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3 years ago

What I used in 2012: Simon Sage

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It's time to get up close and personal with the Android Central editors. You get a taste of the apps we're trying on a week-by-week basis, but what about those that actually stay on our phones for the long haul? Given, all of the authors here have wide and varied preferences, but hopefully this series will give you guys an idea of which apps have serious staying power. 

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3 years ago

Android Central's most popular stories of 2012

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It's time for a quick look back at the year that was. Frankly, we don't remember most of it. Apparently a year ago or so we were in Las Vegas for CES. Then Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. Then London for the Samsung Galaxy S3. Then New Orleans for CTIA. And San Francisco for Google IO. And Seoul for the LG Optimus G. And San Diego for MobileCON. And any number of other singletons in between. So, yeah. It was a busy year.

After the break we've got a look at some of our most popular stories of 2012. Not necessarily the most important. Not necessarily our favorites. But in terms of page views (we now have to get a second set of hands to count those on, by the way), this is what you guys and gals -- our dear readers -- were peeping over the past 12 months. Of course, it's a little biased toward older stories, but there are some rather recent ones tucked away in there, too. Enjoy!

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3 years ago

Korean Galaxy Note 2 sales reportedly top one million

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It's no secret that Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 has been a big seller around the world. Last month brought news that the 5.5-inch device had shifted five million units worldwide, and now reports from the Korean press suggest that one million of those were sold in Samsung's home country. The Galaxy Note 2 launched in Korea just over three months ago in late September, preceding a wider international launch in October.

Korean news site MK reported the one million milestone today, while also stating that the Note 2 is selling three times as fast as its predecessor. After hitting one million units sold globally before the end of 2011, the original Note went on to sell ten million units in ten months.

With smartphone screen sizes set to increase in 2013, it'll be interesting to see how the Galaxy Note 2 fares in the face of the big-screened competition. Rumors suggest that Samsung is planning to diversify its Note line with a new tablet, possibly in the 7-inch area. Whatever's announced and however big it is, we'll be covering it in full in the new year.

Source: MK

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3 years ago

Notification Weather: an elegant way to check the forecast

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The release of Android 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean brought several improvements to the handling and functionality of notifications. With expandable, actionable and prioritized notifications, developers can manage their apps and take control of what goes on when a notification is presented to the user. Notification Weather, as the name implies, takes advantage of the new notification options in Jelly Bean to elegantly present the weather to you when you drop down the pane.

It seems like everyone's got a favorite weather app loaded on their device already, so does Notification Weather have what it takes to become your new favorite? Read on past the break and see what this one has to offer.

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: What we're using, 2012 edition

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As we close out the year, it's time to take a look back at things. I've never been all that keen on "year's best" lists for applications, though that doesn't mean they don't necessarily serve a purpose. There are so many good apps, so many updates. Instead, I think it's a little more fun to take a look at how each one of us uses our phones and tablets. 

Are they travel companions? I, for one, remember all too well navigating the backwoods (or what seemed like the backwoods) or Louisiana and Mississippi and Georgia and Florida during my school-age years, playing soccer. We did it with maps. On paper. That didn't move. Or update. That any of us made it back alive is a miracle.

What about bedside readers? Does your tablet even make it out of the boudoir? Does it spend as much time (or more) in the bathroom as you do?

I'm always fascinated to read about how folks use their technology, and inevitably I learn a trick or two that I'll want to try as well. So let's walk through what I used in 2012, and how I used it. In the coming days, you'll hear from the other names and faces behind Android Central and see just what it is we use on a daily basis. Want to get in on the fun yourself? Hit up this forum thread and share your stash with the world.

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3 years ago

Amazon's Kindle daily book deals are a great way to build your library

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If you got a Kindle device this year for the holidays, don't forget about the Kindle Store Daily Deals. There are always plenty of books for just $1.99, and they change daily. It's a great way to build your library on the cheap.

You need a Kindle or Kindle Fire to buy them, but once purchased they are in your Amazon account and can be read on any device with a Kindle app. With WhisperSync taking care of your bookmarks, you'll be hard pressed to find a better reading solution anywhere. To find them, just open the Kindle store from your tablet and look for the Daily Deals link on the right. 

You'll always find deals and specials in the music and video store as well, but the Kindle deals are a solid perk for having one of Amazon's tablets. Take advantage of it if you like to read and have a Kindle device. I just picked up William Alexander's "The $64 Tomato" and plan on spending the evening enjoying the warm indoors with it.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: BBC iPlayer, Bloons TD 5, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and more!

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It's Saturday, and that means it's time for the Android Central app picks. We've got another smattering of random apps, games and utilities for your enjoyment here this week. This is our last roundup of app picks for 2012, but fear not, we're coming back stronger than ever in 2013 with more apps for you to check out. See how we did wrapping up 2012 after the break.

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3 years ago

New York's MTA subway data hits Android in beta form

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New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week released its "Subway Time" app for iOS, which gives real-time updates for trains in and and around New York City. Need to know how soon a certain train will be at a certain station? That's the app to have. 

Only, we use Android around these here parts. And MTA's not making an app for us. But what it is doing is making the data freely available to anyone -- and we've already seen our first "unofficial" app released in beta. Subway Time for Android, released by The Holodeck, taps into that MTA data and brings a fairly functional app to Android. There are bugs. There are layout issues. But those can be fixed. That we're seeing the app ported over in just a matter of days is proof positive that we're on the right side here, folks. So break out those MTA cards and let's give this guy a go.

More: MTA Developer Resources; Thanks for the tip, @EladKatz!

