OUYA, the Android-based home game console that took Kickstarter by storm, is now available for pre-order on Amazon for those who missed out on the campaign. The cost is $99 for the unit, which includes the OUYA console and one controller. The draw of OUYA is that anyone can develop and publish games for the console, and there's no huge financial barrier to entry for devs. This could mean that there will be just a bunch of random stuff, but it also means that you'll have more developers working on quality games--and for the first time on a home console, you'll likely see games as inexpensive as the ones you play on your iOS and other Android devices. OUYA is powered by a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and 1 GB RAM with 8 GB of storage and 1080p output. Pre-order it now for $99 and it'll deliver in June, and don't forget to grab an extra controller.
Read More | OUYA pre-order
The Nike+ FuelBand is one of the most popular fitness gadgets out there (although the verdict is still out on if fitness gadgets actually improve our health,) but there's been a complaint from Android users since it's release regarding the lack of an app for Android-powered smartphones. Despite waiting patiently for about a year, it turns out, a FuelBand app isn't even on the radar for Nike.
@mkoyerp Right now, we're focused on iOS and web. We're not working on an Android App.— Nike Support (@NikeSupport) February 10, 2013
To deliver the best experience for all Nike+ FuelBand users, we are focusing on the FuelBand experience across iOS and nikeplus.com, where you can sync your activity, set new goals, and connect with friends. At this time, we are not working on an Android version of the mobile app.
In other words, the company is committed to having the FuelBand work perfectly within the iOS ecosystem, and doesn't have time right now to worry about the fragmented Android mess. Of course, the FuelBand doesn't require a smartphone at all, so Android users (and anyone else) can use it, they just need to sync over USB to their computer rather than over Bluetooth like you can do with an iPhone.
Read More | Giz
Six grueling years of the ACCC dragging Google in and out of Australian courtrooms and hearings for "misleading advertisements" displayed in search results have now come to an end.
Five Australian High Court judges have overturned a ruling requiring Google to set up programs that properly vet ads. The lawsuits started because of the specific claim that if one were to search Google in 2006 for "Honda Austrailia," the user would also be shown sponsored ads from competing car companies. This new ruling, however, proves that the concern of the ACCC is an outdated one.
Read More | Reuters
Thanks to Google's Transparency Report, we can see just how many copyright takedown requests it gets, and who issues such requests. The RIAA tops the list with nearly 10 million takedown requests issued. The RIAA issues hundreds of thousands of notices every week in regards to piracy sites, and has topped the most recent monthly requests. This goes to show just how severe the piracy network is, or even perhaps, how futile the RIAA's attempts are at squashing it.
The LG Optimus G was released a couple of months ago, and was a statement from LG that it would no longer be seen as a mid-range smartphone manufacturer. The company took its time with this one, focusing on a few key areas that it felt would set this phone apart from the wildly crowded Android smartphone pack, where Samsung has been recognized as the leader. The phone is available on both Sprint and AT&T for $199 with a two-year contract. The question is, did LG deliver? On the surface, it seems to have checked all the right boxes, what with 4G LTE, quad-core processor, Corning Gorilla Glass 2, and a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display. Is it enough? Follow along with us in our full LG Optimus G review for the answer.
All you Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro users on AT&T, listen up! We just got word from your carrier that the long-awaited update that'll allow you to upgrade your device to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is now available. That means that your push-to-talk capable device will now let you use feature like Google Now, Quick Settings, and even DriveMode, which aims to prevent texting while driving. When you're ready to upgrade, just hit the link below.
Read More | Galaxy Rugby Pro Android 4.1 upgrade
Maps for Windows Phone users is about to get a little better. According to Google, it is planning on fixing the issue preventing Windows Phone users from reaching the Google Maps website through Internet Explorer. The search giant had this to say:
"We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users. In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users. Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users."
Google had previously stated that the outage was because its mobile Maps site wasn't designed with IE in mind.
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2011, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2012!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone original:
iPhone 5 certainly got a lot of attention this year, and our image gallery comparing it to previous iPhone designs served as our most popular post in all of 2012.
When Google Music came to Europe, it brought a new feature not available in the US -- Scan and Match. It's similar to iTunes Match, whereas it scans your local music collection and puts them in the cloud so that you don't have to.
After downloading the Music Manager, it will match your songs up with Google's, and begin "uploading" your songs into the cloud at a rate of about 30 seconds per album. After your music is in the cloud, you can listen to it on different devices, even iOS if you use Google's HTML5 web app.
Now US users are able to take advantage of this feature. It's free, and automatic for the most part, so you won't have to go through the cumbersome process of backing up your digital music collection solo.
Read More | Google
The new version of Google Play Books for Android has a new feature that reads books to users on its own. The feature is titled, obviously, "read aloud," and works with most books without the need for the book to come with a "read aloud" enabled feature.
You'll also find a new pinch-to-zoom feature, as well as double-tap-to-zoom. Further, the app now makes recommendations on other books you might find enjoyable after you finish reading one book. Though, if you're like me, you prefer to soak in the totality of a one book world before even thinking about diving into another.
Read More | Google Play
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