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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 up for pre-order in the UK

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Official pre-orders start today ahead of April 26 launch

A little under a month away from launch day, Samsung's Galaxy S4 is now available to pre-order from leading UK retailers and carriers. You'll find a breakdown of what the major players are offering with Samsung's latest handset after the break.

We'll update this post with any more pre-order deals that come to light during the day. Check below for the full breakdown.

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3 years ago

Chillingo goes all-in with Android - Endless Road, He-Man, and more on the way

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One of my favorite mobile game publishers, Chillingo, was at GDC 2013 and we got to catch up with them and hear about all of the awesome titles that are coming to Android. Some are already out, like Parking Mania and Contre Jour, but others like He-Man, Puzzle Craft, and Endless Road are on the way, and others still like Catapult King just came out. We only got to try out a few of these, but Chillingo's catalog is really impressive, and it will be great to see more of their stuff hitting Google Play this year. 

What are your favorite Chillingo games? Any other publisher that you have a particular fondness for? 

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3 years ago

Xperia TX now receiving Jelly Bean via PC Companion software

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Sony said back in February that it would deliver Jelly Bean for the Xperia TX, and the update has hit just in time.

Starting late last night, folks who have a Sony Xperia TX and the associated "PC Companion" software on their computer were being notified of an update. Luckily it is indeed the Jelly Bean update promised by Sony all the way back in the first week of February. The update brings big improvements to all of Sony's customizations, from the included apps to the launcher and home screen experience. The move to Jelly Bean of course brings Google's own set of goodies like Google Now, Project Butter and actionable notifications as well.

At this point the update only seems to be coming over that PC Companion software and not OTA -- which is unfortunate -- but the option should be there if you're ready to get your Jelly Bean on. Grab the update yet for your own device? Let us know in the comments.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar to bring casual demon-slaying to Android

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The venerable Ultima franchise is coming to Android this spring by way of a lightweight role-playing game called Ultima Forever: Quest of the Avatar. We got to play around a bit with it at GDC 2013, and it really does promise to bring the classic hardcore MMO model to a more casual audience. Players party up in groups of four to delve into dungeon romps that last five minutes and up, depending on how much time you and your buddies have.

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3 years ago

'Featured Android Apps for Tablets' page now on Google Play website

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Developers who spend time to make apps that look great on a tablet get a shout-out from Google on a new page at the Google Play site.

Google has put up a page at Google Play that focuses on apps designed with a tablet in mind. Android doesn't require applications to be specifically written for tablets, instead opting to allow developers to use UI elements like fragments to better utilize screen real estate on any device. But the truth of the matter is, most app developers aren't doing it. Hopefully, a chance to get featured by Google will jump start a bit more development in this area.

We're not saying it's easy to make one app work across all devices, because it's not. Google provides a good toolbox for it, and they have outreach programs for developers, but it still takes time and work to make you app look great on both a phone and a tablet. While Android is the market leader for smart phones, their tablet sales fall to a distant third behind Apple and Amazon. It makes sense for developers to focus on an app designed to look great on a smaller screen before he or she starts worrying about tablet-sized screens and the new challenges they bring.

Anyhoo, it's nice to see Google give props to a handful (there's 116 apps featured) of applications that are awesome on your tablet, and we hope this list grows and grows. To check them out for yourself, just follow the link below.

Source: Google Play. Thanks, Tomas!

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3 years ago

ZTE Grand S and Grand Memo set for Chinese launch

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ZTE's latest high-end devices finally set for launch in their native China on March 28. 

ZTE has brought some impressive looking high-end devices to the table in the early part of 2013, although so far brought to the table is all that's happened. The 5-inch, full HD Grand S was first unveiled at CES in Las Vegas back in January, followed by the gargantuan 5.7-inch Grand Memo in Spain at Mobile World Congress. We left both events with little idea of when the devices might come to market, but now, thankfully we're starting to get some release information. 

In their native China, ZTE will launch both the Grand S and the Grand Memo on March 28. The Chinese version of the Grand Memo will come to market carrying a Snapdragon S4 Pro for 2,688 Yuan ($432.) The processor in the Grand Memo will vary by market, going right up to the new Snapdragon 800, but the Snapdragon S4 Pro is still a pretty good piece of equipment. Other notable specs include Jelly Bean, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, LTE support and that 5.7-inch 720p display. 

The smaller Grand S carries the slightly higher price of 3399 Yuan ($547.) Despite being physically smaller, the Grand S packs a full 1080p display. It too carries a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera, LTE and Jelly Bean. The Grand S also has a pretty amazing array of different colours to choose from, including the bright yellow one we went hands on with in Las Vegas. 

At the moment, we're only talking a Chinese launch for these devices, but seeing them hit store shelves is a start. We still have no idea at this point if either of these will make their way to Europe or North America. 

via Engadget Chinese

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3 years ago

Action Launcher gains 'Shutters' - swipe your way to widgets

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Tablets also get some attention, along with a number of other fixes

Every now and then you run into a cool system-level Android app that does some really interesting stuff -- and does it well. Action Launcher is one such application. From Aussie developer Chris Lacy, Action Launcher, erm, launched in October 2012 and shifted the usual Android launcher paradigm -- the home screens for app icons, folders and widgets, and a separate app drawer full of icons -- to a far-left (and extremely speedy) list view for apps. 

An update in December brought forth Covers -- sort of uber-folders that added a slick new bit of functionality to the application.

And now, we have Shutters, available in an update today along with a slew of new features and fixes.

