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OUYA “Chupacabra” system update brings in XBMC audio passthrough and revamped pages

Posted by wicked April - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Following its tradition of naming major system updates after mythical creatures, the OUYA team has announced the release of “Chupacabra”. And just like previous updates, this one drags in quite a huge amount of new features and fixes, including support for audio passthrough in XBMC, redesigned PLAY, DISCOVER, and Details pages, as well as better support for game controllers and media remotes.

Although OUYA is a gaming console, like other boxes of its kind, it can also serve its life as a media center. However, it did not yet support the much coveted audio passthrough feature via XBMC. That all changes in this release and this new feature is one of the major highlights of Chupacabra. OUYA now gains audio passthrough support for AC3, DTS, and AAS formats. Those who wish to use this new feature should ensure that they are running not only the latest OUYA firmware but also the update XBMC app as well.

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Moving on to the user interface, OUYA has introduced yet another set of changes to how it presents content on your big screen. Just because you have a lot screen space doesn’t mean you need to litter it with every single piece of information. To that end, the DETAILS page for each game has considerably reduced its information density and is now easier to read. But it also adds some new types of information via a Developers section, so that users can get to better know the makers of their favorite game as well as other games made by them, in case they become interested.

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The PLAY page has also seen a slight redesign to make it easier to find the games that matter to you. A new Favorites row has been added just below the old Recent Games section and two new ways to view games, Purchased and Recent Downloads, as been added at the very bottom. OUYA now also has a download manager that lets you prioritize your download queue on the fly. The video below summarizes the update changelog and gives a look at the new features in moving pictures format.

The Chupacabra update isn’t just for end users either. Also included in this round is the new developer policy foreshadowed last month. Starting this update, game developers will be free to choose whether they want to sell their wares upfront or stick to the old system that let them give out free demos for gamers to try before buying. All in all, this latest OTA update has something in store for both developers and gamers alike that will hopefully take small console gaming, and ultimately Android gaming, up a notch.

Xperia firmware check website keeps tabs on available Sony Xperia updates

Posted by wicked April - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android 4.4 has been rolling out to some Sony Xperia devices, and even some older ones are just getting updated to Android 4.3. If keeping track of which update has arrived for which device has your head spinning, then this new online tool might just help to keep you from going insane.

Keeping track of Android updates is no easy job. Keeping track of manufacturer-specific firmware updates is even more so. While the former is more often than not reported on Android sites like this, the latter, especially minor updates, are usually given a pass. But for Xperia users who are interested or just even curious about the latest firmware available for their device, or someone else’s, this website from XDA member pascalbrax can help you find out that information.

The site won’t win any design awards, but it tries to get the job done, somewhat. Users can enter pick their device from a long list of Xperia devices, including regional variants, and optionally enter their Customization number. This will then return the version of the latest firmware available for your device. It even offers a link to the exact model for you to bookmark as well as an image that gets automatically updated with the correct build number, which you can then use in sites like forums or blogs.

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This firmware check site is still quite rough around the edges, though hopefully it will improve as time goes by. For one, users won’t be able to download the exact firmware that they want. For that, they could use a Windows-only tool to check for firmware updates and download them too. But more importantly, it only gives out the firmware version, which is useful for only checking if you’re device is behind on updates. To find out other details about the firmware, even something as basic as Android version, users will have to cross-reference it with other sources of information. Not exactly the most convenient process, but it’s definitely a start.

SOURCE: firmware check
VIA: XDA

LG Bringing KnockCode to More LG Phones Via Future Firmware Update

Posted by wicked March - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Ever since it was introduced with the LG G2, the KnockOn tap-to-wake software that LG patented has been a major focal point of its OEM software. LG even improved its own design by announcing KnockCode alongside the G Pro 2, which will launch later this year. Apparently, demand was so high for creating a personalized knocking pattern to unlock your device that LG is bringing it to more of their older devices. 

According to a survey done by LG, over 50 percent of the participants listed KnockCode as their most anticipated feature of the G Pro 2. After hearing that kind of response, LG has announced plans for its LG G Flex and the G2 to receive KnockCode sometime in April.

No hard date has been set in stone and neither has the list of devices to receive this update. LG promises to keep us updated in “the weeks ahead” to give us more details of when exactly we can expect this firmware update to come through.

KEY LG SMARTPHONES TO GET KNOCK CODE(tm) Upgrade

LG's Newest UX Feature to be Available for G2 and G Flex

SEOUL, Mar. 25, 2014 – As announced at Mobile World Congress last month,Knock Code(tm) will be a key feature in LG smartphone models this year,including G Pro 2, G2 mini, F Series and L SeriesIII. Now LG Electronics(LG) will make its innovative Knock Code(tm) feature available on earlier LGsmartphone models via a firmware update starting in April. Owners of LG G2and G Flex in specific countries will be the first to receive the KnockCode(tm) update which will give users instant access to their smartphones viaa customized “knock” pattern.

With recent consumer research showing that most users check and unlocktheir devices between 100 and 150 times a day, LG was inspired to furtherenhance its KnockON feature with a higher layer of security andconvenience. KnockOn, which LG patented in 2008, was the perfect foundationto further develop Knock Code(tm), which is unique in its ability to both wakeand unlock the phone in one step, a clear time-saver for users. It’s nosurprise that more than 50 percent of participants in a recent surveyselected Knock Code(tm) as the most anticipated feature of G Pro 2,demonstrating the real need for an alternate solution to smartphonesecurity.1

The consumer benefits of LG’s Knock Code(tm) technology are obvious in itsability to wake and unlock the phone simultaneously, providing moreconvenience and greater security over conventional password andpattern-based security options. With Knock Code(tm), the smartphone display isdivided into four invisible quadrants. The user taps or “knocks” anywherefrom two to eight times in the quadrants in a specific sequence. With morethan 80,000 possible combinations and no fingerprint streaks, Knock Code(tm)offers a level of security far greater than other devices, even those withfingerprint recognition systems. And because Knock Code(tm) can be implementedanywhere on the screen in any size without having to view the screen,there’s no chance of password theft. In addition to being safer and moreconvenient, Knock Code(tm) is also more responsive compared to bio-recognitionsystems, which are much more susceptible to variations in the environment.

“LG engineers placed a great amount of emphasis on providing users withexceptional security and convenience when developing Knock Code,” said Dr.Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile CommunicationsCompany. “Making Knock Code accessible to a wider audience is consistentwith our direction to differentiate LG mobile devices on the basis of userexperience.”

Chinese Galaxy S5 Firmware Made Available for Download, Let the Extractions Begin

Posted by wicked March - 24 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Just as Galaxy S5 pre-orders begin on major US carriers, we’re finally starting to see official software builds from the device arrive. Today, SamMobile has dropped a download of the Chinese Galaxy S5′s firmware for Android 4.4.2, which means we’ll start seeing system apps, wallpapers, and ringtones available for download very soon.

The firmware for model SM-G9009D has already had at least one app extracted from it, the updated S Voice. SamMobile has made the APK for S Voice available for download as well, and Galaxy S4 and Note 3 users rocking Kit Kat can update to it with no worries.

Other system apps such as WatchON, S Note, Calculator, and Gear Fit Manager had also been leaked earlier, and anyone with a TouchWiz Kit Kat ROM should be able to use them by installing the APKs.

You can grab the download from right here. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more goodies get outed as folks search through the firmware a bit more, but for now we are content.

Via: SamMobile [2] | XDA

T-Mobile LG G2 Android 4.4 firmware gets leaked

Posted by wicked February - 28 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

AT&T has already rolled out the awaited KitKat upgrade to the LG G2, but T-Mobile customers are still left waiting. In the meantime, those who can’t wait much longer can try their luck with this leaked factory image for the smartphone bearing Android 4.4, and apparently some rather questionable changes as well.

Although slated for December, based on info provided by our favorite French carrier slash informant SFR, the LG G2 Android 4.4 update has been delayed again and again, with LG Canada mentioning a rather vague 2014 first quarter ballpark date. Early January, a G2 was spotted running the said Android version. Finally this week, AT&T let go the Android 4.4 release for their subscribers.

This Android 4.4 factory image for the LG G2 was provided by a member of XDA, so no guarantees are given. It is, however, interesting to note comments regarding some of the things missing in the image. For one, the new Android Runtime or ART is reported to be missing, which is rather strange considering ART made its debut precisely in Android 4.4. But perhaps more surprising to users is the fact that the NFC-based Tap To Pay feature in Google Wallet seems to have been disabled. Granted, such payments are not that widely in use anyway, but some users have wondered if T-Mobile purposely disabled it in order to give an advantage to its own Tap To Pay system.

That said, being an unofficial and unconfirmed firmware, we cannot yet consider these things as final. If the image did indeed come from T-Mobile’s servers, then an official rollout might soon be at hand and T-Mobile subscribers should probably sit this one out for the time being.

VIA: Reddit

ARCHOS GamePad 2 firmware update 20140213 available

Posted by wicked February - 24 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

As exelletor reported in our ARCHOS GamePad2 forum section, the Android console has recently received a firmware update. On their website, ARCHOS does not provide any history about which bug have been corrected and which features may have been added.

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To update, go to your Android Settings, choose “System updates” menu to check for this Other The Air (OTA) update, download and install it.

Apparently a minor update, still Android 4.2.2

Unfortunately, this new firmware does not bring any Android upgrade and the tablet will still run on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
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Still unpatched against Android Master Key vulnerability

While the security issues are months old, the system still hasn’t been patched against Android Master Key vulnerability. According to Bluebox Security Scanner, the GamePad2 will still be vulnerable against the three exploits: bug 8219321, 9695860 and 10148349. Not the best thing for anyone taking risks when downloading apps outside the official stores (think Flappy Bird :) )

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Samsung Galaxy S 4 Android 4.4 test firmware gets leaked

Posted by wicked February - 18 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Owners of Samsung‘s nominal flagship itching to get a taste of some KitKat sweetness might want to dive into this one, at least if they can stomach it. A test firmware bearing Android 4.4.2 for the Galaxy S 4 has just been leaked out and is now going around the Internet for brave users to try out.

It was reported last December that Android 4.4 will be descending upon the Galaxy S 4 as well as the Galaxy Note 3 by January. The month has come and gone and only the Galaxy Note 3 ever received that promised update, at least in Europe. While other smartphones from other manufacturers have been enjoying Android KitKat already, Samsung’s own flagship seems to have been pushed into the background. At least until now.

This firmware build I9505XXUFNAD is meant for the Open Europe version of the Galaxy S 4, the one with the model number GT-I9505. Aside from bringing Android 4.4 and all that it entails, like wireless printing, new emojis, and more, users will, of course, also find other Samsung touches. Most noticeable will be the monochrome status bar icons that have become indicative of Android 4.4. A new camera shortcut on the lockscreen is now available for faster access. There is also talk of improved benchmark scores but, given it’s Samsung and benchmarks, we will be taking that with a truck load of salt. Samsung’s own keyboard implementation has also been improved for easier use in landscape mode.

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Of course, this is just a test version of the firmware and things are likely to still change, if not break. Only those willing to go through the process of flashing their phones should even consider going this route. The usual precautions and disclaimers apply.

VIA: SamMobile

Sony rolls out QX lens camera firmware updates that give more power to users

Posted by wicked February - 6 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Sony is announcing a new firmware upgrade for its unique QX lens-style cameras, the QX100 and QX10. Introduced in September last year, these lenses that can both be used by themselves or as smartphone accessories will now offer users more control over the cameras’ settings.

Majority of the changes are bestowed on the more powerful, and of course more expensive, QX100. The new firmware will all users to control their shutter speed, which is now being called Shutter Priority mode. The firmware update also makes available a wider ISO range, from 160 to 128000, available in Programmable Auto mode, Aperture Priority, and Shutter Priority mode. Users can now also shoot Full HD video in MP4 format, at 1920×1080 resolutions and at a frame rate of 30 fps.

The QX10 practically gets the same enhancements, aside from the Shutter Priority mode. It does have a smaller ISO range of 100 to 3200 compared to the QX100. Full HD video recording at 1920×1080 30 fps is also available, also for MP4 formats. But the QX100 and the QX10 will also be able to switch between taking shots and previewing them without breaking the WiFi connection. The firmware updates are now available and can be downloaded from Sony’s website.

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Sony is also announcing two new accessories to take advantage of the QX lens-style cameras. The SPA-TA1 is an attachment for the lens that clamps onto tablets, such as the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. This does give tablets with normally lower megapixel counts better photographic abilities, but will probably also attract unwanted attention. The SPA-ACX4, on the other hand, attaches to the recently announced Xperia Z1 Compact, bringing the QX lenses to the Sony’s miniature flagship. Both attachments will be available starting March 2014, though no retail price has been suggested yet.

Samsung Galaxy S 4 Android 4.4.2 test image leaked

Posted by wicked January - 12 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

Now that CES 2014 and the promise of new gadgets is over, we turn our attention back to the devices that we do have now. Thanks to some insistent folks over at SamMobile, users of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 can enjoy an Android 4.4 experience on their device, that is, if they’re willing to make the jump.

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A test firmware for the Open Europe version of Samsung’s flagship, specifically with the model number GT-I9505, has recently been leaked and is now making rounds over the Internet. Aside from bumping the smartphone’s firmware to Android 4.4.2, this test image, whose build number is I9505XXUFNA1, is also believed to introduce a few performance improvements. Fortunately, it seems that Samsung has also applied the new color scheme on the status icons instead of sticking to its own colorful TouchWiz conventions.

As mentioned, this particular build is meant for the European model of the device, so unless you have the exact same model, better not try it. But even if you do, there will still be some risk involved since it will involve flashing your device with a new and unsupported image.

Those who can wait a bit longer, and by that we mean a month or so, an official Android 4.4 update might soon be on its way, at least according to French carrier SFR, whose schedules have previously been leaked before but aren’t always spot on. According to them, the update should come around late January, but it is probably realistic to expect it as late as February or March.

Ouya releases firmware update, includes bug-fixes and improves discoverability of games

Posted by wicked September - 20 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

Ouya

Ouya recently released a new software update to their Android-powered gaming console which includes some bug-fixes and improvements that deal with the discoverability of games.

The user-interface has been slightly tweaked— games that were previously downloaded are now found in the back row in the Discover section. Games that you don’t currently have will now be more visible… obviously a marketing move by the company. There are a few other adjustments, including the option to “bury” games that you are not interested in, and a notification that will tell you when a game has finished downloading and is ready to be played.

Ouya provided a change-log of the bug-fixes, which include:

- Fixed an issue where sometimes a system update would cancel and not inform the user, so only a blank downloading bar would appear.
- Fixed an issue where high bandwidth could actually cause performance issues and crashes while navigating menus.
- Fixed an issue that could cause the OUYA to overheat in some cases.
- Fixed a handful of crashes that could occur after browsing DISCOVER for a long period of time.

Solid update for the console, and there may me more to come in the near future regarding external storage support.

Source: DroidGamers

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