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3 years ago

How to add and arrange Home screens on the Galaxy S3

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Home screens on the Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) are very configurable; you can even delete complete Home screens and add brand new ones. 

Out of the box, the Galaxy S3 comes with seven home screens. As we have learned, you can customize each screen with App icons and widgets and really tailor make each page to better suit the way you use the phone.

One great feature is that you can delete complete Home screens and start over and add new ones. You can then rearrange your Home screens so that what you need is available in exactly the way you desire. 

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3 years ago

London's Barclays Bikes turn two with updated mobile app

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If you've visited London in recent years, you'll probably have seen the bright blue Barclays rental bikes (also known as Boris bikes) strategically positioned around the city. To celebrate the second anniversary of the bikes' launch in the Britain's capital, the official Barclays Bikes app for Android and iOS has received a substantial update.

The app allows Londoners to find bikes near them, plan a journey, or use a rental timer to work out how much they'll need to pay. Today's update adds a host of new features, including enhanced journal planning and navigation, which should hopefully make the rental experience a little easier amid the bustle of the Olympic Games.

Here's what's new --

  • Find-a-Cycle: PINs are colour coded, depending how full the docking station is, and how many spaces are available.
  • Plan-a-Ride: New cycle-optimised routes provided by Cyclestreets, with choice of speedy, steady or quiet routes
  • Turn-by-Turn directions and Google Map view
  • Bookmark option: Save your favourite docking stations for easy access
  • Help section: Consolidating previous elements for ease of use
  • Refresh of Cycle Superhighways content and look and feel

The updated Barclays Bikes app is available now on Google Play for devices running Android 2.2 and above.

Download: Barclays Bikes on Google Play

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3 years ago

Incipio Feather Case for Galaxy S3 review

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You just shelled out some good money for your Samsung Galaxy s III (S3.) Make sure you protect your investment with a case. 

 

The Incipio Feather ultra thin snap-on case is certainly a case that warrants a good, close look. If you want a case that is not too big and offers some good protection to the body of the phone, this is a great option.

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3 years ago

Coca-Cola My Beat Maker review - remix the Olympics

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Coca-Cola My Beat Maker is yet another one of the many official Olympics 2012 apps to hit Google Play, and unlike most of them, which focus on accessing scores and event information, this one is entirely for fun.

Coca-Cola My Beat Maker lets users create their own custom tunes by mixing together various sound effects and beats. Up to six loops can be layered on top of one another, which are built by shaking your Android device when you want sounds to come in. A simple wheel lets users switch between a variety of different sports and instruments.

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3 years ago

Samsung Mobile Unpacked event tipped for Aug. 29, Galaxy Note 2 announcement likely

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Invites are starting to appear online for the second Samsung Mobile Unpacked event of the year, which will be held at the IFA show in Berlin, Germany on Aug. 29. As you may remember, Samsung only holds these Unpacked events when it's got something big to announce -- the last one was for the Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3), and before that the Galaxy Nexus.

This time around, everyone's expecting the Korean manufacturer to show off a successor to the Galaxy Note, its 5.3-inch stylus-toting smartphone/tablet hybrid. The Note's proved a surprising success over the past year, and it'd make sense for Samsung to announce a possible Note 2 at IFA, where the original made its debut 12 months ago. What's more, the invitation shows a stylus/magic wand alongside the Unpacked logo, in what amounts to a pretty big clue.

We'll be live in Berlin for IFA later this month, so keep it locked to AC for full coverage of the Galaxy Note 2, or whatever else Samsung announces.

Source: Mobile Cowboys (Dutch), via: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Xperia U update solves network issues; Xperias P, Go and Sola also due fixes

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Sony is pushing out another Android 2.3 Gingerbread-based firmware update for its leading entry-level handset, the Xperia U, according to reports. Forum posts indicate that the new version 6.0.B.3.184 is now starting to appear on Xperia U handsets across Europe. According to XperiaBlog, that same firmware has also been certified for the Xperia P, Xperia Go and Xperia Sola, which use the same ST Ericsson NovaThor chip.

In a post on the company’s official community forum, a Sony Xperia rep indicated that the new updates had been put out to fix networking issues with these phones.

We have received isolated consumer complaints about network selection issues for the products Xperia™ U, Xperia™ P, Xperia™ sola and Xperia™ go in connection with Android 2.3.7 SW version 6.0.B.3.162, successfully resolved by re-starting the phone.

Further optimizations of the network selection procedures were made and affected consumers are recommended to upgrade their handset SW to a new Android 2.3.7 SW version to be available from early August onwards.

