Google has updated the Android version of the Hangouts application with several new features. As we have seen on the Nexus 5, the Hangouts app now supports SMS and MMS, which means you can send and receive text messages from within Hangouts and they will appear along with your Hangouts chats. Unlike the Nexus 5, however, you can disable the SMS/MMS functionality if you want and continue using the stock messaging app on your phone.
Another addition is the ability to set your mood. You can now choose from one of the Hangouts emoji as your mood that gets displayed to anyone who messages you. You can also choose to announce the device type you are messaging from (phone or PC) or whether you’re in a call. Lastly, you can now also insert your location and animated GIFs in a chat. Read more »
Ubisoft has released the successor to the terrific Rayman Jungle Run on iOS and Android. Called Rayman Fiesta Run, the new game brings brand new levels, revamped visual design and music to the much loved gameplay.
We reviewed Jungle Run back when it came out on iOS and had loved the incredible visuals, fast paced gameplay and amazing music. Fiesta Run maintains the single tap gameplay mechanism, where all you have to do is use a single finger to tap on the screen to jump at the appropriate moment and not have to worry about any other controls. This is great for touch devices as too many controls makes the experience worse, not better and one of the reasons why Jungle Run was so well received. Read more »
Archos has launched a new large Android tablet, the 101 XS 2. It has a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 resolution IPS display and Archos Coverboard keyboard that snaps magnetically to the tablet and acts as a cover, keyboard and a kickstand.
On the inside is a quad-core Cortex A9 CPU clocked at 1.6GHz and Mali 400 MP4 GPU, 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage space with microSD card. The tablet has 2 megapixel cameras on the front and back. It runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Read more »
Google Helpouts is a brand new service from Google that will let you get help on any topic you want from real people over the internet through a video call. The service offers you a bunch of topics to choose from and you can also type in what you need help with.
Helpouts then presents you with options that match your query. You will see a list of Helpouts that you can choose from that best match your query, with the name of the people who will be conducting the call. You can start a Helpout call with the person immediately or schedule it for later. Read more »
Nikon has announced a new member of their high-end FX format DSLRs. The Nikon Df straddles the line between a classic Nikon camera designed around the lines of the old Nikon ‘F’ series of 35mm film cameras and a modern day DSLR.
On the outside, the Df is all retro. The body is made out of magnesium alloy and leather. On the top sits a roof mounted pentaprism with a hotshoe. The camera comes with a smattering of mechanical dials to adjust everything, from ISO to exposure compensation, release mode and exposure mode and a body mounted shutter button with threaded release port. Read more »
One of the key UI changes in the new Android 4.4 KitKat is the presence of the Moto X style translucent navigation and notification bars on the homescreen that allows the wallpaper to shine through. Turns out though, it’s not something everyone will be getting, even if you have a Nexus device.
In a rather Apple-esque move, Google has decided to disable the translucency effect on the Nexus 10 tablet, citing performance issues. The Android source code for the tablet states quite clearly ‘Translucent status & navigation bars perform poorly on this device’ and the value of the effect is set to ‘False’. Read more »
Flipboard has updated the iOS version of their apps with several minor changes. First of all, the app has been given a new look for iOS 7, with some parallax scrolling effects and a flatter UI. The app has also improved performance and just works smoother and faster on all devices.
Another addition is on-screen alerts. Now the app will show alerts on the homescreen when you have updates for your feed so you don’t miss anything. The app also shows additional tiles on the larger display of the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s compared to older iPhones. Lastly, you can now change text size within the app. Read more »
Google has announced that they will be updating the Google Glass hardware later this year. The updated design will allow users to use Glass with upcoming lines of shades or use prescription frames. Google has also added a mono earbud for audio.
Those who are part of the Google Explorer program and have purchased the Glass will be delighted to know that they will be able to exchange their current Google Glass with the new one when it releases at no additional cost. Read more »
The launch of the PlayStation 4 console in the US and Canada is just a fortnight away now. But even if you have made up your mind to purchase one, there might still be a lot of unanswered questions in your mind regarding this next gen console.
But it seems Sony understands this very well, which is why they have released an incredibly in depth FAQ for the PS4 on their blog, which should answer just about any query you may have about the console, and even those you haven’t. Read more »
At yesterday’s Google event, the company announced a slew of new features for their Google+ social networking service, along with the Hangouts messaging service.
Google+ already had a pretty impressive photo sharing experience that is way ahead of what other services such as Facebook offer but now Google has made it even better. In the new update, the service automatically scans your photos and sorts them by categories such as sunsets, snow, etc. by identifying over a thousand objects within the images to make searching for your photos easier. Read more »
NVIDIA’s Android-based handheld gaming console Shield has received a massive update that brings with it several important new features. The first one is the update to Android 4.3 from the 4.2 on the previous build. Android 4.3, as you may know, brings things such as Bluetooth Smart support, improved text input and OpenGL ES 3.0, among other things (although Tegra 4 in the Shield doesn’t actually support OpenGL ES 3.0).
NVIDIA has also updated the game streaming support on the Shield. Now called GameStream, it lets you stream from 109 titles (at the time of writing) from your PC running an NVIDIA Kepler-based GPU to your Shield. You can also connect your Shield to a TV and play the Shield games on the big screen in Full HD. Read more »
Last year’s Dead Trigger was quite a decent game. The gameplay was fun for most parts and the graphics looked amazing for that time, or even by today’s standards, for that matter. However, the experience was sullied due to overzealous in-app purchase options that a lot of people took offense to, especially since the game was paid. Eventually the game went free, so then there were fewer reasons to complain.
This year’s Dead Trigger 2 tries to take things up a notch by improving upon every aspect of it’s predecessor. As an added precaution, it is free from the start. With such a low price tag, it’s going to be tough to hold much against it but let’s see how it is anyway. Read more »
If you’re an Angry Birds fan and have a Windows Phone 8 smartphone then there is some good news for you. Rovio has made some of the Angry Birds titles free on the Windows Phone Store for a limited time.
Now the choice of games is not consistent across regions get the original Angry Birds, along with the two Star Wars themed games for free, certain other regions are also getting the Angry Birds Rio game for free. Read more »
Apple recently made its iWork suite of applications, including Pages, Numbers and Keynote, along with the iLife suite of apps including iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband free for buyers of new Macs. However, if you’re using a counterfeit version of these applications on your Mac then now there is a way you can update to the latest legit version right through the Mac App Store.
Call it a bug or a feature, but if the Mac App Store detects an older version of Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband or even the $79.99 photo editing application Aperture, it will tell you that an update is available for download in the Mac App Store, regardless of where you sourced the app from. Once you update, the application is permanently associated with your Apple account and can be downloaded for free from Apple any time you want, just like any other app you bought. Read more »
Back in August Microsoft dropped the price of the Surface Pro tablet by a $100, bringing it down to $799. Now, after the launch of the new Surface Pro 2, Microsoft has made another price cut.
Starting today, the older Surface Pro will be sold for $699, which is another $100 off the price tag. That might still seem a bit steep for a tablet but when you consider that it is practically a notebook underneath it is not all that bad. Read more »