Last Friday we reported on an image of an Amazon-branded gaming controller, which many believed was designed to work with a long-rumored Amazon gaming/video set-top box. Now another rumor has popped up giving us a few more details on what to expect from such a set-top box.
According to a new report from TechCrunch, Amazon’s streaming device will actually be less of a box and more of a dongle or HDMI stick, like Google’s Chromecast – at least if the “multiple sources familiar with the device” prove correct. Aside from providing an easy-to-plug in dongle form factor, at least one of the sources suggests the Amazon device could also support streaming of full PC games.
The idea is that the Amazon streamer (and perhaps even Kindle tablets) could offer support for PC games and other graphics-intensive game formats by using streaming technology in a similar way to services like OnLive. In other words, the games would be maintained on remote servers as opposed to the local PC streaming that is offered by Nvidia’s Shield.
Could this work for Amazon?
While services like OnLive have struggled to make a dent in the gaming market, Amazon may be better positioned for such a move. For one thing, Amazon already has a massive server infrastructure that could easily handle the extra stress load that comes with cloud gaming. For another, Amazon could bundle the service into existing Amazon offerings like Amazon Prime in order to drive interest in the service.
While services like OnLive have struggled to make a dent in the PC streaming market, Amazon may be better positioned for such a move
It’s also worth noting that next-gen game consoles like the PS3 are starting to offer cloud streaming capabilities, so the time might simply be right for such a move. So how likely is the idea of an Amazon cloud gaming service? Considering the existence of an Amazon game controller and the company’s recent purchase of Double Helix (the developer’s of Xbox One’s Killer Instinct), it’s certainly possible.
If Amazon’s cloud gaming service could work with all Kindle Fire devices, an Amazon streaming device and partnering products (think select BluRay players, Roku, etc), such a service could potentially do very well. This is especially true if Amazon could provide at least a few “exclusive AAA titles” that you can’t get on PC or a console, something that OnLive has never be able to offer.
For now, we’d take the rumor of an Amazon cloud gaming service and an Amazon set-top box/dongle with a grain of salt, though anything is possible. What do you think, would you be interested in an Amazon cloud gaming service? If the rumor does prove true, can Amazon find success where other companies have struggled?
The unique button layout at the rear of the current crop of LG smartphones has a lot of advantages, allowing for a clean front design, and for some, a convenient and easier way to access the power button and volume rocker. First introduced with the LG G2, and now a feature of the G Pro 2 as well, the only issue with this positioning is that it’s obviously impossible to access the buttons while the smartphone is kept face up on a surface, requiring you to pick up the device every time you want to unlock it.
To circumvent this issue, LG introduced a software feature called Knock On with the LG G2, which allowed you to double tap the screen to wake the device, and has now expanded and improved on this with the LG G Pro 2 (and the LG G2 Mini). Here’s a closer look at Knock Code!
To set up Knock Code, you need to go into Lock Screen options in the Settings menu. Opening up the set up page gives you a short explanation on what Knock Code. Basically, instead of a double tap to wake the device, Knock Code allows you to input a unique pattern in a four square grid to not only wakes the phone, but unlocks it.
Going over to the next screen, you’ll find the grid where you can input your Knock Code. Number of taps can range between two and eight, and you can select which way the pattern will go. You will have to re-enter this pattern to confirm your selection. The next page shows you the area where the grid is, and then asks you to set up a back PIN in case you forget your code. Confirming this PIN is the final step before you’re all set.
All you need to do is envision a 2 x 2 grid on the screen, tap in your selected Knock Code, and you’ll be taken directly to your home screen, saving the extra step of unlocking it while using Knock On. It’s really nice and easy to use, and there are numerous patterns you can choose.
So there you have it, a look at the Knock Code feature with the LG G Pro 2. With the different button positions on this device, such a feature is definitely a necessity, and it’s great to see LG working to improve the functionality with every iteration.
Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro is a [#protected_0#] app brings your photos to life. Basically you take a short video, import it, mask off the parts you want to keep moving, and Cinemagraph Pro will make a seamless video loop out of it. It’s the kind of stuff you see in fancy online ads, behind feature story headings, and all sorts of other high-end stuff. And it’s expensive. Only not right now. After being featured in the Mac App Store Flixel is dropping the price of Cinemagraph Pro by 92.5% — from 0 to .
Yeah, it absolutely sucks if you bought Cinemagraph Pro before the discount. But if you didn’t, and you even think you might one day have a use for a tool like this, buy it now.
The new Samsung Galaxy S5 isn’t only about hardware, Samsung has also tweaked the Touchwiz interface, it may not have all the changes that some users have been asking for, but there are some nice additions.
One of the most obvious changes to the launcher is the inclusion of Samsung’s My Magazine. It is accessed in a similar way to Google Now on Nexus devices by swiping to the left from the home screen. My Magazine brings together all your news and social media updates into one easy-to-read place. Just like on the Galaxy Note 3 you can add your social media accounts to My Magazine along with news from a curated list of sources.
