Headlines

2 years ago

Google Wallet trumps SwiftKey in Webby Awards, Evernote brings award home too

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Voting for the 2012 Webby Awards has come to a close and the winners have been announced.  A few of our favorite Android apps inlcuding Google Wallet, SwiftKey X, and Evernote all brought home awards.

Last month, we mentioned how close Google Wallet and SwiftKey were in the Experimental & Innovation category.  It turns out Google Wallet prevailed and was handed the Webby Award for that group.  The People's Voice winner, however, was SwiftKey X which falls in line just in front of how you, our loyal Android Central readers, voted in The 2011 AC Readers-Choice Picks.

Among Utilities & Services for handheld devices, Evernote had a clean sweep as both the Webby Award and People's Voice winner.  Also of note in this category, Google Wallet was up for nomination but failed to garner enough votes to bring home a second Webby Award in this, the 16th annual rendition of the international award show that honors excellence on the Internet.

Source: 16th annual Webby Awards

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2 years ago

Carrier billing now available for movies, music, and books through Google Play

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Google has announced that they will begin offering direct carrier billing for movies, music, and books in addition to Android apps in the Google Play store. This means that you can buy just about anything from the Play Store, and have the cost tacked on to your monthly cell phone bill through your carrier. It's not available everywhere, but the list of carriers that support direct billing is pleasantly robust --

  • Germany: T-Mobile, Vodafone
  • Italy: Vodafone
  • Japan: KDDI, Docomo, Softbank
  • Korea: KT, SKT, LGU+
  • Spain: Vodafone
  • UK: T-Mobile, Vodafone
  • US: AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint

Currently, only KDDI, Docomo, and Softbank in Japan, and T-Mobile in the US allow billing of other media. Other carriers (Sprint was mentioned by name) will be coming on-board soon. This should help users who can't or won't enter credit or debit card information into Google Wallet, and get more media in more phones.

Source: +Google Play, via Androinica

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2 years ago

Kid-favorite Peppa Pig hits Android

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OK, parents. Here's another Android app that'll make you look that much cooler in the eyes of your child. (I know, it gets harder every day.) P2 Games Limited has brought Peppa Ping - Happy Mrs. Chicken to Android. The app has four interactive games and a bonus sticker book. Plus there's familiar music and sound effects that should make little Timmy think the TV show's in in hands.

The game runs about $3.23, which is a small price to pay for a few minutes of relative peace and quiet.

Download: Peppa Pig - Happy Mrs. Chicken; Also: More Android kids apps

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2 years ago

Three UK offers an HTC One X update of its own, promises battery life improvements

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British network Three sends word via the Twitters that it's now pushing out the 1.28.771.9 firmware update for its branded versions of the HTC One X. This is the original OTA for the One X, which started going out to unbranded units a couple of weeks ago, not the newer 1.29 update that emerged last night. So Three-branded One X's are getting 1.28 just as it's been succeeded by a newer firmware version, which we're sure will irk some users. But to be fair to Three, a two-week turnaround on a firmware update is pretty fast for a European network -- in the past customers have had to wait a month or more, especially for minor updates like this.

Writing on its official Twitter account, Three says One X owners can look forward to "improvements [including] increased battery life" -- which matches what we've heard from One X owners running the unbranded version of 1.28.

If you've got a One X on Three, head to Settings > About > Software updates to grab today's OTA.

Source: @ThreeUK

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2 years ago

HTC One X gets a second firmware update, v1.29 incoming

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A second firmware update is currently rolling out to the international, Tegra 3-flavored HTC One X, according to reports from multiple sources, including the Android Central forums. The update to version 1.29.401.7 weighs in at around 35MB and is being pushed out now to unbranded, unlocked European One X phones. Early reports from the forums indicate that this new version may address the intermittent Wifi disconnection issues that have been affecting some One X owners. In the meantime we've reached out to HTC for any official info on changes in the new firmware version, and we'll update you when they get back to us.

If you're rocking an international One X, head to Settings > About > Software updates to begin your journey to version 1.29. And if you notice anything new or improved, be sure to shout out in the comments!

