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4 years ago

ViewSonic intros affordable ICS tablets at Mobile World Congress

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Just in case you haven't had enough Android hardware from Mobile Conference 2012, even little ol' ViewSonic had some stuff to show off. Along with demonstrating some of their stuff announced at CES, ViewSonic had a new tablet called the E100. Beyond its 9.1 mm profile and a decent 9.1-inch 1024 x 768 display, there's a single core 1 GHz processor under the hood. So, a bit underwhelming, yeah? Well, the Wi-Fi model will be retailing for $399, so it's got that much going for it. The E100 will be landing around late March, with a 3G version launching shortly thereafter. 

Following that, ViewSonic announced an even cheaper lower-end tablet called the E70. It's aiming for 150 Euros (which undercuts even the Kindle Fire and BlackBerry PlayBook) when it lands in Europe come Q2. The 7-inch device is also running Android 4.0 ICS on a modest single-core 1 GHz processor. ViewSonic implemented some light customizations on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but it doesn't look like much more than the SPB shell. It still supports 1080p video output through HDMI, despite the low-end specs. It includes both micro and mini USB slots, which is kind of neat. The mini slot can be used for USB host functions (like popping in a thumb drive if you've got an adapter). 

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4 years ago

Win a free Samsung Galaxy Note from Bell Mobility!

The Samsung Galaxy Note has been out for a couple of weeks now, and it seems people either love it or hate it. With a size fitting in somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet, the 5.3-inch device even comes with a stylus, which we thought went out of style years ago. There are advantages to the size of the Note, and one example of that is Bell's Mobile TV app. The ample screen size makes streaming media convenient, while still being a device portable enough to slide in a pocket or purse.

And what could be more convenient than winning a free Samsung Galaxy Note from Bell Mobility?! Nothing, I say, because winning is awesome. So if you'd like to enter to win a free Samsung Galaxy Nexus from Bell, and you live in Canada, drop your comment in the forums telling us why you want to win a Samsung Galaxy Note. Yes, sorry folks, the contest is open to Canadians only this time. Contest ends Sunday at midnight. Good luck!

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4 years ago

Archos launches latest Honeycomb effort, the 70b Internet Tablet

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The world outside Barcelona goes on as normal it seems, and Archos have today launched their latest tablet, the 70b. The name won't impress you, but the price of this latest Honeycomb effort might. The 7-inch 70b is on sale at just $199.99.

While being aimed towards the lower end of the tablet market, it stills looks fairly capable. As with all the Gen 9 Archos Tablets, the full Google app suite is on board. A 7-inch 1024x600 screen sits atop a 1.2 GHz ARM processor. Onboard storage is only 8GB but a MicroSD card slot is present allowing for another 32GB should you desire. You also get a front facing camera, and as ever Archos devices are capable of decoding pretty much most video formats out there.

The 70b isn't likely to set the world on fire, but offers a full tablet experience at the same price point as the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet 8GB. Archos tablets have always been very media-centric, and maybe the best part -- the kickstand. Always a winner should you like to enjoy movies from your tablet. 

More: Archos

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4 years ago

Trapster for Android updated to v3.1.0 - Now featuring intelligent alerting, new sounds and a revamped UI

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Trapster has been hard at work on a new version for Android users and has now taken the wraps off v3.1.0. This latest release packs in some new features for everyone to make use of including a new UI, NAVTEQ real-time traffic incidents and new notification alert sounds not present in any other version of Trapster.

  • NAVTEQ real-time traffic incidents - NAVTEQ real time traffic incidents are now fed into Trapster 3.1.0! When you see white icons with a red outline, you’ll be assured that this is from a trusted source.
  • New Notification Sounds - You now have the option to hear audio alerts when the posted speed limit changes. When the speed limit lowers you will hear this. And when the speed limit raises you will hear this. You will also hear a Thank You Chime after reporting or voting on a trap.

Trapster v3.1.0 is available now in the Android Market, if you're looking for the download link you can jump on past the break and grab it.

Source: Trapster

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4 years ago

Contest Winners: ShopAndroid Daily winners!

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up shortly. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to this week's winners!

