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3 years ago

Review: Mobi Products skin case for the Samsung Fascinate and Mesmerize

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The Mobi Products skin case is a single-piece, wraparound case for the Samsung Fascinate and Mesmerize. The case material is a flexible rubber with a grippy matte surface. The phone easily slides in and out, which is a benefit for those who swap batteries frequently. On the other hand, the top parameter might be a little too flexible and loose for others.

I'm somewhere in the middle. I fall into the category of those who do not typically use a case. However, I found myself using it more often than not, because of the ability to pop it on and off with ease. Perfectly aligned cutouts provide sufficient access to the buttons, speaker, camera, microphone, headset jack, and micro SD slot. The material was fingerprint-free after extended use and was easy to clean with a drop of dish soap and water. The volume rocker and power buttons are easy to push. If you're a person, who on average, prefers the feel of a naked phone but wants some level of protection while your phone is in a coat pocket or lying on a table, this could be the perfect case for your needs.  Grab the Mobi Products skin case in one of four different colors from the Android Central store for $9.95.  Hit the break for some more pictures.

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3 years ago

nullDC now running (slow frame rate) Dreamcast games

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Yesterday we posted a video of drk|Raziel's nullDC emulator running the Dreamcast bios. Today he posted on his blog two new videos of some Dreamcast classics running on the emulator: Power Stone, Crazy Taxi, and Dead or Alive 2. While the frame rate is still super slow, we are definitely excited to see this project evolve. Now where is Sonic? Videos embedded after the break. Thanks, Bl!

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3 years ago

Android Market update not so welcome for Xperia X10 users

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Life is rough for the Xperia X10.  When released (overseas, anyway), it was top-of-the-line hardware, chained to an outdated version of Android, and we still have no idea if it supports multitouch.  The custom overlay (TimeScape) is beautiful, but it really hampers performance.  We all want to love it, but it's hard.  It just got harder since Google has updated the Android Market. 

Seems like the new and improved version of the Market wont run on the X10, with users waiting forever as it fails to load.  Sony Ericsson was quick to address the issue via their Facebook page, telling users to uninstall the updates for the Android Market.  But, as we all know, the Market auto-updates -- leading some users into an endless loop, and no Android Market on their expensive phone.  I've reached out to SE, but short of keeping the updates for the Market uninstalled, I have no advice to offer to help.  This one needs addressed -- if not from SE, then from Google, who may be able to halt the updates for the affected devices. 

If we hear anything that may help, we'll be sure to let you know.  Thanks for the heads up, Conan!

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3 years ago

Google acquires mobile payments company Zetawire

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Although they are a small, Toronto-based firm, the news of Google acquiring mobile payments startup Zetawire could mean a lot in the upcoming months. It was revealed yesterday by tech analysts at the 451 Group that Google had acquired the small company quite some time ago and that the purchase had gone unnoticed until now. 

So what is Google's interest in a small, mobile payments company that seemingly only has one patent to their name?  Well, that's pretty much it. That one patent which Zetawire owns “a payment system, an advertising system, and an identity management system” fits right into Google's interests. Especially when you start considering the Near Field Communication chip in the Google Nexus S.

Combine NFC with Zetawire's technology and you have a pretty awesome jump start on the market of mobile advertising and payments and most importantly, tracking of it's usage. Not that Google is new to any of that just, they can now offer it in better ways. [451Group via Techcrunch]

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3 years ago

Android Voice Search gets personal with personalized voice recognition

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The old Voice Search options (left) and new options (right)

Voice search on Android is pretty good. And it's about to get better. Google's updated the app and given us the option for personalized recognition. The premise is simple: Voice Search remembers words that you search for (and the sound of your voice doing so) and associates them with your Google account. It's an opt-in service, so it's not automatically recording your voice without your knowledge. You'll get the option to turn on personalized recognition when you first fire up voice search. And from there on out, it's all transparent. The goal? To understand you better and make searches faster and more accurate.

The update and personalized recognition are only available on Android 2.2 and up, and for English in the U.S. Google says it plans on supporting other nations and languages in the future. You can update in the market, and we've got download links after the break. [Google Mobile Blog]

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3 years ago

Skype updated, now installs to SD card

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If you're keeping an eye on your storage space and move as many apps as possible to the SD card, note that the Skype Android app has been updated for that very reason. You're not going to save too much space -- its less than 1 megabyte -- but every little bit helps, right? Download link's after the break if you need it. (And, yes, you have to have Froyo to move apps to the SD card. That hasn't changed.) Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

NookColor getting Froyo and Android Market -- officially -- in January [updated: Erm, not so much]

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Good news for those of you looking longingly at your Barnes & Noble NookColor and wishing that the Android-based e-reader could one day legitimately run Android apps. An update to Android 2.2 Froyo is coming, and it's bringing with it the traditional Android home screens and access to the Android Market.

That's right, none of that hackery required -- and hackery that's as liable to give you a third eye as it is access to Android apps. The word is that the update's coming in January and in addition to the Market and homescreens will bring pinch-to-zoom to the browser. There's also the requisite battery and performance improvements you supposedly get with just about every update.

With the prospect of an official update and traditional Android features, the $250 NookColor is starting to look like an affordable and attractive Android tablet. [SmartphoneMag via Engadget]

Update: Bad news folks. Barnes and Noble PR got in touch with the authors of the original piece at Engadget, and while the Nook Color will be adding apps to it's own market, there is no plan to add the official Android Market to the device. Back to the hackery, I guess.

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3 years ago

Xperia X10 goes buy-one-get-one on AT&T

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If you're in the mood for a year-old smartphone that's struggling to get to Android 2.1, know that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is available as buy-one-get-one free until Jan. 1, 2011. At that point it'll be about a year old -- we had our first hands-on at CES in January 2010 -- and it's been plagued by a lack of updates ever since. But you can't beat BOGO, even on the X10. [via Twitter]

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: YouMail Visual Voicemail

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You ever get a call from someone you really don't feel like talking to at the moment and decide that you'll just let it go to voicemail and wait and see if they leave a message? I know I do. In fact, I really dislike talking on the phone so I tend to do it a lot. That habit of mine used to make checking my voicemail rather annoying as well. Especially after letting 5-6 messages build in there.

So instead of actually, you know answering calls I decided I'd switch to a visual voicemail service and make it a lot easier on myself. I decided to go with YouMail. Read on after the break for a quick run down of what YouMail is all about.

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3 years ago

New 'StrictMode' Gingerbread API helps developers write better, faster apps

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There's a lot of new, behind-the-scenes goodness going on in Gingerbread, and not all of it was made with the end user in mind.  One of the new APIs, "StrictMode," is built for Android application developers to use as a debugging tool.  It monitors code as it's executed, detecting things that can slow an application down.

It specifically was designed to target disk reads and writes, and network activity, which as Android software engineer Brad Fitzpatrick points out can cause stuttering animation and UI elements that don't respond to input as fast as we would like.  Having an easy to use tool like this means that developers can find spots in their code that might contribute to a bottleneck and take care of the issue before the app goes out for testing.

While the changes that come with Gingerbread don't appear very big on the surface, all these little things add up.  We've went over all the "showcase" changes, but these smaller additions are just as important.  Gingerbread is shaping up to have great potential, and I can't wait to get my hands greasy with it. [Android Developers Blog]

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