3 years ago

Dolphin Engine beta released, touted as highest performing HTML5 mobile browser


Dolphin Browser HD has long been a favorite on Android with its speed and huge feature list, and it's about to get even better. With the release in beta of the new Dolphin Engine comes the claims that it is the highest performing HTML5 mobile browser out there. Indeed, Dolphin Engine scores higher than both Chrome Beta, and the stock ICS browser as well as Firefox. Impressive. 

So where does all this performance come from? Dolphin Engine is an improved webkit version with extensive canvas enhancement and some pretty serious behind the scenes nuts and bolts that gives it that added boost.  We could nerd out on technology all we want, but for most of us, numbers will tell enough of the story. 

Dolphin Engine's HTML5 rendering is 5 - 10x faster than the stock Android browser, and at times 100% faster than Chrome Beta. Double impressive. With HTML5 the future of the web, Dolphin is certainly shaping up to be a formidable foe in the mobile browser stakes.

For the full rundown on the new Dolphin Engine beta, and to download for yourselves hit the source link below. The usual caveats apply though, it is still in beta, so expect some bugs along the way. 

Source: Dolphin Browser

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3 years ago

Google Translate updated with tablet and copying improvements


Having an app like Google Translate on your phone can be indispensable when you're traveling, and the latest update to Google's multilingual app adds a few improvements that should make it easier to use. The latest version 2.4.2 includes quick navigation between conversation, history and favorites modes on tablets (phones have had this feature for a while), in addition to easier copying of translations (there's now a button for that).

Other additions include text-to-speech options for your original text, and handwriting recognition options for more languages, though no word on which languages specifically.

If you've already got Google Translate installed, be sure to head by the Play Store to grab the latest update. Alternatively, you can install via the web interface.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey updated to version 3 and packed full of features; developers also announce SwiftKey Healthcare


The folks at TouchType have made SwiftKey 3 official, and available today in Google Play. Many of us have been keeping an eye on the beta version, so we know just how well this Android keyboard works and the great features it has. If you're not part of the beta testing group, here's what to expect --

  • Smart Space –  adding to SwiftKey's already cutting edge correction, Smart Space detects mistyped or omitted spaces across strings of poorly typed words in real-time.
  • Two new themes – a new theme, 'Cobalt', to match SwiftKey's new look and feel, and an Ice Cream Sandwich-styled 'Holo' theme, as voted for by SwiftKey's VIP community.
  • An enhanced UI – a much larger space bar and smart punctuation key help improve accuracy and make it quick and easy to access common punctuation.
  • Additional languages – SwiftKey 3 now offers support for an additional seven languages, bringing the total up to 42. The new languages are Korean, Estonian, Farsi, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Serbian.
  • A dedicated comma key, and the <123> key in the bottom-left corner.
  • Refined Smart Punctuation pop-up for better, more consistent behaviour.
  • Improved Smart Space functionality for easier email addresses and URL entry.
  • Reduced lag on some devices for a more responsive experience.
  • Reintroduction of the long-press duration setting by popular request.
  • Further improved prediction algorithms for even more accurate next word suggestions.
  • Updated gestures for easier shortcuts.
  • Several bug fixes.

That's quite the impressive change log! SwiftKey has always been a favorite (they won one of our 2011 Editor's Choice awards), and it's amazing prediction engine really does make typing easier. Rich downloadable language dictionaries, combined with personalization through social media and your e-mail make it accurate -- so accurate it's scary sometimes. As a special, the app will be on sale for a limited time for just $1.99. Well worth the two bucks in our opinion.

Speaking of personalization, TouchType has also announced SwiftKey Healthcare, which uses the prediction technology to take faster and more accurate notes on tablet devices. TouchType's initial trials indicate that healthcare professionals will save up to half the amount of time they currently spend typing, and it's a great step into the enterprise space for the SwiftKey team. Hit the break for a short product video and a smattering of screenshots from the new build.

Android apps by TouchType LTD. on Google Play; More info: SwiftKey

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3 years ago

Amazon expanding its Android appstore to Europe, developer portal updated and accepting apps now


Amazon has announced that they will be opening their appstore to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain this summer, with a "global" expansion planned to follow. There's no firm date as of yet, but they have changed the developer agreement and are already accepting submissions for apps to be distributed in the listed countries, so it can't be too far off. 

