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2 years ago

Google snags e-mail genius Sparrow

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Those of you dreaming of a better Android e-mail client might one day get your wish -- Google has acquired Sparrow. Sparrow's been an iOS/OSX staple, and we can only hope it'll bring its talents to Android, along with Gmail at large. 

Writes Sparrow:

We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.

Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application. While we’ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.

We're still way early into this one, but this much is clear: This is nothing but good for Gmail, and here's to hoping Android gets a boost as well.

Update: Our pals at iMore.com, who have a good bit more experience with Sparrow, have penned a few thoughts. Read them here.

Source: Sparrow

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2 years ago

ASUS on Jelly Bean updates: Transformer Pad, Prime and Infinity all winners

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ASUS today dropped word on its plans for Jelly Bean updates. The lucky tablet winners? The Transformer Pad, Transformer Pad Prime and the Transformer Pad Infinity. And ... that's it, so far. ASUS says it's still deciding on updates for other devices, but those guys are sure deals so far. Also, no word on when we'll see an update to Android 4.1, other than "in the coming months."

Here's the full statement:

Dear valued ASUS customer,

At ASUS, one of the key commitments we make to our customers is a relentless drive to deliver the best user experience. We constantly strive to achieve this goal through our ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy that includes regular software and firmware updates for our products.

We are pleased to announce that many of our tablet products are scheduled to receive an update to Android 4.1, Jelly Bean. The ASUS Transformer Pad, ASUS Transformer Pad Prime and ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity are all scheduled to receive Android 4.1 updates in the coming months. We will provide further guidance on our expected timeframes for these updates near their release.

We are still investigating Jelly Bean updates for other devices, but we are not in a position to confirm whether any other products will be eligible for an update at the moment.

Thank you for your continued support.

ASUS

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2 years ago

Amazon gets The West Wing, Fringe on Amazon Prime, Kindle Fire

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Amazon and Warner Bros. today announced a deal that bring "Fringe" and "The West Wing" to Amazon Prime subscribers -- and Kindle Fire owners. The two shows will be "available exclusively ... for the summer," which makes it look like they may be available elsewhere later this year. But for now, you can fire up your Kindle Fire or Instant Video stream and get your dose of walking and talking or a little thriller action.

Source: Amazon

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2 years ago

BIG Launcher updated with slew of new customization options

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BIG Launcher has just updated their replacement Android launcher built for the visually impaired. As the name suggests, BIG Launcher provides a bare-bones, high-contrast interface with gigantic icons. Size can be changed, and individual icons can be read out loud through text-to-voice wizardry. Here's the 2.0 changelog for BIG Launcher.

  • sms editor
  • sms forwarding
  • unlimited screens
  • background image on screens
  • buttons can have any icon
  • buttons can link to contact detail
  • big battery and signal icons
  • search in applications list
  • new upgrade dialog with changelog
  • ability to set external dialer application
  • ability to delete call log enteries (optional)
  • battery, signal content description on home header for talkback
  • localized buttons in preferences dialogs
  • safe borders
  • favorite contacts moved to second position in phone menu
  • sent sos sms saved to database

You can check out our review of BIG Launcher, or download version 2.0 at the link below. Anyone having a hard time convincing grandma to try out an Android device? Think something like this would help?

Download: BIG Launcher ($1.49)

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2 years ago

Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD trailer emerges, could release be approaching?

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Huawei announced the MediaPad 10 FHD all the way back at February at Mobile World Congress. That feels like an age away, but it seems that the 10.1 inch tablet may be due to release sooner rather than later. The above promotional video has shown up on Huawei's YouTube channel today, and it looks the marketing guys have done a great job with a flashy promo video for Huawei's flagship tab.

The metallic MediaPad 10 FHD will come packing a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, LTE support (on some models), 16GB of storage and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It's 10.1 inch HD IPS display (1920 x 1200 pixels), and as we mentioned in our MWC hands-on, it's a fantastic-looking panel. An 8MP camera is also onboard partnered with a dual LED flash, along with a lower-res front-facer.

Huawei certainly isn't short on high-end Android devices at the moment. With the Ascend P1 now available, the and Asecnd D Quad just around the corner, the company will be hoping its new MediaPad will be able to compete alongside the likes of ASUS's Transformer Pad Infinity. Keep watching for further developments as the 10 FHD approaches release.

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2 years ago

Gameloft's The Dark Knight Rises released in Google Play today

Ed. note: We're all painfully aware of what happened in Aurora, Colo. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved. And we're turning off the comments on this post. - Phil

Today is a pretty huge day for Batman fans around the world. Finally, the long awaited third Christopher Nolan adaptation, The Dark Knight Rises, hits movie theaters around the world. And, as promised, Gameloft's official companion game also sees release today into the Google Play Store. 

We're talking a premium title here, and as such, it carries a premium price. In the UK it'll set you back £4.99, and in the U.S. that equates to $6.99. But one look at the visuals alone, and it pretty much justifies the asking price. If you're still carrying some of that free Google Play credit around, what better device to play it on than your new Nexus 7? 

Be prepared though, the download is big. Actually, it's huge -- 1.7GB. But the visuals, and the huge Gotham City maps taken into account, you can see why it's so big. We're just getting started with this one, and we'll no doubt be back with more when we've spent some real game time with it. To grab it for yourselves, head on over to the Play Store, hit download, and go make a coffee while you wait. 

​Update: ​Seems we were a bit keen in wanting to play this on our Nexus 7. Doesn't look like it's compatible at the moment. Darn shame.

Download: The Dark Knight Rises

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2 years ago

Uncertainty surrounds Desire HD ICS update as HTC issues revised statement

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It seems there’s a little more confusion than there should be surrounding the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update (or lack thereof) for the HTC Desire HD. Last week Canadian carrier TELUS released an update roadmap stating that HTC had canceled the update. Then a few days back, we reached out to HTC and received a statement indicating that updates for the Desire HD, and similarly-spec’d Desire S, were still on the table.

Since then we’ve been in touch with TELUS, which insists that it’s been informed that the update had been suspended, and that it was an HTC decision unrelated to TELUS’s network, testing or software. TELUS said that if HTC was to go ahead with the ICS update after all, it'd gladly test it and put it out for its customers. And after seeking further clarification from HTC, we were given a revised statement indicating that it’s still examining the Desire HD’s ability to run ICS --

"HTC is committed to providing the best customer experience on our devices and are currently determining the ability to support Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC Desire HD.  We'll provide more information when we've completed our analysis."

So it looks like the future of ICS on the Desire HD is currently hanging in the balance, and that HTC is in the process of working out if it can support Android 4.0 without compromising the user experience. This could also be worrying news for owners of the Desire S and Thunderbolt, which sport almost identical internals, and which are also due to receive an ICS upgrade.

Whatever happens, we’ll keep you posted with any further developments on HTC ICS updates.

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2 years ago

Android Central Podcast 103: Live nude Jelly Bean flashing, Nexus abounds, group data love

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Audio-only stream below

We just can't stop talking about Jelly Bean, the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Nexus Q, but that's OK, because Phil flashes a Nexus S right in the middle of the darn podcast. Plus, AT&T's new shared data plans. And more of your e-mails and voicemails. Join us!

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2 years ago

Samsung SCH-i200 'Jasper' spotted wearing Verizon branding

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Those looking for a a Samsung equivalent to the Droid Incredible 4G LTE may soon be in luck -- the image above has surfaced via the @evleaks Twitter account, along with a purported list of specifications. Supposedly the device in the image is the Samsung "Jasper" (likely a codename), a phone with the product number SCH-i200. Inside it's said to be powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, with a WVGA screen, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the new Samsung TouchWiz Nature UX. As you'll be able to tell from the branding on the back, it's a Verizon 4G LTE device.

Design-wise, it's definitely channeling some of the Galaxy S III, and it shares its curvaceous chassis and other design cues with Samsung's current flagship. The button setup is also of interest -- as we've seen on some LG phones, "Jasper" sports four capacitive keys, including a dedicated multitasking key.

There's no complete spec list available just yet, nor is there any info on pricing or availability, but we'll keep you posted as further details of this mid-range beast emerge.

Source: @evleaks; via The Verge

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2 years ago

Sky Go Android app gets ICS support on Galaxy Nexus, Note and S III

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Just as was promised a few weeks back, British broadcaster Sky has opened up its Sky Go on-demand video app to certain Android devices running 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III. The update brings ICS support to the Sky Go app for the first time, allowing Sky subscribers with these devices to view the same streaming content available on approved Gingerbread devices like the Desire S and Desire HD. Unlike many other app vendors, Sky tailors its offerings to specific phones, usually high-selling models, so Sky Go remains restricted to a small number of handsets for now.

As we reported a few weeks back, Sky Go recently launches new streaming content across its range of Sky Go apps, including entertainment channels Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1. An app update also allowed subscribers to view and manage their accounts on-the-go.

If you find yourself in possession of both a Sky subscription and one of the supported devices, you download the Sky Go app for Android via the Google Play web interface linked below.

Download: Sky Go for Android; via The Verge

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