Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plants Vs Zombies Finally Makes its way to ANDROID!

The day is finally here! PopCap’s Plants Vs Zombies, has finally reached Android after many months of anticipation. PvZ, which is regularly priced at $2.99, is available for free, but today (May 31st, 2011) only, exclusively on the Amazon Android Appstore.
After a period of exclusivity, PopCap will upload it to the Android Market for everyone to use.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Emulators disappear from Android Market!

A handful of emulators have been removed from the Android Market. This affects people who use Android devices to play classic games from old gaming consoles such as Atari, Nintendo 64, Gameboy, and Sega. 

Yongzh's emulators have been among some of the most popular and highest rated in the market, but the emulator creator reports that his developer account has been terminated without warning and all his apps have been removed.

The removal of Yongzh's account comes just weeks after the Playstation emulator PSX4droid, the work of a different developer, was also deleted from the market. This was probably because of the release of Sony's Xperia Play.

Yongzh, who lives in China, took down his Genesis emulator last month after receiving a complaint from Sega, but apparently it wasn't enough to placate Google and/or those console makers who may have lodged complaints with Mountain View. While emulators on their own are not necessarily illegal, using the game ROMs that give them actual value apparently is, at least that's what Nintendo's lawyers claim in a company FAQ. Others say that if one owns the game, it is legal to download the corresponding rom.

Anyways, Yongzh says he's now out one of his main sources of income; but he's posted the emulators on an alternate Android App Market called SlideMe, where he has made them available for free so that existing customers don't have to pay again to download apps. N64oid (N64 emulator) alone has already registered more than 23,000 downloads from the site since Sunday.

Source: cnet

A tablet that runs Windows OS and Android!

Yes. This is a tablet for anyone who can't decide whether to get an Android or Windows based tablet.

At Computex, ViewSonic officially unveiled the first dual-OS tablet, the ViewPad 10Pro. The device runs Windows 7 as the primary OS, but it is loaded with Bluestacks virtualization software. This allows Android and Android apps to co-exist within an x86 Wintel environment. "It allows for an instantaneous switch between the two OSes without turning off the tablet – Android for simple tasks such as Web browsing and Windows 7 for business applications."

The ViewPad 10Pro is also one of the first devices available to consumers that is powered by an Intel Oak Trail 1.5GHz Atom Z670 processor.

It also has 3G compatibility, 1080p video playback, and a 3500mAh battery (with an expected battery life of about 4.5 hours).

"We have continued to invest in our strategic partnerships with Microsoft and Google," Alan Chang, ViewSonic Managing Director of Europe and Asia-Pacific said in a press release. "At Computex, you will see that ViewSonic is not content with standing still."

In addition to the Intel-based, dual-OS 10Pro, ViewSonic also unveiled the ViewPad 7x tablet. With the 7x, ViewSonic opted for the ARM-based NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor powering Android Honeycomb. The device packs a 7-inch, 1024x600 display and weighs in at under a pound (13.4 oz.). The ViewPad 7x also features DLNA, HSPA+, HDMI-out, and front and rear cameras.

Pricing and availability were not announced for either devices.

Friday, May 27, 2011

HTC Announces the End to their Locked Bootloader Policy


HTC announced on  late Thursday that it will no longer be locking the bootloaders on its phones. This was confimed via HTC’s Facebook page. HTC's CEO, Peter Chou, said that after listening to customer feedback, the company has decided to have unlocked bootloaders on Android devices. 

"There has been overwhelmingly customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we've listened. Today, I'm confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience," Peter Chou, CEO of HTC.

So what does this mean? 
bootloader loads the phone’s operating system. With a locked bootloader, you can't install  a custom operating system (ie cyanogenmod) on your device. With an unlocked bootloader, you can now install a custom operating system on your HTC phone. 

However, locked bootloaders, which require a signed certificate from HTC, don’t prevent you from rooting the phone, but the manufacturer still maintains control over handsets.

Late last month, Motorola announced that it would introduce an unlockable bootloader for its phones later this year.

So what do you think of this announcement? Let us know.

Source: PCWorld

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

T-Mobile ditches unlimited data

T-Mobile has stopped offering unlimited data.  From now on, a 200MB data plan will cost an extra $10 per month, which is $5 less than AT&T, and 2GB of data for $20, 5GB for $30, or 10GB for $60. This leaves Verizon and Sprint as the only companies to offer unlimited data, but Verizon soon will too get rid of its unlimited data package for tiered pricing.


1. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/05/t-mobile-ditches-unlimited-data-for-new-tiers-shared-family-data.ars

2. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385803,00.asp

Friday, May 13, 2011

Angry Birds on Chrome Browser!

Yes. That's right. That popular game has landed in Google's Chrome browser as a free, full-featured web game! Rovio, which makes the ever-popular bird-themed slingshot game, added some exclusive Chrome-only levels, offering a little incentive to give it a try even if you've already played through it on the iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac OS, Windows OS, PlayStation 3 and elsewhere.

Play it here: http://chrome.angrybirds.com/?version=standard

Source: JS Online


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion and Google Music

Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion

    Microsoft and Skype made a big announcement today that Microsoft would acquire Skype for $8.5 billion. Yes, Microsoft has just bought the video conferencing giant, Skype. This is a big news for anyone with an Xbox 360. "Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement announcing the deal. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world." Microsoft will keep Skype as an independent unit, and Skype CEO, Tony Bates, will become the president of the new Microsoft Skype Division.  "Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype's plans to extend our global community and introduce new ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate," Bates saidThe acquisition returns Skype, which was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friss based on peer-to-peer technology created for their Kazaa music downloading service, to ownership by a corporate tech giant. eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $3.1 billion. By 2009, though, eBay sold a controlling stake in Skype -- in a deal worth about $2 billion -- to investors including two Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Silver Lake Partners and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. 

