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4 years ago

Nexus 7 makes the best in-car entertainment system ever

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The folks at SonicElectronix have just built my dream car. Not because it's a big gas-guzzling Dodge RAM, or because it has black leather interior. Those are both great things, but they took the double-din head unit out and replaced it with a compartment to hold a Google Nexus 7 tablet to drive it over the edge for me. 

Using an Audison bit one signal processor to drive the sound to the speakers, they have turned what many feel is the best tablet for the money into an information and entertainment device in the Dodge's ample dash. Of course you can use Google Navigation (though a Wifi connection from your phone or a hotspot), but more importantly you can use any of the numerous streaming services provided through the Play Store. While driving alone, I could jam to some Google Music, or while my wife is riding with me, she could watch a movie on Netflix. Or I could let her drive, grab a Bluetooth controller, and play Riptide GP

Of course we've seen tablets built into cars and trucks before, but with Google's 7-inch offering in the Nexus 7, the project has a completely built-in OEM look and feel. Check out the video, then dream with me. 

Source: SonicEletronixTV

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4 years ago

Now might be a good time to check out the NASA app for Android

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Mars. Pictures of Mars. Video from Mars. You know, that planet next door.

Now, we don't wanna get all up in your business here, but if you've yet to download the NASA Android application, perhaps this is the time to do so.

See, there's this red planet out there. It's called Mars. And there's this little robot guy who touched down on the surface last night. We'll call him "Curiosity." And he's currently snapping some pictures and basically casing the joint. And 14 minutes after the shutter snaps, NASA's looking over the pictures -- and uploading them for the rest of us to see. (And that's a damn sight faster than NBC can manage to get news out of London. Just saying.)

The app's more than just that, of course, with video and mission profiles, among other trivial parts of blasting into space on top of a giant rocket ship. 

So, yeah. If you've yet to check out the NASA app for Android, perhaps now's the time to do so.

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4 years ago

A quick look at Sense 4.1 on the HTC One X

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We told you over the weekend about Football's Sense 4.1-based ROM for the HTC One X. Today, we're taking it for a quick spin. And, as expected, it's still got the look and feel of the HTC One X. The homescreens are the same. The app drawer is the same. The settings menus look and feel the same. So HTC hasn't reinvented the wheel here, but neither did we expect them to.

You'll want to read through the maXimus ROM changelog for all the goodies. But for our purposes, there are a couple to focus on. One is the updated functionality of the recent apps button. Just like in the update we've seen for the HTC One S and the AT&T One X, it can now serve as a menu button, and it's still entirely optional. 

The other big change is the addition of Quick Settings in a tab in the notification bar. And it couldn't have come too soon. That feature has been sorely missed ever we made the leap from Sense 3 to Sense 4. You'd think that it would have made the transition, but things happen. One way or the other, we'd look for it to hit the HTC One line of phones at some point. Check out our video after the break.

Download: maXimus ROM

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4 years ago

Apple removes Youtube app in iOS 6, but it's not a shot at Google

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If you're connected to the Internet, you've probably heard that Apple has dropped support for their Youtube app in the upcoming version of iOS. You might have even heard that it's part of the vast thermonuclear nonsense that the late Steve Jobs started against Android, and other eye-grabbing headlines.

It's not.

Youtube has been one the the most popular applications for iOS since the beginning, and was even featured in the first round of iPhone commercials. Everyone loves Youtube, even Apple. We poke a lot of fun at Apple, but they would never remove a feature and user favorite from iDevices. This isn't part of the feud between Apple and Google, it's a way to provide a better experience with less work.

Previously, Apple wrote its own Youtube app and bundled it into iOS. And when compared to the Android version, it sucks. There was no monetization (ads), which means plenty of content was missing -- music videos from Vevo, for instance. As Rene mentions over at iMore, many users preferred to use Google's web player over the bundled app. If users (hey, that's you and me!) would rather use mobile Safari than your app, it's time for some changes. If those changes mean less work for the iOS development team, that's a win all around.

