Good morning, Galaxy S III users. Want to start off your week with a spiffy new software build? Then the folks at SamMobile are happy to oblige. They've got their hot hands on a leaked build of the Android 4.2.2 (JDQ39) update for the S III, packing the standard Jelly Bean 4.2 upgrades and more than a few features back-ported from the newer Galaxy S4. The flashable ROM posted to the site isn't exactly official - it's cobbled together from dumped files - but flashing it via Samsung's Odin software won't void your warranty.
Some of the features already spotted in the leaked ROM include the lockscreen, driving mode, Voice Controls, an updated Settings app, gallery, S-Voice, new screen modes, and a bunch of other software and visual tweaks from the TouchWiz build first seen on the Galaxy S4, as well as a host of new settings and the Smart Watch widget.
You forgot Mother's Day. Again. With Father's Day coming up wouldn't it be nice to have a reminder among your often-used Google Now cards, in addition to the ones you've set in Google Calendar, Google Keep, and the sea of sticky notes attached to your monitor? It's possible to set holiday and movie reminders within Google Now on your device, but now you've got another alternative: setting reminders via a Knowledge Graph search on your desktop. Just make sure you're signed in, make a relevant search, and click that shiny new "remind me on Google Now" text.
Well hi-diddly ho there, aspiring app developer! Has the life of a recent CompSci grad got you down? Does the world of independent mobile app programming leave something to be desired in the area of, say, ostentatious sports cars and penthouse apartments? Samsung would like to help you out with their Smart App Challenge 2013. A cool $800,000 has been reserved for the makers of ten winning apps, with 200,000 American greenbacks going to the top entrant. But don't start up your IDE just yet.
In order to qualify for any of the prizes, the apps will need to take advantage of the Chord SDK, Samsung's multi-device connection and syncing system built on the ZeroMQ library.
Now that the big spring phone releases are out of the way, you can make an informed decision on any pending purchases. The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 both have their strong points, and you can get a solid deal on both of them, provided you're flexible on carriers. Amazon has both currently listed for $129.99 with a 2-year contract.
The HTC One in question is the 32GB AT&T variant, and it's usually $199.99 (last on sale for $150). A $70 savings on a fairly new device is great, and it's impressive what HTC has done with its new flagship phone.
The fine folks at GTVHacker dropped us a line to say that their new Asus Cube root solution is now available as a free download in the Google Play Store. The cleverly-titled CubeRoot takes advantage of a Unix NFS mounting exploit to install the SuperSU application and grant Cube owners root privileges, sure to be much appreciated by Google TV power users excited for Asus' new hardware. You can pick up the root application from the Play Store widget below, or download it directly from GTVHacker's website.
In addition to basic rooting duties, CubeRoot will modify the Cube's Flash Player app, allowing users to get around some arbitrary platform-content restrictions in video websites.
Surprisingly, the licensed LEGO Star Wars PC and console games (and most of the subsequent Indiana Jones/Batman/Harry Potter/et cetera games) turned out to be pretty good. They're tight, enjoyable adventure games with interesting construction mechanics, and humor suitable to both kids and adults. Though The LEGO Group has released more than a dozen Android titles already, their first tie-in game is LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles, available now as a free download. Just in case you didn't get your Star Wars fix with Angry Birds or pinball.
The player guides either the titular Dagobah-dweller or his Dark Side counterpart Count Dooku through eight levels, with the series' standard add-on characters, buildable vehicles, and surprisingly varied mini-games breaking up the top-down shooting and slashing.
Just a day after Sony threw developers a bone by posting the Android Open Source Project code for their flagship Xperia Tablet Z, the industrious folks at CyanogenMod have one-upped them with a release of their own. Both a release candidate (RC) and a test build of CyanogenMod ROM 10.1 (Android 4.2) have been posted to the download site, ready and waiting for you to flash to your unlocked tablet.
It's no surprise that CyanogenMod is supporting the Xperia Tablet Z; Sony has been historically friendly with the developer community, and in any case, the 1080p tablet runs on the same chipset as the more far-reaching Xperia Z smartphone.
When a stereotypical madman has access to some conveniently forgotten nuclear weapons, the only thing that can stop him is a flying tank. There is probably no other game in which that sentence makes a lick of sense, but it's the basic premise behind Fire and Forget: Final Assault.
This is an arcade-style action game based on the classic franchise. In this title you must blast your way through waves of bad guys in a post-apocalyptic wasteland to reach Captain Nucleo's nuclear-equipped hovercraft. It certainly sounds like it has all the makings of a killer experience, but is it?
Controls And Gameplay
Each of the 10 stages consist of your car, the Thunder Master III, rocketing down the highway in pursuit of Captain Nucleo.
Normally we're a bit wary of reporting on the certification filings that go through the Federal Communications Commission, because frankly, they don't often mean anything. But an entry spotted by the fine folks at TabletGuide.nl caught our attention purely on its geeky merit. There's very little information available about the "H840 DEVICE" - it's made (or at least submitted) by Google, it's listed as a Digital Transmission System and "functions as a media player," it has a WiFi connection, and it runs on AC power. Oh, and the model number is H2G2-42.
Douglass Adams fans will recall H2G2 as shorthand for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series, a much-loved collection of five books and innumerable spin-offs that lampoons science fiction (and just about everything else).
Facebook Pages Manager is the odd man out in the social network's Android suite, but it's indispensable if you've got a public image to maintain. The Pages Manager lets companies or individuals manage their separate likeable identities. Yesterday's update (version 1.4) adds a number of features from Facebook on the web, including the ability to add albums to your page, save drafts for editing later, and adding posts to a specific event. Oh, and one absolutely vital function: kicking the trolls and whiners off of your digital turf right from your phone.
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