog - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:28am
Posted by Alex Ames, Fun Propulsion Labs at Google*

We’re pleased to announce Pie Noon, a simple game created to demonstrate multi-player support on the Nexus Player, an Android TV device. Pie Noon is an open source, cross-platform game written in C++ which supports:

  • Up to 4 players using Bluetooth controllers.
  • Touch controls.
  • Google Play Games Services sign-in and leaderboards.
  • Other Android devices (you can play on your phone or tablet in single-player mode, or against human adversaries using Bluetooth controllers).

Pie Noon serves as a demonstration of how to use the SDL library in Android games as well as Google technologies like Flatbuffers, Mathfu, fplutil, and WebP.

  • Flatbuffers provides efficient serialization of the data loaded at run time for quick loading times. (Examples: schema files and loading compiled Flatbuffers)
  • Mathfu drives the rendering code, particle effects, scene layout, and more, allowing for efficient mathematical operations optimized with SIMD. (Example: particle system)
  • fplutil streamlines the build process for Android, making iteration faster and easier. Our Android build script makes use of it to easily compile and run on on Android devices.
  • WebP compresses image assets more efficiently than jpg or png file formats, allowing for smaller APK sizes.

You can download the game in the Play Store and the latest open source release from our GitHub page. We invite you to learn from the code to see how you can implement these libraries and utilities in your own Android games. Take advantage of our discussion list if you have any questions, and don’t forget to throw a few pies while you’re at it!

* Fun Propulsion Labs is a team within Google that's dedicated to advancing gaming on Android and other platforms.

Join the discussion on

+Android Developers

[Deal Alert] Unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (32GB) On Sale For $419.99 On eBay Daily Deals

Android Police - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:17am

$_1The Galaxy Note 4 is Samsung's new baby, but last year's Note 3 is still a fine phone if you're into that whole phablet thing. You can snag an unlocked AT&T Note 3 with 32GB of storage on eBay today for $419.99. It's popped up for less, but those deals were all for the 16GB version.

2014-11-19 12_15_14-Samsung Galaxy Note 3 III N900A GSM at T Unlocked Smartphone 32GB Black _ eBay

This is the SM-N900A variant of the Note 3, meaning it has the bands for AT&T in the US.

[Deal Alert] Unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (32GB) On Sale For $419.99 On eBay Daily Deals was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



36 Best New Android Apps And Live Wallpapers From The Last 2 Weeks (11/6/14 - 11/19/14)

Android Police - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:17am

roundup_icon_largeWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Expense IQ - Expense Manager

This week's roundup is brought to you by Expense IQ - Expense Manager from Handy Apps.

36 Best New Android Apps And Live Wallpapers From The Last 2 Weeks (11/6/14 - 11/19/14) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Motorola Keylink will help you find your lost keys and phone

Android and Me - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:10am

If you’re someone that easily misplaces your keys, phone or other small valuables, then Motorola’s got a new accessory that you may be interested in.

The Motorola Keylink is a small, black fob that’ll hook onto your keyring. Once you connect it to a phone using the Motorola Connect app, you can use the Keylink to ring your phone from up to 100 feet away, or you can use the Motorola Connect app to ring your Keylink. Additionally, the Keylink can be used to keep your connected Android 5.0 phone unlocked when they’re in close proximity to one another.

motorolakeylinkfullaam

Motorola’s Keylink is now available for purchase from Motorola and T-Mobile for $24.99. Motorola says that the device is splash-proof and that it’s got a battery that’ll last “upwards of a year.” Once that battery dies, you can swap in a new coin cell battery from any convenience or drug store.

There’s no shortage of key fob trackers around, but Motorola’s Keylink looks like an interesting option for Android users. Not only can it locate your phone and your keys, but Android 5.0 users needn’t worry about unlocking their phone whenever their keys are near. Plus, it’s got a nice but understated design that should blend in nicely with the rest of your keys.

Are any of you going to pull the trigger on a Motorola Keylink?

Sharp Aquos Crystal performance: benchmarks vs reality

Android and Me - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:05am

While the Sharp Aquos Crystal is intended to be a mid-range device, there’s no doubt that it’s aiming to be a great one that outshines the others in its area. As such, performance is a key factor. The Sharp Aquos Crystal has great design, but do its internal specs match up? We’ve tested it out in everyday performance as well as in the most common benchmarks and now we’re here to report back on how it did.

Benchmarks Benchmark Test Score AnTuTU 17518 Quadrant 8636 Geekbench 3 343 (single-thread) 1138 (multi-thread) AndEBench Pro 3241 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 4683 SunSpider 1.0.2 1684.8ms

All in all, the Sharp Aquos Crystal performs exactly as we’d expect from a device with a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1.5GB RAM. Benchmarks aren’t the strong suit of a phone like this, so bear that in mind when considering the phone’s performance. What really matters is how the device performs in everyday matters, so let’s take a look at that next.

Reality

In everyday tasks, the Sharp Aquos Crystal performs beautifully for a mid-range phone. Scrolling is smooth and fluid with little slowdown or lag. Apps open quickly and load up in a surprisingly short amount of time. Switching through apps is a painless experience, again with little to no lag. Even with several things running, the Sharp Aquos Crystal clips along at a brisk pace.

Games are usually fine, though higher-intensity games might drop some frames. Overall, though, the performance is solid. We can’t find much to knock when it comes to the performance of the Sharp Aquos Crystal. The exceptional performance likely stems from both the 720p resolution display as well as the lack of custom software to slow things down. Those two facts help to greatly boost performance without sacrificing quality, so it was decision by Sharp. All in all, a solid thumbs-up for the Sharp Aquos Crystal on performance.

Want To Buy A Nexus 6 From T-Mobile? You Can Now Do That On The Internet, Supposedly

Android Police - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 10:58am

nexus2cee_DSC5614-2 (1)

T-Mobile is now accepting orders (as opposed to pre-orders) for the Nexus 6 through the T-Mobile website in both 32 and 64GB trims, though the only color option remains Midnight Blue, as it will likely always be for carrier-bought versions of the device.

tmo1

Selecting either storage variant allows you to choose standard 2-4 day shipping or upgrade to overnight service for $12, though nowhere in the checkout process is it actually made clear when your Nexus 6 will ship, only the amount of time it will take to arrive once it does.

Want To Buy A Nexus 6 From T-Mobile? You Can Now Do That On The Internet, Supposedly was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



D-Day Counter for SmartWatch 2: A countdown app ['Watch' This App]

Android Guys - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 10:53am

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! Okay, so unfortunately this app has nothing to do with “The Final Countdown” or even the band Europe in general, but the D-Day Counter for SmartWatch 2 app does give users a countdown to important events. All you have to do is put in the important date and a description of… Read more »

The post D-Day Counter for SmartWatch 2: A countdown app ['Watch' This App] appeared first on SmarterWatching.

Did you know you can advertise your app on AndroidGuys?

Read the rest at SmarterWatching.com!

The post D-Day Counter for SmartWatch 2: A countdown app ['Watch' This App] appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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Leaked Screenshots Of Lollipop On The HTC One M8 Show How Sense May Look On Top Of Android 5.0

Android Police - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 10:45am

Sense-thumbOur Nexus phones and tablets may have tasted Lollipop now, but we're still waiting for other devices to get to the sweetness of Android 5.0. This update brings the most significant changes we've seen since Ice Cream Sandwich, only much of Google's visual overhaul will disappear behind various manufacturers' custom UIs. That leaves us to wonder just how much of Lollipop folks will get to see on devices such as the HTC One M8.

Leaked Screenshots Of Lollipop On The HTC One M8 Show How Sense May Look On Top Of Android 5.0 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



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