An Open Letter to Google: It’s Time to Take Gaming Seriously [Opinion]

google gaming android

This is a guest post written by DL reader Karl Ludwinski, a gaming enthusiast that wants to see Google and Android fully invest in the gaming movement, something they have so far, barely attempted to do.

First, let me say that I am not a developer or programmer of any kind, nor am I a writer. I am merely a tech and gaming enthusiast and a big fan of Android. I believe that by embracing gaming in a few key ways, both the Android platform and gaming as a whole can go further than they ever could by themselves.

To be clear, I’m not looking for any kind of credit for any of this. Most of these ideas (possibly all) have been discussed before in one way or another. I merely want to consolidate them into one list and increase awareness. I’d also love to hear other ideas that people have, any thoughts about these ideas I list, and any explanations of why they would not work as I have explained them or ways to improve them.  (more…)

How I Fell in Love with a Sony BluRay Player with Google TV [Opinion]

Over the holiday weekend, I had a small budget to buy a new TV for my bedroom and maybe a cool something else to go with it. (Was thinking PS3?) I was budgeted to spend under $500 and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted but I know I definitely wanted a TV with WIFI and it had to be able to stream Netflix as well as some media off my network. To get the biggest bang for my buck, I was looking at a no frills 37” HDTV with a higher end BluRay player with wifi. As luck would have it, right when I thought I figured it all out, I saw a pile of Sony BluRay Players with Google TV built-in, for $199 each. I dropped the ‘SMART’ player player I had and headed to cash out. All in all, I spent right around $475 for the TV and the unit. Not bad for what has now basically become a smart TV with a WiFi  BluRay player.

When I got home, I unpacked and hooked up my new toys and it took me about ten minutes to set everything up and get it running. The longest part of the setup was the software update to Honeycomb for the player. It came with a qwerty remote, which I love, and the remote also doubles as a true universal remote. Aside from the full keyboard, the remote also has a touch sensitive cursor to fully navigate the screen like a mouse on a desktop. My only complaint with the remote is a lack of backlight. As far as the BluRay player goes, it runs great and I will leave it at that. It is a Sony, it is BluRay (their invention), it plays great. End of review for the BluRay portion.  (more…)

T-Mobile’s Android-Powered Devices Eat the Apple iPhone [Sponsored]

YouTube Preview Image

Though the iPhone has been the Apple of countless eyes and ears for quite some time, T-Mobile’s 4G Android-Powered Smartphones are quickly streaming into view.

And these smartphones aren’t satisfied with just keeping up. Sure, the iPhone 4S is fast, sleek, competent and stylish, and many swooned at its release as they will at the next Apple product introduction. However, T-Mobile’s newest 4G smartphones are loaded with features sure to leave iPhone users feeling like they’ve got nothing more than a core.

T-Mobile’s max theoretical data download speed clocks in at a lightning quick 42 Mbps, compared to the iPhone’s max theoretical speed of 14.4 Mbps. (This is possible because of currently being America’s largest 4G network.)

Equipped with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ S3 Processor that’s got a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU, T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy S II boasts a 4.52” Super AMOLED Plus screen, blazing fast Internet downloading that puts your home PC to shame, Google Voice Search capabilities for a truly hands-free experience, and access to T-Mobile’s best plan ever: subscribers get two lines – just $49.99 each – with unlimited data, talk and text and up to 2GB of high-speed data.

Smitten by the Samsung Galaxy S II? Encourage others to take a bite: share the latest video touting its dynamic qualities.

This is a sponsored post written by T-Mobile.

Rebuttal: Maybe Android Manufacturers Don’t Need to Slow Down [Opinion]

After yesterday’s piece by Ron on the idea that Android manufacturers need to slow down, we had another reader step up and put together a well-thought-out rebuttal. As a site that prides itself on having the greatest group of Android enthusiasts in the world, this is the type of stuff that solidifies that claim. Who else sees discussions turn into featured posts by readers? Let’s take a look at what Skipper K. has to say.

____________________________________________

Is Android coming at us too fast and too hard? Are we really better off with fewer handsets?

It’s been argued that Android manufacturers need to slow it way down. We’re inundated with new devices; it seems like every week there’s a shiny, brand-spankin-new model with iterative, minuscule feature updates. Even within the same make and model lineup one can get lost or left behind seemingly in an instant. Just look at your and my favourite device of all time: the OG Droid (don’t argue; it’s your favourite).

