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4 years ago

Galaxy S III case review: official clear TPU case

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If you've just blown £500 or so on a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S III (or committed to a new 24-month contract to get a subsidized model), you'll want to do everything you can to prevent it from knocks and scrapes. One of the first cases to appear for the S III on the European launch day was the official clear TPU case, manufactured by Anymode. This is a basic flexible plastic shell that matches the curved design of the S III, and features raised areas along the sides to allow easy pressing of the power button and volume rocker. And you've also got cut-outs for the LED flash, camera, rear speaker, mics, headphone jack and microUSB port. The case extends around the edge of the device, covering the corners, which are most susceptible to damage from falls or sudden impacts.

Texture-wise, the case is typical of most TPU offerings -- it's flexible and a little plasticky, without awkward rubber-like feeling that characterizes some silicone cases. Its flexibility means it's easy enough to put on or remove from the phone, while the patterned area inside the case grips the back of the phone securely to avoid slippage.

As it's transparent, you won't be upsetting the aesthetics of the Galaxy S III too much. The extra thickness isn't all that noticeable during regular use, or when the two are pocketed. Our only design concern stems from the slightly rough edges of the case, likely caused by the molding process, though that's true of many cases of this kind.

The clear TPU case for the Samsung Galaxy S III is available for around £15 from retailers in the UK. We've got more photos after the break.

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4 years ago

Ford SYNC and AppLink for Android set to expand globally

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Back during CES 2012 we got a real good look at all the things Ford was doing with their Sync service including the deep integration with Android and AppLink. Having put it all to the test in the U.S. Ford has now announced they'll be expanding the offerings globally with the introduction of the services to Asia.

“We will continue to work closely with leading developers and companies in local markets and around the world to make existing apps compatible with SYNC AppLink and provide the best services for our customers,” Ed Pleet, Director, Connected Services, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe.

To help expand the offerings, Ford will be working with developers locally to create localized content using the SYNC Developer SDK. On hand at Computex 2012, Ford will be hosting a hackathon with Ford engineers to help developers started on integration applications and more. The full press release from Ford is available below.

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4 years ago

It's stylus week at Android Central!

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With the popularity of phone-tablet hybrids like the Samsung Galaxy Note -- to say nothing of actual tablets -- it's time to take a look at that long-controversial accessory -- the stylus. Back in the days of resistive touchscreens, these guys were all but necessary for making a smartphone useful. But things change, and the stylus found itself relegated to mostly accessory status. But that doesn't mean it's not still useful.

So this week you'll see a series of reviews on our favorite pen-like accessory, and we might even give away a few, with some help from our pals at ShopAndroid.com. Get your writing hand ready, folks. It's stylus time!

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4 years ago

Cruzerlite Androidified A2 TPU Case for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus [accessory review]

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If you're looking to protect your Samsung Galaxy Nexus with something flexible and strong, but want to travel in style, the Cruzerlite Androidified A2 TPU Case is definitely the case you seek.

Made out of that signature orange goo Phil was good enough to coat his hand with (and subsequently get smashed with a rubber mallet), these Cruzerlite cases offer exceptional shock absorption while still keeping the overall size of the phone and case small.

Holes are cut and placed appropriately, giving you access to all of your buttons and necessary ports (including the inductive charging port). Despite the thinness of the case, I'm not positive any docks will be able to reach the inductive charging area, but do know that it's not covered.

 

The edges of the case add a small buffer zone, keeping your all-important touch screen lifted up, should you decide to place it with the screen facing down. Better yet, this case fits perfectly on phones using the standard battery or the official Samsung 2100 mAh extended battery, too, so you can get your extra charge on all while keeping your phone nice and secure.

If you're looking for a solid case to keep your phone intact and want to show off your love and support of Android, this case should certainly warrant some consideration. To top it off, it comes in 11 colors, too!

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4 years ago

The LG Optimus S gets one of the coolest custom recoveries around with Cannibal Open Touch

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LG's original Optimus One series of devices turned out to be one of last year's surprises. It ran as well as the big dogs when it first came out, and as long as you were comfortable hacking the living crap out of it you have a little Android phone that did everything. It's the perfect mix of price and performance for more than a few. When a phone gets that much push behind it, third-party development for lives forever. We see that again today, with the release of Cannibal Open Touch recovery for the Optimus S. Everything you like about the others is there, plus support for both Froyo and Gingerbread ROM flashing, touch-screen navigation buttons, even custom themeing is on board. Of course it is fully open source and the code is posted at bitbucket.

If you're hankerin' to give Cannibal Open Touch a try on you Optimus S, hit the link below for files and instructions. It's devs like this that let folks keep the same phones long after they have fell out of style and still have the latest and greatest. We tip our hat to all involved!

