Draw Something Officially Acquired By Zynga – CEO Says Future Will Be “Drawsome”

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It’s official. 2 days ago, we told you guys about the speculation that Zynga could be buying up OMGPOP for a substantial amount of money and today, we finally have official confirmation. While financial terms weren’t specifically mentioned, it’s estimated Zynga spent around $200 million for the social game developer (Zynga only spent $40 million when they acquired Words with Friends). That’s a lot of money for a 40 person team based in New York. OMGPOP had this to say in their official announcement:

“The game will stay true to you and what you love, and it’s my solemn vow that the magic of Draw Something will not change,” he said. “With the added resources we now have, and the deep gaming experience we can draw from, we can’t wait to continue to surprise our users. If you’re a fan, a player of ours, I can’t wait to show you what’s in store – it’s going to be drawsome.”

Looks like the game will only get better from here on out with more money to put towards development of new features and more funner/wacky/sometimes gross words. Draw Something has been a runaway hit on Android and iOS garnering around 12.2 million daily users. I’m hoping someone will come up with a charades like title using your front facing cam.

[Google Play Link | Via PCMag]

 


Reminder: Transformer Prime Quad-core Bundle Giveaway ends Friday

This is a quick shout out, or PSA if you will, for anyone that happened to miss our ASUS Transformer Prime Quad-core Bundle Giveaway we started back on Friday. While some were lining up to get the next iPad hopefully tons of you were sitting at home, riding the bus to work, or whatever else you do while reading Android Community daily and decided to enter into our giveaway. In case you missed it here are some of the details again.

Here at Android Community, and thanks to NVIDIA we have not one but two of these ultimate bundles to giveaway to a few lucky readers. This is the ASUS Transformer Prime quad-core Tegra 3 tablet, the additional keyboard dock ($149 value) and a Powerbag Messenger tablet carry case with a built-in 6,000 mAh battery — all up for grabs in our giveaway this week. Two lucky readers will get all three of the items mentioned above in our Transformer Prime bundle giveaway.

The rules are simple and once followed you’ll have two chances to win. Once over on Google+, and another on our Facebook page. Plus two more chances from our sister site SlashGear. For all the details, instructions, and full giveaway rules head to the original post for all the info. As a reminder here are the ways to win:

1. “Like” us on Facebook: /AndroidCommunity
- Leave a comment in [this Facebook thread] telling us one or more ways you plan to use the Transformer Prime quad-core tablet, or what Tegra 3 optimized games you can’t wait to play.

2. Circle us on Google+ at: +Android Community
- Leave a comment in [this G+ thread] also telling us one or more ways you plan to use the Transformer Prime and that quad-core Tegra 3 processor. As well as any games you’re dying to play.

- We’ll pick a set of our favorites and select two random winners from that group on March 23rd!

That’s it! That simple and you’ll be entered in our giveaway. Remember to only comment and enter ONCE in either of the threads, and entries left in the comments section of this or any other post other than those specified above will not be recognized.

Get on those thinking caps, say something smart or catchy and hopefully you’ll be one of our lucky winners. Good luck!

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Transformer Prime
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : November 09, 2011
    Release Date : December 19, 2011
    Also Known As : Transformer 2
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.10 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS+
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.35 Inch
  • Width : 7.12 Inch
  • Depth : .33 Inch
  • Weight : 586 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : 6579 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 64 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


Review: Tags for Droid with NFC Task Launcher

Are you currently making the most of the NFC chip in your Android phone? The chances are that for most of us the answer is no and I was sat firmly in that camp, at least I was up until about a week ago. NFC adoption has been slow paced since Google and Samsung brought the technology to the masses by way of the Nexus S. A large part of the problem was the original lack of functions available to utilise the technology and as someone who bought the Nexus S personally I certainly cannot remember really using NFC in the year I had the phone. Cue the launch of the Galaxy Nexus over Christmas 2011 and the introduction of Android Beam, finally a genuinely useful application that utilises NFC technology. As useful as Android Beam is, and I have used it occasionally, there is still a slight feeling that it’s just as gimmicky as it is productive.

