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2 years ago

Jelly Bean: Will your phone get an update?

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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is official and coming soon to an Android smartphone near you. Maybe.

It's that time of year again! We've got a brand spankin' new version of Android in Jelly Bean, and almost every device isn't running it. If you've got a GSM flavored Galaxy Nexus, or aren't afraid to dive in and hack the daylights out of your phone, you might be happily enjoying the latest sweet treat from Google. That means you know what all the fuss is about. Jelly Bean may look a lot like Ice Cream Sandwich on the surface, but the performance and polish are worlds apart. If you're using one of the many other Android-powered handsets or tablets, and don't want to (or can't) get hacking, you're waiting. And probably not very patiently. And lest we advanced users forget -- that describes the vast majority of Android users.

So you're scouring the 'net, looking for news about your device and any potential Jelly Bean update. We have been, too. As usual, there isn't going to be very many "official" promises of Jelly Bean, but you'll find plenty of speculation. We are all Android, all the time. We like to think we have a bit of insight into how things work, and we love to share it with you. Hit the break, and see what we think on the matter.

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2 years ago

Nexus 7 will wake when a magnetic cover is removed (it's an oldie but a goodie)

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So apparently the Nexus 7 tablet has a little magnetic sensor hidden under the display that can trigger the display to turn on. Not exactly a new phenomenon, but interesting because until now, it's a feature that's gone unmentioned.

The way it works is you have a cover or case that also has a magnet inside, and that second magnet lines up with the corresponding spot on the device. Remove the second magnet, and the phone says, "Hey! I'm alive, and it's time to wake up now!"

Again, these are not new. Not now, not with the iPad's Smart Cover. We've been using them long since the bad old days of Windows Mobile. And it's a staple on BlackBerry. (Anyone remember when software could actually screw up this sort of thing?) But it leads us to believe we'll see that feature arise again in the official Nexus 7 case from Google, and probably in the ones from ASUS as well.

There's video after the break if you need videographic proof of this force of nature.

Here's the real question, though: How the hell did iFixit, which can spot the serial number on underside of the world's smaller circuit board, miss this one? Good thing we mentioned the magnetometer in our Nexus 7 review, eh?

Via Android Police

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2 years ago

Motorola confirms Atrix HD shipping with encrypted bootloader 'to meet requirements'

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It became officially official only yesterday, but there's potential disappointment to be had for prospective buyers of the Motorola Atrix HD. Motorola has confirmed, via their Twitter page, when questioned, that the new AT&T LTE device will be shipping with a locked bootloader in order to "meet requirements." Cue the surprised gasps. 

On the flip side though, it isn't all doom and gloom. In a second tweet on the subject, Moto claims that their goal is to still provide a method of unlocking the bootloader at some point in the future. More details on that are promised at a later date.

Source: Twitter (Motorola)

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2 years ago

Alarm Clock by doubleTwist for Android offers a few new ways to wake up

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Awhile back doubleTwist decided to dabble in something other than media sync and cooked up a simple alarm clock Android app. Fast forward a few months, and it's now featured prominently in Google Play, but what's so great about it? After all, there's only so much you can do with an alarm clock, right?

All of the core functions are there, such as repeating and multiple alarms, each with custom labels and user-picked sounds and volume. There are flip and analog-style faces with a low-brightness nightstand mode available, plus custom snooze durations and vibration toggles. Beyond that, things get a bit more interesting.

Instead of setting alarms for just any ol' time, doubleTwist's app offers ideal times to set alarms in line with common sleep cycle durations. That way, you can either figure out what time you should go to sleep if you want to get up for a certain hour, or what time would be best to wake up without messing with your natural rhythm.  Based on your location and the latest weather reports, the app can also figure out what time the sun is rising, if you're the type to go by Mother Nature's alarm clock.  

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2 years ago

Great Big War Game heading to Android on July 18

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Rubicon Development, creators of the popular Great Little War Game, has today announced a proper sequel to the popular strategy game. Titled Great Big War Game, it will arrive on Android on July 18 for $2.99, accompanied by a free, 'lite' version. 

The single-player campaign mode brings 50 all new levels, as you take charge of Jenkins as he tries to prevail in battle amid orders from the Generalissimo. Perhaps more exciting though, especially for a game of this nature, is the all-new, cross-platform multiplayer option. Take the fight to your 'enemies' on iOS, and prevail for the sake of the Android army. Or, something. 

Check out the trailer for Great Big War Game after the break

Source: Triplepoint

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2 years ago

Smartphone Experts Side Pouch case for the Galaxy S3

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The Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) is a beautiful phone. While it feels “sturdy” it still makes me nervous to just put it in my pocket.

Phones scratch, they get dinged and they can break. Having experienced the sticker shock of a new – full price – Galaxy S3, I would like to protect this phone when possible.

 

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2 years ago

Wallpaper Wednesday - Oh, Yeah!

