Headlines

3 years ago

Google Maps updated with simplified Navigation menus

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Google Maps for Android has received a minor update today, bringing it up to version 6.4.0. The new version introduces some minor changes to Google Maps Navigation on ICS devices. Gone is the large, unwieldly vertical list activated by the menu key -- in its place is a more accessible grid-based setup. And as part of Google's ongoing war against the menu overflow key, those pesky three dots are no longer present in Maps Navigation in ICS -- they're replaced with a completely different menu key a few pixels above your virtual buttons.

In the unlikely event that you're not currently using Google Maps, we've got the Android Market Google Play Store link after the break. We've also got a screenshot of the new Navigation menu, if you're into that sort of thing.

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3 years ago

Google sneakers, M3U Playlists [From the Forums]

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With the weekend now upon us all, looking back -- we've rocked out a bunch of content this week. If you missed out anything, get yourself caught up and be sure to check out the Android Central podcast at some point. If you're looking for more Android discussion, hit the threads below:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

Flying to SXSW? Get your Android device online at 35,000 feet free through March 16

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Just a quick heads up for you folks flying to Austin, Texas, for SXSW -- GoGo Inflight Internet is free if you're flying on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines or Delta Air Lines to Austin from March 10-16. That means you can use the GoGo Android app to keep reading Android Central while you're at 35,000 feet. And that's a good thing.

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3 years ago

Solar System Explorer [Android App Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

It's not often I come across an app that both humbles me and causes me to have an existential crisis, so when I find one, I know it's a keeper. Solar System Explorer caused me to go through both of these things simultaneously, and apart from making you question your tiny, insignificant self in this grand universe, you're also treated to a gorgeous layout loaded with more information about our solar system than you probably knew existed.

First thing you'll notice when you open up Solar System Explorer is how great it looks. This is a seriously polished app, with beautiful 3D models of every planet in our solar system, the moons of each planet, and each satellite the United States has launched. There's full pinch-to-zoom on all of the models as well as swiping support so you can change your perspective, too.

You move from planet to planet (or moon to moon) using pictures along the bottom of the screen. All of our planets are there, ordered from closest to farthest from the sun, and on the very end, you can get to the satellites. When you pick a planet, the pictures at the bottom of the screen change, and if the planet has any moons, images of those moons appear so you can see models and read up on them, should you choose to.

Aside from all of that, there's also an incredible treasure trove of information at your fingertips, all of it a button push away. When you've got a heavenly body selected, you're shown its general information by default, but should you leave this screen, tapping the eyeball will take you back to it. The little bar graph looking button shows you stats for your planet, all in relation to Earth.

Finally, the upside down peace sign tells you information about the structure of your planet and the 3D model changes to reflect said information. It's really quite cool seeing Earth broken up into differently colored layers and an explanation about what's going on in this beautiful blue-green ball we call home. (Plus, it reminds me of elementary school science class.)

Solar System Explorer also gives you the opportunity to just admire the solar system by hiding the information panel and zooming in and out. The full-screen experience is quite incredible, and at times like these, I wonder why I didn't do more to become something like an astronaut or work for NASA. This might "just" be an Android app, but it certainly instills a sense of awe in me.

If you're someone who has even a slight interest in our big, mysterious solar system, check this app out. It's great to just poke around in, but it's also chock full of such solid information, I don't see any reason why it couldn't be used as an educational tool, too.

Solar System Explorer is $1.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 8th Edition for Android

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Oxford University Press -- the folks behind that big book full of words and defintions -- have just put out an android version of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 8th edition. It's geared toward those who are learing Englishi -- and let's face it, a goodly number of 'mericans might be able to take advantage of it, too.

It's got full-sentence pronunciations, more than 1,300 illustrations to explain words -- and more than 184,000 individual words, phrases and meanings.

The full presser and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Whole host of HTC One Series accessories up for pre-order in the UK

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We've already had a look at some of the accessories coming with the new HTC One Series, including this sweet car dock, at MWC. Thankfully -- and unlike Samsung -- HTC are bringing a whole variety to market around the time the devices launch. British retailer Clove Technology will be stocking the range, and have put them up for pre-order on their website.

We won't list them all, needless to say there's plenty. Some such as the Media Link are universal. Each different phone has its own car dock, and a range of cases. The One X and One S are both getting a hard case with a built in stand that will set you back £19.99. There's also a desktop cradle with speakers for the One X that'll run you for £54.99

The car docks are where it's at though, as our hands on with the One X variant in Barcelona showed. That particular item is going for £44.99, which is the same price as the One S and One V car docks. 

