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4 years ago

Android for Kids: Kindle Fire, or a Nexus 7?

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BrianKeith513 asks in our forums a pretty important question when it comes to purchasing a tablet for kids.

I'm asked a lot about mobile devices from friends and families, because I've worked in the mobile industry for many years now, in various capacities. However, I'm stumped over one thing; The Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire for kids.

Now I know that the Nexus 7 is a better value, in that it is superior in just about every way than the Fire. The thing is, is the Kindle Fire easier to use for an elementary school-aged child? She uses my iPad 2, and loves it, but her mom wants her to have her own tablet, no more than $200. What do you think?

An excellent question. I've already weighed in on the Nexus 7 versus the Kindle Fire, and there's a clear winner. But that's for me. A (relatively) grown adult. I've got kids, and my kids use tablets. A lot, actually.

But here's the thing: My 6-year-old doesn't particularly care which tablet she uses. Hell, I'm not even sure she knows the difference. For her, it's all about the apps. Which does the tablet have Where's my Perry on it? Can she play Ski Safari? (Yes, I got her hooked on that, too.) How about PBS Kids or Netflix? So long as it has the apps that she uses -- and that she knows she's allowed to use -- hardware doesn't really matter to her. "I like them both the same, Daddy," she just said to me. Of course, she's 6, but a girl's allowed to have an opinion, amiright? And we're talking about bouncing between the Nexus 7, iPad 2 (and 3) and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. (She rocks a Chromebook, too, if you must know.)

Back to me, though, since I'm the one buying these things. If I had to choose between the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire for my budding little techie, I'd go with the Nexus 7, hands down. A few reasons for that:

  • Better screen resolution: Hands down, that's a major factor.
  • Ecosystem and flexibility: While I'm still amazed at how well the Amazon Appstore has done, there's nothing like the depth and flexibility of Google Play. Now, you have to balance the fact that Google has more apps with the fact that Amazon has better video. But Netflix takes care of a lot of that, and hopefully Google will one day catch up.

Now, make no mistake, my kids don't actually know all the minutiae when it comes to comparing the Kindle Fire to the Nexus 7. They know where the power button is. They know how to unlock the tablet. They know how to find their apps -- and there's a big difference, actually, since the Nexus 7 has proper homescreens with app icons -- and they know how to return to the homescreen. But, c'mon, they're 6 and 2. Tablets, at this point, are the same to them. At this point, the purchase needs to be about you, the parent. 

For me, those two reasons are enough to push me toward the Nexus 7 when it comes to my children. That might change when we see an updated Kindle Fire, so we'll have to revisit that. 

More: The Android Central Kids Section

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4 years ago

New features in Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update

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New Android 4.1 and TouchWiz features arrive in Jelly Bean update for Samsung's Galaxy S3

Samsung has a track record of including new features of its own along with major OS updates for its phones. Earlier this year Galaxy Note owners got their Android 4.0 update, which included “Premium Suite,” a selection of new Samsung software enhancements. And it looks like the manufacturer’s set to continue this trend when its 2012 flagship, the Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3), gets updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Yesterday we took a quick look at an early, leaked build of Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S3. But since then an newer version has come to light, revealing not only stock Jelly Bean features like Google Now and the redesigned notification shade, but a host of extra TouchWiz goodies too. Of course, remember that we're dealing with an unofficial pre-release build here, so certain functionality may be added or removed between now and whenever the OTA hits.

We’ll take a look at each major feature, one by one, after the break. We’ve also got pictures, if you’d prefer to skip to the end.

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4 years ago

DODOcase Hardcover for the Nexus 7

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Behold! The DODOcase Hardcover for the Google Nexus 7 Android tablet. We're in search of the perfect case for the Nexus 7, a task that's as daunting as it is fun. This latest offering brings us a folio-style hardcover case that has some simple but appreciated flair.

But will style trump substance here? And will our Nexus 7 remain in the Dodo, or will it travel on in search of a new protected life? Only one way to find out. Read on for our complete thoughts on the DODOcase Hardcover for the Nexus 7.