This is a pretty big deal, both for customers and developers. End users get access to more content for their devices, and the folks who write the apps have a broader customer base to solicit. It's good for business, and for many, Android apps are their business.

Hopefully Amazon will start offering more of their services on both sides of the pond, and other companies (hello, Google!) can work out the issues and follow suit.

Source: Amazon


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3 years ago

Stitcher Radio for Android updated with new features, bug fixes


Stitcher Radio has been serving up podcasts and internet radio for quite some time now on Android but it's been a while since the app was last updated with a new subset of features. Apparently, it was all for good reason as there is a new update available right now that shows off some new features and a slightly redesigned user interface:

  • Smart Station – Never be in the dark about which shows and programs you should be listening to. An industry first for talk radio, the Stitcher Smart Station makes recommendations based on your listening activity. By culling your listening history, favorite shows and thumbs up, the Smart Station recommends shows you’re most likely to enjoy.
  • Lock Screen Album Art – Make your listening experience more visual. See the currently playing show on your phone’s lock screen while you’re listening to Stitcher.
  • Sleep Timer – Set Stitcher to automatically stop playing after you nod off. With Stitcher’s most requested feature, you can set specific sleep settings to have your shows automatically stop. Whether you’re setting it for sleep or for your regular morning commute, your Stitcher app is more in-tune with your listening habits.
  • Easier Sharing on Twitter – Keep the sharing alive. With pre-populated show descriptions and sources, Stitcher is now making it easier and ever to share your favorite shows.

The Smart Station feature is certainly my favorite addition to the app. I find that if I go looking for podcasts on my own, I never end up listening to any. Instead, just look around until I give up. With Smart Station, it shows me stuff I may be interested in based on what I am listening to so there is more likelihood that once I'm done listening to the Android Central podcast on Stitcher I can then move onto something else closely related and just as interesting.

Download Stitcher

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3 years ago

Light Flow LED Control v3.0 brings new user interface and notification volume controls


Looking to gain better control of your LED notifications? If so, Rage Consulting has now released the latest update to their popular Light Flow LED control app. We reviewed it not all that long ago but v3.0 brings some welcomed changes to the mix including a new user interface because honestly, the old one was rather bland. In addition to the new UI, you can now also adjust notification volumes individually so you'll no longer have to deal with all notifications set at the same volume. Those are just two of the changes within. The full change log is rather lengthy and contains plenty of bug fixes, app additions and more:

  • Volume controls - each notification can be set with its own volume (either fixed or relative to the standard notification volume)
  • Notifications can be configured to play a sound even when the phone is in silent mode (for those very important notifications)
  • ICS devices can have a different notification volume set to the ringtone volume.
  • Widgets - 2 styles of basic widget for viewing and resetting notifications.
  • New custom color picker with HEX input available
  • New camera flash method selector with additional support for some Motorola phones
  • New Labs section: currently with Instant Alert to vibrate the phone when picked up for important messages
  • Added Chinese language
  • Control sleep time via near field communications - toggle by tapping a NFC tag

There are two versions of Light Flow available, lite and full. The lite version is available as a free download but only offers limited features while the full version costing $1.99 opens up the full functionality. Important to note, Light Flow will not work on all devices so best to give the lite version a go first to ensure compatibility.

Download Light Flow

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3 years ago

Otter Text and Drive solution now free in the Google Play Store


Texting and driving is still on the rise, despite numerous laws now being put in place. There are quite a few solutions available in the Google Play Store and one that has received some attention recently is Otter. With Otter you can use automatic text message replies coupled with GPS to let folks know you're driving, working or otherwise preoccupied. In addition to that feature, you can also set text messaging black out periods so there are no interruptions at all.

Previously a premium app that sold for $3.99, the developers have removed all fees associated with Otter and are offering it as a free download. The full press release from Otter can be found below or you can hit the download link to check it out for yourself.

Download Otter from Google Play

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3 years ago

Microsoft rolls its own Wallet solution for Windows Phone, does Google Wallet one better


One digital wallet to rule them all? Not so much, apparently. Microsoft today at its Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco announced Windows Phone Wallet, which appears to take the best of Google Wallet and Apple's new Passbook and roll it into a single app. 

Oh, and it throws in PayPal for good measure.  Wowzers.

