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4 years ago

Chrome for Android updated with stability and security fixes

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Google Chrome for Android has been updated over Google Play, the first such update since Google's mobile browser exited beta at Google I/O back in June. There are no major feature additions in the new version 18.0.1025308, but there is a selection of fixes for "medium"-rated security issues, as well as stability fixes.

The new Chrome also seems a tad speedier on image-heavy sites like Android Central -- let us know in the comments if you're noticing the same effect.

If you're already running Chrome, head to the "My Apps" menu in the Google Play Store to grab the new update. If you're not, you can use the Google Play link above to jump straight to the latest version. Note that you still need to be on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or 4.1 Jelly Bean to install Chrome.

Source: Google Chrome Releases

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4 years ago

Imo instant messenger updated with NFC and location sharing

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Popular instant messenger app "imo" has just received quite the useful update. Imo has added two new sharing options: NFC for profile sharing between devices -- by holding them back to back -- and location sharing between friends. As far as NFC goes, imo is supporting the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S III (S3), HTC One X and Nexus 7. Anyone who is using a standalone app for managing multiple chat clients is likely interested in knowing where friends are at -- and vice versa -- so its a good thing that you can now report your location, either exactly or roughly, to your friends.

It's not the biggest update ever, but these are features that we'd like to see more apps integrate. Take a look at the Google Play Store link above to download or update imo instant messenger.

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4 years ago

Your anti-iPhone open thread

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It's iPhone 5 day. Sigh. The Internet is practically wetting itself over something we pretty much know all about already.

So, here's an open post. Comment your little hearts out. Try to keep it a tad respectful. But otherwise, have at it.

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4 years ago

iPhone what? Let's all save 15 percent on our Android accessories today instead

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Don't over think it. We're tired of all the iPhone hype. So let's stir up a little Android love, shall we? The fine folks at ShopAndroid.com are taking 15 percent off your total order through midnight Friday. That's 15 percent off Android cases, headsets, wires, cables, shirts, batteries -- whatever we got, you're getting it for 15 percent off!

Just use coupon code ROUNDCORNERS (see what we did there?) when you check out. And be sure to check out the latest in LloydGear, and don't forget about our new international shipping options!

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4 years ago

Q&A with Raved - socializing business discovery

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Last month we checked out a social business discovery app called Raved, which takes Facebook likes from friends, and cross references them with local businesses to offer users a categorized list of shops vouched for by those they know. We had a chat with Raved CEO Henry Vogel about making the app and the particular challenges businesses face with location-based marketing.

Hi Henry, thanks for your time. Is business discovery a problem that needs to be solved?

While there are other services focused on local business discovery, we believe no one has yet leveraged one of the best sources of recommendations: your friends. And beyond discovery, storing and easily accessing those recommendations along and key place info on mobile devices where users most often need it, remains quite cumbersome.

Since time immemorial, people have turned to their friends to get trusted referrals. Everyone has various ‘go-to people’ they turn to in order to learn about great places. It could be finding a great restaurant or hotel when visiting a new location, discovering a new store with great products or special deals, or just being ‘in the know’ on what’s trendy or where to experience something special. Everyone wants to discover those “gems in the rough” and it’s usually our trusted friends and tastemakers we know who are the source. But remarkably, those recommendations aren’t really stored in one easy place today and accessing/requesting them via existing social networks or review sites is still very difficult. Requests for help in Facebook or Twitter can get quick replies, but those recommendations can just as quickly ‘get lost’ in the raging river that is the Facebook timeline or Twitter feed. And, users still have to search and fumble around, especially on their mobile devices, to find out the info about those places. Raved makes in infinitely easier to browse, request, store and access friend recommendations for great places on your mobile device.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 can shoot 720p video from its front-facing camera, but is it really useful?

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Why talk about it, when we can just show you? OK, so we'll talk about it a little bit. It turns out the Nexus 7 can shoot 720p video from its front facing camera. It's pretty cool --, and the fine folks over at XDA Developers are to thank for bringing this little nugget to the world's attention. But, is it really that useful? Maybe, maybe not -- that all depends on your particular outlook and potential use case for such a thing. But, 720p is 720p. It still isn't the greatest quality video in the world though, but enabling the feature isn't all that difficult. 

