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2 years ago

SPC Music Sketchpad 2 [Android App Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Music is something really close to my heart. It's what I'm majoring in (Go Bobcats!), something I've been involved in for years, and my other great passion besides writing about Android. When I'm lucky enough to find an app that combines music and Android, I'm in hog heaven. While SPC Music Sketchpad 2 (whew, that's a mouthful!) isn't as abstract as say, Plasma Sound, it's still really fun to use and powerful enough to create some really cool beats.

Once you open SPC 2, you're greeted with a grid of prepackaged sounds. Tap a sound and it starts to play, over and over. Each sound has a different pattern (and usually plays at a different time), so out of the box you've got some solid variety.

When you hit the pencil button you go into sound editing mode. When you touch a sound, instead of it turning on, you're taken to another grid where you can change when your sound activates, add more sounds, or turn it off completely. Then, you can save your edited sound so you don't have to remember how you changed it and redo the whole thing later.

There's also a cool effects panel where you can mess with things like distortion and reverb. Some of the effects are passive (just turn up their amount and they'll do their thing), but others you need to manually hit an effect button to have them work. (Distortion works this way.)

Finally, when you realize you've hit musical gold, you can record your sick beat onto your SD card, preserving it forever (or until your SD card fails). Assuming you get it onto a computer or other media device in a timely fashion, know that many dance parties will be had as the result of your musical ingenuity and tech-savvy nerdiness.

SPC Music Sketchpad 2 is $4.99 in the Google Play store for a limited time. We've got download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Early ICS build leaks for the Verizon HTC Rezound

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Have a hankering for some Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC Rezound? Patience, folks, as Verizon's not pushing it just yet, but an early and very much unofficial build has been leaked to the folks at Android Police, who have in turn made it available to everyone.

You'll need to be on a stock bootloader -- HTC's unlocked bootloader won't work -- and you need to remember that this is likely to differ from what eventually gets pushed out. (When the official version will hit is still anyone's guess -- Verizon hasn't yet said.) So long as you're cool with that, hit the link below and get to flashing.

Source: Android Police

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2 years ago

UK property search site Rightmove launches new Android app on March 19.

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Rightmove is one of the biggest websites in the UK. Its property listings cover the length and breadth of the country and over 20000 estate agents and property developers. It's also how I found the house I currently own. Until now all that was missing was an Android app. As of March 19, Rightmove's first Android app will be live in the Google Play Store to cater to all your house-hunting needs. 

There was an iOS app released from Rightmove way back in 2009, followed by a Samsung SmartTV app last year. Quite why it has taken so long to come to Android is a mystery, but they got here which is the important thing. 

On the face of it, we're getting a full experience too. By hooking into your Rightmove account, you can share listings with other people, and look at your favourites on the go. It also takes full advantage of Google Maps by offering street view options. Seeing the street is almost as important as seeing the house, after all. 

Full-screen floor plans and photos are also promised, as is the ability to contact agents from within the app. On release Rightmove will be free in the Google Play Store. You'll find a quick walkthrough video after the break.

Source: Pocket-lint

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2 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich seen running on Asus Netbook

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Youtube Link for mobile viewing

When we think of Asus in the Android world, we think of their Transformer line of tablets first and foremost. But one of the beauties of Android is its open nature, and what enterprising developers can do with it. One such set of developers have crafted together a version of Ice Cream Sandwich that runs on an Asus netbook, demonstrated here on an Asus EeePC X101Ch.

This isn't endorsed in anyway by Asus, but the fellows on the Android x-86 project have compiled a  reasonably functional build of ICS for use on the netbook. They're still working on multi-touch support, support for external monitors, Ethernet support and support for all applications. That said, it's a pretty solid first attempt it seems, we even get treated to sound courtesy of the on-board Google Play Music app. YouTube also seems to work pretty well. Hit the source link below for more information.

Source: Asus Campuslife via Slashgear

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2 years ago

Activision developing Call of Duty ELITE for tablets

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Call of Duty fans have something to be excited for today, as T3 is reporting that a native tablet version of the ELITE mobile app is in the works. According to Activision Product Director Noah Heller, a tablet-optimized app was the natural next step, after the developer pushed over 2 million copies of the mobile title on iOS and Android. There are few details available just yet, though the game is said to be coming to both the iPad and Android tablets. It will offer a similar experience to what is now available on smartphones, meaning that you'll need an ELITE account and a copy of Modern Warfare 3 on your console or computer. We'll keep our ear to the ground for details as they trickle in.

Source: T3

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2 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 makes root access an option, not the default

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Since the earliest days of unofficial Android ROMs, root access and custom firmwares like CyanogenMod have gone hand in hand. However, future versions of CyanogenMod will take a step back from always-on root, disabling root access by default but allowing users to easily enable it through a menu.

In a statement on their official site, the CM team says that having root access enabled by default represents a "major security risk," one which can be remedied by introducing four user-configurable root options. Root access will be disabled by default, while three additional options will let CM users enable it for ADB only, apps only, or both. So there's nothing to panic about -- your root access will still be there if and when you need it, but your device will be more secure by default as a result.

A good analogy is Android's "unknown sources" option, which allows applications to be loaded directly from an APK file rather than the Google Play Store. It's there for those that want it, but disabled by default for security reasons. As CM matures and its audience grows more mainstream, it makes sense that there's a renewed focus on security.

There's more technical info about exactly how this configurable root access works over at the source link.

Source: CyanogenMod

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2 years ago

Google: Delayed app developer payments now going out

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Reports have emerged over the past couple of weeks that a significant number of European Android developers have yet to receive their payment for sales during February 2012. And today, Google has today informed affected developers that payment has been initiated, and that the money should start appearing in their bank accounts within three working days.

A statement for European devs on the Google Play developer console reads --

February 2012 Payout Delays
We're aware of reports from some European developers that they have yet to receive their March 2012 payout for February 2012 sales. Please rest assured that we are aware of this issue and have worked to resolve it. The payout has been initiated on 15 March 2012. However, it may take up to three additional business days to register the payout in your bank account. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced and appreciate your understanding.

Google has sent a similar message to affected developers by email, apologizing for the late payment and advising them to allow three working days for their banks to process the payment.

No explanation was offered as to why the payments were so late, but we imagine some kind of technical glitch was to blame, possibly relating to the switch-over from Android Market to the new Google Play Store. Hopefully this marks the end of a frustrating couple of weeks for European Android developers.

Thanks, Tom!

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2 years ago

International Samsung Galaxy Note updated, obscure video editor bugs fixed

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A new firmware update is rolling out over the air to owners of the international Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000). The new version is still based on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread, but brings a new cellular radio (version XXLB2) and updated Samsung software (XXLC1). The update from the previous version (XXLB1) weighs in at just under 40MB.

The Note seems fast as ever on the new firmware, and we've noticed that a couple of obscure bugs introduced in an earlier update has now been fixed. Previously, when working with clips of different frame rates in the video editor app, the sections recorded at a lower frame rate would stutter and introduce artifacts when rendered. In addition, using the "fade" transition effect with certain video files would result in artifacting. Both bugs are fixed in the new firmware.

The Galaxy Note is still waiting on its update to Ice Cream Sandwich, which was due by the end of March, but may have slipped into Q2 if the latest rumors are to be believed. As with any Android device, the timing of updates will likely depend on your country and carrier. Our Note is an unlocked German model, which is generally among the first to receive new firmware from Samsung.

If you've updated your international Note and noticed anything else that's new in the updated firmware, then hit the comments and let us know.

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2 years ago

Virgin Mobile Australia announce the HTC One X

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Word emerging from down under is that Australians can look forward to getting the HTC One X on the Virgin Mobile network. Rival network Optus are also carrying the device, but the latest addition to the Virgin stable will be a welcome one for Australian Android fans. 

No word yet on release date, only that interested customers should check back early April for updates. Pricing is available though, and it can be had free of charge on a two-year contract at $59 per month. The One X is set to be one of the devices of 2012, so seeing it begin to appear in the global markets is good news. 

via Ausdroid

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2 years ago

OverSkreen [Android App Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

It seems Android folk are always looking for ways to make their tablet experience more desktop-like. Services like OnLive Desktop aim to carve out a large niche for themselves, and desktop streaming services are almost as old as Android itself. OverSkreen might not simulate the entire Windows experience, but it does give you something more akin to a true desktop browsing experience, and that's something I've not seen before.

Simply put, when you open up OverSkreen, you're given a floating browser window on top of whatever you were previously looking at. Much unlike the browser (or any other Android app), OverSkreen exists in tandem with everything else; it doesn't bother to fill up the entire screen. The window is completely resizable, and you can even have multiple windows open at once, all at different sizes.

OverSkreen uses the 'always on top' rule by default, always floating above your desktop at large. Fortunately, aside from resizing the window, you can also minimize it (it'll go down to your notifications area) and come back to it later. Of course, if you're totally done, closing the window is as simple as tapping the red button in the top-right corner of the screen.

How practical OverSkreen can be is yet to be seen, but in my brief time using it, I definitely enjoyed it. Sure, you have to re-train yourself to use your tablet, but I dare say it's for the better. Granted, switching between applications isn't all that difficult in Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, but if you're looking for a browser that's a bit more customizable and closer to your desktop experience, aside from streaming, OverSkreen is it.

I guess the best way to frame it is like this: Novel but niche idea or the future of how we multitask on our devices? That's definitely yet to be seen, but if MBFG can continue to build on the already stellar app they've produced, I imagine we'll be seeing more of this in the future.

OverSkreen is $1.49 in the Google Play Store for a limited time. We've got download links after the break.

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