Earlier in the week we saw the Dutch branch of EA launch The Simpsons: Tapped Out to a limited audience, and tonight it seems to be available for everyone else. Loosely based on the show that's been on TV forever, The Simpsons: Tapped Out is part Sim City mixed in, a dash of Farmville, and a tiny bit of Mafia Wars. Mix this all together and you have the makings of a decent game.
Progress your way through the missions to rebuild Springfield after a small "accident" down at the power plant, collecting XP, cash and donuts along the way. The gameplay is great on the Nexus 10, with smooth animations and no stuttering. I've been playing it a couple hours and have had a good time doing it.
The app is free (of course in-app purchases are there if you like) and various versions exist for multiple devices in Google Play. From the comments it looks very well supported on a myriad of different devices, and it installed and runs well on all the phones and tablets I've tried it on. Hit the Google Play link above and give it a shot. The game trailer is after the break.
Technology from QD Vision replaces the conventional backlight in LCDs, allowing for purer colors.
Sony is using nanoscale particles called quantum dots to significantly improve the color of some of its high-end Bravia televisions. It showed off the technology, which increases the range of colors that an LCD television can display by about 50 percent, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. This marks the first time that quantum dots—which for a long time have fascinated researchers because of their unusual electronic and optical properties—have been used in a mass-produced consumer electronics product.
At CES 2013, ZTE took to the stage to introduce its flagship smartphone known as the Grand S. At the time of announcement, ZTE informed the audience that it will initially launch in China sometime during Q1. Fortunately for ZTE fans residing in countries other than China, it appears the Grand S will launch in markets other than China. Most notably, Lixin Cheng, head of North America business for ZTE, confirmed that the Grand S will arrive in the United States.
Unfortunately, ZTE declined to comment on when the 5 inch device running Jelly Bean will make its American debut, but I imagine it will take place in Q1 or Q2 at the latest. Also, Cheng declined to announce whether it would partner with one of the four major carriers, hook up with a regional carrier, or simply be sold as an unlocked device. In the past, Sprint has carried ZTE products, so there is a possibility ZTE will connect with Sprint in order to sell the device as a CDMA LTE smartphone.
If ZTE can sell the Grand S in America under $100, it will definitely have a fighting chance against Samsung and Apple. More details on the Grand S can be found here.
One of the common themes among smartphones being announced at CES 2013 is the 5 inch display and 1080p resolution. This theme confirms the trend of Android smartphones, with each generation receiving a larger screen and better display. The ZTE Grand S follows with the trend nicely, as it offers a 5 inch display with 1080p resolution as its main feature.
Other hardware specs include a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP rear facing camera, 2MP front facing camera, 16GB of onboard memory, 4G LTE connectivity, and is only 6.9mm thick. On the software side, the device runs Android Jelly Bean, but ZTE did not specify whether it is Android 4.1 or Android 4.2.
As of now, it is scheduled to debut in China sometime during Q1 of 2013. Hopefully, it will launch in other markets because ZTE created one heck of a flagship device that could potentially do well elsewhere.
You thought the Samsung Galaxy Note II would have the largest screen on a smartphone in 2013, didn’t you? Don’t worry, I’m sure numerous other Android fans believed similarly. However, no one from Huawei believed the Galaxy Note II would hold that distinction for much longer since the Ascend Mate offers a 6.1 inch HD 720p display.
That’s right, the new flagship smartphone from Huawei took the definition of phablet to an all new level. Slated to launch in China in February, the Ascend Mate, introduced today at CES 2013, offers a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1, and a 4050 mAh battery. In addition, the smartphone offers an 8MP rear facing camera and a 1MP front facing camera. Lastly, the Huawei Ascend Mate will launch in both crystal black and pure white.
The large battery should offer enough juice to get the Ascend Mate and its gargantuan screen through a day of heavy usage. The Ascend Mate will likely launch in other markets following its debut launch in China, but no word is provided at this time. Whether it reaches the United States and at what price remains to be seen.
