Headlines

2 years ago

AT&T provides the 'ICS list,' with nothing to surprise us

20

AT&T this afternoon issued a news release for the HTC Vivid's Ice Cream Sandwich update, and mixed in with the mention that the HTC Vivid is the first U.S. smartphone to get the ICS update (and that AT&T is the first U.S. carrier to push out ICS) is a list of phones on AT&T slated to get the update to Android 4.0. Nothing there really surprises us, but it is good to see that the Pantech Element and the Pantech Burst made the cut. Everything else we've already known about from the device manufacturers. Here's the list:

Really wish we would see the Samsung Infuse and HTC Inspire 4G on there, as there's no hardware reason they couldn't get ICS. We don't make the rules, nor the list, so we have to accept what's given. There's always root. Hit the break for the full press release.

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G review

17

Here's the thing about the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G. When you get over the fact that it's got a rather ridiculous name, and that because of that name it's a little confusing as to where it fits in the scheme of things, and that it's maybe a little overpriced, you've got yourself a pretty capable mid-range smartphone rocking along on T-Mobile's 42-megabits-per-second data network. 

That's a lot of qualification, to be sure. (And we should be used to ridiculously named Samsung phones by now.) So should you consider the SGSB4G for purchase? And what, exactly, will you be getting? 

It's all after the break in our Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G review.


A nice feel in the hand. Decent screen and hardware by 2011 standards. Can access the faster lanes of T-Mobile's data network. Includes NFC, Wifi calling and Wifi Direct.


Yet another phone launching in 2012 without 2012's version of Android. Branding may be a bit confusing, given that the Galaxy S phone has replaced in 2011 by the Galaxy S II.



If you're looking for a mid-range phone on T-Mobile (both in price as well as specs), the Blaze 4G is worth a look, though it's a tad lacking in the hardware department.

Inside this review

More info

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Google Voice updated, brings folders and dialer integration for ICS

13

If you're a Google Voice user there's quite the update waiting for you in the Google Play store this afternoon. The newest version (0.4.2.54) features tight integration with the Ice Cream Sandwich dialer, a new voicemail option, and the inclusion of labels (think folders) for your inbox. Here's the not-so-fun part -- unless you have a phone with Ice Cream Sandwich, you won't get to see most of it.

All phones will get the inbox labels, which is one thing many folks, myself included, have been waiting for. If you use your Google Voice inbox as a catch-all storage and never delete anything you can now attempt to keep things organized and access it all from your phone. This is the best change for me, but the others are nice as well.

Voicemails are now able to be played through the native Ice Cream Sandwich dialer, just like carrier voicemail. You can adjust the speed to play them faster or slower (handy when skipping to the good part). You enable this in the Google Voice settings, and it's a great way to manage two numbers if that's how you roll. That is how I roll, and it's really handy. Too bad it's ICS only. Hit the break for a couple screenshots of all this, and the download link if you need it.

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

DroidDoodle: Unicorny

9
 
2 years ago

HTC Vivid for AT&T officially getting its Ice Cream Sandwich now

25

While some folks have been able to pull down Ice Cream Sandwich updates on the AT&T HTC Vivids for a few days now, AT&T has maintained that the update hasn't actually been made available. That changes today, as HTC and AT&T have both announced that Android 4.0 is officially ready.

In addition to getting the bells and whistles of Ice Cream Sandwich, you'll be updating to Sense 3.6 (not the newer Sense 4 that's on the HTC One line, but that's not a huge shocker). That comes along with a newly tweaked user interface, so don't freak out if things look a little different.

You'll also see the addition of Beats Audio. AT&T and HTC remind us that you'll only get Beats enhancements when you have headphones or speakers connected, so don't be surprised if you update and don't notice a difference in, say, your alert sounds. You'll know Beats is active when you see the icon in your notification bar.

Other improvements include better e-mail and Exchange support, the ability to use a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard, better voice and text input, and, of course, face unlock.

