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4 years ago

Tetris available for free today on the Amazon Appstore


Classic puzzle game Tetris is available today for free on the Amazon Appstore for today only. You know the drill: shaped blocks come down from the top of the screen, and you have to guide them down to create solid rows to make them disappear. Players earn bonus points for knocking out multiple rows at once, though the blocks come down faster as you plow onwards. The remake has a few new twists to the original, such as a variety of challenge missions and power-ups to help clear away blocks. 

The game's normally $2.99, so definitely worth picking up while it's free. Head on over to Amazon to get downloading. 

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4 years ago

7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD now shipping


The 7-inch version of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the refreshed version of the previous Kindle Fire are both available for sale and currently shipping to those who preordered. Unfortunately, the 32 GB Kindle Fire HDs aren't shipping until October 25. For those that missed the big announcement last week, here's a run-down of Amazon's latest tablets. 

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch - starting at $199

  • 16 GB / 32 GB storage
  • 7-inch 1280 x 800 touchscreen at 216 PPI
  • TI OMAP 4460 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 802.11n 5 Ghz MIMO Wi-Fi antenna
  • 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • 11 hours battery life

Refreshed Amazon Kindle Fire - starting at $159

  • 8 GB storage
  • 7-inch 1024 x 600 touchscreen at 169 PPI
  • TI OMAP 4430 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 8.5 hours battery life

If you haven't picked either one up yet, be sure to check out our hands-on time with both devices, and when you're ready to pull the trigger, you can get the refreshed 7-inch Kindle Fire or the new Kindle Fire HD at Amazon. Of course, you can always hold out for the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, which you'll have to do if you want the LTE model anyway, though it won't be available until November 20. Any of you guys going to hold out for the bigger one?

Also: haaaaaave you met our Kindle Fire HD Forums?

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4 years ago

Motorola loses rubber-banding patent case against Apple in Germany


Not long after its stateside patent win against Samsung has Apple secured another victory against Android, this time for an overscrolling bounce-back patent against Motorola in Germany. The win will likely mean a sales injunction as soon as Apple posts its 25 million euro bond, and for an extra 10 million euros, it can get Motorola to destroy the infringing devices. For another 10 million euros beyond that, Apple can force Motorola to announce a recall. It's worth noting that pushing that hard will also give Motorola a chance to appeal. Moto will also have a shot at appealing the damages for past infringement. 

Motorola has been contesting the validity of this patent, "List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling, and Rotation on a Touch-screen display", through the entire case, though Apple has defended it successfully so far and will do so one more time in Mannheim Regional Court on December 7 before all is said and done. 

Although Google owns Motorola and any patent wins against them ultimately affects Android, stock Android has been using glow effects instead of rubber-banding for overscrolling for some time now. At worst, it's a mild irritant that Google has to find work-arounds for these sort of things, but they're ultimately small details that won't significantly impact the Android experience. 

There's been quite a bit of talk about how many companies will sue Apple for LTE patent infringement once the iPhone 5 launches, which may be considerably more difficult to get around depending on who files the lawsuits and on what grounds. Should stuff like rubber-banding be patentable, or does it too obvious to be laid claim to? How many of Apple's complaints up to this point have you seen as valid? Has Google's investment in Motorola as a patent bulwark proven to be effective or is it more of a liability?

Via: FOSS Patents

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4 years ago

Triggertrap fires up an Android app, new dongle for remote photography


Attention all photo buffs and Android fans: You now have a new option for remote shooting. Triggertrap just released the second version of its mobile dongle (appropriately called the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle v2), with an Android application to to with it.

The dongle's been redesigned, and it's now smaller, faster and supports more cameras. It'll run you $29.99, which isn't bad at all. The Android application costs another $4.99 on top of that -- again, perfectly reasonable. With the app, you get eight options for remote shooting:

  • Cable release
  • Time lapse
  • Bulb ramping timelapse
  • Eased time lapse
  • Distance lapse
  • Star trail mode
  • Long exposure HDR
  • Long exposure HDR time lapse

The app is available now in Google Play.

More: Trigger Trap; Mobile Dongle v2

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4 years ago

Verizon's Galaxy Tab 10.1 getting Ice Cream Sandwich


And then there's the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which finally is slated to get its upgrade to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. 'Bout time, too.