There is a bit of weirdness surrounding today's news though, and that's the part where Apple says they had to stop because their license expired. We aren't privy to what goes on between Apple and Google, and there surely is some sort of agreement between them concerning Youtube, but you don't need a license to make a Youtube app. A quick peek at Google Play will show you that anyone can build one using the public APIs, and plenty of folks with less resources than Apple have done just that. Apple is pretty hush-mouthed over this sort of thing, so we're not going to read too much into it, but they could make a Youtube app if they wanted to, with no strings attached.

Thankfully, they aren't. They're leaving it up to Google to make one and put it in the Appstore, where it can be downloaded by anyone who wants it -- which we're guessing will be everyone. A quick look at the Google+ app for iOS tells us Google can make an app that showcases HD content and looks beautiful, just like the latest Android app, and we're glad to see it happening. In the meantime, iOS 6 beta users can use Safari, and be glad that Apple did the right thing this time.

More: iMore

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4 years ago

Megatroid review - close enough to Metroid

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Megatroid came to Android recently, offering what will likely be the closest thing to a Metroid game we’ll ever see on mobile. There are a few things that make Megatroid much more than that though, including procedurally-created levels which ensure a fresh play-through every time, and a wide variety of high-tech weaponry than can be acquired through the course of gameplay or through in-app purchases.

For a free game, the graphics and action in Megatroid are excellent, rich with neon lighting and plenty of 3D models (despite the game’s side-scrolling nature).

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4 years ago

iBolt ProDock Alumina review

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Driving hands free is not only safe; it’s the law in many places. The iBolt ProDock Alumina keeps your phone in view so you can stay focused on the road.

 

Your new Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) or other Android phone can serve as a great navigator or in-car entertainment center. You can control lots of the functions with S voice or other voice control software, but you still need to be able to see your phone.

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4 years ago

Special Android sales event starts at 11 a.m. EST Tuesday

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If you haven't yet made the jump to the "red hot" Android device of the moment (hint, hint, it's SSSuper…) then you might want set your calendars and come back here tomorrow at 11am EST sharp when we'll present you with an absolutely great offer with the lowest price available online for this phone that comes in multiple flavors on the big red network.

This offer is presented by the Android Central Phone Store in association with Best Buy Mobile Solutions and will be limited to the first 100 people who place their order.

The additional bonus is that thanks to Best Buy Mobile's new "Buy it today, get it today." capability you will not only be able to buy it online quickly and at a super price but even (in most instances) be able to pick it up on the very same day!

So set your watches and get ready for 11am EST tomorrow …

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4 years ago

Pix’n Love review - a fresh take on retro platforming

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Pix’n Love Rush is currently being featured in the Google Play store, and it’s hard to ignore that delightfully retro pixellated devil in the app icon. The dead-simple platforming game has been available on Android for a long time now, bundling together a wide variety of mini-games in a distinct, slightly-warped pixellated package.

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4 years ago

AT&T's shared data plans available Aug. 23, online tool helps choose the one for you

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AT&T today announced that its new shared data plans will be available starting Aug. 23. The new plans are not -- repeat, not -- mandatory. So if you have one of those grandfathered unlimited data plans now, you'll can still have it on Aug. 23. Here's the breakdown of what the plans will cost you:

Amount of data in plan Cost for data Cost for each device Base total 1GB $40 $45 $85 4GB $70 $40 $110 6GB $90 $35 $125 10GB $120 $30 $150 15GB $160 $30 $190 20GB $200 $30 $230

So, for example, if you had two smartphones on a 6-gigabyte plan, you'd pay $160 a month. Voice calls and text messaging -- as well as tethering -- are included.

AT&T's also rigged up a little tool that will help you figure out which of these shared data "buckets" would be right for you. (Hit the link below to check it out.)

Source: AT&T; Also: Shared data plan tool

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4 years ago

InvisibleSHIELD Full Body for HTC One X review

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You bought the HTC One X because of its looks and you don’t want to cover it up in a case.

 

If you don’t want to put it in a case but you want to protect it from getting scratched, look into the invisibleSHIELD Full Body protective film.

Protective films aren’t new, but they do offer another way of protecting your smartphone. As long as you realize that a protective film won’t protect against drops and hard hits to the phone – it is worth considering if your main concern is scratching your phone.