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia P and Xperia U due in the UK late April

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In another busy day at MWC, the latest additions to the Sony Xperia line got some UK release information. Clove Technology have been busy securing the devices, and have published their pricing and release schedule for both the Xperia P and Xperia U in SIM free form. 

Both devices are slated to land at the retailer on April 23. The Xperia P will set you back £378 inc VAT and the Xperia U a very reasonable £238.80. At this time they only have the black versions available to pre-order, but hope to add other colours in the future. Both devices join the Xperia S which is due to launch with Clove soon, meaning that they will be offering the entire Xperia NXT range, 

More: Hands on with the Xperia P and Xperia U

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4 years ago

Droid 2 users, get ready for a new SOAK test

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Here's a question -- what's 18 months old, and still getting updates? The Motorola Droid 2, that's what. We just got a tip about an upcoming SOAK test for a new software release for the D2, which was launched in August of 2010. In Android-time, that makes it a dinosaur, and seeing Motorola still working on updates makes us happy inside. Let's be honest -- while the D2 is a bit shy of the current generation of amazing specs we're seeing on upcoming phones, it's still plenty capable and has a large following. And many users are still under their two-year contract. They deserve this sort of treatment. Nice work, Moto.

Granted, we have out doubts that this will be a major OS update, but bug fixes and security patches are the important issue -- a phone should work as advertised and have security holes patched as long as possible. 

Motorola makes it clear in their correspondence with potential testers that this is not for the Droid 2 Global, nor is it for the R2D2 model. Hopefully, they are next on the list. Other details are anybody's guess, we only know that there's going to be a test soon, and that Motorola is looking for members in good standing of their Feedback Network who are still sporting the Droid 2.

When more happens, we'll let you know. 

Thanks, anon!

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4 years ago

LG Optimus 4X HD priced and dated for the UK, no Optimus 3D Max coming with it

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Of the many LG phones announced at MWC, one that definitely stands out is the Optimus 4X HD. The 4.7-inch, Tegra 3 behemoth is truly something to behold. We really liked it during our initial hands on, and naturally the next question is -- when can we get one? UK pricing and availability has been released today, as Clove Technology have confirmed that they will be stocking the device. 

Clove's pre-order page is up now, and the 4X HD will set you back £456 inc VAT. The downside is that at present they're saying the device won't be available until June. 

During their meeting with LG though, Clove managed to establish that the LG Optimus 3D Max is not destined for UK shores at this time. The original Optimus 3D never really took off over here, so it's perhaps not a device that will be missed by the British crowd. 

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4 years ago

Sony Tablet P hitting AT&T shelves on March 4

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Nearly six months after being unveiled, the Sony Tablet P is finally getting a stateside release. The "4G"+ WiFi dual-screen tablet will hit AT&T shelves on March 4 for $399.99 on contract, and will surf on the carrier's HSPA+ network. Should you choose to commit to a contract, you'll have two plans to choose from: 3GB per month for $35, and 5GB for $50. Without a contract, you'll have the option to purchase 250MB data for $15, along with the 3GB and 5GB options as well.

It's been a while since we first met the tablet, so to refresh your memory, the Sony Tablet P comes equipped with two 5.5 inch screens each at 1024 x 480 resolution. Folded, the tablet will easily fit into your pocket; unfolded, the dual screens can act as one viewing area, or split into two different functionalities, such as a keyboard on the bottom and a typing area on top. Sony will offer dual-screen optimized apps through its "Select App", though any app will work just fine, albeit not optimized.

Other specs include a 1 Ghz Tegra 2 processor,  1 GB RAM, 4 GB internal storage, and support for microSD cards of up to 32 GB. It's got two camera, a 5 MP rear-shooter and a 0.3 MP front facer. It'll run Honeycomb 3.2 out of the box, though Sony says that there are plans for Ice Cream Sandwich sometime down the road. 

Certainly a niche device, the Sony Tablet P sounds interesting if nothing else. You can rest assured that we'll share our impressions as soon as we get our hands on one; until then, check out AT&T's presser after the break.

