We've heard very little out of Google internal team Niantic Labs. Before today, their sole public presence was Field Trip, a mash up of Google Now and various hyperlocal points of interest. The team'' latest creation, Ingress, defies description: it's a virtual reality game in which players are tasked with going to real-world locations to harness a fictional energy source. Also there are two "teams" and every player in the world is one one or the other. Think Alliance versus Horde.
The premise seems pretty nebulous at the moment. A new source of energy has been discovered, and it's got the potential to control people's thoughts.
That sure didn't take long. Just two days after the official announcement - and still a few days away from retail availability - the Droid DNA has already been rooted and gotten some goodies from famed Android modder/hacker dsb9938. Apparently the DNA is unlockable using HTC's official bootloader unlock tool, which allows a custom kernel to be flashed. The first available kernel has only been slightly modified to allow root in adb connections - a requisite in order to flash the custom recovery and root the device.
After going through the unlock process, the kernel is flashable via fasboot. With that out of the way, you're free to flash the recovery (ported to the DNA by developer Utkanos), which is also flashed with fastboot.
It's been a few weeks now since the 7" Kindle Fire HD went on sale. Beating Amazon's earlier announcement by a few days, the 8.9" version is now shipping, with the LTE model to follow next week. In case you've forgotten, the larger Kindle houses a 1920x1200 screen that's not quite the best display around, but definitely close enough.
If you're still not sold on this don't-call-it-an-Android tablet, here. Allow Amazon to try to convince you with a list of bullet points:
Kindle Fire HD 8.9” is the top-of-the-line Kindle Fire. Features include:
A vibrant 8.9”, 1920x1200 resolution display at 254 ppi.
ASUS hasn't forgotten Transformer Prime owners - after rolling out Jelly Bean back in September, the company is pushing a small bug fixer over the air with version 10.4.2.17. The update actually began yesterday, but we waited a bit for the official changelog to come through - after all, what's the point of playing the guessing game if we can't add anything of value, right?
As I mentioned, the changes are pretty specific and far from critical, but it's better to see them and know what ASUS didn't do than run all over TF201's dark corners looking for something that isn't there.
Most headphones are relatively straightforward. They're usually built around a simple metal or plastic frame, have leather or pleather ear pads, and if you're lucky, are comfortable. Hopefully they sound good, too. What they aren't, usually, is bendable or droppable. Nor do they have Kevlar-coated cables, steel frames, or military-level testing.
That's exactly what makes the M-80's so unique. That military testing certainly means they're durable, but with a $230 price tag, you would hope they sound great, too.
On-ear noise isolating headphones
40mm dual-diaphragm drivers
Two detachable Kevlar-wrapped headphone cables - a 3-button and a 1-button, both with 24k gold 45° plugs
Flexible steel headband, brushed aluminum cans
Microfiber suede covering the headband, memory foam on the headphones
Earlier on Wednesday, there was a bit of a scare when CyanogenMod wrote a blog post instructing users to transition to cyanogenmod.org instead of the .com address the group has used up until now. As the story goes, a member of the team donated the domain back in the early days and had managed it ever since. Until recently when control of the domain was in question during a dispute with said user. According to the original post, this person was asking for a substantial fee for the address, as well as access to Google Apps accounts that managed a number of public-facing email accounts.
There are plenty of games in Google Play these days, but I sometimes feel like developers forget to code in the fun. Games are supposed to be fun, right? And what's more fun than shooting anything and everything in your path with a rapidly rotating assortment of weapons? Not much, if you ask me. With that in mind, Expendable: Rearmed has a lot of potential. This is a port of a classic top-down arcade shooter from the Dreamcast, and it is all about destruction.
I am told there is a backstory to Expendable: Rearmed, but try as I might, I can't think of any reason to care about it.
After months of basically no action at all, Google has finally updated the Blogger for Android app with a new UI, as well as some improved features and bug fixes.
The new UI takes a page from the book of Holo, as it is now much more in-line with Android 4.0+ functionality. On top of the new interface, the update also adds support for more languages, enhancements to scheduled posts, and auto-sign in when a blog is viewed on the web.
Aside from these additions, some of the Play Store comments indicate that it also fixes a number of annoyances, adding the option to load more than 20 posts, better publishing, and improved settings.
If you're into indie games, chances are you've heard of Waking Mars by now. If you haven't - check it out, this is one seriously awesome puzzle / platformer mashup with an epic story and amazing soundtrack. It actually just hit the Play Store, too, after being available on Android exclusively through the Humble Bundle that went live last week (still up now).
So, why buy it for $5 through the Play Store instead of the pay-what-you-want Humble Bundle? Well, I can't really think of a good reason aside from updates, or simply to support the developer (that's always a good reason).
Exactly one month ago today, the first alpha version of the popular Twitter client Echofon hit for Android. At the time, it felt a lot more like a beta than alpha, as the app was quite polished and very usable. Two weeks later however, the first beta dropped, adding even more functionality and features to the app.
Today, the Echofon for Android team has hit yet another milestone: Play Store availability. According to the listing, the app is still beta, but given the fact that the team was confident enough to put the app in the Store, we assume that it's pretty close to a final version.