Headlines

2 years ago

The Google Play store Galaxy Nexus winner

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You may recall that last week we ordered an unlocked GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus from the Google Play store to give away. There was this gigantic forum thread and everything. Well, we fired up ye olde random number generator last night and picked a winner, and now we're gonna announce it.

Scmurphy13, enjoy your Galaxy Nexus!

Keep an eye peeled for more contests and giveaways -- we like having them as much as you like winning them. Congrats, scmurphy13, from everyone here at AC!

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2 years ago

The greatest battery widget ever

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I'm not sure why nobody showed me this Metroid-style battery widget before, but I'm holding each and every single one of you personally responsible for this oversight.

Download: Super Android Battery; via Dovahkiin in the Android Forums

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2 years ago

ZTE Optik review (Sprint)

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The ZTE Optik is a nice little surprise from Sprint. It's an unassuming but well-built and well-running 7-inch Honeycomb tablet that runs on Sprint's 3G network, and it is probably one of the better devices nobody has heard much about. With no gimmicks like a digital stylus or a foldable keyboard dock, it's easy to forget about the Optik. Hit the break to see why you shouldn't.

 


The Optik is really nicely built, the fit and finish on our unit was darn near perfect, and the parts used had a quality feel. It's also very nice to hold, partially because of the rubber grips. The screen is top-notch and better than most other 7-inch devices


It has to be said -- there is no 4G on the Optik. It's also another new device already one major Android version behind, with no clear upgrade path. The battery life wasn't as good as expected.



Easily the best value for the price, the Optik is actually a nice 3G tablet. The screen is very nice, and it's a great consumption device. If you're not expecting any type of 4G service in your area, and in the market for a tablet with a data plan, it's definitely worth a look.

Inside this review

More info

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2 years ago

BSkyB preps 'Sky Go' app for ICS and more handsets, HDMI still no-go

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Since its launch last year' the Sky Go application for Android has been available only for a handful of approved phones. And on top of this limitation, the app doesn't support Android 4.0, meaning even supported devices are out of luck once they're updated to the latest version of the OS. However, it seems Sky's preparing to open its on-demand TV service up a little more, with reports emerging today that ICS support is inbound, along with support for a couple of new Samsung devices.

UK tech blog TechRadar​ reports that support for the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus, as well as ICS updates for other phones already on the list (HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S II) is "coming soon". Interestingly the site also reports that Sky's unable to offer the app on phones with HDMI output in order to avoid breaching its broadcasting contract.  That's somewhat odd, as many officially supported phones, including the Sensation and Galaxy S II, include MHL capability, which does exactly the same thing over a different connector.

In any case, it's good to see Sky (slowly) opening things up to more popular, and recent handsets. However, with new, high-end Android phones appearing all the time, we have to question whether the broadcaster will be able to keep pace with its certification process -- the Sensation is already old news with the launch of the HTC One series, and the Galaxy S II is set to be succeeded in days by the Galaxy S3.

Source: TechRadar

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2 years ago

Motorola brings the MOTOLUXE to Canada

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Motorola is still all about bringing its devices to as many countries as possible, and that is something that we have grown to love. Next up on their list is a Canadian release of the MOTOLUXE,  the 4-inch widget heavy device that we first got our hands-on back at CES.

“With its stylish design and media features, MOTOLUXE is the perfect smartphone to complement our busy lives,” said David Petrou, sales director, Motorola Mobility Canada. “Not only does MOTOLUXE have the power of Android, it also has a fun, adaptive and easy-to-use user interface, a big vibrant screen and a sharp camera to help you capture your everyday life.”

The device should hit carriers around Canada in Q2 of 2012, so be sure to be on the lookout for it! Press release after the break.

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2 years ago

LG opts to focus on Android devices, leaves Windows Phone in the rearview

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This should really come as no surprise to many, but LG apparently has decided to put aside hardware for Windows Phone in favor of continuing to bring new Android headsets to the market. Back at Mobile World Congress LG brought nothing to the table except for Android devices, so the writing was on the wall for the Windows Phone folks, but that doesn't soften the blow. LG has only recently been able to turn a profit after seven straight quarters of posting losses, and that could be partially due to their new Android assortment, like the LG Lucid, LG Thrill 4G and the others that have recently hit the market. We know LG has made the right decision here, and we can hope that their dedicated focus on Android devices will lead to even better quality devices, and more.

