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2 years ago

HBO Go for Android is here; we go hands-on!

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It's been just 10 days since HBO teased that its HBO Go streaming service would be coming to Android -- and today's the day.

It's a simple premise: If you're an HBO subscriber, you sign in (I used my Cox Cable log-in) and have access to movies, series -- all the content HBO has to offer, really -- and it's served up to your Android phone. Hopefully we'll see it on Honeycomb tablets in the near future. But for now, that's not an option.

The user interface is simple enough. Browse programs and watch them. You can dive through the extensive list of movies, series, comedy, sports, documentaries and (of course), late-night.

The streaming quality was pretty good, though you're a bit let down because the preview images on the app are nicer than what you'll actually be watching. It'll work on either 3G or Wifi. And if the buffering drops off, the stream will revert to audio-only while it catches up.

Anyhoo, if you're looking to get your HBO fix while you're on the go, the aptly named HBO will get it done.

We've got video of it in action, as well as download links, after the break.

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2 years ago

ThunderBolt case review: Case-Mate POP!

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So you want a case that's sturdy, but doesn't feel like a hard case? The Case-Mate POP! for the HTC ThunderBolt is a good middle ground. It's molded out of a hard plastic for strength and rigidity, plus a soft rubber for a more friendly touch.

The bulk of the case -- which comes in black, pink or white -- is made of a glassy plastic, with the Case-Mate logo plenty visible. But on the sides are a textured rubber, which really softens the feel of the case and gives you good grip when you pick it up. There are cutouts for the antenna, camera and flashes, microphones, microUSB port and 3.5mm headphone jack, and the volume and power buttons are of the same rubber as the sides and interior of the case.

You've got a little extra thickness that helps protect the screen from touching when it's left face-down, and the camera lens is kept well clear of any flat surfaces, too.

It's not a minimal case -- you'll definitely know it's on there. But it's a nice middle ground between a skin case and something more rugged. It's a one-piece unit, so the ThunderBolt just slips in and out. But it's a snug fit, and the phone shouldn't be going anywhere once it's in.

The Case-Mate POP! for the HTC ThunderBolt is available for $27.95 in the Android Central Store. We've got more pics of it after the break.

HTC ThunderBolt | ThunderBolt cases | ThunderBolt Accessories

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2 years ago

HTC reports record-breaking Q1, predicts a continued trend through Q2

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Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC had a record breaking Q1 with T $104.16 billion ($3.63 billion in US dollars) in revenue, the company announced in a conference call with investors Friday. The tech giant, the fifth largest smartphone maker in the world, also discussed its predictions for Q2, saying that it will bring in T $120 billion ($4.18 billion US dollar) in revenue from April through June, doubling their numbers from the same quarter last year. 

The company shipped 9.7 million units in Q1 and expects that number to grow up to 11.5 million in Q2. Investors credited the consumer demand for the Android OS as the company's main driving force, citing strong sales of recently released handsets including the Thunderbolt, the Inspire 4G, and the Incredible S. (Check out our initial review of HTC's newest US handset, Verizon's Droid Incredible 2, here.)

HTC CFO Winston Yung said that the company plans to build a new plant in Taoyuan, Taiwan, which will allow the company to increase production and meet the growing demand for smartphones in China. The company will also hire 1,000 new employees in both its research and development departments.

Looks like HTC is rolling in the dough and plans on doing so for the foreseeable future. We can't complain, seeing that this will likely mean more and more Android-flavored HTC smartphones hitting the market in the coming year. Hit the source link for the full investor's report.

Source: HTC; via Reuters

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2 years ago

Android Central Podcast Episode 57

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Audio-only stream below

We're back! And we've got a bunch of new phones on hand. Plus, we talk about the Great Location Scandalation of 2011, and whether offensive apps should be in the Market. Join us!

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2 years ago

Poll: Would a logo keep you from buying a phone?

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If you're like me, you're probably kind of a phone enthusiast. I mean, we get a lot out of our phones, right? We text one another, surf the web, and check our email on these things. Shoot, some of us even place phone calls with them! Your phone usually falls into the "things I can't leave the house without" category, and if you're anything like me, it's usually with you 24/7.

Needless to say, you and your phone get to spend some quality time with one another, (for whatever duration your contract is), so if you're getting a phone, you might as well be happy with it. So what happens if there's something cosmetic you don't like? Do you buy a new battery cover, slap the whole thing in a case, or avoid the phone altogether?

