Google Maps Navigation now has a cool feature that will switch the app to "night mode" when you're going through a tunnel. Not sure how much navigating you'll need to do while you're actually in the tunnel, but it looks cool.
Google Listen is getting its second update this month! So much for being shipped off to the land of forgotten apps. New today is a bug fix that "fixes an issue in which Listen while in the background would improperly take audio focus from other apps."
And finally, there's Google Goggles, which is getting a few bugfixes in version 1.7.1. Fixed are the following:
Don't store inaccurate locations for queries in search history
Show the description field for user-submitted results
Don't crash when loading large bitmaps
Performance enhancements in continuous mode
Worthy updates, all. Head on into the Android Market or use the links below to get your updates.
Wildly popular "tower offense" game Anomaly Warzone Earth HD is now available for a cool $4 in the Android Market. A long-time iOS staple, the title picked up quite a bit of industry buzz, including a nomination for best Mobile Strategy Game from IGN and a Platinum Award from PocketGamer, among other accolades. Unlike other tower defense games, Anomaly Warzone Earth HD takes a different approach: you are on the offense rather than the defense, and it's up to you to break down what other similar titles would have you build-- tower defense.
If you're the type to balk at a $4 pricetag, the immersive Story Campaign mode along with the top-notch graphics and sound will likely be enough of a justification. You'll need to be running at least Android 2.2 to play, and you'll likely be better off with a higher-spec'd phone that can handle the game's rather intensive graphics (the title can also be found on Xbox Live and PCs, an indication for just how rich the gameplay can get). As it just hit the Android Market yesterday we'll take a few more days to see what's what and get a proper review posted. Until then, you can hit the link below to grab a copy for yourself.
Before heading out to CES, Phil hopped on the ZenAndTech podcast to discuss the method to his madness in how he properly prepares himself and his electronics before heading out the door. This discussion made me realize that I am always hunting for power, and that most of the time I am looking for an extra place to plug in a device that charges via micro-usb. With this in mind I went out looking for a simple, small, compact solution and that is when I found the Ventev Dual USB wall charger. After reading about it and realizing that it could not only charge my phones, but also tablets and even my fiance's Apple devices I knew this was what I needed. Let's hit the break to check it out.
Looks like AT&T is wasting no time bringing its version of the Samsung Galaxy Note to market. If the latest rumors from BGR are to be believed, the carrier plans to launch Samsung's 5.3-inch phone/tablet hybrid on Feb. 18 for $299.99 on-contract.
The blog also reports that two new, unannounced devices will be making their debut the very same day -- the Samsung Rugby Smart and the AT&T Fusion. The Rugby Smart is reportedly a $99 entry-level HSPA+ phone, while the AT&T Fusion, for which no specs are offered, will apparently sell for $124.99.
All unconfirmed at this stage, of course, but we don't think anyone would be surprised to see the AT&T Galaxy Note arriving in mid-to-late February with a hefty price tag. As for the other two devices, we'll just have to wait and see what materializes over the next month.
For more on the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note, take a look over our hands-on coverage from CES, and our full review of the international version.
What is Mobile World Congress? The next big mobile trade show on our Android schedule is Mobile World Congress -- or MWC, for those in the know. It's in Barcelona, Spain, and has been since 2006 (and will be through 2018). Before that, it was known as 3GSM World and was in Cannes, France. This year will be the last at the Fira de Barcelona, a beautiful venue that actually allows for some sunlight (or dreary rain), with towers at the entrance and Palau Nacional rising at the far end.
MWC has a decidedly different feel than CES, which we just wrapped up in Las Vegas, or the bi-annual CTIA shows that rotate among different cities in the United States. Gone are the booth babes, and you'll see far more suits than you will in Sin City. That's not to say that Mobile World Congress is a boring show for Android -- far from it. MWC is where we'll see the latest and greatest from many of the major manufacturers. To wit:
And we've got meetings. And dinners. And dinner meetings. A slow show for Android, Mobile World Congress is not. Plus it's in Barcelona -- this year from Feb. 27 through March 1, a few weeks later than in years past -- smack on the western edge of the Mediterranean, full of culture and food. And phones. Feel free to hate us now.
