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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 commercial: Some smartphones are smarter than others

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Samsung shows off the Galaxy S4's features, pokes more fun at the iPhone in their latest ad

Samsung has a new commercial for the Galaxy S4 out there, and like we saw last year with the Galaxy S3, they aren't afraid to take the fight to Apple about features. In the latest Graduation Pool Party ad, Samsung shows us hands-free features like gestures to answer a call and hovering to read a text, the admittedly awesome camera software and it's "Drama Mode" where a series of images are transmogrified into one really cool picture showing all the action, S-Beam, and the IR blaster capabilities. And at every turn, they are quick to show us that the iPhone can't do any of them.

Samsung really wants Apple's spot in the smartphone food chain. The Galaxy S4 is poised to be the device that can get them there, taking the brand to the level where it's synonymous with the smart phone. For the folks who care about features great and small, it's clearly the current best-in-class device. Advertising can help sell products, but you have to start with a great piece of equipment to begin with, and Samsung has built a phone that people will like and want to buy -- and the ads will let the people know it's available. Hit the break where we've embedded the latest video.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review | Samsung Galaxy S4 forums

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note on AT&T receiving Jelly Bean starting today

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Update only available through Samsung's Kies desktop software

It's been a long time coming, but the original Galaxy Note for AT&T is finally receiving an update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Starting today, willing users can grab the update although it will only be available via Samsung's Kies software and not OTA (Over The Air). But we're not going to look this gift horse in the mouth, as Jelly Bean will bring some serious improvements to the device. Above and beyond the improvements in terms of overall UI, you'll also be getting changes like Project Butter, a better camera interface and Google Now. AT&T also says that the update will improve both the keyboard and call quality.

Still holding onto the original AT&T Note? Head to the source link below for some detailed information on how to get Kies working on your computer and apply the update. Once you have the update loaded onto your device be sure to let other members in the forums know how the process went for you.

Source: AT&T; More: AT&T Galaxy Note Forums

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3 years ago

Action Launcher update makes customizing even easier

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Action Launcher is getting an update today, making customizing the third-party launcher even easier. You can now drag apps directly from the quickdrawer onto the homescreen, speeding things things up even more. You're also able to lock the desktop, so things won't slide around so much.

I've been using the update for a couple days now. Put simply, it makes a great launcher even greater. Give it a shot, and check out the demo video after the break.

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3 years ago

Twitter extends API v1 availability to June 11

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Additional API blackout tests to continue up to final shutdown

Version 1 of Twitter's API, which many legacy clients use to pull and display information from Twitter, will have its retirement extended by over a month due to additional testing. Twitter had originally laid out a date of May 7th in conjunction with the shutting down of TweetDeck apps for Android and the desktop, which put the API discussion at the top of many user's minds. When the v1 API is finally retired, older clients that have stuck with it will cease to work and need to either move to v1.1 or shut down. Luckily, most of your popular clients in the Play Store have made the move to be compliant.

The waters will be rough over the next month still, however, as Twitter will be conducting additional "blackout" tests on the v1 API to make sure everything is ready to go with v1.1. Additionally, developers and users alike with clients using v1 may experience additional problems such as errors loading or searching Tweets in the client.

Source: Twitter

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3 years ago

Photosphere images can now be embedded via the web

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360-degree panoramas from supported devices can now be included on websites, thanks to new Google widget

The ability to create 'Photosphere' 360-degree panoramas is one of the coolest features of the current crop of Nexus devices (and a few others running custom software). But so far the only place to share these images has been Google+ and a handful of other Google services, including Maps.

Today that changes, with the launch of new code widgets allowing Photosphere images to be embedded in the HTML of a standard web page. The results can be seen above -- that's a shot on the Las Vegas strip during CES 2013, taken on the Nexus 4.

The process isn't anywhere near as simple as a YouTube video embed. You'll need to know the exact URL of the image you want to use, as well as a bunch of other parameters calculated from metadata on Google's servers. So we're still a ways off a simple share button for Photosphere images, which is a shame.

Right it's still a very small minority of Android devices that has the ability to create these images, but regardless, this new code is an important step in opening up 'spheres to third-party sites.

More details and sample code can be found over at the source links.

