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4 years ago

Samsung Mobile's VP of Design responds to accusations of copying Apple


In a recent interview with news outlet Reuters, Samsung Mobile's vice president of design, Lee Minhyouk, shed some light on the Korean manufacturer's recent rise to the top of the smartphone heap. Tracing the ascent back to the (dark) days of the Omnia, Lee detailed the origins of the company's first major splash in the swimming pool, the OG Galaxy, which he says grew out of the lessons learned from the failed Omnia. 

More interesting than the history of the Galaxy line, however, is Lee's defense against accusations that it blatantly ripped off Apple's design model. Having sold over 44 million Galaxys since its launch, Lee says that the product is steeped in Samsung's "technology, color, and design language."

I've made thousands of sketches and hundreds of prototype products (for the Galaxy). Does that mean I was putting on a mock show for so long, pretending to be designing?

While Lee admits that he isn't at the level of expertise as the big-wigs over in Cupertino, he is confident that Samsung will eventually create a product to "define our time," and he hopes that he's at the helm when it happens.

It's not just effort that makes it possible for a new product to be a massive hit. It also has to be timely, and technology should be ready to make a certain design a reality.

Reuter's full interview, which is definitely worth the read, can be found at the source link.

Source: Reuters

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4 years ago

The King of Fighters Android arrives for a handful of phones


Classic SNK fighting game The King of Fighters has launched for Android today, and is available to download from the Google Play Store, assuming you own one of the handful of supported devices. The 2D beat-'em-up will set you back £3.79 in the UK, or $4.99 stateside, and includes 20 fighters from previous KoF titles, along with five game modes. If you're into unlockables, you'll also be able to gain access to bonus content including "gallery" mode and trading cards.

Unfortunately, The King of Fighters Android is currently marked as incompatible with a large number of devices, and from what we can tell, only a handful of Samsung and Sony Ericsson phones have access at present. Owners of other phones and tablets may be out of luck until the game's updated to explicitly allow access on other devices. 

Hit the break for the Google Play link, and today's announcement press release from SNK.

Source: Eurodroid

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4 years ago

Light Flow LED Control [Android App Review]


YouTube link for mobile viewing

I absolutely adore my Galaxy Nexus. It's fast, has a gorgeous screen, and perhaps most of all, has a notification LED that supports more than three colors. While that might sound a tad bit ridiculous, when I caught wind of the fact that I could potentially have a custom LED color for specific types of notifications, I clicked my heels with joy.

Enter Light Flow LED Control. If all you want to do is customize your LED colors, you'll get all that and more out of Light Flow.

Once you've opened up the app, you're presented with a pretty bland menu screen. You've got general settings, a list of additional apps Light Flow supports that you don't have installed, and even a tools menu, but notifications is where the magic really happens.

Hop into the notifications menu and you're greeted with a pre-populated list of notifications your phone can already handle and what color the LED will flash for them. Changing an LED color is as easy as pie. Select the notification you want to change and you'll move into a notification-specific menu.

Within this menu you can turn the notification on and off, designate what clears the notification, and most importantly, select your color. Light Flow boasts an impressive list of colors (18 plus the ability to have a custom color), so in the event you've got more than 18 notifications you want to customize, you're not out in the cold.

You can also set how quickly the LED will flash and how long it will last before automatically turning off, and if you're so inclined, enable sounds and vibration patterns. It's very cool for Light Flow to give you the option, but be aware: the sounds and notifications you set within Light Flow can conflict with the standard notifications, so you'll either have to turn one set off or deal with double of everything.

If you're curious what the various colors look like, Light Flow has an "all enabled LEDs test" within the tools menu. It's cool to look at, fun to show off with, and if you're just getting started, the fastest way to get an idea of what all the colors show up as on your phone, so you can get your notifications set the first time.

If you're as OCD as I am about controlling your phone (or just like the idea of having lots of cool, custom colored LEDs), then Light Flow LED Control is the app for you. It's got a simple, easy-to-use interface, supports more than 200 applications, and essentially works like a charm.