[RECOVERY] Cannibal Open Touch v1.0.2 (It's....ALIVE!)

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4 years ago

LG Optimus 4X HD launches today in Germany, UK in 'July'

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We has broad details of the Optimus 4X HD's European launch from LG Korea a few days back, but today brings confirmation that the device is launching right now in Germany. Other European territories won't be far behind, though, as LG promises the 4X HD will arrive in the Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom and Italy soon afterwards. The closest we have to a UK release date comes from online retailer Clove Technology, which says it's been informed of a "mid-to-late July" launch window. UK mobile networks have yet to announce availability for the device.

LG's new flagship comes with a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display and Android 4.0, topped off with LG's Optimus UI 3.0. For more on the Optimus 4X HD, be sure to check out our hands-on previews from Mobile World Congress and CTIA.

We've got today's press release after the break.

More: Clove

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4 years ago

Sony trades Facebook likes for early Xperia announcement

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Sony's got a new Xperia smartphone on the horizon, and it's willing to bring its announcement date forward in exchange for a few "likes" on Facebook. At present, all will be revealed next Thursday, June 21, but the company's calling on fans to press a "fast forward" button to bring the announcement forward (naturally, liking the promotion or sharing with friends will also speed things up.) There's also the chance to win the mysterious device, if you're up for clicking a few more buttons and entering your email address.

Given the level of buzz Sony is looking to create, we see only one likely candidate for the "next Xperia," as it's being called -- an international version of the Xperia GX, perhaps under a different name.  A new flagship product, the GX is currently slated to arrive in Japan next month, so an international variant would be expected to follow. It'd also back up reports of a device codenamed "LT29i" or "Hayabusa," which reportedly features a spec list identical to the GX. According to a Sony roadmap which leaked earlier in the year, the Hayabusa was targeted for a July launch, which would fit perfectly with the announcement window.

We'll keep you posted whenever Sony announces its next big thing. Hit the source link if you want to press buttons and move forward a giant animated clock.

Source: Sony on Facebook

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4 years ago

Andy Rubin, rumor smasher: Not leaving Google; 900,000+ Android activations daily

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Gotta love a good unfounded rumor on a slow Sunday afternoon. Or not. 

Regardless, Robert Scoble this afternoon set up a trial balloon to see what folks though about the possibility of Andy Rubin possibly leaving Google for a startup called CloudCar. Wrote Scoble on Google+

Today I heard that the head of Android, +Andy Rubin, will soon leave Google and head to a new startup called http://www.cloudcar.com/

Now, that rumor has two purposes: one, it might be true, in which case I start thinking about what that means for Android. I certainly will be looking for those signs when I attend the Google IO conference.

it didn't take long for Rubin to set the record straight, responding on Google+

How a rumor gets factualized: Cloudcar are a group of friends who I give free office space to in my incubator in Los Altos.  Revel Touch (Mar Hershenson's company: www.reveltouch.com) is another cool company that shares this space.  I'm not joining either one and I don't have any plans to leave Google.  See you on the 27th!

Roger that. Over and out. 

So in more Earth-based news, Rubin has also stated that there are over 900,000 Android activations daily -- up from 850,000 just a couple months ago at MWC. Before we delve into just how big that number is, let's revisit what each of those activations are. When a new Android device with a cellular radio has a Google account signed into it, it's counted as an activation. Each device only gets counted once -- not when you flash a new ROM, or when you sell it, just the first time the device is registered. This means that over 900,000 people are buying new Android devices every day. Or 27,000,000 every month. Or 328,500,000 a year at that rate. That's a lot of Android.

Looks like we'll be seeing plenty of Andy Rubin, and plenty of Android activations for the time being.

Source: +Andy Rubin. More: +Robert Scoble

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for June 10, 2012

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We're a day late but worth the wait! Welcome to the latest iteration of our Android Apps of the Week, where we showcase apps that we find interesting. Have an app you think we should take a look at? Feel free to e-mail us and we'll give it a gander.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, onto the show!

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: When your phone can't do a damn thing to help ...

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When your fair city finds itself getting more than a foot of rain in less than a day, there's no escaping that sense of helplessness. There's not a damn thing you can do, and that's not exactly the sort of thing you can prepare for. Even the hurricanes I've been through haven't dumped that much rain. (Or if they did, the wind kept it moving enough so that the standing water didn't overtake things.)

And unlike during a hurricane, my phone wasn't much of a help. See, in a hurricane, the power and cable often are the first to go, meaning you'll be relying on mobile communications for as long as they'll last. (And since the awful hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, the carriers have been quick to tell us all about the improvements they've made to their backup systems.) But during Saturday's rain, I had power. I had Internet. And so I sat here, at my desk, keeping up on where the worst flooding was, what the radar was like, and what the next 24 hours was going to bring. (Hint: More rain.) That's not to say it's not important to have a phone around for emergencies, it's just that in this case, when we weren't exactly in imminent danger, there just wasn't much use for it. It was an odd feeling.