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3 years ago

Samsung to expand US operations with two new California facilities

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Samsung will be taking several steps towards strengthening its U.S. presence with two new facilities to be constructed in 2013. The Korean handset and chip manufacturer already has some notable presence in the Bay Area, and has big plans to expand that in the coming year. The first big move is a 1.1 million square foot building to be constructed in San Jose with its current display and semiconductor business, which will be used for SSI (Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.) R&D and sales teams.

The second step will be moving the current SISA (Samsung Information Systems America) R&D Center to two new 6 story business buildings (and a 6 story parking structure) located in North San Jose. These new buildings will total about 385,000 square feet on 8.5 acres of land. The buildings are set to be finished in 2013, with full occupancy in 2014.

That's some big investment from Samsung, and these changes will surely help bring some operating efficiency to a very large company that currently has divisions spread across multiple countries. You can find a press release with some of the specifics after the break.

Source: Samsung (BusinessWire)

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G is certified 'Carbon-Free'

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The LG Optimus G may not have received Jelly Bean just yet, but it did get certified as Carbon-Free from the CarbonFund Foundation. Along with other LG products, including refrigerators, washing machines, ovens and vacuum cleaners, the Optimus G was found to be environmentally friendly throughout the entire process of procuring raw materials, production, distribution, use, and disposal. This follows a trend LG started with the equally-green Optimus Elite.

We worry a lot about things like updates and market share, but as temporary users of this planet we should also care about the impact our hobby has on the environment. While any manufacturing process will leave some scars, it's refreshing to see companies try to be as gentle as possible on this blue marble. And don't forget we can do our own part by responsibly disposing of our tech toys when they have outlived their usefulness. Your carrier store or local Best Buy (among other retailers) will be happy to dispose of non-working electronics and send them off for recycling.

Kudos LG.

Source: LG (Korea)

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3 years ago

Samsung's Galaxy S3 extended battery to become available Jan. 5, in Germany at least

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Before the holidays, an OEM extended battery kit surfaced for the Samsung Galaxy S3, initially going on pre-order at a British retailer. While that same retailer is still taking pre-orders for the item without an expected shipping date, Amazon Germany has gone one better. 

According to the item's listing on Amazon.de, the Samsung Extended Battery Kit will become available on January 5. Pricing is relatively consistent with earlier reports, coming in at €39.90, slightly cheaper even than the expected RRP of £40 (€48) in the UK. There is no word yet on if/when we can expect to see wider availability of this. 

Additionally, click on past the break for a quick video -- in Slovenian, and you'll want to spin on to about 1:05 -- which demonstrates the extended battery and replacement battery door. The best news? It doesn't seem to add much additional thickness to the phone. 

Source: Amazon via All About Samsung

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend Mate leaked again ahead of expected CES unveiling

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Following the first sighting in the wild of Huawei's upcoming 6.1 inch monster phone, the Ascend Mate, the device has been leaked once more ahead of an expected CES unveiling. This time, the device is seen posing for a series of photos alongside -- albeit, only just -- another Huawei device we're expecting to see at CES, the 5 inch D2

The photos obtained by MyDrivers, show what is essentially a big -- really big -- black slab, with on-screen buttons. There appears to be a slight curve to the back of the device, which should make it a little nicer to hold in the hand. If a 6.1 inch smartphone could ever, truly feel nice in the hand. Thickness is supposedly just 9.9mm. 

Spec information still remains in the rumor territory at present, but MyDrivers goes on to claim that the Ascend Mate is powered by a quad-core 1.8GHz processor -- likely an in house effort -- 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a 4000mAh battery. Nothing here sounds too out of the ordinary, certainly not for a 2013 release, but until we actually get something official we'll keep the rumor tag on them. 

Along with the photos, a leaked advertisement for the Ascend Mate has also been seen. It makes no bones about who Huawei is competing with in this space -- the 5.5 inch Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Samsung has set an extremely high bar in the super sized phone market with the Note and the Note 2, and anyone who considers challenging had better bring their 'A' game. The Note offers a specific experience though, with the S-Pen, whereas at least for the time being, the Ascend Mate just looks like a gargantuan sized version of some of Huawei's other Android smartphones. 

Whatever the Ascend Mate may or may not turn out to be, Android Central will be in Las Vegas to bring you all the action as it unfolds. 

Source: MyDrivers via Unwired View

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3 years ago

Get a free flip cover and tectiles from Samsung for registering your device

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Samsung is running a promotion on its official Facebook page that lets Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy SIII (S3) users get their hands on a free flip cover and set of 6 TecTiles for registering their device. All you have to do is head to the Samsung Facebook page, click the "Holiday Offers" button and then follow through to register your device. While quantities last, you can get some free swag for giving Samsung a little information about yourself. You'll need an active Facebook account and authorize the Samsung "app" for your page, but that's about it.

Registering your phone with the manufacturer may already be something you want to do, so might as well get something free for it, right? Head to the source links below to get your own.

Source: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Forums; Samsung (Facebook)

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3 years ago

Custom ROMs for your Alltel RAZR MAXX are just a flash away

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Verizon may take most of the headlines, but the Motorola RAZR MAXX (sans Droid) also made it's way to other carriers -- like Alltel. We love seeing the smaller carriers getting great Android phones like the MAXX, but folks who want to run a custom ROM are usually out of luck when this happens. Not so this time.

Forum Moderator, Alltel subscriber, and Android hacker cole2kb has you covered. He has taken the most popular ICS and Jelly Bean custom ROMs for the Verizon version of the RAZR MAXX and ported them over to Alltel. Getting them installed is as easy as flashing the original ROM and a small patch from recovery. He's even figured out how to get MMS working, so you're set there.

This is why we love Android. Users getting their hands dirty to bring more options to the folks who want them. Thanks, Chris -- and I'm sure plenty of folks on Alltel are thankful as well. Click the link below to get started.

Got ROMs? Flashable ZIPs for your Alltel MAXX!

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