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4 years ago

MIT Android App Inventor beta launches, caves under initial traffic

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Update: Everything seems to be up and running now.

A little ahead of schedule, the first beta version of MIT's App Inventor for Android landed on the web today at appinventor.mit.edu. The App Inventor, first launched by Google in mid-2010 before being discontinued and open-sourced last year, allows just about anyone to dive directly into Android app development with a simple web-based interface. To get started with the public beta, all you need is a Google Account and a little creativity.

However the launch seems to have been a little bumpy -- earlier this morning the site was working just fine, but now MIT's servers seem to be having trouble dealing with the influx of traffic. Hopefully it'll be back up before too long -- we'll update this post whenever there are any further signs of life from MIT's site.

More: MIT App Inventor; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 is/isn't coming, Part VIII

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Hate to say we told you so, but ... Samsung, in Korean on its official Twitter account, says recent reports that the Galaxy S III -- which, by the way, hasn't been announced and therefore doesn't officially exist --  will be released in April are not true.

We're shocked.

Samsung also tells The Verge that it'll be announced in the first half of the year (note that it calls it the "successor to the Galaxy S II," because the Galaxy S3 or Galaxy S III doesn't actually exist) and that ... WAIT! In the first half of the year but not March or April? That means May or June! Sixty-one more days for wild-ass guessing! Breaksclusive, yo!

Seriously, folks. It'll be announced when it's announced. And we'll all swoon. Promise.

Sources: @Samsung; The Verge

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4 years ago

UK Xperia Arc S price plummets ahead of Xperia S launch

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As Sony prepares to launch the first of its 2012 smartphones in the UK, one retailer has taken the initiative to offer the earlier Sony Ericsson flagship at a significantly reduced price. Right now British online store Dialaphone will sell you an Xperia Arc S for £199.89 off-contract -- a good deal less than the £350+ you'd have paid in late 2011. The offer applies to PAYG Arc S models locked to O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile or Orange, assuming you purchase a £10 top-up with either network at the same time.

As we discussed last year, the phone packs a pretty comprehensive feature set, including an excellent EXMOR R camera, in a slim, stylish chassis. It's also due an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the weeks ahead, which should give it a new lease of life. For more on the Arc S, check out our exhaustive review. Or if you're wondering what's next from Sony, you'll want to take a look over our initial review of the Xperia S.

Source: Dialaphone; via: Eurodroid

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Mobile World Congress hangover edition

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It's good to be home.

Don't get me wrong. Mobile World Congress is a blast. That we get to work for a week in Barcelona, Spain, is but one perk of this job, and certainly not one that should be taken for granted. As always, it's great to see old friends and make a few new ones, too. And to top it all off, we had great weather this year. (The past two had been cold, wet and relatively miserable, especially for those of us from Florida.)

Oh, and we got to see the next generation of smartphones. So, yeah, there's that, too.

And with that, a few thoughts on the far side of MWC ...

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4 years ago

Beats Audio software ported to non-HTC devices

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Audio quality is always something that will be subjective. Opinions on what good sounds like will always differ from person to person. This definitely applies to Beats Audio, and the inclusion of Beats on new HTC devices. HTC have just opened up the API to the Beats software for third-party apps to take advantage, but XDA member RockoDev has gone further than that. He has managed to port the Beats software for use on non-HTC devices into a flashable zip file.

Beats is essentially a branded equalizer. The files have been pulled for flashing to other devices. Expectations shouldn't be set too high though, as again everyone has different tastes in sound quality. Flashed to my LG Optimus 2X, I actually do feel there was a general improvement. 

When comparing it's important not to fall into any placebo effect. Just because it's there doesn't make it better. The test setup was a song that I know very well, and a pair of good quality Bang and Olufsen earphones. In listening to the same song a few times before and after flashing Beats, there was a noticable change. Nothing groundbreaking, but the bass was improved and the overall sound did feel better.

You'll find more at the source links below if you fancy trying it out for yourselves. We know a lot of you don't like Beats, but there's a lot of people that do. Shout out in the comments with your thoughts if you do decide to try it. 

Source: XDA Developers

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4 years ago

What was your favorite thing from Mobile World Congress?

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With Mobile World Congress behind us, and all of the wildness dying down, we are left wondering what your favorite thing was from this years event. With tons and tons of new phones announced, innovative ideas flowing, and news beyond what we could comprehend it was a wild few days. Was it the Samsung Galaxy Beam, HTC's new line of phones, or the Carrier IQ information they announced?

Hit the break with us and check out some of our very own favorites, and be sure to sound off in the comments and let us know what your favorite was!

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4 years ago

Someone said 'Android 5.0' and 'Jelly Bean' in the same sentence; Key Lime Pie now rumored to follow

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ZOMG ANOTHER STORY ABOUT JELLY BEAN!

So here's the deal: An ASUS VP dropped the following quote to TechRadar:

"ASUS is very close to Google, so once they have Android 5.0 I think there will be a high possibility that we will be the first wave to offer the Jelly Bean update."

Dunno if ASUS is any closer to Google than any of the other manufacturers, but it did get one of the first Ice Cream Sandwich updates out the door, so more power to it. But it's entirely possible that this VP also was just repeating what everyone else has been saying anyway -- that the next verison of Android will be Android 5.0, and that it'll be nicknamed "Jelly Bean."