Many touch screen displays these days are created using Corning’s patented Gorilla Glass, which is more durable than other displays, while maintaining clarity.
Ahead of its rumored CES release, we've got a new look at the Sony Xperia Z (aka "Yuga") in a proper press image, shown above. We saw a pretty grainy angled view of the device a few days back, but this one gives us a much better look at the front of the device. We're looking at proper on-screen navigation buttons and Sony's UI customizations here, as you would expect, as well as the power and volume button layout poking out of the right of the device.
The reported specs are the same as we saw in the initial leak as well. We're looking at a 5-inch 1080P display, massive 13MP camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the software front. It also looks like we'll see another variant in the form of the Xperia ZL, aka "Odin." (Earlier Sony naming schemes suggest that the ZL might be an LTE-capable version for certain markets, though we're speculating here.)
The devices are supposed to make their debut at CES 2013, which is just a week away, and hopefully Sony will bring more details on this device at that time as well.
Sources: XperiaBlog; UnwiredView
If you enjoyed the Samsung Stratosphere, then chances are you will enjoy the successor to the QWERTY Slider device.
It's Nexus week, and over the past seven days we've seen plenty of Google's new Nexus devices — the Nexus 4 phone, the Nexus 10 tablet and the refreshed 32GB/3G Nexus 7. Nexus 4 and 10 have yet to make their debut — an international launch is scheduled for Nov. 13 on the Google Play Store — but we're already starting to see the 32GB Nexus 7 appearing at retailers such as PC World in the UK.
Meanwhile, we learned that O2 will have a month of exclusivity over the Nexus 4 in the UK, though that shouldn't stop anyone wanting to pick it up at the super-low SIM-free price.
In Google Play news, it was announced that Europe will finally be getting Google Play Music around Nexus launch time, and in addition European users will be the first to enjoy Play Music's new track matching service. Elsewhere on Google Play, several countries saw movie purchase options become available for the first time last Monday.
And Apple was forced into an embarrassing climb-down after the UK's Court of Appeals took issue with its interpretation of a legally-mandated statement on its UK website. After losing a legal battle with Samsung, Apple was ordered to place statements on its site, and in ads in prominent UK publications, stating that Samsung didn't copy its patented iPad design. The original statement contained was written in a passive-aggressive tone, and mentioned other court cases in Germany and the U.S. where Samsung was found to have infringed. The court gave Apple 48 hours to correct its statements, and as of today, a revised notice has gone up on apple.com/uk.
In addition, we got our first look at Google's Nexus 4 and Android 4.2, in addition to a quick hardware walkthrough of HTC's One X+. What can we say — it's been a busy week!
Check below for some of the main international Android stories from the past seven days. If you've got news, you can tip us at the usual address.
AppleInsider reports that the new Philips hue light bulb system will be onsale, in Apple Stores exclusively, from Tuesday. The hue starter pack costs $199, and contains three 600-lumen bulbs and a hue bridge, which is used to connect the bulbs to your home network. Each of the bulbs uses 80% less juice than a regular light bulb, despite giving off the equivalent light to a 500-watt bulb. Bulbs can be purchased individually for $59. People who install hue in their house can use an iOS app to remotely control their lighting via their iPhone or iPad, even adding their own timers and settings. The bulbs are claimed by Philips to be upgradeable and future-proof, as it is possible to download new features for the bulbs.
"Philips hue is a game-changer in lighting ? a completely new way to experience and interact with light," said Jeroen de Waal, head of marketing and strategy at Philips Lighting. "In the way phones, media and entertainment have been revolutionized by digital technology, now we can also personalize light and enjoy limitless applications.
"Philips continues to redefine the possibilities of LED technology, and hue pushes the boundaries even more, not only in offering great light quality, but in how lighting can be digitized and integrated with our world to further simplify and enhance our lives."
Source: Philips hue app-controlled lightbulbs debut exclusively at Apple stores