4 years ago

Acer Iconia a500 review


What would you give up to pack more features into an Android tablet? Would you be willing to sacrifice thinness? Accept a little more weight, or a design that's not quite as svelte as another tablet?

That's the ring in which the Acer Iconia Tab A500 has found itself. On the one hand, it's done much to differentiate itself from other Android Honeycomb tablets, which thus far all have the same internals, by packing on the ports and offering an interesting user interface. But these added features mean tradeoffs. But while the Acer Iconia Tab A500 (henceforth the Iconia Tab) might not be the smallest or lightest Android tablet around, that doesn't mean it should be overlooked.

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4 years ago

First screenshots of Honeycomb on HTC Flyer emerge


Last Friday we reported that a RUU (ROM update utility) containing an early beta build of Android 3.2 Honeycomb for the Flyer tablet had leaked out online. Over the past couple of days, Android hacking giants including MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien have been busy turning the leaked RUU into a flashable ROM for rooted users. As work slowly progresses, XDA forum member globatron has managed to get the software up and running on his 32GB 3G Flyer, and has posted a couple of early screenshots to prove it.

As you can see above, it looks a lot like the software currently shipping on HTC's new Jetstream tablet. UI elements look similar, and the software purports to be running the same version of Sense as the Jetstream -- 1.1 for Tablet. Right now we're still a little way off seeing this available as an easily-flashable zip file, and even further away from it being pushed out as an official update. However long it takes, we're sure Flyer owners will welcome the chance to get their hands on the fully tablet-optimized version of Android.

Source: XDA; via: AndroidBugle

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4 years ago

Android Game Review: Word Ball



YouTube link for mobile viewing

I think I've already established that I like me some words. Give me something that forces my noggin to make sense of a nebulous jumble of letters and I'm a happy man. Plus, maybe (hopefully!) it'll keep me from going senile when I'm old.

Because of this obsession with vocabulary and words, I bring you Word Ball. Word Ball is a game where you make words by tapping on letters in differently colored balls. Spell out something lengthy or use an uncommon letter and your word is worth more points.

You advance from level to level by hitting a point barrier. For example, you can't get out of level one until you've earned 100 points. Hit 100 and you're off to, you guessed it, level two. The kicker is that if you lollygag a bit too long, certain letters start to shrink and eventually disappear from the screen. (How are you supposed to spell kumquat now?)

The other challenge is keeping track of all your letters. Like I mentioned in the video, with so many colors floating around, during any kind of extended play period, I get a mad headache. I think that's just me, but it's something to be aware of. Your eyes are going to be scanning, nonstop, for the letters you need.

Overall, I think Word Ball is pretty darn cool. If you're looking to sharpen your wordionado skills, I'd this is definitely something to look at. Word Ball goes for 99 cents in the Android Market.

Download links can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

Drawing on the Samsung Galaxy Note


Here's a great demo of the drawing capabilities on the Samsung Galaxy Note, that gianormous 5.3-inch uber-drawing/notetaking smartphone. Of course, you're going to need some sort of artistic talent to begin with, but you get a sense of how detailed you can get with the stylus. Check it out after the break.

Via Softpedia; Thanks, Peter!

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4 years ago

Motorola Xoom gets another price cut in the UK, now just £330


If July's sub-£400 price drop wasn't enough to tempt you to splash out on a Motorola Xoom in the UK, then British retailer Dixons is hoping a further reduction of £70 will push you over the edge. Dixons is currently listing the Wifi-only version of Moto's original Honeycomb tablet for £329.99 (~$530), with the Wifi and 3G version now reduced to £399.99 (~$650).

It's no secret that the Xoom hasn't exactly been a runaway success, so it shouldn't surprise anyone to see retailers trying to clear stock before yet more Android tablets arrive in the fourth quarter. However, we have to wonder if a £330 price tag will be enough to tempt buyers away from Samsung's thinner, lighter Galaxy Tab 10.1, which can be had for as little as £370 if you shop around. Fellow Brits, would you consider dropping £330 on a Xoom at this point? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Dixons; via: Eurodroid

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4 years ago

HTC Ruby gets new set of pics, more specs, still looking at October launch as T-Mobile Amaze 4G


One of our minor complaints regarding the T-Mobile HTC Sensation 4G was a wee bit of lag when compared to its cousin, the Sprint EVO 3D. We've pretty much chalked that up to the EVO 3D's increased RAM, and whatever difference in software tweaks you'll find between a Sprint and T-Mobile device. But that might all about to become moot, with yet another appearance of the HTC Ruby, which is believed to be destined for T-Mobile as the Amaze 4G.

