Headlines

1 year ago

Samsung HomeSync - hands-on with the Android-powered TV box

33

As a global electronics giant, Samsung has presence in every room in the home, most notably the living room -- the company recently claimed to be selling three TVs every second. And as we all know, Samsung currently dominates the Android smartphone landscape. So it was only a matter of time before the Samsung TV and Android worlds collided.

At Mobile World Congress this week we got our first look at Samsung's HomeSync, a 1-terabyte TV box with a Google Play-certified Android front-end. HomeSync delivers a full Android experience, with a TouchWiz-based UI that actually scales up really well to the big screen. The main view is a grid of running windows, and you've also got a standard app drawer view, along with on-screen keys you can hit using your pointer.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Book Cover

14

Here's a more traditional folio case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 -- the Book Cover. It's basically the same flip cover you can get for the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. The difference here is it's a full shell that fits over the back of the tablet, as you can't remove the battery cover. So you gain a little thickness.

Note the hole for the front speaker/earpiece, so you can still listen to the conversation with the cover closed. But then you'd be someone holding an 8-inch tablet to your head, looking like a maniac. Don't be that guy.

Like just about every other flip case of this design, you can fold the cover back onto itself to make a little stand.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Stand Pouch

3

We've seen some Android tablets essentially ape the iPad's Smart Cover, which protects the screen while closed and doubles as a stand when folded in on itself. Samsung's gone a different route with the Galaxy Note 8.0 Stand Pouch.

Pouches in and of themselves are hardly new in the mobile space. But Samsung's here also doubles for a stand for the Galaxy Note 8.0. Slip the Note 8.0 into it (the inside is soft and warm and safe, like ... something soft and warm ... or at least soft) to keep things nice and safe.

The pouch -- notice how it's segmented here -- folds in on itself in the usual triangle manner. From there, you get a couple options for angles -- one high, for media viewing, the other low, say, for typing.

Samsung's got a host of colors -- I'm partial to the boring (but nicely textured) gray you see here.

We've got some more pics of the Samsung Stand Pouch after the break.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

First look at the Galaxy Note 8 car dock

14

So the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a more-than-capable Android tablet, as well as as an oversized phone. And if you want to dock it in your car, Samsung's got you covered there, as well.

Yes, there's an official car dock for this phone/tablet hybrid. It's done in the usual Samsung motif of glossy black plastic, and the tablet fits snugly inside. We didn't see any specific car app installed on this Note on display, but you can find any number of them in the Play Store.

More: See our hands-on with the Galaxy Note 8.0

All in all, it's a stylish way to keep the Note 8.0 at hand in your vehicle. The trick will be to keep from creating an 8-inch blind spot on your windshield.

We've got one more pic after the break.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

LG officially announces new wireless charger, claims worlds smallest

26

Remember the Qi wireless charger we first showed you yesterday at Mobile World Congress? LG has today officially announced it and in the process claim that the hockey puck like charging disk is the worlds smallest wireless charger. As we found out during our hands on, it's a nice little accessory, and unlike the Nexus 4 charging orb sits flat against a surface. 

As this is a Qi certified charger, in theory any Qi compatible device should be able to take advantage of this. LG makes note of 2 of their US released smartphones -- the Nexus 4 and Spectrum 2 -- as being Qi enabled. No word on pricing or availability at this moment in time, but as this will be coming from LG direct we'd love to see a much wider availability than the currently limited Nexus 4 charger. Click on past the break for the full press release. 

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

The Monkey Kit holds your tablet where you need it

16

If you've ever wished you had a third hand to hold your Android tablet, Octa's Monkey Kit is something you'll be interested in. Just like that ever so useful appendage hanging from the south end of a Monkey, this tail is flexible yet rigid, holds to almost any shape, and it's suction device grips your tablet even tighter than you do. It's built like a tank from quality materials, looks and feels great, and is super-easy to use.

We've had it here at chez Jerry for about a week, and have found it indispensable for both work and play. It's incredibly handy holding the Nexus 7 with a recipe app open while making a mess  cooking in the kitchen, my wife uses it to display a spreadsheet while she works -- freeing up her second monitor for Facebook, and when the lights go out and I find I can't sleep, a bit of Netflix in bed while the Monkey Kit does it's hands-free magic is the ticket.

