Author Archives: Prasad
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Facebook brings Cover Feed to Android app, makes Facebook Home seem even more pointless

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Facebook has released a new update for their Android app, which brings one of the key features of the ill-fated Facebook Home app. Now, through an option in the settings menu, you can enable the Cover Feed feature on your Android device, without having to install Facebook Home app.

If you are not aware, Cover Feed takes over the lockscreen on your Android device with a custom lockscreen that plays a slideshow of your friends’ Facebook photos in the background underneath the unlock button. While it sounds great in theory, actually having all your friends’ photos appear on your lockscreen isn’t such a great idea as most of the time the photos aren’t as good as you’d like them to be (not with my friends, at least). Read more »

Developer offered payment to astroturf for Samsung on Stack Overflow

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Samsung has once again managed to get itself caught in a bit of astroturfing related controversy. The last time, it was found that Samsung had paid some students to trashtalk HTC online. This time, a PR agency representing Samsung tried to pay a developer to astroturf on behalf of Samsung.

The developer in question, Delyan Kratunov, received an email from a John Yoon working for the company Fllu. Yoon’s request was that Kratunov help promote the Samsung Smart App Challenge for a payment but what was required for Kratunov to do wasn’t exactly ethical. Read more »

Shadowgun: Deadzone arrives on PC and Facebook

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Madfinger Games, developers of popular mobile games such as Shadowgun and Dead Trigger, have released a PC port of their Shadowgun: Deadzone game, as well as a Facebook version.

The PC works like any other Windows game. You download the installer, run it, create an account or log into an existing one and you are ready to play the game, except this time on a large high resolution monitor with a keyboard and mouse. The latter especially makes a big difference and makes shooting down enemies a lot easier. It also gives you almost an unfair advantage over other players, most of whom are playing on iOS and Android devices. Read more »

Amazon adds ability to search and purchase books from iOS Kindle app, sort of

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If you have used the Amazon Kindle app on iOS, you’d have noticed that there is no way to actually search and purchase books from within the app itself and you would have to do that from Amazon’s website whereas the same is completely possible from Apple’s own iBookstore.

Apple charges 30 percent of in-app purchases for all the apps on the App Store, an amount Amazon would have to pay if they enabled purchasing Kindle books through their app. This is something they wanted to avoid, which is why there was no option to purchase books in the iOS app. That is until now, in a way. Read more »

Microsoft updates SkyDrive website with new photo viewing and sharing features

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Microsoft has updated the web version of the SkyDrive service with several useful new features. First of all, the site now has support for high DPI displays, such as the Retina display, which means it will now show high DPI versions of images you have uploaded whenever it detects one of these devices.

The site now also has full support for GIF files. Although you could upload GIFs to the service previously they weren’t animated when you viewed them, which has now been fixed. Read more »

Android 4.3 brings TRIM support, improves performance on the 2012 Nexus 7

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If you haven’t experienced it first hand, you must have at least heard about the performance issues plaguing the first generation Nexus 7 tablet that was launched last year. Although the tablet worked wonderfully when it was released, performance degraded rapidly over the course of a year to a point where it became nearly unusable.

That is about to change now with the advent of the Android 4.3 update because it brings just what the doctor ordered for the Nexus 7 to solve its performance issues: TRIM support. Read more »

XOLO Play T1000 review

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The XOLO Play T1000 is the latest smartphone from the Indian manufacturer Lava. We have previously taken a look at the company’s XOLO X900 smartphone, which also happened to be one of the first Android smartphones to run on an Intel chipset.

The XOLO Play is a bit different from the X900, wherein it runs on a traditional ARM processor. The chipset in question is an NVDIA Tegra 3 and as you can tell from the name the device is being touted as a gaming device. We’ll see how it performs as a gaming device and of course, as an everyday smartphone. Read more »

‘Riptide GP2′ for iOS and Android game review

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Riptide GP2 is the successor to last year’s Riptide GP. For those who don’t know, Riptide GP was a racing game but unlike most other games in this genre, this one let you race around a track filled with water on personal watercrafts, doing all sorts of crazy stunts.