Source: Korea Herald; via: WPCentral

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2 years ago

Monday Brief: WWDC Sells Out, Waiting for BlackBerry World, the Galaxy S 3, and more!

2 years ago

LG enters the cloud storage arena, connecting your Android device to your LG Smart TV

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LG clearly doesn't think we have too much choice in cloud storage, as the company has launched the imaginatively titled LG Cloud. The stand out feature on this one though, is that the service integrates with your LG Smart TV.

Out of the box, free storage is a pretty standard 5GB, although naturally LG owners are favorably advantaged. LG Android phone and LG Smart TV owners get 50GB for free, albeit only for the first six months. 

By now though, cloud storage is becoming a little -- read a lot -- boring, and plentiful. We're waiting for Google Drive to become the something special we all expect a Google product to become, and Dropbox has long been the standard. LG Cloud stands apart with its integration between devices, be it a smartphone or tablet, desktop Windows PC -- Mac OS X isn't yet supported -- or LG Smart TV. 

The service supports real time transcoding technology which will optimize video content for the different sized screens you could be watching it on. You can also watch a movie on your TV, stop mid-way through, and pick it up where you left off on your Android smartphone. Or, the other way round if you prefer. 

As with Dropbox, LG Cloud has its own auto-upload feature. Photos and videos taken on your phone can be automatically synced to your LG Cloud account. Then you can go look at them on your TV, figures. 

All in, it sounds like a pretty decent service. The drawback is the LG-exclusive nature of it all if you want to get the absolute best from the service. It isn't uncommon of course, Apple has their iCloud for example, but LG isn't Apple. Samsung are of course rumored to be heading down a similar path, should the mythical S-Cloud be announced this week in London. But LG aren't Samsung either. It's a bold move, and only time will tell how it pays off. But, personally, I have an HTC phone, a Samsung TV and probably an ASUS tablet in the not too distant future. I want something that will work on all of them, I don't want to have to go all in on one OEM's ecosystem of products to use services like this. I would guess a lot of you feel the same. We can all dream I guess.

In any case, you don't need an LG device to take advantage of the free 5GB cloud locker. If you're keen, you'll find the download links after the break. One final word though, at the moment you have to be in the US or South Korea. Other markets will be coming soon though apparently. 

Source: LG

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2 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus unboxing and hands-on

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It's been many months in coming, but the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is finally available on Sprint. For all intents and purposes, it's the same Galaxy Nexus we've come to know and love over the past five months or so. Same 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display at 720x1280 resolution. Same 32GB of storage. Same 1GB of memory. And, like the other versions of the Galaxy Nexus, it's running the latest version of Android, aka Ice Cream Sandwich. (For those of you who worry about such things, it's running the latest version, Android 4.0.4, out of the box.) It's also got the same 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with zero shutter lag. Huzzah.

The big seller here, of course, is that the Galaxy Nexus is one of Sprint's first LTE-enabled phones. That's the good news. The bad news is that Sprint hasn't yet turned on its LTE network. So it's 3G-only for now. But once that switch is flipped, we're expecting to see some impressive data speeds. Oh, and because we're talking Sprint here, it's also got Google Wallet built in from the outset. So there's that. 

Check out our official unboxing and initial hands-on above. 

More: Sprint Galaxy Nexus Forums

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2 years ago

Meon makes its way to Android!

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Those of you old enough to remember Windows Mobile no doubt played Meon at some point. The idea's simple enough — you use light to free the cute little Meons from whatever it is that's keeping them trapped. The game starts out simple, but pretty soon you'll be bouncing light off mirrors and changing colors with prisms to the point that you're not sure what started where, or where it's going to end up. It's strangely addicting.

The Android version is faithful to the original. Our only real complaint is that it doesn't really take advantage of the larger screen sizes.

Meon Lite gives you access to the first 32 levels, though chances are if you're anything like us, you'll spring 99 cents to get all 120 levels in the full version. We've got download links after the break.

Download: Meon Lite (free), Meon full (99 cents)

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2 years ago

ASUS Transformer Prime and Acer Iconia Tab A510 winners

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The random number generator has spoken, and it's time to announce the winners of the Tegra 3 tablets from NVIDIA and Phosphor Games. The contest was a great way to kick off the launch of Dark Meadow: The Pact, which is one of the most stunning mobile games we've ever played thanks to the 4-PLUS-1 science of the Tegra 3, and the genius developers at Phosphor games. Without further ado, here's your winners.