If you need a little help with the update (no shame in that), be sure to hit up our HTC Vivid forums.

More: AT&T

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Zookeeper DX Touch Edition [Android Game Review]

1


YouTube link for mobile viewing

Imagine this with me, if you will: Blocks are raining from the sky. Strange hieroglyphs are scribbled upon them, and with each hieroglyph, a color. They continue to stack and higher and higher, until suddenly, an epiphany! If I move the same blocks together in groups of three, they vanish! With this new knowledge in hand, you get to work, saving the world from a block-ridden mess.

If that sounds even remotely familiar, it's because a number of games have that exact premise. In Zookeeper DX Touch Edition, the hieroglyphs are funny looking animal sprites, but the color-specific point is still dead-on. Still, just because this kind of game has been done before doesn't mean it's not fun, so let's take a look at exactly what makes Zookeeper DX Touch Edition worth your time (and money).

For starters, the graphics look great. Sure, you don't need to have stellar graphics for one of those block-swapping games, but Zookeeper DX still doesn't disappoint. Colors and contrast jump off of the screen at you, and there's almost so much visual stimulation taking place (especially on a tablet) that you won't even want to drag your finger across the screen. Then again, that might be the most evil ploy to keep you from focusing on the task at hand.

The music has a catchy, techno pop groove to it, and it definitely exemplifies the playfulness that Zookeeper DX is going for. An angry and tyrannical zoo owner sends his lowly zookeeper to save the day? It's as goofy as it sounds, and the music definitely sets that up.

I'd be remiss if I didn't actually talk about the sprites and gameplay, too. The sprites are hilarious. To advance from level-to-level, you've got to capture (or is it release?) a certain number of every animal, and if you're slacking on a particular type, they scowl at you. Why is an angry, stereotypical animal sprite so endearing? I have no idea, but it works. Make sure you don't forget that each set of blocks you remove gives you a bit of time back on your bar, too. It's just that​ much more incentive to actually meet the game's objectives! Brilliant.

Zookeeper DX Touch Edition is 99 cents in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Sony Tablets to get ICS in April, WiFi only Tablet P announced

2

Sony have announced a more specific date for the update of the Tablet S and Tablet P to Ice Cream Sandwich -- more specifically 4.0.3. We first heard about this back in December, but the latest news pins the actual date down to the end of April. 

In updating, Sony will be standardizing the user interface of their tablets with their smartphones. Sony also specifically mention the addition of some new photo tools like panorama, and using the camera from the lockscreen -- although we're pretty sure that's just Ice Cream Sandwich, not Sony. 

What is definitely Sony, is the ability to tie your tablet in with your Sony Blu-Ray Recorder. Not likely to be the most widely sold device admittedly, but the integration is still pretty cool nevertheless. By using a downloadable app known as Recopla, you can watch your recorded content right on your tablet. Presumably as it's an app that will be out there in the Google Play Store, the facility could be opened up to any tablet. But, we'll hedge our bets and say that at least for now, it won't. 

Another nice, and useful, addition is the "small apps." These will operate in a similar fashion to the OverSkreen browser app that we reviewed previously. With them you will have the ability to fire up a browser, TV remote control and calculator and use them over the top of other applications. While it's likely that only supported applications will be compatible with the feature, Sony have shown images of it working with the stock browser, YouTube and Google Maps

The news doesn't stop there though. There is also some new hardware coming, in the way of a WiFi only variant of the dual-screened Tablet P. This one is absolutely a love/hate device, but choice is always welcome. With WiFi only comes a lower retail price. Lower, but not low, as it will still cost $600. Sony are also set to offer a series of interchangable covers for the Tablet P. Coming in a variety of covers, these are set to cost $60 each. 