So, the first way is the XDA way. One of the devs over there discovered that the camera natively supports shooting at 720p, but that Google left out the media profiles that allow its functionality. To enable it, there's some modifying of xml files required, and the full details can be had over at the source link below. 

But, some of us are lazy. So, there is another way. An application in the Google Play Store called Camera JB+ has just received an update that enables the functionality. It's a paid app, and costs £1.49/$1.99 and is essentially the stock Jelly Bean camera app, but with some added tweaks and is available also on ICS. The same developers brought us a similar app previously based around the ICS camera. With this, no modifying of anything potentially scary is involved, and when you open up the camera app there is a option sat waiting for 480p/720p video recording. 

We might want it, simply because we can have it. But then again, if you do happen to record yourself using a front facing camera from time to time, it might well be a welcome modification. Whether you choose the lazy way -- like a certain Android Central author -- or the nerdier way is entirely up to you. 

Source: XDA Developers

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4 years ago

10Terra Eco Friendly bamboo case for the Nexus 7

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We love our Nexus 7 tablets here at AC. We know that the 7-inch size means they are perfect for throwing in a gear bag, where they get all sorts of abuse (see Phil's poor Thunderbolt), so they need a good case to keep them from turning into a busted mess. The 10Terra Eco Friendly bamboo case fits the bill perfectly.

It's 100-percent natural bamboo, 100-percent made by hand. Bamboo is tough as nails, and looks beautiful. That translates perfectly into a case for your Nexus 7. Everything fits as intended, with generous and precise cut-outs for the speakers, controls, and ports. I mention it in the video (you'll find that after the break) but there is zero wiggle or play. Every cut is exactly where it needs to be.

Because bamboo is tough, it's also going to protect your tablet from getting dinged, and especially protect the fake leather-like soft back -- the same material that I have already gouged to hell and back on mine. The corners are reinforced, and everything but the screen is well protected.

To top it all off, the 10Terra case is a thing of beauty. Your Nexus 7 has that same classy look that bamboo gives to hardwood flooring, and it's going to stay looking good for a long time. I'm not a case guy, but I realize I need one on my Nexus 7, and this is the one I think I'll be buying for myself.

As of today, the 10Terra Eco Friendly case is a Kickstarter project. That means they need our help to get proper funding, which we can do by pre-ordering (or just tossing them a bone if you're low on funds at the moment). A pledge of $44 gets you a case for a Nexus 7 with free shipping in the US. See the link below for information about pledging and Kickstarter in general. Be sure to read through to see an image gallery and a hands-on with this one.

More: 10Terra; Kickstarter

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4 years ago

UK retailer slashes HTC One S price, now £314.99 SIM-free

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HTC is due to launch new products at an event in New York City next week, and that means retailers are keen to discount stock of existing handsets. One of these is the excellent HTC One S, which we reviewed back in April, and which can now be yours for £314.99 from Exansys in the UK -- around £100 less than the launch price. To sweeten the deal, the retailer's throwing in a free Krusell screen protector, too. The version on offer is the black "ceramic metal" model, which is treated using the unique micro-arc oxidation process.

There might be newer, shinier handsets on the horizon, but the One S remains a great phone, and represents good value at just over 300 quid. In the months since its release, we've yet to come across an Android phone with better build quality. More at the source link below.

Source: Expansys, Thanks, Chinmay!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2, S Advance apparently skipping ICS, going straight to Jelly Bean

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Leading 2011 Samsung phones like the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note may already be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but many mid-range handsets remain on version 2.3, Gingerbread. Today brings good news for owners of two such devices, the Galaxy S Advance and Galaxy Ace 2, as according to a Facebook statement, both devices will be skipping ICS and jumping straight to the latest version of Google's OS.