More: HTC One X forums

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2 years ago

Galaxy series ICS updates arriving from today, says Samsung Canada

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After a five-month long wait, Samsung phone and tablet owners in Canada can finally look forward to an update to the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. The manufacturer has today announced that nine devices, including members of the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab families, as well as the Galaxy Note, will be getting ICS from today, "on select devices in Canada."

There's no information on exactly which devices will be first, and as is always the case, when you get your update will probably be heavily dependent on your carrier of choice. Regardless, the fact that these updates seem to have been rubber-stamped by Samsung is a good indication. Here's the manufacturer's list of ICS-upgradable devices --

  • GALAXY S II
  • GALAXY S II LTE
  • GALAXY S II LTE HD
  • GALAXY S II X
  • GALAXY Note
  • GALAXY Tab 7.0
  • GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus
  • GALAXY Tab 8.9
  • GALAXY Tab 10.1

We'll be keeping an eye on our Samsung devices in the days ahead, as many of these haven't yet received Android 4.0 outside of Canada. We'll update you soon as there's any word on when exactly ICS is rolling out. In the meantime there's more specifics in Samsung Canada's press release, which you'll find after the break.

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2 years ago

How I do it: Covering live events with the Samsung Galaxy Note

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One of the perks of this job is getting to travel to (mostly) interesting places and play with shiny new toys as (and sometimes before) they’re announced. But while live events can be a lot of fun, there’s also a huge amount of work involved. There’re press conferences to be liveblogged, videos to be shot, photos to be taken and words to be written, all the while dealing with crowds of sweaty tech journalists and spotty data connections.

As we said in our review, the Samsung Galaxy Note isn’t the phone for everyone -- its size alone makes sure of that. But the device has found a place at the heart of my workflow whenever I’m covering a live event, be it a simple phone launch in London, or the back-to-back mobile armageddon that is MWC in Barcelona, Spain. The Note’s size makes it a capable content creation device, in addition to its media consumption prowess. Head past the break to find learn how I use the Note to keep on top of live events for Android Central.

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2 years ago

The greatest battery widget ever

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I'm not sure why nobody showed me this Metroid-style battery widget before, but I'm holding each and every single one of you personally responsible for this oversight.

Download: Super Android Battery; via Dovahkiin in the Android Forums

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2 years ago

BSkyB preps 'Sky Go' app for ICS and more handsets, HDMI still no-go

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Since its launch last year' the Sky Go application for Android has been available only for a handful of approved phones. And on top of this limitation, the app doesn't support Android 4.0, meaning even supported devices are out of luck once they're updated to the latest version of the OS. However, it seems Sky's preparing to open its on-demand TV service up a little more, with reports emerging today that ICS support is inbound, along with support for a couple of new Samsung devices.

UK tech blog TechRadar​ reports that support for the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus, as well as ICS updates for other phones already on the list (HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S II) is "coming soon". Interestingly the site also reports that Sky's unable to offer the app on phones with HDMI output in order to avoid breaching its broadcasting contract.  That's somewhat odd, as many officially supported phones, including the Sensation and Galaxy S II, include MHL capability, which does exactly the same thing over a different connector.

In any case, it's good to see Sky (slowly) opening things up to more popular, and recent handsets. However, with new, high-end Android phones appearing all the time, we have to question whether the broadcaster will be able to keep pace with its certification process -- the Sensation is already old news with the launch of the HTC One series, and the Galaxy S II is set to be succeeded in days by the Galaxy S3.

Source: TechRadar

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2 years ago

LG enters the cloud storage arena, connecting your Android device to your LG Smart TV

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LG clearly doesn't think we have too much choice in cloud storage, as the company has launched the imaginatively titled LG Cloud. The stand out feature on this one though, is that the service integrates with your LG Smart TV.

Out of the box, free storage is a pretty standard 5GB, although naturally LG owners are favorably advantaged. LG Android phone and LG Smart TV owners get 50GB for free, albeit only for the first six months. 

By now though, cloud storage is becoming a little -- read a lot -- boring, and plentiful. We're waiting for Google Drive to become the something special we all expect a Google product to become, and Dropbox has long been the standard. LG Cloud stands apart with its integration between devices, be it a smartphone or tablet, desktop Windows PC -- Mac OS X isn't yet supported -- or LG Smart TV. 