Video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niO67K3fhC4&feature=player_embedded#at=19

Google Music

Google announced today that it's launching it's own cloud-based music service. According to a post on the company's official blog, Music Beta by Google "lets you upload your personal music collection to the cloud for streaming to your computer and Android devices."
"With the new service, your music and playlists are automatically kept in sync, so if you create a new playlist on your phone, it's instantly available on your computer or tablet," Android product management director Hugo Barra wrote in the post.
However, for now, Google won't be actually selling music like Apple does with iTunes. 
Google launched the cloud music service at its yearly Google I/O developers conference. It will be free for now and allow users to upload as many as 20,000 songs. Google is accepting invitation requests at http://music.google.com/about/.

Source: Mercury News


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Finally, an AT&T smartphone that can download non-market apps!

   Most Android phones have a “Unknown Sources” toggle. Once this is checked, you can install Android Applications from anywhere. If this is not checked, your phone won’t install anything that isn't from the Android Market. Starting with their very first Android phone, AT&T has completely blocked this option to install non-market apps. Thanks to nagging, or because AT&T realized this was a horrible idea, the policy of blocking non-market apps has been reversed. Starting with the Samsung Infuse 4G, AT&T Android devices will now be able to install third party apps from non-Android Market sources. Hopefully all the AT&T Android devices floating out there will be updated accordingly.

Source: Mobilecrunch


Paperphone? $25 computer?


Tired of cracking the glass on your smartphone screen? Or carrying around the extra weight in your pocket?
A team of computer researchers believes those problems will soon be history, as your future cellphone will be as thin....

$25 Computer
You might not be able to play Portal 2 on it, but a new product from the British nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundation aims to put a working computer into children's hands for the ultra-low cost of $25 per device. That's a fraction of the cost of computing devices offered by the oft-cited One Laptop Per Child project.
For average consumers, don't...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Apple releases iOS 4.3.3 to patch location database.


  Apple relased iOS 4.3.3 for the GSM iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPod touch (3rd+4th gen), and the iPad (1+2) today.  (Another update, iOS 4.2.8, is available for CDMA iPhone users.) This minor update changes the way iOS devices save location data. 

  The good news is that Apple hasn’t patched the untethered exploit used by the latest versions of the jailbreak tools redsn0w, PwnageTool and sn0wbreeze. But still, until these jailbreak tools are updated, the jailbreak will be tethered. These tools should be released in the next few days. We'll post an update once this jailbreak tool is updated. In the mean time, you might want to stay away from this update, as with all iOS updates, if you upgrade you loose you jailbreak. 

The untethered jailbreak is out! Redsn0w 0.9.6 rc15 is your answer.
More info here. For iPhone 4 on 4.2.8, redsn0w will result in a tethered
jailbreak. Either wait for an untethered pack on cydia, or use Sn0wbreeze or 
follow this tutorial to untether your redsn0w jailbreak: http://www.funkyspacemonkey.com/untethered-jailbreak-verizon-iphone-4-running-ios-428-redsn0w
(Yes. It's an untether pack on cydia.)

Source: 1, 2, 3

Tethering apps get "blocked" from Android Market

Update: 6/8/11: 

Verizon Faces Complaint for Blocking Tethering Apps

UPDATE: As of 5/22/11 easy tether is back on the android market and there are still many tethering apps left, but some apps like PdaNet and wifi tether are still gone.

  Free tethering apps such as easytether, PdaNet, and wifi tethering apps have seemed to disappeared from the Android Market for phone on the AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon network. Apparently Sprint customers are able to access these tethering apps. Reports first came from the blog DroidLife that the free tethering app Wireless Tether could not be downloaded onto AT&T and Verizon Wireless handsets. I can confirm this too, because when I went on the Android market on my Verizon Motorola Droid, I noticed that almost all the tethering apps were gone. A few were left, but they will probably be gone soon too. AT&T and Verizon representatives declined to comment regarding this issue and pointed fingers at Google saying that they were the ones that decided if a tethering app should be on the Android Market or not. A Google spokesman told Fierce Wireless that it has not neither removed nor blocked the app. It instead is simply making them unavailable for download on certain carrier networks at the request of those carriers. If an application is in direct violation of the terms and conditions of a usage contract, a carrier can request Google make the app unavailable, the spokesman told Fierce Wireless. This means that the apps are still on the market, but are just hidden. However, these apps still work and can still be side-loaded onto the device. I have personally tested them and they all seem to be working fine. If the developer distributes the application file in a way other than the Android Market (for example, as a download from their Website) a user can install that on his device. (I will posts some links to these websites in my upcoming post.)  I have posted some links to tethering app on the "Other" page on this blog.

AT&T has recently made a big push to ensure that people pay to use its smartphones as wireless modems. AT&T has been sending iPhone users text messages that have been tethering using app such as PdaNet. AT&T charges $20 extra per month for the tethering feature. Customers who tether are given 4GB of data to use during the month. Customers who exceed that limit are charged an addition $10 per gigabyte.
T-Mobile charges $15 a month in addition to a smartphone data plan for 5GB worth of data per month.  Verizon Wireless charges its smartphone customers $20 a month on top of its $30 smartphone data fee to use up to 2GB of data per month.

So do you think what the carriers did was fair? 
Let us know.

Source: cnet