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4 years ago

Isis mobile payment system to launch mid-2012, lists Chase, CapitalOne, and Barclaycard as partners

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Isis Mobile Wallet, the service backed by AT&T, T-Mobile US, and Verizon has announced new launch partners and it's long awaited trial launch date. New financial partners Chase, CapitalOne, and Barclaycard join Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express for the  trials in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah which are expected to begin sometime in mid-2012. Isis isn't sharing much past that, as they say the nationwide rollout will follow the trial with no further details.

Isis partners will allow users to program both credit and debit cards into the mobile system, which gives it another leg up on Google Wallet. Add in the fact that Isis has carrier backing and pre-approval, and chances are that this will be the mobile NFC-based payment system we'll see on our devices when and if it catches on, at least in the US. That doesn't mean Google Wallet will disappear, but being available and being relevant are two different animals.

This doesn't mean that Isis is inherently bad, though. It may turn out to be an excellent product, and I'm excited to give it a try. We have to remember that Google Wallet isn't open and lovable, it is a for-profit venture from Google, much like Isis is a for-profit venture for its backers. When it comes to finances, few things are open and best for the consumer. The best product will be defined by the users and that's the one that will win out. 

The full press release follows the break.

via BusinessWire

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4 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Note S Pen App Challenge - $205,000 in prize packages to be won

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While we all have our own opinions of the Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen, and why exactly Samsung thinks a "stylus" needs to come back, this challenege is one that can easily make you put your thoughts aside. Samsung has announced their new contest, which starts today, that makes it rather enticing for developers to put some time and effort into making a S Pen integrated application. Developers will have until April 2, 2012 to submit their applications, and judgement will take place the following week by the public.

“The Galaxy Note enables new and creative ways to interact with your phone through the advanced S Pen technology,” said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile. “We are excited to see how developers use the S Pen SDK to come up with new ways to integrate the S Pen into applications."

​The first place winner will take home $100,000 in cash, second place $50,000 and plenty of other prizes as well to be won. Samsung has placed all the information in one easy to manage location, and you can find complete details about the contest here. So, will you be entering? Be sure to let us know, and keep us informed of the progress in the forums!

Source: GalaxyNoteSPenChallenge

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4 years ago

StumbleUpon for Android - Updated with new widget, Google+ sharing and home screen improvements

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StumbleUpon has announced the latest update to their popular Android app and with this release, they've gone ahead and done some house cleaning on the app and added in a bunch of new features that are deeply integrated with Google services.

  • Android Beam (NFC): Users of the StumbleUpon app for Android can now share any content they discover on StumbleUpon to other NFC-enabled devices running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. This will make sharing content discovered through StumbleUpon seamless and fun.
  • Action Bar: The StumbleUpon app will now feature the native Android Action Bar, enabling users to explore the Web via the familiar Android navigation interface.
  • Resizable Widget on device home screen: The StumbleUpon app for Android will now be accessible directly from the device home screen. Users will be able to preview StumbleUpon-recommended content directly from the home screen of their device without having to launch the StumbleUpon app.
  • Sharing to Google+: The StumbleUpon app for Android will now include a sharing button to Google+. In addition to sharing to Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and email, Stumblers can now easily share content they discover through StumbleUpon with their connections on Google+.
  • Sign in with Google: With the new app, users will be able to sign in to StumbleUpon through a Google log-in with any mobile device and on the desktop.

Aside from the new features added, StumbleUpon also updated the homescreen experience for the app, making it easier then ever to get logged in and not only finding but sharing the content you enjoy the most. The updated version is available in the Android Market right now, full press release and download link can be found past the break.

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4 years ago

Google's Mobile World Congress Keynote: Chrome for Android demo, and the worldwide digital divide

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Google chairman Eric Schmidt today at Mobile World Congress took the stage for what traditionally has been one of the premiere keynote addresses of the event. 

Schmidt started the keynote praising the Google Chrome browser and its recent leap to the mobile space as an Android application. He quickly turned things over to Android Product Director Hugo Barra, who gave the capacity audience (and many more watching the livestream -- the first time in recent memory that the keynote has been broadcast) a tour of the mobile browser. (Check out Android Central's Chrome walkthrough.)

"Chrome and Android are  two of the most significant investments Google has made in the life of the company," Barra said. "We designed Chrome for android with three goals in mind. We wanted to build, first of all, a mobile browser that was really, really fast, really, really clean, and really, really simple."

