3 years ago

Review: Klipsch S4A earbuds and companion Android app


Klipsch S4As sound great, don't break the bank and have an Android app for tweaking settings

One of the first things you should do -- nay, the first thing you should do -- when buying just about any new smartphone is to ditch the cheap earbuds that come with it. We've been testing the Klipsch S4A earbuds for a couple weeks now -- as well as the Android companion app that serves along side them.

Let's not beat around the bush here: These are some excellent $99 earbuds. For me, that's the sweet spot for pricing. Any more than that, and I'm going to be worried about losing them. Any less, and I won't think I've spent enough for quality. (That can be a red herring, I know. But that's what my brain thinks, and so I'm going with it.)

The earbuds fit my ears easily enough, snug, but not too snug thank to the oval rubber tips, and they're pretty comfortable over long periods. They're also surprisingly good at passive noise isolation. I really didn't expect them do be able to drown out the new Lamb of God blaring from my desk speakers, but the S4As managed it, and with a surprising amount of bass, too.  The tips are replaceable, too (for a mere $13.99 each) and come in four sizes. 

The S4As also serve as a microphone for hands-free(ish) calls. The mic is about six inches down the left-ear cable, and that's also where you'll find the push button, which really is what the S4As are all about. While they work fine out of the box, there's also a companion Android application that adds a great deal of funcationality for that button. You've got the usual single-press options -- play/pause, mute/answer, that sort of thing. Double clicking by default takes you to the next track. Triple click takes you back. A long press controls the volume. And most of these actions are customizable. 

The app itself is a no-brainer to use. Klipsch did a really nice job of designing it so that it's as simple as can be. Just plug in, check your settings, and go. One thing we will recommend you do before purchasing, though, is to check the app listing the Android Market, as there are a few smartphones that have had compatibility issues. But Klipsch says it's working on this.

We've got more pictures and screen shots after the break.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Verizon announces 4x4 Galaxy Nexus contest - Win yourself a Galaxy Nexus


Verizon has announced their new 4x4 Galaxy Nexus contest and you'll want to make sure you get in on the action if you haven't already. The contest will be running for the next four days and in order to win, you'll have to meet Verizons expectations for entry. The short version:

  • Follow @VerizonWireless on Twitter
  • Every day for the next 4 days, an entry timeframe will be announced that runs from 10AM ET through 11:59PM ET.
  • Each day you'll be given a different task for your Tweets. All of which must include, #GalaxyNexus4x4.
  • You can have up to 10 entries, provided you complete the tasks.

Winners will be chosen on by January 31 and contacted via Twitter DM. Your odds of winning will depend on the amount of entries of course but if you don't play -- you won't win that's for sure. You can hit the source link for the full contest details and rules.

Source: Verizon

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Samsung defends against Apple design infringement claim in Netherlands


Samsung is having a rough go against Apple in Germany, but that’s apparently not setting a precedent for the rest of Europe. The Court of the Hague, in the Netherlands, has denied an appeal from Apple to place an injunction on Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales on grounds of design patent infringement. The Dutch ruling took into account two out of six potential pieces of prior art, though they may take more into consideration later on. Apple has already been shot down once for this case in the Dutch lower courts, and having the appeal denied as well means this case is pretty cut and dry.

It's great to see Samsung is successfully defending their products against what is now amounting to a legal pissing match. Even Australia, which had initially placed a ban on Galaxy Tab 10.1, eventually relented. Can we really expect any injunction against any device to stick just because it kinda-sorta looks like a competitor in its class? Unless they're coming close to copying the name too, I don't see any consumer confusion arising from physical similarities. 

You can find the full Dutch court ruling, ripe for Google Translating, over here

Source: FOSS Patents via iMore

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Lookout launches Mobile Threat Tracker, visually represents malware around the globe


Lookout has released a neat new application this morning -- Mobile Threat Tracker.  What it does is tell you where and when users running Lookout have came across malware in their mobile devices. How it does it is the cool part -- the results are updated hourly, and when you start the app you get an animated timeline where individual malware "hits" are represented as tiny shafts of light zooming to the reported location on a globe.  If you've ever played a global thermo-nuclear war simulation on an old PC, it looks pretty much like that -- which means it's cool as heck.

Interesting visuals aside, the app answers some questions many of us have about Lookout and mobile security in general.  At a glance you can see how many mobile threats there really are and where they are concentrated.  The information button shows you the top three current threats, and tapping on their entries tells you a bit about what they are doing and why Lookout marks them as malware.  

If you're a security researcher, or anyone who has to keep track of mobile security issues, or just curious, head past the break where we've got some screenshots and a download link.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Galaxy Nexus case review: Qmadix Snap-On Cover with Holster


You don't always want to have to choose between an easy snap-on cover and all-over protection for your phone. Sometimes it's more convenient to have the option to switch things up as and when you need, and that's one of the main strengths of Qmadix's snap-on cover with holster for the Galaxy Nexus.


