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2 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Privacy, Google Play, Nexus tablets and more

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It was a question I knew I'd get this week. Wasn't sure when, and I wasn't exactly sure what the ramifications would be. 

"I have 4G now?!?!?!"

That was a text from my wife, two days after I updated her iPhone 4S to iOS 5.1. (Yes, the wife of the greatest Android blog on the planet uses an iPhone 4S. She can use any damn phone she wants. She's my hot wife.)

A funny thing happened last week after the iOS updated -- folks started to care about something we've been railing against for a year or so now -- AT&T's faux-gee 4G. This hardly is a new phenomenon; we've had "4G" (as in HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul) Android phones on AT&T for some time now, and we've got the first true (and, actually only) 4G phones on any network, be it Sprint, Verizon or AT&T, thanks to Wimax and LTE. (Unless you want to count the HTC Max 4G.)

So if you've got a friend with an iPhone, pat them on the back and congratulate them on getting 4G. Then run a speed test with your LTE or Wimax phone, flip a table and walk away.

As for my wife's question? I'm a grown man. I told her the truth. 

"Sure you do, Baby."

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2 years ago

Boxee looking for Android Developers, free Boxee box to interviewees

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An interesting email seems to have been doing the rounds today. Boxee it seems are on the hunt for Android developers to join their organisation. To anyone interviewed either in person or via Skype, a free Boxee box will find its way to you. 

Apparently the iOS team are working on a top secret project -- something about puppies -- but that doesn't really interest us. A bit further down is the listing for an Android App Developer to be based in New York City. The listing reads: 

This position will own the entire Boxee Android product and be involved throughout the entire application development lifecycle. You must be confident, take ownership of your projects, work efficiently without management, be personable, and able to articulate yourself well verbally.

Requirements: 3+ year of professional development experience (Java or C++ preferred), Android development expertise and solid understanding of the intricacies of the platform, and an application developed by you in the Android Market (iOS or other mobile platform development experience a plus)

Sound like your cup of tea? Hit the source link below to head over to the application page. 

Source: Boxee Thanks, Rouel!

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2 years ago

Instagram for Android shown off at SXSW, 'better than iPhone app' say developers

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Good news coming out of SXSW today for all those eagerly awaiting Instagram's arrival on Android. The application has been shown off at the event, and so say the developers that "in some ways it's better than our iPhone app." 

Instagram's Kevin Systrom took to the stage clutching a Galaxy Nexus running a prototype of the app which is currently being tested in private beta. But what about a release date? Systrom had something -- albeit not much -- to say on that subject. The team "hope to have it out to people really soon." 

Really soon isn't really much to go on, but it is really coming. By the sound of it it'll be worth the wait too. Systrom also added that the app works great on larger screens, is really fast and offers sharing to Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Definitely no watered down version then. 

All that remains is to actually the see app running on an actual device. But after today, the wait appears to be nearing its end. 

Source: The Verge

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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winner: Food

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This week's Android Central photo contest winner is Nathan Stewart, who brings us this light and healthy plate that's as beautiful on our screen as it would be on our table. Nathan used the portrait mode of the stock HTC Amaze 4G to take this one, and we can see what good camera hardware in the right hands is capable of. Thanks, and congrats Nathan, keep an eye on your inbox and I'll contact you about your prize.

Our inbox got filled with mouth-watering pictures for this past weeks photo contest, and we're still hungry from looking through them all -- you guys know good food! Some of you folks must be professional chefs, or you should be. Sorting through it all and picking the winner was difficult, but we found the best of the bunch, and you can see the runners up (in no particular order) after the break. Be sure to have a napkin handy, they all look delicious!

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 11, 2012

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What good is a phone without apps? Whether you want to edit pictures, stay productive, or play some games there are tons of great options available through Google Play. Each week we take some time to share some of our favorites, so let's hit the break and check them out!

