Today at Computex 2013, ASUS' Chairman Jonney Shih gave birth to no less than 11 products in a span of less than an hour, a surprising rate of fire we're not used to even at flagship events like MWC or CES, let alone Computex. Not bad at all, ASUS.
Undoubtedly, the most interesting and important announcement was the Transformer Book Trio, "the world’s first three-in-one mobile device." The Trio actually consists of two pieces:
- An 11.6" tablet with a 1920x1080 IPS display and 64GB of internal storage onboard, powered by a mobile-friendly 2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 chip (32nm Clover Trail+).
In the interest of time, I'll spare you, dear readers, my usual spiel and say simply this: I like official accessories. In theory, anyway. I like the idea of accessories specifically made for specific devices by the device's original manufacturer. I've been delighted by the Nexus 7 pogo dock, and love the Nexus 10 pogo charger (though it isn't actually official yet).
Then there's the official book cover for the Nexus 10. Read More
Autodesk has a fantastic record of powerful, well-built apps. Continuing the pattern, the Pixlr Express makers today released SketchBook Ink, a (you guessed it) sketching and line work app specifically built for tablets 7" and above.
While SketchBook Ink is perhaps not up to handling a professional illustrator's full time workflow, it's a versatile tool with functionality that's suprisingly sophisticated for a mobile app. Ink's got a full screen workspace built on a "new resolution independent engine," with seven preset ink styles, a wonderful color picker (with RGB sliders, a color wheel, and a block for shade selection), layering options, and plenty of options to explore. Read More
Partnered with Steve Jackson, Tin Man Games has brought another Fighting Fantasy title to the digital age with House of Hell. For the uninitiated, Fighting Fantasy is a series of interactive "gamebooks" by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone which began publication in the early 80's. The books each contain their own fantasy adventure, the outcome of which is completely dependent on the reader's choices.
Staying true to the 1980's aesthetic of the original printed works, Tin Man's adaptation of House of Hell has the option to turn off its various visual enhancements to "make the gamebook look like it came off the printing press in the 80s." Read More
After the successful launches of Play Music in Europe, Magazines in Canada, and Movies in a handful of countries, Google has made another step in its international Play crusade, today bringing Movies and Books to Brazil.
Android users in South America's largest country will now have access to thousands of Brazilian titles from Google's collection, along with movies and TV shows. Interestingly, Google's own international availability page hasn't been updated at the time of writing to reflect the expansion to Brazil, but just the same, users can access the store and look for their favorite titles. Read More
Orbitz.com, one of the top online travel/booking resources around, has just released a new app – Hotels by Orbitz, meant to help users find, book, and enjoy hotels in thousands of destinations world-wide, whether you need a room tonight, or want to book a future stay.
The app, which has a somewhat slick – though not strictly holo – interface, not only lets users search for and book hotels, but also provides access to Orbitz Mobile Steals – "exclusive mobile-only discounts of up to 50%." Read More
Amtrak, aiming to give you a "new way to take the train," released an official app to the Play Store recently.
The (logically named) Amtrak app allows passengers to plan their entire train excursion, from buying tickets (which can be displayed right on your device) to navigating to a nearby station, changing/upgrading seat selections, checking train schedules, and using an Amtrak Guest Rewards account.
"Optimized for Android," the app carries a holo-ish interface with swiping tabs, proper navigation and scrolling, and all the visual flair you may expect from an app in line with Android's design guidelines. Read More
Last month, Google announced that it would be ending all legal disputes with French authors and publishers in an effort to bring books to a wider audience. The announcement came following the French Publishers and Author's Associations withdrawal of their suits against Google, and marked a "win-win solution" which opened "the possibility for out-of-print books to reach a wide audience," while maintaining commercial rights for authors.
Following up on that announcement, Google added a post to its European Public Policy Blog today indicating that Google Play Books has officially arrived in France. Read More
It seems like most books on developing for Android are geared towards beginners and those who are accustomed to developing for other platforms or using other languages, while fewer help you put that extra layer of polish and shine on your app. With hundreds of thousands of apps already on the market for you to compete with, that's exactly what you need: something to kick your app up a notch or two. Read More