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3 years ago

Acer Iconia B1 pictured in the wild ahead of any official announcements


We saw the first official looking news of a new budget tablet from Acer, the Iconia B1, just yesterday. Expected to be shown off at CES, and coming to market as just the Iconia B, it looks to be a budget Jelly Bean tablet that so far we've heard is heading to India. A Bulgarian tech site called has laid their hands on one of the pre-release versions of the tablet and has put it through its paces. 

As you might expect, the Iconia B doesn't set the world on fire. We'd already seen from Acer's website listing for the tablet that it would be a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, with 8GB of on board storage, 512MB of RAM and a 1024x600 resolution display. According to the software on board is Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, so not the latest version, but not far off and it looks pretty much like stock Android too. The front facing camera is a 2MP shooter capable of 720p video, so potentially not bad for video chat. 

While the reasonably low end specs might scare some away, the review goes on to praise the software performance. They say it works perfectly smoothly, and there's no noticeable lag. The low RAM will no doubt become an issue in some regards, but it sounds like Jelly Bean's enhancements in the form of Project Butter may not be lost. 

The price in Bulgaria doesn't look that favorable when converted to Dollars or Pounds, as it looks to be the same price as the Nexus 7. However, we should remember that this may well be targeted at markets where devices like the Nexus 7 aren't available, or are extremely expensive due to importing costs.

Source: (Translated)

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3 years ago

CEO Peter Chou talks about HTC's future


It's no secret that HTC's worldwide market share in smartphones is small -- and declining -- but CEO Peter Chou seems optimistic for the future of the Taiwanese manufacturer. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Chou expressed that although HTC has been outpaced in smartphones by the likes of Samsung and Apple since 2010, the worst is behind the company now. With international market share of about 2.2-percent, the numbers just don't reflect the high-quality products Android OEM has to offer. HTC's relatively small size and cash holdings put it at a disadvantage to the larger companies out there, but the Chou explains that a refocusing on proper marketing -- with a new marketing chief -- will be the key to improvement in 2013.

"Although we don't have as much money to counter [Samsung and Apple], the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers."

The quote from Mr. Chou fits with what many HTC fans have been saying continuously, but unfortunately the general consumer market hasn't reflected that. He hopes that the upcoming changes and reorganizations (no specifics given) inside the company will let it react quicker to changing markets to bring more compelling products to consumers in the future.

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

Amazon adds more TV content to Prime Instant Video service


Amazon is working to improve its Prime Instant Video service today by signing a content deal to bring more TV shows from major networks. The latest deal with A+E Networks will bring previous seasons of popular shows from A&E, Bio, History and Lifetime to the service. Amazon says it has more than doubled the number of show and movie offerings on its service last year, with over 33,000 available in total.

There's still no proper Amazon Prime Instant Video app in the Google Play Store for Android devices, but if you happen to be using a Kindle Fire -- or another device such as a set top box -- with the service you can go enjoy these newly added offerings.

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

Google confirms ASUS Google TV device for CES


ASUS Qube Google TV dongle coming next week?

In an update on the official Google TV blog, Google has confirmed that ASUS will be joining the Google TV fold with a new device at next week's CES in Las Vegas. In addition, the company says we can expect new Google TV products from Chinese manufacturers Hisense and TCL, as well as LG, Vizio, Sony, and "others." (You might recall we went hands-on with the Hisense Pulse Google TV in Berlin last August.)

There's a strong chance that the device from ASUS will be the "Qube," a Google TV dongle which passed by the FCC last month. The nature of this product remains a bit of a mystery, but given ASUS's strong track record with Android-based mobile devices, we're curious to see what the manufacturer's been able to do with its GTV add-on.

Stay tuned in the coming week for full coverage of everything Android at CES 2013.

Source: Google TV blog

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3 years ago

SwiftKey Flow beta updated with performance improvements, bug fixes


Four weeks on from the original SwiftKey Flow beta launch, a new version of the app is available. The new version of the trace-enabled keyboard features improved performance, as well as fixes for a number of bugs identified over the past month --

  • Flow-through-space autocommit: if you flow-through space but mess up your last word, all the prior words will be inserted (instead of losing all the words)
  • Flow in landscape on tablets (not on split layout with numpad)
  • Battery usage improved (when flowing and when not in use)
  • Performance of flowing and tapping improved
  • Longpress of bottom-right (smiley/enter) button now works
  • Fixed some force close issues
  • Fixed some memory leaks
  • Predictions not lost when changing keyboard layout (e.g to symbols)
  • Fixed DOuble CApitalization issue

The new version is available for tablets and phones over at the source link below. Remember that SwiftKey Flow is still  in beta, so the app won't be as stable as the current version of SwiftKey 3.1 on Google Play. (A list of known issues can also be found at the source link.)