You want a changelog? We got a change log, which reads thusly:

  • Applied Android Ice Cream (ICS) OS upgrade to 4.0.4.
  • Pinch to Zoom functionality has been added in homescreen and main menu screen.
  • Google Plus has been integrated.
  • Google Text-To-Speech Engine has been integrated in the upgrade.
  • In Email search menu, search criteria by date, sender & title.
  • In Email Composer, ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ options have been added.
  • A quick response message may be quickly inserted into the body while composing a message.
  • Initiate a ‘New Meeting Invitation’ for Exchange accounts.
  • Redesigned Gallery app with photo editor includes:
  • More ways to sort albums by time, location, people and tags.
  • Photo studio that allows users to crop and rotate pictures, set levels and remove red eyes.
  • Improved Picture Gallery widget lets users look at pictures directly on their home screen.
  • Rich and versatile camera capabilities including:
  • Android 4.0 Zero shutter lag exposure.
  • Continuous focus
  • Built-in face detection to locate faces in the frame and automatically set focus
  • Stabilized image zoom.
  • Single-motion panorama.
  • Apps can now set custom metering regions in a camera preview.
  • Wi-Fi Direct support by Android platform.
  • Android 4.0 introduces built-in support for connecting to Bluetooth Health Device Profile (HDP) devices. With support from third-party apps, users can connect to wireless medical devices and sensors in hospitals, fitness centers, homes and elsewhere.

So, there's that. Look for it on a tablet near you.

Source: Verizon (PDF); thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Incoming Verizon Galaxy S3 update brings fixes, remote diagnostics


The Verizon Galaxy S3 is slated to get s software update that will bring bug fixes along with Verizon "remote diagnostics" application that will let the carrier fix your phone from afar should you break something. (Not that any of our readers would ever do that.) No, it's not Jelly Bean, yet. You'll still have to wait a little while for that one, and, no, we don't know how long. (But being that we're talking about Verizon here ...)

Anyhoo. Here's the full changelog for version IMM76D:

  • Improved stability and connectivity with Back Up Assistant.
  • Added support for viewing the Guided Tour video’s over the Cellular Network.
  • Enhanced Customer Support with Verizon Remote Diagnostics.
  • Improved Data Connectivity when using SBeam.
  • NFC (TecTile) tagging issue resolved to ensure pre-programmed text messages are accurate
  • “No SIM” pop up issue has been resolved.

No word on when it'll start rolling out, but you can assume it will be "imminent," "soon," or any other nondescript term.

Source: Verizon (pdf); thanks to everyone who sent this in

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4 years ago

Android Central Podcast 108: Nonstop releases, baby!


Audio-only stream below

We're back from a couple weeks away, but there's more Android news to talk about than ever before!

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean voice actions, Unlocked bootloader warranty concerns [From the Forums]


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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4 years ago

Woz on the Apple v Samsung patent fights: 'I hate it'


Bloomberg has posted a short interview with Apple co-founder and everyone's favorite geek Steve Wozniak, and part of it spoke about the ongoing legal battles between Apple and Samsung. Woz, who is a tech fan in general and has went on record praising Android, doesn't seem to like the direction his old employer is heading.

“I hate it,” Wozniak said when asked about the patent fights between Apple and Samsung. “I don’t think the decision of California will hold. And I don’t agree with it -- very small things I don’t really call that innovative.

“I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies.”

He also spoke about the updated camera in the new iPhone 5, which he hopes has improved because his friends tell him that his Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) and Motorola RAZR takes better pictures than his iPhone 4 does. We have to wonder why he is using an old iPhone, but agree that the Galaxy S3 can take some awful nice pictures.

Maybe Woz is a bit idealistic, but it helps us remember that not everyone wants thermonuclear patent war.

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

US Cellular launches Wi-Fi Now app


U.S. Cellular is taking steps to help its customers find public Wi-Fi hotspots when they're out of the house by launching their own Wi-Fi Now app. The app, which is available for download from the Google Play Store (and soon Amazon App Store) for current customers, runs on the device and will automatically connect to known good Wi-Fi access points. The app can also be configured to automatically connect to Wi-Fi at home after manually entering the connection information. U.S. Cellular also states that it will be loading the Wi-Fi Now app on all Android devices it sells from this point forward. If you're willing, using an app like this can really help cut down your monthly data usage.

Compared to having a persistent Wi-Fi button in your notification bar bugging you all day like some recent Verizon and AT&T devices, we think that U.S. Cellular has a better approach here. Giving the user the choice on whether or not to automatically connect is a good thing.

Take a look at the full press release after the break.