Clove are claiming mid to late April on the whole range. Hit the source link below for the full list. 

Source: Clove Technology

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3 years ago

CEOs of the Big 4 set to hit the keynote stage at CTIA in May

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Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! One of our favorite things from last spring's CTIA show was when the CEOs of Sprint, Verizon and AT&T took the stage together in the Day 1 keynote for a pretty candid discussion, made even more interesting because it was just days after AT&T had announced it intended to purchase T-Mobile. That caused T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm (above) to have to drop out of the panel, for obvious reasons. (And as you well know, the acquisition never happened.)

But the CTIA has announced that all four CEOs -- Sprint's Dan Hesse, Verizon's Dan Mead, AT&T's Ralph de la Vega (seen at right) and T-Mobile's Humm -- will again head up this spring's keynote on May 8, from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. And just like last year, CNBC business personality Jim Cramer will moderate the panel. 

If it's anything like last year's panel, this is going to be good, folks. And, of course, we'll be there in the Crescent City to bring it all to you live. 

More: CTIA

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Onkyo Android app

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So I rearranged my living room over the past weekend and decided to retire my (gasp) 9-year-old receiver. Wasn't looking to spend a fortune, but surround sound is a must, Internet access is a plus. Ended up going with The Wirecutter's recommendation of the Onkyo TX-NR509. It's got a rear Ethernet port (if that's how you roll), or an optional Wifi dongle that plugs into the front USB port -- and an added bonus -- a companion Android application.

Let's really start off by saying that home audio is a pretty personal and finicky thing, and your setup will determine the usefulness of features. I've got an Xbox 360 and a Logitech Revue to handle most of my multimedia functions, so there's a good bit of what's the in Onkyo app -- specifically the music playback --  that I'll never use. You've pretty much got full remote capability, including switching inputs and sources. The app's layout's pretty intuitive, as are the settings. I'm not going to walk you through them as, again, your setup will vary from mine, and chances are you're a proper nerd and can do it yourself.

(I'll mention that the Onkyo has things like Internet radio and DLNA streaming, which is nice, but the on-screen UIs are so horrid that you'll likely not want to touch them.)

No, the one shining feature of the Onkyo Android app -- for me, anyway -- is the ability to change  the volume from another room. I've got kids. Two of 'em. The eldest is 5, and she can rock the Logitech Harmony One remote just fine to get her Dora on. But she's also going deaf, I'm convinced, because the TV will get louder and louder as she watches. Thanks to the Onkyo app, there's no more getting up from what I'm doing. No more arguing. I just turn the damn thing down, and no one's the wiser. (I can do the same thing with the Google TV Remote app, by the way.)

So that's what I'm rocking in the living room now, all connected like. (And it sounds good, too.) Onkyo says the app's compatible with all network AV receivers released since 2010, as well as the TX-8050 Network Stereo Receiver and the T-4070 Network Stereo Tuner. You may need to do a firmware update (mine took about 5 minutes) to get things going.

We've got screen shots and download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Deep Trip [Android Kids App]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I don't have kids myself, but when I came across Deep Trip, well, it's fairly obvious which market's being targeted. It's a pleasant, cheerful game with a simple learning curve and cartoony graphics. That being said, if you find yourself spending time with it, too, don't be ashamed. It really is quite fun.

Deep Trip is designed in the tradition of games like Helicopter, where you hold the screen to ascend, let go to descend, and try not to crash into anything along the way. Instead of a helicopter, you're a long, orange sea snake (eel, perhaps?) who is trying to find your way home.

While the concept sounds simple, it's actually deceptively difficult, especially considering how winding underwater can be, loaded with all sorts of pointy rocks and wrecked ships and whatnot. To combat this, Deep Trip places powerups throughout the level that afford you some protection on your journey.

If you collect one powerup, your little snaky eel gets a helmet that's good for one crash into an obstacle. However, if you collect two powerups (collect a second powerup while still wearing your helmet), you're granted near-invulnerability for a time, madly careening about, smashing through anything that gets in your way without consequence.

Deep Trip is also Papaya-enabled, which is a social gaming service that looks suspiciously similar to OpenFeint. On Papaya you can see your best attempts, compare your results to other people playing Deep Trip, add friends, check out more games that are using Papaya, and chat with friends you've made. It looks like a pretty comprehensive social hub, despite it being kind of barren, friends-wise.

If you're looking for a game to kill some time or quiet your little one, Deep Trip looks like it'll fit the bill. It doesn't even cost a penny, so it's at least worth checking out.

We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Sprint officially announces the ZTE Fury, coming March 11 for $19.99

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The ZTE Fury will be available March 11 for just $20 on contract, Sprint announced this morning. The Fury is being billed as a "family-friendly" Android device, though options such as Sprint's Family Locator, mobile usage controls (you can lock down text messages, for example) and Sprint Drive First all cost extra. 

As for the phone itself, the Fury's got a 3.5-inch display, 5-megapixel camera with flash and can serve as a 3G mobile hotspot. It looks to be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 Snapdragon processor. It's got 4GB of storage on board. It's also a Sprint ID device, so you can theme it with any number of Sprint ID packs.

More: Sprint

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3 years ago

Benchmarks still not that relevant, but Intel seems to be doing well in them

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We've been around the block a few times on the whole benchmarking thing that is for sure. But an enterprising German blogger, known as Caschy, has managed to run a couple of different benchmarking tests on the forthcoming Orange Santa Clara and its Intel Medfield internals. The results are interesting, but not necessarily surprising. 

First up we have the Rightware "Browsermark" test, which tests the JavaScript and HTML rendering capabilities of the browser. The results do though as seen here put the Santa Clara in front of Apple's iPhone 4S

The other test was the "Vellamo" test from Qualcomm that brings together 11 benchmarks of features that a mobile browser depends on. This time the Santa Clara claimed the scalp of the revered Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The bottom line is still that benchmark tests still shouldn't be taken too seriously when judging a device's performance. But, ignoring all that, what we do have is more indications that Intel's architecture is potentially bringing something special to the table.

We shouldn't be too surprised though, remember CES? Intel made these very same claims themselves on the Las Vegas stage. At this point -- or any point for that matter -- we're not really that interested in a benchmark score. Can we just get the devices already? 

Source: Caschy's Blog (translated) via Netbook News

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3 years ago

Mythical Nexus tablet reportedly could surface in May, says oft-wrong publication

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Digitimes, the manufacturing rumormonger that everybody loves to source but nobody ever admits to actually believing (we're guilty of this as well), today says that the long-rumored but never substantiated "Nexus tablet" could debut as early as May. It would cost between $199 and $249, the publication says, and be manufactured by ASUS. 

Those are all plausible statements, especially given that ASUS showed off a $250 7-inch quad-core tablet at NVIDIA's CES press event, then promptly hid it away. (That's what you see above.) On the other hand, Digitimes' sources also said that this rumored tablet would be "the first using Google Play Store," which makes absolutely no sense, because everything now uses the Google Play Store. And it might be cutting things a little close if production really was to begin in April.

In other words, maybe it exists, maybe it doesn't.

Source (more or less): Digitimes

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3 years ago

March 10 Galaxy S II ICS upgrade date posted in error, says Samsung Korea

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Yesterday Samsung's Filipino site published statement announcing that the Galaxy S II would be receiving the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, starting tomorrow, Mar. 10. Since then, Samsung has stepped in via its official Korean Twitter account to say that the article was posted in error, and that any official date will come straight from them.

This isn't the first time a supposedly official date for the long-awaited update has been rescinded. Last week Samsung Israel took to Facebook to announce that the update would land on Mar. 15, and that post has since vanished. With all this talk of updates arriving in the next week or so, though, we're sure Galaxy S II owners won't have too long to wait.

Source: @SamsungTomorrow; via: The Verge

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3 years ago

O2 UK launches Sony Xperia S

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Following Three's announcement yesterday, O2 UK has become the second British network to launch Sony's new flagship handset, the Xperia S. Subsidized prices start at £79 on the cheapest £16.50 per month contract, while a bump up to a £21.50 per momth plan will get you the Xperia S for free, along with 200 minutes, unlimited texts and a 500MB data allowance. Unlike Three, O2 isn't selling the Xperia S on pay-as-you-go, so you'll need to open up a new line, or burn an upgrade if you want to pick up the O2-branded version.

The Xperia S is the first of Sony's new Xperia NXT series to launch internationally, going on sale first in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress. It sports a dual-core CPU, a 4.3-inch 720p "HD Reality Display" and a whopping 12MP camera. We've already given you our first impressions of the Xperia S, and we'll have a full review posted in the next few days.

Source: O2 UK

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3 years ago

Android Central 89: MWC recap, Google Play is born, photos and privacy

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Audio-only stream below

We're back for our first sit-down since Mobile World Congress. Phil, Jerry, Mickey, Alex and Cory wrap up Barcelona, welcome in (or not) Google Play, and talk a whole bunch about privacy and security. Join us!

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