Headlines

2 years ago

Maybe a matte EVO 4G LTE isn't that bad after all ...

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OK, maybe I was wrong. Me, the guy who from Day 1 stuck up for the EVO 4G LTE, saying that the plastic section above the kickstand -- the glossy, fingerprint-loving, mirror-finish plastic section that nearly caused wars on both coasts before the phone was ever released -- the section that nearly led apple to cancel its complaint with the International Trade Commission ("Let them have it!" Tim Cook reportedly never said) -- the section that ...

You get the point. Some folks hated it. Some didn't. 

Me? I never thought it was that bad. But check out what Android Forums member yocubed did to his EVO with $23, a few minutes of time and some Ghost Armor. Be gone, Glossy finish, and hello, marvelous matte! And it looks pretty damn good, even if it's not a perfect match. Hit the link below for more info on the mod.

More: Ghost Armor Matte Backing on the HTC EVO 4G LTE

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2 years ago

Google I/O countdown, Multitasking conspiracy theories [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums, there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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2 years ago

This Galaxy Nexus desktop dock is the perfect car dock

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What do you do if the official car dock for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus just isn't good enough for you? If you're like ItsDrew in our forums, you put the ol' noodle to good use and make things work. ItsDrew tells it pretty good, so here's his story:

I was really excited to see Google selling these accessories so I purchased two desktop docks and one vehicle dock. The desktop docks rock! The vehicle dock, however, was the worst dock experience I have ever had. It takes tremendous force using both hands to push the phone into the dock and twice the amount of force to get it out. Twice, my phone popped out so hard that it flew into my back seat. The Audio worked when I put it in the dock for the first time, but then never worked again after that. I sent it back to Google and didn't have to pay re-stock fee because the Audio was broken.

Now I simply use a Desktop dock in my truck, and it works perfectly.

Brilliant! Let it never be said that the folks in the Android Central forums aren't resourceful.

Anybody else have some accessory hackery they'd like to share?

Read: "I just returned the Galaxy Nexus Vehicle Dock - Fail!"

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2 years ago

Peter Chou: HTC won't 'destroy brand image' by releasing super-low-end phones

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HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou has reaffirmed the company's commitment to focus on higher-end devices in 2012, saying it wouldn't "destroy" its brand image by releasing "cheap, cheap phones" in order to increase product shipments. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the HTC boss added, "We insist on using better materials to make better products that offer premium experience. Many consumers like that."

In the past six months, HTC has refocused its efforts on "hero" products at every level, including the HTC One series at the high end, and phones like the Droid Incredible 4G LTE in the mid-range market. So it's important to recognize what Peter Chou is referring to when he talks about "cheap, cheap phones." Devices like the recently-launched Desire C and One V may be low-end and inexpensive by Western standards, but there's a whole other ecosystem of super low-end phones coming to market in China and developing countries. In China, HTC offers phones around the 2000 yuan level, while the likes of Motorola are pushing for even cheaper 1000 yuan devices. At this price point, Chou says, "we won't have good products."

Whatever the case, this more or less confirms that HTC doesn't intend to release phones that are any cheaper than current budget offerings like the Desire C, and that design and build quality remain priorities for the manufacturer (though that's long been clear to anyone who's used HTC's phones.) In the fiercely competitive smartphone market of 2012, HTC will be hoping its focus on mid-level and above devices will set it apart from its competition.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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2 years ago

Official My Xbox Live app released on Android, reminds us it isn't Smartglass

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Been hankering after some mobile Xbox Live action like your iOS and Windows Phone buddies? Hanker no more, today the official My Xbox Live application has made its debut on Android. 

We heard rumors way back in January that Microsoft were potentially readying themselves to bring Android into the Xbox Live party, after a suspiciously suggestive job advertisement was spotted. Seems there was something behind it, and that Microsoft employed that someone with Android development experience to create what we see today.

There's more than just a whiff of the Metro UI about it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But, we're not all about looks around here, what about the nuts and bolts of it. 

My Xbox Live for Android promises a pretty respectible feature set: 

  • View, manage, and message friends
  • View and compare your achievement progress with friends
  • Read and Edit your full LIVE profile (name, bio, motto)
  • See your 3-D Avatar and customize it while on-the-go
  • Access your recent activity and manage your Beacons
  • Stay connected to the Xbox LIVE community via Spotlight

Coming out of E3 there's actually plenty of reasons to be excited about Microsoft bringing cool new stuff to Android, including, of course, the forthcoming Xbox Smartglass. Just in case you were confused though, there's a little paragraph that comes with this just to clarify things: 

No, this is not Xbox SmartGlass that we unveiled last week at E3. This is a milestone update to the My Xbox LIVE app on iOS and the first release of the app on Android.

Yes, we do intend to bring Xbox SmartGlass to several platforms over time, but have no details to share right now.

So, if you're one of the legions of Xbox Live gamers, head on over to the Google Play store now and pick yourself up a copy. 

