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3 years ago

3DMark graphics benchmark app arrives on Android

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One of the most popular PC benchmarks now available for thousands of different Android devices

3DMark, which has been one of the go-to programs to determine your computer's graphical performance is now available on the Play Store to evaluate phones and tablets as well. The app is nicely designed and gives you more than just the ability to run benchmarks. You can get a nice breakdown of how your device has performed, with metrics on the score, FPS for different areas of the test and details on how the device performed compared to other people with the same device. You also get a full set of leaderboards for the best scores recorded on different devices.

The app is quite a large download at over 280MB, but if you're serious about your benchmarks you'll want to have it at the ready. Grab a download of the first version at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Updated Nexus 7 with new screen and Qualcomm CPU coming in July, says Reuters

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"Power reasons" force the switch from NVIDIA's Tegra platform to Qualcomm according to the source

A report from Reuters earlier says that come July, we'll have a new version of Google's popular Nexus 7 tablet. ASUS will still be the manufacturer, but a few key things will have changed. Expect a higher resolution screen with smaller bezels, and concerns over "power" (we take that to mean battery power) have forced a switch to Qualcomm for the CPU.

Pricing is said to still be in limbo, but the $199 figure has been mentioned. This is the same base price as last year's Nexus 7, and a key to its success. 

If this rumor turns out to be true, a July release would work well with an unveiling at Google I/O this May. ASUS sold an estimated 4.6 million Nexus 7s in the second half of last year, and updated specs at the same price will draw plenty more interest. We're keeping an eye on this one.

Source: Reuters

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3 years ago

AT&T rolls out LTE to 14 more locations

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AT&T drops more LTE across the country, now you can hit your data cap 10 times faster

AT&T has announced that LTE service is now rolling out to 14 new locations in a series of press releases this evening. The announced locations are:

If you're living in one of these areas and have a 4G LTE device on AT&T, give it a look and see -- you might be pleasantly surprised. 

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3 years ago

Android platform numbers for March are in, come from a new collection method

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The collection method has changed, but the results surprise nobody -- new versions climb while legacy versions fall

Every month Google releases a handy chart telling us what version of the operating system folks are using out there. This month, they did things a little differently and now collect data only from devices that have visited the Google Play store in the past month, versus all phones that checked into Google's servers as done in he past.

It didn't make much of a difference. Jelly Bean continues to climb and is now at 25-percent, Gingerbread is down 5-percent, and lower version are clinging to life support. The one change we didn't expect is Ice Cream Sandwich to actually climb while devices were getting update to Jelly Bean. We'll write that off to the new collection method.

If you're a developer, this will help you decide which devices to target. If you're just an interested fan, the data sure is fun to talk about. 

Source: Android developer site. More: +Android Developers

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3 years ago

Use Google Apps for Business? Grab a free copy of Quickoffice from Google Play

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Google is now providing a way to edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents for Google Apps for Business users

Google Drive is pretty slick. It allows you to collaborate, edit on the fly, and create documents and easily share them. The problem is, most of the time somebody in your organization will end up using a Microsoft Office product and throw a wrench in it all. You see, Google Drive's editing abilities don't mix well with Microsoft Office files. 

Since Microsoft Office is the de facto standard for business documents, Google is trying to alleviate any problems a bit by offering up a free copy of Quickoffice -- which is very compatible with the various MS Office format. If you're a Google Apps user, grab it free from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

HTC infographic details one day with the HTC One

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The folks who can get one are loving their HTC One, and everyone loves infographics - this had to happen

While you're waiting to have a look at the new HTC One, you're probably thinking of how you might use the phones features. We're covering them to give you the in-depth story on what they can do and how to use them, and HTC is now showing you why you may want to.

Blinkfeed and Zoes and the rest of the new Sense 5 can be a bit confusing. We get it. HTC gets it. This is the sort of material HTC needs to produce to cut some of that confusion away, and show folks that they can be productive and have fun with their smartphone. Be sure to click the source link for the mega-huge not safe for mobile version.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

AntTek Quick Settings: Jelly Bean customization for all

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Get total toggle control with a custom version of Jelly Bean's Quick Settings on Android 2.1 and up.