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4 years ago

This is not the Samsung Galaxy Note 2

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The blurry-cam photo above is doing the rounds today, claiming to show Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note successor. The image comes from Know Your Mobile, which was given the image anonymously. It supplies the shot along with a familiar spec sheet -- a 5.5-inch screen, quad-core CPU, etc., etc.

As much as we hate to burst anyone's bubble, there's a problem with that photo. The problem is we’ve seen it before -- Samsung fan artist Daniel UY published an almost identical looking creation yesterday on Twitter, with the same front panel configuration and silver trim. Daniel’s image wasn’t leaked from Samsung, but instead an original creation of his own. It's this which a third party has manipulated into the image above, and sent out to the blogs.

For his part, original artist Daniel UY has today released the full-sized original version of his "Note 2" mock-up. Check 'em out below.

They're mighty impressive, but they're just fan-made images rather than the real deal. Repeat: This is not the Galaxy Note 2. So hold your horses, Internet -- we’ll see the real Galaxy Note 2 in a couple of weeks in Berlin, Germany.

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4 years ago

The Respawnables promises cartoony third-person shooting action

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​The Respawnables has recently been announced by Digital Legends, which will add a goofy twist to the usual class-based shooting game. The art is very similar to the cartoony style you'd see in Battlefield Heroes, and it looks like there's going to be just as many unlockables and customizability. While details are skimpy, it's a safe bet that this is going to be free-to-play with microtransactions available to buy virtual items, 

Three classes are highlighted in the teaser video below: a light scout, a balanced soldier, and a slow heavy weapons guy. There are a ton of weapons on display too, including dual pistols, sniper rifles, and miniguns. You probably won't be left hurting for selection. 

No word on a release date just yet, but I'm digging the style, and they get bonus points for poking fun at The Expendables. Anyone else willing to give this a shot?

Source: PocketGamer

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4 years ago

Are you ready for some football? Essential apps for the upcoming season

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The football season is upon us. Whether or not you’re a college fan, a pro fan or both, the excitement has been building and the first games are not that far away. The NFL has started preseason, but those games are pretty meaningless. To get you prepared for the upcoming seasons, we’ve compiled some of our favorite football apps, both for fantasy and not. There are many other apps, including some very good team-specific ones, but it would take quite a while to show off every team-focused app.

Nevertheless, onto the list:

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4 years ago

WWE launches first app, includes live second-screen experience for Monday Night Raw

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Wrestling fans, WWE has launched their first official app on Android today and is available in Google Play for free. For something about spandex-clad dudes pretending to beat the snot out of one another, there's actually a lot to the app.

There's a breaking news section for the latest updates in the ridiculous world of pro wrestling. There's also a ton of recent and archived wrestling videos available to stream. Wrestlers, divas, and legends all have their own bios, complete with biographies, milestones, photos, and links to their Twitter and Facebook pages. There's a full event schedule too if you want to buy tickets for the next time WWE comes to town, as well as a store to get kitted out with wrestling swag. For those that are really gung-ho about WWE, there's a bunch of community tools so you can talk shop in the forums from the app. 

The biggest thing the WWE app is offering is something called RAWactive, which allows fans to participate in live polls and get additional contextual information while Monday Night Raw is on. 

Any wrestling fans out there itching to catch up what's happening in WWE? I've got to admit to being a little inerested in checking out some of the classic videos. Yokozuna vs. Undertaker casket match really stands out for some reason, but what's your favorite wrestling moment of all time?

Via: TechCrunch

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4 years ago

Wikitude update adds image recognition, enables quick exchange rate checking

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Wikitude has updated their augmented reality platform to version 7.5 with tools for image recognition. To demo the new capabilities, they've added a feature to their app that can scan money and provide immediate information on exchange rates for the currency you're looking at. Wikitude 7.5 has a handful of other features for developers as well. 

  • HTML Drawables: it is easier to create complex visualizations of AR objects
  • Relative locations make it more comfortable to create AR content relative to the users location
  • A fully customizable AR radar
  • Sprite Animations, 3D Transformations and Animation Groups allow complex types of animations
  • Extension for Qualcomm Vuforia SDK for Image Recognition
  • Performance optimizations and bug fixes

I don't see Wikitude replacing Google Goggles any time soon, but image recognition and augmented reality are two features that really go hand-in-hand with one another, and if Wikitude can enable developers to explore both of those capabilities at once, then I'm all for it. Developers interested in trying out some of the new augmented reality tools can find the updated Wikitude SDK over here

How often do you use augmented reality apps compared to anything with image recognition? What's your most common use case for either one?

