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4 years ago

Gyro a fun way to kill a few minutes

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Let's not overthink this one. Gyro's a deceptively simple game in which you rotate a three-color circle, match colors and earn points. It's simple. It requires very little thinking. And it's an easy way to kill a few minutes. The game does get a little tougher as more and more balls come flying at you. But you've also got power-ups like shields and energy refills to help you on your way. Hit up the free download below.

Download: Gyro

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4 years ago

Sprint set to shut down its iDEN network as early as next summer

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Sprint announced today that service on its iDEN network will cease as early as June 30, 2013, and that it will begin transitioning customers to its Direct Connect service in the coming months. The transition is part of the carrier's "Network Vision" and will allow Sprint to reassign its 2G spectrum, which currently supports the iDEN network, for its upcoming LTE rollout. Sprint will begin contacting government and business customers shorty urging them to make the move, and will discontinue selling iDEN products over the next few months. If your heart is set on beep-beeping your way into 2013, Sprint's Motorola Admiral is a fine Android-powered choice. Sprint's full presser can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

Digital Flux Live Wallpaper [Live Wallpaper Review]

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Continuing our live wallpaper reviewing extravaganza is another from masterful wallpaper developer, D'Keesto. This entry in the "digital" series is called Digital Flux Live Wallpaper, and while it's definitely cool, I have no idea where the "flux" comes into play. (That's okay, though.)

Instead of embers or honeycombs or anything of that sort, you've got rectangular prisms that move up and down, seemingly at random. Touch the screen and they'll either be pushed down or pulled up (depending on what you pick in the settings). It's all very mechanical, and reminds me of that crazy complicated choreographic dance that happened at the Olympics in Beijing. (You know, the one with the people underneath the boxes!)

The settings menu is a bit simpler than some of D'Keesto's other offerings, limiting you to a mere two colors (and utter dominance by your color in slot one), but you can still pick from all sorts of different single colors or have the colors go off of the battery level.

There's also some performance options, like adjusting the camera zoom, turning anti-aliasing on or off, or enabling accurate shadows. Depending on your device, you might change these settings around, but with close camera zoom, anti-aliasing off, and accurate shadows on, I didn't see any performance issues as I slid and swiped from screen-to-screen. Of course, your mileage may vary.

If bouncing boxes are you thing, Digital Flux Live Wallpaper is the wallpaper for you. It's inexpensive, runs well, and has just enough customization to keep things interesting. I'm not quite sure where the digital aspect comes into play (especially compared to Digital Hive and Digital Embers), but maybe it's just a name continuity thing. Regardless, as far as live wallpapers go, this one certainly doesn't disappoint.

Digital Flux Live Wallpaper is a mere 99 cents in the Google Play Store. We've got download links, screenshots, and video after the break.

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4 years ago

Blueant Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Speakerphone [accessory review]

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Being safe while driving is pretty darn important. Distracted drivers are such an issue that the NTSB wants all cell phone use to be banned while driving, and even y'all, our faithful readers, admit to texting while driving. While a Bluetooth speakerphone certainly doesn't mitigate all of these issues, it can certainly help to alleviate some of them. Today, we're taking a look at the Blueant Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Speakerphone.

 

Small and discreet, the Blueant Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Speakerphone aims to bring a big sound in a small package, all while offering a stated 15 hours of talk time and 800 hours of standby time. Blueant uses some "Digital Signal Processing" to give incredibly clear call quality and microphone, but in my experience, the quality isn't anything to phone home about. It's not bad, but it's not mind-blowing.

The microphone has a little niggle in that it cuts off the very beginning and end of your phrases. This makes total sense to me (since those are typically the softest parts), but even with the windows rolled up and​ the stereo off, the issue persisted. The promise of eliminating noise, even while the car is traveling, has loud engine noise, or while the windows are down seems unfulfilled.

Touching the green button while you're all paired up gives you the option to choose your favorite voice dialer on your phone, and surprisingly enough, the stock voice dialer worked better than both Vlingo and Vlingo InCar. This is mostly because voice dialer goes straight to listening for your command, whereas Vlingo and its InCar variant both open the full app, then​ want you to touch a button onscreen, before they'll listen for a command. With the stock voice dialer, I had no misdials, so I can say the microphone picked up names quite well.