Source: Google+; More: Google Developers

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3 years ago

Samsung prepares UK Galaxy S4 marketing blitz

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UK marketing efforts to include banners at 'iconic' sites and key TV and movie spots

With the Galaxy S4 now available to buy in the UK, Samsung has announced the first details of its marketing efforts for the handset. Unsurprisingly, it looks like we're in for an advertising blitz in the weeks and months ahead, with Samsung using every available outlet to get as many eyeballs as possible on the Galaxy S4.

Samsung's advertising plans include a seven-week TV campaign targeting popular shows, including Britain's Got Talent and ITV's UEFA Champions League coverage. Samsung's targeting of the Champions League in particular is interesting, as rival HTC sponsors the league itself as part of a wider deal with UEFA. By airing ads during ITV's coverage, Samsung will be hoping to dilute the impact of HTC's presence and push its product to the front. The TV spots, Samsung says, will focus on prominent Galaxy S4 features, such as Group Play and "Sound and Shot."

Movie theater spots will target Star Trek Into Darkness, The Great Gatsby and Man of Steel, while banner ads will be erected at prominent locations, including Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, the BFI London IMAX, Cromwell Road, Westfield and Heathrow Terminal 5.

So if you're anywhere in the UK over the next couple of months, chances are you'll run into Samsung's marketing machine, as the manufacturer hopes for a repeat performance of the Galaxy S3's wildly successful launch.

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3 years ago

Reminder: The Android Central Podcast is live today at 4 p.m. EDT

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A quick reminder, folks, that the Greatest Android Podcast in the World is trying out a new day and time. That'd be 4 p.m. EDT today, or 1 p.m. on the west coast. And we've got tons to talk about after a few weird and wild weeks away, so be sure to catch this one live. Or semi-live. Or have someone else tell you about it. 

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3 years ago

Google Fiber's next stop is Shawnee, Kansas

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The Google Fiber train continues to roll with another Kansas location selected for the service

Google's next expansion to the Fiber network has been selected, and adds another location in Kansas to the map. Next up to receive the Gigabit Internet and TV provided by Google is Shawnee, Kansas, which makes total sense given its proximity to Kansas City. 

Google says they were impressed by Shawnee's vision of keeping their citizens informed and involved using the internet. The announcement has been made after the Shawnee City Council voted to bring Fiber to the city. There's no estimated time of arrival for the service, as there is a lot of planning an engineering works to take place first. But, for the folks of Shawnee, this is fantastic news.

Source: Google Fiber Blog

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3 years ago

Quick Glance on the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Gesture-based feature lets you preview notifications and other info without waking up the phone

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most feature-laden phones we've ever used, and it's easy to overlook some stuff, especially if you don't go digging in menus. One neat but understated capability of Samsung's new high-ender is its ability to detect gestures at a distance using front-facing sensors, even while the device is sleeping. The GS4 takes advantage of this by introducing "Quick Glance," which lets you preview the time, date, notifications and other details without waking up the phone.

Part of the Air Gesture suite of features, Quick Glance can be activated by long-pressing "Air Gesture" in the quick settings pull-down and enabling it in the list that appears. That's also where you control other gesture features like Air jump, Air browse and Air call-accept. (Yeah, this thing's not short on gesture controls.)

Check out our quick video demo above, and subscribe to the Android Central YouTube channel for more awesome GS4 video content. 

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3 years ago

Acer announces the 7.9-inch Iconia A1 tablet

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Acer today in New York City announced the Iconia A1 tablet, a 7.9-inch endeavor it says is "targeted at modern-day explorers, adventurers, digital freaks and mobile executives requiring an all-day mobile companion." So, uh, yeah.

The Iconia A1 has an IPS display, but it's going a different route than most Android tablets, sporting a 4:3 aspect ratio. We'll have to see if that makes up for the 1024x768 resolution, which puts it (on paper at least) a little below the 7-inch, 1280x800 Nexus 7. It's also got a quad-core tablet of unknown origin running at 1.2 GHz, a 5MP rear camera, GPS, Bluetooth and the other bells and whistles you'd expect.

The Iconia A1 comes in 8- or 16-gigabyte flavors, with the latter running $169 and hitting stores in June.

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3 years ago

How to change the Galaxy S4 lock screen message

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The tag line for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is "Life companion." And that's a fine slogan. But if you're a little tired of seeing it on your phone every time you turn it on, you're not alone. 

