Headlines

3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III S Voice demonstration

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Being able to talk to your phone and have it talk back to you isn't necessarily a new feature, but it's certainly been made popular with Siri on the iPhone 4S. And in some brief testing today on the Samsung Galaxy S III, we found it to work pretty well. We're going to wait to give it the full what-for when we're out of the demo environment and on the mean streets, where seconds count when you're finding out whether it's raining out, where to hide a dead body -- or how much wood a woodchuck can chuck.

When not chucking wood, S Voice does such menial searches as voice dialing, sending text messages, searching contacts, find navigation routes, records memos, adds to your schedule and can set tasks, among other items.

But, really, it's all about the woodchuck.

We've got some hands-on video after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III camera app hands-on

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Samsung has had some pretty good cameras in its phones for some time now, and the Galaxy S III is no exception. The SGSIII finds itself with an 8-megapixel rear shooter, and a 1.9-megapixel camera round front. Sammy's mantra as far as the camera goes is that it wants you to "never miss a picture-perfect moment."

The camera app remains impressive. The shutter snaps as soon as you touch the screen (some people prefer that, others prefer it to trigger on release), and there's virtually no lag between touch and picture. You've got some pretty standard options -- panorama mode, macro, etc. -- and HDR imaging (that's the one where pictures of differing resolutions are combined for a more dynamic look) is now built in as well.

A feature Samsung's particularly proud of is burst mode, which will capture up to 20 images in a single take by holding down the shutter button. (You do have to first enable burst mode in the settings.)

Facial recognition is another high point, as Samsung's making a big deal out of being able to identify your friends faces, tag photos, group them, and share them. In demos it's seemed to work well enough. We'll reserve ful judgment for when we get to use it in the real world.

Shooting video works as expected, and Samsung's also got the ability to snap still images while recording motion at 1080p. (Unlike HTC's video playback, however, you can't take still images while reviewing a video.)

All in all, though, a pretty solid performance by the Samsung Galaxy S III in the optical department.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 software hands-on

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As you may have heard, Samsung’s just taken the wraps off the new Galaxy S III (S3), a 4.8-inch quad-core beast powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a brand new version of TouchWiz. Samsung’s UX has been given a minor facelift on the Galaxy S3, bringing in visual and audio elements from the device’s new “inspired by nature” design choices. And there are a few exciting new features to boot, incorporating NFC, face recognition and Wifi Direct.

Join us after the break for our full walkthrough of the Samsung Galaxy S3's software, along with more videos!

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3 years ago

Gameloft releases another teaser video of N.O.V.A. 3, still no word on a release date

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We've already had our first teaser of Gameloft's forthcoming sequel, N.O.V.A. 3, but we've just been given another. This time we're treated to some actual in-game footage, and it looks good. It looks really good. 

There's nothing more in the way of a release schedule for the game, Gameloft still teases that detail is coming soon. In the meantime though, click on past the break, and enjoy. 

Source: Gameloft

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3 years ago

Rdio launches in the UK and France, try it for seven days for free

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Reports have been floating around overnight that music streaming service, Rdio, has expanded its markets. According to various reports on Twitter the service has become available in the UK and in France. Being in the UK, I'm perfectly placed to try it out, and the reports seem to be true. Account signup and streaming seems to work just fine.

All new users are being offered a free 7-day trial of the service, before a subscription will be required at £9.99 a month for the full unlimited account. Rdio is really popular in the US, but in the UK it will be tough to take market share from the runaway leader, Spotify

If you're keen to try it out though, we've got download links to the Rdio Android application after the break. 

via The Verge

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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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