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3 years ago

Google Glass apps demoed at SXSW

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Today we got a first look at some of the apps for Google's upcoming Glass. Many developers were in attendance, where Timothy Jordan explained the goal of the Glass experience: provide timely content and functionality that integrates into the user's daily life, while being careful not to get in the way with obtrusive features (the thing is attached to your head, after all).

First up was The New York Times app, shown delivering a headline with accompanying image and author's name. If a user wants the full story, it's only a tap away from being read aloud by Glass. The app even has a built-in breaking news system, letting users literally see the news as it happens. Or as it is written, anyway. Of course this wouldn't be a proper Google product without Gmail. Incoming messages appear as an email subject line and picture of the sender. After opening an email, users can use voice dictation to reply to their messages. This seems like a great idea for Twitter-sized emails, but it's still yet to be seen how useful this will be once you get beyond a few paragraphs. Evernote was on board, along with Skitch. These apps were shown handling some quick editing and sharing of pictures that were taken with Glass. Also among the 3rd-party app support was Path, the social network for close friends and family. Functionality was a little limited, which might be a good thing here. Make comments and emoticons, and share cards with other Path users.

It's great to see outside app developers supporting Glass at this stage in the game. One of the things discussed at this demo was app design. Many Android tablet apps have long been criticized for simply using an inefficient smartphone design. With Glass being such a unique platform, this could be a fresh start for a completely new experience - one with apps designed to make the most out of everything Glass has to offer.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Samsung teases phone-shaped phone ahead of Galaxy S4 event

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Samsung's quite the tease lately. It's launched a campaign of bizarre teaser trailers for the upcoming Galaxy S4, but so far these have been devoid of any real information about the device. Today it's stepping things up a notch, publishing the image above on its Twitter and Facebook channels alongside a message promoting the Mar. 14 "Unpacked" event where we're all expecting to meet the Galaxy S4.

It's the outline of a phone. A phone-shaped phone. It looks a bit like the Galaxy S3, as well as a purported Galaxy S4 design that leaked out of China this morning. We're left wondering what's happened to the earpiece on this model, though.

If nothing else, the image might suggest that Samsung's sticking with the curvy "nature-inspired" design language for its 2013 handset. We'll find out for sure on Thursday evening, when Samsung unveils the Galaxy S4 in New York City.

Source: Twitter, Facebook

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3 years ago

BlinkFeed: Inside the HTC One's home screen reader

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It's one of the more controversial moves a smartphone manufacturer has made in recent memory. HTC has pared down the out-of-box home screen experience, instead going with a single traditional Android panel, while opening up a world of news, updates and features, that's just a single swipe away.

This is BlinkFeed.

You could say BlinkFeed looks a lot like Flipboard -- and you'd be right. The slight difference in animations notwithstanding, what you've got is an extremely capable (if a bit limited in scope) feed reader. News, social networking updates, the ability to post your status -- it's all right there.

So why's it controversial? Unlike apps like Pulse or Flipboard or even Google Currents, which are traditional applications, BlinkFeed is baked into the phone itself, as much a part of the home screen as the home screen itself. It's there, whether you plan on using it or not.

 

Join the discussion in the HTC One forums

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3 years ago

Reviewing Humble Bundle 5: Beat Hazard Ultra

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Although a few of the games in Humble Bundle 5 are making their Android debut, Beat Hazard Ultra has been out on the Play Store for some time now. That doesn't mean that it isn't a worthwhile title though, as it still brings together the arcade shooter and music genres in an interesting way. The game will be different for every user too, because the gameplay changes based on your own local music collection.

Hang with us after the break to see a little bit more about Beat Hazard Ultra, one of the games in the Humble Bundle 5.

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3 years ago

Marvel Comics app now offering 700 free first issues

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Marvel has announced an awesome limited-time promo as a part of their SXSW presence. Anyone using the official Marvel Comics app for Android can download over 700 first issues for free. These #1 titles range from the classics to the more contemporary stuff. The frenzy over these issues is pretty amped, so your download speeds might not be so great right now. You'll still want to get in on this, because it wraps up at 11 PM Tuesday night. David Gabriel, one of the dudes from Marvel, commented on why they kicked off this promotion. 

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia J updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

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Good news for Sony Xperia J owners - the official rollout of Jelly Bean has begun. This will bump the Android OS up to version 4.1, bringing with it new features from Jelly Bean like Quick Settings in the notification area. A new version of Sony Select has also been packaged into the update. Xperia J users should be getting an update notification on their phones automatically in the coming days/weeks. If any users are unable to update over the air, they can check out Sony's official page for a manual install method.

