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Spanish eZine Revista Don Uses Aquafadas to Create Interactive World

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Android phone and tablet manufacturers keen to embrace 64-bit, says ARM

 

64-bit is a term that you’ll probably be hearing a lot more about in the mobile space over the next year or two. ARM’s new V8 architecture and chips are scheduled to appear [Cortex], Intel has been working on [ARM's 64-bit], and, of course, there’s Apple’s overemphasis on its own move to [Cortex] too. Speaking with CNET, ARM’s Tom Lantzsch has suggested that Android could be in for the 64-bit treatment sooner than the company expected, with phone and tablet manufacturers rushing to embrace 64-bit designs.

ARM says that the move over to 64-bit devices is taking place faster than it originally thought, one of the major driving factors being that 32-[ARM's 64-bit] runs faster on ARM’s newest 64-bit chips. Now, this does not necessarily have anything to do with 64-bit per se, ARMv8 chips, such as the new Cortex A53 mobile CPU, are expected to boost performance overall. Anyway, ARM originally expected much of the early demand to come from corporate servers and the like, interest from the mobile industry appeared to catch the chip designer’s executives off guard.

“Certainly, we’ve had big uptick in demand for mobile 64-bit products. We’ve seen this with our [Cortex] A53, a high-performance 64-bit mobile processor,” Tom Lantzsch

However, we’re still waiting on confirmation of a 64-bit OS and software before smartphones can really take advantage of 64-bit’s actual benefits. Lantzsch could not comment as to when a 64-bit version of Android would be released, but he expects that 64-bit capable phones will arrive before the end of the year. However, that’s not much of a radical premonition, we’re already expecting both [Cortex]to have their own 64-bit SoCs for Android available well before then anyway.

“Even existing 32-bit code will run more efficiently on [ARM's 64-bit] v8-A architecture than on native 32-bit ARM architecture. The architecture itself allows for more efficiency in the code. So, that means better battery life, quicker responsiveness, better features,”

Whilst it may appear that Android will be stuck waiting for full 64-bit support for a while longer, hardware has to make the first leap, with software developers to follow. If ARM is experiencing strong demand for 64-bit designs already, the pressure will surely be mounting on Google to make sure that its operating system can keep the pace.

[ARM's 64-bit]

Chocolate Lab Apps Launches Kids App Business Tech Scholarship Program

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime rumors resurface in lieu of LG G3 expectations

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Farmville 2 for Android review


Farmville has always been a massive success. It was one of the original Facebook games that took the world by storm and has earned millions upon millions of fans as well as detractors. Farmville 2 came and only helped bolster the aging franchise. Now, we have Farmville 2 for Android. How does it stack up against current Android games and how does it stack up against the desktop version? In this review, we’ll find out. If you’d rather watch than read, the video is posted above.


Farmville 2 for Android

If you’ve played Farmville before, this will all seem familiar.

Game play

If you’ve played Farmville before there is going to be very little about this game that you don’t already know. The basic game play elements remain pretty much the same. You plant crops, feed animals, build things, craft and sell items, expand your farm, complete missions, and all that jazz just like you would on the desktop variant of Farmville 2. There are a few things that you can do that you can’t do in the desktop version, like foraging for items, but even those things follow a familiar pattern in mechanics.

There are a few differences. You cannot set down plots of dirt and plant whatever you want. Now each plot of dirt can only grow one kind of crop at a time and you must build various plots in order to get various crops. That may seem restrictive but Zynga makes up for it by removing other restrictions. Insofar as I can tell, water appears to be infinite and you no longer need energy to craft items.

The game connects to both Facebook and Google+ and it also has Google Play Games achievements if you’re into using those. It features the similar mechanic of asking friends for various items in-game so make sure you know someone else who is playing, otherwise some of the missions will start to get really hard to complete. There are also in-app purchases that can get you coins, keys, and speed grow stuff should you want those but you can get along just fine without them.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this game is the connectivity. You can connect this new farm of yours to your existing Farmville 2 account on Facebook if you have one. It’s a little bit of a pain to get it connected sometimes but once you do, you can ship items between farms and that was actually kinda cool.

One fun thing I did was ship water to my desktop farm because water is severely limited there. You can only ship from farm to farm a couple of times a day so if you do intend on enjoying this game play mechanic, make sure you take full advantage. Otherwise you’ll have to wait hours for your next delivery.


Farmville 2 for Android

The graphics are crisp and clean. The controls are easy and organized.

Design

The design is nothing special for an Android title but it isn’t bad either. It’s essentially the same graphics as the desktop variant but they are sharp and colorful which is a plus. The screen is laid out in a manner that is easy to understand and getting to the various parts of the game isn’t difficult or confusing at all which is also a big plus.