Firstly, you've got a basic snap-on cover that's finished in soft-touch plastic, with a grooved pattern on the back for easy gripping. This can then slide into the holster component, which is equipped with a rotatable clip for attaching the entire package to clothes, pockets or bags. The inside of the holster faces the screen, and is so it's lined with a soft material to avoid scratches. And the cover, holster and phone all lock together securely, meaning you shouldn't need to worry about working its way free or falling out of the case while you're out and about.

The case's best feature by far is its ability to clip onto clothing, and offer multiple levels of protection based on what you're doing. If your phone is in your pocket, simply use the snap-on cover alone. If you need to clip it onto a belt or throw it in a bag without risking screen damage, just attach the holster and you're good to go.

The Qmadix Snap-on Cover with Holster is designed for both the international GSM Galaxy Nexus, as well as the Verizon LTE version, so whichever model you have, the case will fit snugly.

We've got more pictures for you after the jump.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Verizon confirms Droid RAZR MAXX launch date and price


$299.99 on-contract, coming this Thursday, Jan. 26

The word out of CES was that the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX would be hitting store shelves on Jan. 26 for $299.99, and today we have the official confirmation of this from Verizon. As usual, that $299.99 price tag comes with a two-year service agreement, and puts the RAZR MAXX in line with Verizon's Galaxy Nexus, as well as the 32GB original RAZR.

Check out our hands-on coverage from CES for more on the Droid RAZR MAXX, which packs a massive 3300 mAh battery. And be sure to let us know in the comments if you'll be picking one of these up on Thursday.

Source: Verizon Wireless

Read more and comment

3 years ago

MIT and Google open-source App Inventor code, public release of MIT's version on track for April


You guys probably know this by now, but I was a fan of App Inventor.  Watching my wife use it to create her own application just sucked me in, and I loved the whole idea of a way for anyone to make an Android app.  When we heard that Google was shutting it down, I was sad, but the news that MIT was going to pick up the pieces and run with it lifted my spirits again.  Recent news makes me even happier -- MIT and Google have released the full source-code for the service, and folks at MIT's Center for Mobile Learning have said that the public release of the re-vamped service is on track for an April release:

So far (knock on wood) our development effort is on track for releasing the MIT Public App Inventor Service in the first quarter of this year. While unexpected issues can always arise, we're guardedly optimistic that people who plan to run App Inventor courses or workshops can anticipate being able to use the MIT service by mid-April.

With the release of the source and the JAR files you have the choice of running your own local copy, or jumping in and using MIT's version once it goes live.  See the links below for more information, and remember us if you give it a try and come up with your own app -- we'd love to check it out!

Source: MIT's App Inventor Developer's blog

App Inventor source code

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 making an appearance on the London Eye


The London Eye has been given a little taste of Android. Each capsule on the giant big-wheel that towers over the city has been given a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

In partnership with the current sponsors of the tourist attraction, each Tab has been pre-installed with a custom app giving you an interactive guide of the scenery. We'd love to be able to show you this in all its glory, but there's not many images floating around at this point.

Maybe it's time to head down to London again. Wonder if you can play Angry Birds while you're up there?

via Eurodroid

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Evi is a Siri 'competitor' for Android -- if you like slow, non-answers


We've talked before about what it takes for an app to truly be a competitor to Apple's Siri. 

  1. It needs to be easily accessible, and launch quickly. Very quickly.
  2. It needs to actually understand what you're saying.
  3. It needs to return results quickly.

We're going to add one more reqiurement to that list: It needs to actually be on iOS. Otherwise, it's not a Siri competitor. It's just an alternative. On another platform.

Anyhoo. That brings us to Evi, the latest app to attempt Siri-like functionality on Android. That is, you ask it a question or give it a command, and it responds with audio and text. Maybe.

Evi's user interface isn't too shabby. Clean lines and all that, and you've got a nice, prominent microphone button, so you know what to hit. You don't get the same home button metaphor that you do with Siri on the iPhone, but then again most Android smartphones don't have dedicated home buttons. That's not a big ding, just noticeable. Evi uses Google's voice-to-whatever UI and is powered by Nuance, so that looks familiar, and it's quick enough in listening to what you're saying.

But that's when things pretty much go off the rails. In even just our handful of tests, Siri was much quicker at returning results. It's pretty obvious for some things, Siri already knows the answer -- it's looking them up in the background. Evi needs a minute, though typing your question may speed things up a tad -- but that kind of defeates the purpose here.

And once again we see diametric differences in the presentation of results. Siri is simple, both in audio and visual answers. Evi's voice is decidedly robotic, and the answers are too long -- almost engineerish. Oh, and telling me to go look up the weather myself? That's really not acceptable. On the other hand, you get to give each answer a thumbs up or thumbs down. Guess which one I've been using more. 

Does Evi have Siri-like functionality? Sure. Is it a Siri "competitor?" No. It's just not as good -- and it's not on the iPhone, therefore it can't directly compete. (Update: Ah, it's on iOS, too.)