The icons in the quick settings and toggles are now round and this new move to circular icons is also reflected in the new settings app. The settings page has been changed quite radically and is now just a long list of settings options. However each section in the settings can be collapsed by pressing the small arrow on the section title. This new design is quite different to the tabbed approach that Samsung used on the Galaxy S4 (and other Galaxy devices). There is also a new section in the settings called “Motions and gestures” and this is where features like Air Gestures (aka Air Browse) can be configured.
As for the soft buttons that straddle the home key, Samsung has removed the menu button and replaced it with a recent app button. So to the left of the home key is now recent apps and to the right the back button. Recent apps acts very much like it does on other Android devices and shows a list of apps which you can switch to by tapping on them or you can close by swiping them away. Once in recent apps you have the option to swipe away all the apps along with a icon for the active apps manager.
The fingerprint scanner can be configured under the Personalization section in the settings. Here you can register your fingerprint by swiping your finger several times over the reader. Once your fingerprint has been stored you can configure the S5 to only unlock using your finger. Unfortunately you can’t wake and unlock the phone by swiping your finger, you must first wake it, by pressing the power key, and then swipe your finger to unlock it.
Overall the Touchwiz interface on the Galaxy S5 will be familiar to those who have used other Samsung Galaxy devices, but it has been tweaked to make use of the new hardware, like the fingerprint reader.
Going back as far as September, we’ve heard rumors that Samsung is preparing a premium handset under the name “Project F”, with a planned release for sometime in the first half of 2014. Now ET News is reporting that the handset may launch alongside the Galaxy S5, under the name Galaxy F.
Reportedly the Galaxy F’s metallic prototype was originally developed in Europe but was later moved to Vietnam for mass production. Although the report doesn’t dive in too deeply about what to expect from the handset, it does mention that the device will feature a metal body.
There are folks that truly enjoy the (plastic) design language of the S series, and yet there are others that want a metal design — the Galaxy F could be Samsung’s way of pleasing both crowds.
Based on past rumors and speculation, it’s also possible that the handset will feature a QHD display (2560 x 1600) and other premium components that set it in a league higher than the Galaxy S series. Keep in mind that Samsung has yet to confirm any of this however, and so you should take the entire rumor with a hefty chunk of salt.
The big question is whether we even need another Samsung product line. The Korean giant already has tons of Galaxy S and Galaxy Note devices and variants, not to mention its many other low-end and mid-range lines. Consumer choice is a good thing, but too many choices could led to consumer confusion.
On the other hand, there are folks that truly enjoy the (plastic) design language of the S series, and yet there are others that want a metal design — this could be Samsung’s way of pleasing both crowds. What do you think, would you like to see a new ultra-premium line of Samsung handsets or are you perfectly happy with Samsung’s existing Galaxy S and Galaxy Note flagship lines?
Palo Alto, California – Tipitap announced today the launch of Slides & Ladders’. The iOS exclusive release is Tipitap’s take on the classic and favorite family board game, but with a few twists. The universal app, optimized for iOS 7, works with Apple TV making it possible for families to play on their big screen TVs as they pass around the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to take turns.
Slides & Ladders’ delivers a wonderful family time’ experience, bringing families together over a fun game that everyone can enjoy. If an Apple TV is not available, the game can be played on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Nothing says quality time’ for families like playing a board game together. Slides & Ladders’ is the evolution of board games: ultraportable, no set up, and can be played on a big screen in the living room, rather than have everyone huddled around a small device. explains Tipitap’s coCEO, Rodrigo Benadon.
The multiplayer board game was designed for young kids, but is fun for the entire family. The board can be explored by dragging and zooming in. It supports up to 4 players with the ability to choose app-controlled players as well. Slides & Ladders’ has 3 difficulty levels to manage how long the game may take to complete.
Martin de Santos, Tipitap’s co-CEO explains, It’s very common to see each kid in a family playing separately on their own digital device. At Tipitap we want to bring families closer together. Slides & Ladders’ is a board game the whole family can play Together as a family and enjoy.
The age-appropriate game is easy to set-up and play. Land on a ladder to climb up and get closer to the finish line. But, land on a slide and fall down a few places. The first one to the top wins the game.
Tipitap is well known for their award-winning and featured products including: Drawing Together!, Color & Draw for kids (Best of iTunes Rewind 2011, Children Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award, Creative Play Magazine Best App 2012), Booksy: a learning to read platform (reached #2 in iPad education, recommended by Apple in Reading category) and HappiTaps.
* iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
* Requires iOS 6.0 or later
* Universal Application
* 48.9 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Slides & Ladders 1.0 is .99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.
Tipitap seeks to reinvent traditional children activities, games and toys for a touchscreen world. Their award-winning products unleash the potential of the new technologies on touchscreen devices, weaving together family fun with educational concepts. The result is effective, enriching and fun learning experiences. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2013 Tipitap Inc. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.