The Supertooth 3 attaches to your visor using a metal clip and magnets attached to the actual speakerphone. I'll admit, this is pretty brilliant. The metal clip is small and unobtrusive, giving you enough flexibility with placement. The magnets on the back of the speakerphone are strong (it won't come unlatched, even if you're driving over bumps), and when you've parked, you can easily remove it from the clip to hide (if that's your thing).

Overall, the Blueant Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Speakerphone is good. It's not bad, but it isn't great, either. If you're looking for a solid Bluetooth microphone, this one won't steer you wrong, but for the price, there's probably some higher quality devices you could pick up.

We've got a picture gallery after the break.

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4 years ago

Vodafone Australia to live stream Samsung Galaxy S III event on Thursday

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While some of the UK despairs, our cousins down-under are building up in excitement. This coming Thursday, May 31, is the country's Samsung Galaxy S III launch event. Better still, those who can't be in Sydney to join in the fun, can watch it streamed online courtesy of Vodafone Australia. 

The stream will begin at 09:50 Sydney time, and will be available from the Vodafone Australia website. For anyone else around the world that's interested in watching, we've done a quick reckoner on what time you'll need to be watching in the UK and the US:

  • UK Time - 00:50
  • Eastern - 19:50 (Weds May 30)
  • Pacific - 16:50 (Weds May 30)

Let's hope that those delays on old Pebble Blue get worked out before the launch in Oz. 

via Ausdroid

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4 years ago

Samsung speaks out on Galaxy S III 'pebble blue' delays

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Blue version delayed in 'some regions' for next 2-3 weeks

Following yesterday's widespread reports that the "pebble blue" version of the Samsung Galaxy S III would miss the May 29/30 launch window, Samsung has released a statement offering an official explanation. Without going into specifics, the manufacturer seemed to pin the delay on quality concerns, possibly confirming recent rumors that it recently had to destroy several thousand defective pebble blue back covers.

Here's the statement in full --

“Samsung’s GALAXY S III Pebble Blue version comes with a newly invented blue colour and special hyperglaze material.

“In order to meet the highest internal quality standards and to provide the best quality GALAXY S III to customers, a short supply of Pebble Blue version is expected in some regions in the next 2-3 weeks.

“Samsung is working hard to ensure that customers will get the Pebble Blue coloured devices as soon as possible.”

We're not sure exactly how you go about "inventing" a color, but it seems that the combination of the blue shade and glossy finish presented some problems in the final few weeks of production. Hopefully the manufacturer's claims will prove accurate, and those who have their hearts set on a pebble blue will be able to get one soon enough. In the meantime, if you're after a Galaxy S III over the next few weeks, it looks like you'll be getting a marble white.

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4 years ago

Samsung announces Music Hub, exclusive to the Galaxy S III for now

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Samsung today announced "Music Hub," the "first completely integrated, all-in-one mobile music service," it's calling it. Samsung's based its service off mSpot and with this UK release has teamed up with 7digital to give access to more than 19 million songs for purchase. You get 30-second previews free of charge, and everything has been optimized for the Galaxy S III, Sammy says. (It'll eventually be made available on other devices, and, we presume, outside the UK.)

There are two versions of Music Hub. The free iteration, which stores any purchased music in the cloud for easy playback, and a £9.99-per-month job in which you can upload your own songs and enjoy unlimited streaming.

In addition, there's also a web interface at MusicHub.com, from which you can purchase and play back music. It all sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it?

Check out the full presser after the break, and be sure to check out the eerily Wonka-esque promo video.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III launches in Europe today, sorta

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After what seems like an eternity of hype and pre-release buzz, today's the day you can actually (kinda) get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy S III in Europe. A triumphant Samsung media release announces that the phone launches in 28 countries today, though a few caveats apply.

Here in the UK, the phone will launch first at the Samsung brand store at the Westfield Stratford City shopping center this evening for pre-order customers only. A general launch is still expected for tomorrow, and according to the Twitters, English singer-songwriter Pixie Lott will be dropping by to pick up hers from noon on the 30th (hope she's not after one of those delayed pebble blues).

