In a very awesome and useful display of the innovative genius that we've come to expect from Android developers and modders, Interaction Designer (how awesome does that sound?) Michael Fretz and his team have come up with a bicycle navigation system that can only be described as ingenious. The awkwardly named Punkt.Fizen is a truly creative, original idea that utilizes the power of the Android platform and the versatility of the Arduino.
When I first read about the idea, I wasn't too sure about it but, after reading the intro and description, I got interested:
How does one orient oneself while biking, for example as a tourist?
Qualcomm's Mirasol technology has been in prototype form for a while, but at this year's CES, it seems like we'll finally see a working product - an Android e-reader by PocketBook that is called simply Mirasol.
For those who haven't been following Mirasol, it is a functional equivalent of a traditional black-and-white eInk display that has become so popular in e-readers over the last few years, except it is capable of displaying color and playing videos (refresh rates are rumored to be anywhere from 12 to 30 fps). At its core, Mirasol screens use a reflective display technology which "can create various colors through the interference of reflected light." Mirasol displays consume very little power and have superb visibility in direct sunlight.
PhoneArena has stumbled across a brief YouTube video that pits the browsers of the upcoming LG Optimus 2X and iPhone 4 against each other. Unfortunately, there are few (read: no) details available on how the test was run, and there are only two "trials" - hardly scientific, but hey, it's something, right?
As you can see, the 2X manages an impressive lead, even managing to pull up Flash-laden Yahoo in significantly less time than the iPhone 4. It's not exactly clear why the 2X is pulling such a big lead, either - though many people are contributing it to the stellar dual-core Tegra 2, and perhaps rightfully so.
Sprint's just sent out the official press release announcing the HTC EVO Shift 4G, and it looks like just about everything we've heard is true - right down to the price. Need a refresher on what this baby EVO is packin'?
3.6" 480x800 screen
5 MP camera
2GB microSD card (support for up to 32GB)
800 MHz CPU (likely the same one found in the G2)
1 GB ROM
512 MB RAM
$150 with 2 year contract, after $100 MIR
EVO Shift 4G: Now with 100% more keyboard!
Our friends over at Wirefly have had the chance to give the Shift a 10 minute video review.
Yesterday, we received an email tip about a new app called PacMap, which blends virtual/augmented reality, Google Maps, and... PacMan. Unsure of what to make or think of this potentially dangerous, but extremely original and interesting concept, I decided to test the waters last night by submitting the app to reddit. This morning, it was #1 in /r/android, which shows that thinking outside the box is always welcomed. Oh, and did I mention that PacMap is open source? Bravo, Stefan Wagner (that's PacMap's developer).
The goal of the game is described by the author himself as follows:
A new round of games that incorporate one of my favorite Android services, OpenFeint, has recently been released. We've gotten our all-too-idle hands on several of these games and, let me tell you, some impressive things are being brought to the table. While flipping through the games and wasting all of my time, one game stuck out to me. Maybe it was the nostalgic feel of it. Maybe it was the Indiana Jones throwback feeling of it. Maybe it was because I really like being able to flaunt my high score to the world. Whatever the reason, I'm a big fan of this game; so much so, in fact, that I made a video of me playing and talking about it.
The MIUI custom ROM has pushed the limits of creativity and customizability ever since it was unleashed a few months ago by Chinese developers, seemingly out of nowhere. At times, you can't even recognize that this is actually Android, which, I suppose, is actually a compliment to Android itself. If it didn't resemble the iPhone UI so much at times, I would have probably enjoyed it a lot more, but nevertheless, it's incredible to see what a smart group of talented people can come up with when they put their minds together.
This article deals with a couple of advanced topics.
Still playing with dummy units while shopping for your next phone at your local retailer? Those things are annoying, aren't they? You can hold them in your hand, but you can't touch or interact with them in any way.
Best Buy may just have the solution. You'll have to take a few steps back in order to see the new Nexus S demo unit in all its glory, because it's a fully functional 42" monster, complete with a working touch screen, live wallpaper, apps, and everything that a real Nexus S contains.
After hearing the news of the largest Android phone ever arriving to the San Carlos Best Buy, Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch rushed to get some hands-on with a device you can't even fully hug.
Gameloft, the game publisher with arguably the most advanced Android games, which you, unfortunately, won't find in the Market (I guess they really hate giving Google the 30% fee), announced its latest daily Christmas promotion. On the 22nd day of December, Gameloft is giving away Hero Of Sparta, an RPG with awesome 3D graphics, for absolutely free.
The game's dedicated page lists it at $4.99, but this special url offers the freebie in exchange for your phone number, which Gameloft promises to use exclusively for sending the download link.
While all countries are supported, not all phone models are. Fortunately, Gameloft provides this list of compatible hardware:
HTC Google Nexus One
HTC EVO 4G
HTC Desire Z
HTC desire HD
HTC My touch 4G
Motorola Droid X
Motorola Droid 2
Motorola Milestone 2
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Epic 4G
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
I found it funny that when I read their blog post an hour ago, the game was rated 6/10, and now, only 15-20 votes or so later, it's rated 9/10.