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3 years ago

Three UK pushing out Android 4.1.2 update to Samsung Galaxy S3

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The update train for the Samsung Galaxy S3 continues to roll, and next up to push out Android 4.1.2 to the S3 is Three UK. Some users are reporting that they received the update this past Sunday, but Three has officially confirmed that they are indeed pushing out 4.1.2. 

With the update also comes Samsung's 'premium suite' that includes a range of new Touchwiz features, including multi-window. Three says that the update is available to download now via Kies, but an OTA is also rolling out. If you've managed to snag it for yourselves, be sure to share your experiences with us in the comments below or head on into our Samsung Galaxy S3 forums. 

Source: Three UK

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3 years ago

Chameleon Launcher for phones finally shown off on video

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Chameleon Launcher garnered quite a bit of attention when it first launched for tablets. Its widget centric UI may not be for everyone, but it's different, and makes great use of tablet screen real estate. There has been talk of a phone version coming to market, and the developers, Teknision, have recruited for private alpha testers of the product. But, how well will it work on a phone? 

Some of the curiosity is laid to rest, as on the official developer blog the first video footage of Chameleon for phones is shown off. It looks pretty interesting, and might surprise some as to how well it transitions to the smaller screen. They show it running on the Galaxy Note 2 and the Nexus 4, and highlight features such as the scrollable app tray, and folders. 

To get to the phones, you need to skip ahead in the video to 1:52. Before that though, Teknision shows off some new features surrounding folders on the tablet version. 

As we mentioned, Chameleon for phones is in a private alpha testing stage at present, but Teknision hopes to release a public beta to their Kickstarter supporters of the app soon. Additionally, the developers are present at CES 2013 in Las Vegas this week, showing off the product in person.

Source: Teknision

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3 years ago

Firefox for Android updated with better JavaScript performance and more

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Mozilla has updated Firefox for Android, and mixed in with the rest of the changes is a new JIT JavaScript compiler known as IonMonkey, which claims that it will allow web apps and games will run up to 25-percent faster. We all love faster. Of course, that's not the only change under the hood. The browser is now able to be used with the Google Now search widget, meaning if you do a search Firefox is listed as a way to carry it out. Another neat new feature is integration with "Safe Browsing." We've all seen notes from Google that a website we want to visit may be "harmful to your computer", and now that same database is in use in Firefox for Android. There is also a handful of boring but essential bug fixes and tweaks.

Firefox for Android has come a long way, and it's well worth trying again if you were unsatisfied with it in the past. It's becoming my browser of choice on Android for general web-surfing. It's free (of course), grab it at the link above.

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3 years ago

Nuance and ZTE make multi-year deal to bring voice services to devices

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Voice app provider Nuance has signed a multi-year deal with handset manufacturer ZTE to integrate its services into upcoming devices in 2013. Announced at CES 2013, the well-known voice service provider will partner with ZTE to bring better voice control to its "Car Mode" app. The app can be operated completely with voice, not even requiring any viewing of the screen.

You can wake up Car Mode with a wake-up word, and manage everything via voice (input and output) from there. After waking, users can dial contacts and numbers, launch navigation apps, get the local weather and play music on the device. While enabled, the app will also audibly announce incoming caller names as well as read aloud incoming text messages.

This is all necessary technology to help people be as safe as possible when driving with their phones. The new Nuance-enabled Car Mode app will be pre-loaded on ZTE's entire 2013 line of phones, and will offer voice control and feedback in 25 languages.

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3 years ago

Lenovo and Bluestacks partner up, pre-loaded Android apps on Windows 8 PCs

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Lenovo and BlueStacks have come together in a partnership that will see the Android app player come pre-loaded on Lenovo's idea branded consumer PCs. At CES in Las Vegas, Bluestacks is showing off their latest version which is designed and optimized for Windows 8 Ultrabooks, laptops and tablets. The partnership with Lenovo follows similar tie ups with Asus and AMD.

The full press release can be found after the break. 

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3 years ago

Nuance unveils Swype Living Language -- brings crowd sourcing for the keyboard

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Nuance, the folks behind Dragon voice recognition, and of course the Swype keyboard, has announced a new version of Swype beta, complete with a new feature you'll want to check out. They are calling it Living Language, and it takes auto correction and word prediction to a new level with crowd sourced data.

First, let's talk about a few other important, but not quite as flashy, updates to Swype. The correction engine has gotten an upgrade, and the new Smart Editor now analyzes your entire sentence, flagging any errors for correction or suggesting the best substitution based on the context of what you're saying, not just the word order. And now, it can do it in 12 new languages, including Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Malay, Romanian, Slovak, Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, and Ukrainian. I'm not a keyboard engineer, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I have a feeling building a keyboard that is as complex as Swype for completely different character sets is no small feat. These features and upgrades won't get the glory a new way to personalize the auto correction and prediction experience will, but they are pretty damn important. Especially if it was your native language that was missing.

Those features tie in nicely with the new Living Language feature. How it works is that you can connect to Swype online through a service they're calling Swype Connect, and share your usage data to help improve prediction and auto correction. You can also elect to let Living Language auto update with new crowd sourced words. Languages are funny, and often times you need to learn by listening and talking -- Swype does, too. Yes, people will question how much privacy this gives up (and we imagine it's a good bit) but the service is opt-in both ways. You don't have to contribute or receive updates unless you ask to.

So how's it work? Well, I'm glad you asked. I'm been fiddling with it, and I think you'll like it. The Swyping works as well as it ever did, or possibly better -- I'm not the biggest Swyper out there -- and the prediction and auto correction seems to work as advertised. While I've not had a long time to let it learn from me, I can see a bit of improvement in just a few short days. It's certainly something you will want to try yourself, and you should. My takeaway from using it is that you don't necessarily need to use the swipe, err Swype feature to love this keyboard. I'm going to continue using it for a bit and see how it matches up to the competition.

It's becoming clear that there's two "killer" features a good Android keyboard must have -- Swyping, and a great prediction engine. Swype's new beta offers both. There's a lot of big competition in this space, and Swype is an excellent choice. Hit the break for a handful of screenshots and the press release. You can download Swype by visiting http://beta.swype.com.

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3 years ago

The Dead Trigger 2 demo at CES from NVIDIA looks incredible [Updated]

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NVIDIA has always been at the forefront of gaming, and their mobile Tegra chips are no different. You may have a Tegra device in your Android arsenal and know just how good it can be, or maybe you've heard us talk about hot Tegra games. If so, and you're like me and love to see things pushed to their limit, seeing the demo of Dead Trigger 2 was a thing of beauty.

We'll have to wait to get our hands on a Tegra 4 device and try the game ourselves, but Simon will be talking with Madfinger at CES, and you can bet he's going to try to get some hands-on time with this one himself. NVIDIA is bringing it!

Update: We've got Madfinger's official press release and screenshots after the break.

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3 years ago

Falcon Pro update adds light theme and multi window support

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The Falcon Pro for Twitter updates continue to come thick and fast, as today the developers have pushed another one out the door. The headline new features this time around are a "brand new sexy light theme" -- their words, not ours -- and multi window support on compatible Samsung Galaxy devices such as the Note 2. The light theme won't be for everyone, but multi window is a nice touch if you're rocking a device that has it. 

That's not all though, theres a bunch of other fixes and improvements that reads like this:

  • Better Retweet system, with 3 RT options
  • Better image upload, faster and more stable
  • Better double tap
  • Fixed character count with URL's
  • Fixed new tweet button not appearing on search
  • Fixed the FC on new tweet while on followers list
  • Fixed rotation issue on new DM
  • Little UI changes

Falcon Pro has quickly become one of the favorite Twitter clients around these parts, and the developers of the application are among some of the most pro-active we've seen when it comes to updates and new features. Grab a copy of the latest version for yourselves from the link above. 

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3 years ago

Samsung Korea details Jelly Bean update for Galaxy S2, without giving a date

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Samsung Galaxy S2 owners eager for a piece of Jelly Bean action will no doubts be delighted to hear the first official information surrounding the update. While no expected date has been provided, Samsung Korea has provided some details on what will be contained within the update to Android 4.1. 

First up the less positive points. The available internal storage will be reduced from 12GB to 11GB, thanks to a new system partition. Samsung says the changes in structure potentially means the update can take an hour to flash. Also, apparently it's only going to be available by Kies, with no OTA update option available. 

Now onto the fun stuff. Of course, an update to Jelly Bean brings the likes of Project Butter and Google Now to the table. As part of the update, some additional applications such as Google+, Google Play Books and Google Play Movies will be pre-loaded. Additional functionality will come to the camera app, and Pop Up Play and Smart Stay from some of Samsung's newer devices will also be added to the Galaxy S2. 

It's sadly still a waiting game at this point, but with some official news coming out from Samsung, we'd like to hope it means the update isn't that far away from dropping. 

Source: Samsung Korea (Translated) via SamMobile

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Super Monsters Ate My Condo!, Netflix New Releases, AntennaPod and more!

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We said we'd be back in 2013 with our weekly app picks, and here we are. Trying to start off the year right before some of us make the trip to Las Vegas for CES 2013, we've got a whole grouping of great picks for you this week. A mix of games, utilities and overall fun apps can be found here, so stick around after the break and see how we did.

