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4 years ago

Rovio teases Star Wars-themed Angry Birds

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Rovio Entertainment has just slipped out a cryptic animated GIF of one of the Angry Birds with a lightsaber. Whether that means we'll see a full-blown Android game with little green pigs dressed up like stormtroopers is anyone's guess, but Rovio promises that we'll learn more at an event in Times Square, New York, at 10 AM EST on October 8 (next Monday). They also gently suggest that we hit up Toys R Us at 8 AM EST, so it's entirely likely that this is just some kind of new plushie they're selling.

Rovio is no stranger to licensing deals, having scored a fairly big one with Disney for the film Rio last year. More recently, Rovio is coming off of their launch of Bad Piggies, a physics-based building game featuring the antagonists of their first hit mobile game. An excess of cross-branding deals like this could make the Angry Birds brand even more stale than the plethora of toys, calendars, and other merchandise have. Then again, if they have a fresh spin on the Angry Birds gameplay and do the Star Wars franchise justice, it could freshen up the birds for another couple of months.

Are you guys optimistic about the next Angry Birds, or has it been done to death? Star Wars fans, do you find this kind of cross-licensing tacky or cute? 

Via: @AngryBirds

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4 years ago

Motorola successfully defends against Microsoft patent case in Germany

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Microsoft's latest patent lawsuit against Motorola was ruled in favor of Motorola in Mannheim, Germany regional court today. The patent in question related to the interoperability of software between handsets, which, as you could imagine, is a pretty big deal in the Android ecosystem. While this is great news for Motorola, and to a lesser extend Google, Microsoft still has a German sales injunction in place against the Motorola Atrix, the Droid RAZR and the Droid RAZR Maxx thanks to previous legal victories. Stateside, Motorola had previously suffered a hefty ban through the ITC for infringing on another Microsoft patent. 

Outside of courts, Google still has to pare down Motorola's operations even while they're still making strategic investments.  Motorola has a long road to recovery, but hopefully it can fend off future sales injunctions with Google behind 'em. 

Any German readers out there affected by the previous bans? Should tech giants be able to partially or completely lock out competitors from international markets in this way, or is there a better way to protect patents?

Via: Reuters

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4 years ago

LG's Nexus rumors grow stronger

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The chatter over who's making the Nexus device for Google is reaching a fever pitch, and MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien weighs in today with some of the strongest (and extremely possible) specs to date.

Basically, O'Brien says, we're looking at the internals of the recently announced LG Optimus G -- a phone with which we're pretty familiar after spending several days with it in Korea last month. It has, O'Brien says, the Qualcomm S4 Pro quad-core processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM and 1280x768 display (diagonal size unknown, but figure in the 4.5- to 5-inch range). 

Folks are gnashing their teeth over the lack of SD card, but as we've explained before, it's just not going to happen, and it has nothing to do with Google hating little pieces of plastic. The rumored 8GB and16GB storage options are worthy of consternation, however. Much as Google doesn't want to acknowledge it, offline storage is still a must for many of us.

Wireless charging? Hey, maybe it'll take off this time.

It's worth remembering, however, that ain't none of this official until it's official -- and we've seen Nexus products change dramatically before launch in the past.

Source: MoDaCo; more: Rumored devices forum

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4 years ago

Android Central Podcast 110: HTC's second act, the Galaxy Note 2 and ... a camera

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Audio-only stream below

Where did all of these new HTC devices come from? Plus, our review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, a Nikon Android camera, third-hand Nexus rumors that won't die, and more of your e-mails and voicemails.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 update enables multi-window support, we go hands-on

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Well that was quick. Just a couple of days after it emerged that Samsung had shipped many international Galaxy Note 2 devices without the much-touted "multi-window" ability, a new software update is going out that enables the feature. Multi-window allows Note 2 owners to long-press the back button and bring up a menu allowing them to split their screen between two fully-fledged Android applications. Essentially, it's full multitasking on a mobile device with two apps in view and usable at the same time, which is pretty awesome.

Right now, not all Android apps are supported, but the multi-window feature isn't just limited to Samsung apps like it is on the Note 10.1. Multi-window on the Note 2 supports a wide range of Google apps, including Gmail, YouTube, Chrome and Talk. Third-party offerings like the official Twitter app are supported too, though many others are not.

Today's update to version XXALIJ1 also comes with a new baseband version and Google Chrome.

If you've picked up a Galaxy Note 2 in the past week, you should see an update notification waiting for you this morning. If not, head to Settings > About device > Software update to get started. In the meantime, be sure to check out our quick hands-on demo video above.

More: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

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4 years ago

Android cleans up at 2012 Mobile Choice Awards in the UK

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The Mobile Choice Awards 2012 ceremony has been held tonight in Central London and looking at the results it would seem that Android is certainly coming out on top in the UK smartphone wars.

Clearly the nominations didn't include the just-launchd iPhone 5 but even so, the results represent and impressive showing for Android. The iPhone 4S gets pipped at the post and the UK's best-loved smartphone of 2012 is the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Naturally, Apple did win the tablet battle, and the iPad wins the consumers choice award. The Nexus 7 is a close second-however, proving the importance of good, budget-level tablets.