We'll talk some more about this later this week, but I'd urge everyone to think about their phones and tablets and how they can help get you through those days when Mother Nature decides to be a real bitch. 

Oh, look. It's starting to pour again.

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4 years ago

LG announces Optimus 4X HD European launch

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LG has announced that it's in the process of launching its new international flagship, the Optimus 4X HD, in major European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and Italy. A quad-core, Tegra 3-powered handset with a 720p IPS display, the 4X HD is the first European handset to debut LG's new Optimus UI 3.0, which runs on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

LG's also highlighting its "Quick notes" functionality, which lets users draw on the screen using their fingers, or a capacitive stylus, as well as Media Flex, which allows a range of real-time multimedia effects during video playback. 

No exact release date has been revealed, so we're expecting things to vary country-by-country. If you want to see what LG's bringing to the table in 2012, be sure to check out our hands-on previews from Mobile World Congress and CTIA.

Source: LG Newsroom (Korean)

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III will use a different MHL to HDMI adapter

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If you're planning on purchasing a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S III, and have an existing Android phone that uses a MHL to HDMI adapter for video out, you'll be needing to replace that adapter. According to Samsung the hardware differences -- the Galaxy S III uses a different pin layout than previous phones did -- make the old adapters incompatible with the phone. 

While it's a bit inconvenient, it's almost to be expected. There's even more stuff crammed inside a thinner phone, so hardware has been redesigned and things that plug in need redesigned, too. It's probably not a conspiracy to force everyone to buy a new adapter (most of us probably will never use one anyway), and the parts themselves retail for about $25 bucks for a Samsung branded OEM model. 

If you're in the UK or Europe, you can grab one at Clove (£20.82-- check out the video after the break), and we're pretty sure you'll be able to find them at your carriers store here in the US when the SGS3 launches. Just don't try your old one -- you don't want to be the guy who finds out what happens when you plug it in and turn it on!

Via: +Arne Hess

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - June 9, 2012

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The past week in international Android Central coverage has been dominated by two highly-anticipated new devices -- Samsung's Galaxy S III and Orange's new Intel-powered San Diego. We published our exhaustive review of the former, and a complete video walkthrough of the latter. And whereas the Galaxy S III may be the latest and greatest Android flagship, it's the San Diego which could be the true representation of the Android's future. We're sure plenty of consumers will find room in their pockets for Intel-powered Androids in the months ahead, and we found the San Diego to be a reasonably-priced handset that offers exceptional performance even on a single core. Stay tuned for our full review in the near future.

In other news, we received the first word that the "pebble blue" Galaxy S III has started shipping in Europe and Australia, marking the end of the delays surrounding that model. And UK networks O2 and Vodafone announced an infrastructure-sharing plan that could help both networks roll out 4G LTE coverage to more Brits, more quickly.

We'd definitely recommend you check out our full review of the Galaxy S III and walkthrough of the Orange San Diego, as well as the rest of the week's highlights linked below. (And watch out for our full review of the Sony Xperia P in the next week or so). If you've got international news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special features:

News:

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4 years ago

No extra free storage for AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S III owners! The horror!

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So if you get the AT&T or Verizon version of the Galaxy S III, you won't be getting a free extra 48 gigbytes of online storage on Dropbox. That sucks, considering that our European friends have it, and presumably Sprint and T-Mobile will as well. (And it's little toughter for AT&T fans to swallow since you can only get the AT&T GSIII in a 16-gigabyte flavor -- OK, throw a microSD card in there, but still.) But, hey, that's the carriers' right. They don't want to pick up the tab, Dropbox doesn't want to give it away for free (not that we necessarily blame them after what some folks did with the SGSIII promotion), and so we won't be getting the extra free space, a fact Dropbox has been happy to advertise in its help forums:

U.S. AT&T and Verizon customers

Select carriers have opted-out of the promotion on phones otherwise eligible. Unfortunately, AT&T and Verizon are among these carriers not currently participating.

It's not like you can't get a buttload of free Dropbox space already, though, with the usual 2GB of initial space, plus another 500MB for each referral, up to 18GB. (And if you have a friend with an HTC One phone, you probably can finagle a bit more, too.) If it's not worth it to AT&T and Verizon in this case, them's the breaks. End of the world? Not hardly. And if you really do need that 50 gigabytes, you can always pony up the $9.99 a month (or $99 a year) in that old-fashion, capitalistic manner.

Source: Dropbox; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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