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 nightly builds for the Motorola Xoom WiFi and LTE now ready


Although the Motorola Xoom WiFi hasn't been suffering from any lack of love, the LTE versions haven't exactly felt the same. Sure, you can go ahead and flash a build of Jelly Bean to the device if you're rooted but for the more adventurous out there you now have another option to try out.

CyanogenMod 10 nightly builds for the Motorola Xoom WiFi and LTE are ready for your flashing pleasure. These are official builds from the CyanogenMod team but it's important to note, you'll be on the bleeding edge if you flash any of them. Some things will work, some things -- not so much.

If you don't really care about all of that, you can hit the CyanogenMod site using the links below and get started with CyanogenMod 10. Make sure you drop by the Android Central forums and let us know how things are working out for ya!

Source: CyanogenMod, Downloads: WiFi, LTE

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4 years ago

FUD fighting: Every smart device has unpatched vulnerabilities


OMG! Have you heard? Half of all Android devices have unpatched vulnerabilities, and are out there, sharing the same air as we are! The horror!

That's the feeling you'll get if you poke around the Internet today and read a blog or two, where folks are talking about a study from Duo Security, a company that sells authentication software to be used on smartphones. They even have a nifty little app you can install to check your Android device to see if it's vulnerable. The app isn't in Google Play, but it's linked at the bottom of the post if you want to check it out yourself.

Sounds scary, right? That's 50 percent of Android phones, all over the world, all unpatched and ripe for some sort of online hacking has got to be bad. It's the end for Google and Android, and we're all screwed.

Just. Stop.

Here's what's going on. The app you can download runs and scans your device to see if any of eight popular root exploit holes are still open. These are things that were patched in more recent versions of Android or newer versions of the Linux kernel. If your phone or tablet is unpatched, you'll get a warning about it. It's all above-the-board, and these exploits probably are unpatched in 50 percent of Android phones.

But what about the other thousands of exploits, or the ones that haven't been made public yet? You can't just use the eight easy ones and call it a day. My Galaxy Nexus is safe, according to this app, but it's sitting there with an unlocked bootloader, rooted, and ready for bad things to happen. You're not getting the full story from this app -- or from the blogs out there talking about it.

But we can help.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE coming to Sprint on Sept. 16


Although we've seen the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE pop up several times now in training material and various other leaks, Sprint and Samsung have now officially announced the device. Arriving on Sunday, September 16 the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE will lighten your bank account by only $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate.

For that money, you'll be getting Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 1.2 GHz dual-cCore Qualcomm processor, 4-inch touchscreen display as well as a 5MP shooter on the back and a 1.3MP shooter up front. Other features include NFC along with Google Wallet compatibility and the usual TouchWiz components such as All Share and S-Beam. You can jump below for the full press release.

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4 years ago

EarPods for ear holes on Android


How does Android work with Apple's new EarPods? We take the $29 pair for a spin


Apple now has EarPods. For your ear holes. And you know what? They're not half bad, especially considering they're only $29. Actually, they're pretty darn good.

But what about using them on Android devices? Will they curl up their cute little white cables and slink away, their cries of "Noooooooooooooooo!!!" echoing in the distance? Of course not. That'd be, well, crazy.

So how do they sound? And how well do they work? Keep on keepin' on for a few more thoughts.

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4 years ago

Motorola announces Android-powered desktop system with 18.5-inch touchscreen


Motorola has just launched a really interesting Android-powered pseudo-computer in China that hosts all sorts of home entertainment content. The HMC3260 has an 18.5-inch LED touchscreen that can play TV shows, movies, play games, browse the web, and otherwise run Android apps. Motorola partnered up with a cloud service provider called WASU to load this thing up with content. Here are the specs. 

  • Freescale i.MX53 ARM Cortex A8 1GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR RAM, 4 GB NAND flash memory.
  • 18.5-inch LED display (1366x768 @ 60Hz, 16:9 widescreen)
  • Android 2.3.4 operating system, customized Android Launcher with rich desktop experience
  • TV and video client and integration
  • Broadband internet access through EuroDOCSIS and LAN (PPPoE / DHCP +, etc.)

While Android is certainly no stranger to dipping its toes in the desktop computer world, it's not often we see big-name manufacturers create an all-out desktop device complete with a mouse and keyboard. It's still running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, so don't expect a whole lot from the Motorola HMC3260, but the concept sure is interesting. 

There's no information on pricing or availability, but you can find more info at the source link below. Could you imagine an Android-powered device that would replace a traditional desktop computer? I'm looking at you, Transformer Prime owners. 

Source: Motorola

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