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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2's Smart Rotation solves the ultimate first-world problem


We've all been there before. You're reading something on your smartphone while laying down on a bed or sofa. You turn sideways, and the screen rotates. Suddenly, whatever you were reading is at 90 degrees to where it needs to be, and you're left trying to read at an awkward angle. Fortunately, we found a feature on the Galaxy Note 2 that seems to have been developed for this exact eventuality.

"Smart rotation" makes its debut on the Note 2, and like the Galaxy S3's Smart Stay, it uses a bit of front-facing camera trickery. When the phone rotates, the device uses the front-facer to work out what orientation your face is in and then match the orientation of the screen accordingly, based on the built-in sensor. That means even if you're reading at an angle, the Note 2 can recognize this and keep things the right way up. In our experience it functions pretty well, though the fact that it uses the front-facing camera means you need a little ambient light in order for it to work.

Smart Rotation is switched off by default on the Note 2, but can be enabled under Settings > Display. Perhaps not the most practical or necessary software feature ever conceived, but damned if it isn't cool.

If you're reading this article at a 90 degree angle, be sure to shout out in the comments.

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3 years ago

Skype, on the Nikon Coolpix S800c


Look, the Nikon Coolpix S800c runs Android, so it's not all that strange for us to put the Skype app on the ... camera ... and give it a go. The speaker leaves a lot to be desired, and don't even think about doing a video call. But still. How cool is this?

But be warned: You will look a little funny walking down the street with a camera to your ear.

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3 years ago

HTC to deliver Jelly Bean and Sense 4+ upgrade for One S, X and XL this month


Alongside today's HTC One X+ announcement comes the news that HTC will upgrade some of its earlier One series phones to the latest versions of Android and Sense. The Sense 4+ and Jelly Bean update is scheduled to hit One S, X and XL phones later this month, and HTC tells us that every feature of the One X+ that doesn't require additional hardware will be made available on these devices. Note, as ever, that carrier-specific versions of these phones may take a little while longer to see this update.

Sadly, there's no mention of the One V -- or any other existing HTC phones -- in today's announcement. It's unlikely HTC will leave its entire back catalog in the lurch, but the lack of any announcements for earlier devices isn’t encouraging news for owners of these phones.

Nevertheless, it's a welcome development for the many One S, One X or One XL owners out there.

More: HTC One X+ announcement, HTC One X+ hands-on

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3 years ago

Over 25 percent of Android devices now running 4.0 and above


As it tends to do, Google has released a breakdown of what versions of Android devices out in the wild are currently running as of today, October 1. We're now over the milestone of having one in every four Android devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher -- unfortunately Jelly Bean makes up just 1.8 percentage-points of that right now, but let's not be too down on these numbers. Rounding out the rest of the chart is 2.3 Gingerbread at 55.8 percent, naturally, with all previous versions adding up to just 16.8 percent of active devices.

Android 4.0 and above has seen a pretty quick pickup in adoption since a large number of the world's best selling devices have launched or been updated to it at this point. This is really good news in terms of user adoption, but it also means that app developers have more incentive than ever to start following those "holo" guidelines we seem to ramble on about at times. Be sure to check out the full report at the source link below.

Source: Android Developers Dashboard

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S Blaze 4G Ice Cream Sandwich update available Oct. 3


T-Mobile has just put up a support page indicating that the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G (seriously, these names are getting to be a bit much) is going to be receiving an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich starting on October 3rd. The latest software -- version T769UVLF4 -- will bring all of the latest ICS features in addition to a Mobile Hotspot and Email fix. Unfortunately, it will only be available via Samsung Kies and not over the air like the previous update. That being said, we've got to be thankful that ICS is coming to the device via official means.

One interesting thing to note here is that T-Mobile specifically points out that the device cannot be rooted and receive the update. Of course most of us know this, but seeing it pointed out specifically in the support documentation is probably a good thing.

Source: TmoNews; T-Mobile Support

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3 years ago

Top Gear Stunt School Revolution now available in the Amazon Appstore


Top Gear, an iconic UK born motoring TV show that is beloved by so many. In 2012, Top Gear is more of a brand than a mere TV show, and has been exported around the world, including the U.S. A huge part of its appeal is the often chaotic sequence of events that goes into each episode. We're big fans of Top Gear here at Android Central, so imagine our delight today when we learned that an official Top Gear game landed in the Amazon Appstore. 

Yes, that is correct, the Amazon Appstore. An odd choice for the UK born BBC -- especially considering we're three weeks away from the Kindle Fire in Britain -- but a choice nevertheless. Check out our hands-on video above.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean update leaks for Sprint Galaxy S3


It's been a little while since we saw the international Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) receiving an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in Poland, and now it seems that the Galaxy S3 on the Now Network is poised to get its own update. A 4.1.1 build for the device has leaked out and packaged up for users to test their luck flashing over at the XDA forums, bearing the build number JRO03L.L710VPBLIF. Both Odexed and DeOdexed versions of the ROM are available, and as is usually the case with leaks like this, users are reporting mixed results using it as a daily driver.

If you're interested in doing some tinkering and want to try Jelly Bean on your Sprint Galaxy S3, hit the source link below. As always, flash at your own risk and do your self a favor by backing up first!

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago announces pricing changes

10 has a short history of trying to be a viable alternative to Google+, Facebook and mostly directly Twitter. If you haven't heard much about it, the idea of is to be a social network without advertisements -- which means developers and users both pay to enter. That's important to know, because today is announcing a new pricing structure for users of the service.