Download: My Xbox Live

Source: Major Nelson

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2 years ago

Update: Amazon jumped the gun; Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 not yet up for preorder

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Update: Samsung just pinged us to say that Amazon put this page up in error, and that the Note 10.1 isn't yet available for preorder. And, sure enough, the page has been killed. (Samsung also points out the errors that many of you spotted in the specs as another clue that Amazon wasn't quite ready for this one to go live.) The good news is that Sammy's now well aware of how excited you all are for the Note 10.1, so there's that.

Original post follows.

Pop quiz: What's 10.1 inches in diagonal, looks like a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 but acts like a Galaxy Note? Oh, and it's available for preorder at Amazon U.S. If you answered the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, you'd be correct. And for bonus points, you'd know that it's up for preorder for $549.99.

Amazon says it'll ship in 3 to 5 weeks, but it wouldn't surprise us if that's just a ballpark and it shifts either way. In the meantime, be sure to check out our hands-on from Mobile World Congress back in February to see what you're getting yourself into.

Preorder the Galaxy Note 10.1 at Amazon; via Unwired View

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2 years ago

ASUS Transformer Prime sees a minor update, brings face unlock

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ASUS is pushing a minor OTA update to Transformer Prime users, which brings the promised face unlock feature as well as a few bug fixes. According to ASUS' Facebook page, the update brings the system to ICS 9.4.2.28, and includes the following changes:

  • GPS dongle fix and local notification
  • Ethernet UI support to set Ethernet connect policy when screen off
  • Add system bar lock settings for showing/hiding system info
  • Enable face unlock feature
  • Support Bluetooth HDP
  • Third party app upgrades
  • Other bug fixes

We're hearing from users on both sides of the pond that the OTA is ready and waiting for them when they check, but if you're the unlucky sort like I am and never get OTA's on time, you can grab the files directly from ASUS here

We've heard that this update is rootable if you're into that sort of thing, but just in case I'm going to recommend that you run rootkeeper prior to updating just in case. Of course if you're not running stock software you won't be able to flash the update at all and will need to wait for updates from the folks who built your ROM. If you hit any snags, or need a bit of help, be sure to holler in the forums.

Source: ASUS on Facebook (1), (2)

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2 years ago

Huawei's Ascend P1 gets priced in Europe

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If you're after a nicely balanced mid-to-high-end smartphone running the latest version of Android, you could do a lot worse than the Huawei Ascend P1. As we noted in our recent review of the device, Huawei's upped its game significantly with its latest phone for international markets. And with a release due in the next couple of months, pre-order prices are starting to appear across European retailers.

Ascend P1 prices at Amazon Germany and Unieuro Italy are set around the €450 mark (~£365, ~$565), placing it alongside HTC's One S in terms of unsubsidized prices (though these are, as always, subject to change in the run up to release). That makes sense considering the Ascend P1 comes close to that phone in terms of raw hardware specs, and it's clear the P1 is going to mark the start of Huawei's big play for the higher-end smartphone market. We'll be interested to see which European carriers the manufacturer's able to recruit to its cause this summer.

For more on the Huawei Ascend P1, check out our full review.

Source: Amazon Germany; via: UnwiredView

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2 years ago

Updated HTC OpenSense SDK available with new APIs

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HTC has released a brand new version of its OpenSense SDK (software development kit), featuring the new APIs that were announced at Mobile World Congress a few months back.  These new programming hooks allow third-party apps to better integrate with Sense 4.0 features like the lock screen and Beats Audio sound enhancements. (Update: the MediaLink HD API is still yet to come, HTC tells us.)

HTC says its intention is to allow app developers to add Sense-specific features with a minimal amount of time and effort. And to that end, it's included some sample code showing how devs can simply implement a check to see what the sound enhancer is doing, and act accordingly. The manufacturer's also added more code in its HTCDev.com Developer Center, so app makers shouldn't have to look far to get to grips with other APIs.

Devs can find the updated SDK and sample code over at the source link. We look forward to seeing what they can cook up using HTC's new development tools.

Source: HTC Blog

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2 years ago

Adonit Jot Pro stylus review

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The Adonit Jot Pro  is possibly the most unique stylus we have come across. If you are looking for a way to take notes and capture your handwriting on your Android phone or tablet - look no further.

The Adonit Jot Pro is unlike any other stylus on the market today. What makes the Jot Pro unique is that it uses a thin clear disk instead of a typical stylus nib on the end.

The clear disk rotates to provide an ideal writing angle –always giving you maximum contact on the screen.

The Jot Pro more closely resembles writing with a ballpoint pen than any other stylus. It takes some getting used to, but it is a unique and unparalleled experience.

Read on for our full Adonit Jot Pro stylus review!

