Mobile Gaming Industry a Billion-dollar Game

Gone are the days when gaming meant having to wait until you’ve reached home so you could play on your desktop. Games today are no longer confined to desktops and laptops. They have invaded smartphones and tablets, as well. Last year, the mobile entertainment industry was worth US$33 billion dollars, and the biggest reason for that is the rapid proliferation and quick adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. There are a lot of fascinating things to know about the mobile gaming industry, and Geekaphone lumped all of them into a neat infographic. Some of the highlights include the following: The mobile entertainment industry , of which mobile gaming is just a subset, was worth US$33 billion in 2010. It...

Two New Sony Phones Unveiled by User Agent

Not long ago, Sony announced the return of the Xperia handset with the new Xperia Ray and the Xperia Active. Hot on the heals of this announcement, the source of Sony’s Site seems to reveal the release of two even newer phones, codenamed MT11a and MT11i.

Both will ship with 2.3 Gingerbread, FWVGA screens at 480 x854 resolutions, no hardware keyboard, and a likely Cortex A8 single-core 1Ghz processor. Little other info is known, but judging by the nearly identical specs of the two phones, it’s  safe to assume that one will release globally, while the other will be a US-only device.

We’re still waiting for Sony’s next superphone, though it isn’t yet known when that device will be released.


Two New Sony Phones Unveiled by User Agent


Matias Duarte talks about the differences between Android’s and iOS’ user interface

Matias_Duarte

Today at Mobile First CrunchUp, there was a panel focused on designing mobile experiences. Present on that panel was Android’s Director of User Experience, Matias Duarte. As it happens every time you put more than one mobile developer in a room, they started to talk about Android vs. iOS.

Since this was a panel focused on designing mobile apps, it was just a matter of time before somebody asked: “Why are iPhone applications better looking than Android applications?” To which Duarte responded: “Why are Sicilians more handsome than other gentleman?” Implying that this is just a matter of preference. He later added: “There’s no reason why you can’t have a beautiful Android app or an ugly iPhone app” And we have to agree. There are lot of Android apps out there that look much better than iOS’ apps.

However, Duarte did admit that there’s a slight difference between Android and iOS in terms of app quality. Which he credited to the fact that Android is just younger than iOS. “You need to give people time to develop on it” he said. In another instance, Jake Mintz from Bump, talked about one more reason why iOS’ apps might look better than Android’s in general, saying: “I bet if you put 100 designers in a room, more are Mac users and more are iPhone users. It’s reflecting the users of the platform.”

Personally, I can attest to Mintz’s claims that most designers use a Mac. And this is no coincidence. Apart from the fact that Apple’s well-designed products appeal to artists, the company also provides most art schools with Mac computers. And either because of taste or habit most art students stick to Mac after college.

Having said that, everybody at the panel ended up agreeing that iOS’ design advantage over Android will eventually disappear. Which makes sense, seeing how Android continues to grow at an amazing pace and is already more popular than iOS. It’s just a matter of time before those Mac-using designers turn their attention to Android. And we’re guessing Duarte’s work in Ice Cream Sandwich will certainly help.


HTC Release Source Code for 7 Devices

HTC has released a slew of source codes for their phones, both new and old.  These source codes can all be found at HTC's developers repository where we expect you hacking types will have a field day.  It might be me, but HTC seems to be the one device manufacturer that know what the people want, unlocking their bootloaders and releasing their phones source codes on a timely manner.

The latest handsets to see their source codes set free:

  • Salsa
  • EVO 4G Gingerbread
  • Droid Incredible 2 Gingerbread
  • Sensation
  • EVO 3D
  • ChaCha
  • Desire Z

Who is your favorite device manufacturer? Does this type of thing affect your decision in buying a smart phone?  Leave your comments below.

Source: Android Police

HTC Release Source Code for 7 Devices originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

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LG Thrill 4G release postponed until August 21?


According to Android Central, the LG Thrill 4G release has been delayed to August 21 as per the Radioshack internal memo above. We reported a last week that that the glass-free 3D phone may release on August 7. RadioShack will still take pre-orders on this LG phone until August 15. If you have pre-ordered it or going to, you may want to ask the Shack directly and hopefully verify if there is a delay. Let’s all remember that RadioShack is only an authorized AT&T seller, and this delay may mean that AT&T want to keep the exclusivity of launching the Thrill 4G to themselves. In the meanwhile, You can check out our hands-on from earlier this week at the Jane’s Addiction concert.

via AC

Revolutionary Brings S-Off and Recovery to the HTC Sensation, EVO 3D, and More

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Thanks to the folks behind Unrevoked and AlphaRev the HTC Sensation and EVO 3D now have permanent S-Off and NAND write access, a feat some felt might never be accomplished due to a locked bootloader. The tool called Revolutionary will do the same for most modern HTC handsets including the Desire, Desire S, Incredible S (and Droid Incredible 2), and Flyer tablet. Support is in the works for the HTC Thunderbolt

Revolutionary is currently in developer preview, so it isn’t 100 percent ready for deployment (you may experience some bugs), but for those Sensation and EVO 3D owners tired of waiting it just might be worth it.

[via Revolutionary | Thanks, Micah!]


AT&T Confirms Plans to Throttle Data Effective October 1

You can't say you didn't see this one coming.  AT&T has confirmed their plans to throttle data speeds for their heaviest users come October 1st.  The good news here is that it doesn't affect everyone, only the top 5% users.  Why?  Because they clog the tubes for everyone else and it's expensive.  So, even if you've been grandfathered in with unlimited data, your days of incessant Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora are over.  Those of you with a tiered plan, you can sleep safely tonight.

