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3 years ago

Nexus S 4G update (obviously) delayed; Samsung Transform EF09 update pulled

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Not exactly the news a lot of you were hoping for. But when July 11 came and went and the unofficially official GRJ90 update (bugfixes, mostly) to the Sprint Nexus S 4G didn't happen, a lot of people were left wondering. Looks like it's definitely missed its scheduled update release, if the above screen shot is any indication.

Then there's the Samsung Transform (see our review), which has had its EF09 update show for a few people over the last week or so. But that update's been pulled, as the "update was failing." And nobody like that to happen.

Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

These Nexus rumors sound fishy - should you take the bait?

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Seems like you can't turn around these days without bumping into some rumor about a new Nexus phone.  Crazy rumors sometimes turn out to be true, but more often than not they are just idle wishing that got out of hand (or successful troll being successful).  I'm convinced the latest two are the same -- just a bunch of nonsense.  Here's why.

Let's start with the rumored Google+ Nexus.  Supposedly, a super secret Google ninja has a friend who is the caretaker of an unofficial Google+ Facebook fan page.  Of course Google ninjas and unofficial Google+ pages belong on Facebook -- how else will they get a golden egg or the mystery black pig?  But I digress.  Anyway, this fellow has inside information that the next Nexus will be made by HTC, be called the Nexus 3, and have a dedicated Google+ button.  Yeah.  Who needs gimmicks like NFC or Wifi Direct when you can have a Google+ button, right?  Where to start here -- if you simply look at the Facebook profile for Google+, it tells you it's not the official page (right after they claim their address and homepage are Google's), but it's clearly designed to make you think it is.  If that's not enough fail to fill you up, come up with a good reason why Google would want a Google+ button on the next de facto developer phone?  Or why anyone would for that matter.  My verdict -- it's just someone who want's a gazillion likes on Facebook.

Then there's this Samsung Romania Twitter feed supposedly outing the Samsung Nexus 3 with an AMOLED Super HD screen.  If you missed it,  it claimed that "Yes, next Nexus will be Samsung AMOLED Super HD" and and will be running Android 4.0.  It even gave a link for proof .  The link leads to some silly page with a BGR photoshopped pic (who never claimed the pic was real) rehashing all this Nexus Prime nonsense.  I hate to break it to you, but I'm pretty sure 720p Super AMOLED plus ain't happening anytime soon on a 4-inch screen.  Or a 5-inch screen.  Probably not even on an 10-inch screen.  Believe me, I want this as much as anyone does, but I don't believe a bit of it. 

Is somebody working on the next Nexus phone?  Sure they are, it could very well be HTC or Samsung, too.  Will it have better specs than the last Nexus phone?  Of course it will.  Will it have a 720p Super AMOLED plus screen and/or a Google+ button?  I don't think so.  (But we're hearing our own rumblings that the 720p part will hold up.) Hit the links, and let us know what you think.

More: Facebook; @SamsungMobileRo; Phandroid; Go4it.ro; BGR

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3 years ago

HTC Merge released on another carrier not named Verizon

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Yeah, yeah. It's the HTC Merge. You've seen it before. But this is the phone that just keeps growing, folks. It found new life on regional carriers such as Alltel, Cellular South and US Cellular after Verizon cast it aside, and now it's got a new home -- Cellcom of Wisconsin. It appears to be the same version that we recently (and less unofficially this timereviewed -- as in no Bing on board.

Cellcom's HTC Merge is going for $150 with a two-year contract, or $379 outright, which isn't too shabby, either.

Source: Cellcom; Thanks, gmonkey88!

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3 years ago

Harman hops on the Android Open Accessory Protocol train

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Harman International Industries -- the company behind such audio giants as Harman Kardon and JBL -- has announced it is supported the Android Open Accessory Protocol. That's the feature announced back at Google IO in May that will let you connect your Android 3.1 tablet and Android 2.3.4 smartphone to, well, anything.

The obvious play here is for car audio, and Harman specifically mentions its Aha Radio service. But also look for navigation and steering wheel control, as well as being able to share music and movies to passengers' seats as well.

No word on when we'll see AOAP-enabled dash units, but it's gonna be pretty sweet when we do. Check out the full press release after the break.

Source: Harman

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Starfield 3D Live Wallpaper

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This one's pretty simple, folks. If you like stars, space, spaceships, or Star Trek and/or Star Wars, I've got the live wallpaper for you. It goes by the name of Starfield 3D Live Wallpaper, and it's about as straightforward as they come.

Starfield 3D Live Wallpaper has a settings of menu of only give choices: Stars, Speed, Background, Battery, and Reverse. Stars and Speed are fairly obvious: adjust the slider to determine how many stars are on the screen at once and how fast you're blazing by in your ship (X-Wing? Starship Enterprise?).

Background is a simple check box, and enabling it adds a static image of about six galaxies that are far, far away. It kind of detracts from the overall slickness of a solid black background, but if realism is your thing, the option is there.