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2 years ago

Domino's Pizza USA app available in the Amazon App Store

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First today we had coffee and now it is pizza time, yummy. Domino's dropped us a line today to let us know that their new application for the USA is now available to download from the Amazon App Store. The free app will allow for a whole range of features including the following:

  • Order delivery or carryout
  • Store locator
  • Full menu including build your own pizza
  • Use of coupons
  • Domino's Tracker

All this talk of food is making me hungry.

Download the Domino's Pizza App

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2 years ago

How to use Pop up play on the Samsung Galaxy S3

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Pop up play might just be the “killer” feature you use to show off your new Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) and make iPhone users green with envy.

Multitasking is not just a nice feature to have on a new smartphone – it is required in order to play in the same league with the big boys and girls.  Our busy lives demand that we be able to do more than one thing at a time and not lose our place in one app to interact with another. 

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2 years ago

Programming note: We're podcasting a tad early this week

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Just a quick heads up that we'll be podcasting a little early this week. Thusday's still the day, but we'll go live at the following times:

  • 2 p.m. PDT Thursday
  • 3 p.m. MDT Thursday
  • 4 p.m. CDT Thursday
  • 5 p.m. EDT Thursday
  • 9 p.m. GMT Thursday
  • 10 p.m. BST Thursday

Someone remind me in the podcast chat, and I'll tell you why the move this week. It's kind of amusing. In the meantime, be sure to hit up last week's episode if you haven't already. It's a doozy.

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2 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon 4G gets a bugfix update

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If you're still rocking a Sprint Motorola Photon 4G (all of, what, a year old now?), be on the lookout for a software update that's going to squash some bugs for ya. Here's the full list of what's ahead:

  • More easily import contacts from SD card.
  • Improved music playback, both streaming from Amazon Cloud or Internet Radio services and music saved to the phone - minimizes occasional skips or repeats
  • Enhancements for WiFi hotspot in GSM/UMTS mode and adding new WiFi connections.
  • Now supports 1080p HD video capture, and enhanced video settings for more responsive playback.
  • Easier creating and accepting calendar meeting notices on the phone.

The Photon hasn't seen an update since October, so it's good Sprint hasn't forgotten about it just yet. 

Source: Sprint; more: Photon 4G forums

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2 years ago

O2 confirms UK-wide network problems

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British network O2 says it's experiencing problems on its network which are causing some customers to have "difficulty making or receiving calls, sending texts or using data." Bizarrely, this latest bit of network turbulence seems to be affecting customers randomly, rather than based on location or cell tower. A quick Twitter search for "O2" brings up hundreds of angry tweets from O2 customers all over the UK who are unable to connect to O2's data or voice network. The outage also seems to be affecting users of Tesco Mobile and GiffGaff, which both operate on O2's network.

The carrier has acknowledged the issue, and says its engineers are working on a fix --

We are currently seeing a problem on our network affecting some of our customers. Those customers affected will have difficulty making or receiving calls, sending texts or using data. Our Engineers are dealing with the problem as a priority and we hope to restore full service as soon as possible.

For our part, we've not seen any interruption in our O2 coverage today, however that'll be of little comfort to anyone currently unable to use their phone. If you're on O2 UK, be sure to drop by the comments and let us know if you've been affected by today's technical problems.

Source: @O2; More: O2 Network Status

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2 years ago

Google Maps soaks in some culture with indoor guides to museums

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Google Maps for Android was recently updated their indoor location database with over twenty popular museums across the U.S, including the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Cincinnati Museum Center, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and 17 Smithsonian museums. 

Indoor maps originally launched in November, allowing users to set routes within buildings, navigate by floor, and sort through points of interest. It's an awesome feature, and a sensible extension of Google's current walking directions. Who knows, maybe indoor maps will expand to include audio guides that are sensitive to where you are within a building. 

A full list of indoor Google Maps is available here, and if you're really into art, be sure to check out the Google Art Project. If you have the latest version of Google Maps for Android, you should be ready to start planning your next museum trip. Do you go often? Which buildings would you like to see with full indoor maps? 

Source: Google Lat Long

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2 years ago

Google's ninja unboxing gets even weirder (or funnier) with the Nexus 7

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2 years ago

Amazon GameCircle introduces achievements, cloud saving, and leaderboards to Kindle Fire

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Amazon has just announced a service called GameCircle, which will allow Android developers to add unified achievements, leaderboards, and progress cloud sync to their Kindle Fire games. Doodle Jump, Temple Run, and Triple Town are already making use of the new APIs. Amazon also took the occasion to remind devs that there's a fully-functioning in-app purchase mechanism too. 

It's too bad Google hasn't really taken the reins and offered a similar social gaming experience baked right into Android natively, but the gap has allowed third parties like OpenFeint to step in and build a network. iOS has Game Center, and though there's still a lot of room for improvement there, GameCircle could stand to include something similar to its friending system to promote social spread of games. For now, Amazon is limiting GameCircle to KindleFire, but who knows if they'll open up the service to other devices, so long as they can get people to sign up for Amazon accounts. 

Developers interested in getting involved can head over to the sign-up page. Kindle Fire owners, how has your gaming experience been so far? Was the device really hurting for this kind of thing? Developers, does GameCircle make a Kindle Fire port more palatable?

Source: Amazon

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