“Real” Gaming on Android/Mobile

There is no singular definition of real gaming. That being said there are a few things that tend to differentiate what most think of as a PC or console experience from a mobile one. The 3 things that tend to differentiate are Free 2 Play, Micro transactions and amount of content. While there is clearly a blurring of the lines these days there is still a clear delineation between the two experiences that most people can see and point to. So with that defined I’m on a quest to find the best experiences on Android that replicate that full game experience. Lets get started with my first pick.

Horn

by Phosphor Games StudioImage result for horn game

This game is an oldie but a goody. Released back in August 2012 for iOS and Android it is inspired by the likes of Zelda, Infinity Blade and Fable. This was one of the earliest games to use the Unreal Engine when it was ported for mobile. Continue reading ““Real” Gaming on Android/Mobile”

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A Week With The LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition

First things first I had to take the beast out of the box. So here’s that.

Most people would probably lead off talking about the size and shape of the device since that is what you typically notice first. The reason I’m not going to do that is because I want you to have the good news first. The quad core Snapdragon 600 at 1.7Ghz is very fast. It’s consistent with a premium device. Apps fire what feels like instantly and games run silky smooth. 2GB of ram as we’ve seen seems to be the key amount to keep a device from feeling slow.
Continue reading “A Week With The LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition”

Glass – Not As Popular As The Cell Phone

glass-snlPlease stop trying to over sell “wearable computing” and more specifically Google Glass. The reason isn’t that I hate the idea of wearable computing or Google glass, simply that there is historical proof of it’s limited desire and usability. Moving the processing closer to the input and output isn’t going to change the comfort or social acceptability of the input/output. It never has. Why would you expect it to now? In short, learn from the past!

Bluetooth headsets are considered obnoxious and only really useful when you’re driving or otherwise have to have your hands full. Every one knows the dbags that walk around looking smug and talking to themselves while ignoring the rest of humanity that isn’t in their ear. Continue reading “Glass – Not As Popular As The Cell Phone”

LG Optimus L9 Review – Sweet Spot Mid-range Phone?

So what is the LG Optimus L9? Lets have a look at some specs and pics.

LG Optimus L9

GENERAL
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
SIM Mini-SIM
Announced 2012, August
Status Available. Released 2012, November
BODY
Dimensions 131.9 x 68.2 x 9.1 mm (5.19 x 2.69 x 0.36 in)
Weight 125 g (4.41 oz)
DISPLAY
Type IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 540 x 960 pixels, 4.7 inches (~234 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
MEMORY
Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
Internal 4 GB, 1 GB RAM
FEATURES
OS Android OS, v4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), upgradable to v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)
Chipset TI OMAP 4430
CPU Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9
GPU PowerVR SGX540

As you can see this phone isn’t half bad. Dual core at 1ghz isn’t breaking speed records but it’s also not the slowest thing on the market. For a phone at this price point 1GB of ram is pretty decent. Outside of the absolute newest phones anything that runs decent has a 1GB or more.

The one thing I was really worried about was the display not being 720p. IPS means good color and nice dark blacks so the sharpness was at question. I was pleased to find that the combination of display density at 234ppi plus the good quality of the panel results in a very nice looking image. I even compared it side by side with a friends Galaxy Nexus and speed was comparable and the image quality was as good or better.

My final point of concern was Ice Cream Sandwich. I know quite a few people ascribe to “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” but Jelly Bean does bring quite a few performance enhancements and new features. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the phone moves along very quickly and smoothly. This means if you root and re-rom to Jelly Bean you should be getting even better performance.

All around this is a large, sharp looking, fast and affordable phone that just works well. We’ll enough to satiate my gadget lust for an HTC One and rest assured that’s tough to do. Of course this is subjective.

So let’s see how it stacks up in a couple of synthetic tests Antutu and Quadrant.
Continue reading “LG Optimus L9 Review – Sweet Spot Mid-range Phone?”

Ainol Novo 7 Flame/Fire Review

Ainol Next To Nexus 7
Nexus 7 and Ainol Novo 7 Flame/Fire

So here’s my Ainol Novo 7 Flame/Fire review. Warning, it’s long. If you’re over 65 don’t bother you’ll be gone before you reach the end.