Just like Google Wallet, Windows Phone Wallet uses NFC for the transaction. But Microsoft's solution appears to dive deeper than just a basic way of linking your credit card to your phone. It'll also serve as a direct link for in-app purchasing and store personal information, all on the phone. Again, the best of both worlds.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Google's got to get rid of this Sprint exclusivity for Google Wallet, pronto.

More: WPCentral at the Windows Phone Summit

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3 years ago

Slightly redesigned Android launcher sneaks out in screenshot from Google


Eagle-eyed Google Play Store-goers will have noticed something mildly interesting in this screenshot from the Google IO 2012 Android app listing. It's the stock Android 4.x launcher, but what's that at the top? A redesigned Google Search bar? Sure looks like it. It's a transparent square in Google's screenshot, as opposed to the white-bordered dealie that we know from the Galaxy Nexus.

To be clear, this isn't merely a redesigned widget -- in ICS, the Google search bar is part of the launcher itself​, meaning that the change must also be of the launcher. Sure, it'd be easy to mock up this sort of image using a custom launcher, or even Photoshop, but remember this is a screenshot from Google, from an official Google app listing.

This naturally leads to some speculation that the image comes from a future version of Android, perhaps Jelly Bean. And when you consider the image's source and subject matter, it's easy to connect the dots and conclude that we might see a new version of Android (albeit one with only minor visual changes) at next week's Google IO conference in San Francisco. There's already been plenty of speculation that we'll see Jelly Bean next week, and that it'll be Android 4.1.

Also of interest, is the time in this pic -- 25:10. Obviously that's not a real time. Some have speculated it's a reference to a date -- October 25 -- but we don't think it's likely that Google would tease an announcement so far out. 

So perhaps this is our first look at the next version of Android, or maybe Google's just trolling the blogosphere. If you've got any theories, let us know what you think down in the comments.

Source: Google Play Store

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3 years ago

Waze unveils version 3.2, with waypoints, voice control, and real-time gas pricing



Waze has taken the wraps off the latest version of their über-popular social navigation app, and there's some pretty cool new features thrown into the mix. For starters, you can now find the things you're looking for along the route your traveling with the new waypoints feature, where you can search for gas stations (more on that in a minute), parking, auto repair and more that are on your way. Then there's the addition of full voice control for reporting incidents to the rest of the community for Android phones, and an inbox for updates from the Waze community. The big news is the real-time gas search, which allows you to say a couple of bucks when you're at the pumps. In addition, Waze has partnered with Kum & Go, Hess, Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (BP and Exxon stations) and Vintners Distributers (Shell) locations to bring in-app discounts on gas to users. As outrageous as gas prices are getting, this is something everyone should try.

Of course everything else you love (or heard about everyone else loving if you haven't tried Waze yet) is still there -- real-time traffic, social integration, speed trap reports, and fun. The best part is that it's all free! 

Hit the break for a short video, a handful of app screenshots, and Waze's press release

Download Waze from Google Play

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3 years ago

Major Swype beta update released with syncable dictionary, personalized prediction


Swype developer Nuance has announced -- and released -- a major update to the beta version of the popular Android keyboard. The new Swype beta, which is available to download now from the official site, adds in several new abilities designed to make word prediction more accurate. Among these is a feature more commonly associated with rival SwiftKey -- personalized prediction based on social networking accounts, SMS and email.

The devs have also added in the ability to sync your personal dictionary across multiple devices, and download new languages from within the app. On top of that, a more intelligent prediction engine is promised, based on Nuance's XT9 tech, which the developers say will make Swype smarter based on historical usage. Dragn dictation is also included, if you prefer talking to typing.

All in all, this looks like a worthy update to one of the most popular Android keyboards, so if you're a fan of Swype, you'll definitely want to check it out. The new version of Swype is available now over at the source link for English and Spanish users.

We've got the presser after the break.