First up, new specs on the Ruby, courtesy of DroidSans: It's looking to be very much like a souped-up Sensation, with a similar 4.3-inch display at qHD (960x540) resolution, 8MP camera with flash. But the powerplant's been beefed up, moving to a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor (up from a mere 1.2GHz), and a full 1GB of RAM. And it's going from 4GB of internal storage to a monster 16GB. Toss in Android 2.3.5 and Sense 3.5, and HTC's best and brightest from mere months ago is already seeing a hefty upgrade. No complaints from us.

As for when we'll see it? A new leaked roadmap from TmoNews points to a possible October launch, and that jibes with a previous leak. That's plenty close, but if true, we can't help but wonder how it's going to leave current Sensation 4G owners feeling.

Source: TmoNews, DroidSans (translated); via TIMN

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4 years ago

Time to Tab my way: portable media center


When the weather permits I'm the kind of fella who likes to sit outside and enjoy a bit of fresh air.  That doesn't mean I like to sit quietly and enjoy nature though -- I need to take my toys out with me.  That means a laptop to do a little work with, and now my Galaxy Tab 10.1 with the multimedia dock and a set of desktop speakers from my local big box store. 


For watching video, listening to music, or kicking back in the Android Central Turntable.fm room listening to the jams, this setup rocks.  It lets me keep my laptop free for working, no pausing video and switching tabs and windows every five minutes, and the viewing angle is just perfect while my Tab is in the dock.  Plus you can plug the dock in to AC power to keep things charged, or use the 30 pin passthrough connector with the Samsung dongle for HDMI access.  The built in speakers on the Tab work while it's docked, but there's also a 3.5mm audio jack on the multimedia dock to connect a set of speakers to if you need a bit more volume -- handy to drown out the chorus of mockingbirds that seems to start right around dusk here at the homestead.

The best part?  Everything is portable.  When it's raining or cold, and I'm forced to stay indoors the dock and speakers can sit right on my desk or coffee table and still let me enjoy a little video or audio from my Tab, and the whole set-up makes for a hell of a bedside clock if you set it up on your nightstand.  If you like to use your Galaxy Tab as a media consumption device, you ought to check one of these out.  I've tossed a couple pictures of the dock itself after the break.

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4 years ago

Vizio tablet gets its first OTA update


The Vizio tablet has an OTA upgrade rolling out, and while it's not a version upgrade to Honeycomb it does look to address a few nags we have with the software -- namely the application launch speed and scrolling between screens.  If you have a look at our review, you'll see that the VIA software on the tablet seems slower than we liked, and full of shiny animations that look good but don't really add to the experience that much.  Better scrolling and faster app loading will go a long way towards making the software more tolerable.  Toss in better touchscreen response and even more devices in the IR remote control database (both of which we already found working quite well), and QVGA video support and we won't complain.  If you haven't already got your notice to upgrade, you should see it soon as long as you're connected to Wifi.

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4 years ago

HTC Jetstream, LG Thrill 4G available today on AT&T


The HTC Jetstream 10-inch Honeycomb tablet and LG Thrill 4G Android smartphone are available today on AT&T. The Jetstream's going for a rather ridiculous $699 with a two-year contract, and LTE data plans start at $14.99 for 250MB. Or, you can buy it for $849 outright. The LG Thrill's running a more realistic $99 on contract, or $449 outright.

Source: AT&T (Thrill 4G, Jetstream)

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4 years ago

Android App Review: Cyanide & Happiness



Cyanide & Happiness is pretty darn hilarious. From their nonsensical comics to their "no one has hair" drawing style, the crazy antics and social commentary never cease to make me chuckle. When I found out they had an Android app, I was all over that like white on rice.

As far as the app goes, it's pretty simple to navigate. Open it up and you're taken to the main home screen which displays the latest comic, latest news story, and latest short. Basically, if you're looking for the latest, home is the place to be.

There's also a comics tab for (you guessed it!) an entire archive of comics as well as a list for those you've denoted as your favorites. The shorts tab has all of their videos. Select a short and you'll be prompted to choose your browser or the YouTube app (provided you have the YouTube app installed), but since it's streaming from YouTube regardless, playback works well.

The last tab is news and it's where all the non-comic, non-shorts blurbs go. Everything is chronological, with the newest stuff up top. Tap an article and it full-screens, perfectly rendered for whatever your resolution is.

