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3 years ago

NCAA Tournament Android apps - Basketball apps at their best

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The greatest sports playoff system -- college basketball's NCAA Tournament -- is upon us. The games have always been played at odd times, particulalrly those in the first couple of rounds. And since so many of us will be stuck at work, it's a must to have great mobile apps to keep you up-to-date on how your bracket is stacking up or how your favorite team is performing.

We've put together a collection of some of the best Android apps to help you out during March Madness. There are a lot out there, especially scoreboard apps, but these are the few that we feel rise above the rest. Enjoy! By the way, if you don't notice from the screenshots, I'm a Syracuse fan, so go Orange! Feel free to sing out in the comments which team you're rooting for.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G available March 28 for $149

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For those of you waiting on pins and needles for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, we've finally got availability details. Starting March 28, you'll be able to pick it up for $149.99 along with a $50 mail-in rebate and two-year contract. (It'll hit "select" stores a week earlier, for what that's worth.)

We got a pretty good look at the Blaze 4G at Mobile World Congress. And while the 3.97-inch Super AMOLED display and 1.5GHz dual-core processor are nothing to sneeze at, it's still running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, you'll be left waiting for an Ice Cream Sandwich update. Perhaps T-Mobile's 42 Mbps data speeds will assuage that?

Edit: Fixed screen size.

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3 years ago

Readabilty for Android now available from Amazon - we've got your full review

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Readability is the latest app to address the double-edged sword that is the modern smartphone browser. When the iPhone arrived on the scene in mid-2007 it ushered in the era of (mostly) complete access to the world-wide-web from handheld mobile devices. Up to that point even the most sophisticated mobile browsers such as Pocket Internet Explorer 4 would present a heavily pared down view of web-sites.

However, the comparatively few people that actually did anything more than check email with their phones did so through old-school WAP browsers. Readability is now available for free from the Amazon Appstore. We've got your full review after the break.

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3 years ago

Review: Boid Twitter client for Android

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I've always got my eyes peeled for the next great Twitter client on Android. Ever since I discovered Plume, I was hooked, but that doesn't mean I'm not open to the next best thing. Carbon looks like it'll give everyone a run for their money, but in the meantime, folks running Ice Cream Sandwich on their phones might want to direct their attention to Boid for Android, a Holo-themed, Android 4.0 exclusive that looks to tear you from the clutches of your favorite client and bring you to the Boid Side.

From the moment you open Boid for Android, the Holo look is immediately evident. Unfortunately, there's nothing to guide you through setup, either. After staring blankly at the screen for a few seconds, I realized the icon of a person next to a plus sign was my ticket in.

Adding an account is the same as with any other Twitter client (login via your browser into the Twitter website, grant access to the app), and from there, all the accounts you've added will show up on the screen. When you want to access a particular feed, you just tap that account. From there, the fun really begins.

You've got the requisite Timeline, Mentions, and Messages, but there's also a Trends feed on the far right. You move from column-to-column by swiping left and right. It's all very intuitive, looks absolutely great with the Holo theme, and for an alpha, is pretty darn stable, to boot. Refreshing is done via the "Pull to Refresh" mechanic made popular by other apps, and as far as I can tell, that's the only way.

At the bottom of the screen are your main Twitter commands: New Tweet, Search, and Profile. Each one of them acts just as you'd assume, and the New Tweet menu not only lets you write, but also lets you attach a picture, take a picture, and tag your geolocation. Sure, these are all standard Twitter functions, but to see it all in such an early alpha is excellent.

Tapping on someone else's Tweet pulls up a different contextual menu. From there you can reply, re-Tweet, check out their profile, or star the Tweet. When you're on someone else's profile you can also mention them, direct message them, or block them. I don't think Team Boid has yet implemented marking something/someone as spam.

Overall, I'm very, very pleased with where Boid for Android is at. For a free app, it's polished, relatively stable, and has plenty of reasons to become your next Twitter app. The developers have big plans for the future, too. Says Team Boid:

Features coming soon: save position in lists, finished tweetcomposer (media and location attachment), font size customization, background notifications for mentions and direct messages.

And later: a paid version (donation version), home screen widget (in the paid version), Twitlonger API (for posting tweets that are over 140 characters).