Battery is quite possibly my favorite choice, as it makes your default flying speed tied to your battery level. Have a charged battery, zoom right along. Have an almost dead battery, though, and expect to drag along in deep space, just waiting for a Klingon Star Destroyer ambush. Reverse is just that: the stars all go the opposite way, as thought your boosters were pushing you in reverse.

There's also the excellent double-tap reaction of going into warp speed, and I dig it. It reminds me of the Millennium Falcon scene in Star Wars when they're on the run. Nerdy, sure, but at least it's there!

Scrolling is smooth, with no performance problems on my end. Perhaps it's the newness of the EVO 3D, but with the popularity this wallpaper has already seen, I'm almost positive it runs on everything pretty well.

At the whopping price of free, there's nothing in your way to keep you from downloading this stellar wallpaper. Well, maybe trying to get a girlfriend, but if you're reading about Android, that ship has probably sailed. May the Force be with you/live long and prosper, friends.

Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android 2.3 Gingerbread rolling out to Verizon Droid Incredible 2 owners

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Now is the time to start checking for updates if you're sitting there with Droid Incredible 2 in your hands. The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update is now rolling out to some -- the update dubbed 2.18.605.4 weighs in at 116.306MB and of course brings plenty of performance enhancements with it.

  • Overall improvements to the performance of Mobile IM.
  • Resolved Hotmail sync & connect issues when setting up a one day sync.
  • Improvements to device connectivity when roaming on global GSM/UMTS networks.
  • New download manager app
  • New app and power management details
  • Improved word selection and copy functionality
  • Alarm notifications turned off while in emergency mode
  • Improved device stability
  • NY Times added to browser bookmarks
  • Wireless Charging UI added
  • New desktop dock app

Plus, you get support for that fancy wireless charging battery cover Verizon has made available. We're looking to grab you all a manual download link but in the meantime -- go ahead, check for updates. You may just be among the lucky who are having it arrive on their devices right now.

Discuss more in the Droid Incredible 2 Forums

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3 years ago

Firefox beta 6 available now in the Android Market

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Firefox beta 6 is now available in the Android Market, marking Mozilla's latest release for Android. Beta 6 comes jam-packed with a slew of improvements, including faster start-up times, less memory usage, and tablet optimization, among many others. Like with any other beta release, you'll see some shiny new features, but you'll likely run into a few hiccups along the way too, so download with that in mind. You can grab beta 6 from the market after the break, or hit the source link for the complete changelog and release notes.

Source: Mozilla

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3 years ago

Android 101: How to change the wallpaper

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3 years ago

On to the Nexus, Gummy charged [From the Forums]

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Today was a good start for the week -- not too busy, not too slow. We'll be picking up the pace for the rest of the week though so make sure you get over the Monday blahs and join us. Don't forget to hit up the Android Central forums either, some threads below will help get you started:

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

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3 years ago

EA's official Scrabble game is released

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EA's official Scrabble game (the one we first told you about last week) has just been released. (If for some reason you've managed to get this far in life without ever playing Scrabble, you get seven letters from which to make words on a board. Letters have different point values, and there are bonus spaces on the board. You take a turn making a word, then your opponent takes a turn. Most points wins.)

Until now, we've had to make do with a couple of relative good non-Scrabble games -- Words with Friends and Word Feud. But this one's the officially branded real deal.

So how's it stack up? We've been playing Scrabble for Android for a few minutes now. You'll want to turn off the elevator music, and the game animations are slower than we'd like to see. And we could really do without the between-turn ads in addition to the banner at the bottom of the screen. We can't decide if it's better or worse that EA's pimping its other titles here -- it's almost better when we know we're being served ads we'll never in a million years want to click on.

Other than that, gameplay's pretty good. The board scales up nicely. You're told a word's point title as you place the letters. There are buttons to shuffle the tiles, bring up a dictionary (nice!), or a "teacher" button that basically cheats and shows you the word you should have played instead of that four-letter noun that only bagged 5 points.

You can play against a friend who also has the app, or an anonymous opponent.

Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

The real crisis when Sprint's SMS service goes down

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Yeah, yeah. You can argue about public safety all you want. But when Sprint's SMS service gets a little wonky (like it has been today), we know why you're really in a hurry to get things up and running again.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide coming July 27, pre-order starts July 19

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The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide (the one with the awesome camera) will be hitting the shelves come July 27, with a pre-sales campaign starting July 19.  The new slider is a very nice upgrade from the original MyTouch 4G, or the MyTouch 3G Slide, with a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon, Android 2.3 with Sense 3.0, and a 3.7 inch WVGA LCD screen.  But the real standout looks to be the camera -- HTC promises zero shutter lag on the 8MP camera, with a backside illuminated sensor and an f/2.2 aperture.  Add in some great supporting software, complete with HDR capabilities, and it sounds like a winner.