Source: Sony; More: Sony Xperia J Forums

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3 years ago

OUYA throwing a little launch party March 28 in San Francisco

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What's this in our inbox? Why, it's an invitation to OUYA's launch party March 28 in San Francisco. The $99 Android gaming console is one of the more anticipated releases this year, and it's as intriguing for what it's not as much as for what it is. A sub-$100 console? Consider our interest piqued. And it's not sporting the most high-tech specs you've ever seen. But, again, that price tag. 

Anyhoo. On March 28, OUYA's unwrapping this thing, and we'll be in SF to bring the whole thing to you.

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3 years ago

The Chromebook Pixel review

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The Pixel takes cloud computing to the next level — but the price should make you think twice before buying

Meet the Pixel. It's beautiful, powerful, filled with the tools the next-generation of the web will need, but it "just" runs Chrome OS. That's the general consensus of everyone with a platform to speak their mind about Google's newest Chromebook, and for the most part it rings true.

It's a beautiful machine. Quite frankly, it's surprising to see Google deliver something this well built and designed, because we're used to more budget-friendly gear from our Mountain View friends. But you need to understand -- this isn't your typical laptop. It's something completely different for most of us. For some, it's going to be the perfect portable computer, but for others it's going to leave you wanting more than Chrome OS can deliver.

It also checks in at $1,300 ($1,450 for the LTE version), so it's something you're not likely to buy on an impulse. That's what tech-reviews are for.

Read on and see the good, the bad, and the ugly that goes with owning a Chromebook Pixel.

Join the discussion in the Chromebook Pixel Forums

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Jelly Bean update has begun rolling out

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Sprint has begun the rollout of Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) to its version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Enhancements will include:

  • Google Now
  • Smooth transitions enable effortless movement
  • Expandable, actionable notifications
  • Widgets that resize automatically

The update is being pushed wirelessly and has just begun to rollout. If you have a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 from Sprint and haven't seen it yet, sit tight, it's coming. Great news for everyone who has been waiting patiently for the benefits of Jelly Bean on their larger screen.

If you've received the update yet or just want to see what others are saying about it, hit up out Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Forum!

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3 years ago

The winners of the Nexus 4 charging orbs are ...

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up during the week. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the winners!

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3 years ago

HTC One versus the iPhone 5

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Just the same, only different: The iPhone 5 and HTC One are worlds apart

"The HTC One looks just like the iPhone 5!" Those were the words out of many a mouth after HTC unveiled its new, all aluminum Android smartphone last month. Metallurgy aside -- and we're willing to bet either Apple or HTC could talk ad nauseam about the chemical makeup of their particular blend of aluminum -- that's where the similarities end. Both phones are made of metal and glass.

Get over it.

Join the discussion in the HTC One forums

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3 years ago

Second Galaxy S4 teaser also tells us nothing about the actual phone

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Samsung Galaxy S4 guardian Jeremy Maxwell returns with his magical glowing box in the second teaser trailer for the upcoming handset. If you were hoping for any hint of actual information on what Samsung's bringing to New York this Thursday, then once again you're going to come away disappointed. Like last week's installment, there's very little going on here beyond hype-building. Though Jeremy does remark that the box's contents are his "favorite color," for whatever that's worth.

Check out the teaser above, and share any theories down in the comments. 

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3 years ago

Alleged Chinese Galaxy S4 variant photos appear online

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 rumor mill has been churning in the run up to Thursday's big announcement event in New York City, but so far we've seen little to indicate what the upcoming handset might look like.

But today Chinese forum 52Samsung has posted what it says are images of a dual-SIM Galaxy S4 variant for China. The device in question carries the model number GT-i9502 and looks an awful lot like a Galaxy S3, with internals indicative of a flagship product. Black and white (or at least light grey) color variants are shown, and it seems the pattern on the back and front of the chassis has changed somewhat -- shots of the white and black versions show what looks like a grid pattern.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus L5II to be available globally, starting with Brazil

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LG announced its LII Series of devices at MWC last month, and now we've got some details on the global availability of the Optimus L5II. As we covered when we had our hands on the devices at MWC, the LII Series is for more of a "mainstream" market and will target lower price points. The L5II has a 1GHz single-core processor, 4-inch 480x800 (WVGA) display, 512MB of RAM and run on Android 4.1.2. LG is announcing that the device will hit Brazil in a dual SIM variant now, with both single and dual SIM options coming globally -- South and Central America, Asia, Russia, Middle East and Africa -- from that point.

With specs like that, it's not surprising that LG has no plans to launch it in the states. We may see some different variation of these devices hit a U.S. prepaid carrier later on down the road (if at all), but they are best suited to more price-conscious markets around the world.

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