Headlines

2 years ago

Firefox for Android getting an overhaul to use native Java widgets and UI, will bring better performance

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before                                                          after

Mozilla has decided to change the tools used to build the Firefox for Android client front end, and changes are in store.  In it's current iteration, Firefox uses XUL (a cross-platform toolkit used to design widgets and user interface elements), but will be switching to native Android elements written in Java.  This will bring more than just changes to the look and feel -- expect much faster load times and better performance, at the cost of some of the more complicated menus and options that are currently offered.  As you can see in the pictures above (ignore the custom font on the rooted device used by Mozilla for testing -- go root!), this will bring a UI that looks more like we're used to on Android apps, and will fit in much better once Ice Cream Sandwich rolls along.  Of coruse, the performance improvements are the big bonus, as well as (hopefully) a smaller file size.  All in all, it looks like the right way to go here from the user perspective.  Too many options can be a bad thing, and performance improvements are always welcome.  With Flash getting killed off, the Gecko rendering engine will start to look like a great option in the near future.

They will begin open Alpha testing tomorrow, we'll be sure to have a look.

Source: Dknite's blog

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2 years ago

Homerun Battle 3D, root access, and poor communication leads to knee-jerk reactions

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image credit umpire.org

Com2Us are the distributors and developers on a semi-popular game in the Android Market -- Homerun Battle 3D.  Recently, in order to try to kill the rampant cheating that goes on in the multi-player online games, they made a huge mistake.  Com2Us sent out an update that blocked anyone who had rooted their phone from playing.  As you can imagine, the uproar from people who had already spent $5 to buy the game (it's pretty well done, and this issue notwithstanding, probably worth the 5 bucks) and no longer could was instant, and loud.  We started getting reports about the issue, and started poking around to see what was up.

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2 years ago

Non-removable battery, Annoyed Samsung [From the Forums]

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Ahh, Thursday -- one day before Friday and more importantly, time for the Android Central Podcast. This weeks will be epic as always and if you're tuning in make sure you're all caught up on the news from the blogs and in the Android Central Forums.

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

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2 years ago

Asus EeePad Transformer update making its rounds, fixes app backup issues

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We've heard some runblings of a new update expected for the ASUS EeePad Transformer since the last one apparently broke a few things but there was never any mention of an ETA for it. Now is apparently the time though, as quite few people are starting to get an update labeled " 8.6.5.19-20111107" on their devices.

We've done some digging around and for the most part it just appears to be bug fixes but one welcomed change I'm sure is that the Backup app is now working again. Spot any other changes? If so let us know but for now -- go ahead and check for updates if you're unrooted, you may find it there waiting for you.

Discuss more in the Android Central Forums
Thanks, Donnieace!

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2 years ago

Verizon LTE coming to Roanoke on Nov. 17; Indiana, Penn., in December

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Verizon LTE will be coming soon to a couple new locations -- Roanoke, Virginia and Indiana Pennsylvania.  On November 17 they flip the switch in Roanoke, which will bring wireless broadband to downtown, Smith Mountain Lake, Christiansburg, Radford City, Buena Vista City, Lexington City and Rockbridge.  While it's a fairly large population center by southern Virginia standards (about 300,000 people), it's a pretty isolated metro area, and blanketing the whole community (as well as nearby Virginia Tech and the town of Blacksburg last September) is quite a trick.  Well done Verizon.

Not far behind their counterparts to the south, Indiana Pennsylvania (another fairly small college town -- do we see a trend?) will get the LTE treatment on December 15, covering Indiana, White Township, the Indiana University of PA campus, Homer City and Blairsville.  Again we see high speed mobile broadband being brought to places we would have never imagined having it two or three years ago.  Remember the next time you're paying that expensive Verizon bill -- they are actively investing that money back into their network, so your shiny Galaxy Nexus stays fast as hell in more places.  Can't fault anyone for that type of business strategy.

More: Verizon; MarketWatch

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2 years ago

Dailymotion Video Stream app announced for Android

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There is a lot of streaming video services out there these days aside from Youtube. One of the more popular ones is Dailymotion. While Dailymotion has had a web launcher app available for quite some time now, they've gone ahead and scrapped all previous versions and released Dailymotion Video Stream -- essentially, a full fledged Android app offering all of what you would expect.