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2 years ago

AOKP for the HTC Droid Incredible [ROM review]

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Behold the mighty HTC DROID Incredible, now running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3! Yes, you read that correctly, the mighty DInc, the phone that will not go away, now has an Ice Cream Sandwich port that is ready for prime time as a daily driver! Let me introduce to you AOKP, by Team Kang.

Follow along after the break.

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2 years ago

Path updated with tweaked UI, half support for Nike+

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Path for Android has been updated to Version 2.1, which brings a bit of new functionality along with a tweaked user interface. The big change is that Path is now integrated the the Nike+ fitness system. The bad news is that Nike+ is really only compatible with iOS. (More on iOS' Path 2.1 update here.) So you can view Nike+ GPS running stories, but you won't be sharing them from Android until the app is rolled out later this year.

That's half the update, though. There's a new sharing screen (that's what you see above), a Music Match feature that can identify music in the background (like Shazam), new music activities, you can tap and hold to save photos, plus other performance enhancements and bugfixes (let's hope it got this one).

You'll need to update manually in the Android Market Android apps update section of Google Play, as the apps permissions have changed. You'll also need to log into your Path account again after updating. We've got download links after the break if you need 'em.

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2 years ago

Daylight Saving Time and Android: Sit back and relax

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Just a quick heads up that Daylight Saving Time struck most of us in the U.S. last night, meaning it's now an hour later than it should be. (An extra cup of coffee might be in order.) The good news for you, fair Android owner, is that your phone should have taken care of everything for you, provided that you're using date and time as provided by your network. 

Should something look wonky, go to getting>Date/time to check things out. But otherwise, your phone should have adjusted without a hitch.

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2 years ago

Android Developers - Have you considered porting your application to the BlackBerry PlayBook?

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Before you get all bent out of shape about us talking about the BlackBerry PlayBook, keep in mind that after the recent update to BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, the PlayBook can now run Android applications. The update brought along an Android App Player which allowed Android apps to be repackaged, and submitted to App World for public downloading. For a while RIM even ran a promotion offering free BlackBerry PlayBook's to Android developers who ported their applications and submitted them to App World.

Owning a BlackBerry PlayBook I know that a few developers did take the opportunity to put their applications in App World, but not nearly as many as one would have expected. The process was really easy from RIM, they made it so your APK file could be easily repackaged into a BAR file which is read on the PlayBook. They weren't asking developers to rewrite their applications, or make huge changes, and still developers didn't jump all over it.

Personally I was left wondering why more big name applications didn't make their way over to the BlackBerry PlayBook. With a rather simple process, a free PlayBook, and an added audience of over one million users, it becomes even more alarming. So, if you are an Android developer we would love to know about your decision. Whether you have already ported, are still considering, or decided against it completely be sure to let us know how you reached your decision.

Source: CrackBerry

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2 years ago

Android Central international round-up - March 10, 2012

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Mobile World Congress may be done for another year, but the pace of international Android news hasn't slowed in the past seven days. We've already seen the launch of the Sony Xperia S, the first flagship phone of 2012, and we've learned more about HTC's eagerly-awaited One series of phones. In addition, a couple of last year's high-end phones have had their prices drastically cut in preparation for the next wave of must-have Android devices.

Throw in a sprinkling of Ice Cream Sandwich update rumors, and you've got yourself a pretty full week of Android goodness (aside from that little bit of Apple news).

Check some highlights from past week's Android developments in Europe, Asia and beyond in the list below. And if you've got international news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special Features:

News:

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2 years ago

Weather Here [Android app review]

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Your Android smartphone is your go-to device to keep current on just about everything, so it's no wonder that weather applications have become so popular. There's an abundance of weather apps on the various Android markets out there, but many of us are looking for something simple, that sits in the app drawer waiting for you to need it versus something that's more in-your-face with widgets and animations. I think I just found the one I'm looking for. 