It's all done through what Octa calls the Vacuum Dock. Place it on a smooth spot on the back of your tablet and pump it a few times to create a seal -- a really, really tight seal. Using a special cam design, the "tail" locks in place into the Vacuum Dock, making for a three foot long third arm to position your tablet wherever it is you want or need it positioned. It works on almost any tablet -- as long as you have a smooth surface to "stick" it to, you're golden. Having said that, be warned that it doesn't work with the Nexus 10, and for some insane reason known only to Google, it doesn't seal on the white-backed Google I/O edition Nexus 7. The retail Nexus 7, as well as any of the Kindle Fires, Galaxy Tabs, Transformers, or Xooms hold just fine though. 

You're probably asking where do I find out more about this Monkey Kit thingy? That's easy. Visit Octa's Mokney Tail product page, where you can find out everything you need to know and pre order your own Monkey Kit for $99. Hit the break and see a picture gallery of the construction and parts.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Hands-on with the LG Optimus Pro flip cover and wireless charging puck

18

The LG wireless charger (WCP-300) boasts 'world's smallest' status

It only makes sense that the LG Optimus G Pro, which bares a striking resemblance to another 5.5-inch Android phone/tablet mash-up, should also ape a few accessories along the way. The G Pro does precisely that with its own flip cover, which we took a look at this morning at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The flip cover -- well, it's a flip cover. It replaces the battery cover on the G Pro, then wraps around the front of the phone, starting at the hinge. There's a cutout for the home button, and the volume rocker is still accessible through the hinge, with little indicators to show you where it is.

The flip cover comes in number of colors and textures, and they're a nice addition to the Optimus G Pro.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Samsung announces Android-powered HomeSync with 1TB HDTV box

11

Up to 8 devices can sync to Jelly Bean-enabled set

The Galaxy Note 8.0 isn't the only new fare Samsung's dropping at Mobile World Congress. Samsung today also unleashed its HomeSync media box. It's a 1-terabyte drive that allows up to eight devices to sync files for playback over an HDTV. It's encrypted and sports user-specific IDs and passwords, so Mom and Dad can keep their mom-and-dad stuff separate from Timmy and Jenny's.

And as this is a full-on Jelly Bean device (powered by a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM), you'll get a bit of a traditional Android experience with it as well, including games and apps, Samsung says.

HomeSync will be available in April in select countries, with a global rollout to follow.

Full presser is after the break.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

An awesome X-ray look at the Nexus 4 and its wireless charger

17

What's cooler than having a Nexus 4 and its official wireless charging orb to go along with it? How about having access to an X-ray machine and taking a look inside? Joshua Perry on Google+ has done just that, bombarding both phone and charger with radiation and posting the results.

Probably the most striking image is this side view of the wireless charging orb. You get a sense for how much space is left untouched in the half-sphere, with a handful of screws holding it all together. There's another great one showing the Nexus 4 while it's on the charger, and you really get a sense for how it all works, without the charging elements ever actually touching each other.

Check out Perry's complete Google+ gallery here.

Thanks, Joshua & Andrew!

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

HTC One Otterbox cases in the works

15

Sure, the back half of the HTC One is made of metal, but the front half is all glass, baby. And both of them could use some protection. One of the early entries in the HTC One case department is the venerable Otterbox, which has a trio of shells in the works. The cases actually are several layers of protection, with polycarbonate shells combined with rubber internals that cushion your HTC One as much as protects it from outright blows. There's a screen protector, too, if that's your thing.

On the left here you see the Otterbox Defender Series with Realtree Xtra Green camouflage pattern. For those times that your phone has to go incognito and keep from being seen by furry woodland creatures, we suppose.

In the middle is the more traditional HTC One Defender Series case from Otterbox. Same bad-ass protection that'll go over a little better in the boardroom, we suppose. 

And on the right is the Commuter Series case for the HTC One. It's toned down a little bit, still offering a great deal of protection, but without being mistaken for a tank. 

The Otterbox line for the HTC One starts at $59 for the Realtree case, $49 for the traditional Defender Series and $34 for the Commuter Series. You can leave your e-mail with Otterbox at the links below to be notified when they're available.

Source: HTC One Defender Series with Realtree; HTC One Defender Series; HTC One Commuter Series

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

First look at the HTC One cases, charger and dock

9

To compliment its stunning One smartphone, HTC introduced a handful of accessories this morning, including a variety of cases tailored specifically by the company for the device. HTC seems to have caught onto the fact that hardware only tells half the story for consumers, and phones with a rich accessory ecosystem are almost always more appealing to the average customer. 

HTC has played around with these cases and each has a unique draw: the kickstand case harkens back to the EVO era, while the flip case is reminiscent of one of the cornerstones of Samsung's sales strategy. There's also a three-piece case which will come in a variety of color combinations for maximum personalization.

