Archive for category: What We’re Excited About
Because we like to brag, Juan was on SiriusXM 167 yesterday to talk about all of the Google I/O announcements; take a listen, and don’t forget to tune into SiriusXM 167 this (and every) Saturday at 1PM Eastern for the first edition of YourTechReport on the radio.
With Google I/O now in full swing, we can barely keep track of every announcement being made; in fact, as soon as we put the proverbial pen to paper with one piece of news, the software giant hits us with something else–making it incredibly hard to keep up! First, Google finally unveiled its new Music subscription service called All-Access for $9.99 per month (take that, iTunes!); next, we found that Google Play was getting some upgrades in the gaming department in the form of real-time online multiplayer, cloud saves, achievements and leaderboards–but the news doesn’t stop there…
Next, we learned that Google Maps was getting some upgrades on both the front and back-end, with UI improvements as well as enhanced tools for developers. Not to be left out, Google Now will get real-time transit info, reminder cards and music recommendations, and Google+ gets a new look–as well as mobile apps–to keep those chats going wherever you are. Whew…and that’s just scratching the service! Make sure you check back with us tomorrow morning as our own Juan Carlos Bagnell goes into more detail on everything Google. We’d also like to wish Juan a speedy recovery from the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome he’s sure to suffer from later tonight…
This is a rather large move on behalf of BlackBerry – announcing that its once exclusive BBM Messaging platform will soon come to Android and iOS devices. Yes, this means that BlackBerry users will soon be able to natively chat with Android and iOS users (as of yet, there’s no confirmation of Windows Phone support). “The time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service,” Andrew Bocking, executive vice president of Software Product Management and Ecosystem at BlackBerry said in a press release. “BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We’re excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community.” BBM customers send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day, and that number will only grow with iOS and Android users in the fold.
NVIDIA’s Project Shield handheld officially has a proper name and price. Now dubbed the NVIDIA Shield, the Tegra 4 powered handheld will be available to purchase at the end of June for $349.99. The handheld will run the Android Jelly Bean OS, allowing it to use Android games along with apps from Google Play. The controller also comes with a 5-inch 720P HD retinal display and 802.11 n WiFi.
Developers have also started creating games specifically for Shield that utilise the powerful Tegra 4 CPU. Brutal Legend dev Double Fine is producing two games for the platform – first, a version of Costume Quest built for the Shield, and then Kickstarter record breaking adventure game Broken Age, Tim Schafer’s first return to the genre since Grim Fandango.
Also at launch, Shield will use the GeForce game-streaming beta – allowing you to stream your games from your GeForce GTX powered PC directly to the shield to play in comfort wherever you are at home.
The NVIDIA Shield will luanch by the end of June and will be available to pre-order at Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers from May 20. It’s also available to pre-order now for anyone who has already signed up to the notify email list. You can find more information about the console here, and can find screenshots and pictures of the new console after the jump
Pitting the Samsung Galaxy S 4 against the HTC One and the AT&T-exclusive LG Optimus G Pro! Two tests here for all three phones. We’ll play the same acoustic guitar test, and then we’ll move into a movie clip featuring some hot, sweet, black & white zombie action from one of my all time favorite films.
Throw some headphones on to catch all of the nuances!
My love for all things Booq is as legendary as it is shameful–but what’s not to love? When a company is able to consistently produce excellent products with brilliant design and quality materials, that company is not only worthy of our attention, but yours as well. Booq’s latest? The Boa squeeze. Designed for Apple products, the Boa Squeeze will swallow up (sorry…couldn’t resist the snake reference) all the gadgets you can throw at it, keeping them protected from not only the elements, but each other as well, thanks to numerous compartments and pockets. The Boa squeeze retails for $129.99, and we’ll have our full review after our bag arrives; until then, you can check out the full PR after the jump.
Microsoft has updated Office 2011 for Mac in a rather large way, bringing support for the Office 365 cloud based subscription service, offering users access to the latest software and SkyDrive storage. Of course the update comes with fixes too, including font fixes, UI fixes, more support for file formats in PowerPoint, and more. If you’re a Mac Office user, check out the update–and if you sign up for Office 365, you now have access to the Mac version of the popular office suite.
Bethesda has announced a brand new addition to Wolfenstein – the franchise that effectively invented first person shooters. Wolfenstein: The New Order, developed by MachineGames, is a reimagining of the franchise set in an alternate 1960 where the Nazis won World War II and have constructed a robot army to allow them to rule the globe.
The launch trailer is available to watch above, and the game is due out on Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, PC and next gen consoles is Q4 of this year.
Microsoft is trying to build a better Facebook app. The FB BETA looks like it’s moving away from the sliding panel layout of traditional Windows Phone apps, and instead is bringing in a more traditional design that iOS and Android users will be more familiar with. Rather than trying to keep this in-house and development under wraps, they’re enlisting the help of the Windows Phone community to help them identify bugs and user issues.
If you’re familiar with other Facebook apps, the layout here will be immediately accessible. The app opens to your main news feed. Sliding the screen to the right gives you access to your different feeds and pages. Sliding the screen to the left shows your friends and favorites.
Notifications work the same way. Once you’ve opened the notification alert sliding left or right will slide you through messages, friend requests, and notifications/replies.
Also new to the app is the ability to share posts. It’s kind of funny how long it’s taken us to get this feature on our mobile devices…
The app is fluid and responsive. Thankfully, the problems with the old FB app aren’t reflected here. I continue to have problems with the old app and “Liking” posts. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a Facebook app I’ve used yet which can consistently “Like” a comment on the first tap; it always seems to take a couple stabs at the little Like link to get it to toggle.
It’s still a BETA of course, and some are complaining about feeds getting stuck and not updating. I’ve been running the app for a couple of days now without issue on a Lumia 920, but I’m also not the heaviest FB user–so take my experience with a grain of salt. Personally, I appreciate the performance improvements, and this should help people transitioning from Android or iOS, as both FB BETA and the new Twitter apps have more consistent user interfaces; but I really like the sliding panel Windows Phone app guidelines. I’ll miss that.
The new Facebook app is in the Windows Phone App Store, but you wont be able to search for it. Instead you’ll need to click on this link which will take you directly to the store to download it.