I decided the time had come to really see quite how useful the technology could be so I ordered some NFC tags and downloaded a NFC task application to program and read them. My products of choice were a batch of NFC/RFID tags from TagsForDroid.com and NFC Task Launcher from Tagstand. I’ve broken the review down into two clear sections on my findings having used both products over the past week.

TagsForDroid

I opted to buy my tags from TagsForDroid for a couple of reasons. First of all they came highly recommended from the guys over at XDA Developers and those guys rarely get it wrong. Second of all, they’ve got the Android logo on the front, show me a true Android geek who could resist that! I ordered a batch of 20 Tags for $25.99, shipping is free within the US however I had to pay a few dollars extra for international shipping.

I immediately have to give the website some extra credit for customer service. At the time of ordering they had run out of the Android logo tags, I received an e-mail offering the plain white tags immediately (yeah right!) or I could wait for the next batch of Android branded tags to arrive. They were very transparent and accurate regarding when they would be expected in and they threw in a few extra tags for free due to the inconvenience, nice touch! The tags took around 2 weeks to arrive due to the international shipping, not an usual amount of time to get through UK customs etc.

The tags are very thin, glossy, sturdy and around the size of a UK 10 pence piece or an American quarter. They come with a sticky adhesive backing in order to firmly attach the tags to your chosen areas. I’ve secured mine comfortably and discretely to areas such as the surface of my laptop, the inside of my front door, the dashboard of my car and the surface of my desk at work. The spec list of the tags reads as follows :

  • 1K MIFARE compatable NFC Tags
  • 13.56 MHz
  • rewritable, lockable
  • range < 0.2m (~8″)
  • 3M adhesive backing
  • 30mm disc (about the size of a quarter)

NFC Task Launcher

Once again, there were a few factors I took into account before downloading NFC Task Launcher from the Play Store. The application has up to 5000 downloads with an average 4.7 rating, which is impressive. It’s also very reasonably priced at only £1.21 (approx $1.92) and last but not least, it has an extensive list of features. It is worth noting that there is a free version of the app in the market with limited functionality, it enables your phone to read a programmed tag but does not include any of the writing facilities.

My immediate impression on launching the app is that the UI is very clean and obvious. You won’t find yourself lost navigating around menus unsure of where to go. There are two different types of tags you can create; tasks and standard tags. The standard tags aren’t unlike the data you can transmit using Android Beam, static data such as a business card, a website, text etc. While this is useful, it’s the tasks that really allow you to get creative.

A task allows you to assign a series of instructions to the tag which your phone will execute when it reads it. There are numerous options at your disposal including launching specific applications, toggling various settings, setting screen brightness and evening updating your social networks. The only real limit here is your imagination! Creating the different profiles is a very simple process and writing it to the tag literally takes a second, it really couldn’t be simpler. Another nice touch is a menu that takes you to a list recommended NFC tag sellers should you be unsure of where you can purchase some. TagsForDroid is represented of course.



I’m sure you all have your own ideas on how you might program your tags however here is a sample of a few that I currently have in use at the moment :

  • Laptop tag – Only one function. Toggles my phone wireless hotspot on or off. Perfect for getting my laptop online when I’m on the go. Simple but effective
  • Car dashboard tag – Enables bluetooth, cranks volume up to max and launches Google Navigation.
  • Front door tag – Enables wifi, sets volume to middle, disables bluetooth and checks me into home on Google+ check-in.
  • Work desk tag – Disables wifi, disables bluetooth, sets phone to vibrate mode.
A week into using the TagsForDroid and NFC Task Launcher combo I can safely say that I have finally welcomed NFC into my life indefinitely. The simplicity of using the products coupled with the convenience of adjusting multiple settings at the flick of a wrist is priceless. And if that doesn’t do it for you, it’s great for making owners of those fruity phones a little more jealous than they already are. Hit the links below to get started.


NFC Task Launcer



O2 Bringing HTC One Phones April 5th, Xperia Phones April 23rd; Tariff Requirements Revealed

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Our friends at TechnoBuffalo have received some information regarding the launch of five new devices – three from HTC and two from Sony – on their way next month.

