Rovio has released a new trailer for its upcoming Star Wars based Angry Birds game. The new video is the second to feature actual real footage from Star Wars, curious because George Lucas has traditionally been somewhat stingy with the usage rights for the film. This footage comes from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
In the video scene, we see Han Solo boast about his Millennium Falcon. Rovio explains that this is "one of the few times Lucasfilm has allowed for such use of the original material." The hint from this film comes in the form of the slingshot being placed on top of the Millennium Falcon. Any ideas as to what this could mean?
What do you think about the new trailer? What hints do you see? Are you excited for the new Angry Birds game?
Microsoft may have released Zune which failed to really take off or compete with Apple's iTunes, but it looks like Microsoft is back yet again with a new competitor for Apple: Xbox Music.
Xbox Music is an all-in-one digital music service that will throw the 30 million tracks available to users through the Xbox 360 gaming console to Microsoft PCs, tablets and smartphones running the Redmond-based company's Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems.
There are three parts of this new venture, the first is a free streaming service that will be ad-supported and limited to a certain number of hours after six months. A premium, unlimited, ad-free streaming option is also available at around $10 a month, and consumers will also have the option to simply purchase and download any track from the catalogue.
Developers of Android applications will be pleased to hear that Google has heard your complaints and updated the Android developer console to make it easier to use. As the system stands, there are some significant difficulties seeing whether or not an app is published and is generally confusing to use.
"At its core, the Developer Console is how you put your app in front of hundreds of millions of Android users around the world, and track how your app is doing," the company said in a blog post. "We hope that with a streamlined publishing flow, new language options, and new user ratings statistics, you'll have better tools for delivering great Android apps that delight users."
Like most updates offered by companies, the new version is faster, sleeker, and easier to use, or so Google says. By the looks of it, this is true, though I'm no Android developer. The new version features loads of new analytics with charts and graphs everywhere. Developers can see data by device, country, language, carrier, Android version, or app version.
However, a few features from the old console are not compatible with the new version, so Google has left in the option to switch between views so that those few features are still accessible by developers. Part of the reason that Apple products have so many great apps is that developing is easy. Hopefully this new update will aid Android developers do the same.
Apple haven't been having happy days lately, their shares prices are at a bad low right now, the iPhone 5 didn't sell anywhere near analysts expectations. On top of that, their decision to throw Maps on iOS 6, ditching Google Maps for iOS hasn't gone down well, either.
Google have since then been reportedly working on releasing Google Maps for iOS, with App Map developer Ben Guild posting some early details and partial screenshots of the Mountain View-based company's Map application for iOS.
According to the developer, the standalone version of Google Maps for iOS is in alpha testing, but has some great improvements over the previous Google Maps app. This includes the new app being vector-based, sporting two-finger rotation on any angle, and is "super fast". Best of all, it supports the new, taller 4-inch iPhone 5 screen.
Android Police have some great news for Gmail for Android fans, where in Android 4.2 you'll have pinch-to-zoom abilities in the Gmail app. Also included with Android 4.2 is a new swipe to delete/archive, as shown in the video below.
The video above was done on a Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.2, meaning that the new abilities aren't limited to just Android 4.2 which is great. Android Police have noticed that the 'About' screen notes it's Gmail version 4.2.
Swipe to archive/delete is as simple as swiping a notification away, where you can swipe an e-mail out of your inbox, or archive it somewhere. Google give you some nice options, where you can change your swipes to "No effect", "Archive or delete" or "Always Delete". The default option is set to "Archive or delete" which will send swiped messages into archiving when you're in the inbox, delete swiped messages when you'er in All Mail or Sent, and remove a label when you're in label-only view.
I was laying in bed last night and grabbed my Nexus 7 that I have on my bedside table, I turned it on and hit the Google Play store to have a look around. I noticed that the menu looked different, so I looked closer and noticed that "Magazines" now appeared - finally, the Australian Play Store has magazines!
Cool, I thought, I'll check it out and purchase a magazine to see how it is. I download the app, purchase a magazine from an Australian technology magazine "PC & Tech Authority", lay down and proceed to enjoy reading it. Well, I couldn't because Google Play Magazines doesn't quite work yet.
The app itself doesn't open, and requires an update, which you can't tap the option to do so. You can see in the picture above, just below where it says "GOOGLE INC.", there should be an "Update", and "Open" tab, but there is not. So I have now wasted $4.99 on a magazine that I can't read. I'm sure it'll work soon enough, but it's disappointing to see Google launch a new section of their Play store, and have it fail on day one.
Anyway, the new Magazine part of the Play store offers countless titles from major Australian publishers like Haymarket Media, ACP Magazines and Pacific Magazines. Also thrown into the mix are a bunch of publishers from overseas, and the option of a once off purchase or subscription-based service is offered. Prices aren't too bad, where they either match the price of Apple's Newsstand, or they're slightly cheaper.