Check out our video walkthrough after the break. And note that we're not dinging Evi too badly for having server problems. When you're a new app that gets a bunch of attention in a short amount of time, this can happen, we suppose. But that doesn't mean we're willing to put up with it for very long. After all -- if your app doesn't work, it doesn't work.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Sony unveils new CMOS sensors for smartphones


Sony's Exmor R image sensors have been a stand-out feature for many of the past year's Sony Ericsson phone cameras. Moving forward, the electronics giant looks set to introduce even more impressive capabilities in future devices, with today's announcement of new image sensors for smartphones.

Today Sony took the wraps off new CMOS image sensors for smartphones with white pixels in addition to the usual red, green and blue detectors. The new tech is designed to improve low-light performance, something which Sony, as well as rivals like HTC, have been focusing on in their high-end smartphones over the past year. Sony also says that this new "RGBW coding" allows them to introduce HDR video capabilities in its smartphone cameras, meaning more detail is captured in very light and very dark areas in the same shot.

Samples of the new sensors are due to ship from March, meaning it'll probably be later in the year before we'll see them in products you can actually buy. Sony's new Xperia S and Xperia Ion, which are due in March and Q2 respectively, feature earlier model Exmor R sensors at 12MP.

Source: Sony

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Dolphin Browser releases Skitch and Evernote add-ons


The folks at Dolphin Browser, one of the most popular third party browsers for Android devices, have unveiled two new add-ons today -- Skitch and Evernote.  Both integrate seamlessly with the Dolphin Browser app, and look to be simple and elegant.  We love simple, especially when paired with elegant.  Using them is easy enough -- when you come across a page you'd like to share you just tap the icon in the Dolphin Browser sidebar (Skitch is a big pink heart, and Evernote is the elephant profile we all know and love) to send it to the correct app.  You can either grab the screen and annotate before you share it with Skitch, or clip a block of text to send to Evernote.  If you don't have the app itself installed, Dolphin will direct you to download it and get signed up.

The developers at Dolphin promise us a whole slew of great add-ons in 2012, and they're off to a great start with these two.  When something looks and runs well, and is useful, we're all for it.  Keep up the good work fellows!  We've got links to the Market for both add-ons below, check 'em out.

Source: Dolphin Browser

Download the Evernote add-on

Download the Skitch add-on

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Free Android Wallpaper of the day - Keep Calm and Get It On


Not a whole lot to say about this play on the old British morale booster, which dates back to World War II. Frankly, we tend to enjoy this version just a little more. War sucks.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

ICS-based MIUI 4 ROM available for Galaxy S II


Two months after the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code dropped, we're starting to see more exotic custom ROMs appearing for popular devices like the Samsung Galaxy S II. One such ROM comes from XDA's adyscorpius, and brings MIUI 4.0 and Ice Cream Sandwich to the Galaxy S II. MIUI 4.0 Fresh includes most of the features that you'll need to use this thing as your daily driver, if you're into the look and feel of MIUI.

The current version 2.1 features full 8MP camera support, as well as external SD support, so you shouldn't need to sacrifice any of your device's basic functionality in order to enjoy the unique ICS/MIUI combo. For download links and a full feature list, check the source link.

Source: XDA

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Verizon sees record revenue in Q4 2011, adds 1.5 million subscribers


If you see a Verizon executive walking around today whistling a happy tune, it's because the company's fourth-quarter 2011 earnings were just announced. Big Red recorded a 7.7 percent increase in revenue compared to Q4 2010, for its wireless (as in mobile) and wired (mainly FiOS) combined.

On the wireless side, Verizon saw $18.3 billion in total revenue, up 13 percent year over year. Data revenue was up 19.2 percent to $6.3 billion, and Verizon saw 1.5 million (net) new subscribers, its largest increase in three years. The vast majority of those new subscribers -- 1.3 million -- are of the traditional postpaid variety. Verizon now has 108.7 million total "connections," the company reported, 6.3 percent higher than Q4 2010.

Smartphones make up 44 percent of Verizon's customer base, compared to 39 percent for for the final three months of 2010. It didn't break down how many are Android, and how many are iPhone.

Source: Verizon (pdf)

Read more and comment

3 years ago

New 'Experiments' Gmail feature discovered in Android 4.0.3


The Android 4.0.3 update for the Asus Transformer Prime brought with it some improvements to the Google Apps. However small any changes may be, nestled among them the Gmail application has received an interesting new feature menu known as "Experiments."

Experiments at the moment consists of a couple of new features which are probably not quite ready for the prime-time. 

The first of these, enables full text search. Pretty straight forward this one, but still pretty useful. It allows you to index an entire message to search for keywords. 

The second may not be immediately obvious as to its function. The contact chip is bascially the name entered into the To, Cc, and Bcc fields when composing a new message. Enabling this function allows you to long press on one of these contact chips, and simply drag and drop to another box. 

At the moment, the updated Gmail app is rolling out with Android 4.0.3. But, enter the Android community, as the apk has been extracted from the Prime and is working just fine on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It has been tried on Honeycomb, but ran into some nasty force close issues meaning this is purely for Ice Cream Sandwich guys. 

If you're keen to try it out for yourselves, hit the source link where you'll find a handy download.

Sources: Computer WorldAndroid Police

Read more and comment

Show More Headlines