The popular sports app ESPN ScoreCenter has received a sizeable update which includes one the most requested features, notifications. Yes, it's been a long time coming, but now you can receive scoring and breaking news notifications to your Android device.
Once you open the app, click the red tab at the bottom to bring up the menu, then select preferences. From there, you can manage which teams you follow and which alerts you will receive.
Here is the full changelog from the update:
Scoring and breaking news notifications now available!! Get game start, scoring plays, end of period/qtr/half and final score notifications, or follow your favorite sports with breaking news alerts - all delivered to your device’s home screen.
Fixed widgets and other display issues on certain devices
Fixed a number of UI issues occurring on Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices
Additional UI fixes for tablets
Additional bug fixes
The app is available for free in the Android Market, so to get the update or to download the app, please find the links after the break.
Here's a nice one from the wallpapers included with the Pantech Burst. You've got red fabric in a vertical fashion, with waves giving a sense of motion. Check it and the other Pantech Burst wallpapers below.
The Samsung Galaxy S III (or lack of it) has the Internet ablaze once again, and this time it's based on some information industry insider Eldar Murtazin claims to know, and has hinted at in his Twitter account. According to Eldar (and nestled in with words like "flagship" and "so much better"), the next-generation Galaxy S device will feature updated hardware with a 1.5GHz or 1.6GHz quad-core processor, a 12MP camera, HD screen (we're assuming it will be part of the AMOLED family), Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung's TouchWiz tweaks, and it gets great battery life -- yes, he says he has used it.
Eldar says we'll get a to see the Galaxy S III in February at Mobile World Congress, which would make sense. (The Galaxy S II was announced in Barcelona last year.) We'll see manufacturers' new products at a show designed for manufacturers to show us their new products. The Galaxy S III will most likely be released in the Far East and Europe before the United States, so Barcelona would be the place to see it. The specifications sound about right for the next generation of hardware, so Eldar's news seems feasable, and a natural progression that we've seen before. We'll know more soon when we head to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress.
What does concern us is once again seeing new and better handsets from Samsung, while their current models sit and wait for updates. The original Galaxy S line is (and we hate it as much as you do) a write-off by now, but there's more than a few Galaxy S II devices which are more than capable, waiting for an Ice Cream Sandwich update. Samsung's gorgeus screens and state-of-the art hardware has made many of us give them a second chance with the Galaxy S II, but another year-long saga of waiting for device updates just isn't going to fly. Hopefully, the right people at Samsung and the carriers realizes this as well.
Sprint today is rolling out the EL29 update for the Epic 4G Touch (aka the Samsung Galaxy S II). This is the update we first told you about a week ago when the source code dropped. And today, the update has begun to push out to devices. Here's the official changelog:
Dismissing multiple calendar alerts
Commercial Alert System (CMAS) activated
The Epic 4G Touch update -- officially to software version S:D710.0.5S.EL29, if you're into that sort of thing -- will be released in stages, Sprint says, with all devices scheduled to receive it within the next 10 days or so.
We're also expecting the Carrier IQ software to have been stripped from this update, and that may be included in the "Security update" bullet point. (But why not just come out and say it?) Sprint previously announced that it has quit using Carrier IQ for analytics data after a couple of months of user outrage, and we've already seen Sprint remove the softare from its HTC ROMs.
To get the update for your Epic 4G Touch, just look for the notification in the aptly named notification bar, then send things on their way. Or if you've told it to install later, head to menu>settings>about phone>system updates>update Android to get things going.
Usually we have to wait for some brave individual to take screwdrivers, spudgers and the like to a device before we get to see what's lurking inside. This time, however, Samsung's saved you the trouble of voiding your warranty and being left with a heap of broken circuitry, with an official teardown of the Galaxy Note, its unique phone/tablet hybrid.
If you've never looked inside one of these things before, it's always amazing how so much "stuff" is packed within a (relatively) small device. In the case of the Galaxy Note, the S-Pen stylus integration requires a special digitizer to detect the pen's presence and the amount of pressure, as well as a WACOM chip to process pen input.
Hit the source link for a more detailed breakdown of what's inside the Galaxy Note, or check out our full review for more on the device itself.
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