So hopefully this update fixes any issues that Xperia P, U, Sola and Go owners may have been experiencing. And with this bug fix out of the way, we’re sure they’ll be hoping for a swift update to ICS later this quarter.

Source: XperiaBlog, XDA, Sony community forum

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod shelves ICS/Jelly Bean support for Snapdragon S1 devices

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The CyanogenMod team has announced that it won't be able to officially support phones powered by first-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon chips in version 9 or 10 of its popular custom firmware. The CM team broke the news on Google+, where it revealed that a combination of hardware limitations and concerns for user experience quality were behind the decision. This means many older Android handsets that shipped in Q1 and Q2 2010, such as HTC's Nexus One, Desire and EVO 4G, will not see official CyanogenMod 9 or 10 builds, and will have to look elsewhere for their ICS or Jelly Bean fix. All affected devices will continue to be supported on the Gingerbread-based CyanogenMod 7.x branch, the team says.

Explaining the technical issues behind the decision, CM highlighted the good old Nexus One. In order to run CM9 or 10, the phone's internal memory would need to be repartitioned, and even then the lack of certain proprietary code for the phone's SoC (system-on-a-chip) would've made for a janky user experience -- "the pieces just aren't there." The team notes that it wouldn't be impossible to get ICS or Jelly Bean running on this hardware, but that doing so could break third-party application support because of the hackiness of the code involved.

If you still want Android 4.x on your Nexus One, you'll certainly be able to do so on other custom ROMs (and unofficial CM builds), though you'll sacrifice stability in order to do this. It's unfortunate, but when you remember that most of these phones shipped more than two years ago on Android 2.1 or earlier, it's not all that surprising.

We've got the full list of affected devices after the break.

Source: +CyanogenMod

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich update finally starts rolling out on HTC Rezound

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Rejoice, long-suffering HTC Rezound owners. Your protracted wait for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich seems to be nearing its end. After a shelved update and countless leaks, it looks like ICS for the Rezound is officially official this time. Posters on the Android Central forums, and elsewhere, have confirmed that a 299MB over-the-air update for the Rezound has begun pushing out to handsets across the country, bringing the phone up to software version 3.14.605.12.

Like other Ice Cream Sandwich updates for Sense 3.x phones, ICS on the Rezound comes bundled with Sense 3.6, which includes all the benefits of Android 4.0, but without the fancy new visual finery of Sense 4.0.

As is the case with many over-the-air updates, not everyone will get the update right away, as releases are staggered over a period of days to reduce the strain on the download servers. Nevertheless, Rezound owners can rest assured that the update is complete, and should be making its way to all handsets fairly soon.

If you're an HTC Rezound owner, let us know how you're getting on with the ICS update -- if you've received it -- down in the comments.

Source: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

How to change the font size and style on the Galaxy S3

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Without rooting or installing additional apps, you can easily change the style and size of the fonts on your Galaxy S3.

Changing the font size is nothing new – all Android phones running Ice Cream Sandwich can do that.  Changing the font style, however, used to require a rooting of the device and/or the installation of a third party app.

The Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) offers tremendous capabilities when it comes to personalizing your experience on the phone. As we have covered in other “How To” articles, you can change the way your home screens are arranged, as well as apps, icons, and sounds -- pretty much anything you can think of.  Changing the style of the font as well as the size really makes a difference in the way everything looks on the phone.

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3 years ago

A brilliant look at one man's mobile life over six months

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What does your mobile carrier know about you? Just how much information do they collect? And what the hell does it look like? German Green politician Malte Spitz has a brilliant TED talk showing what happened when he fought Deutsche Telekom to see just what was being collected under a European law -- and won. His prize? Six months of his mobile life. Some 35,830 lines of code. And an eye-opening look at what carriers, governments and, yes, private companies could learn about you.

It's far too easy to cry that the sky is falling when it comes to online privacy. (See Exhibits A, B, C and D, to note but a few.) But that doesn't mean there's not cause for concern, or that developers don't take it seriously. (They most certainly do.) Spitz, along with ZEIT ONLINE, has given us an incredible granular look at some of that data, but we each still need to be vigilant with our online lives. Be sure to hit the link below for the full infographic.