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4 years ago

Dead Trigger update adds new arenas, missions, weapons and more

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​Dead Trigger for Android has just been updated to version 1.5 with a whole lot of fresh content, including two new arenas (stadium of dead and deadly corridors), a new alien gun weapon, a laser turret and mini-morter, and a whole bunch of fresh tweaks. Here's the full changelog. 

  • 2 new Arenas: STADIUM OF DEAD & DEADLY CORRIDORS
  • Reward for everyone who had purchased DEAD TRIGGER before the game became for free (ALIEN GUN, 25 GOLD, 10 CASINO CHIPS)
  • New story missions
  • New weapon: ALIEN GUN
  • New items: LASER TURRET & MINI-MORTAR
  • Improved gameplay of protect objects missions, players can repair damaged objects now
  • New tutorial for beginners
  • Improved MINIGUN and COLT-M4
  • Increased reward in the Arenas (Players can also win CASINO CHIPS)
  • More chance to win at the Casino (including items)
  • Auto-aim works better when more enemies nearby
  • Better ammo drops for everyone who use more than one weapon

This a beefy update to an already gorgeous game. Shortly after launch, this zombie shooter went free-to-play, making  their in-game currency buyable through in-app purchases, as well as adding a premium currency. it's a formula that has worked for a lot of developers, and with a game as polished as this getting such regular updates, I'm sure it'll do well for a long time to come. 

How much time have you guys pored into Dead Trigger? What's your favorite weapon?

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4 years ago

Black Galaxy S3 coming in October with 64GB of storage, says retailer

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The latest development in the black Samsung Galaxy SIII (Galaxy S3) saga sees one well-known UK retailer revealing additional details about the handset. Clove Technology got in touch to let us know that black Galaxy S3 stock will start arriving from early October, and that the black version will ship with 64GB of internal storage. This fits with earlier reports from rival store MobileFun, which suggested the black version of Samsung’s flagship was “4-6 weeks” away.

The arrival of the Galaxy S3 with 64GB of internal storage is equally big news. Previously rumored to have been canceled, the 64GB S3 would allow for a maximum storage configuration of 128GB, if you were to use a 64GB microSD card as well. There’s no word on pricing at this stage, or any details on whether the 64GB storage option will be exclusive to the black version, or vice versa. However, we can be pretty sure that any phone with 64GB included out of the box won’t come cheap.

Source: Clove Technology

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4 years ago

Sony begins Android 4.0 updates for Xperia P

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Sony Mobile has announced that it’s commencing the next phase of its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update roll-out for 2012 Xperia phones, starting with the Xperia P. ICS updates for the aluminum-shelled handset will start today, and continue “in the next few weeks in markets globally,” the manufacturer said on its official product blog.

The update will give the Xperia P a much needed bump up from the earlier Gingerbread-based firmware, and Sony’s offers a fairly substantial list of new features fro Xperia P owners in the new software --

  • New ways to experience your media with new media applications – “WALKMAN”, “Album” and “Movies”
  • Extended standby mode, increasing standby time by up to four times (depending on user-profile and data consumption)
  • Lock screen with improved functionality
  • Resizable widgets for improved personalization
  • Improved control of your mobile data consumption
  • Recent Apps button for a clear overview of your applications

As is always the case, some territories may get this update before others, and Sony points out that “in some cases” the ICS upgrade may only be available through its PC Companion app, rather than on the phone as an over-the-air update.

Looking ahead, Sony says the next phones due for ICS upgrades will be Xperias U, Sola and Go, promising updates “shortly.”

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog

More: Sony Xperia P review

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4 years ago

Android Central Podcast 106: Google Play gift cards, Galaxy Note 10.1, and other Android awesomeness

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Audio-only stream below

We're back yet again, fresh off the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 event in New York City. Plus, we've got the scoop on the official Google Play Gift Cards, the Pinterest Android app and Instagram update, and more of your e-mails and voicemails.

