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3 years ago

An Android challenge to close out 2010

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So long 2010

December's here. Just one more month until this year wraps up and the next one begins. And when you stop and think about it, what a year it's been. Started with the launch of Android 2.1 on the Nexus One and is ending with ... Well, we don't quite know, do we? Gingerbread's coming. And, eventually, Honeycomb. We know of a smattering of new hardware waiting in the wings. Dual-core. More tablets. It's gonna be busy, to say the least. And over the next few weeks, we'll be taking a look back at some of the highs and lows of 2010.

But let's end the year on a high note, shall we? A bit of a challenge, perhaps. Three things you can do to help cap a stellar year for Android Central:

  • Help us hit 50,000 followers on Twitter: It's an ambitious goal, but we're almost there already. Just a few more thousand, and we've got it. And once we hit it, we'll have a giveaway to celebrate. As in free stuff. Follow @androidcentral.
  • Join us in the Android Central Forums: Hundreds of your fellow Android fans are joining every day. New to Android? We've got the friendliest forums around. Don't be afraid to ask questions. We're here to help. Register for the forums now.
  • Find us on Facebook: Look, we know you already spend half your day on Facebook. Your boss knows, too. Might as well be a bit more useful and hang out with use while you're doing it. facebook.com/androidcentral.

Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. 'Cause it's on in 2011.

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3 years ago

Comcast Mobile Android app set for release Dec. 3 after missing Nov. 30 target

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Comcast Android apps

For those of you looking for an update on Comcast's Android apps, we have an update. The Comcast Xfinity app is still delayed to January, and the Comcast Mobile app missed its Nov. 30 launch date and is now aiming for Dec. 3 -- this Friday. Hang in there, folks. Submitted via the official Android Central app.

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3 years ago

Android quick app: Google Reader

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Google Reader for Android

Google has finally released a proper application for Google Reader -- a must for anyone who lives with RSS (like most of us bloggers do). For those of you new to RSS, it's a method of bringing websites to you, instead of you visiting the website.

The app itself is exactly what we've been looking for. There's proper syncing with Google Reader on the desktop side. The buttons are large and easy to press. Images all appear in-line, and plug-ins should work as well. Feeds and groups are sorted alphabetically at first, or you can change it to match the order on the desktop side.

You can "like" stories, share them through Google Reader or e-mail to someone, take notes, star -- everything you can do on the desktop version. We're more than a little over the moon about this one.

We've got a plethora of screen shots and download links after the break. Huzzah! Thanks, Bill!

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3 years ago

New Nielsen data shows Android making gains in mindshare, marketshare

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 Current U.S. marketshare

Nielsen, a market research firm, has just released its numbers for the month of October in the U.S., and Android continues to show strong growth. Overall, smartphones make up nearly 30 percent of the U.S. mobile phone market, a number which will surely see a large jump once the December numbers come out next year. Overall, the incredible growth Android has been seeing this year has translated into a nearly 23 percent overall marketshare, which is nipping on the heels of the BlackBerry OS and Apple's iOS, which are neck-and-neck at about 27 percent each. 

Current users of feature phones are more likely to want an Android phone, while current smartphone users prefer the iPhone. Overall, the numbers balance out to make Android and iOS nearly equal at 28 and 30 percent. By age, the two are also neck-and-neck all the way to 55+, where iOS enjoys a healthy margin. By gender, women prefer iOS while men are looking at Android, but nearly one quarter of women said they were "not sure" about what they wanted. For all these comparisons, BlackBerry phones were consistently in a distant third place, so RIM clearly has to work on recapturing the interest of the consumer market. Check out all the pretty graphs (hint: Android is green) past the break. [Nielsen]

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3 years ago

Verizon LTE launches Dec. 5, phones coming by mid-2011

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Verizon LTE

For those of you waiting on LTE Android phones from Verizon, move along. Big Red's LTE site is now live and official, and it's only USB modems thus far. The service launches Sunday, Dec. 5 in 38 cities and 60-something airports. Smartphones are coming by mid-2011, Verizon said during a conference call, and it's pretty safe to assume Android will play a major part in that.

For now, pricing for LTE data is $50 a month for 5 GB, or $80 for 10 GB, with $10/GB overages, which is not too shabby. Full presser's after the break. [Verizon]

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3 years ago

Original Droid about to get another update, no, it's not Gingerbread

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Motorola Droid update

Verizon's posted up a changelog for all to see of an upcoming update to the original Motorola Droid. FRG830 should be Android 2.2.1 and will bring you:

  • An updated Twitter app with new authentication support
  • Updated Amazon widget
  • New News & Weather widget
  • Fixes to Exchange Activesync (server-side timeouts of 34 minutes or more are handled better; e-mails will still sync after a policy refresh; support for Exchange 2010)
  • New gmail interface

Look for the update to start pushing out, oh, any time now. [Verizon via Droid-Life]

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3 years ago

Sony's PlayStation Phone gets caught on blurrycam with Gingerbread

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 PlayStation Phone/Z1

Well, what do we have here? The Sony PlayStation Phone has made a brief appearance in Greece. Perhaps most interesting is that the phone was running Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread, which still has yet to be officially announced by Google. In addition, the phone was named the Sony Ericsson Z1 but had the name "Zeus" under device info, which has been seen before as the phone's codename. It is curious that Sony seems to be ignoring the PlayStation brand in the naming, but obviously nothing is final until Sony says so (also, it's not like they have even announced it yet, but last we heard that might be coming on Dec. 9). 