Source: Sony JP (Translated) via The Verge

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Lookout releases 'Mobile Lost & Found' info-site with results of phone loss study

5

Did you know that over $30 billion worth of phones will be lost in the U.S. alone this year? Yeah, that number shocked me a bit as well. But it came from Lookout's 15 million strong user base and was part of their Phone Loss study compiled of last years (2011) data. They didn't stop there, either. They've compiled lists full of factoids about when and where phones are getting lost, and just how much it's costing us. Granted, Lookout sells a product to help find lost phones, but it's still fun to have a look at the numbers. 

Using the Foursquare API to turn Longitude and Latitude into a venue, they expound the numbers a bit as well. Trivia like the fact that in Chicago it's common to lose a phone in a church (number three on the list), while in London it common to do so in the pub (number one) come from this sort of data. Unfortunately, another thing they noticed is that many of the top locations in the U.S. where people "lost" their phones also happen to be cities with high crime statistics. These are just examples of the things you can find out about lost phones, but they have some good news as well -- 9,000,000 smartphones (that's one every 3.5 seconds) were lost then located with Lookout last year. That's a great reason to use an app like Lookout, or one of the many others, to help you find your phone when (not if) you lose it.

There's a couple screenshots and the press release after the break, and you can check it out yourself by heading to Lookout's Mobile Lost & Found page.

More: Lookout

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Fruit Ninja updated, new multiplayer capabilities added

10

The fruit-slashing favourite, Halfbricks' Fruit Ninja, has received an update today that brings with it some pretty nice new multiplayer features. 

The "pomegranate" update is now live in the Google Play Store. The multiplayer options are now available using both local and online multiplayer services. At first glance, it seems to work really well too. You can choose who you want to play against, or swipe over the quick match option to be taken to a random opponent. 

Beyond this, as with any good update we also get some bug fixes too. There is a compatibility update for a small number of devices that were experiencing a "minor audio bug." 

Download links are after the break. Note though that this update is only for the paid version of the application. 

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Buttonless Samsung phone appears in leaked photo, claims to be the GT-i9300

35

There's been no shortage of dubious images purporting to show future Samsung smartphones over the past few days, but today we have one that actually looks like it might be a legitimate leak. The photo you see above made its way out to PhoneArena​ this morning, and the site's tipster claims it shows the Samsung GT-i9300, an as yet unannounced device.

The image reveals a buttonless Samsung smartphone with a front-facing camera running Android 4.0 and Samsung's TouchWiz UX. Unlike most of the recent "Galaxy S III" leak claims, everything's in the right place, and minor details like the style of icons in the navigation bar, and the square Google Talk logo give this image an air of authenticity. It's also interesting to note that Samsung seems to have swapped the order of the ICS soft keys -- on the Galaxy Nexus and other vanilla Android devices, the task switcher is on the right, whereas in this photo it's on the left. Traditionally, Samsung phones have always placed the back button on the right side, so it makes sense that they'd opt to swap things around here.

A quick examination of the screen reveals a 16:9 aspect ratio display, meaning anything from qHD to 720p resolution is possible. It also appears that something in the top left corner of the screen has been blanked out. If we were to speculate, we'd say it wouldn't make much sense to redact a simple notification icon, but on AT&T phones, this is typically where you'd find the carrier's logo. Just sayin'.

Of course, there's a chance this thing is the long-awaited Galaxy S III, but that's impossible to verify. Whatever it is, the fact that Samsung's using virtual buttons on at least one of its 2012 devices could pour cold water on photos claiming to show a Galaxy S III with traditional physical buttons.

In any case, there's certainly no shortage of speculation about Samsung's upcoming Android phones, partly fuelled by the manufacturer's own secrecy. As PhoneScoop's​ Rich Brome points out, recent Bluetooth SIG listings for future devices have been light on details, even going so far as to leave out model numbers.

Whatever Samsung has planned for 2012, we'll bring you full coverage in the coming months.

Source: PhoneArena, Bluetooth SIG via @rbrome

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages