David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

24
Oct
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Sidescrolling / top-down space shooters are nothing new - but really good ones are still, like any good game, worth pointing out. I went into Sector Strike, by Clapfoot, with high hopes - they made the now-Android-classic Tank Hero. And while Sector Strike is a pretty good game, odd control choices, repetition, and in-app purchases make this free-to-play title a short and predictable love affair.

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Screenshot_2012-10-24-14-52-43 Screenshot_2012-10-24-16-05-07 Screenshot_2012-10-24-16-05-27

The Gameplay

Sector Strike plays like almost any other spaceship sidescroller: you shoot enemies continuously with a bunch of lasers and other sci-fi age goodies that come out of the front of your craft like the contents of a psychedelic new year's party popper.

24
Oct
173941-noteiigray

If you're a US Cellular customer and also interested in the Galaxy Note II, good news: the Note II will be available on the southern regional carrier starting Friday, October 26th, in stores and online. The price remains the same as it has since the pre-order, at $299 on a new 2-year agreement. Today is also the last day you can pre-order the Note II on USC, and those orders will begin shipping tomorrow.

24
Oct
spennn

Did you know the Samsung Galaxy Note II does things? Well, Samsung's here to remind you of that with a brand-new video. Here it is.

So, have you imagined enough yet?

As a reminder, the Note II is coming. On T-Mobile, today. On AT&T, November 9th. On Sprint, tomorrow. And on Verizon... at some point.

YouTube

23
Oct
wm_IMG_2377

After seeing Apple launch the iPad Mini today, doubtless, many Android fans were unimpressed. And there are good reasons for that - it wasn't actually that impressive. Not a particularly dazzling display. Fairly old internals. A price tag that, at best, is described as "cheaper than an iPad."

ipadmini

And let's face it, it's really not that attractive as a product, especially by Apple's high standards. It sort of looks like one of the new iPod Touches and an iPhone 5 had a really fat baby.

23
Oct
nex7back

If you head over to the Play Store right now, you'll see that the 8GB edition of the Nexus 7 is currently out of stock ("Coming Soon"). While this isn't really news in and of itself, it's been that way the past 12 hours or so, and we already have a strong suspicion that the 8GB N7 won't be with us much longer.

n7ood

We also know that the 32GB Nexus 7 is coming - probably next week in New York - and that the 16GB version may be poised for a price drop.

23
Oct
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When it came out early last month, Beach Buggy Blitz was one of an increasing number of Tegra-exclusive titles to hit the Play Store, which understandably upset some people. Namely, those people without Tegra devices (what a great excuse to buy a Nexus 7, though).

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Now, the game has gone for a wider audience, and is available for most modern, high-end phones. The only specific handsets named are the Galaxy S III / II and One series, but there are obviously plenty of others that should be able to handle Buggy Blitz.

23
Oct
BU001683

In perhaps its soon to be most-publicized decision in decades, FOSS Patents is reporting that the USPTO has issued an initial finding of invalidity on every claim in Apple's patent for "rubber-band scrolling," that is, the scroll bounceback patent which anyone with half a brain knows is about as patent-worthy as any purely aesthetic user interface element is.

The claims were rejected on findings of prior art from two sources - an AOL patent, and a patent previously filed by Apple.

22
Oct
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While we're just hearing that an entirely new version of Google Wallet is on the way (what exactly is new about it is what we don't know), Google announced via Twitter that MetroPCS is the latest Wallet carrier partner. The Galaxy S III is the only Wallet-compatible device on Metro for the moment, but you can probably expect most future Metro phones to carry Wallet support, as well.

22
Oct
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If you head over to this URL right now, you'll land on a signup page to get an invitation for a new version of Google Wallet. Yep, Wallet is doing something big. And we're not sure what, but we fully expect it to be announced very soon (like, today). The landing page suggests the new Wallet will support multiple mobile platforms - including iOS - not just Android. Take a look:

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wallet2

Yeah, we're excited, too.

22
Oct
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If you're not a fan of your phone's stock camera app for its lack of vintage polaroid filters, you probably have come across Camera ZOOM FX at some point or another. It's pretty popular, but since the introduction of Android 4.0, its UI has looked a little dated. Today, that changed - along with over 20 new features, ZOOM FX is sporting a brand-new look. Check it out.

Screenshot_2012-10-22-11-11-23 Screenshot_2012-10-22-11-12-04 Screenshot_2012-10-22-11-12-42

Screenshot_2012-10-22-11-12-32 Screenshot_2012-10-22-11-13-01 Screenshot_2012-10-22-11-13-16 Screenshot_2012-10-22-11-14-05 Screenshot_2012-10-22-11-15-00

I'm not going to list all the new features here (because let's face it, a filter is not a feature, it's a filter), but here are some of the highlights:

  • New UI / performance enhancements (hardware acceleration)
  • Portrait mode
  • Adjust brightness, exposure, ISO, light metering
  • Horizon and stability indicators
  • Golden spiral grid
  • New UI for photo timer
  • Pinch digital zoom
  • Gallery mode
  • XHDPI support
  • Customizable actions
  • Facebook sharing

That's a lot of stuff.

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