Like all Farmville games, the longer you play the more cramped your farm gets and even after just a few hours I found myself re-arranging items on my farm so I didn’t accidentally click the wrong thing. I suppose that’s unavoidable after a point and thus will be something everyone has to deal with eventually.

Overall, the design is fairly good. The controls are designed in a manner that makes sense and the interface is easy to move around. You can’t really ask for much more than that.


Farmville 2 for Android

Water is infinite. Really.

The good

Okay so here’s what we liked.

  • The ability to ship to your desktop farm is awesome. Especially since the mobile app gives you unlimited water and things that usually take hours to make, like flour, can be accomplished fairly quickly on the mobile game. People who play both versions will definitely find this feature extremely useful. Oh, and you can ship items from the desktop version to the mobile version too, so it does work both ways.
  • The mechanics and controls are simple to understand and easy to use. Things do pretty much what you expect them to do and work how you expect them to work.
  • The graphics are sharp and colorful. One of the hallmarks of the Farmville series is having a game that’s fun to look at and the mobile version is no exception.
  • It has Google Play Games services, cloud saving, and social media connectivity with Facebook and Google+. These are all good things.
  • Lastly, it doesn’t have the restrictions that other games in this category have. You’re not bottlenecked by energy or water. I played this game for several hours without being required to stop. There are in app purchases but if you use your resources wisely they’re almost entirely unnecessary.

The bad

And here’s the bad.

  • You probably should have all your other apps closed out before playing this game. I had a bunch of apps running in the background before attempting my first time and it kind of lagged a little bit on my Note 3. I can see people who multitask heavily having performance issues and people who have older phones may also have performance issues.
  • This is a Farmville game and, thus, uses the same Farmville mechanics. This means there will come a point where you realize that all you’re really doing is watering plants, harvesting plants, making things out of plants, etc. The repetitive nature of the title is definitely one of its biggest weaknesses.
  • You will need to have friends on Facebook to unlock the full potential of this game. Like all Farmville games, Zynga really promotes the social gaming aspect of their titles and if you don’t use Facebook or have Facebook friends who play, you may end up getting stuck at some parts of the game. You can buy your way passed them using items provided in game or buy your way passed them using real money and I feel like people are not going to like that second option.

Farmville 2 for Android

Final thoughts

Overall, I was surprisingly impressed with Farmville 2. The mechanics are friendly and familiar, if a bit repetitive but frankly if you are interested in this game you know that already. The integration with the desktop variant brings an element of uniqueness that you simply don’t see in similar titles and I liked that a whole bunch.

That said, if you don’t have friends who play this game and you don’t play the desktop variant, the mobile game will feel a little lacking. Farmville 2 on mobile is supposed to be played with Farmville 2 on desktop and with other people who play both games.

So if you fall into that category, you should enjoy this game quite a bit because it complements the experience you’re already having. If you don’t, you may still enjoy this game but not as much and for not as long. If you didn’t like Farmville before watching this video, you’re not going to like it now and you probably shouldn’t play it at all. In any case, it is free to play so there’s no harm in at least trying it out for yourself. If you’re interested, click the button below to get started!
Get it on Google Play

Android Authority

Build the Ultimate Town with TownCraft – Available Now for iPhone

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What every phone maker could learn from OnePlus

So, the OnePlus One is out, and yes, you will need an invitation to buy one. Some have voiced their concerns about this novel method of purchase, while others have been outright in sounding their disappointment.

However, what amazed me the most is how many people are willing to whip out their credit cards and buy a phone they’ve never seen before, made by a Chinese company that’s barely five months old. Sure, there are some vocal naysayers, but it’s clear they are actually a minority, and the OnePlus One launch has been, all things considered, a success.

oneplus one vs oppo find 7 aa (10 of 15)

How could this be? OnePlus doesn’t have a single commercial on television, nor any printed ads, not even banners on the websites that we enthusiasts frequent. Yet most self-respecting Android fans have probably been familiar with the One for months!

From  the battery capacity, to the 5.5-inch 1080p display, to the processor and the amount of RAM, we’ve been familiar with the OnePlus One’s main features long before the product was even close to launch. That’s in stark contrast with the secrecy that surrounds most other smartphone releases.

By slowly lifting the veil on the One, OnePlus created genuine buzz, in blog posts, in comments, in forums, on Reddit and on every other channel where phone enthusiasts congregate.

oneplus one aa hands on (31 of 33)

Managing to build this much hype around a product that came out of nowhere — while spending next to nothing — is commendable in itself. But OnePlus’s clever and unconventional approach does not end with drip-feeding information to potential consumers.

OnePlus also used the two-way nature of internet channels like forums and blogs to gather input from fans and gain insights into what the enthusiasts actually want from their smartphones. By doing so, the startup fostered a sense of belonging among their fans that could, in theory, turn them into ambassadors of their products in the future. Because if we felt we contributed to building something that we are proud of, we would be compelled to share it with the world, right?