In addition to cases, there's also a handy mobile charging system (a bite-sized box to carry in your pocket for a quick re-up) and a dock. Unfortunately, these items were behind lock and key this morning, so we cannot report on the charger's capacity or if the dock's specifications.

No word on availability or pricing of these accessories just yet, though we're willing to bet they'll be ready in time for the One's launch late next month. Hit the break for the full accessories gallery.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Netgear PTV3000 gets a firmware update, now officially supports host of Android devices

17

NetGear's PTV300 Miracast adapter has been available for some time now, but it just recently received a firmware update that made it compatible with a number of Android devices. Now at v2.2.9, which is the third official firmware update (Android functionality was added in 2.2.7), supported devices now include:

  • Samsung Galaxy S3  (Android 4.1.1 or above)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II  
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
  • LG Optimus G  (Android 4.0.4 or above)
  • Google Nexus 4 (Android 4.2.1)
  • Sony Xperia (various models with Android 4.0.4 or above) 

Miracast remains a fairly new standard, so some hiccups may still arise. Lakeeast in our Nexus 4 forums says the recent Android 4.2.2 update might have affected things, but we've yet to confirm this. (Still trying to our PTV3000 updated from a the last firmware update.) If you've got one, give it a shot. And if you're still on the fence, keep an eye out to see what's what.

We've got the full v2.2.9 changelog after the break.

Download: PTV3000 v.2.2.9

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

The Nexus 4 Wireless Charger

84

It's simple, it's stylish, and it chargers your phone wirelessly - it's also a little pricey at $59

There's really not a whole lot to say about the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger. It's a $59 Qi-standard compatible wireless charger that charges your Nexus 4. Plug it in, put the phone on it, and go. No muss, no fuss, thank you, drive through. This one's made specifically for the Nexus 4, though presumably other Qi-standard phones will work with it. Unlike, say, the Palm Touchstone, this one relies less on magnets to keep phone in place on the inclined face of the charger and more on the tackiness of the face of the charger itself. The rubber of the charger meets the glass of the phone, and it's not going anywhere. (It is quick to collect dust and lint, though.)

Size-wise, this thing's about like a sawed-off tennis ball. Only less fuzzy, less yellow, and more likely to actually charge your phone. It very much look like it's in the same family as the spherical Nexus Q, but it's much smaller. (In fact, the whole package is smaller than we imagined.)

The wireless charger will kick on the new Daydreams feature -- just be sure to set it to do so while charging in the settings. (It might take a second to kick in.)

The charger comes with a microUSB cord and wall wart, and some quick instructions that you'll never need. Plug it in. Place the phone. Charge. A plus is that your standard TPU case appears to not keep the phone from charging, and the official Nexus 4 bumper doesn't hinder anything either. Because it's a bumper. (Your mileage may vary with other cases, of course.) It outputs at 1.0A, which Google says should take about 4 hours to charge from a dead start.

If you're just dying to see the Nexus 4 wireless charger in action -- which sounds more exciting than it really is -- we've got a brief bit of video after the break.

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

Lloyd Gear Flex Case for the Nexus 4!

13

 

They have arrived. Meet the Lloyd Gear Flex Case for the Nexus 4. More than a bumper but less than a strongbox, the Lloyd Gear Flex Case is made of a shock-absorbent and scratch-resistant thermoplastic polyurethane material that gives you great day-to-day protection. It's not a tank. But then again it's not a tank, ya know? Wireless charging still works with the case on, as does NFC.

Plus, it's got Lloyd on the back. 

The Lloyd Gear Flex Case is available now at a special price of $14.95 (you're currently saving $5) and it comes in black, clear, smoke or green.

And don't forget about ShopAndroid.com's 14 percent off Valentine's Day Sale, which runs through midnight Thursday. Use the coupon code vday13 at checkout to save even more!

Read more and comment

 
1 year ago

10 great fitness accessories in 2 minutes

7

February is Fitness Month here at Mobile Nations, and thanks to our Android, BlackBerry, iOS, webOS, and Windows phones and tablets, we have a host of new options for getting in shape and staying healthy.

Regardless of your platform of choice, or whether you stick to one type of device or many, there are a ton of great options to choose from now. Georgia is spearheading Fitness Month for us this year, and she's going to show you just 10 of her favorites, and she's going to do it in just 2 minutes.

Most of these will work for a variety of different phone and tablet sizes, running a variety of different operating systems and versions. I couldn't find alternatives for all of them, however, so if you know of some, tell us about them!

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages