If you’ve been waiting to try out XBMC on your Android, it appears now is the time. While beta and nightly builds were already available, the team behind it has finally readied a release it says is “end user friendly,” ready to run on most any device. It achieves that feat by offloading video player duties to another app, in this case MX Player, in order to get around XBMC’s lack of hardware support for many devices. After sideloading the two necessary APKs we were able to get it up and running without any trouble, tossing in add-ins and playing back locally stored media without a problem. There’s a video to go along with the release (embedded after the break) but installing it yourself is probably the best way to get a feel for its video, picture and audio playback abilities.
Gallery: XBMC for Android
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Sony Xperia T and TX owners won’t have to wait until the eventual Jelly Bean update to eke some new life out of their software. From this week onwards, the Bond-blessed Android phone is getting an update that adds screen mirroring through Miracast; provided the stars align and you’ve got a compatible TV, the high-end Xperia gets that much larger a canvas. Upgrading also introduces an extended standby mode that temporarily shuts off data, a movie app with a small video player and a photo album that makes use of Sony’s full image processing engine. We’re further reminded as to how much sweeter that HD Voice calling on the T (but not TX) should sound. As much as we’d prefer a full-fledged OS update, it’s a welcome dose of relevancy for a smartphone that has had fierce competition almost from the start.
Imo has no doubt gotten a bit of boost in the last couple of months, when Meebo finally shuttered its Messenger offering ahead of its social-boosting Google integration, and now the service is getting a bit more robust for iOS users. The instant messaging aggregator (AIM, Google Talk, Facebook chat, et al.) is bringing free voice calling to iPhones running iOS version 3.1 and higher, a feature already available on its Android offering. Interested parties can check out a press release and not particularly informative video of the new feature after the break.
Developers have been able to play with Android SDK 4.1 since it was unleashed at Google I/O, but it’s now finalized and ready for prime time. New system images and platform components give devs access to the finished Jellybean APIs, while bugs in the Android SDK Tools revision 20.0.1, Eclipse plugin and NDK have been stomped. Follow the source link below to download the confectionary-themed OS development tools.
Filed under: Handhelds
Facebook has long betrayed you by forwarding your drunken wall ramblings in an email for posterity. Previously, though, the only way to limit further public shame was to try to delete the comment altogether. Now, it looks like the loose fingered have been given a reprieve, as the social giant is rolling out the ability to edit your ill-thought missives long after the fact. Even better, this seems to extend back to those written in the past. Don’t think you can be sneaky though, as an “edited” link will appear below, letting everyone see the thread history. So even if you change your opinion, that indecision remains for all to see.
Along with talking up 3D images and other new features for Maps, Google is pushing its new Trusted Stores program this week. The service, which has been in testing for the last nine months, monitors online retailers and awards those with good shipping and service records a “trusted” badge. In addition to giving online shoppers some reassurance that a vendor is, well, trustworthy, Trusted Stores will offer users assistance in resolving issues with sellers, plus up to $ 1,000 of purchase protection. For the retailers, the company says the value proposition is an increase in sales “by showing you’re a great place to shop.” Google will be rolling out badges for approved stores in the US starting today, and clicking on those little seals of approval will let you view a merchant’s “report card” for shipping and customer service reliability.
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So apparently Rolls Royce puts fiber optic lights in the roofs of its cars to look like lil stars because God forbid you put glass there so you can see the real ones. Impressive, Rolls Royce. Kidding — I’m pretty sure the limo I took to prom a decade ago had this.
Creating an illusion of a dazzling night sky, hundreds of fibre optic lights shine through the perforated leather on the roof. The brightness of these Roll Royce-created stars can be adjusted to complement the moods and the needs of the owner. It can be bright enough to support reading and dim enough to deliver subtle glow for ultimate relaxation. It can also be switched off altogether.
I dunno, seems like a waste. I’ll take a moonroof over fiber optic stars any day. Besides, it sounds like just another thing to break. And do you know what happens when the fiber optic starlight bulb goes out in your Rolls Royce? Hundreds of thousands in repair bills.
Hit the jump for several more shots.
Diversification is the key to longevity. With that likely in mind, GameStop just announced widespread availability of Android tablets throughout its chain of retail stores. This comes after a 200 store trial that started last October.
These aren’t ordinary Android tablets, though. GameStop is pre-loading the Samsung, Asus, Acer, and Toshiba with extra gaming titles such as Sonic CD, Riptide, the Kongregate Arcade app and a free issue of GameStop’s gaming mag, Game Informer. Thanks to these extras and with prices that are inline with other stores, GameStop actually has a chance to capture a bit of the tablet market.
GameStop has recently been bulking up its non-game retail stock in a likely attempt to stop the bleeding. While brick and mortar locations still focus mainly on video games, the website offers headphones, tablet accessories, even refurbished iPods and iPads. The company started testing selling Android tablets last October. Today’s announcement states loud and clear that GameStop sees a future in Android tablets even if no one else does.
Microsoft and Nokia are taking their continued collaboration a step further, incorporating the Finnish company’s mapping back-end to offer expanded and improved traffic results in Bing Maps. Nokia’s system will be powering the traffic results in 24 different countries, including the United States, the UK, Italy, France, and Germany. Not only does the switch bring traffic coverage to countries that didn’t already have the capability, but it also adds traffic tracking for side streets in the US. The use of Nokia’s geocoding services in several countries will also improve the quality of Bing’s turn-by-turn directions. The changes are simply the latest benefit to hit Bing since the two companies decided to partner; both systems began using a…
Some have called Microsoft’s Facebook app for Windows Phone a red-headed stepchild to the Android and iOS darlings, but it’s making up for lost time in good fashion with a 2.5 update. Those who live a Metro life now get full Facebook conversation threads with group support, so they’re not left out of the loop when a friend mentions the pub he wanted to visit two days ago. Along with this more conversational addition, it’s now possible to tag a friend or a place in a post using plain “with” and “at” statements, and the seemingly inescapable Like button has reached comments for Windows Phone owners. There’s more control over posts and active post links in the mix as well, so you’ll find a surfeit of social mingling when you update at the Windows Phone Marketplace link below.
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