We’ve got confirmed dates for the HTC One phones. O2 UK already confirmed the One X would be here April 5th, and, as expected, they’re launching the HTC One S and HTC One V on that very same date.

Not launching on the same day are the two Sony phones, the Sony Xperia U and Sony Xperia P. (The Xperia S is already available.) Those will be in stores April 23rd. And beyond all of that, we’ve even got tariff requirements for those who want the phones for free:

HTC One X

Release date: April 5th.
Requirements: Minimum 500MB data plan, £10.00 to insure, 24-month contract with 900 minutes and unlimited text messages.
Price to insure: £10.00

HTC One S:

Release Date: April 5th.
Requirements: Minimun 500MB data plan, £10.00 to insure, 24-month contract with 600 minutes or 500 O2 to O2 minutes.
Price to insure: £10.00.

HTC One V:

Release Date: April 5th.
Requirements: No data required, £6.00 to insure, 24-month contract with 50 minutes and 250 texts.
Price to insure: £6.00.

Sony Xperia P:

Release Date: April 23rd.
Requirements: £6.00 monthly data plan (presumably 500MB also), 24- month contract with 900 minutes and unlimited texts.
Price to insure: £7.50 to insure.

Sony Xperia U:

Release Date: April 23rd.
Requirements: No data required, £6.00 to insure, 24-month contract with 50 minutes and 250 texts.
Price to insure: £6.00 to insure.

So there you have it. Five great looking phones landing in one month. Are any of you O2 customers planning on getting one?


Google rethinking Wallet strategy, may share revenue with carriers

Google Wallet hasn’t had an easy start. Despite becoming the de facto standard for payment in the Android Market/Google Play Store, its adoption with consumers and retailers for NFC-based payments is effectively nil, with CitiBank and Mastercard being the only non-carrier infrastructure partners of note. The fact that the service has suffered multiple privacy scares and a short feature outage doesn’t help. So it’s no surprise when Bloomberg reports that Google’s top brass is reevaluating their strategy, with the possibility of adding a revenue share system for the carriers that support it.

If you want to get wireless carriers aboard, there’s really no better way to do it than offer them some cold hard cash. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are already part of the ISIS consortium, which aims to compete with Wallet directly and give the carriers a slice of the gigantic pie that is credit cart transactions. Visa, American Express, Discover and Mastercard (playing on both sides of the fence) are on board  already, and a national rollout is expected sometime this summer. With hardware, software and marketing coming from so many sources, it’s entirely possible that ISIS could corner the market for NFC payments in the United States.

Google hasn’t committed to a course of action yet, and even if they did, it’s unlikely that the carriers would support them. Verizon is just short of openly hostile towards the Google Wallet service, blocking its download for their customers along with T-Mobile. Only AT&T and The Now Network allow their users to download the Wallet app from the Google Play Store (without hacking) and even AT&T didn’t allow it initially. For Google’s NFC payment hopes, it may be too little and too late.

[via SlashGear]


SeeMeGaming is like FRAPS for Android – lets you record game footage

I’ve seen this question come up before and while there are a few decent solution for Android this new SDK take things one step further. That question is about FRAPS for Android. Users want to be able to see their frames per second, take screenshots, and record actual game footage on their Android devices. Meet SeeMeGaming from LunarG studios.

SeeMeGaming is a free SDK users can download and use to record and share in-game footage of gaming or apps for Android phones and tablets. With PC solutions like FRAPS it records entire gaming sessions and users can then choose what they want to keep, and delete the rest. With SeeMeGaming they make things even easier since we are on mobile devices after all.

You wont need root access and this will allow users to capture those hero moments during games, most useful in those multiplayer games where you want to share some epic headshot with fellow players. With SeeMeGaming the SDK will actually record the entire time you have it enabled, but throw away all the unused video to save space. Gamers wont have to anticipate when good moments will happen, or sort through entire game sessions to find the good stuff. One you make something special happen, get a kill streak going, or anything else you’d like to record you simply tap a button and it goes “back in time” and will capture 30, 60, or 90 seconds of video and save it to a file for you.