One of the most anticipated features Jelly Bean brought to Android was Quick Settings. These handy little toggles live in the notification area, and make turning things like WiFi and Bluetooth on and off just a swipe away. While they're a welcomed addition to Android, they are limited to eight static titles and have no option for customization. That's where AntTek Quick Settings comes in. Compatible with Android 2.1 Eclair and above, this app not only replicates Quick Settings functionality on non-Jelly Bean phones, but gives Jelly Bean users a much needed level of customization.

Check out the full run through of what this app can do after the break.

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3 years ago

Kobo Arc now available to purchase directly from Kobo in Canada and U.S.

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7-inch Android tablet finally available directly from Kobo in North America alongside range of e-Ink devices

The Kobo Arc is a fine tablet in its own right, despite not quite matching the Nexus 7 in the grand scheme of things. There are several reasons that one might choose the Arc over the Google offering -- the screen, speakers and 64GB version but a few. But, a couple of issues plagued the Arc from launch -- the software, and availability issues. The software was rectified back in March, and now it seems, in North America at least, that the availability has been solved too. 

Part of the problem was the lack of any way to buy one direct from Kobo. While available through retail partners worldwide, they weren't exactly plentiful, and the 64GB version proved somewhat elusive too. Kobo however, has today announced that their full range of eReaders -- including the e-Ink devices -- are available to buy from Kobo.com in Canada and the U.S. Good news for anyone tempted that struggled to get hold of one. The full press release can be found after the break. 

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3 years ago

Humble Mobile Bundle adds 3 bonus games to the original 6

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An above average donation now gets you nine games in total; previous donors will receive the bonus games automatically

The first mobile-only Humble Bundle has added three more games to the roster for those who choose to donate more than the average. On top of the original six games on the list -- Contre Jour, Anomaly Korea, Plants vs. Zombies, Bladeslinger, The Rooma and Metal Slug 3 -- donations above $5.53 (at the time of writing) will also receive Funky Smugglers, Raiden Legacy and Another World. Anyone who previously purchased the bundle at that price will receive the games for free, which is great little gesture for the early donors.

You can donate whatever you'd like to receive the first 6, but at just a few extra dollars to get 9 games in total there's no reason not to give it a thought. Head to the source link below to donate and get your own Humble Mobile Bundle like nearly 100,000 people already have.

Source: Humble Bundle

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3 years ago

ASUS offers settlement for Transformer Prime wireless issues

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ASUS settles class action suit, settlement class members get a GPS dongle and $17 for their troubles

The ASUS Transformer Prime looks beautiful with it's thick spun aluminum back. It also has an issue with weak Wifi and GPS signals because of it. In April of last year, they offered a dongle to improve the GPS signal to anyone who wanted one, but apparently that wasn't enough to satisfy everyone as a class action suit was brought against ASUS. Today, ASUS has settled it.

If you're in the US, and can prove that you bought a Transformer Prime between December 1, 2011 and February 19, 2013, and didn't return it for a refund, you can join the settlement class and get a GPS dongle and $17 US. ASUS is quick to remind everyone that they agree there were GPS issues, disagree with any Wifi issues, and that this is in no way an admission that they are liable for anything, they just settled rather than continue:

The lawsuit claimed that the Asus Eee Pad TF201 Transformer Prime tablet GPS and WiFi signal quality is diminished based on the design of the tablet. Asus denies all allegations regarding WiFi but Asus acknowledges that GPS performance did not meet the expectations of all customers, which Asus addressed by offering the Dongle to Asus Eee Pad TF201 Transformer Prime tablet owners. Asus is entering into this proposed settlement to avoid burdensome and costly litigation. The proposed settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.

If you fit the criteria, follow the links below to find out more information.

Source: Fraser vs ASUS; via Facebook

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3 years ago

Line2 update adds tablet support, MMS, and a redesigned UI

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The app that brings a premium VoIP solution to Android gets clearer audio and new features.

First released for Android way back in early 2011, Line2 lets its users make phone calls and send texts using only a data connection -- no carrier minutes or texts required. True to its name, it gives subscribers a second phone number that the app uses for sending and receiving calls and texts.

The latest update enables picture messaging (MMS), and adds support for Android tablets. Even over a slow DSL connection, call quality was surprisingly good on my Nexus 7. The revamped UI is a welcomed addition as well; it matches Android's Holo design quite nicely.

