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Month: June 2012

HTC’s Windows Phone Plans Revealed – A One Series By Another Name

HTC’s Windows Phone Plans Revealed – A One Series By Another Name

 

After the Windows Phone 8 announcement, HTC seems to be the talk of the town with rumours of its 2012 line up.  The specs will not wow any current Android user but if these rumours are true HTC is making great strides in the hardware game, from a Windows Phone perspective.

The strategy is identical to HTC’s One line, hence the title.  An entry level device, a mid-range device, and a high-end device.  The names, obviously, are not final and are  the Rio, Accord, and Zenith – in ascending order.

Rio

The low end of the bunch, the Rio has specs that are comparable to any current Windows Phone device on the market. The display’s pegged to be of WVGA resolution and at 4″, with technology yet to be revealed. A 5MP camera can be found round the back, capable of 720p video capture, and a Qualcomm MSM8227 processor coupled with 512MB of RAM powers the device.  In terms of network, maximum speeds on 3G are 14.4Mbps HSPA, though I wouldn’t put it past AT&T or T-Mobile to release an LTE version in the US.

Accord

The Accord seems to be the mid-range device of the bunch with a standout 720p screen at 4.3″, giving it immense clarity and making it not only a rarity in the smartphone world but also an envy of Android users that lust after this screen size but have to make do with antiquated software (looking at you, Sony) or qHD resolution with PenTile.   Screen technology’s supposed to be SuperLCD 2, the same tech in the HTC One X, and it’s listed as having 1GB of RAM coupled with a dual core processor, NFC, 1080p video and HSPA+ radios.  Here’s to hoping the camera’s at 8MP or greater, eh?

Zenith

If the Accord is Windows Phone’s One S, then the Zenith has got to be its One X.  The screen’s an identical 4.7″ SuperLCD 2 unit with 720p resolution.  The camera’s likely to be the same too as it’s rumoured to be an 8MP unit with 1080p video recording.  Where it trumps the One X, however, is in terms of CPU.  The current dual core Krait rivals the Tegra 3 in many benchmarks, and the Zenith is rumoured to have the quad core Krait version. Wow.

 

All I can say is, wow.  Microsoft’s relaunching Windows Phone with a bang, and I can’t wait for Christmas ’12!

My XBOX Live App Released For Android

My XBOX Live App Released For Android

That’s right folks, Microsoft’s finally released an official Xbox companion app to the Google Play Store. It’s called My Xbox Live, and works well, for the most part.

The feature list is brief and concise:

  • Spotlight:  A pane dedicated to upcoming Xbox titles, announcements, and offers.
  • Social:  Here, one can see his avatar, Live status (Gold or Silver), Gamerscore, and a small messaging indicator.  From this pane, one can access his or her friend list to see who’s online and not, messages, and beacons.
  • The ability to send messages to Xbox Live friends, online or not
  • The ability of view beacons set by yourself or your friends
  • An option to edit your Xbox Live profile and privacy settings
  • Access to the user’s avatar, with the option to change outfits and style
  • See the games listed on your Xbox Live profile, their Gamerscore, and their achievements.

Navigation is nice and smooth, but I’ll reserve judgement till I’ve had the opportunity to use it more often.  While handy, the app is far from perfect, as you’ll read in my upcoming review.

Still, if you have an Xbox, it’s a sweet companion app to have.  Get it from the market here.

Black Mesa, the Half-Life remake, is still alive, brings some new gorgeous screens to prove it

Black Mesa, the Half-Life remake, is still alive, brings some new gorgeous screens to prove it

Remember Half-Life? You know, the very first game?  I don’t, I was four years old at the time.  However, many seasoned gamers out there DO remember it, and some took it upon themselves to bring that very first game back to the limelight.  Black Mesa, as the group and game is now called, consists of around 40 volunteer level designers, programmers, modelers, texture artists, animators, sound engineers, voice actors, and support staff putting an immense amount of work into not only remaking the game using the Source game engine, but also make modifications to take full advantage of Source.  Read on past the break for screenshots and more.

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Android Reaches 900,000 activations a day, Andy Rubin Staying Put

Android Reaches 900,000 activations a day, Andy Rubin Staying Put

Here’s something nice to start your week with: Andy Rubin declared in a tweet that Android activations reached 900,000 a day.

What does this mean exactly?  First off, we need to distinguish between “proper” Android devices, and knock-offs running Android.  For a device activation to count, it needs access to Google’s Apps and the Play Store.  Secondly, each device is only tallied once.  If you were to root your phone and flash a new ROM onto it every day, that won’t count.

As with any rapidly expanding system the rate of growth has started to slow.  There has only been a 50,000 increase in the rate of device activations since February, where at MWC 2012 Rubin said that the rate of activations was at 850,000 per day.  To all you nay-sayers, this isn’t a sign of Android’s weakness.  Such a decrease is to be expected from a maturing system.

In that same tweet Andy Rubin took the time to kill a rumour that he was leaving Google for a  startup called CloudCar.  To be brief, he isn’t going anywhere.  Android’s his baby, and him leaving would definitely cast a pallor on Google I/O 2012.