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2 years ago

Listen to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World on Stitcher

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Attention, people of the Internet! You already listed to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World. We know you do, because thousands and thousands of you download it every week. But we're also aware that more than a few of you are into Stitcher as your podcatcher. And that's awesome. Stitcher's an interesting podcatcher because it's compatible with the Chevy MyLink system. (Yes, that's the same one we demoed at GM's test facility last summer.)

And, in fact, so many of you are listening to the show on Stitcher that we're already No. 35 on the new Sticher List for all things technology. (That's right above "Transistors of Yesteryear" and right above "Arduino and Me," for those of you counting at home.) So if you're in the market for a new podcatcher, take a look at Stitcher and let's see how high we can get the show to go. Download links are below.

Download: Stitcher for Android; Android Central Podcast on Stitcher

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2 years ago

ZAGGsparq Contest Winners!

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up during the week. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the winners!

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2 years ago

DC Comics [Android App Review]

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If you’re a comic fan and you use an Android device, you’re definitely going to want to check out the DC Comics app. Now of course if you’re a Marvel-only guy/girl, this probably won’t be the app for you. But if you’re a fan of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, or any of the other characters from DC’s universe, I’d highly recommend this app.

The home screen displays three tabs up top that allow you to navigate through the app. The My Comics tab allows you to view all of the comics that you’ve purchased, see those that have been recently downloaded or viewed, and filtered by series and creator. The Featured tab is much like the featured apps in the Play Store; it displays a variety of titles, both free and paid, from different superheroes. In addition to the featured material, you can see the comics that were just added or narrow them down to free-only. The final tab, Store, allows you purchase any of the comics within the app. You can search for a particular title, browse by series, genre, creator, publisher, most popular or storyline and also browse the free section.

One thing that I like about the app is that when you are ready to purchase a comic, the transaction is handled through the Play Store, so you don’t have to give your credit card to the app. When you purchase a comic, it will download it straight to your device so that you can start reading. If you want to ensure that your space is sufficient, you can go into the settings, where there is an option to manage storage. That is the only place in the app where you can delete a comic from your device. I wish it was easier to delete content, maybe in a future update.

This is a great app if you’re a comic fan and obviously if you are favorable to the DC universe. It allows you to purchase and view comics right from your Android device. With The Dark Knight Rises hitting theaters in about a month, this is a good time to get acquainted with the source materials that Christopher Nolan has drawn from.

DC Comics is a free app from the Google Play Store. We've got download links and screenshots after the break.

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2 years ago

Amazon Kindle app updated for better tablet support

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Android's Amazon Kindle app got a nice little update today, bringing a couple of welcome improvements to tablets. Here's the full changelog:

  • Tablet users: customize your reading experience with new margin and line spacing controls.
  • Tablet users: see two pages side-by-side in landscape mode.
  • Fixed a bug that required some users to re-register when returning to the app.
  • Several bug fixes.

It's been a little while since I've used the Amazon App on a tablet that's not the Kindle Fire. We really didn't have proper side-by-side pages, eh? Well, it's fixed now. get your download on.

Download: Amazon Kindle for Android

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2 years ago

Rebtel brings free, high-quality VoIP calling to Android tablets

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If you're looking for VoIP services, there is a few options out there and one of those options is Rebtel. Previously having built their Android app only for phones, Rebtel today announced they'll be rolling out v2.0 of their free calling app that will now support tablets in addition to smartphones and as such they've ensured to pack it full of features:

  • Optimized Tablet Experience - Inspired by Rebtel 2.0 for Android smartphones, the new Android tablet app features optimized high-resolution graphics and takes full advantage of the larger tablet screen real estate to give the user an immersive Rebtel experience.
  • Free Rebtel to Rebtel Calls - Rebtel 2.0 for Android tablets incorporates free calling between users running any one of Rebtel’s apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android smartphones, PC, or starting today, Android tablets. Calls are seamlessly connected using Wi-Fi or 3G (applicable to 3G-enabled Android tablets only).
  • Low-Cost Calls to Any Phone - Users of the Rebtel Android tablet app are not limited to our free Rebtel to Rebtel calls. Browse through your native tablet address book, select any contact with a number and get talking at rates up to 98 percent lower than an average carrier, and up to 60 percent lower than current Skype Out rates.
  • Native Address Book Integration - No more syncing issues that mess up your address book. Rebtel for Android tablets seamlessly integrates with the regular native Android address book, providing a clear view of which contacts are available to call for free, and which contacts can be reached at very affordable rates.
  • Low-Cost SMS - Prefer texting over talking? Send low-cost international text messages to friends in more than 196 countries with an average cost savings of up to 60 percent when compared to your regular carrier. If you want to ensure your friend can reply without being charged, tick the Collect Reply box and include a link in your message that lets your friend reply via a mobile web page while you pick up the tab.

I've not used Rebtel in the past but do use Skype a lot so I'm going to give this one a full go to see how it works out in comparison, if you're looking for a solution as well this may be it. If you're looking for more info, you'll find it below for your browsing pleasure along with a download link.

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