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3 years ago

MakerBot teaming up with OUYA to make 3D printed consoles

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Just as the first systems are getting ready to ship this week, MakerBot has teamed up with OUYA to make 3D printable cases for the consoles.

The partnership means that anyone who gets their hands on an OUYA and happens to have a MakerBot Replicator 2 can design and print custom cases for their console. OUYA helped create 3D printing design kits, which are available on MakerBot's website Thingiverse.com for anyone to use. OUYA sees the hardware customization as an extension of their commitment to having an open console.

If you're willing to spend the time (and money) on a 3D printer, there's no reason in their eyes that you shouldn't have a custom case around your OUYA. MakerBot plans to show off the first 3D printed OUYA consoles at the launch event tomorrow in San Francisco, so be on the lookout for some crazy new designs.

Source: MakerBot (BusinessWire)

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3 years ago

Getting bad battery life from 4.2.2 on your Verizon Nexus? Try a factory reset

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Did the 4.2.2 update for your Verizon Galaxy Nexus cause horrible battery life? You're not alone, and a reset may just fix you up.

Now that the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus finally got the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean update, there's a number of folks out there with some serious complaints about battery life. If you're one of the unlucky folks affected, you know exactly what I mean. If not, a quick look across the Internet will get you up to speed about the troubles these folks are having. Make no mistake, it's a real issue.

Now you'll need to keep in mind that the Verizon Nexus is one of those early LTE devices that will never have stellar battery life, but plenty of folks have found a way to get back to where they were before the OTA (in regards to battery life). Their secret? A factory reset. It's something that nobody ever likes doing, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just do it. We'll discuss why, and talk about how it's done after the break.

More: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G now shipping to the UK from Expansys

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After a somewhat ridiculously long wait, the LG Optimus G is finally available in the U.K. from at least one retailer. Expansys, which put the phone up for pre-order just shy of a couple weeks ago, now has the device in stock and ready to ship. This is the same Optimus G we know and love, and its coming out of the box with Jelly Bean on board (rightfully so) compared to the ICS we saw at the initial release. The price has dropped just slightly from the pre-order, now £469.99 (incl. VAT) for the SIM-free version.

It may seem like old news if you've seen the Optimus G available for several months here in the states, but those of you in the U.K. still interested in picking one up can head to the source link below.

Source: Expansys

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3 years ago

Gameloft bringing Iron Man 3 to Android on April 25

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Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk. -- Tony Stark

We saw the teasers yesterday, and today Gameloft has announced that Iron Man 3 is coming to Android. It's set to launch on April 25, and it looks like a new breed of endless runner. 

Before you complain about yet another endless running game, be sure to check the trailer above. Flying above city streets, firing a lazer at obstacles and enemies is a far cry from Temple Run. This looks like a ton of fun, and even if you're not a fan of Iron Man, who doesn't love to blow the bad guys out of the sky?

No news on what this one's going to cost, all Gameloft is telling us is the date and where to see the trailer. When it comes, we'll have a good look at it.

Source: @Gameloft

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3 years ago

Google Play Movies & TV adds in-content 'Info Card' search

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Update brings Google Play Moves & TV to India as well!

Google has just updated its Play Movies & TV app to include what it calls "Info Card" search, giving you information about the movie you're watching when you pause. Similar to what Amazon offers on its Kindle Fire tablets, Info Cards give you contextual information about the movie when you pause it, listing the actors in the scene, related movies and the soundtrack playing at the time. The cards are of course in the new "Google Now" card style, overlaid on the movie along the right side and look like what you'd get if you performed a Google search on the actor from a device.

Info Cards are available for only certain movies -- and certainly a limited selection -- that have an Info Cards "badge" on them, so be on the lookout next time you're renting or buying something from Google Play. Also included in this update is Play Movies & TV content for India, which is again a huge deal.

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3 years ago

Google Maps updated with more live transit info for D.C., NYC and SLC

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Google Maps -- on mobile and the web -- has been updated with fresh live transit data in three U.S. cities. The new data covers departure times for seven lines on the New York City subway, in addition to bus and tram data in the greater Salt Lake City area and service alerts for the Washington D.C. Metrorail.

As the new data is pulled from Google's servers, there's no app update to download -- just fire up the Google Maps app as you usually would, and the new live data will be available.

The addition of new data to Google's live transit database should also improve the functionality of Google Now, which pulls live public transportation data to Jelly Bean phones through its cards system.

Source: Google Lat Long blog

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3 years ago

Google Translate app updated with offline support

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An update to the Google Translate app for Android is going out today, adding support for offline translations for fifty languages. It's a big upgrade for Google Translate, which until now has required an internet connection. (We all know how expensive international roaming can be.)

The new version supports Android 2.3 Gingerbread and above, and languages can be downloaded from the new "Offline languages" menu. A word of warning -- downloading an entire language to your phone takes just as much space as you'd imagine. With only English and German installed, we'd already taken up a hefty 280MB of internal storage.

There are also some limitations to offline mode -- it's currently text-only, so voice translation and image translation don't work offline.

If you've already got Google Translate installed, hit the Play Store to get the latest update. If not, you can use the handy Google Play link above.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

HTC One camera tips: How to take better pictures

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A few simple tips will help you get better pictures from your HTC One

The HTC One's "Ultrapixel" camera is one of its main selling points, as is the vast assortment of photo features arranged around it. But knowing how to get the most out of the camera hardware and its array of software options isn't always easy, which is why we've come up with a quick guide to walk you through the best way to using the HTC One's camera features.

If you're picking up an HTC One this week in Europe or Asia -- or you're planning on taking the plunge in the weeks ahead -- you'll want to check it out after the break.

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