A new UI is now in place, users can share videos with ease and make use of the new customizable dashboard. Plus, add channels, playlists and user search making it easier to find the content you really want.

Dailymotion Video Stream is available now in the Android Market, you'll find the download link and the full press release beyond the break. Give it go and feel free to leave some comments -- I've used the app in the past but always found it rather buggy and hopefully v2.0 will fix that.

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2 years ago

Motorola seeking out beta testers for a Motorola Electrify update

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For those of you on U.S. Cellular with a Motorola Electrify, now is possibly your chance to get in on some beta testing of the next software update for the device. Motorola is seeking out 200 U.S. Cellular customers with an Electirfy as noted on the Motorola Owners Forums:

Motorola and US Celluar are happy to announce a future pre-release* opportunity for MOTOROLA ELECTRIFY, before it is officially released to all customers. We are recruiting 200 Electrify owners to test and provide feedback on future updates.

This registration period will be open until we receive our limit of qualified applicants. Note that you must be a member of the Motorola Owners' Forums to register. If you're interested in testing and want to take part, just join our community now and then fill out the short Motorola Feedback Network registration form.  When specific opportunities become available you will receive additional info via email to register for a particular Electrify opportunity.

Please note that registering with the Motorola Feedback Network will not guarantee you'll be among those testing the software update as testers will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, and on valid registration responses. Selected users will receive additional information to prepare for the update via email when the trial begins.

* Motorola Software Pre-Releases are final software checks, with a limited group of users, before upgrades/updates are provided to the general public. Software tested may be no different than what other users receive, once testing is complete.

With that informarion readily available, safe to say an update will be coming for the Motorola Electrify eventually. What's not mentioned however is what the update actually is -- any guesses?

Source: Motorola
Thanks, Moto Tipster!

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note review

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As 2011 draws to a close, we’ve started to see a convergence of Android phones and tablets. Honeycomb-powered tablets are available in more form factors than ever before, and smartphones are growing larger still, with 4.3- to 4.7-inch devices quickly becoming the norm. Combine that with the phone and tablet software lines being reunited in Ice Cream Sandwich, and you start to see a landscape in which there’s very little separating a large Android smartphone from a small Android tablet.

The Galaxy Note is a device which Samsung is positioning between the traditional smartphone and tablet spaces. You can make calls on it, but you’ve also got a beastly dual-core Exynos chip inside, along with Sammy’s bleeding-edge HD SuperAMOLED display tech. The manufacturer’s also included a capacitive, pressure-sensitive stylus, dubbed the “S Pen”, with optimizations for pen input throughout the software. But despite the wealth of high-end tech, is there room in the market (and your pocket) for a 5.3-inch smartphone? Read on to find out what we thought of the Samsung Galaxy Note.


Extremely fast smartphone with a beautiful screen, and a thin, light chassis considering the screen size. Pen input works well.


A 5.3-inch device will be too big for most. Note-taking focus could limit it to a niche market.



If you can get over (or even embrace) the Note's size, you'll find it's a powerful device with some unique functionality that you won't find on any other smartphone.

Inside this review

More info

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2 years ago

Key meets Kevlar on Droid RAZR

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Kevlar, as law enforcement and military personnnel have known for quite some time, is a hell of a thing, stopping bullets and saving lives. So what's it doing on the back of a smartphone? In the case of the Motorola Droid RAZR, it's serving as a pretty cool spec, and it looks darn good, too.

No, we're not going to shoot the RAZR. Pretty sure it'll lose that battle. And while it's not completely scratch-proof, it does stand up to a pretty decent amount of pressure.

Check out our complete unscientific video after the break.

Read our complete Droid RAZR review!

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2 years ago

Boulder Dash on Android? Oh, hell, yes!

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It's 1984 all over again, folks, and not in the scary way. The original Boulder Dash has come to the Android Market, bringing with it not one but five games (four accessible via in-app upgrades). It's got all of the classic Boulder Dash creatures and features, original retro graphics for the last three cave backs (new graphics for the first two), and ties into OpenFeint so you can compete against your friends.

Boulder Dash for Android is 99 cents for a limited time; we've got download links and demo video after the break.

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