AT&T also says that even as these new preventative measures go into effect, it's not a solution to the spectrum issues at hand.  As they term it, "nothing short of completing the T-Mobile merger" can help with additional spectrum capacity challenges.

Hit the break to read the press release and bone up on what it takes to get on the bad list.

An Update for Our Smartphone Customers With Unlimited Data Plans

Like other wireless companies, we're taking steps to manage exploding demand for mobile data.  Many experts agree the country is facing a serious wireless spectrum crunch.  We're responding on many levels, including investing billions in our wireless network this year and working to acquire additional network capacity.  We're also taking additional, more immediate measures to help address network congestion.

One new measure is a step that may reduce the data throughput speed experienced by a very small minority of smartphone customers who are on unlimited plans - those whose extraordinary level of data usage puts them in the top 5 percent of our heaviest data users in a billing period.  In fact, these customers on average use 12 times more data than the average of all other smartphone data customers.  This step will not apply to our 15 million smartphone customers on a tiered data plan or the vast majority of smartphone customers who still have unlimited data plans.

Starting October 1, smartphone customers with unlimited data plans may experience reduced speeds once their usage in a billing cycle reaches the level that puts them among the top 5 percent of heaviest data users.  These customers can still use unlimited data and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle.  Before you are affected, we will provide multiple notices, including a grace period.

This change will never impact the vast majority of our customers, and is designed to create a better service experience for all.

The amount of data usage of our top 5 percent of heaviest users varies from month to month, based on the usage of others and the ever-increasing demand for mobile broadband services.  To rank among the top 5 percent, you have to use an extraordinary amount of data in a single billing period.

There will be no changes for the vast majority of customers.  It's not how much time you spend using your device, it's what you do with it.  You can send or receive thousands of emails, surf thousands of Web pages and watch hours of streaming video every month and not be in the top 5 percent of data users.

Typically what puts someone in the top 5 percent is streaming very large amounts of video and music daily over the wireless network, not Wi-Fi.  Streaming video apps, remote web camera apps, sending large data files (like video) and some online gaming are examples of applications that can use data quickly.  Using Wi-Fi doesn't create wireless network congestion or count toward your wireless data usage.  AT&T smartphone customers have unlimited access to our entire Wi-Fi network, with more than 26,000 hotspots, at no additional cost.  They can also use Wi-Fi at home and in the office.

The bottom line is our customers have options. They can choose to stay on their unlimited plans and use unlimited amounts of data, but may experience reduced speeds at some point if they are an extraordinarily heavy data user. If speed is more important, they may wish to switch to a tiered usage plan, where customers can pay for more data if they need it and will not see reduced speeds.

But even as we pursue this additional measure, it will not solve our spectrum shortage and network capacity issues.  Nothing short of completing the T-Mobile merger will provide additional spectrum capacity to address these near term challenges.

AT&T Confirms Plans to Throttle Data Effective October 1 originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

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Gingerbread for Xpera X10, For Realzies

We've made it through the "few days" waiting period and now it's time.  Gingerbread has finally started rolling out to Sony Ericsson Xperia X10s around the world. This update should bring some much needed improvements like tethering, deeper Facebook integration, and of course the major speed bumpthat Gingerbread brings.

The update should be spreading itself out among the next few weeks and will not work for "customized X10" devices.  The down side to this update? You must update through your computer using the X10 PC software.

So... was it worth the hassle and the wait? Leave your comments below.

Source: Sony Ericsson Product Blog

Gingerbread for Xpera X10, For Realzies originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

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HTC Sensation and EVO 3D Permanent S-OFF and Recovery Finally Here!

It’s finally here, what everyone that has an EVO 3D or Sensation has been waiting for. To be able to achieve S-OFF, Root and get a recovery for your phone. It is now available for download but before I get into it I figured I’d hurry and share the news with the world. This is just breaking so bare with me.

Just like we told you this morning this was coming today and I’m glad they got it done so fast. You can read the original post here. Follow @unrevoked for all the details over the coming days if you need more information. With help from many developers team Unrevoked and AlphaRev have finally made this available for the mass public if you dare.

The details are still light but if you head over to the main download page at revolutionary.io you can download this and get started right now for both Windows and Linux. This is still a developer preview but the devices have been tested pretty thoroughly but you could still run into issues. If you aren’t completely confident in what you are doing I suggest you wait a few days for everything to get ironed out.

Next all I need is CyanogenMod which is coming soon and I’ll be happy. Full details at the via below.

[via Revolutionary]

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Amazon App Store Update Brings Compatibility Checks and Stability Improvements

The much beloved -- or hated, or only-use-for-one-reason -- Amazon App Store is currently receiving an update to version 1.15 which brings users some bug fixes and other cool new features.  The update isn't just important for consumers this time, it's also handy for developers too. If you're not seeing an update message yet, simply open the app and check for it manually.

Read the full changelog after the break.

This is the complete changelog:

  • Feature: Improved the initiation of search
  • Feature: Improved app compatibility check
  • Feature: Improved customer feedback
  • Fixed: Customer reviews bug
  • Fixed: Periodic install failure on Android 1.6
  • Fixed: Rotation issues on purchase
  • Fixed: Force-close on repeat taps on refine button
  • Fixed: Search box bug
  • Stability *improvements*

Amazon App Store Update Brings Compatibility Checks and Stability Improvements originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

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