EU law to require standard battery charger for mobile devices

While most mobile devices today ship with the same microUSB battery charger, at least in Europe, where the EU insisted a few years ago that manufacturers comply with this particular demand, it appears that’s not enough for the European parliament.

A new EU law will be soon signed, and it will require all companies that sell mobile devices in the region to use the same standard battery charger. While it’s not clear what the standard will be, we’re most likely looking at microUSB chargers for the future, no matter what generation they’ll be – just recently, we heard that a new, reversible microUSB connector is going to replace the current one, so we would assume that’s going to be the new standard.

So far, there’s a provisional agreement on the common charger, which will likely be signed into law next March. From then on, EU members will have two years to adapt local laws, while manufacturers will get an additional year to comply.

The move, whose scope is to limit the “unnecessary waste and cost for consumers,” may negatively affect Apple, which has its own charger for mobile devices, the Lightning that replaced last year the old 30-pin dock connector. It’s unclear at this time whether Apple will be allowed to offer European customers adapters with their new iOS device purchases or whether it’ll have to change ports on the devices it sells in Europe.

Android device makers will probably be largely unaffected by the EU’s new proposed law, as many of the current devices already sell bundled with microUSB chargers.



Source: Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Game Edition is on its way, includes new Samsung GamePad controller

Samsung is no stranger when it comes to creating minor revisions of its tablet hardware, or even creating product bundles that bear their own special names. A few examples that come to mind include the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Student Edition, the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids and, if rumor proves correct, the company is even preparing a Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Lite.

Now it looks like we’re getting yet another special edition bundle, this time the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Game Edition. As you might have guessed, the new bundle includes a run-of-the-mill Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 bundled with Samsung’s new GamePad controller.

Of course the Tab 3 itself is too big to hook up to the Gamepad’s smartphone attachment bracket, but the good news is that Samsung is including an HDMI adapter so you can hook the Tab 3 up to your TV and then use the controller across the room via Bluetooth. Basically its like a micro-console and Android tablet all in one convenient package.

Unfortunately, the Tab 3 8.0 isn’t exactly a heavyweight champion when it comes to hardware, though it should still handle most games at least reasonably well.

As a refresher, the device is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 CPU with 1.5GB of RAM. Other specs include 16GB storage, a 5MP shooter, 1.3MP front cam, microSD, a 4450 mAh battery and Android Jelly Bean onboard.

So when can we expect the tablet bundle, and for how much exactly? Samsung has yet to officially reveal pricing or even a release date just yet, but from the sounds of it, it will be arriving ‘soon’ to consumers in Europe. No word on if or when the bundle will make its way to North America, though we wouldn’t be too surprised if it did.


Source: Android Authority



CyanogenMod Raises Another $23 Million in Funding, Looking to Hire Squad of New Engineers

Steve Kondik, Cyanogen Inc’s CTO, took to the official CyanogenMod blog today, announcing that the group has received another $23 million in funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz, bringing the total amount of capital to about $30 million. Pretty impressive for a group of dudes that started making custom ROMs a few years ago. With the second round of funding under way, the team is apparently getting ready to hire new staff “like crazy.”

Kondik did a very good job at laying out the first step Cyanogen is going to take with the cash flow through his blog post, and we have gone ahead and posted an excerpt from it below.

This new influx of capital will primarily be used to grow our engineering team as well as our UX, design, and product teams so that we can continue to build the next generation of mobile experience.

What does this mean for you as a CM user? Not much yet, except that you’ll see more new things from us more often. We will continue to invest in the community by way of increased resources, sponsoring more events, and of course staying open. You’ll see new apps and features from us, new services, and also more devices which run CM out of the box.

Do you love Android and open source? We are looking for great designers and software engineers to make it happen. Visit if you want to be a part of of the new revolution in mobile!
If you think you have what it takes to be a part of CM, definitely hit up that Careers link.



Source: Droid Life

Koush’s ROM Manager Pulled From Google Play, Google Cites Developer Agreement Violations

ROM Manager has been a huge part of the Android ecosystem, helping rooted users flash new ROMs and restore backups for years. Unfortunately, it appears that its developer Koush, has run into troubles. Google, without warning, removed ROM Manager from Google Play, citing that the app violates a few agreements that developers sign in to, specifically ones that deal with third party payment options inside of apps downloaded from Google Play.

The issue was first addressed by Google, stating that Koush needed to fix a payment flow option for Helium – his data backup application. After Koush stated that he had other apps that used the same payment flow, Google skipped past the “you have six weeks to fix the issue,” and went straight to yanking down ROM Manager. As you may know, ROM Manager has hundreds of thousands of downloads, and people rely on it for their rooting needs. Whatever Koush did, it doesn’t appear that Google was very transparent about the decisions they were making with regards to removing it completely.