Light Flow LED Control is $1.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the ZTE Fury


We have seen our fair share of low- to mid-range devices release over the past year, and it takes quite a bit for one of them to stick out now-a-days. While ZTE may not be a huge name in Android world right now, they are certainly not taking a back seat in this battle at all. Recently ZTE announced the ZTE Fury for the Sprint network, and the device is priced and spec'd for a low to mid range device, but is it really worth skimping out on a few dollars at the time of signing that new contract, and getting a device like this?

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4 years ago

Orange UK targeting April for Galaxy S II ICS update


Earlier this week, Orange UK wasn't too sure when it's be rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for Samsung Galaxy S II phones on its network, but now it appears the carrier has a release window in mind. Crave​ reports that Orange now intends to release the update sometime in April, putting it on par with O2, which is planning a similar timeframe for its own ICS roll-out.

Some unbranded UK Galaxy S II's started being updated from this Monday, March 19. While Three UK customers are currently being updated through Kies, T-Mobile and Vodafone have yet to commit to any timeframe for their own releases.

Source: Crave; via: Eurodroid

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4 years ago

Android Central on the judging panel for the Galaxy Note S Pen App Challenge


Samsung recently announced their Galaxy Note S Pen App Challenge -- say that 10 times fast -- encouraging development for their 5.3-behemoth and its stylus S Pen. They're still in the submission period for interested developers, but the details on just who will be on the judging panel have emerged. 

We've got a representative from Samsung, someone from Gameloft, BlueRun Ventures and even the AT&T VP of Consumer Marketing. Not bad, but sitting top of that list -- and no, we're sure it isn't because everything is in alphabetical order on who they work for -- is our very own Mr. Phil Nickinson.

That's right, folks, AC is on the panel, and will be involved in making one lucky developer very happy. About $100,000 happy to be precise. There is of course a judging criteria, and apps will be judged upon the quality of the idea, the implementation of the idea and overall user experience. Cash bribes sent to Phil will have absolutely no influence whatsoever. 

Judging begins April 9. with the winners announced on April 20.

Source: Galaxy Note S-Pen Challenge

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4 years ago

Panasonic Eluga available from March 29 in Japan, Europe in April


Panasonic showed off its first Android smartphone for the western world, the Eluga, back at MWC in Barcelona. Fast forward a few weeks and release information for the mid-range device is starting to appear. 

The 4.3-inch, dust and water-resistant phone will first be available in Japan on NTT Docomo starting on March 29. A European launch for the Eluga will then follow on in April. 

Sadly both versions will be launching on Gingerbread. Like other OEM's, though, Panasonic has already detailed an Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Eluga. We're expecting to see it in the summer, though which part of it is still unknown at this time.  

via The Verge

More: Hands on with the Panasonic Eluga

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4 years ago

Android Central 90: Galaxy S III rumors, ICS update allegations, and other things left unsaid


Audio-only stream below

We're back from a week off with the latest on the Galaxy S III rumors (plus a bit of our own breaksclusive), where we stand on Ice Cream Sandwich updates, plus a couple reviews. And, as always, we answer a few of your Android questions. Join us!

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4 years ago

Verizon teams up with IndyCar to offer exclusive access to IndyCar Mobile


Verizon has now teamed up with IndyCar to offer exclusive access to the Official IZOD IndyCar Series Mobile application. The app is being made available to all Verizon customers for their smartphones and tablets. If you're an IndyCar fan, this is the app to have:

  • Live In-Car Cameras: Watch the race from the driver's seat and see the intensity first hand.
  • Live Driver-Pit Crew Chatter: Hear the live radio communication between drivers and pit crews during the race.
  • Mosaic: Four live features on a split screen - Streaming Race Control, Real-Time Track Mapping and two in-car camera views.
  • Real-Time Track Map: See the real-time position of every car across the track during every race.
  • Streaming Race Control: Get behind-the-scenes video and audio of the officials that run the race.
  • Real-Time Leaderboard: Keep up to date with the current running order of each race.
  • Driver Profiles: More information about your favorite 2012 drivers.
  • Live Radio Broadcast: Listen to the full radio commentary of each race.
  • Exclusive Video Content: Get app-only content including behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.
  • Historical Race Footage: Watch video clips from historical races and famous IndyCar moments.
  • IndyCar 101: Get the basics on the IndyCar Series.