Source: TED; Infographic: ZEIT ONLINE

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich adoption doubles from July to August

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Another month is upon us (again already?), and that means it's time for another breakdown of Android versions. This is the monthly look at the percentage of the various Android versions that are on active phones. Here's the gist:

  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean): 0.8 percent
  • Android 4.0.3 to 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich): 15.9 percent
  • Android 3.1-3.2 (Honeycomb): 2.3 percent
  • Android 2.3-2.3.7 (Gingerbread): 60.6 percent
  • Android 2.2 (Froyo): 15.5 percent
  • Android 2.1 (Eclair): 4.2 percent
  • Android 1.6 (Donut) 0.5 percent
  • Android 1.5 (Cupcake): 0.2 percent

Our big takeaway from this is that Ice Cream Sandwich has more than doubled, from 7.1 percent at this point last month. And that'll grow again for August, and presumably the rest of the year.

Jelly Bean makes its first appearance at less than 1 percent, and we're not expecting a huge bump until more retails devices (as in, anything not named Nexus) are released, though any increase may be a good indication of how the Nexus 7 tablet is selling.

Source: Android Developers

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3 years ago

Google posts updated 4.1.1 binaries for Nexus phones, including the Nexus S 4G

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Google has posted the updated JRO03H (Android 4.1.1) closed binary files today, including those for the Nexus S4G.  That means one thing -- expect about a bazillion new AOSP Jelly Bean ROMs to be ready for download shortly, especially for the Sprint Nexus S. Before you ask, this has nothing to do with any OTA. These are the files that folks need to build Jelly Bean from the source code, and get everything working like it should. Developers have been working with the existing 4.1.1 source code since it dropped, but with these files there's 100-percent less hackery needed to get things like cameras, NFC, and Wimax working as intended on supported phones. While we see new files for the GSM Nexus phones, the Xoom, and even the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, Sprint's Galaxy Nexus is still absent.

As we saw when the Ice Cream Sandwich binaries were released, it could be more than a month until Google and Sprint get any OTA worked up, so this is a solid option if you need the butter. We all love the butter.

Don't fret if you're not up to speed with things like fastboot and flashing, because there's a great group of fellows in the Nexus S 4G forums who live to play with this sort of thing. Head in there, poke around a bit, then holler for any help you need. You'll be running Jelly Bean in no time.

Source: Google. Thanks, everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Alarm clock apps, What is media server? [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

Gmail updated with improved 7-inch tablet support, new labels API

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For the first time since the launch of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the official Gmail app for Android has been updated. The new version is available right now through the Google Play Store, so head to the "My Apps" tab to get yourself up-to-date.

There's not too much in the way of radical changes in this latest Gmail app update -- the changelog reveals that Google's rolling our improved 7-inch tablet support on Android 4.0 and above, and a new "labels" API for third-party apps on Android 2.2 and above. The former obviously refers to the Nexus 7, which is now starting to make its way out to consumers around the world. Despite the news of 7-inch tablet improvements, we haven't been able to track down exactly what Google's changed on our Nexus 7. The UI is much the same as it was before, so we're likely looking at subtle alterations for 7-inch tablet owners. The new labels API is also a bit of a mystery. It's possible this is a replacement for functionality removed around a year ago which disabled third-party Gmail widgets, though this too is mere speculation.

Users on all versions of Android also get a healthy helping of bug fixes and performance improvements, so that's reason enough to upgrade even if you're not a Nexus 7 owner or an application developer.

If you've noticed any dramatic changes in this new version of Gmail, hit the comments and let us know what you've found.

Download: Gmail on Google Play

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3 years ago

From the mail bag: Getting new fonts on the Galaxy Tab

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George writes, 

I was just wondering if there was any other legit way to get fonts onto this (Galaxy Tab) device. No offense but the stock one on the ICS version, of the Galaxy Tab is fugly. And that's being polite. I tried the whole search online thing, but as I don't speak Korean there were very few I could choose from.

Any help would be appreciated.

Hey there George, thanks for writing in! And don't worry, we take no offense to the fact you think the Roboto font on ICS is "fugly". Some of us like it, some don't, but what's most important is that you're given a choice to use what you like -- and Samsung has you covered there.

Hit Settings > Screen > Screen display > Font Style and you'll see the image above, with a limited selection of built-in fonts. If none of those tickle your fancy, tap the "Get fonts online" button and have a look in Google Play. As you noticed, many of the fonts in Google Play are not English (Latin) fonts. Makes sense, Samsung is a huge Korean company. Luckily, third party developers have you covered.

Fire up Google Play and search for Fontomizer SP. Or just click right here to see it on the web. Get it installed, look in Settings > Security and check the box that says "Allow installation of non-Market apps", then run the app. It has a huge database of free fonts to choose from, and will download and install them, making them available in your font selection setting. No need for root, or any hackery of any kind, you just have to allow the app to install the downloaded fonts. Fontomizer has been around for about a year now, and we think the developer is pretty trustworthy. If we didn't we wouldn't have recommended it.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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