There's also a pretty bare options menu, but you should check it out for the "Seizure Mode." I'll leave it at that.

The Cyanide & Happiness app costs 99 cents in the Android Market. More pictures and download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Droid Bionic browser benchmarked, numbers look impressive



     Droid Bionic                                Stock Android 2.3.4

In his pre-release hands-on and review of the Motorola Droid Bionic, Joe the Insider also gave us a peek at some web browser benchmarks.  These numbers aren't the end-all be-all of real world performance, but they do show how the hardware and the software handle things like sprites and math functions while rendering what you see in the web browser window.  And the Bionic looks like it does a fine job handling it's business.  Compared to a fully stock Android 2.3.4 build on the Nexus One (it's not even rooted!), the Bionic beats the score hands down, even while running out of the box stock with all the Blur bells and whistles.

We should expect this based on the new hardware, but it sure is nice to see it in handy picture form.  Be sure to read Joe's thread and get the full details. 

The full scoop: Thoughts after using Bionic, plus pictures

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Sept. 3, 2011


Ah, so, the Android Market. We meet again. What apps shall we pluck from the depths this week? Join us after the break for a look off the beaten path. Apps that might not get the attention they deserve, deserve attention nonetheless.

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4 years ago

Android App Review: Kinetic Clock


I’m a sucker for clock widgets. I have the time displayed clearly on my lock screen, in my notification bar, I even have a watch I wear semi-regularly, but none of them compare to a clock widget. A lot of our readers seem to agree, as most “post your home screen” threads are quickly dominated by a large half-screen widget that lets you know the time. Maybe scientists will diagnose this obsession some day and we’ll all go on to leave fulfilling, clock-widget free lives, but that day is not today. Today I get to tell you about Kinetic Clock.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Kinetic Clock isn’t a “minimalist style” widget, not that I’m knocking minimalism. I’ve installed my fair share of “Minimalistic text” widgets, but lately it seems like everyone is in a race to see who can make the most minimalist app without simply being a featureless black square and it’s nice to see someone try and buck that trend. The gears and wiring on the widget are so detailed that I spent a few minutes after I first installed it just waiting for something to move. The gears are actually just static images, but the developers did such an amazing job capturing the 3D "feel" of the gears that I had to email the developers just to make sure the widget functioned properly.

Kinetic Clock has a handful of customization options as well. There are two clock widgets to choose from, a 4x2 portrait widget as well as a 3x3 landscape option. Each widget will allow you to toggle how much information you want displayed (AM/PM, Date, etc) and provide space for two applications, such as my alarm clock and a shortcut to Google+.  There are sixteen different skins available for the clock, with the developers promising more are on their way, such as holiday-specific skins, or user-requested skins to match their favorite theme's.

Overall, I’m very impressed with kinetic clock. The gears might not move, but they look like they should, and that level of detail is still pretty rare in the market. Kinetic clock doesn’t have dozens of themes like Beautiful widgets, or the granular level of control afforded by “Minimal Text” type clocks, but it has a unique and detailed skin that’s sure to get noticed. The market link and additional screenshots can be found after the break. Kinetic Clock is $1 in the Android Market.

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4 years ago

Congratulations to our SpeedX 3D contest winners!


Last week we gave you the chance to win a 3D phone of your choice, in conjunction with HyperBees and their excellent SpeedX 3D game. We challenged players to make the longest run possible in SpeedX 3D, and now, as promised, we're pleased to announce the winners... (drum roll)

  1. Grand Prize Winner: HomerSp, 146,953 points

Congratulations to our first-place winner, HomerSp, who chose the HTC EVO 3D, HTC's latest high-performance smartphone with a 3D display and 3D recording capabilities.

  1. filip8429, 132,356 points
  2. hamatro, 125,179 points
  3. Vec1nu, 89,924 points
  4. mbigby, 89,833 points

Our second through fifth place runners-up will receive Zeemote mobile gaming controllers. Also second and third place entrants filip8429 and hamatro will each receive an exclusive SpeedX t-shirt for their efforts. Congratulations!

In announcing the winners' names, HyperBees added --

With more than 10,000 participants, the contest mode was played over 180,000 times. These are spectacular results. A big thank you to all who took part! The players demonstrated great gaming spirit throughout, and the final hours were especially exciting.

Thanks to everyone that participated. Keep watching AC in the coming weeks for more awesome contests like this.

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