That's a pretty compelling list of features for an app and will surely satisfy any IndyCar fans needs. If you're on Verizon, you can grab the app from the Google Play Store using the link below. Keep in mind, it may not be supported by all devices but it's leaps and bounds over last years version.

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4 years ago

Verizon LG Lucid 4G spec sheet confirms earlier report


Having already shown its colors to the world, Verizon's LG Lucid 4G now has a more official looking spec sheet to go along with it. As we mentioned when it appeared, there isn't a whole lot to get excited about and the specs line up for the most with what we previously reported:

  • 4-inch IPS display with Gorilla Glass (800X480)
  • 8GB of storage
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • Android 2.3 (Really?!)
  • 4G LTE

Left off the spec sheet though is the camera, which could be 5MP with 1080p capability and also missing is the RAM but that has previously been pegged at 1GB. Pricing, while not official shouldn't put this one past $200 with a possible arrival date of March 29.

Source: Droid-Life; More: Rumored devices forum

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4 years ago

Kindle for Android updated with Send-to-Kindle functionality, access to children's books, comic books, and graphic novels


If you frequent using the Kindle app for Android, you may be happy to know that Amazon has added some new functions and access to the app. The latest update, available now introduces the "Send to Kindle" function plus, opens up the doors for users to purchase illustrated children’s books, comic books, and graphic novels. Kindle for Android is available for free from the Amazon Appstore for Android and Google Play, download link can be found past the break.

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4 years ago

Google acknowledges Gmail app may be flickering, says fix is on the way


We've gotten a bunch of reports from you fine folks today regarding your Gmail apps causing a screen flicker, and being unable to get to your inbox. We never experienced it here, but that doesn't mean it wasn't happening, as forum threads were popping up all over the place.

Google's just gotten back in touch with us and says a fix is on the way. Googler BrittanyBee explains thusly in the Google Product Forums:

Beginning this morning, we've received reports of a bug causing some Gmail users on Android to experience screen flickering when they open the app.  We are in the process of fixing it and the issue should be resolved shortly.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Glad to see they're on it, but that's a pretty big whoopsie. (And believe us, we know about whoopsies.)

Source: Google 1, 2; more: Android Forums 1, 2, 3, 4

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4 years ago

Frozen GMail, Android 4.0.5 [From the Forums]


We're getting set to go all in on an Android Central podcast but while you wait, make sure you check out some of the news from today and head on into the Android Central forums. Just make sure you come back in time for the podcast:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note ICS update and 'premium suite' teased in official video


As you may have heard, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is coming to the international Samsung Galaxy Note. But that's not all -- ICS will arrive as part of a "premium suite" for the Note, which includes a host of new S Pen enhancements. Today Sammy's released an official promo video showing off what's new in this upcoming software update.

As we see in the video, this pack includes a re-vamped S Note application, capable of including rich content like video and multiple font styles and sizes. There's also a new shape match and formula match feature, which matches shapes and symbols you draw, allowing more complex types of notes to be taken. Similar enhancements have been made to the S Memo and mail apps.

We should also mention that the version of ICS shown off in the video is skinned with Samsung's TouchWiz UI, rather than the bizarre half-stock, half-TouchWiz launcher that emerged a day or so ago. No surprises there, as far as we're concerned.

Finally, international Note owners will get Angry Birds Space pre-loaded, along with 30 special Galaxy Note themed levels. The ICS update and premium suite for the international Note are due to land sometime during the second quarter of the year. Roll-out plans for the AT&T Galaxy Note have yet to be revealed.

Join us after the break for Samsung's preview video.

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4 years ago

AT&T provides the 'ICS list,' with nothing to surprise us


AT&T this afternoon issued a news release for the HTC Vivid's Ice Cream Sandwich update, and mixed in with the mention that the HTC Vivid is the first U.S. smartphone to get the ICS update (and that AT&T is the first U.S. carrier to push out ICS) is a list of phones on AT&T slated to get the update to Android 4.0. Nothing there really surprises us, but it is good to see that the Pantech Element and the Pantech Burst made the cut. Everything else we've already known about from the device manufacturers. Here's the list:

Really wish we would see the Samsung Infuse and HTC Inspire 4G on there, as there's no hardware reason they couldn't get ICS. We don't make the rules, nor the list, so we have to accept what's given. There's always root. Hit the break for the full press release.

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