Ah, the OG. It’s been called the Droid, Droid 1, OG Droid, Sean Connery Droid, and Battlestar Galactica (OK, maybe I’m the only one who’s called it that). A ground breaking device in it’s day, it began to feel a little dated when the Droid X was released a scant 9 months later. And then the Droid 2 a month after that…and the Droid Pro the same month. Then the Droid 3, X2, Bionic, and now the RAZR. What’s next, the Droid X3.5 Halloween followed by the Droid X3.6 Thanksgiving Slide?   (more…)

So What if Smartphones are Expensive, at Least we have Choices and Subsidies [Opinion]

After seeing an opinion piece on smartphone pricing by Dan yesterday, followed by our report that the DROID RAZR may be $649 off contract, one of our readers wanted to express his thoughts on the matter. Are we more fortunate than most countries? Has the smartphone become so integrated into our lives that the higher prices are justified? Rob K weighs in.

___________________________________________

Smart phones are EXPENSIVE! And guess what, they always have been. The Palm Treo 700w (which I owned) was upwards of $620 off contract and a whopping $500 with 2-year agreement. That was in 2006, with a 2-year agreement!

What has changed since then? Well for starters we have Android and iOS, and phones have actually come down in price while improving dramatically. We have diverse hardware and software (for better or for worse). The cameras! The screens! The apps! I think we have it pretty good.   (more…)

Review: Launcher 7 on Android

This is a guest post written by @ronoffringa, a long time Droid Life reader and launcher aficionado.

There are a lot of third-party application launchers available for Android from GO Launcher EX to ADW to LauncherPro. Most Android users choose to go to a third party launcher to either get a stock look on their phone or just to customize it more. While my personal favorite launcher has always been LauncherPro (please no hate mail from ADW fans), the delays in an update to the rewrite of LauncherPro made me begin to look elsewhere for a new feel for my phone.

Launcher 7 is an attempt to replicate the simplicity of Windows Phone 7’s launcher on an Android device, and it does a great job. There are others out there (like Windows Phone Android), but Timo Kujala’s Launcher 7 easily takes the cake. From live tiles to widgets to transition animations, Launcher 7 is the way to go for someone who wants a simple launcher or who loves the look and feel of Windows Phone 7, but doesn’t want to leave the Android fold.   (more…)

Android Quick App: MusicSleep

Guest post written by Michael T, a self proclaimed “geek” with a passion for scanner radios and getting amazing nights of sleep using soothing jungle beats.  Oh, you can add guest posting to that list too.

I’m a bit of an insomniac, and always listen to something to put me to sleep. Typically it’s a podcast. My Droid would be a great sleep assistant if it would stop after a podcast ends. How cool would it be to set my Droid in its ezeStand, start a playlist, podcast or audio stream and set a sleep timer? Well, it’s very cool! MusicSleep is the solution. For $1.49, you’ll a get a sleep timer for almost any media player available. If you’ve got a player that’s not compatible, contact the developer and he’ll add it. I did this with Scanner Radio, and it took less than 24 hours for an update to be pushed to the market.

It’s very simple to use, simply start your preferred media player, and then open MusicSleep and set the timer. When the time is up, MusicSleep fades the media volume and closes the selected player.

Sweet dreams!

Price: $1.49

Download…

Android Quick App: Scanner Radio

Guest post written by Michael T, a self proclaimed “geek” with a passion for amateur radio and scanner listening.  Oh, you can add guest posting to that list now.

I have always been a scanner radio listener, but I never thought my phone would satisfy this part of my inner-geek. I was wrong.

If you want to hear police radio chatter, there are few apps for that. However, Scanner Radio stands out because of its simplicity and speed. I can listen to the police in my hometown of 35,000 people in the middle of desert. If you’d like to hear something besides police, you can browse by genre, area or source. You can also search by location (menu or GPS).

It’s important to note that the developer doesn’t control what frequencies you can hear, this is a function of the sources. Currently Scanner Radio features feeds from LiveFireFeeds.com, RadioReference.com, RailroadRadio.net and Wunderground.com. So, asking for the developer to add the “Mayberry Sherriff” won’t help. Sorry, no Andy Griffith.

Still, the list of available frequencies (over 2,100) is quite impressive. You can listen to the Fire Department in Roswell, NM, the LAPD and many places in between.

This is a young app, and updates arrive every couple of days or so. Unlike many app updates though, there seems to be something new with each update. I am told by the developer that there will be an option to remove ads and the capability to add custom audio streams in the future.

If you like some of the other scanner apps, I highly recommend giving this one a try. If you’ve never listened in on America’s Finest, give it a try.

Best part, it’s free!

Download…

Download Link