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4 years ago

Buying a Galaxy S2, S3 or Note? Samsung's offering cash for your old phone

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If you're on the fence about whether to drop your hard-earned currency on a new Galaxy smartphone, Samsung Mobile USA is hoping to sweeten the deal with a option to take your old phone off your hands. On its official Facebook page, the manufacturer offers customers picking up a Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note the option to exchange your aging handset for up to $300 in cold, hard cash.

If you've just upgraded to a Note, S2 or S3, you can head to the Samsung Facebook page linked below and enter the details of your old phone, along with proof of purchase for your new one. You'll then be given a quote for your old handset, which is valid if you send your phone off to Samsung within 30 days.

As is always the case with buyback schemes like this, you're unlikely to make back a huge amount of money on a year-old handset, and even a newer devices like the iPhone 4S will only get you around $250 back. Nevertheless, if your old phone is just sitting around collecting dust, and you don't want to deal with the possible minefield of selling on eBay, Samsung's new upgrade program might be worth a look.

Source: Samsung Mobile USA on Facebook; via: The Verge

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4 years ago

Sony: Xperia P Android 4.0 update coming Aug. 19-25

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It looks like the Xperia P will be the next Sony handset in line for an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Sony Mobile India has taken to its official Facebook page to announce that ICS will start hitting Xperia P handsets from the week of Aug. 19-25. It's unclear whether this release window applies to India alone, but even if it does, other territories shouldn't expect too much of a delay given Sony's track record.

As we mentioned in our review of the Xperia P, it's a decent handset that was held back by the inclusion of Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box. With the much-needed bump up to ICS, the Xperia P will represent better value for money in an increasingly competitive mid-range smartphone market.

The news also bodes well for owners of the Xperia U and Xperia Sola, as these handsets are powered by the same internal hardware and run an almost identical ROM.

Source: Sony Mobile IN on Facebook; via: XperiaBlog

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4 years ago

Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note rumored for Jelly Bean updates in Q4

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​Latest unconfirmed reports suggest Galaxy S3 also well on its way to Android 4.1, Note 2 currently running ICS

Samsung's Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note could be on track to be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean before the end of the year, according to the latest online rumors​. The reports come from Samsung fansite SamMobie, and though they're unconfirmed rumors at this point, the site has proved fairly accurate with this sort of thing in the past.

Samsung's flagship Galaxy S III (S3) is said to be well on its way towards Jelly Bean, with internal testing proving successful, and "public" builds apparently now being put through their paces in anticipation of a late Q3 or early Q4 launch. Meanwhile, last year's leading Samsung phones, the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note are apparently being tested on Android 4.1 too. It's reported that the manufacturer currently plans to update both to Jelly Bean, though the decision isn't yet set in stone. Assuming these updates happen, the site suggests a release before the end of the year.

Looking forwards, there's uncertainty as to which version of Android the Galaxy Note 2 will ship with. The Note 2, which will be unveiled at a Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin on Aug. 29, is said to be running Ice Cream Sandwich right now, and the site's sources didn't know whether the final shipping firmware would be based on Android 4.0 or 4.1. Assuming it ships with ICS, it's suggested a Jelly Bean update will ship in the fourth quarter also.

We're well within unconfirmed rumor territory here, but the dates posited here certainly sound realistic. It's no surprise to see the S3 and Note 2 first in line for Jelly Bean, but today's reports might provide some hope for S2 and original Note owners that Samsung hasn't forgotten about them.

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

Kernel source code available for Korean Galaxy Note 10.1

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If today's Galaxy Note 10.1 announcements have inspired you to get working on custom ROMs for the upcoming tablet, you're in luck. Samsung has uploaded the Linux kernel source code for the Korean versions of the Note 10.1 to its Open Source Release Center.

The code won't be of much use to regular consumers, but it should kick-start the custom ROM community surrounding the stylus-wielding slate, which is due to go on sale globally later this month.

To grab the bits for yourself, head to the source link below, then type either of the Korean Note 10.1 model numbers -- "SHW-M480K" or "SHW-M480S" -- into the search box.

Source: Samsung Open Source; via: SamMobile 

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