Microsoft Office is looking to jump over to Android and iOS, with evidence coming from Microsoft product manager, Petr Bobek, reportedly telling Czech site IHNED that Office is headed for the mobile OS' of Google and Apple in 2013.
The Verge have also stepped up and said that they've had their eyes locked on a press release from the Redmond-based company's Czech Republic team, which confirmed that the productivity suite is coming to Android and iOS, joining other operating systems like Windows Phone, Windows RT, Mac OS and Symbian.
The press release states that Office 2013 would be available for businesses in December, with a consumer launch not until the end of February or early-March 2013.
GoPro cameras are pretty slick. They're pretty indestructible and perfect for recording a point-of-view video of your extreme adventures, whether that be snowboarding, base jumping, or sky diving. Unfortunately, as it currently stands, users have to remove the camera from their head mount to adjust what they are recording.
That's all about to change with GoPro's new app for iOS devices which allows users to link a HD Hero2 camera through the WiFi BacPac to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Once linked, users can adjust camera settings from anywhere nearby. All of the cameras settings are available to be adjusted through the new app.
The Next Web brings up a great idea that should be added to the app. They suggest the ability to preview what is being recorded so as to allow adjusting the angle of the camera to be done easier. The app also connects users to the company's Photo and Video of the Day so that you can try and outdo fellow GoProers.
An Android version is reported to be in the works. A release date is not currently known.
Google have just pushed in a bunch of input tools to their Gmail client, which will allow users to access a new variety of languages and layout tools. With these new features, Gmail has the proud ability to brag it supports typing in 75 languages.
These new tools include over 100 virtual keyboards, transliteration and IMEs (input method editors). You can now swap between languages with a single click once you've enabled the tools under Language in your Gmail settings.
Once you've flicked the switch on input tools, you'll see a new Input Tools button that will appear in your toolbar, where you can toggle these tools on and off. Virtual keyboards and IMEs is a move from Google that will see many more flock to the web-based e-mail client, and will see better use of keyboards instead of having to get an expensive multilanguage keyboard setup or overlay. Nice move, Google.
Bit of short news bit, but we look to be on the cusp of seeing social networking site, Facebook, release a native Android app very soon. Engadget have reported the news from an anonymous tipster.
This tipster has said that the native Android application is close to its final testing, and it should be ready any day now. The HTML5-powered Android application should be announced by the social network soon, and we'll post it up as news when it hits.
Are you looking forward to a native application? I know that my Jelly Bean-powered devices are drooling for it, and I'm quite the Facebook addict myself.
There are more people on Android than iOS, but how do those numbers break up when it comes to the biggest social network site on the world, Facebook? Well, Android comes out on top, just.
20.1% of Facebook users are connected through an Android-based devices, compared to just 18.9% of users who run the social networking app on iOS. This data is coming from social advertising and analytics platform Optimal, cited by Inside Facebook.
Optimal also states that there are roughly 189.8 million active users on Android, and around 178.3 million active iOS users, with bot hof these numbers including users accessing the app and browser-based site. Optimal is using the figures from the 944.2 million monthly active users that they found through the Facebook Ads API, and not the full 1 billion users.
Google have been in the tablet space for quite sometime with Android, with the first Android-powered tablets splashing down around 18 months ago now, but the Mountain View-based company is still experiencing teething issues.
This is mainly due to third-party app developers not taking advantage of the extra screen real estate slates have to offer. Google are looking to change this, introducing a new Tablet App Quality Checklist that developers have to pass, in the hopes of seeing better quality tablet applications.
Google also plan on using their Google Play store to aggressively push apps that are optimized for tablets. As for the Tablet App Quality Checklist, it includes guidelines that are focused on tweaks that developers can use on their existing phone-based applications that would make them more suited for tablets.
Get ready for the ride of your life: Crazy Taxi is coming to the iPhone and iPad sometime this month
What amounts to a very short teaser video has got me all excited for a new game that Sega is working on for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. That's right, everyone's favorite classic, Crazy Taxi, is coming to iOS devices near you sometime this month. Check out the extremely short trailer below:
There's no detail as to what the game will cost, how the controls will work, or really any details to the game at all. We've been given a release time frame--October--and nothing else. One has to wonder just how they will implement the classic controls on the touch-only gaming platform presented by iOS.
Is this something that excites you?
Rovio has again made a success when it comes to the Angry Birds series of games. Bad Piggies rose to number one on the iOS App Store in just three hours, which is an impressive feat. Now, they want to continue to capitalize on the success of the series with a new version of the popular game called Angry Birds Star Wars.