Source: SwiftKey blog

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3 years ago

What I used in 2012: Andrew Martonik


We cover a whole lot of news here on Android Central, from phones and tablets to apps, accessories and a whole lot more. We put these products and services through their paces harder than most, so when something stands out enough to be used by one of the writers daily, it's usually the cream of the crop. Stick around after the break and see what I used throughout 2012.

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3 years ago

Agenda for Android: The iOS calendar favorite makes the leap


Looks like I just found my new calendar app. Agenda -- long a favorite on iOS -- has made its way to Android. (It's currently $1.99.) It ties into your Google calendars, of course, but it's the interface that's much improved over what Google's given us. The basic UI is much cleaner in black-and-white (the colors you see here are my custom label colors) and moreover you can swipe left and right to change from a year-at-a-glance view, to monthly, to daily and agenda, to single events.  There's a clear button for adding events, the bullseye takes you to the current day, and you can pick and choose which calendars to display.

It's still slightly rough around the edges -- the odd crash, and vertical scrolling could be a little smoother. But for form and function, Agenda's among the best we've seen, though we'd love to see some sort of agenda widget to go along with it, and developer SavvyApps says one is in the works.

We've got more screenies after the break. Hit the link above to give it a go for yourself.

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3 years ago

Android Central 121: CES preview, Ubuntu is back(ish)


Audio-only stream below

Jerry, Alex and Phil catch up from the holiday break, preview what we're expecting from CES next week in Las Vegas, and take a ride on the Ubuntu train. Join us!

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3 years ago

Android Central Stocking Stuffers final winners, including the Nexus 4 winners


We're wrapping up the huge Stocking Stuffers giveaways, and we've got the final list of winners to announce. That'd be 16 winners of $10 Google Play gift cards, one Stocking Stuffer Nexus 4 winner, and one person who wins a bonus Nexus 4 because we felt like giving a second one away.

We had a great time handing out all the goodies, and we want to take one more chance to tell you guys that you're pretty damn awesome. Without you guys and gals we wouldn't be the biggest and baddest Android blog on the planet. Above all, we're here to have fun and socialize with like-minded folks who love them some Android. 

Enough of the emotional stuff, let's get down to announcing some winners!

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3 years ago

First alleged Samsung Galaxy S4 render emerges


Early image claims to show upcoming Samsung flagship, but there's reason to be skeptical

It’s that time of year again, boys and girls -- the first purported Samsung Galaxy S4 render has emerged online. This morning Samsung fansite SamMobile posted a photo of a render showing what it claims is the next flagship phone from the Korean manufacturer. The image, which the site says was passed to it by a Samsung insider, appears to be a photo of the render as displayed on a monitor or other LCD display.

The alleged Galaxy S4 (or Galaxy S IV, if you prefer) shot shows a Galaxy Note 2-like design, with accentuated, rounded corners and no physical buttons. The device also has an extremely minimal horizontal bezel, along with the usual assortment of buttons, ports and sensors in the usual places.

There’s no way of verifying the authenticity of this image, but SamMobile has a pretty decent track record when it comes to Samsung leaks. Nevertheless, given how many inaccurate Galaxy S3 renders did the rounds last year, we’re inclined take this latest pic with a hefty dose of salt for the time being.

Even if this image is a legitimate Samsung creation, there’s no guarantee that the device it shows will become the Galaxy S4. Samsung is notoriously secretive with its flagship products, even going as far as designing and developing multiple variations of the Galaxy S3 to reduce the likelihood that the real thing would leak. So there’s a chance this design might be just one of many on the table at this early stage. (Remember that buttonless Galaxy S3 we saw just weeks before the announcement?)

In a related post, the site reports that Samsung will show an early Galaxy S4 prototype to a handful of partner executives and other big-wigs behind closed doors at next week’s CES. If Samsung ships the S4 this spring, as is expected, we wouldn’t be surprised if a few VIPs got an early look at what the company’s cooking in Las Vegas. CES has always been a big business-to-business show, after all.