We have faith that Koush will be able to work this all out and ROM Manager will return to Google Play sooner or later. Although, Koush hasn’t promised anything quite yet.


Source: Droid Life

[New Game] Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp

If you couldn’t get enough of Dirk and Daphne from the original Dragon’s Lair, they’re back in the arcade sequel. Dragon’s Lair 2 was originally released back in 1991 on arcade laserdisc machines, enabling the beautiful 2D art from master animator Don Bluth to shine through. Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp is five dollars on the Play Store (the same price as the original) and is compatible with Android 1.5 and up.

The story in DL2 has shifted slightly – the protagonist’s “Happily Ever After” doesn’t last long, as Daphne is kidnapped by a time-hopping wizard. Dirk trades his trusty steed for a rusty time machine and gives chase, fighting off Bluth’s typically zany monsters and dying many, many, many times. The animation is as good as it’s ever been, and with high definition resolution, it might look even better than when you played it two decades ago.

The sequel uses the same extremely simple Simon Says-style gameplay as the original, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so pass this one up if you’re looking for action. But if you want what’s essentially a playable cartoon with some great nostalgia value, give it a shot. The game has Xperia Play support, though those without physical controls should be able to play through just fine. Looking doe something similar? Try Space Ace, from the same classic production team.



[New Game] Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

We’ve already cruised through Liberty City and significantly lowered property values in Vice City, now it’s time for a west coast vacation in San Andreas. The third Grand Theft Auto game of the PlayStation 2 era just landed on the Play Store in its blocky, polygonal, sandbox glory, and you can pick it up for a cool $6.99. No in-app purchases, no time-outs, just good old-fashioned Rockstar madness.

San Andreas takes the GTA action to California with a huge, fictional city amalgamating Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, and some rural backcountry that hadn’t been seen in the series up to that point. Like Vice City before it, San Andreas moves the clock back, this time going to a slightly larger-than-life version of the early 90s. You play as CJ, a young African American making his way through the various facets of the criminal underworld. You steal cars. You kill people. You do other things that kids probably shouldn’t be allowed to do in video games.

This was the last GTA game on the PS2 and Xbox, and for a lot of players, it was significantly better than Grand Theft Auto 4, which tended to lose focus with too much to do in the fictional city. Improvements over Vice City include slightly better graphics, more vehicles, customizable cars and player avatars, an entirely new genre-spanning soundtrack, and expanded mini-games. The Android version features adjustable graphic settings and compatibility with MOGA and other Bluetooth controllers.




[New Game] Colossatron

From points unknown, comes the one and only Colossatron. Like all giant serpentine robots, Colossatron is mainly concerned with destroying lesser civilizations, and you can take control of the action in the newest game from Halfbrick Studios.

This title is a sort of casual robot builder, if there is such a thing. Colossatron goes about its business, rolling around the screen, shooting at everything in range. Most of your interaction with the game comes in the form of adding new modules to the robot. If you connect three of the same color, they collapse into a single more powerful subunit. Match two of the primary colors, like blue and red, and you get a third color with a different power (purple in this case).

The game has clean graphics and a fun cartoony style with full support for immersive mode on Android 4.4. The developers also framed the game as a series of amusing, goofy news reports. Also, your enemy is called General Mustache – what more could you want? Still not sold? We’re pretty sure Colossatron’s core is made of a decapitated Power Ranger Dinozord.

Uncanny, right? Colossaltron is a buck, but there are some in-app purchases built-in.




[New Game] The Cave

The Cave was released way back in January as a downloadable title for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Steam, and probably everything else that can slap together an Internet connection and a few polygons. Adventure game aficionados were thrilled, because it’s got quite a pedigree, coming from the designer of classics The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, along with being developed by the much-loved Double Fine. Now it’s out for Android, and you can pick it up on the Play Store for five bucks.

The Cave follows a handful of protagonists who are lured to… well, a cave, so I suppose you can’t fault the game for untruthful advertising. In a series of platforms and puzzles you’ll unravel the backstories of your chosen characters, switching between them to advance through the stages and get past traps and monsters. The eclectic story forces each one to confront his or her past as the narrative swings from black humor to drama like a pendulum, which is something that should be familiar to fans of Double Fine games and their progenitors.

Don’t expect Sonic-level platforming or Zelda-level puzzles here – The Cave isn’t interested in making you die fifty times to reach the end of the stage. Though the game has these mechanics thrown in to keep things interesting, it’s an adventure title at heart. Decent 2.5D graphics and character designs infused with personality make it look unique, though older Android devices may struggle to keep up. The Cave is compatible with phones and tablets running 2.3 or higher, and there are no in-app purchases.