If you use Google Voice, or simply make the occasional outgoing call via Gmail, Google's got some great news for you. The service is going to continue to be free throughout 2013 for users in the U.S. and Canada! International callers will still have the same rates applied. In short, nothing is really changing, and that's a good thing.
While the day after Christmas is rarely an exciting one in terms of tech news - aside from the length / level of disgruntledness of return lines around the US - we do have a tidbit for developers this morning. The Verizon Galaxy S III, recently updated to Android 4.1, now has matching source code. Samsung released the Jelly Bean-based source this morning (software version LK3), and you can get it at the source link (pun very much intended on this boring day) below.
Google has really gotten the stock Android keyboard spruced up in recent versions of the OS. Of course, it's still a limited experience lacking in the bells and whistles of some third-party solutions. Speaking of bells and whistles, the new Kii Keyboard has more tweaks and settings than you'll believe.
Kii takes some of the most popular features from the established keyboards. It has swipe input like the Swype keyboard, word prediction like SwitfKey, and a split layout for tablets like you get in several other apps.
Don Bluth... What happened? You had such a good run. You made film history by actually giving Disney a run for it's money with Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, and The Land Before Time. They were classics! But then Rock-A-Doodle happened. Then Thumbelina. Then...lord forgive me for speaking it's name...A Troll in Central Park. The decline was quick and painful. Before the movies started getting weird, though, Dragon's Lair came out and revolutionized the laser disc gaming industry (no seriously).
My fondest memories of the original Star Wars films were the starfighter dogfights. The first time you see the assault run on the Death Star, or the ill-fated attack on the second before it was finished, it's really cool to watch a bunch of fighter craft flying around, blowing the heck out of each other. Every once in a while, you can get the same sense of scale and calamity in a game - usually of the real-time strategy variety.
We're hearing from tipsters, as well as over on XDA, that HTC has begun the wide rollout of Android 4.1 for a large number of HTC One S devices, all of which seem to be WWE handsets ("WorldWide English"), which are sold by and large in European markets. The software version is 3.16.401.8, and the full update file can be found here, direct from HTC. The size of the update is a staggering 612MB.
It may not be all that often that a phone over a year old will still be getting many updates, but lo and behold, it's a Festivus miracle. Users are reporting that the original Droid RAZR/RAZR MAXX is currently seeing an update roll out to Jelly Bean (4.1.2) right now. And to think, this phone launched with Gingerbread.
The update is 331.7MB, so you'll want to get on WiFi before you start the download.
Hourblast Games and 6waves, the publisher of such hits as Strikefleet Omega and OFFWORLD, have released Dueling Blades, a fantasy RPG that combines strategy elements with social networking. What makes this game stand out from the mass of other similar titles is its interesting combat system that's described as "simultaneous turn strategy."
Like the description suggests, the combat in Dueling Blades is turn-based, but the execution of the players' actions happens simultaneously.
Ant Raid has been a long time coming for Android gamers. After the game received no small amount of notoriety on iOS, Herocraft has finally seen fit to release it to our fair platform, just in time for you to ignore your family over the holidays. Even better, they're discounting it for the launch, so you can pick it up for just a dollar at the moment.
The gameplay is somewhere between Starcraft and Pikmin.