There are two big parts to this announcement. First, now has a monthly service signup (or "Member plan") for $5 per month, whereas previously there were only $50 yearly signups. Second, for those who choose the yearly Member plan, the cost has dropped quite a bit from $50 to $36. The monthly plan is very important for those who want to give a try but don't want to drop a year's worth of subscription costs on it, but it's clear with the pricing structure that would prefer if everyone moved towards signing up for a year at a time. With these pricing changes, current yearly members will be dropped down to the new prices, and additional months of service will be added to their plan.

Have you tried out yet? There are currently three apps in the Google Play Store made for the service that are worth a look.

Source: Company Blog

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3 years ago

Marvel: War of Heroes coming to Android on Oct. 11


Comic fans, rejoice! Marvel: War of Heroes is coming to Android (and iOS) for free on October 11th, and those who pre-register for the game will receive an extra treat on launch day. Registering for the game prior to October 10th will secure a special limited-edition card featuring Black Widow. In what Marvel is calling an "action-packed card-battle game", this latest title is an all new original story line in which the player takes on the role of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, teaming up with all of your favorite Marvel characters -- like Spider-Man, the Hulk and Iron Man -- to fight evildoers. Marvel also notes that new character cards and events will be added to the game on a regular basis, ensuring a fresh gameplay experience over time.

So, are you excited for another Marvel game? Hit up the source link below, and chime in in the comments on whether you're ready to pre-register.

Source: Marvel

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3 years ago

X-Plane 9 goes free on Google Play


If you're into flight simulators and you haven't tried X-Plane 9 now is the time to do so. The popular app is now free in Google Play instead of it's normal $2.99.

I've been a fan of the app since day one, and it gives us pretty much the best flight sim experience possible on Android. You initially get to choose from 10 different types of aircraft to fly but there are in-app purchases available with 43 more planes up for grabs. Whether it's a passenger jet, a small aircraft or a state of the art fighter jet there is a load of fun to be had with X-Plane 9.

With a selection of different viewing options you really can tailor the app to suit your needs. Take my word for it - you need X-Plane 9 on your Android phone or tablet.  Features of the app include:

  • 6 scenery regions included (15 more available for purchase)
  • 10 different aircraft of varying types (43 more available for purchase)
  • Fly Dawn, Day, Dusk, Night
  • Fly in VFR/IFR conditions from clear skies to overcast.
  • You control the weather!
  • Simulated system failures!
  • Bird Strikes!
  • Multiplayer over WiFi!
  • Installs right to your SD card (Froyo/2.2 support required)

If you fancy reading our quick review on X-Plane 9 before downloading you can do so here.

Source: MoDaCo

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4 years ago

CM Updater goes live, update your CyanogenMod 10 builds automatically


If you're using the CyanogenMod team's custom ROM on your Android device, and are running any of the nightlies from today (Sep. 30) onward, you now have a new option in your settings -- CM Updater. What it does is give you the option to automatically check for updates and install then, just like an over the air update from your carrier. We've seen this done before from other developers, and from ROM Manager, but now there's a built in option for all users of the ROM.

It's worth noting that this only checks for and installs updates to CM 10. It doesn't replace a custom recovery, so you'll need ClockWorkMod recovery installed to use it. It also doesn't update any Google Apps, so you're on your own for those. 

To find the feature, make sure you have the latest nightly build, and look in Settings > About phone > CyanogenMod updates. You can choose from a few different options, including whether or not you only want to stay on the stable release track. Everything seemed to go fine in our quick testing using tonight's nightly build for the Galaxy S3, but keep in mind that this is not a finished product yet, so there may be bugs. 

Anyone giving this a try? Sound off in the comments to let everyone else know how it goes for you. If you hit any snags, hit the forums to hash it all out.

Source: +CyanogenMod

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4 years ago

Google Play Movies and TV now available for the Sony NSZ-GS7 [Google TV]


Google has finally made their Movies and TV app compatible with the Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV box. One would think that an app for viewing TV shows would work out of the box for a TV set-top box, but until today it just wasn't so. It's all part of the bigger issue Google has with delivering content and media to Android devices, which currently outnumber everything else on the market from a market share perspective.

The good news is that you finally can watch shows and films you're rented or purchased, right on your big screen via the Sony Google TV box. If you've been waiting to give it a try, now's your chance. Grab it from Google Play.

Via: +Google TV Friends

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4 years ago

Google's final day of 25-cent apps features Horn, Nova Launcher Prime, Air Control and more


Google Play's 25-cent promotional sale has gone into its final day with a handful of new apps and games that are just about as good as free. Topping the list are:

Check out our list of Android apps from the first four days below! Many of them have had their prices knocked back up to normal, but maybe you'll luck out. Oh, and be sure to leave a comment if you find any others that are on sale. 

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week - Space Images, Mini Motor Racing, WatchESPN and more!


It's the last week of September, and the Android Central writers have another diverse set of app picks for your enjoyment. Have a look into space, play some games, watch your favorite sport and keep yourself from getting lost with these picks this weekend. And remember, Google is still running its $0.25 app promotion to celebrate 25 billion downloads. Read on, then head to the Google Play Store and grab a few great apps.

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4 years ago

Day 4 of 25-cent Google Play sale features Madden NFL 12, Ski Safari, Cut the Rope and more


Google Play's 25-cent promotional sale has gone into day four with a handful of new apps and games that are just about as good as free. Topping the list are:

Check out our list of Android apps from the first three days below! Many of them have had their prices knocked back up to normal, but maybe you'll luck out. Oh, and be sure to leave a comment if you find any others that are on sale. 

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