A post on Samsung Bulgaria's Facebook page, spotted by GSMArena, states that an update from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean will indeed be available at some point in the future, moving both phones up two major platform versions. We'd take this with a pinch of salt until updates actually arrive, as statements like this aren't always 100 percent official. Nevertheless, we've already seen evidence that Samsung's working on Jelly Bean for its budget tablets, so it's not too surprising to see budget smartphones also getting the upgrade treatment.

However, with Jelly Bean still yet to arrive on phones like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note, Ace 2 and Advance owners may have a long wait ahead of them.

Source: Samsung Bulgaria Facebook, via: GSMArena

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4 years ago

Catch Phil on the Ausdroid Podcast replay!

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If you were up before the sun yesterday morning (here in America, anyway), you might have caught our illustrious leader on the Ausdroid podcast. Missed it? Well, the replay's ready to go. Listen in as Phil joins Ausdroid's Lucas Burnett, Phil Tan, Geoff Fieldew, Tia Porter and Matt Booth.

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4 years ago

Google's lawn gets new, melt-resistant Jelly Bean statue

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In an unfortunate incident earlier this summer, the Jelly Bean statue on Google's lawn partially melted under the California sun, allowing thieves to make off with some of the delicious plastic beans inside. A fix had been promised, and now it's arrived -- a redesigned Jelly Bean statue has emerged from Building 44 (right), complete with reinforced, melt-resistant face.

Source: +Hugo Barra

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4 years ago

Another LG Optimus G promo surfaces, promises world beating camera

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LG continues to try and wow the world ahead of the launch of their latest superphone, with yet another promotional video. This time around, the camera on the forthcoming LG Optimus G is the center of attention, with some bold claims being made by the Korean OEM. 

We're promised a 13MP rear shooter -- although in some markets, this will be reduced to 8MP -- with world beating image quality for smartphones. The ultra slim camera module was developed in house by LG Innotek, and has one of the largest pixel counts on a smartphone to date. As we've said before though, mega pixels mean nothing if the image quality is poor. 

An emphasis on new technologies, and "state of the art" comes across through the video, with the overall design of the phone itself not being compromised for the sake of a huge camera. Instead, it is the camera that has undergone a transformation. 

Features such as time machine camera, smart shutter and voice activated shooting are also mentioned. All around, the Optimus G is shaping up to be a goliath of an Android smartphone, and the more we learn the more excited we are to finally, one day get our hands on it. Whether or not the "worlds best" moniker holds up though, well, that's a story for another day.

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4 years ago

Samsung Mobile boss expects 30 million Galaxy S3 sales in 2012, 20 million target for Note 2

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Today might be iPhone day Rex Manning Day, but Samsung Mobile head JK Shin is attempting to make some news of his own with his latest comments to the Korean press. Speaking to Korean news agency Yonhap, Shin indicated that he expects the company's flagship Galaxy S3 phone, currently sitting at over 20 million units, to hit the 30 million mark before the year's end. Such a figure would be unprecedented for any single Samsung smartphone -- even the popular Galaxy S2 topped out at 20 million earlier this year.

Shin also told Yonhap that the recently announced Galaxy Note 2 is expected to shift twice as many units as its predecessor, though this seems to be a long-term target, rather than an aim for the next three and a half months. As the original Note sold 10 million worldwide, the new target, it seems, is 20 million.

With Samsung phones in general -- and the Galaxy S3 specifically -- continuing to fly off store shelves, we wouldn't bet against Samsung reaching either of its lofty goals. Nevertheless, it'll face stronger competition than ever over the next quarter, not least of which from whatever Apple announces in eight hours time.

Source: Yonhap

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4 years ago

Jabra Stone2 Bluetooth headset review

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The Jabra Stone2 is a slick-looking Bluetooth headset with a portable, pebble-shaped charging dock. The Stone2 follows closely in the design footsteps of its predecessor, leaning towards a subtle, classy, and unique form factor. 

I was particularly happy with how volume control was handled through a touch-sensitive layer on the face of the headset itself; just glide your finger up or down in order to adjust. Volume on music doesn’t go very high, even with it cranked up all the way on the device, but call volume is excellent.

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4 years ago

Kindle Fire HD preorders, CM10-M1 thoughts [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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