Weather Here does only one thing -- display the weather for where you're located. There's nothing to set up, it just checks to grab your location (it uses Wifi and cell tower location first, keeping the GPS off unless absolutely needed) then tells you the current weather, a forecast, and a local radar map. Using NOAA/National Weather Service data, it seems fairly accurate, and the application is fast to load and doesn't bog down your phone with fluff. If you like the fluff, I can understand and Weather Here probably isn't for you. Think of it as a no-nonsense approach to show weather data on your phone, but done well and great looking.

Just because it's lean, doesn't mean it's lacking in features. It's warm(ish) and windy here today, and I get a weather warning alert about wildfire dangers with just a tap. Tapping on any day in the forecast list gives me the details, and Menu>Radar shows me the animated precipitation radar map for my area. Again, with nothing to set-up -- just install, and go. The free version has mobile ads and a timed dialog when opening the radar screen, but the full version for $0.99 removes both. Add in no goofy permissions, and you have a hell of a nice, simple, app that does exactly what it says on the tin. Hit the break for a couple screenshots and download links.

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2 years ago

Put a little Ice Cream Sandwich in your computer with Roboto fonts

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We're all frustrated at the wait for Ice Cream Sandwich on our phones and tablets, but maybe a little Roboto on your computer can help fill that void. The Android design team has popped out some official Roboto fonts that can be installed on just about any device that can display True Type fonts, and they look great on your desktop or laptop. Getting them is easy, just download them from the Android Design page, and install according to your OS specifications.

They'll give you a fresh, clean look that's easy to read and scales great. The best part is that they're absolutely free for use and "without restriction" for use in applications, so developers can use them in things like Web apps and desktop widgets. Sure beats the Comic Sans look. See the source link for downloads and the specimen book.

Source: Android Design; via +Android

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2 years ago

Late-night poll: Do you let other people use your phone?

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Our Android phones are pretty personal things, full of personal information. Some of us can be very protective, and don't much care for other folks getting too comfortable with them. Besides the risk of breakage, there's also a chance someone will see something you'd rather they didn't. For others, it's not a problem, family and friends can feel free to pick up your phone off the table and fire it up. And of course, many fall squarely in the middle and are OK with a select few folks touching our Androids.

I'm OK with someone picking up my tablet (just don't lose my page in the Nook app please), but my phone? Between us I don't even like it when my lovely wife uses it for more than a few minutes. I can't explain it, it's just my precious. What about you folks? Sound off in the poll.

 

 

Do you let other people use your Android phone?

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2 years ago

Get Google Play up and running on your Logitech Revue [How-To]

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Ask anyone who has a Logitech Revue, and they'll tell you it can be a temperamental son-of-a-biscuit every now and then. Most of us still love the Google TV experience, but owning a Revue means you'll need to get familiar with work-arounds. Here's a simple one to get the Google play update running on your Revue if you got stuck in the "update available/updating" loop:

Pull the plug for 10 seconds.

In fact, pulling the plug and counting to 10 before you re-power your Revue solves a lot of problems. I found myself with the Market update waiting, and nothing I could do would fix it until I just powered the whole damn thing down. When it came back, I had the shiny new Google play service ready and waiting. If it would only work for Hulu plus...

Source: Android Central forums

Hat tip to ryanfoley613 for reminding us of the trick!

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2 years ago

Google Maps updated with simplified Navigation menus

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Google Maps for Android has received a minor update today, bringing it up to version 6.4.0. The new version introduces some minor changes to Google Maps Navigation on ICS devices. Gone is the large, unwieldly vertical list activated by the menu key -- in its place is a more accessible grid-based setup. And as part of Google's ongoing war against the menu overflow key, those pesky three dots are no longer present in Maps Navigation in ICS -- they're replaced with a completely different menu key a few pixels above your virtual buttons.

In the unlikely event that you're not currently using Google Maps, we've got the Android Market Google Play Store link after the break. We've also got a screenshot of the new Navigation menu, if you're into that sort of thing.

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