In addition, it seems that Sony will in fact be doing some sort of special games store for PlayStation-branded phones as had been rumored. As for other specs, the site noted that the screen comes in at 4-inches and had "very good multitouch." Around back, the device is packing a 8MP camera with LED flashes, which should put it right up there with the best Android phone cameras. The touch joysticks were mentioned, but sadly were not captured on the (blurry) video, which can be seen past the break. [TechBlog.gr via Engadget

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3 years ago

Motorola Olympus found in a bar -- erm, make that bought in a flea market

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Motorola Olympus

Some high-quality shots of the Motorola Olympus have fallen into Gizmodo's fat little fingers. The story goes that the phone was purchased at a flea market, wouldn't even turn on and finally came to life through some sort of developer's menu "with a lot of features" (none of which are named).

Fish story aside, Giz got some great shows of the MB860, which definitely is running Android 2.2 and has AT&T software on it. There's also a hotspot app, the requisite DLNA support, front-facing camera, HDMI out and the non-Droid version of Motorola's updated UI.

We've got $5 that says despite all this awesomesauce, AT&T still does something crazy like locking out third-party apps, but we have way around that, don't we. Check out the whole shebang at Giz. [Gizmodo via Android Central Forums]

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Seasons now available

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Angry Birds Seasons

Tis the seasons for Angry Birds Seasons -- 25 holiday levels (one for each day through Christmas), available now in the Android Market. Also included is the 45-level Halloween special edition, in case you missed it earlier. Now excuse us, we have some pigs to kill. Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Google set to tackle the eBook market with Google Editions

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Google Editions

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is set to launch their own ebook store, Google Editions by the end of the month.  The idea has been kicked around since May 2010 and was initially set to launch this past summer.  Scott Dougall, a Google product management director, tells the WSJ it is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the month and internationally in the first quarter of next year.  There's also word from some independent booksellers who say they have received their contracts for the venture from Google already, so it does appear that things are ready to launch.

What does this mean for us?  Google is set to take on the big players in this space with a new distribution model -- web-based book reading.  The goal is to have content purchased from Google, or any of its independent partners entered into an online library tied to your Google account, and accessed via any modern web browser.  Of course plans for applications for popular platforms are in the works, and you can bet that Android is high on that list.  While we don't know how well this model will work, you can bet devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab will soon be seeing some Google Edition love.  [WSJ online]

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3 years ago

DoubleTwist update brings WiFi syncing with paid 'AirSync' add-on

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 DoubleTwist

DoubleTwist has just been updated with the long-promised and highly-anticipated wifi syncing feature, which has been dubbed "AirSync." Unlike the player itself, which is free, AirSync is an add-on that will run you $4.99 (or 99 cents for the first 10,000 users), you will see a link to purchase it when you start up the updated DoubleTwist Android player. In addition to the phone app, users will need to make sure to update their desktop client, which is available for the Mac and PC.

If you jump on the DoubleTwist wagon, make sure you visit the Android Central Forums to discuss the new update. If you haven't used the program (or any syncing app), check out our handy guide to syncing music onto your Android phone. [DoubleTwist]

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3 years ago

LG Star dual-core Tegra 2 smartphone gets the hands-on treatment from GSM-Israel

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LG Star

It's kind of fitting, actually, that the LG Star makes an appearance during the holiday season, and in Israel, no less. But such is the case with the 4-inch dual-core Tegra 2 monster. GSM -Israel got their hands on the unannounced device (model LGP990) and have given it some serious video treatment. Front-facing and rear 8MP cameras? Check. HDMI out? Check. LG's custom UI? Yep. It's running Android 2.2 Froyo -- not Gingerbread, but that's not much of a surprise because we're all waiting on Gingerbread.

Other nuggets we glean from the video (it's in Hebrew, and we're a little rusty on that language): LG's got its own Facebook app, the Star towers over the iPhone 4 (Apple's really going to have to up that screen size someday), and the browser loads as fast (if not faster) than mobile Safari, the test page loads just as fast, and Flash is as smooth as it's ever been. Video's after the break. It's a sight to behold, folks. [GSM-Israel via Engadget]

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3 years ago

Best Of 2010, Nook Color thoughts and can you do video calls on the Tab? [From the forums]

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Android Forums at Android Central

It's that time of year again. We say goodbye to November as we roll into December and ultimately after that a new year is upon us. Like most folks, we like to reflect on the year past and this year will be no different. Join us in the forums as we look back at the Best Of 2010 and help us vote for your favs!

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

Logitech Revue about to get a much-needed update to its Netflix app

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Netflix on Logitech Revue

One of the biggest disappointments when we first fired up the Logitech Revue was the Netflix app. You can watch anything in your Instant Queue, but that's it. Nothing else. Sad panda. But it looks like there's another update in the works that brings a fully functional Netflix to Google TV.

The new build -- KA1X-20101122.184803.user-b41730 -- is dated Nov. 22. The last update, dated Oct. 27, started rolling out around Nov. 2, so we should be seeing this one anytime now. We've got video of the Netflix update and a few more pics after the break, and you can find the whole shebang at the source link. [SatelliteGuys via Android Central Forums]

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3 years ago

Winamp for Android officially announced

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Winamp for Android

Despite having been available in the Android Market in beta form for a while now, Winamp for Android was never really officially announced by AOL. Today however, they've updated the app and put the official stamp of greatness on it, including full Shoutcast support. As noted on the Winamp blog, this release pushes Winamp to version 0.9.2 and adds a ton of new features to the already awesome media player. Hit the break for the download and full rundown of features. Be sure to check out our hands on review if you want to see it in action. [Winamp Blog]

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