There seems to be quite a lot of movement happening behind the scenes at the Play Store - yesterday we discovered that Google Play Store gift cards and wishlist are getting prepped for launch, and today Google seems to have enabled those smart app updates that we've been salivating about since Google I/O.
Normally, when an update to an application comes out, the Play Store downloads it in full, which with large apps and slow connections can get quite painful (think 50MB+ sizes).
One of the more anticipated action games this year is Darksiders II, the follow up to the 2010 sleeper hit. While THQ's mythological opus is still a little power-hungry for even the latest Android tablets, streaming specialist OnLive has decided to make it available on their remote gaming platform almost immediately after the PC release. Those who have an Onlive account can experience the game as if they had a high-end gaming rig, and it's been adapted for control with any Android device running Gingerbread or later.
We saw a brief hint recently for Gameloft's upcoming game based on the Unreal Engine. A single still image showed a man holding a giant sword, covered in blood, as he stood alone in a field of his enemies' remains. Yeah. Awesome. Well, now Gameloft has unveiled a trailer for the game that teaser teased. Watch it. Now.
Yeah, this looks kinda big. And by that, I of course mean "really big." Gameloft is touting this as its "first Unreal game." I suppose that means Gameloft's other first Unreal Engine game is going to be pushed back to being released second.
After a long series of post-MWC changes, Samsung has finally readied its long-awaited flagship Galaxy Note 10.1 Android tablet and officially announced its global availability. The release schedule is set to start immediately with the United States, United Kingdom, Korea, and Germany, followed by other markets "starting in August." The initial release includes only the Wi-Fi only and the 3G/HSPA+-enabled variants, with the LTE flavor coming later this year.
Note: The press release is a little ambiguous on whether the "starting in August" bit refers to the four aforementioned countries or the following global availability, but we're inclined to side with the latter.
If you're serious about security on your Android phone or tablet, you probably know that the Face Unlock feature introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich is a long way from secure. While Google didn't make any claims to the contrary, it looks like the extra "Liveness check" (which requires the user to blink after the initial scan) is almost as susceptible. A group of YouTube users demonstrated how to get past the check with a photo taken off of Facebook and just a few minutes of Photoshopping.
After silently activating in most of its launch markets this weekend, Sprint's 4G LTE network has finally been officially announced. A promotional launch video released today explains Sprint's 4G LTE rollout and Network Vision, and encourages viewers to comment on the burgeoning LTE network's performance.
To that end, things aren't looking great for Sprint's new 4G network – at launch, it is promising just 6-8 Megabits per second download speed (burstable to 25Mbps) and 2-3 Megabits per second upload.
Today, Samsung posted an official demo video of some of Galaxy S III's more advanced features, such as Smart Stay, S Voice, Smart Alert, Direct Call, and social tagging. Ironically, while showcasing just how intelligent the phone is, we are treated to the following hilarious answer by S Voice:
Hey, it's 18 degrees Fahrenheit in Los Angeles! That's -8 Celsius. In May. Look what you've done, Sammy - now we're going to need to edit Wikipedia to amend the previous record of 24F from 1944.
For those who missed it, Steve Kondik, the founder and lead developer of CyanogenMod, along with several other members of the CM team gave a compelling talk in San Francisco at the start of Google I/O. Delivered during the SF Android User Group Meetup (hosted at Yelp), Kondik's talk took a look at CyanogenMod's role in the Android world, some of the project's goals, solutions, and the challenges the CM team faces in getting CM to new devices, explaining everything from conflicts with proprietary drivers to locked bootloaders and more.
I first saw Word Lens for iOS on TechCrunch back in 2010 and instantly fell in love with the concept - just point the camera at foreign words, and all of them get translated in front of your very eyes, live. Amazing, isn't it? If you haven't seen this promo video yet, watch it first:
Every month since, I searched the Play Store for Word Lens, hoping its developers brought it to our favorite OS, but found nothing.
We non-Jelly Bean plebeians have been envious of those with access to Android 4.1 for some time now, and a recent video from JLishere provides yet another reason to be jealous. The video, a demo of the much-anticipated Google Now, shows off just how accurate JB's voice recognition can be - in fact, it was able to pick up on the subtle differences between words like 'Worcester' and 'Wooster.' It also exemplifies the impressive number of commands Now (in cooperation with the Knowledge Graph) can register - from "call the Drake Hotel" to "do a barrel roll."
Enough balderdash, though - watch the 47-question demo for yourself:
Update: 20 more questions:
One last note: as JLishere notes in the video description, the demo was performed on an early build of Jelly Bean - this, in other words, should be considered a beta feature that will only get better with time.