While big name companies are spending millions in their endorsement programs, One Plus One has potentially recruited thousands of brand evangelists from all across the globe, for free. How smart is that?

OnePlus team

From the interview they gave to Android Authority a few weeks back, we learned that One Plus is not planning to generate profits out of their devices. In fact, Carl Pei, director of One Plus Global, said that the company is not planning to make any profit at all in the first two years.

One Plus is not planning to generate profits out of their devices

In order to do that, it’s imperative for One Plus to keep costs down. The company is planning to do this by selling its products solely through e-commerce, in effect cutting out the middlemen and the overheads of normal distribution channels.

Another way to minimize overhead is clever inventory management, which is usually a bane in any hardware startup’s existence. Make too few units, and a lot of people may potentially go upset over how hard it is to get the product they wanted. Make too many and you could expose your nascent company to huge risks. Indeed, One Plus’ execs admitted this in their Reddit AMA, saying that “a miscalculation here (inventory) could kill us.”

oneplus one vs oppo find 7 aa (7 of 15)

Yet OnePlus’ mastery of unconventional, two-way internet channels has allowed it to turn this potential stumbling block to their advantage.

On the surface, it might seem that the invite system will only serve to make it harder for interested buyers to get the One. However, the invite model will allow OnePlus to not only gauge demand accurately (and thus avoid the risk of sinking money into unsold inventory), but will also create a sense of scarcity that could make the One even more desirable.

So, here we have a new company that’s looking to disrupt the smartphone market.

The plan is simple:

  • Avoid competing with the rich kids in marketing spending.
  • Instead, offer a product that’s built (at least partially) with the feedback of a budding community of enthusiasts.
  • Build up buzz for the phone through affordable, unconventional channels.
  • Sell it at a cut-throat price, made possible by doing away with conventional marketing and sales methods.

Will such a left field strategy have any chance to succeed though? Luckily we only need to shift our focus slightly further to the east to get an answer to that.

oneplus one aa hands on (32 of 33)

there is the proof that these unconventional business and marketing models could succeed in challenging the big players

In China, there is another startup that also started life making smartphones tailored to run a popular custom ROM. It’s Xiaomi, which has been doing what One Plus is currently doing for the past three years. The results? According to TrendForce, Xiaomi is currently the 7th biggest smartphone brand in the world, in control of four percent of the world’s smartphone market. That is the same as Sony’s, but Xiaomi is currently only operating in three markets outside China.

So there is the proof that these unconventional business and marketing models could succeed in challenging the big players. The biggest difference is Xiaomi started by catering to the Chinese market first, and then proceeded to slowly expand outwards. OnePlus is aiming for the global market from the get go.

The following months will show us if OnePlus is truly able to replicate Xiaomi’s local success on a global scale. One thing’s for sure though – companies looking to upset the balance of the mobile battleground can learn a thing or two from OnePlus’ fresh approach on sales and marketing.

Android Authority

Huawei relies on word of mouth to beat rivals in Europe

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Oh look, the Galaxy K (S5 Zoom) actually looks like a phone

samsung galaxy K (s5 zoom (2)

The alleged Galaxy K

Remember the Galaxy S4 Zoom? The smartphone/camera hybrid landed last year with a… well, without a bang. Customers weren’t really swayed by the rather curious device, which combined a Galaxy S4 with a 10X optical zoom telescopic lens. But Samsung isn’t ready to give up on the concept just yet and will reportedly unveil its successor in less than a week, under the Galaxy K brand.

We already learned many of the Galaxy K’s specifications, but now we have two leaked shots suggesting that the device will actually lean more towards a smartphone, rather than a point and shoot camera, at least when it comes to its thickness.

The Galaxy S4 Zoom of last year was not only bulkier overall, but it also featured a protruding section that made it easy to handle, but also added a lot of girth to its profile.

samsung galaxy s4 zoom aa design tripod plug and microsd

The 2013 Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Now Samsung appears to have opted for a pebble-like shape for the device, with only the area around the lens (which itself appears to be smaller than on the first gen) protruding. And, while the first leaked image of the Galaxy K showed a Note 3-like texture, from these pics we can tell that the final product will adopt the dimpled finish found on the Galaxy S5.

samsung galaxy K (s5 zoom (1)

The alleged Galaxy K

To recap, rumored specs for the Galaxy K include:

  • 20.2MP sensor
  • 10X optical zoom
  • 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display, 720 x 1280 resolution
  • Samsung Exynos 5 hexa-core, Mali-T624 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 2MP front facing camera
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Samsung will introduce the Galaxy K on April 29 at an event in Singapore, and that’s when we’ll find out just how much better the device will be compared to its predecessor. Fingers crossed!

Android Authority

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SnapShape hits the App Store; Photo and Video has a new unique App

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