You wont need root access, and you wont have to tweak or edit video with a PC. Instead the short clip is instantly available on your Android phone or tablet and can then be played back, and easily shared to your favorite social site or YouTube. All the competitive or hardcore gamers will love this option to show off their l33t gaming skills. The SDK is available for game developers to integrate into their upcoming games, and users can download from the LunarG site linked to above. Hit the source for additional details if this is of any interest to you.

[via DroidGamers]


How to fast charge your Samsung Galaxy phone using any USB charger

samsung charging

If you’re like us, you probably check the battery status on your Samsung phone a dozen times a day, and breathe a sigh of relief when you see a green indicator instead of a red one. Consider it a quirk of living the modern life, where one depends on gadgets and gizmos that still run on, unfortunately, on non-nuclear batteries.

Things are even worse when your device comes with a proprietary charger. While you can still use some cheap, no-name charger, in many cases, devices are designed to only work optimally with original accessories. Thus, what usually takes 2-3 hours with a proprietary charger can easily extend to many hours of frustrating wait, if you, for some reason, don’t have the original accessory.

Let’s stop dwelling on the problem and start focusing on the solution, shall we? If you don’t want to invest in a pricey Samsung charger to use as a spare, a developer at XDA has come up with a workaround that requires just a little bit of DIY. Getting those generic USB wall chargers to work on Samsung Galaxy phones won’t be a problem anymore. A solution has been found to trick your device into accepting no-name chargers. Here’s what Trusselo, the developer behind the workaround, has to say, in his own words:

“The theory behind it is with samsung galaxy phones and “official chargers”: if the middle 2 data pins on the usb, while getting 5v to the outer 2 pins it tells the phone that it is an *official samsung* charger and enables full speed charging.”

Basically, when you use a non-Samsung charger, the phone will only get around 350mA of power instead of the full rate. By bending the two middle pins, this will trick your Samsung phone into believing that you’re using an official charger, thus, kicking into fast-charge mode, which happens at about 800 – 1000mA.

Do note that there are risks involved in following the procedure. One, you may end up with a damaged charger. Two, you’ll risk frying your Samsung device. Of course, it’s highly recommended to go to the original thread at XDA to get the full low down of the method, as well as some nice pictures. Remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry, so don’t do anything that you are not really comfortable with.


This article, How to fast charge your Samsung Galaxy phone using any USB charger , was originally published at AndroidAuthority.com - Your Android News Source.


Toshiba AT330 prototype is 13 inches of Ice Cream Sandwich

“Ich will die große, bitte.” That’s “I want the big one, please,” in German, and it’s something you might want to learn to say if you like the looks of Toshiba’s massive new tablet. The 13.3-inch AT330 is a solid 30% bigger than any mainstream tablet on the market. Yet another Toshiba prototype, it’s also running Ice Cream Sandwich with a built-in TV tuner with collapsible antenna. For some reason, Toshiba thought that Germany would preferable to, say, Texas for introducing this beast to a hungry public, and TechFokus got a good look at it at on video.

In addition to its size, software and media prowess, it’s also running an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, matching the one found in the earlier 7.7-inch prototype. Unlike that model and the currently on-sale Excite AT200, the AT 330 employs what looks like a more contemporary plastic body accented with metal. The extra space allows the gigantic tablet to accommodate 32GB of storage and a full-sized SD card slot (not MicroSD). It’s also got HDMI-out, plud a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing cam. There’s no word on what kind of resolution it’s got, but based on the video, it looks like a 1920×1200 LCD panel.

Check it out in action below:

Toshiba says the AT330 is just a prototype for now, and considering the size it’s hard to blame them. Of course there’s nothing about a 13.3-inch screen that’s inherintly wrong, it’s just that up to now it’s always been in a laptop form factor that’s meant to rest on something else. Holding a 10-inch tablet can be tiring after a while (hence the multitude of stands out there) so it’s hard to imagine how doing the same would be for something even bigger. Probably a lot like a slightly lighter version of the old tablet PCs, one would think. What say you, readers – what’s the upper limit for you?

[via 9to5 Google]