Wider availability is expected over the next few days -- the Carphone Warehouse will begin stocking the S III from May 31 (with a special pre-order event scheduled for the evening of the 30th at its leading London store). Meanwhile, independent retailers like Clove Technology are expecting to ship units starting June 1.

If you're picking up a Galaxy S III today, or if you've somehow already bagged one, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you go on.

Source: Samsung Korea, Pixie Lott

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4 years ago

Xperia Arc, Neo ICS updates now rolling out

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As promised, Sony Ericsson has started launched Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates for the remaining members of its 2011 Xperia family. Today the Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo get their updates straight to the latest version of Android -- 4.0.4. The update also introduces a few software enhancements found in Sony's UXP NXT UI, which you may remember from 2012 Xperias including the Xperia S. (There's no such luck for Xperia Play owners, as Sony confirmed last week that the Play will remain on Gingerbread.)

The update won't be sent out over the air, so you'll need to plug your Arc or Neo into the Sony PC Companion app to grab this optional, one-way update.

In other news, an update from Android 4.0.3 to 4.0.4 is reportedly hitting the 2011 Xperias that had already been updated to ICS, namely the Arc S, Neo V and Ray.

If you're updating your Xperia phone to ICS for the first time today, let us know how you're getting on down in the comments!

Source: XperiaBlog

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4 years ago

Viewsonic set to laugh at tablet sizes by introducing 22-inch behemoth?

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Yes, you did read that right. 22-inches. Putting Toshiba's 13-inch effort in the shade, Viewsonic could be about to go where no Android OEM has gone before by introducing a tablet the size of a PC monitor. 

Touted as a "smart business tablet monitor," the colossal Ice Cream Sandwich device could be set for it's first public viewing at the forthcoming Computex show in Taipei. 

What the average consumer could do with something like this remains to be seen. If it does exist though, it's an interesting concept and exciting to see companies thinking outside the box. Probably wouldn't want to take this on the bus to work though. 

No word on prospective specs or pricing for whatever this turns out to be, but at 22-inches, it's not likely to be cheap. Computex is only a few days away though, so we'll know soon enough. 

via T3

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4 years ago

Huawei set to debut the Emotion UI for Android on June 9

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We can already hear the groans, another custom UI. Huawei are set to introduce their own brand of Android UI, dubbed Emotion, which will debut on June 9 ahead of a July arrival. 

Details are scarce, but given the recent device unveilings at CES and MWC it wouldn't be too far fetched to imagine that it will be incorporated into builds of Ice Cream Sandwich. A July launch will also tie in with the supposed arrival of the Ascend D Quad, which may well have been put back to July with this in mind. Interestingly enough, the hands on we had with the D Quad at CTIA showed Huawei's current attempts at a custom UI. 

There are no words on which devices may or may not get an update to Emotion, or for that matter if the western world will ever see it either. But, given Huawei's recent push to enter the global smartphone market, it's pretty likely we shall. What we really want though from Huawei, is the hardware. 

via Unwired View

 

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4 years ago

GameStop to sell Android tablets in over 1600 stores

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Games retailer, GameStop, has pulled  the trigger and announced the availability of Android tablets at more than 1600 of its stores nationwide. This follows the initial offering of a selection of tablets back in November of last year. 

The tablets -- which include the Acer Iconia A100, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Asus Transformer -- are being marketed as gaming devices. Each will come with some selected games pre-installed free of charge, which include so far Sonic CD and the pretty awesome Riptide GP. 

As with other products sold by GameStop, a new tablet can be bought with a trade-in of an old game, or perhaps even one of those iDevices that has been sat gathering dust in your bedroom. 

 via Pocket Gamer

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4 years ago

HTC Sensation XL Ice Cream Sandwich update rolling out

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The HTC Sensation XL is the latest Android phone to be graced with an update to version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. According to forum reports, the update is now pushing out over the air to devices in Europe and Asia, so if you're rocking the Beats-toting 4.7-incher, then head to Settings > About phone > Software updates and hit that button.