The video doesn't show much, but it does give us a day that we can expect to download the app. For all you Star Wars fans out there, this could be the Angry Birds game for you. For everyone else, it will likely feature a unique twist to the original game, much like Angry Birds Space did with the gravity fields.
There's not much else known about the game, but we'll be sure to keep you updated on the latest regarding Rovio's new game and all the records it will likely smash.
Ustream has been updated for Android, where the new version of the app (v2.0.3) now includes better support for 7-inch tablets, such as the ASUS Nexus 7.
On top of the support for more 7-inch tablets, it also includes a bunch of streaming improvements as well as the usual bug fixes and other miscellaneous improvements.
You can grab the new Ustream app directly from the Google Play store. I'm about to download it on my Nexus 7 and check it out.
We reported yesterday that Google would be coming out with Street View for it's mobile web-based Maps application. There was some debate as to whether or not it would be today that we saw the fruit of Google's labor, and it turns out that iOS6 users don't have to wait any longer to get access to one of the most popular Google Maps features.
While Street View is now available on iOS 6, the system is a bit laggy due to it being web-based. That said, it is still the only way to see a destination before arriving there. I'm sure most users will be overjoyed at getting the feature back. It will at least work as a stop-gap measure until Google releases a native Maps app for iOS.
While they haven't said they are working on one, it's highly unlikely that Google would take a miss on the large user database they could have for gaining traffic information and other information.
Google are set to announce an addition to their Street View for iOS web app for Google Maps. The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg reported the news during his comparison of Apple's Mapps app, versus Google's app on their Android OS.
Mossberg tested the two apps against each other on their respective mobile operating systems, and even had access to the new tech as Google sent him sample links, where he said they "worked well", where he was able to pan around environments with his finger.
Google's timing is great, as consumers are simply not happy with Apple's lacklustre Maps app. This stop-gap measure of a web app might help them for now, but it would be nice to have a native app you can download from the App Store, but I really doubt we'll see Apple allow this, ever.
Apple's Passbook app is gaining more and more support, where just recently we saw huge brands like Major League Baseball, Ticketmaster and Walgreens all jump on the iOS 6 app. But, Passbook has just received some other high-profile brand support.
McDonald's, Airbnb and Eventbrite have all jumped on-board. The Passbook-enabled McDonald's app can be used to order and purchase food directly from your iPhone, but is only available in France at the moment unfortunately. Airbnb and Eventbrite are useful additions to the ever-growing support of Passbook.
Eventbrite have issued out over 50 million tickets, racking up over $1 billion in sales, with Airbnb booking more than 10 million guests as well as seeing a 26% rise in mobile traffic. Both of these companies deal with mobile transactions more than McDonalds, but the more support Passbook gets, the better the app will become.
We all know that iOS 6's Maps app is pretty craptacular (crAPPtacular?) but there is a benefit to the company's vector graphics-based app. Maps is up to 80% more efficient on data usage than Google's iOS Maps app, which is a raster graphics-based app.
This is all according to a new analysis from Onavo. Because Apple's Maps uses vector graphics, the application doesn't need to re-download map images every time a user adjust the view, which in the end, consumes much less data. Onavo's results are definitely interesting:
On Google Maps, the average data loaded from the cellular network for each step was 1.3MB. Apple Maps came in at 271KB - that's approximately 80% less data! On some actions, such as zooming in to see a particular intersection, Apple Maps' efficiency advantage edged close to 7X.
Apple acquired the app Chomp earlier this year. Chomp was an app discovery platform that allowed users to search through the App Store in a method that differed from Apple's. Apple took the Chomp-style store and implemented it into iOS6 and has now decided to shut down the remaining Chomp business and app installs.
Apple had already killed the Android part of Chomp back in April, shortly after acquiring the service. The iOS app and website remained up and functioning until yesterday's announcement and closing. The Chomp website, http://chomp.com, now redirects to Apple's main website. The app has been removed from the App Store.
What I find really interesting here is the apparent ability of Apple to shut down an existing install of an App. As you see in the picture, Apple effectively disabled the software that was installed on the device, which is a bit scary, if you ask me.
The new Chomp-styled store isn't getting quite the feedback that Apple would like, with many users complaining search and discovery is much more difficult. I tend to agree that the old store format was better.
Online streaming provider Netflix has debuted a new mobile app for the iPad. This new app takes a feature of the Netflix site and mobilizes it on the iPad. Dubbed "Just for Kids," users tap the tab in the mobile app and "find their favorite shows and movies by swiping through a row of their favorite characters, many of which they will instantly recognize."
The app currently supports the iPad 2 and new iPad (iPad 3). The old iPad and Android device support will be forthcoming. The iPad is becoming a more attractive platform for kid entertainment. Though brittle, the device can contain hours and hours of fun packed into a small, easily portable device.