First a run down of features:
AMLogic AML8726-MX Dual Core Arm Cortex A9 at 1.5Ghz
Mali 400 GPU
1GB DDR3
16GB Storage
1280×800 Super IPS display
2MP Front Camera
5MP Rear Camera
Mini HDMI port
MicroSD card slot
Micro USB port
Bluetooth
Headphone Jack
Power connector for fast wall charging
5000mAH battery(non-user replaceable)

I’m going to do a lot of comparison to the Nexus 7 as that is the tablet I currently own and is among one of the most popular. So if you love something else…buy a Novo 7 Flame and do your own review. Pics of and from the device can be found here. https://plus.google.com/u/0/115872604535305832370/posts/9GPQAWowYA7

Well lets jump in shall we? The device is very presentable. It’s got a nice brushed aluminum back and the tablet standard black plastic bezel around the screen. It appears to be designed to be used primarily in landscape mode because it has a top(landscape) or right(portrait) orientation for both the front and rear cameras. So basically to ensure you are right side up during hangouts you will have to use the tablet in landscape orientation. Over all the build quality feels solid. Continue reading “Ainol Novo 7 Flame/Fire Review”

Backup!

THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Back up your data!

If it’s your PC back it up to an external drive. If you can move that drive off site all the better. Give it to a relative or put it in a safe deposit box. In this day and age of “cloud” there are also numerous internet backup solutions you could use as well.

Backups aren’t just limited to your PC. Your phone, tablet and your video game consoles need to be backed up too.

If your phone has a microSD card slot go pick up an extra card just for keeping a backup. There is no doubt an app for your phone/tablet platform of choice to save a backup to that card. Do the same as before and store it some place safe preferably away from where the data is normally used.

Last but not least and some might be surprised to hear this your video game console can be backed up too. If you have a PS3 go find a USB hard drive that is equal to or larger than the drive in your console and under the Settings > System Settings you’ll find a backup utility. Be warned it compresses your data so it takes a while to run. And then go make sure you sync your trophies.

If you have an Xbox you’re consigned to USB drives no larger than, correct me if I’m wrong, 32GB. I also believe this will be changing in the near future(or has all ready?) so you can plug in any drive. Plug in your drive and go to Settings > System > Storage > Transfer Content and select the items you want to backup. Make sure if you didn’t backup save games that they are at least syncing to online storage.

For a home user I would say do this at minimum once a month to ensure you are never out all your data. Thank you for your time and attention!

Mobile HD Video Recording & Streaming Rig

As streaming and live IP broadcasts gain popularity there’s an increasing desire to make a better and better quality broadcast. Unfortunately most of the time that means you have to invest in bigger better more expensive equipment.  You’ll see professional broadcasters like twit.tv and many of the events captured on twitch.tv being recorded and broadcast with large multi-thousand dollar rigs just to get a good quality broadcast. Well, what if you could shoot 720P, stream it, and record at the same time plus a plethora of connectivity options? What if you could do that with equipment less than $1000 and that you might actually all ready own? I’m about to tell you how to do it.

Things you’ll need:

  • A laptop or netbook
  • An Android phone or Sony PSP
  • An HD webcam
  • If you’re using a PSP – PSP diag battery
  • If you’re using a PSP – PSP custom firmware
  • If you’re using an Android device – Android Sideshow software
  • A backpack or laptop bag.

You can use any number of devices to get this working so I’m not going to go in to details. This is the gist, you need storage, view finder and lens. You see where this is going? The laptop functions as storage and communication, the PSP or Android device as the view finder and the webcam as the lens. Microsoft Windows Sideshow allows you to use the sideshow device(psp or android) as a second monitor. Connect the PSP or Android device to the laptop via either wireless or USB. Set Windows on the laptop to sleep the monitor but not the rest of the laptop. Open the monitor application for your camera and then put the monitor video on the sideshow device. Connect your connectivity of choice, wifi, 3g or what ever. Run your streaming management app and connect to your live stream. Now close the laptop and throw it in a backpack or laptop bag. Be sure to leave the bag cracked to ensure heat can escape. Now strap the camera to the back of your PSP or Android device and shoot till your hearts content, your drive gets full or your devices run out of juice.

An additional and interesting thing is that a producer or buddy or whom ever can then use remote management software to manage whats going on on the laptop in the bag if it’s wirelessly connected. In addition if your laptop or netbook can handle it you can also record and stream at the same time. Having processing power closer to the subject matter opens up plenty of interesting possibilities.

If you find this article and idea useful please do share your live stream URL or link to your awesome HD youtube links so we can all check out the outcome!

The Teknami Posts

The following is yet another archive of older writings. Not ancient like the last post. Just little over a year ago. These writings were for a website called Teknami operated by a friend of mine. Sadly the site did not gain traction and he found gainful employment else where, as did I, but I am thankful to him for the opportunity to write. The site was focused on technology with a heavy slant towards mobile. With out further a due here are some snippets from March 2011.

Doc format unfortunately.

And The Mobile Leadership Award Goes To…!
at&t Tablet Pricing Plans
Introduction to Intel App Up
Introduction to Thunderbolt
WIP – Android Patterns for UI Devs

I hope you found this little peek back at recent history entertaining!

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