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4 years ago

Three UK updates SIM-only plans, unlimited data now starts at £12.50 per month

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A rather large box arrived with us today, courtesy of Three UK. The surprise package was to signify the network's updated SIM-only plans, which have recently been re-vamped. We all love a bargain, and the prices are certainly pretty friendly towards heavy data users, as we see a reduction in the minimum cost of Three's "All You Can Eat" data plans. Customers can now pick up a SIM on a 30-day contract with unlimited data for as little as £12.50 per month. You also get 5000 SMS and 200 minutes as part of the deal, so the new deal shaves a few pounds off previous packages, though you also lose around 100 minutes.

So the number of minutes you need each month will dictate the plan you require. There are three plan options with nine price points, each with increasing numbers of bundled minutes.

The Ultimate Internet Plans range from £12.50 to £15.50 per month, all with the same All You Can Eat data and 5000 SMS. Included minutes range from 200 to 600 per month, and you get a discount if you take the 12 month contract instead of a 30 day deal. The One Plan is still very much in full affect and remains at £25 per month. Again, data and SMS is the same as previously mentioned but in addition you get 2000 minutes -- more than enough for most people I would imagine -- in addition to inclusive tethering.

The final option is the Essential Internet Plan, and these are designed for customers who are not so reliant on data consumption. prices range from £9.90 to 12.90 per month and data allowances are either 500mb or 1GB per month. Once again, voice calls and SMS varies depending on the package.

For more information jump on over to Three and check out the deals on offer.

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4 years ago

Carphone Warehouse offers Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and Galaxy Y phone for £15.50 p.m.

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UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse is kicking off its latest “Smart Deal” by giving customers the chance to pick up an entry-level Android phone and an entry-level tablet for a mere £15.50 per month. The deal runs from today until next Thursday, Aug. 23, and if you take up the £15.50 per month deal on Orange or T-Mobile UK, you’ll get a Samsung Galaxy Y and Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 in white or silver. The retailer describes it as a “tethering plan,” meaning you’ll get the Wifi-only version of the Tab, with the option to tether it via the Galaxy Y.

On T-Mobile, your £15.50 will get you 50 minutes, 250 texts and 750MB, while Orange offers 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 100MB. That’s not a huge allowance, but it’s still decent value when you consider you’re getting a free phone and a reasonably-spec’d tablet.

Check the source link for more info, or see the full announcement from the Carphone Warehouse after the break.

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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4 years ago

Sky Sports TV released on Android, supporting few phones and no Jelly Bean

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We shouldn't be at all surprised by the lack of supported devices for this, after all, it's happened before with Sky. But, in any case, the Sky Sports TV app is now available in Google Play just in time for the start of the English Premier League season. An active Sky subscription isn't required to use it, Sky customers can already view the channels through the Sky Go app should their subscription allow. You do need to be in the UK or ROI though. Figures.

Instead, subscription for the application is set at £4.99 / €5.49 with no annual contract, and payments are directed through your Google Play account. Pretty reasonable, especially if you've an unlimited data plan to really put it to use with. 8 Sky Sports channels are included; Sky Sports 1-4, Sky Sports News, Sky News, ESPN, At The Races, and their new Sky Sports F1 channel. On the face of it, sounds like a really good offering. 

Then you look at device support, and as with the Sky Go launch, this is where it starts to go downhill. The list of supported devices isn't too depressing, but still omits the latest and greatest Android phone in the UK right now -- the Samsung Galaxy S3. Another issue is Jelly Bean compatibility. While the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a supported device, Jelly Bean is not supported. And it force closes. In the UK, there is only the GSM Galaxy Nexus, which it's safe to say the vast majority of owners have now upgraded to Jelly Bean. Madness. 

The full list reads as follows: 

  • HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XE, Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung Galaxy Note.

The Galaxy Note is a welcome addition, with that massive screen it's a match made in heaven. Just don't upgrade it to Jelly Bean if anything shows up any time soon. Oh, and if you're rooted, sorry. Right out of luck. For rights reasons the app will not work on rooted devices. 

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