Android Phones, Info and Apps

Archive for January 2013

Archos TV Connect

Hot from the floor of CES, Archos have introduced their latest gadget that integrates the Android operating system into your TV. They call it the Archos TV Connect. I’ve had a number of Archos gadgets down through the years so I am very excited to see this come to market.

The TV Connect is fully Google certified and the first certified device that brings a full Android 4.1  Jelly Bean environment to your TV. There are minor tweaks to the software but its pretty much the same as you’ll get on any stock Android 4.1 tablet, meaning full access to Google Play with all its apps and games. Imagine playing Angry Birds or Jetpack Joyride full screen!

Archos TV Connect And TV

The Archos TV Connect system comprises of 2 devices, the Connect itself sits on the top of your TV and holds all the processing power, 1.5 GHz multi core processors complemented by 1 GB of RAM. It also has the HDMI connections for your TV and it includes a camera for video conferencing such as Skype!

All the controls are done via the Archos TV Touch Remote. At first glance the remote looks similar to your xbox or playstation controller, but you quickly spot the full QWERTY keyboard! It connects to the TV Connect via Bluetooth and while there are your standard buttons, D-pads and even a home and back button just like your phone. There is also the option to control a  cursor on the screen in a similar fashion to a Wii controller  The joystick type buttons make it possible to interact with the OS as if you have dual touch, this comes into its own when you are zooming in and out of maps!

Not fond of the TV Touch Remote? Well then just download the Archos remote app from Google Play and you can take control of the TV Connect with your Mobile phone!

Release date for the Archos TV Connect is scheduled for February and with about a €99 price tag this device will go right up top of the wish list!

 

 

 

 

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HTC Wireless Charging

Will 2013 be the year when wireless charging hits the mainstream? It’s not science fiction no more and hasn’t been for quite sometime, wireless charging devices are out there. (Think of your electric toothbrush!) They maybe few and far between but both the charging stations and the devices capable of being charged wirelessly are becoming more popular.

Wireless Charging… what the hell?
Wireless charging also more technically known as inductive charging is the ability to charge a device without making an electrical contact between the power source and the device being charged. It means you don’t have to plug it in! Just leave your device on a charging pad and it will charge the battery, no more fumbling to find the usb port!

Qi Disc Charging Pad

So this is simples…. ya?
Well yes but there are issues… as with most new technologies different companies have different systems and in the case of wireless charging two systems or standards seem to be surfacing, one being “Qi” pronounced “Chee” (the Chinese word for flow). The other is being developed by A4WP, a syndicate of global electronics companies including Duracell, Samsung and Qualcomm. Manufacturers already using the Qi standard include, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Sony and the big hitter Samsung. Yes as far as I can see Samsung have a finger in each pie! What does this mean…? Just be careful when you buy a wireless product that it will be compatible with the charging pad!

In time as with most battling Standards, one standard should come out on top, which one, at the moment is anybody’s guess.

What options do Androiders have?
You have a few but more and more wireless charging pads are being developed so lets deal with the charging pads first. Duracell have the PowerMat, there are several different renditions of this floating around on the web take a look at the Duracell Powermat website for an in-depth account.

Energizer Qi Wireless Charger

For for Qi people the Energizer Qi-Enabled 3 Position Charger looks to be one of the best on the market and is getting very positive reviews over on Amazon. I’ve also read that people have noticed increases in prices on these products as more devices get wireless charging abilities. I’ve seen LG, Nokia, Samsung and a few random brands making charging stations, Amazon it looks like they have a good range.

Onto the Phones!
Believe it or not alot of phones have the ability to be wirelessly charged…. the manufacturers of the stations are making wireless charging covers for phones with wireless charging receivers in them. Any phone such as the Samsung Galaxy SIII that has a removable back cover, it is possible to get a replacement back that has a charging receiver in it. You can also get protective covers with wireless charging receivers built in that will slip onto your phone plus you get the added protection of the cover! A little pet peev of mine… Duracell among others have a dongle that will connect via micro usb into the charging port of you phone, you then leave the dongle device on the charging pad… to me this is not wireless charging, you still have yo disconnect the dongle form your phone when you are leaving.

Duracell PowerMat with Dongle

The Google Nexus 4 has the ability to charge free of wires built-in, they have even designed their own Orb wireless charging station to complement the phone. Although released a number of months ago the Orb is proving difficult to get your hands on. HTC Thunder Bolt, HTC Droid DNA,  Motorola DROID 3 and the LG Revolution all have wireless charging capabilities.

Nexus Wireless Charging Orb

So thats about it… more phones will undoubtedly crop up and we will hunt them down and perhaps review them here. It was a slow burn but I can see wirelss charging making leaps this year, pads will be popping up in useful places such as coffee shop tables and counters, next to seating in public centers such as airports, in the dash of your car, bed side lockers for your home… the list goes on. This can be my prediction for 2013!

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Howdy, this week’s installment of Appy Monday is Jetpack Joyride, a super addictive game from Halfbrick Studios the makers of Fruit Ninja.

You take control of Barry Steakfries as he throws a jetpack on his back and bursts his way into a secret laboratory. Barry is continually moving forward so all you have to do is control how high or how low he flies by touching anywhere on the screen. As you get further into the levels he starts moving faster making the game that bit more challenging! When you die you restart from the beginning. This may sound annoying to restart from the beginning but as you progress you get different missions which make the game more addictive. More on missions later.

jetpack joyride

As you fly through the lab you can collect coins, these in game coins are added to your stash and can be used to buy clothes, upgraded jetpacks, vehicles and a host more goodies. You can also spend real world money to buy extra in game coins so you can get the jetpack you always wanted without spending the time playing the game!

At different stages throughout the game you come across a mulitcoloured box, these boxes contain a vehicle. Barry can collect a vehicle and take control of it using it to fly through the lab. There are a huge range of vehicles each having their own way of being controlled. For some you touch the screen and the vehicle will go up, others it will go down and as with the Crazy Freaking Teleporter it will teleport you to a different area! Barry will die when he hits lasers or bombs that can come whizzing by, but if in a vehicle you only lose the vehicle and Barry can continue with the jetpack, so the vehicle also acts as a second life.

Spin coins will come floating by as you zip through the lab, collect these and at the end of the level (when you die) you will be given the option to use the coins in a slot machine. Match 3 items on the machine and you will win a prize. Prizes include extra coins, head starts, exploding finishes and numerous other items.

jetpack joyride screen

By completing the missions you get to collect more and more coins, plus the missions are good fun. Some are very simple such as collect 2 spin coins in one game others are a bit more tricky such as finish a game between 350 and 400 meters, it may sound easy but play it and find out!

Jetpack Joyride is a great game just if you have 4 or 5 minutes to spare while waiting for the bus, games are generally only less than a minute long but and action packed minute. the missions and different achievements help to keep you coming back for more.

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