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Julie Uhrman Issues Official OUYA Status Report: 'We've Been Heads-Down Cranking'

We've been covering the OUYA since its original debut as an ambitious idea on Kickstarter in July. Within a month, the campaign had raised an astounding $8.6 million. We've also heard that OUYA is partnering with Square Enix, will include OnLive support, and a whole lot more (thanks to Founder Julie Uhrman's AMA on Reddit).

After a brief pause in OUYA news, Uhrman recently published a post to the official OUYA blog, giving readers a "full update" on the project. The post, titled "the train keeps on rolling," explains just about everything from details surrounding the status of manufacturing, to developer relations, to plans for the fit and finish of the final product.

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The Nexus 7 Is Now Available In Japan

Hey, do you live in Japan? No? Well that's alright, because you'll still probably be happy to know that Google's first Nexus tablet is expanding its worldwide footprint, and this time it's headed to the land of the rising sun. This also seems to be confirmed on the Japanese Nexus splash page, which lists a price of 19,800 Japanese Yen for the 16GB model.

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Japan joins the seven other countries the Nexus 7 is currently sold in - the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Spain. Google has slowly expanded the Nexus 7's international availability over the months since its release, and this is mostly because the business strategy behind the device has been to sell content - not hardware.

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Google Play Books Updated To 2.6.31 - Adds Highlighting, Translation, Dictionary, Sliding Page Turn, And More

The Google Play Books app just received a substantial update, bringing the app to version 2.6.31 on compatible devices. Here's the changelog:

Added highlighting, notes, dictionary, "Places" info cards, translation, sepia mode, and sliding page-turn. Fixed crashes on launch on certain devices including HTC Wildfire.

Details:

In "Flowing Text" books, you can tap & hold to select some text and then
- Highlight
Add notes
- Translate
- See definition in dictionary info cards
- See a map and Wikipedia snippet in "Places" info cards, if the selected text is a place.

This is actually quite a large feature update, much of which you can see demonstrated in the screenshots below.

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Game Review: The Tiny Bang Story Brings The Beauty, Lets Us Look for Gameplay

Point-and-click adventure games and I have a little bit of a problem with each other.

No matter how hard I try, I can never really escape the weird cycle of clicking on everything possible in an effort to get something to work instead of methodically assessing my situation and thinking about what works. Perhaps it's part personal fault and part game design, but it really frustrates me when the most efficient way of progressing is just using every item in every possible way - something will eventually click, right?

I think that's what disappointed me a little bit about The Tiny Bang Story - it's essentially a huge "look and find" game on steroids.

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Apex Launcher Updated To v1.3.1, Fixes Random FCs, Brings Tons Of New Features

It's National Custom Launcher Update Day! Didn't you know? Hot on the heels of Nova Launcher's recent update, Apex Launcher was also bumped up to v1.3. Only, with that update, the launcher decided to FC every time it was opened. Bummer.

You can't keep a good launcher down, so the Apex team just pushed a point update to the launcher - bringing it to v.1.3.1 - that fixes the FC issue, so it works like a top now. Yay!

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This new version of Apex brings a slew of new features, enhancements, and other goodies with it - just take a look at the changelog:

Rebuilt based on JB launcher (works on ICS too)
* Desktop items automatically re-arrange to fit
* Long press and fling to remove items
* Performance boost for homescreen and drawer
New features
* Option to switch to tablet UI
* Custom drawer grid settings
* Activity animation options
Other improvements and bugfixes
* Improved vertical drawers
* Custom widget picker (requires JB or root)
* Unlimited drawer tabs (pro)
* Fixed paid themes under JB
* Many misc.

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[Updated] Logitech UE Boombox And Mobile Boombox Review: Two Impressive Entries In A Crowded Market

Back at IFA 2012, Logitech unveiled its new series of Ultimate Ears accessories. Among those were a couple of portable speakers: the Boombox and Mobile Boombox. I've spent the last few weeks using both, and have been quite impressed for the most part. Without giving too much away right off the bat, both units sound surprisingly good compared to Logitech's previous Bluetooth speakers (and the competition), and are priced pretty aggressively for the features offered.

Mobile Boombox

  • Size:  4.4" x 2.6" x 2.4", 0.66 lbs. (298g)
  • Options: White, Black, Blue/White, Black/Green, Black/Red
  • Price: $99
  • Where to buy: Logitech

The Mobile Boombox is the smaller of the two and is a direct competitor to the Jawbone Jambox.

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Sprint Rolls Out LTE To More Cities, Begins Network Vision Rollout In Chicago, New York, And Los Angeles

Sprint has some presents for you, especially if you live in the midwest. For starters, several cities are getting their shiny new LTE networks lit up today including Wichita, KS, Waukegan-Lake County, IL and more (listed below). As an added bonus, the #3 carrier also announced that the Network Vision rollout is beginning in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles. For those who are unaware, the Network Vision plan provides for significant improvements to the existing 3G infrastructure, in addition to eventual LTE upgrades.

Here's the list of markets that will see LTE activated in their area:

Lawrence, KS
Topeka, KS
Wichita, KS
Waukegan-Lake County, IL
Barnstable-Hyannis/Mid-Cape, MA

It's not a huge rollout, but the improvements to the 3G network in Chicago, NYC, and LA should be welcome as Sprint makes ready LTE coverage in those cities.

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Nova Launcher Iterates To Version 1.3, Brings Several Jelly Bean Style Launcher Features To ICS Users

One of the biggest drawbacks to new versions of Android is that it can take forever for the new features to roll out to current users. For launcher-specific items, though, we can always count on developers to bring us up to speed. Nova Launcher has done just that with several Jelly Bean-esque add-ons to its ICS-compatible app, including automatic rearranging of desktop elements, and the ability to fling apps and widgets away to remove them from your homescreen.

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Here's the full list of what's new:

Since 1.3.0
Fix preview screen
Misc minor fixes
Since 1.2.2
Jellybean launcher features (Works with ICS)
-Desktop automatically rearranges to fit
-Long-press then fling to delete items
-Project butter related enhancements
Import from other launchers
Custom drawer grid size
Uninstall on quick menu
Performance improvements
- Smoother scrolling
- Faster load
- Reduction of memory usage
- Reduction of APK size
Fixes

The update is available via the Play Store and should be a welcome addition to anyone running a skinned launcher on an ICS device.

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[Video Review] Prince Of Persia From Ubisoft

A couple weeks ago, Ubisoft released a refreshed version of the old-school classic Prince of Persia. Since then, we've spent some time checking out this upgraded title and have a few words to share. Much like the Beach Buggy Blitz review, this one will be handled in the video format.

Without further ado, here's a look at Prince of Persia.

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Samsung Announces That Jelly Bean Is Coming To 15 More Devices "Soon," Including The 'Galaxy Music'

Following the initial rollout of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) to Galaxy S III phones in Poland this morning, Samsung has announced that the update will be coming to 15 more devices in other markets "soon."

This latest software update will bring Google Now to a wide range of models and see the frame rate of the entire OS increased thanks to Project Butter.

The devices due to be updated to Jelly Bean are:

  • Galaxy Tab 2.7.0
  • Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
  • Galaxy Note 10.1
  • Galaxy S II
  • Galaxy Note
  • Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus
  • Galaxy S Advance
  • Galaxy S II LTE
  • Galaxy Music
  • Galaxy Chat
  • Galaxy Ace 2
  • Galaxy Beam
  • Galaxy Ace Plus
  • Galaxy Mini II
  • Galaxy S Duos

Although a device called the Galaxy Music is listed here, we aren't entirely sure what it is just yet.

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