The service supports real time transcoding technology which will optimize video content for the different sized screens you could be watching it on. You can also watch a movie on your TV, stop mid-way through, and pick it up where you left off on your Android smartphone. Or, the other way round if you prefer. 

As with Dropbox, LG Cloud has its own auto-upload feature. Photos and videos taken on your phone can be automatically synced to your LG Cloud account. Then you can go look at them on your TV, figures. 

All in, it sounds like a pretty decent service. The drawback is the LG-exclusive nature of it all if you want to get the absolute best from the service. It isn't uncommon of course, Apple has their iCloud for example, but LG isn't Apple. Samsung are of course rumored to be heading down a similar path, should the mythical S-Cloud be announced this week in London. But LG aren't Samsung either. It's a bold move, and only time will tell how it pays off. But, personally, I have an HTC phone, a Samsung TV and probably an ASUS tablet in the not too distant future. I want something that will work on all of them, I don't want to have to go all in on one OEM's ecosystem of products to use services like this. I would guess a lot of you feel the same. We can all dream I guess.

In any case, you don't need an LG device to take advantage of the free 5GB cloud locker. If you're keen, you'll find the download links after the break. One final word though, at the moment you have to be in the US or South Korea. Other markets will be coming soon though apparently. 

Source: LG

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2 years ago

Meon makes its way to Android!

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Those of you old enough to remember Windows Mobile no doubt played Meon at some point. The idea's simple enough — you use light to free the cute little Meons from whatever it is that's keeping them trapped. The game starts out simple, but pretty soon you'll be bouncing light off mirrors and changing colors with prisms to the point that you're not sure what started where, or where it's going to end up. It's strangely addicting.

The Android version is faithful to the original. Our only real complaint is that it doesn't really take advantage of the larger screen sizes.

Meon Lite gives you access to the first 32 levels, though chances are if you're anything like us, you'll spring 99 cents to get all 120 levels in the full version. We've got download links after the break.

Download: Meon Lite (free), Meon full (99 cents)

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2 years ago

Twitter for Android gets another minor update

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Twitter for Android has a small update in the Google Play store this evening, bringing it to version 3.2.1. The change log is short -- crashes for users that use the app in Dutch, Finnish, and Hungarian have been fixed, and the Indonesian language has been added. Grab the update from the Google Play store or hit the link after the break.

Thanks, Ben!

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for April 28, 2012

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Jared's off with something called "family" this week, (seriously, who has ever heard of that?), so I'm filling in for him. Anyway, every week the folks at Android Central like to share with y'all, the best darn Android community on the internet, what it is we fancy, app-wise. Jump after the break to see what our selections are, and let us know what you're digging in the comments!

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2 years ago

Schemer updates Android app, opens the doors to all

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Schemer -- you know that invite only Google service -- has had an update to its Android application, and has also thrown open the doors to all. Until now access has been by invite only -- think Google Music, Google+, sounds pretty familiar doesn't it. Invites to the service though are no longer required, and anyone can sign up, including right from within the app itself. 

The concept itself is pretty interesting, fitting it into your life could be somewhat difficult though. We'll let Google do the explaining -- they do it better than us -- so if you're not familiar, hit the source links at the bottom for more information. There's a short video to be found after the break too. It's kind of fun to fool around with, and now it's open to all it would be rude not to take a look. It's pretty well tied into Google+ too, so you'll find it pretty populated when you step inside. 

So, what about the Android application update. Well, besides the ability to sign up now, we also get a refreshed UI. There's a new homepage, with suggestions for schemes for here and now based upon your location, the time and even the weather. Search has been improved with a new search results page showing results from your schemes and other users on one page. You can also search for schemes to do while home vs nearby while you're out and about. 

Additionally, we get a new profile page and a whole heap of bug fixes. Whether or not Schemer will stick around, only time will tell. But, you have to love Google for trying out new things. If you fancy trying it out for yourselves, click on past the break for the Google Play Store download links and QR Code.  

Source: Schemer

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2 years ago

Australia gets Google Play Movies

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Good news for our friends down under, as Australia now has access to Google Play Movies, as you can see by this screen shot. There's still a pretty big empty spot there, though, and that'd be for Google Music. Will we see expansion outside the U.S. any time now? Let's hope.

Thanks, James!

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