Free accounts can only make calls and send texts to other Line2 users (incoming voicemails and texts can still come from anywhere). For a fully functional experience, a subscription fee of $9.95 a month is required. This buys you unlimited calls and texts to the U.S. and Canada, along with a host of other goodies like call forwarding and visual voicemail.

Hit the Play Store link at the top to check it out Line2's latest version.

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3 years ago

'HTC First' could be the rumored 'Facebook phone'

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It has a screen and buttons

This Thursday we'll be live from Facebook HQ to meet the social network's "new home on Android," but today we're seeing what might be the "first" hardware to run the rumored Facebook-centric home screen.

The often-accurate @evleaks Twitter account has just published the image above, identifying it as the "HTC First." The timing of the leak and the (Facebook blue) typeface used strongly suggest that this could be the device codenamed "HTC Myst," reported in recent weeks to be the new HTC-built Facebook phone. (Update: @evleaks tells Android Central that this is indeed the rumored Facebook phone.)

There's not much else to say about the image in question -- we can see a 16:9 aspect ratio screen, a volume rocker and a power button, and that's about it. Its most interesting features are its capacitive buttons -- presumably back, home and menu -- though anything's possible in these heady days of Facebook-powered home screens.

If you've got any wild theories of your own, shout out in the comments!

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Verizon goes middle of the road with the free LG Lucid 2

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4.3-inch, Android 4.1.2 smartphone will be available online April 4, in stores later

LG today announced the Lucid 2, a mid-range Android smartphone available online this week and in stores in the coming weeks for the low, low price of free on contract.

You get what you pay for, generally, in the smartphone world, but considering this phone won't cost you a dime, the specs manage to be middle of the road -- for 2012. Here's the rundown:

  • 4.3-inch IPS display at qHD resolution
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor at 1.2 GHz.
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB storage (actual available storage will be less)
  • microSD card slot
  • 2,460 mAh battery
  • 5MP rear camera

The Lucid 2 also can take advantage of the official LG wireless charger, which we took a look at back at Mobile World Congress.

More: Verizon

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia ZL launches in Canada

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C$675 SIM-free, also available through Rogers, Bell and Videotron

Sony's new North American flagship, the Xperia ZL, is now on sale in Canada. If you're looking to pick one up off-contract, Sony's Canadian store is selling the 5-inch ZL for C$674.99 a pop. That gets you a 1080p screened smartphone powered by a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS rear camera, running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. It's not water or dust-resistant like its international cousin, the Xperia Z (check out our review), but it does boast a more ergonomic, hand-friendly back panel and a smaller footprint.

If you'd prefer to go the subsidized route, Bell, Rogers and Videotron are selling the device for C$99, C$124.99 and C$199.99 respectively on 36-month contracts. (Yes, that's three whole Earth years -- you'll be approaching the middle of 2016 before your next upgrade.) Pay your money, take your choice.

Stateside, the Sony U.S. Store is still taking pre-orders for the Xperia ZL at $759.99, and expects to begin shipping from Apr. 8.

We'll have a review of the Sony Xperia ZL in the weeks ahead. In the meantime you can read all about what we thought of its big brother, the Xperia Z.

Source: Rogers, Bell, Videotron via XperiaBlog; Sony Store Canada

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3 years ago

HTC One tip: Keep your Events organized

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Renaming your events on the HTC One keeps your gallery in good order

No one in their right mind would argue that photos are the premiere feature of the http://androidcentral.com/htc-oneHTC One. Taking them, showing them, sharing them -- the UltraPixel system, along with Zoes and Highlights -- are where its at. 

Unfortunately, things get a little muddy when it comes to picture organization on the HTC One. It's not overly difficult, but the HTC One and Sense 5 do things a little differently. 

Images are grouped into "events" based on date and location. Other phones do that, too -- this isn't unique to the HTC One -- but it's much more prominent here. But if I'm going to show someone a Highlight Video the HTC One created, I don't want to have to sort through 13 "Pensacola, Florida" events to find the one I'm looking for. 

So you're going to want to make your own event titles. That's as simple as long-pressing on the event, and choosing rename. You'll also find other options for the events, such as splitting up all the images, 

There's also a side-effect. When a video highlight is created, it takes the event name and uses it at the end. So, again, a date or location doesn't give you the best result.

We explain in a little more detail after the break.

More: HTC One forums

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