But, wait! Jelly Bean's still not even official, and today The Verge says Key Lime Pie will follow up. No word on when, or -- more important -- what either JB or KLP will actually be.

An official announcement from Google, neither of these is not. But let's go ahead and start guessing what L will be, shall we? Licorice? That's obvious enough, no?

Sources: TechRadar, The Verge; thanks to everyone who sent this in

 

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4 years ago

Samsung Israel says Galaxy S II ICS update coming Mar. 15

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Rumors of a March launch for the Samsung Galaxy S II's Android 4.0 upgrade have been circulating for a while, but now it seems we may have the first official word on when the update will land. Samsung Mobile Israel has today made a statement on its official Facebook page, saying it expects ICS for the Galaxy S II to roll out on unlocked and carrier-branded handsets in Israel from Mar. 15.

Roughly translated, the post reads --

We promised we were working on it. You waited patiently. And on 15 March it'll arrive: Android version 4, ICS, to tens of thousands of GALAXY S II devices purchased from cellular companies in the country or directly from us. We are very excited for the launch, hope you are too :)

While this is great news for Galaxy S II owners in Israel (as well as those with the unlocked international version upon which it's based), other territories may have a little longer to wait. We'd expect this to be particularly true for the U.S., where hardware differs from carrier to carrier.

So far, the steady trickle of leaked ICS ROMs for the Galaxy S II have shown Samsung making progress towards stable builds over the past couple of months. We'll keep you posted with any further announcements, while we cross our fingers for a Mar. 15 launch.

Source: Samsung Mobile Israel; Thanks, Orenium!

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 3, 2012

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Now that the madness of Mobile World Congress is coming to an end, and we are all super excited about upcoming Android devices, it is time to continue to load up great apps on your current one. Let's hit the break together and check out some of our picks from this week, and be sure to let us know in the comments your favorite app, and why!

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia S hands-on video and initial review

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It's been just days since we wrapped up Mobile World Congress, but we're already seeing the first flagship phone launch of the year. The Sony Xperia S was released unexpectedly at the Sony Store in Barcelona last Sunday, and it'll go on sale across Europe over the next couple of weeks. For 2012, Sony -- formerly Sony Ericsson -- has made a clean break with the appearance of earlier models, adopting a new design language based around the trademark clear bar below the screen. Sony's also introduced some impressive new hardware in its latest high-end device, which includes the new 720p HD Reality Display and a 12-megapixel EXMOR R camera.

We'll have a full review written up in the next week or so, but in the meantime you can click past the break for our hands-on video, along with more photos and some first impressions.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Beam - hands-on with pico projecting goodness

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Phil got his mitts on the Samsung Galaxy Beam at Mobile World Congress 2012, but it's definitely worth seeing the built-in projector in action.

Just to recap, the Samsung Galaxy Beam is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has a dual-core 1 GHz processor, 768 MB of RAM, 8 GB of local storage, 4-inch WVGA display, and a 2000 mAh battery to keep the projector humming along.

Outside of professionals that need to do a lot of presentations in the field, I could see the Beam being a good choice for those that tend to watch video before going to bed; just plug it in, prop it into a stand, and project some sleepy videos onto the cieling. It's still a pretty specific niche, though; are any of you guys particularly excited about a fresh device with a projector? The last time we saw a smartphone remotely like this was the LG Expo

Video after the jump!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 is/isn't coming, Part VII

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If you wonder why we scoff at all these rumors regarding phones that haven't been announced, it's because of things like this: A day after ZDNet cited some marketing sources as saying the Galaxy S3 would be released in April after being announced in March, Korean website MT is now quoting Samsung as saying that ain't gonna happen, at least not before the summer.

In other words, nobody knows when the hell it's coming, except maybe Samsung (and quite possibly it hasn't even decided yet).

Source: MT (translated); via Unwired View
More: Rumored devices forum

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4 years ago

YouTube app update brings HD quality to capable Froyo and Gingerbread devices

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It seems that Google have gone and snuck another little YouTube update into the Android Market. This one is directed towards anyone on Android 2.2 and 2.3, and brings HD video streaming to anyone on those platforms with a capable device. That isn't going to be a good portion of you, but if you're one of the lucky ones then with this update you should see some better looking videos. 

It seems to be a hit and miss update too. Not all devices have been showing it up -- which sounds very familiar. There are also reports that not all devices are able to install it via the Market either.You can find some handy download links can be found after the break. 

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4 years ago

PowerAMP on sale this weekend for only $2

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Looking in the Android Market to see what apps are possibly on sale this weekend? If so, you'll want to check out PowerAMP. The folks from Max MP have are celebrating their success and wanted to give the community a little something back for all the love they've been shown.

Rarely do we get users that make us so proud of what we've created. We have received ratings that have constantly staid above the 4.5 mark even after 100,000+ rating on top of that, we have received over 15,000,000 downloads. As thank you, we are doing a 48 hour application sale for $1.99. So if you love our player and want to get it for a bargain price (only time you'll get this chance this year), here you go guys. Thanks for using our player!

PowerAMP  normally goes for $4.99 has been reduced down to only $2 in the Android Market and will stay that way up until Sunday. We've checked out PowerAMP in the past and were more then pleased with it's offering, so if you're looking to get better control of how you listen to music this would be the time to do it. You'll find the download to the free trial version past the break, from there you can purchase the upgrade unlocker.

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