That's what we're wondering. Let us know.

Source: Xperia Arc Forums

Would an ugly logo keep you from buying a phone?online survey

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2 years ago

New Google puzzle challenge starts today

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We're gonna go out on a limb here and say this isn't as good of a surprise as the news about Android 2.3.4 was but hey, a lot of folks get excited over contests and the chance to win a Samsung Nexus S is nothing to shake a stick at. You'll have to an early riser to get in on this action though since the first puzzle began today. You'll need to be following the @Googlenexus account on Twitter as well, be in an eligible country to win. Hit the source link for the full contest details and a listing countries and time zones.

Source: @Googlenexus

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2 years ago

Casio G'zOne Commando ROM ripped apart in the forums

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We've seen a few bits and pieces of the Casio Commando G'zOne floating around, but now you can get the whole thing, or any of the fun parts, in one handy place.  The full system dump is available, complete with the fancy lock screen and new launcher with the awesome shortcut button.  All you dev-types can grab it and have a blast with the system -- it doesn't need de-odexed :)

To make it simple for everyone else, we pulled out all the Commando zone outdoorsy apps and widgets, as well as the wallpapers (both live and static) and any new ringtones or notification tones that were included.  They are listed separately to save you from having to download the full 220 MB file.  You can find everything, as well as discuss how we're going to port that launcher and lock screen to other phones in the forums.

Source: Android Central forums

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2 years ago

Leaked pics from a test bed may be the last place you see this Droid Bionic

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If you're looking to get a sneak peek at the current iteration of the Motorola Droid Bionic, better do it quick, 'cause we still don't have a clear idea of when it'll actually be released, and it might not look like this when it finally does hit the streets.

But what you see here -- and there's plenty more where this came from after the break -- is another look at the Droid Bionic, same as what we saw at CES almost four months ago. Yes, it's been that long since we got our first look at the Droid Bionic.

There's nothing too out of the ordinary here, except that it appears to be running stock Android -- or at least it's missing the Blur skin on top. Otherwise, Android 2.2.1. We're not sure just how recent these pictures are, but we do know they're from after CES, if that's any help.

So the big question is will the Droid Bionic be released as the same phone we saw at CES? It's really starting to look unlikely. Motorola's fact sheet, dated April 19, states that it's coming this summer. But it also drops this little bombshell:

"Based on compelling feedback since the show, we are incorporating several enhancements to make this an even better consumer experience. This includes expanded features, functionality and an improved form factor."

So take a good look, folks. Because this might be the last time you see this old Droid Bionic. More pics are after the break.

More coverage: Motorola Droid Bionic Fact Sheet (via)

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2 years ago

Face-on with video chat on the Nexus S

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Warning: Do not attempt anything you see here at home. Engaging in a video chat with one's self on a Nexus S and a Motorola Xoom while recording the endeavor with a third camera may will lead to severe confusion, nausea, upset stomach and could well end in the destruction of the universe as we know it. You have been warned.

Oh, and check out the video of video chat on the Nexus S. It works, all right.

Also: How to download Android 2.3.4 on the Nexus S

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2 years ago

Android 2.3.4 is available now -- here's how to download on the Nexus S [Update: Root option now available]

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As I'm sure most of you are aware of by now -- Google today announced Android 2.3.4 would be rolling out for the Samsung Nexus S in the coming weeks. Luckily, we don't have to sit around and wait for Google these days to get in the love. In fact, if you're a Samsung Nexus S owner, you can hit the link below -- download the update and install Android 2.3.4 manually. Here are your instructions:  

  • Download the file from Google right here
  • Place it on the root of your internal storage
  • Shut down your phone, and reboot into the bootloader by holding volume up and powering back on
  • Use the volume buttons to choose "recovery" from the list, and select it with the power button
  • When you see the triangle on your screen, hold power and then press volume up and you'll have a list of options, choose the file to update

That's it, folks, after completing those steps you'll have a fresh install of Android 2.3.4. If you happen to have any troubles along the way, jump into the Android Central forums and we'll get you fixed up.

Update: If you're already rooted, and want to stay that way we have a quick and dirty method to go from whatever ROM you're using now to a clean and rooted build of 2.3.4 in the Nexus S hacking forums.

More coverage: Nexus S forums. Thanks, Carter!

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