Hey HP, we know you're new to the Android game, so here's a tip: if you've got a hot new piece of hardware, the absolute worst time to announce it is a few hours before Google I/O. That said, the new SlateBook x2 might garner some interest thanks to its internals alone - it's one of the first devices after NVIDIA's own Shield to use the Tegra 4 SoC. Throw in a 10.1-inch 1920x1200 screen and a very familiar-looking keyboard dock, and you've got the makings of a serious competitor.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not much of an e-mag guy. I tried Google Currents for a while, but never quite saw the utility of it, and so quickly transitioned back to my beloved Feedly and Google Reader. That's not to say I haven't realized the limitations of RSS many times, though, especially as certain websites I follow look to integrate more multimedia into articles. (Having to use Chrome to listen to audio or video in a weird custom player is really frustrating.) And concededly, apps like Currents look a thousand times better than feeds, which are traditionally text-heavy.
Toshiba is kind of all over the place when it comes to Android. It has released some absolutely fantastic hardware in the past, but the lack of support for said hardware is awfully damning when it comes to recommending its devices in good conscience.
Still, it looks like the company is knee-deep in the development of a new tablet, which is currently being called the "AT10LE-A," and is said to be powered by NVIDIA's newest baby – the upcoming Tegra 4.
Vector Unit – the development team behind Riptide GP, Shine Runner, and Beach Buggy Blitz – has long been taking advantage of NVIDIA's Tegra processors. In fact, Riptide was one of the games used to show off the power of the Tegra 2 back in the day, and it was even updated to add enhanced graphics for the Tegra 3, once again highlighting the power of Tegra.
Now, NVIDIA has released a teaser video showing off Riptide GP 2, which will of course be optimized for the Tegra 4 and its 72 GPU cores.
NVIDIA's Tegra 4 platform raised a few eyebrows at CES, and a few more at Mobile World Congress. Now we're finally getting to see some compelling evidence of the chipset's superiority over Tegra 3and its current-gen competitors. But while NVIDIA is making a name for itself in the mobile OEM space, its bread and butter will always be gaming. So without further ado, here are a few of the first games that are taking advantage of Tegra 4 hardware.
We had a chance this evening to take a closer look at NVIDIA's Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i chips, and with Tegra 4, a chance to run some benchmarks. We also took a quick look at NVIDIA's reference design phone for Tegra 4i, the Phoenix (though we were only allowed to look - not touch).
Left to right: Phoenix, Tegra 4 board, Tegra 4i board
We'll start with the Phoenix reference phone, because there isn't much to say.
While NVIDIA may have just announced the Tegra 4 at CES back in January, that isn't stopping ZTE from promising to deliver the first "superphone" to use the powerhouse chip by the end of Q2 2013. Although the company is being scant on exact device specifications, we do know that it will not only use the T4 chip, but also NVIDIA's new i500 LTE modem.
For those who may have missed everything the T4 has to offer, here's a quick rundown:
- 4-PLUS-1 architecture, just like the Tegra 3
- 72 GPU Cores
- A15 architecture
- Optional LTE modem via the i500
Judging by the wording in the press release, ZTE isn't working on just one Tegra 4-powered phone, either.
NVIDIA has officially unveiled its smartphone strategy with Tegra 4 this morning, and the star of the show is undoubtedly the new Tegra 4i platform - a low-cost, slightly down-market version of NVIDIA's Tegra 4 chip that was announced at CES in January. And don't worry - the standard Tegra 4 platform will be featured in 'superphones' as well, T4i is all about the low to middle range of the market.
Handy volume control app Silence got a nice update today to version 2.0. The update, besides introducing a new (holo) interface, adds a ton of new functionality. So much, in fact, that the app's functionality now overshadows its simple name.
For starters, the update adds Google Calendar integration (for Android 4.0+), and support for recurring events, each with their own volume profile. Users can configure the events to repeat until a given date, and the app can control notification, media, and alarm volumes with individual levels for each.
There isn't a lot to say about the newest update to the Yelp app for Android, but that doesn't matter - the one notable change is a biggie. Yelp has finally integrated Google Maps API v2 released back in the beginning of December, which rids Yelpers of the terrible WebView Maps API. The new maps API is hardware accelerated and vector-based, drastically increasing performance and level of detail. You get pan, zoom, tilt, and rotate, along with 3D buildings, indoor building maps, landmark labels, and terrain shading.