In what I am tempted to say may be the stupidest news I've read all morning (give me an hour, though, I just grabbed my coffee), the US Army's Special Operations Command is allegedly dumping its current Nett Warrior embedded tactical smartphone solution - a 4-year-old Galaxy Note II - for an iPhone 6S. Because, and I quote DoDBuzz's source here, the iPhone is "faster; smoother. Android freezes up." Wait, you're telling me a smartphone that's four years old trying to run a specialized government app isn't very fast or stable? I am shocked, sir - simply taken aback!
This staggering conclusion has led the US Army Special Forces to decide that, after testing those same applications on an iPhone 6S - a phone benefitting from four years of technological advancement over its replacement - iPhones are simply better.
NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV console has been, since its launch in 2015, the only Android TV you really should be paying attention to. For 2017, it has received a very light hardware refresh. Even with the changes overall being minor, it is still the only Android TV device you should be paying attention to.
Now, many of the changes in the 2017 version of SHIELD came to the existing SHIELD console today via the 5.0 upgrade, including Android 7.0. The old model, too, will get Google Assistant, SmartThings support, and Amazon Instant Video. And this brings me to the second major point of our review: If you already have a SHIELD, there's no reason to replace it with this refreshed version.
Magic 2014 is the new and updated version of the less headline-friendly Magic: The Gathering: Duels Of The Planeswalkers, gracing Android for the first time. It's a digital translation of the uber-popular Magic: The Gathering card game, a staple of schoolyards and table gaming for the last two decades. Magic 2014 is a free download (though it needs a massive 1.2GB of space), but requires a $10 in-app purchase to unlock the full game. The free demo features the first 25% or so of the campaign mode.
There are a lot of things wrong with the digital version of Magic: a clunky interface, boring visual effects, downright awful optimization of both space and active system resources.
Modern Combat, Gameloft's Call Of Duty / Battlefield "inspired" shooter series, is back - the fifth installment in the mobile franchise just hit the Play Store. The best thing about MC5? Gameloft has stripped of it the loathsome in-app purchases Modern Combat 3 and 4 were saddled with.
Modern Combat 5 will cost you $7, which for a mobile game of this caliber, I'd say, is pretty reasonable - Gameloft really has no mention-worthy competition in the fully-featured mobile FPS market, so honestly, they could probably charge twice that and still make a lot of money on this game.
It was inevitable. Inevitable, I tell you. With the smartphone market becoming a ridiculous battlefield of overpowered spec sheets, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to cram a 4K resolution into a phone. That someone is Japanese smartphone maker and frequent part supplier Sharp, who revealed a 5.5" screen module with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. That's a density of 806 pixels per square inch, for those of you keeping score at home.
Ah, the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend - that time in November when people trample each other in stores just to get the best possible prices for electronics that they likely don't really need. However, with so many deals floating around, it's hard to keep track of all of them. Not to worry, though; our list of discounts aims to help consolidate all of the cool tech that you might want to spend your hard-earned money on in one place.
You can find Ryan's list of app-related deals here.
Game news from E3 is in full swing, and just yesterday EA announced at its event in LA that the company was returning to an old franchise. Command & Conquer should be a familiar title for those of us that grew up playing PC games in the late 90's and 00's, and EA has just announced the first new game to bear the name since 2012. Command & Conquer: Rivals is an all-new PVP real-time strategy game designed for mobile, and it's already available in "pre-alpha" testing on the Play Store.
Last Friday I did a hands-on with PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Mobile thanks to its availability as a soft-launch title in Canada. Today it would appear that the PUBG Mobile has launched worldwide minus a few European regions, though it's exactly the same version (0.3.2) as the Canadian release from last week. So short of the new areas that can access the download, nothing much has changed.
A few days ago, a post by Industry Gamers titled "GTA Developer Blasts Mobile Gaming for Being Focused on Money Over Quality" sparked quite a debate between Artem and me. We are both fairly old-school gamers, with a history of playing games via consoles and PCs since childhood. Despite both of us being long-time gamers, we had utterly different opinions on the current Android gaming situation.
See, Artem was of the opinion that gaming on Android is pretty bad.
Love using Skype and Hangouts but have friends or family that are rarely available to video chat? Glide is an attempt to solve that problem by taking an asynchronous approach to instant messaging. Here's the concept: conversationalists can login with their Facebook credentials, join a chat room, and respond to one another with videos up to 42 seconds in length. Videos are stored in the cloud, available for playback either immediately or some time after their initial posting. There isn't any message limit and data retention is currently unlimited – you won't see your videos disappear in the foreseeable future.
Glide, which launched on iOS early this year, is the brainchild of Israeli company Glide Talk.