Other notable android entrants include the Sony Xperia U (runner-up, best design) and HTC One X (winner, best handset for social media). Check past the break for the full list.

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4 years ago

Google Gesture Search updated with tablet support

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Google has just updated its Gesture Search application with proper support for tablets, including the Nexus 7. If you haven't used the Gesture Search app before, its a pretty interesting concept. Similar to what Google has been offering on the mobile view of it's search page, Gesture Search lets you spell out words by writing on the screen one letter at a time, and then instantly returns search items. You can choose what sources to search -- such as contacts, browser bookmarks, apps and more.

In addition to tablet support, Gesture Search now offers compatibility with even more languages. Simplified Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish are now supported as of this latest update.

Gesture Search is useful for when you've only got one hand free and need to make a quick search, though it's not the most high-profile Google app around. Take a look at the Google Play Store link above and try it out for yourself.

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4 years ago

Ustream updated to support 7-inch tablets and better streaming

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A little something for all you 7-Inch tablet owners out there who've been missing out on Ustream. v2.0.3 of the Ustream app, which includes support for such device as the Nexus 7 has now arrived in the Google Play Store and is ready for download.

In addition to the new device support, Ustream has also included several streaming improvements and various other bug fixes. Oh, and in case you didn't already know. The Ustream app is a great way to take part in the Android Central podcast, when we're live.

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4 years ago

Plague Inc. game infects Google Play

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Plague Inc., an excellent and hugely popular epidemic simulation game, has found its way to Android. Players gently coax a variety of virus types across the globe. Your plague starts off as a modest cough, then mutates with new and insidious forms of transmission, deadlier symptoms, and greater resistance to medication.

Plague Inc. involves a lot of finesse, since you don't have much direct control over the virus, so must simply make calculated mutations, pay attention to pertinent world events, and adapt accordingly. It's harder than you think to wipe out the entire globe; airports shut down, governments are alerted, and before long, the whole world is banding together to find a cure. 

On the one hand, Plague Inc. is an incredibly morbid game, but on the other, I've always had a hard time putting it down. It's available for free with an unlockable full version with fast-forward enabled, so go ahead and check it out. 

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4 years ago

A look at the Nexus history, Media purchasing alternatives to the Google Play Store [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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4 years ago

AT&T unveils holiday lineup in New York City, we go hands-on

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If you're looking for Android devices that are headed to AT&T in time for the holiday season, look no further. At their event hosted in New York City AT&T unveiled a massive amount of Android devices and offered us a first hand look at them all. The line up hits just about every category you can imagine be it low cost all the way up to the high end offerings. So what all did they bring? Check out the full list below and hit the links to get a hands on look at the devices individually:

As you can tell, that's a lot of Samsung and HTC love right there however, there is also the LG Optimus G that will making its way to AT&T as well. You can check out our previous hands on with that, if that's what you're holding out for. All of that said; anyone going to be picking any of these devices up? if so, which are you getting? If not, what are you holding out for?

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4 years ago

Google sets Q3 earnings call for Oct. 18

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Grab your calendars, folks. Google's just scheduled its third-quarter earnings call for Oct. 18, with a conference call set for 4:30 p.m. EDT. We'll bring the beer.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for AT&T hands on

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Rounding out Samsung and AT&T’s holiday portfolio is the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, the follow up to the tablet that started a war, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. There really isn’t anything new or exciting here—we first reviewed the 10.1 2 back in May and found that it was a fine follow up to the original, though since then we’ve been introduced to the more unique and more powerful Galaxy Note 10.1. We would have liked to see a more up-to-date tablet taking advantage of AT&T’s superfast LTE network, but to be fair, the 2 10.1 is nothing to sneeze at.

Again, (notice a trend?), pricing and availability is still forthcoming, but in the meantime you can read our full review here.  Some AT&T branded shots follow.

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4 years ago

First look at AT&T's take at the Samsung Galaxy Note 2

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New York seems to be the first stop for the US-bound Galaxy Note 2—we caught the first stateside glimpse last month at Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular, and tonight we’re meeting AT&T version of the hotly anticipated device. Aside from AT&T’s logo and LTE connectivity, we’re dealing with the same exact device that our own Alex Dobie so eloquently reviewed just today. So dive right in to see what he liked and didn’t, and while we await final word on pricing and availability on Ma Bell, catch some shots of AT&T’s model after the break.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera for AT&T hands-on

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AT&T had more than a few tricks up its sleeve at tonight’s holiday preview event, one of them being the unveiling of the Galaxy Camera, the Android-powered point-and-shoot camera we first met back at IFA in Berlin this year. It’ll be heading to the carrier’s shelves in time for the holiday season, though we currently don’t know when or for how much.

A quick refresher -- the Galaxy Camera is a full blown, honest-to-goodness camera packed with a 16 MP lens and 20X optical zoom, that just happens to have a 4.8-inch Jelly Bean-powered interface attached to its rear, fuelled by a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos CPU. The screen is gorgeous, the performance is fast, and this is by far the most unique Android device we've seen yet. Be sure to check out the in-depth hands on video after the break, where we spend some quality time with the AT&T-branded model. The Samsung Galaxy Camera is due to arrive on AT&T's network in time for the holidays.

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