According to a T-Mobile press release, the availability and pricing details are:

The T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide will be available exclusively from T-Mobile on July 27 at T-Mobile retail stores and through select national retailers and dealers. A Web-only pre-sale at http://mytouch.t-mobile.com/4g-slide will kick off on July 19. Offered in two colors – black and khaki, the myTouch 4G Slide will cost $199.99 with a two-year service agreement and qualifying unlimited data plan after a $50 mail-in-rebate.

I'm already pestering Phil to get my hands on one, so we'll be sure to give it the once over.  While we wait, chat it up in the MyTouch 4G Slide forums!

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3 years ago

MIUI port now available for the Nook Color

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MIUI, a popular third-party ROM for Android devices, is now available as a stable version for the B&N Nook Color.  It's worth noting that this is not part of the official MIUI project, but a faithful port from the folks at MIUI.us -- like many of the English language releases.  It's built from the latest 1.7.8 release (July 6), which has a page full of bugfixes and optimizations, so you're getting the very latest version for your eReader turned awesome Android tablet.

As of right now, there looks to be an issue mounting the internal storage (the developers have acknowledged and will fix in the next release) and you'll need to download something like softkeys or button savior to have access to the standard Android buttons.  The next release will bundle button savior to save you that step.  Other than that, the feedback looks very positive.  You can find the download links and more information at the source link below.

Source: MIUI.us. Thanks, Thoth19!

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3 years ago

Twitter seems to extend olive branch to its 750,000 devs amid reports of FTC probe

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Twitter, which in the past has been accused to treating third-party developers as second-class citizens by basically borrowing their functionality before telling them they're not longer needed, has just announced that there are more than 1 million registered Twitter applications from 750,000 developers.

Also Monday, Twitter, which reportedly is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for the way it treats third-party developers, announced a new version of the Twitter Developer Site, which includes discussions, a developer blog, better documentation, improved apps management and an enhanced search engine.

Surely these things are unrelated.

Sources: Twitter Developers, Business Insider

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: Wiz Kid Jr.

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The video up there says it all. Wiz Kid Jr. is a fast-paced, puzzle-based game that challenges not only your finger dexterity but also your forethought and ability to adapt on-the-fly.

The idea is classic: anything of the same color can be destroyed or removed if there's three or more of them together. In this case, they're totems, and they give you mana. The mana doesn't give you any cool powers (for that, there's magic bolts), but it does keep your game going. Mana is like your essence, your life-blood, and without it, the baddies win.

Getting rid of totems (or the undesirables) is easy. Draw a connecting line between them, and poof, they disappear. Unfortunately, diagonal lines are a no-no, but you can still string together some pretty impressive combos if you snake to-and-fro and make sure you start the line at the optimal location. If you can't, you can still totally just go for groups of three or four (I totally did) to get your mana up little by little.

The bad guys are evil spirits, but I still think they're evil faces, and for some reason, they like munching on your mana. There's six different kinds, but you don't face them all unless you're playing on the Unstoppable Wizard difficulty. For beginner wizard, you face the first three that are unlocked, and as you unlock the more difficult levels, a new evil spirit is unlocked as well.

You're able to have six levels of mana saved up, noted by the change in your mana bar's color and the amount of vials sitting above it. You can save up more mana after you've already filled six vials, but I'm not sure by how much, because at that point, evil spirits were munching my mana so quickly I couldn't fill it up fast enough. At any rate, just know you can save up a big war chest in case the waves start coming too quickly.

Something also worth saving up (especially for the later levels), are your magic bolts. Magic bolts fuel some special abilities you unlock that can greatly expedite the removal of evil faces. You start off with the hammer at the beginner level, and it does just that: hammers away a totem or spirit. There's a small cooldown between using magic bolt-infused abilities, so you can't just blow half your hammers back-to-back when the going gets rough. As you unlock more abilities (also in conjunction with more difficult levels and more spirits), you'll have more options at your disposal, but to keep them scaled with their increased power, their cost goes up. I know the bomb costs two bolts (compared to the hammer's one), and I can only assume the next two will cost three and four (or more!).

There's also a Super Free Play mode, which lets you pick the wave speed, spirit anger, and any three spirits to duke it out with. It's fun to have and definitely lets you work out strategies against some of the spirits that may be causing you trouble.

Overall, Wiz Kid Jr. is a stellar game. Graphically, it's nails. The scary, training wizard man up top looks great, as do all the stylized fonts and accents. It runs smooth as butter, and has a kickin' soundtrack, to boot. If you like puzzle games (or anything that'll surely challenge you), Wiz Kid Jr. is a safe bet. There's a free version that's limited to 10 waves and a paid version, that for a mere 99 cents, nets you the whole game. If you like what you see, find yourself four quarters and pony up the dough. There's ghosts evil spirits to be busted.

More pictures and download links are after the break.

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