Not bad, right? Boid for Android is free in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Korean carrier says Galaxy S II ICS update coming 'tomorrow'; Samsung promises announcement 'soon'

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After a series of false starts, it appears the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update for Galaxy S II (GT-i9100) owners may be about to land. Korean mobile network SK Telecom tweeted this morning that it'll begin rolling out the software update starting 10am KST tomorrow, March 13. (That's 1am GMT, or 9pm EST today, because time zones are crazy like that.) However, the tweet in question was quickly pulled down, and now SK Telecom is telling customers to check with the manufacturer for update information.

Samsung remains coy, however, saying on its official "SamsungTomorrow" Twitter account that Galaxy S II owners should make sure they're up to date through Kies, and promising an announcement "soon."

So, possibly great news for Korean Galaxy S II owners, and we're sure it won't be long before the update goes out to owners of the same hardware in Europe and other parts of Asia, too. But Galaxy S II devices in the United States will probably have a little longer to wait, due to the differences in phone hardware from carrier to carrier.

Source: @SKTelecom via The Verge, @SamsungTomorrow

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3 years ago

Instagram on Android - Why you want it

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Rene Ritchie is the editor of iMore.com and knows a thing or three about Instagram on iOS.

Why do you want Instagram on Android? Because Android users have the right to take beautiful, modern, digital pictures and filter them down to look like bad 1960s-era Polaroids just like iOS users. I kid. Seriously.

Instagram isn't Facebook or Twitter. It's not big or as broad. It's smaller and more sharply focused. More important, it doesn't exist on the web at all -- it's a purely mobile network. Sure, you can see individual Instagrams on the web, but that's all you can do on the official site -- just see individual Instagrams.

To take or upload, filter or share, your photos with the Instagram community, you need the mobile app, and right now that only exists on the iPhone. And that's a pity.

I joked about the filters at the beginning of this article, but the community is no joke. It's filled with passionate mobile photographers fully in tune with the idea that the best camera is the one you have with you, and the one you have with you is on your smartphone.

Android has some great camera phones like most everything from Samsung in the past year (save for the Galaxy Nexus), as well as some great photographers. And HTC's upcoming line looks to impress. And right now, as an Instagram user, I can't experience and appreciate their photography. I can't interact with them in place where other, like-minded mobile photographers are interacting with them without the annoyance or distraction of Tweets about politics or Likes of Bieber videos (whatever those are).

There are many iPhoneographers on Instagram whose work has elevated the medium well into the realms of art. Androidographers (live with it) deserve the same access and Instagram deserves the greater talent pool.

Android is a serious platform that's not always taken seriously by developers. It doesn't always get the great apps it deserves as fast as it deserves them. Instagram has taken its time coming to Android, but that it's coming is important. It's not as big a deal as Twitter or Facebook, but it's a much sharper deal, perhaps sharper even than Path.

Plus, Android's got gallery and sharing hooks that make some iPhone users green with envy. (Being able to share a photo as soon as you take it in the stock camera app is something you all take for granted.) 

Mobile photography is a big deal. Having Instagram on Android isn't just great for Instagram or Android, it's great for us.

Now please, for the love of Ansel Adams, go easy on those '60s filters when you get 'em, will you?

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia 'Pepper' promo shot leaks briefly, confirms NFC support

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It's been a while since we last saw the Sony MT27i 'Pepper' a tantalizing mid-range (yet dual-core) smartphone which appeared in a couple of pre-MWC leaks, but failed to materialize at the show. However, in the past day or so the device, which is still known only by its model number and codename, cropped up on Sony Mobile China's website, before being swiftly pulled. The leaked image shows an official press shot of the device, alongside Sony's smart tags, indicating that like the Xperia P and S, the 'Pepper' will include NFC support.

Leaked specs place the device between the Xperia P and Xperia U in Sony's 2012 line-up, with a 1GHz dual-core CPU, a 3.7-inch WVGA854 display and 512MB of RAM. And an alleged 2012 roadmap for Sony smartphones which leaked back in January suggests a €300 price point. Interestingly, though, Sony's trademark clear element -- the transparent bit below the screen on Xperias S through U -- is nowhere to be seen on the 'Pepper.'

Based on the all the leaked info that's appeared, it looks like the 'Pepper' could be a solid mid-range contender for Sony. We'll keep you posted with any further details as they emerge.

