Friday 7 December 2012

07/12/2012: Bluestacks for Surface RT? Video game sales slightly down, LG finally gets ICS on Optimus 2X and much more!

Bluestacks to offer Surface RT support as Rubicon complain about RT sales!

   Some of our loyal readers may well have seen us cover Bluestacks before. It's essentially an Android app emulator which gives you the possibility of playing you favourite Android games or booting up your Taptu feeds. It seems that their emulator has come in very useful with the arrival of Windows 8 and all those touchscreen devices.

   At the moment it seems the guys at Bluestacks are doing pretty well on their own. They've had over 5 million organic installs direct from their website in only 8 months! The future is look very, very bright too as they've penned some deals with ASUS and AMD that will see their app pre-installed on 100 million devices next year! 

   The only problem is that, at the moment, there's no support for Windows RT, which powers Microsoft's Surface tablets. Indeed, apps on Windows RT don't seem to be doing too well as game creator, Rubicon, posted up a blog which explains how their foray into RT apps resulted in the grand total of £52 or $83 worth of income. That was for a whole week of sales of their smash hit Great Big War Game! 

   This news alone makes it interesting to hear that Bluestacks have acknowledged that they would lioke to offer Bluestacks for Windows RT at some point in the next year. This is not a concrete commitment in any way, but they have expressed an interest in doing so. This leaves Microsoft in quite a predicament because they are simultaneously confronted with the possibility of 750,000 of Android's touch optimised apps, whilst at the same time trying to convince companies to develop 'Metro' style apps to suit their new OS.

   What would you prefer? Lots of Android apps on your Surface or upcoming Surface Pro or apps designed specifically to play nice with the Metro UI? Let us know in the comments below!
Via Engadget and TechCrunch.

Video game sales decline despite the big releases!

   Video games - the bane of parents and teachers lives everywhere, but the past time of a budding generation of tech-centric kids and big kids alike! Unfortunately, it seems this year we've not turned out in force with sales of both hardware and software down 11% on the year to this November.

   NPD have released some interesting information here because "entertainment software units decreased by 15%, however, when comparing the performance of the top five titles from this year to last, we see a rise in unit sales of 5% - [it was] games outside of the top five [which] sold less, leading to overall declines." This isn't wholly surprising given that November last year saw the simultaneous launches of Uncharted 3, Skyrim, Lego Harry Potter 5-7 and Modern Warfare 3!

   There's also the distinct lack of new consoles this year. The Wii U will not figure prominently in these figures because there has only been widespread availability very recently and for the most part people who want a console now have their Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3!
Via BBC.

In other news:

  • RIM is widely expected to give their Blackberry Fusion enterprise customers an easy way to get involved with Blackberry 10. The plan is to introduce this idea to the UK first with other countries to follow soon after. Their senior director for enterprise at RIM, Bryan Lee, said:
'We remain committed to our enterprise customers and want to provide them with a head start on understanding the power of BlackBerry 10 and preparing their existing environments for the new mobile computing platform. The BlackBerry 10 Ready Program gives customers access to a variety of services, information, tools, and special offers to help ease their transition to BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.' Via MobileToday
  • Sony has agreed a deal with Box to up the bundled storage with new Xperia smartphones to 50GB to match LG and Samsung's similar offerings (although Samsung offers Dropbox storage instead).
    Via Clove.
  • HTC has launched it's budget Windows Phone 8 device, the 8S, on Three today with very reasonable pricing too! It's available for £180 on Pay-As-You-Go and from £17 a month on contract! This means that Three now offer both the 8S and 8X and should you opt for the latter then you also get a complimentary copy of Windows 8 Pro for your computer! You can check them both out over at Three's website here!
    Via BGR.
  • AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile have teamed up to bring forward to release of  emergency texting, or text-to-911! We can only assume this is because of the issues with Hurricane Sandy and the support of the FCC!
    Via PCAdvisor.
  • LG is today pushing out the ICS, yes ICS, update to their Optimus 2X devices! The phrase better late than never comes to mind!
    Via AndroidCentral.
  • Apple and Samsung were back in front of Lucy Koh today and she called for "global peace" between the two. Something which brought out a few chuckles from onlookers as she reiterated her point. She said "I'm not joking... it would be good for consumers and good for the industry" if the pair could iron out a deal. Samsung, for their part said that they were more than "willing to talk," but Apple weren't. Instead they restated their position that the billion dollar punishment which was initially agreed by the jury was a mere "slap on the wrist" for Sammy. Unsurprisingly, we're no further along. As always we'll let you know when we hear any more!
    Via Engadget.
  • After reporting yesterday that Huawei was working on a 6.1" challenger to Samsung's Galaxy Note, Huawei's exec, Yu Chengdong, came forward to offer a rough time frame for a release date. He was only prepared to offer up early “early 2013”, which essentially means that it will be landing at either CES in January or Mobile World Congress shortly after that! There was one other tasty little tidbit and that was that Mr. Chengdong thinks you should pass up Samsung's Galaxy Note II, because it's 'grossly overpriced'. We'll have to wait and see what Huawei can tempt us with early next year!
    Via IntoMobile.
And finally, this is Onda's, a company famous for making solid PMP's, new V972 tablet! Aside from having a very catchy name, there's also a good set of specs for this little thing. It's got a quad-core AllWinner processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage which is expandable with microSD cards, rear and front facing cameras at 5MP and 2 megapixels respectively and a 8,000mAh battery that is rated for 8-10 hours usage. The real highlight though is that there is a Retina-equally 9.7" display with a resolution of 2048x1536! 

So what's the catch you ask? Well as far as we can see there isn't one, it comes with Android 4.1 and there's plans for a 4.2 update. The price you ask? $240 or £150!!! Wow. Don't you wish you had a relative in China sometimes?
Only in China: the Onda V927 is a 9.7-inch Retina quad-core tablet with Jelly Bean for $240


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