The new one takes it several steps ahead with new tracks, new crafts, new stunts, updated visuals and much more. Let’s see how much of an improvement it is over its predecessor. Read more »

Watch the Nexus 7 and Chromecast press event here

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Couple of days ago Google announced the second generation of the Nexus 7, along with a brand new device called Chromecast and Android 4.3. As usual, they had a live stream for those sitting at home to watch.

Unfortunately, if like me you had other things occupying you at that moment, you now have a chance to watch the keynote on YouTube. The entire video is about an hour long so find a comfortable spot and get ready for some Android action. Read more »

Google stops complementary three month Netflix subscription offer for Chromecast

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When Google announced the Chromecast at their event a couple of days ago, the $35 price was low enough for a lot of people to purchase it without giving it a second thought. What made the deal even better was that Google was giving away three months of Netflix subscription to both current as well as new subscribers, which usually costs almost as much as the Chromecast.

Unfortunately, just one day after announcing the product and the offer, Google has now discontinued it. Google has stated that it is due to the overwhelming demand for the product that they had to withdraw the offer. While the device is still pretty cheap and you can cast Netflix if you’re running it in Chrome, the bait and switch tactic might not sit well with some of the potential customers. Read more »

Microsoft releases IE11 Developer Preview for Windows 7

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We got a first glimpse of IE11 when Microsoft released the preview of the Windows 8.1 update. Now, Microsoft has released a developer preview of the upcoming browser for Windows 7 users as well.

IE11 aims to improve the performance and security of your existing IE10 browser. New features like ability to render web images as well as text using the GPU, support for W3C resource priorities, SPDY network protocol and an updated JavaScript engine improves page loading performance over its predecessors as well as its rivals. In SunSpider benchmark, IE11 Developer Preview was 4 percent faster than IE10 and nearly 30 percent faster than Chrome 28. Read more »

Google releases Play Games app for Android

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Google has released a new dedicated app for all the games on the Play Store, called Google Play Games. This app puts focus on discovering new games as well as tracking your achievements and scores as well as playing multiplayer games with your friends. It’s more or less the Game Center equivalent for Android.

The Play Games app looks quite similar to the new Play Music and Play Movies apps. You can see a list of your friends from Google+ with details about the games they have and their achievements. Currently, not a lot of games support this feature so you’re likely to see mostly empty profile pages. Read more »

Beats announces new Studio headphones for $299

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Beats headphones aren’t the most popular among the audiophile community for their exaggerated bass response and high price tag (considering the sound). Despite that, they continue to be some of the most popular brand of headphones around because let’s face it, most people can’t tell good sound even if it hit them in the face.

The original Studio headphones released back in 2008 are one of the most popular model in the Beats range. The company has now revamped it after all these years with some new features and allegedly improved audio quality. Read more »

Next generation Nexus 7 goes up for pre-order on Best Buy

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It just seems like yesterday when we were looking at its leaked press images (then again, it probably was). Now the next generation Nexus 7 tablet, which still hasn’t been formally announced, is already up for pre-order.

As you can see from the image above, Best Buy has decided to jump the gun and put up the tablet for pre-order even before Google officially announces it. As we had heard before, there are two models in 16GB and 32GB capacities respectively. Oddly missing is a 3G model, for now at least, but since we definitely saw a SIM slot on one of the press images we can only assume it would be arriving later. Read more »

Next generation Nexus 7 gets hands-on treatment

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Google’s next generation Nexus 7 tablet has been steadily leaking for the past few weeks. First we saw some leaked specifications, followed by some press images. Now, some hands-on images and even a video of the device have surfaced on the internet.

The images above show more of what we have already seen in the press images. The front of the device is more or less similar to the current generation Nexus 7, with the only addition being the LED notification light below the display. Read more »