Source: IT168; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

AT&T's LTE coming to a dozen new locales through summer

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AT&T this morning announced that it's bringing its new LTE data services to a dozen more locations over the next few months. The cities include:

  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Akron, Ohio
  • Canton, Ohio
  • Naples, Fla.
  • Bloomoington, Ind.
  • Lafayette, Ind.
  • Muncie, Ind.
  • Baton Rouge, La.
  • New Orleans
  • St. Louis
  • Bryan/College Station, Texas
  • Staten Island, N.Y.

AT&T didn't give a specific timeline for the roll-out, though it did say Cleveland would be "soon," and that the other locations would launch in "April, May and into the early summer."

Source: Press release

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3 years ago

Contest Winners: ShopAndroid Daily winners!

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up shortly. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to this week's winners!

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Privacy, Google Play, Nexus tablets and more

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It was a question I knew I'd get this week. Wasn't sure when, and I wasn't exactly sure what the ramifications would be. 

"I have 4G now?!?!?!"

That was a text from my wife, two days after I updated her iPhone 4S to iOS 5.1. (Yes, the wife of the greatest Android blog on the planet uses an iPhone 4S. She can use any damn phone she wants. She's my hot wife.)

A funny thing happened last week after the iOS updated -- folks started to care about something we've been railing against for a year or so now -- AT&T's faux-gee 4G. This hardly is a new phenomenon; we've had "4G" (as in HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul) Android phones on AT&T for some time now, and we've got the first true (and, actually only) 4G phones on any network, be it Sprint, Verizon or AT&T, thanks to Wimax and LTE. (Unless you want to count the HTC Max 4G.)

So if you've got a friend with an iPhone, pat them on the back and congratulate them on getting 4G. Then run a speed test with your LTE or Wimax phone, flip a table and walk away.

As for my wife's question? I'm a grown man. I told her the truth. 

"Sure you do, Baby."

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3 years ago

Boxee looking for Android Developers, free Boxee box to interviewees

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An interesting email seems to have been doing the rounds today. Boxee it seems are on the hunt for Android developers to join their organisation. To anyone interviewed either in person or via Skype, a free Boxee box will find its way to you. 

Apparently the iOS team are working on a top secret project -- something about puppies -- but that doesn't really interest us. A bit further down is the listing for an Android App Developer to be based in New York City. The listing reads: 

This position will own the entire Boxee Android product and be involved throughout the entire application development lifecycle. You must be confident, take ownership of your projects, work efficiently without management, be personable, and able to articulate yourself well verbally.

Requirements: 3+ year of professional development experience (Java or C++ preferred), Android development expertise and solid understanding of the intricacies of the platform, and an application developed by you in the Android Market (iOS or other mobile platform development experience a plus)

Sound like your cup of tea? Hit the source link below to head over to the application page. 

Source: Boxee Thanks, Rouel!

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3 years ago

Instagram for Android shown off at SXSW, 'better than iPhone app' say developers

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Good news coming out of SXSW today for all those eagerly awaiting Instagram's arrival on Android. The application has been shown off at the event, and so say the developers that "in some ways it's better than our iPhone app." 

Instagram's Kevin Systrom took to the stage clutching a Galaxy Nexus running a prototype of the app which is currently being tested in private beta. But what about a release date? Systrom had something -- albeit not much -- to say on that subject. The team "hope to have it out to people really soon." 

Really soon isn't really much to go on, but it is really coming. By the sound of it it'll be worth the wait too. Systrom also added that the app works great on larger screens, is really fast and offers sharing to Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Definitely no watered down version then. 

All that remains is to actually the see app running on an actual device. But after today, the wait appears to be nearing its end. 

Source: The Verge

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3 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winner: Food

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This week's Android Central photo contest winner is Nathan Stewart, who brings us this light and healthy plate that's as beautiful on our screen as it would be on our table. Nathan used the portrait mode of the stock HTC Amaze 4G to take this one, and we can see what good camera hardware in the right hands is capable of. Thanks, and congrats Nathan, keep an eye on your inbox and I'll contact you about your prize.

Our inbox got filled with mouth-watering pictures for this past weeks photo contest, and we're still hungry from looking through them all -- you guys know good food! Some of you folks must be professional chefs, or you should be. Sorting through it all and picking the winner was difficult, but we found the best of the bunch, and you can see the runners up (in no particular order) after the break. Be sure to have a napkin handy, they all look delicious!

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 11, 2012

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What good is a phone without apps? Whether you want to edit pictures, stay productive, or play some games there are tons of great options available through Google Play. Each week we take some time to share some of our favorites, so let's hit the break and check them out!

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