Download: Swype Beta

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3 years ago

Official Google IO 2012 app now ready for download


We're now seven days away from the kick off of Google IO 2012 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and now, Google has gone ahead and updated the official conference app for those who are lucky enough to be attending the event. This year, the app has received a makeover and some great new features have been added including Google+ integration as well as the ability go stream conference video directly. The full list looks a little something like this:

  • View the conference agenda and edit your personal schedule
  • View detailed session, code lab, and speaker information, including speaker bios, photos, and Google+ profiles
  • +1 sessions right from the app
  • Participate in public #io2012 conversations on Google+
  • Guide yourself using the conference map
  • Get a reminder a few minutes before sessions in your schedule are due to start
  • View information about companies in the Developer Sandbox
  • Keep up with announcements from the I/O team during the conference
  • View your schedule on your Android 3.0+ device's home screen using an app widget
  • Play back "I/O Live" session video streams on your Android 3.0+ devices
  • Automatically sync sessions in your schedule to your Android 4.0 device's calendar
  • Beam session details from your Android 4.0, NFC-enabled device to another using Android Beam

As you can tell, the app really is intended for those actually attending Google IO 2012 but there is enough features built in that everyone can enjoy it in one way or another. We'll be there at the Moscone Center from June 27-29 taking it all in and bringing it all back to you guys. In the meantime though, go ahead and grab the app from the Google Play Store and follow along.

Download the Google IO 2012 app

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3 years ago

TouchWiz Nature UX: The definitive guide


$jump = Jump to a sectionBack to the topGetting started with TouchWizNotification barHome screensPersonalizationLock screenWifi, Wifi Direct and DLNAKeyboardEmail and messagesBrowser and FlashGalleryMusicCameraPhone and ContactsMultitasking and Task ManagerS Planner and TasksS VoiceMotion and GesturesFlipboardWeatherDisplay and Smart StayDeveloper OptionsKies and Connecting to a ComputerAllShare PlayMusic, Video and Games HubOther Notables EOT; ?>

Want to get to grips with the new version of Samsung's ​TouchWiz software on the Galaxy S III? We’ve got all the info you could ever want...

Samsung’s Galaxy S III introduces a new version of the manufacturer’s UI layer, known as TouchWiz. TouchWiz has its roots in Samsung’s Symbian featurephones and Windows Mobile smartphones, but most Android fans will recognize it as the software that Samsung used on its Galaxy S and Galaxy S II devices. TouchWiz has typically been brighter and more feature-packed than vanilla Android, if a little scattershot in terms of overall design. Nevertheless, millions of consumers have used the software on Samsung devices over the past few years, making it one of the most popular Android “skins” out there. And for its latest flagship phone, Samsung has unveiled a brand new version -- the “TouchWiz Nature UX.”

Drawing design cues from Samsung’s “inspired by nature” slogan, the new TouchWiz has undergone a visual overhaul, and introduced a truckload of new features. At the same time, the manufacturer’s stripped out some of the extraneous apps and widgets found in TouchWiz 4 in an effort to make things more streamlined (though many of these extras are still available for download under “more services”).

So there’s a lot to learn, and plenty of new functionality to discover. Fortunately, we’re here to help with our definitive guide to Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX.

Getting started with TouchWiz | Notification bar | Home screens | PersonalizationLock screen |
Wifi, Wifi Direct and DLNA | Keyboard | Email and messages | Browser and Flash |
Gallery | Music Player | Camera | Phone and Contacts | Multitasking and Task Manager |
S Planner and Tasks | S Voice | Motion and Gestures | Flipboard | Weather | Display and Smart Stay |
Developer Options | Kies and Connecting to a Computer | AllShare Play |
Music, Video and Games Hub | Other Notables

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3 years ago

MiHome Launcher [Android App Review]


The MIUI ROM's by Xiaomi are an interesting take on Android, offering up something pretty different to everyone else. It isn't to everyone's tastes, but it's bright and colorful, simple, and very well designed. But, not everyone is into flashing ROM's and all that hack-foolery. We've already seen the MiLocker application hit the Play Store, and now the launcher has been separated off and released too as MiHome. There's a ton of launchers out there these days, but MiHome is pretty individual. We'll take you through it after the break. 

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3 years ago

'With great power, comes great responsibility' - The Amazing Spider-Man launching June 28


This summer is shaping up to be a feast for comic book geeks and general action film lovers alike, with titles like The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man. Both are set to get official mobile games from Gameloft, and both will be coming to Android around the time of the movie launches. 

Today on their official YouTube channel, Gameloft has posted the "prologue" to the Amazing Spider-Man. It gives us the background -- although we all know that already, right? -- and some more gameplay action. The gameplay looks pretty good, a large, open, 3D world to web-sling through to your hearts content. There's also some bad guys to fight should you feel the urge. 

Also from the video, we get the release date for the title. The Amazing Spider-Man will be launching on Android on June 28. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer. 

Source: Gameloft (YouTube)

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