Barra announced that Chrome for Android was recently released to 20 additional countries. (You can get Chrome here in the Android Market.)

Schmidt then launched into the state of the web worldwide and reminded us all that for the 2 billion people who are online, there are billions more how are not. "Every revolution begins with a small group of people, kind of like us," Schmidt said.

"The future belongs to ultra-connected people -- the early adopters," Schmidt continued, adding that this group is limited by what it finds acceptable, a nod to privacy issues. Then there are connectivity issues themselves. Korea and Japan already have ultra-fast networks, Schmidt said, and it's changing lives there.

"We tend to massively underestimate the more seismic shifts that happen long-term," Schmidt said. "Think about the choices that you're so often forced to make for life." He then gave examples of robots traveling across the globe so that we don't have to. Driverless cars have already driven more than 200,000 miles, he said. And new laws are making it possible for driverless cars to make it to the roads. 

But the progress isn't just with people, Schmidt said. A core trend of computer science, he said, will give a much better look into how society functions. Teaching. Fighting disease. Government operation. And there's a group of passionate people who can make these changes happen, Schmidt said. And because of them, the technology disappears. It becomes transparent.

"It's just there," Schmidt said.

Just below the early adopters, Schmidt said, are the "connected contributors," members of the middle class who serve more as consumers than on the bleeding edge of development. They're the ones who use these new future services that help make life and work better for everyone else. "Apps and services like these are improving the quality of life for the middle class," Schmidt said.

There's a disparity between those who buy and those who build, Schmidt said. Those who buy will be sophisticated consumers. They'll work for businesses an governments and nonprofits.

"I've always believed that the web is more than a network of machines. ... Look at the way people came together last year to help the people of the Japanese earthquake," he said. "It is the web that unites us in sentiment and action."

And then there's the "aspiring majority." Pockets of the world that have no connectivity at all. The number of new data centers will boom. Fiber optics will be widespread and cheaper. Existing cables will carry more data. Everybody won't have the same online experience, however. But there many ways to get people connected.

"We cannot imagine the future by extrapolating the past," Schmidt said. "The smartphone experience will be universal."

Smartphones can be preloaded with your medical information, he said. Even nomadic people will invest in technologies that will change their daily lives. But having a smartphone isn't enough to get you online, he said. Smartphones need a data connection -- but they don't have to be a central data hub, Schmidt said. You don't even have to be connected to the internet. It could be more peer to peer or through mesh networks -- "a stepping stone for getting communities connected," he said.

"In times of war and suffering," he said, "it will be impossible to ignore the cries of help" from people communicating online," noting the change in the Middle East last year.

More ethical and responsible behavior also is a must from the technological elite, Schmidt said. "This, of course, is why I do what I do. I suspect this is why many of you do what you do."

"But we need to act now to avoid this new digital caste system," Schmidt said. "I believe this profoundly. ... Technology is power by its very nature."

"Let's all get to work."

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4 years ago

Chrome for Android Beta now available in 20 new countries

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We're live at the Eric Schmidt keynote at Mobile World Congress, and Hugo Barra, Director of Product Management, for Android, has announced that Chrome for Android Beta is now available in 20 new countries, bringing the total to 32. Unfortunately, you'll still need Ice Cream Sandwich to use it, which limits the adoption just a bit. Here's the full list of available countries:

  • Argentina
  • Hong Kong
  • Norway
  • Australia
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Austria
  • India
  • Russia
  • Belgium
  • Ireland
  • Singapore
  • Brazil
  • Italy
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • Czech Republic
  • Korea
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Luxembourg
  • Switzerland
  • Finland
  • Mexico
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • United States
  • Germany
  • New Zealand

 

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Panasonic Eluga Power

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Following on from the Eluga, Panasonic will launch its first high-end smartphone for Western comsumers, the Eluga Power. This device takes the design language of the original Eluga, and builds on it with a 5-inch HD buttonless display, a faster 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

We got to play with a very early prototype unit today at Mobile World Congress, and despite some understandable software quirks, we were pretty impressed by what we saw. We've got first impressions after the jump, along with our hands-on video.

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