Headlines

2 years ago

Apple ditches Google Maps for its own solution

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We knew it was going to happen, right? Apple has ditched Google Maps for iOS, rolling its own in-house cartographic solution, including turn-by-turn navigation, which has never been as good on the fruit phone as it has on Android.

What's that mean for us? Not a whole hell of a lot, and it's not like Google's been resting on its mapping laurels. It was just last week that El Goog announced some major 3D renovations, which will be coming to Android along with offline access. We'll be just fine, thank you very much.

Also: iMore's WWDC coverage

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2 years ago

Galaxy S III case review: official clear TPU case

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If you've just blown £500 or so on a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S III (or committed to a new 24-month contract to get a subsidized model), you'll want to do everything you can to prevent it from knocks and scrapes. One of the first cases to appear for the S III on the European launch day was the official clear TPU case, manufactured by Anymode. This is a basic flexible plastic shell that matches the curved design of the S III, and features raised areas along the sides to allow easy pressing of the power button and volume rocker. And you've also got cut-outs for the LED flash, camera, rear speaker, mics, headphone jack and microUSB port. The case extends around the edge of the device, covering the corners, which are most susceptible to damage from falls or sudden impacts.

Texture-wise, the case is typical of most TPU offerings -- it's flexible and a little plasticky, without awkward rubber-like feeling that characterizes some silicone cases. Its flexibility means it's easy enough to put on or remove from the phone, while the patterned area inside the case grips the back of the phone securely to avoid slippage.

As it's transparent, you won't be upsetting the aesthetics of the Galaxy S III too much. The extra thickness isn't all that noticeable during regular use, or when the two are pocketed. Our only design concern stems from the slightly rough edges of the case, likely caused by the molding process, though that's true of many cases of this kind.

The clear TPU case for the Samsung Galaxy S III is available for around £15 from retailers in the UK. We've got more photos after the break.

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2 years ago

Ford SYNC and AppLink for Android set to expand globally

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Back during CES 2012 we got a real good look at all the things Ford was doing with their Sync service including the deep integration with Android and AppLink. Having put it all to the test in the U.S. Ford has now announced they'll be expanding the offerings globally with the introduction of the services to Asia.

“We will continue to work closely with leading developers and companies in local markets and around the world to make existing apps compatible with SYNC AppLink and provide the best services for our customers,” Ed Pleet, Director, Connected Services, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe.

To help expand the offerings, Ford will be working with developers locally to create localized content using the SYNC Developer SDK. On hand at Computex 2012, Ford will be hosting a hackathon with Ford engineers to help developers started on integration applications and more. The full press release from Ford is available below.

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2 years ago

It's stylus week at Android Central!

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With the popularity of phone-tablet hybrids like the Samsung Galaxy Note -- to say nothing of actual tablets -- it's time to take a look at that long-controversial accessory -- the stylus. Back in the days of resistive touchscreens, these guys were all but necessary for making a smartphone useful. But things change, and the stylus found itself relegated to mostly accessory status. But that doesn't mean it's not still useful.

So this week you'll see a series of reviews on our favorite pen-like accessory, and we might even give away a few, with some help from our pals at ShopAndroid.com. Get your writing hand ready, folks. It's stylus time!

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2 years ago

Cruzerlite Androidified A2 TPU Case for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus [accessory review]

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If you're looking to protect your Samsung Galaxy Nexus with something flexible and strong, but want to travel in style, the Cruzerlite Androidified A2 TPU Case is definitely the case you seek.

Made out of that signature orange goo Phil was good enough to coat his hand with (and subsequently get smashed with a rubber mallet), these Cruzerlite cases offer exceptional shock absorption while still keeping the overall size of the phone and case small.

Holes are cut and placed appropriately, giving you access to all of your buttons and necessary ports (including the inductive charging port). Despite the thinness of the case, I'm not positive any docks will be able to reach the inductive charging area, but do know that it's not covered.

 

The edges of the case add a small buffer zone, keeping your all-important touch screen lifted up, should you decide to place it with the screen facing down. Better yet, this case fits perfectly on phones using the standard battery or the official Samsung 2100 mAh extended battery, too, so you can get your extra charge on all while keeping your phone nice and secure.

If you're looking for a solid case to keep your phone intact and want to show off your love and support of Android, this case should certainly warrant some consideration. To top it off, it comes in 11 colors, too!

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2 years ago

The LG Optimus S gets one of the coolest custom recoveries around with Cannibal Open Touch

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LG's original Optimus One series of devices turned out to be one of last year's surprises. It ran as well as the big dogs when it first came out, and as long as you were comfortable hacking the living crap out of it you have a little Android phone that did everything. It's the perfect mix of price and performance for more than a few. When a phone gets that much push behind it, third-party development for lives forever. We see that again today, with the release of Cannibal Open Touch recovery for the Optimus S. Everything you like about the others is there, plus support for both Froyo and Gingerbread ROM flashing, touch-screen navigation buttons, even custom themeing is on board. Of course it is fully open source and the code is posted at bitbucket.

If you're hankerin' to give Cannibal Open Touch a try on you Optimus S, hit the link below for files and instructions. It's devs like this that let folks keep the same phones long after they have fell out of style and still have the latest and greatest. We tip our hat to all involved!

[RECOVERY] Cannibal Open Touch v1.0.2 (It's....ALIVE!)

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2 years ago

LG Optimus 4X HD launches today in Germany, UK in 'July'

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We has broad details of the Optimus 4X HD's European launch from LG Korea a few days back, but today brings confirmation that the device is launching right now in Germany. Other European territories won't be far behind, though, as LG promises the 4X HD will arrive in the Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom and Italy soon afterwards. The closest we have to a UK release date comes from online retailer Clove Technology, which says it's been informed of a "mid-to-late July" launch window. UK mobile networks have yet to announce availability for the device.

LG's new flagship comes with a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display and Android 4.0, topped off with LG's Optimus UI 3.0. For more on the Optimus 4X HD, be sure to check out our hands-on previews from Mobile World Congress and CTIA.

We've got today's press release after the break.

More: Clove

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2 years ago

Sony trades Facebook likes for early Xperia announcement

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Sony's got a new Xperia smartphone on the horizon, and it's willing to bring its announcement date forward in exchange for a few "likes" on Facebook. At present, all will be revealed next Thursday, June 21, but the company's calling on fans to press a "fast forward" button to bring the announcement forward (naturally, liking the promotion or sharing with friends will also speed things up.) There's also the chance to win the mysterious device, if you're up for clicking a few more buttons and entering your email address.

Given the level of buzz Sony is looking to create, we see only one likely candidate for the "next Xperia," as it's being called -- an international version of the Xperia GX, perhaps under a different name.  A new flagship product, the GX is currently slated to arrive in Japan next month, so an international variant would be expected to follow. It'd also back up reports of a device codenamed "LT29i" or "Hayabusa," which reportedly features a spec list identical to the GX. According to a Sony roadmap which leaked earlier in the year, the Hayabusa was targeted for a July launch, which would fit perfectly with the announcement window.

We'll keep you posted whenever Sony announces its next big thing. Hit the source link if you want to press buttons and move forward a giant animated clock.

Source: Sony on Facebook

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2 years ago

Andy Rubin, rumor smasher: Not leaving Google; 900,000+ Android activations daily

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Gotta love a good unfounded rumor on a slow Sunday afternoon. Or not. 

Regardless, Robert Scoble this afternoon set up a trial balloon to see what folks though about the possibility of Andy Rubin possibly leaving Google for a startup called CloudCar. Wrote Scoble on Google+

Today I heard that the head of Android, +Andy Rubin, will soon leave Google and head to a new startup called http://www.cloudcar.com/

Now, that rumor has two purposes: one, it might be true, in which case I start thinking about what that means for Android. I certainly will be looking for those signs when I attend the Google IO conference.

it didn't take long for Rubin to set the record straight, responding on Google+

How a rumor gets factualized: Cloudcar are a group of friends who I give free office space to in my incubator in Los Altos.  Revel Touch (Mar Hershenson's company: www.reveltouch.com) is another cool company that shares this space.  I'm not joining either one and I don't have any plans to leave Google.  See you on the 27th!

Roger that. Over and out. 

So in more Earth-based news, Rubin has also stated that there are over 900,000 Android activations daily -- up from 850,000 just a couple months ago at MWC. Before we delve into just how big that number is, let's revisit what each of those activations are. When a new Android device with a cellular radio has a Google account signed into it, it's counted as an activation. Each device only gets counted once -- not when you flash a new ROM, or when you sell it, just the first time the device is registered. This means that over 900,000 people are buying new Android devices every day. Or 27,000,000 every month. Or 328,500,000 a year at that rate. That's a lot of Android.

Looks like we'll be seeing plenty of Andy Rubin, and plenty of Android activations for the time being.

Source: +Andy Rubin. More: +Robert Scoble

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