For now, all we have is an image that may or may not be an upcoming Samsung phone. But if this is the Galaxy S4, we know a few Android nerds who’ll be celebrating Samsung’s new-found affinity for on-screen buttons.

Source: SamMobile (2)

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3 years ago

Facebook pages manager app for Android launches, sort of


Looks like Facebook might finally be about to make available its "Facebook Pages Manager" application for Android, which, as the name implies, will let those with Facebook Pages manage said pages with the app. It's sitting there in Google Play, only we can't download it yet in the states. And neither can our pals in the UK.

The app's description reads:

Manage all the Pages you admin, wherever you are. Helps Facebook Page admins connect with their audience and keep up with activity on multiple Pages.

  • Post new updates and photos and respond to comments as your Pages
  • View and reply to private messages sent to your Page
  • Get notifications about new activity on your Pages right away
  • View your latest Pages Insights

A few people have managed to leave star ratings, and a couple of (not so helpful) reviews. For our part, the listing shows it's incompatible with every one of our devices, so this is pretty much a placeholder at the moment.

Figure an announcement is coming any time now.

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3 years ago

Phones4U offering Google Play gift cards with Galaxy phone purchases


Today brings further indications that Google Play gift cards may be about to hit stores in the UK, as a recent Phones4U promotional offers a free £20 gift card code for customers purchasing a Galaxy S3, S3 Mini or Note 2. The offer is available via a Phones4U promotional page, where owners of these phones can claim their code by entering their name, contact details and IMEI. According to P4U's terms, the promotion is good until Mar. 15.

While Google missed the holiday window for getting Google Play gift cards out into British customers' hands, the card redemption page has been live in the UK for several weeks now. Only problem is the cards themselves have been unavailable so far, something which may be changing with the emergence of promotions like this.

If you've seen Google Play gift cards hiding out anywhere else in the UK, be sure to let us know in the comments.

Source: Phones4U promo page

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3 years ago

The HTC One SV comes to the U.S. on Cricket Wireless on Jan. 16 for $349


And the first U.S. smartphone announcement of 2013 belongs to ... HTC and Cricket Wireless. The HTC One SV, last seen making its way through Europe SIM-free, and before that in Asia, is coming to Cricket Wireless starting Jan 16 for $349.99.

Spec-wise, the One SV sort of dances around what we consider to be the middle of of the HTC One line, much like the One VX on AT&T, though this is a different phone, with a different design. It's got a 4.3-inch display, same as the HTC One S, but it's switched to Super LCD 2 instead of AMOLED -- and that's a change we like. It's powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 at 1.2 GHz. On-board storage won't win any awards, but you can add a 32GB microSD card and any cloud storage as you see fit. Plus, the One SV has a 5-megapixel camera with with an f/2.0 lens and backside illuminated sensor. There's a front-facing 1.6-megapixel shooter as well. Beats Audio is on board, too.

The bad news? It's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and not the newer Jelly Bean.

But this being a Cricket phone, the real winner is in the data plans. For $70 a month you can get 10GB of 4G LTE data. Fork over $60 a month for 5GB, and $50 gets you 2GB.

We've got the full presser, including 3G data plan info, and more pics after the break.

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations 20: CES 2013 preview!


Kevin, Phil, Daniel, and Rene talk about CES 2013, what they expect to see, and whether it's still relevant, then fight about ActiveSync, RIM vs. Microsoft, and what they want to see from Apple, Google, and everyone going forward! *Apologies for the video quality, we experienced severe technical problems during the recording of the show, and while we're providing it for those who really want it, we recommend sticking to audio for this episode.*


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3 years ago

Want to learn basic Android programming? The Linux Foundation wants to help


The fine people at the Linux Foundation have started a little project that deserves some attention -- some tutorials teaching beginning Android programming. So far things are pretty basic, but the beginning is always the best place to start. They have the basics of setting up a development environment covered, and will get you on your way to writing your first Android app.

Android is Linux after all, and it's great to see the traditional desktop users excited about Android and jumping in to make it better. While you won't learn how to build the next Angry Birds game, you will get some pointers and basic information that leads you on the road to building something of your very own. Remember, everyone started at the beginning. If you've got the inclination, hit the source link to get started.

Source: The Linux Foundation

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