I'll be contacting each of you via the e-mail you used to register for the site to get the shipping information. Enjoy those killer tablets, and be sure to check out Dark Meadow: The Pact and the rest of the games and apps in the TergaZone.

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2 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: London calling, inside man and Nexus done right

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It's another working weekend. Time for some quick hits:

  • If I wasn't over the Samsung Galaxy S3 fakes, leaks and fake leaks, I certainly am now. Alex and I will be at the event on Thursday. I can wait till then.
  • Speaking of heading overseas, I used MaxRoam in Barcelona this year and am using it again this week in the UK. 500MB for $13? (Which is more than even I can use in two days.) Sold.
  • And that's just the start of the travel. Coming up next week we've got the CTIA conference in New Orleans.
  • If you haven't seen Jean-Baptist Queru's latest Q&A on updates to Ice Cream Sandwich and how Sony's gotten updates out the door in about 5 months. That's due in no small part, JBQ says, to the amount of code that Sony's contributed back to the Android Open Source Project. Remember the early days of Sony Ericsson and the Xperia X10, which launched in the age of Eclair with Android 1.6 Donut, and finally got updated a year later. Things certainly have changed.
  • Something that hasn't changed? Carrier approval times. JBQ rightly points out that carriers often are the bottleneck in getting updates released, which does seem a little insane in the Nexus world. But neither is it new. If the carrier's selling the phone, it's going to go through (I'd assume) the same rigorous (read: slow) testing process as any other phone. Verizon's been, shall we say, fastidious, long before Android even existed. It's funny to see blogs set their hair on fire over this one.
  • I hesitate to even write about these sorts of Q&As. They're a rare glimpse into the inside workings of things and are best read in their entirety, straight from the source. It pains me to see blogs pick and choose the juicy parts for publication. ("OMG Verizon is sooooooo slow." Thanks for that insight.) It's pretty rare that we get a relatively unfiltered and unfettered look at how things work, with actual opinion from the folks who make the donuts instead of PR-speak and lawyered releases, and even more incredible that folks like JBQ stick around to answer questions. Let's not spoil it and waste the opportunity.
  • I'm pretty excited about Google once again selling devices. I'm still curious as to how it's going to handle the problems it ran into the first time — namely customer service, though it does have a dedicated page for orders and returns questions. But this is the way Nexus devices were meant to be sold and maintained (meaning updated). Forget the carrier. (And, yes. That means CDMA gets shut out again. Them's the breaks.) And if you didn't notice, note how Google's calling it a "Devices" store and not a "Phone" store. If that's not a flashing neon sign that tablets are coming, I don't know what is. (And I'm willing to bet it's going to go beyond tablets, as well.) The important part is that I should once again be able to say "You want updates the day they're pushed? Get a Nexus." — and do so without looking like an idiot.
  • The site redesign is coming along well. (Major props to our designers and coders, whose work you enjoy every day but whose names you never get to see.) We're still tweaking things, and as I've said before, this is only the beginning. If you've got feedback, leave it here.

TTFN. We'll see you from London this week, and NOLA the next.

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2 years ago

Twitter for Android gets another minor update

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Twitter for Android has a small update in the Google Play store this evening, bringing it to version 3.2.1. The change log is short -- crashes for users that use the app in Dutch, Finnish, and Hungarian have been fixed, and the Indonesian language has been added. Grab the update from the Google Play store or hit the link after the break.

Thanks, Ben!

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for April 28, 2012

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Jared's off with something called "family" this week, (seriously, who has ever heard of that?), so I'm filling in for him. Anyway, every week the folks at Android Central like to share with y'all, the best darn Android community on the internet, what it is we fancy, app-wise. Jump after the break to see what our selections are, and let us know what you're digging in the comments!

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2 years ago

LG Optimus 2X my way: Richard Devine

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Following on the series, it's time to give you guys an insight into how I use my Android phone. Generally, I have two phones on the go, and up until recently one of those was a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I've now waved goodbye to the Nexus and welcomed into my life a shiny new (and white, most importantly) HTC One X. It would be a pretty short read featuring the One X, so we'll focus on my other daily driver -- my long serving LG Optimus 2X. The 2X is still the phone that runs my "normal" phone number, it's the one that people actually call and text me on -- yeah, people do still do that apparently. So I never leave the house without it. 

After the break, i'll take you through it. 

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