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3 years ago

Weekend project: Customize your home screen with UCCW, the ultimate custom widget

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Anytime you see folks discussing the virtues of Android, you hear the word custom being thrown around in one form or another. We're not talking about ROMs or kernels or anything like that, we mean the built in options to make your Android phone look like no other phone -- widgets. Specifically UCCW, the ultimate custom widget.

Ultimate is a pretty bold claim for any developer to make, especially when you're talking something as personal as the way our phones look. UCCW works it though, and is a way to change the look and feel of your home screen in a way only limited by your imagination. It's a "master" widget, which is simply a blank canvas that's painted the way you decide, either through your own talent or from themes (called uzips) that other talented folks have created.  Hit the jump, have a look, and get customized.

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3 years ago

Play Magazines now offering 'free for print subscribers' option

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According to a Google Play support document -- and confirmed when we browse to some magazines -- Google is now offering a "Free for print subscribers" option for certain magazines in the Play Store. When browsing many popular magazine subscriptions in the Play Store that have a print component, tapping on "subscribe" offers you three options. On top of the regular monthly or yearly subscriptions, you now have the option to get the digital version for free if you're already a print customer.

Google has likely signed some kind of content deals to make this happen, but however it happened it's a good thing. Many different publishers have offered this feature for their own websites and magazines, but its nice to see Google offering the same option with a digital subscription through the app as well.

Source: Google; Via: Android Police

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean update now pushing out to HTC One X on O2 UK

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A quick heads up to our friends in the UK rocking a HTC One X on O2. A tasty treat has begun to push out in the form of the much awaited Jelly Bean update, confirmed today by HTC UK on their official Twitter feed. As is so often the case with these things, the update is being pushed out in batches, so not everyone will get it right away. To check if you're one of the lucky ones be sure to head into Settings>About>Software Updates>Check Now. 

The update is pretty hefty in size at 365MB, so you'll want to be connected to WiFi. The 4.1 update for the One X has been rolling out internationally for a few months now, and while O2 customers will no doubt have been chewing their fingers off in anticipation, at last their patience has paid off. In addition to all the benefits of Jelly Bean like Google Now and Project Butter, the update brings with it the latest version of HTC's Sense software, known as Sense 4+. If you've managed to snag the update today, be sure to share your experiences with us in the comments below. 

Source: HTC UK (Twitter), O2 Customer Support Forums

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3 years ago

Oh noes! Google Maps isn't working on Windows Phone

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Our Windows Phone-loving pals at WPCentral have found themselves in quite the pickle. First there's the whole to-do over YouTube and the fact that Google's not opening up its metadata to Windows Phone, so third-party apps can't search videos as well as we can on Android. (Or in the iOS YouTube app, for that matter.) Now they can't even use Google Maps. Not that there's been an official Windows Phone version of Google Maps -- nor do we really expect one anytime soon -- but for some reason pointing Internet Explorer to maps.google.com redirects back to the mobile verison of Google's home page.

Shenanigans? Or Gremlins? We're willing to bet it's just a hiccup and that Google's not shutting out Windows Phone from Google Maps, but it's an inconvenience, to say the least. And Gizmodo says this actually has been the case from the start. (Though that's apparently not true.) On the other hand, WPCentral's Daniel Rubino questions "why you would want to use Google’s less-than-awesome mapping service through a browser." With an attitude like that, pal, don't expect the boys and girls at Google to bend over backwards for you on a Friday.

More: WPCentral

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3 years ago

SwiftKey Flow beta updated with performance improvements, bug fixes

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Four weeks on from the original SwiftKey Flow beta launch, a new version of the app is available. The new version 4.0.0.61 of the trace-enabled keyboard features improved performance, as well as fixes for a number of bugs identified over the past month --

  • Flow-through-space autocommit: if you flow-through space but mess up your last word, all the prior words will be inserted (instead of losing all the words)
  • Flow in landscape on tablets (not on split layout with numpad)
  • Battery usage improved (when flowing and when not in use)
  • Performance of flowing and tapping improved
  • Longpress of bottom-right (smiley/enter) button now works
  • Fixed some force close issues
  • Fixed some memory leaks
  • Predictions not lost when changing keyboard layout (e.g to symbols)
  • Fixed DOuble CApitalization issue

The new version is available for tablets and phones over at the source link below. Remember that SwiftKey Flow is still  in beta, so the app won't be as stable as the current version of SwiftKey 3.1 on Google Play. (A list of known issues can also be found at the source link.)

Source: SwiftKey blog

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