The new version brings the Sensation XL up to Android 4.0.3, while HTC Sense remains at version 3.6. So XL owners will get many of the benefits of ICS (the new app dock, multi-tasking menu and face unlock), only without the completely re-vamped UI found on Sense 4.0 devices. This is the same version we've seen before in ICS updates for phones like the Rezound and (OG) Sensation.

Bear in mind that the update weighs in at just under 200MB, so if you're on a fixed data allowance, you may want to wait until you're on Wifi before downloading the new software.

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

Pebble Blue Samsung Galaxy S III delayed across the UK

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Sad news breaking this afternoon for anyone in the UK -- or abroad if you just couldn't wait -- that has pre-ordered a new Samsung Galaxy S III from Clove Technology. Just over 24 hours before the first appearance of the phone, the latest update from Clove has put the shipping dates back for both white and blue versions of the latest Samsung flagship. 

If you've ordered a white one, the delay is less. Instead of shipping on May 30, they will now begin shipping the following day, June 1, instead. It's the Pebble Blue variant that has a slight ring of alarm bells around it. But only slight. 

The first stock is now expected to arrive at Clove from June 5. The uneasy part, is that this date is still to be confirmed. 

For now, lets try not to panic too much. Yes, there have been rumors all over the interwebs about issues with the Pebble Blue Galaxy S III, and subsequent delays because of said rumored issues. At the moment, it is only Clove that have published details of any stock delays. 

We've reached out to our friends over at Clove to see if we can dig out some more details on this one. But, in the UK it's now out of office hours, so we may have to wait until morning. Sit tight folks. 

Update: The plot thickens, as it's now becoming clear this is a widespread delay --

  • Things are the same over at HandTec. They're on track for a May 31 release of the white version, but have no date available for the Pebble Blue. 
     
  • ​Digging through the UK carriers, it's clear that there is a blanket delay on the Pebble Blues. Three are showing a pre-order button for the white version, but "out of stock" next to the blue. O2 is the same story. Orange haven't changed from "coming soon" since the product page first went up, and T-Mobile still seem to be taking pre-orders for both versions. Over at Vodafone, the blue Galaxy S III is on back-order, with the aim to deliver within 2-4 weeks.
     
  • There are some small nuggets of good news though. The official Samsung store at Westfield has told us that they will still be holding their early launch for pre-order customers tomorrow, ahead of general release on May 30.
     
  • A press release from Carphone Warehouse today indicates that the retailer plans to stage an "early" launch on the evening of May 30, ahead of the Galaxy S III's general launch across its stores nationwide on May 31. No word on which colors will be available.
     
  • Supermarket giant Tesco -- who also have a phone network -- have added the following message to their website: “Please note: we have been advised by Samsung that stock of the Samsung Galaxy S III in Blue has been delayed. We will despatch your pre-order as soon as stock is available.”

Keep it locked to Android Central, we'll keep you posted as anything new comes in.

Source: Clove Technology

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia U review

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Despite some successes last year with devices like the Xperia Arc, Sony’s gotten off to a shaky start in 2012. It was first to market with a new flagship device, in the form of the Xperia S, only to be eclipsed just a month later by HTC One X. And with the formidable Samsung Galaxy S III looming, Sony’s flagship product looks set to remain on the sidelines.

So could the Japanese manufacturer fare better in the entry-level space, with a phone like the Xperia U? At first glance, the device sounds like a winner -- a budget smartphone with a dual-core CPU, Sony’s Bravia Engine display tech and excellent build quality. But could this be undone by a focus on visual gimmickry, and the inclusion of an aging version of Android? Find out after the break as we kick off our full review of the Sony Xperia U.

 


Good build quality, solid specs and decent performance. Excellent value for money, and an ICS update due in the weeks ahead...


…but in the meantime, it’s yet another Gingerbread phone. Swappable plastic bottoms are a bit of a gimmick. Dismal 4GB of media storage. Over-compression issues with the video camera. A few intermittent software bugs.


The Xperia U isn’t a flawless performance from Sony, but it is a nicely balanced entry-level handset all the same. The tiny amount of media storage, and lack of any expandable options, will be a deal-breaker for many. But around this price point, it's difficult to think of a phone that offers better value for money.

 

Inside this review

More info

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