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
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.
Back in February Motorola teased us about an upcoming update for the MotoACTV, which they said would land around March 7. If you recall, the MotoACTV is Motorola's Android based fitness tracker, and while March 7 was yesterday, Motorola has confirmed the update to be available for tomorrow, March 9. This update will bring calorie tracking, heart rate monitoring and more for 40 new activities such as yoga, tennis, basketball and many others.
In addition to adding the new activities they have also added the ability to flick your wrist to wake up the screen, the ability to set up an account over Wifi, and you can host or join competitions with your friends. Keep your eyes peeled for the update, and be sure to sing out in the forums when it becomes available for you!
Just in case you never got in on the Motorola Lapdock deals that were happening before, the folks from 1 Sale A Day are now giving you the chance to go ahead and get one on the cheap again. For your hard earned $50, you can now pick up a Motorola Lapdock compatible with the Motorola Atrix 4G. The Lapdock does come brand new and not refurbished, you will however have to supply your own Motorola Atrix -- that's not included in the deal.
Designed with the HTC build quality you've come to know and love, the HTC Desktop Dock for the EVO 3D gives you the most attractive, space-friendly, and viewing angle-efficient dock you could ever hope for.
The dock itself is pretty no-frills; you've got a video button, a port for your phone to dock into, and a microUSB port on the back. Fortunately, the minimalist approach doesn't detract from the experience of using it. It's shiny, glossy, and black, but best of all, it works.
Once you've got the phone plugged into the dock, you can sync between your computer and phone (just like with the standard USB cable), or, if you're using the MHL adapter, you can watch media on your attached HDTV, straight from the phone.
Say you just want to use your phone as a desk clock, or perhaps you want to play a game or two while you're docked up. The dock puts your phone at the absolutely perfect angle for anything you could ever hope to do, and the best part, it's all hands-free. (Fruit Ninja has never been easier.)
If you're worried about the dock sliding around all willy-nilly, don't! HTC loves you and placed four rubber feet on the bottom, giving you all the grip and security you'll need, so no phones will go flying. (I promise.)
As far as desktop docks go, this one is definitely the tops. Sure, there's no extra slot to charge an extra battery at the same time, but when you get this one, you know you're getting quality, and that's something worth investing in.
When OnLive announced they were bringing their services to Android, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, as soon as I dove into the app, I was made aware of a huge limitation: the touch controls.
They're not terrible (they're touch controls, what do you expect?), but they close off a whole section of the games library that requires a physical controller. So what did I do? I grabbed one of them fancy phyiscal controllers and took it for a spin.
First off, let's talk design. If you've ever used an Xbox 360 controller or a PS3 controller, you'll definitely see some elements of both here. The body of the controller looks like it's straight from Microsoft. The four-way directional pad and dual joysticks add that Sony flair, but despite the mishmash, everything is surprisingly functional and comfortable.
There's the requisite A, B, X, and Y buttons, Start and Select buttons, and the OnLive logo in the middle is both the power button and right where many Xbox fans have been trained to find their power button.
Along the top of the controller there's the standard bumper and trigger keys, along with a microUSB charging port. Like most wireless controllers these days, you can go either the rechargeable battery pack route or just keep burning through AA batteries as you please. For those who choose the former, that's where the microUSB port comes in.
Lastly, underneath the joysticks are OnLive's special function buttons (that we also saw as touch controls in the app), such as Play/Pause, Back, Forward, and most importantly, Record. With OnLive's built-in Brag Clips, you're only a button press away from saving your sweetest kills and sickest tricks in the cloud for all the world to see.
So, now that we've gotten the hardware talk out of the way, how does the darn thing actually work? Simply put, pretty well, actually. The build is familiar enough that your years of intense gaming will feel right at home with this controller in your hands, and wirelessly, the response is as sharp and quick as any controller I've used on an actual console.
The buttons have a satisfying click to them, with the exception of the trigger buttons. Both of those feel just a bit too gummy and slow-moving to fit in with the rest of the controller, but perhaps that's just me being a controller snob.
The D-pad moves rather well, but it probably wouldn't have hurt to give us the full 8-way directional pads most of us have grown accustomed to. The joysticks are fluid, fast, and everything you'd want, especially if you're a fan of the FPS genre. Their click is pleasantly familiar, and once you press them, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Pairing with your device is an absolute breeze, thanks to that handy-dandy Bluetooth. You'll know you're paired up when the flashing lights on front turn solid and stay on one of the controller positions (usually first player). For those folks without Bluetooth (like say, us Logitech Revue owners), OnLive has a nifty USB receiver that plugs straight into your box and yes, the controller actually works with it. It's awesome.
So after so many words typed, what's the verdict? In short, this is the best way to play serious games on your Android device, hands down. With a good internet connection, your phone or tablet becomes a fully capable gaming device, and the controller only enhances that experience in a way that gamers of this generation can appreciate.
The controller runs a pretty standard price at $49.99, and you can pick some up straight from OnLive's website if you're looking to take advantage of all OnLive has to offer to us Android faithful. Plus, if you're already using OnLive on your computer, the controller works with that, too.
We snagged a few minutes with the all-new car dock app on the HTC One series phones. Let's not beat around the bush here -- it's easily the best car app we've seen on an Android smartphone, bar none.
You start off with our favorte feature -- a plugless dock. There are four connecting pins on the back of the phone that hook things up to the dock without having to fumble with a plug. If you've never used a dock like that before, it takes all of the guesswork out of it -- and that's a must while driving.
Once you're connected, the car app automatically launches. Within the app, you've got a cube motif -- not unlike what you might see in an Android launcher, actually. With it, you can easily swipe between navigation, your contacts list and phone, the music app, Tune-in Radio (which is included) -- and, as HTC told us, other third-part apps shoud work with it out of the box as well. But HTC's own apps are so well-done that you might hesitate to use something else. The buttons are large and extremely easy to see and press -- just about the best we've seen. The UI is bright and clear of distraction. Audio will stream to your car stereo via Bluetooth. Don't have Bluetooth? No worries. A dongle that plugs into your aux port will take care of that.
Check out the video of it in action after the break. As of now, our only real question is this: When can we get it?
At Mobile World Congress 2012, Texas Instruments was demonstrating a stylus that communicates its distance from a tablet over ultrasonic frequencies. The tablet in this demo has a microphone in each of its four corners, which can pinpoint exactly where the stylus is pointing at the screen, even if you're not touching it. Of course, the stylus also works perfectly well along the two standard planes, but it's particularly cool when you pull back and the model correspondingly zooms out.
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!
On paper, the Samsung Galaxy S Wifi looks to be a pretty basic PMP with Android and Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. In person, that's exactly what it turns out to be. You've got a 4.2-inch TFT IPS display at HVGA resolution. You've got a 1GHz processor. You've got Android 2.3. And you've got a punch of preloaded games and media options. And that's about it. No glitz, no gimmicks.
The Galaxy S Wifi 4.2 (in addition to having a pretty awkward name) feels decent enough in the hand, if a little boxy. It's straight-up Samsung plastic, and the white and chrome stand out nicely in bright light.
The big question for a device like this, of course, is the price. Anything under $299 (remember that there won't be a montly bill involved with this guy) should be doable. Get at at $199 and below, and it could sell nicely.