Spotify brought its new playlist browsing feature – known simply as Browse – to the iPhone a little while ago, and now finally, the same can be said for the the iPad. Browse now replaces What’s New in the app’s sidebar, and isn’t all that’s new with this latest update:
New: Browse is now on iPad as well as iPhone (replacing What’s New). Find a playlist for everything. Music to eat tacos to, >anyone? New: Follow friends and artists to see their playlists and releases (soon available to all iPhone users). New: The secret/public toggle for playlists is now on iPhone as well as iPad. Improved: Smarter, more responsive searching (soon available to all iPhone users). Improved: A simpler, more streamlined sign up and login for iPhone and iPad. Improved: A shiny new look for playlists (soon available to all iPhone users). Fixed: A pesky bug when sharing to Twitter/email/SMS from iPhone. Fictitious: This app will increase your good karma.
Plenty of newness for iPad Spotify listeners to get their ears around, and you can snag the latest update at the App Store link below. A premium subscription is required to use the Spotify mobile applications.
Ever wanted to have that hands-free experience of activating Google Search with your voice but are currently confined to working on your computer? Google has you in mind when it made this Google Voice Search Hotword extension for the Chrome web browser which brings the now iconic “OK, Google” phrase to desktops and laptops.
Simply install the extension, which you can download from the link below, and you’re good to go. Of course, you’ll need to have a mic installed on your system, but a lot of laptops come with those nowadays. This will allow you to then simply use voice commands not only for searches but also for things like setting reminders and calendar events, doing unit conversions, and more. You can always type in these search terms or commands yourself, but speaking out commands to your computer is much more convenient and cooler, at least if you’re not in a situation that would make it awkward.
The extension is currently in beta and is definitely far from perfect. It does have some limitations, aside from being unsurprisingly exclusive to Google’s web browser. The hotword only works when you have a Google search tab open in Chrome and when Chrome is the currently active window in the foreground. Thus, the feature doesn’t work when you’re doing something else, but it shouldn’t be much of an issue for people who work and live inside the browser, which is perhaps Google’s primary target anyway.
This Chrome extension is definitely no Motorola Moto X or Open Mic+ Android app. But when you’re stuck with using a computer and need a quick and easy way to start a search, then this Google feature might just do it in a pinch.
Looking for something a bit more flexible than the current-gen Round or G Flex? You might want to turn your attention towards the rumored LG G Flex 2. That’s right, we are already hearing the first reports about the G Flex’s successor, which the Korean media claims may be officially announced sometime in the second half of 2014.
The so-called G Flex 2 will take the Flex’s bendability to new heights with a special hard rubber chassis that will reportedly be able to flex up to 90 degrees. While the media doesn’t specifically make mention of it, it seems likely that the device will also feature other flexible components such as a flexible battery.
Not much else is revealed about the G Flex 2, and of course LG has yet to officially confirm the device.
So how likely is this rumor? It’s hard to say. While the G Flex is still very new and hard to find outside of South Korea, it’s possible that LG wants to get a jump on Samsung and their rumored next-gen handset with wrap-around display. Until we learn more concrete details, speculation is certainly advised.
What do you think of flexible smartphones — truly useful or more of a gimmick than anything?
When we first caught wind of the Nvidia Shield, we couldn’t help but be intrigued. A dedicated Android gaming handheld with high-end specs, a quality built-in controller and the ability to stream PC games? It sounded like a hardcore mobile gamer’s dream come true. Unfortunately, the Shield’s launch wasn’t exactly a smooth one, with the product’s June release being pushed back to July due to last minute component issues.
Fast-forwarding to today, the Shield has now been on the market for around three months, and while not a run away success, the Shield isn’t without its loyal fans. The Shield was something radical and new for Nvidia when it first arrived, and in many ways was an experiment. For fans of the Nvidia Shield, don’t worry – the Shield will have a sequel device. In fact, the next-gen Shield might be here sooner than you think.
In an interview with Engadget, Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was asked several questions about Nvidia’s plans for mobile, for streaming and for the Shield. According to Huang’s closing comments, Nvidia is dedicated to the Shield and plans to roll out a new model every time a new Tegra chip becomes available.
Even more exciting, Huang states that it would “bring him great joy” to see the Shield 2 arrive as one of the first products to showcase the upcoming Project Logan (Tegra 5?) CPU next year.
Nvidia claims that the new Tegra chip will have “all the architectural sophistication you see in a PC.” Huang even noted that the chip is essentially based on the architecture found in the successful GeForce Titan GPU.
In other words, Nvidia Shield 2 could prove to be an absolute beast when it arrives.
As for when we might see the Shield 2 and the next-gen Tegra CPU? Nvidia is talking specifics just yet, but we can certainly speculate. Judging by this year’s Tegra 4 and Shield unveiling, we wouldn’t be surprised to see both the new Shield and the new Tegra chip make their big debut at CES in January 2014.
What do you think of the first-gen Shield, excited to see a new more powerful version or not?