Fortunately, it's easy to change. Samsung's taking advantage of the lock screen widgets in Android 4.2.2 to provide that custom greeting, clock and date as soon as you wake the phone. You can change the font, color and size, remove the clock and date if you want -- or get rid of the widget altogether.

See also:

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3 years ago

Loewe unveils Speaker 2go, portable Bluetooth and NFC capable speaker available in June

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Premium portable from German manufacturer Loewe to go on sale in June priced at £269

Anyone familiar with high-end home entertainment equipment will no doubts be aware of Loewe. Their products come with a price, but are always targeted towards the higher end of the market. They have dabbled in mobile compatible devices before, recently with the iOS AirPlay enabled AirSpeaker. Now though, they have pulled the wraps off their debut portable, Bluetooth and NFC enabled speaker -- the Speaker 2go. 

On sale in the UK from June, the Speaker 2go is priced at £269. Despite being a portable, it houses two full speakers, a woofer and a 'specially folded' bass reflex tube with a total of 40 Watts of music power. The on-board batteries provide enough juice for a claimed 8 hours use between charges. 

Beyond music, the Speaker 2go also has an on-board microphone with echo cancellation, meaning that you can turn the Speaker 2go into an ad-hoc speakerphone system where you are. 

The NFC capabilities mean that pairing your NFC enabled Android device to the Speaker 2go is a doddle, with the Bluetooth connection being enabled upon contact. 5 devices can be remembered for automatic connection, and the wireless range is up to 10 metres, handy for using it outside, perhaps. 

Speaker 2go will come in 2 colors -- black and silver -- and for more click on past the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

AT&T LG Optimus G Pro now up for pre-order

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5.5-incher costs $199.99 on contract, ships May 7

Right on schedule, AT&T has begun taking pre-orders for the LG Optimus G Pro. The 5.5-inch device, which rocks a Snapdragon 600 CPU and a 1080p screen, is yours for $199.99 on a standard two-year contract or $549.99 on its own. AT&T's site reveals a May 7 shipping date, so pre-order customers may well get their phones a little ahead of the previously-announced May 10 launch date.

In our March review of the Korean Optimus G Pro, as well as our more recent hands-on with AT&T's version, we've found the device to be a worthy competitor to Samsung's Note series, which has so far dominated the large form factor space.

If you're wanting to place a pre-order today, you can do so over at the source link.

Source: AT&T

More: AT&T Optimus G Pro hands-on, Korean Optimus G Pro review

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4, other Knox devices approved for U.S. Dept. of Defense networks

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Samsung smart devices get the Pentagon's stamp of approval

Update: Samsung's just passed along an official press release, which states that the DoD approval applies to both smartphones and tablets running Knox. You'll find the full presser after the break.

Original story: The Samsung Galaxy S4 has been approved for use on the U.S. Department of Defense's secure networks, Korea's Yonhap news agency reports. The news follows announcements by the DoD indicating plans to open its networks up to Android and iOS-based smart devices by next February.

Samsung has been keen to advance into the secure smartphone market in recent months, a space traditionally dominated by BlackBerry devices. The company's new Samsung Knox security system for BYOD, aimed at enterprise and government customers, is a major part of this push.

In related news, BlackBerry's latest BlackBerry 10 phones and its PlayBook tablet were also approved for DoD use yesterday. The Next Web reports that Apple's iPhone and iPad should gain DoD approval later this month.

Source: Yonhap; via: The Next Web

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3 years ago

Google Play coming to Nook HD and Nook HD+

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Barnes and Noble team up with Google, will significantly increase the availability of apps for both Nook HD tablets

While the Barnes & Noble Nook HD and Nook HD+ each have access to the B&N online stores for books and apps, tonight CEO William Lynch has announced that with an update due to start rolling out today, the Google Play store will be added to the 7-inch and 9-inch tablets.

We saw coming off holiday the market moved to multifunction tablets. Consumer research showed us the breadth of applications available is really critical.

The update will be a standard automatic over-the-air affair, and will include plenty of other Google services as well. Confirmed are Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and Google Play Music. 

The tablets are moderately spec'd by today's standards, but are also moderately priced at $199 for the 7-inch Nook HD and $269 for the 9-inch Nook HD+. We're not sure that the addition of Google's apps and services will generate new sales, but they should be welcome additions for everyone who purchased one last year.

If you're using a Nook HD, be sure to share your experiences with everyone once you get the update!

Via: Huffington Post

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