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3 years ago

SI's Android tablet app a testament to Sports Illustrated's legacy

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

When Sports Illustrated showed off its plans for an HTML5-based tablet-type app last year at Google IO, we lauded it as a shining example of how print publications should move into the digital world. And while the iPad got its version first, the upcoming Android Honeycomb version is just as good (and pretty darn similar).

If someone asks how a magazine should present itself in the mobile space, this is the app you should show them. Videos and photo galleries are dynamic and played well on the story pages. SI's web-only content is a special treat.

About the only other thing we could hope for is to see it on a higher-resolution screen, but that's not the app's fault, and we'll see that happen in due time.

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3 years ago

CNN's Android tablet app a model of how to present an overflow of news

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CNN app for Android smartphones


Youtube link for mobile viewing

Say what you want about CNN -- and between the new "HLN" and Nancy Grace, I could say plenty -- you have to hand it to whomever designed its new Honeycomb tablet app. It's a model for how to deftly handle an overflow of news without completely overwhelming the senses. 

That's not to say I don't continue to chuckle at the main screen, which can display thumbnails of some 300-odd stories and as nicknamed the "broadsheet" -- an old print term. But for the most part, it's a very well done news app. You have nice thumbnails of stories, which take you to nicely designed story pages. There's plenty of rich content to go around, including video and photo galleries.

For you budding "iReporters" -- don't get me started on that one, either -- you can record and upload "iReports" (sign) straight from the tablet, as it should be.

So while the quality of the news ain't exactly Daniel Schorr anymore, the quality of the CNN tablet app does more than enough to prop it up.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with Swiftkey for Android tablets

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Typing on a tablet can be a bit of a challenge. It's not as finger-friendly as a smaller smartphone, and it's not as tactile as a traditional physical keyboard. Swiftkey has long been one of our favorite keyboards, in no small part due to its excellent text prediction.

Swiftkey's tablet keyboard does something new in that it splits the keyboard in half, with half the letters at the far left, the other half at the far right, and a numerical keypad in the center. It takes a little getting used to, to be sure.

But the text prediction remains top-notch, and dual space bars make things that much faster. We'll give this keyboard the what-for when Android tablets are officially released (and the app, which is still in development, is ready). For now, check out the video.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with WeatherBug for tablets

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Let's talk about the weather. Or, more specifically, let's talk about WeatherBug, which has been redesigned for Android Honeycomb tablets. It's a pretty striking change, thanks to the new framework in Android 3.0.

The new app spends a good deal of energy on flipping through the weather of various cities. It looks pretty cool, but how often do you really need to do that?

Where it gets much more useful is with the radar mapping, which looks pretty spectacular on a 10-inch screen. Check it all out above.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with We Rule for Android

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Go ahead, admit it. More than a few of you are waiting on We Rule for Android. It's OK. No reason to be embarrassed. Especially after the demo we got with the game running on a 10-inch dual-core Android 3.0 tablet. And with the new in-app purchases coming to this ngmoco game, you'll have more than enough to keep your hands full.

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3 years ago

Fingers-on with Tap Tap Revenge for Android

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We've gotten so many e-mails about when Tap Tap Revenge might be coming to Android, we started to think there might be some sort of conspiracy afoot. But coming it is, and we've gotten a look at it. Gameplay is exactly as you'd expect, and the music list is the same as on other platforms.

Tap Tap takes advantage of Google's new in-app payment system, so you'll be able to buy new songs and get back to tapping your little fingers off in no time.

A tablet version is in the works, with reworked gameplay and a UI better suited for larger screens.

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3 years ago

Dungeon Defenders on a dual-core Honeycomb tablet as awesome as you think

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We recently took at look Dungeon Defenders on the LG Optimus 2X, with its dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. So what happens when you scale things up a bit and play it on a Motorola Xoom with Android 3.0 Honeycomb and all that 3D graphics awesomesauce? The video above tells it all.

Gameplay is that much more fun. Graphics are even better than what we saw on the phone. And with the incorporation of the new in-app payments, you'll have new weapons and new defenses at the ready.

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3 years ago

Google Body peels back the layers to get under your skin

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Take Google Earth and combine it with the human body, and you get ... Google Body. It's almost exactly what it sounds like -- a three-dimensional, layered look at the human body. It's pretty much a big pile of awesome on a dual-core Honeycomb tablet. And as you'll hear in the video, schools are going to be screaming for this thing.

You can dive through layers just like you might on Google Earth -- skin, bones, muscles, organs, whales, snails and puppy dog tails. What's the name of that muscle you pulled trying to show off how strong you are? Look it up. Start typing and you'll get a predictive search of whatever unspellable body part you're thinking of.

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3 years ago

Fuze Meeting -- multi-party HD collaboration app for Honeycomb

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Fuze Meeting

We had a look at Fuze Meeting for Android when it kicked things up a notch and released a tablet-specific application, and now they have gone a step further.  Fuze Meeting will be the first collaboration application for Honeycomb, delivering HD mobile video, full hosting abilities and pinch-to-zoom and iPoint laser technology for the Motorola Xoom.

Fuze Box says that hosts and attendees will be able to view up to 10 high resolution videos in a single instance of the app, which should give the new rendering engine in Honeycomb a run for it's money.  If they can pull it off well, this will make the Motorola Xoom a serious business tool, and a true competitor to the iPad.  Hit the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with Pulse News for Android Honeycomb tablets

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

The Pulse News feed reader is one of the coolest RSS readers available for Android (and not just because they include our blog). It's graphically awesome on the phone, and it's downright stunning on a Honeycomb tablet.

It's almost too good, actually. You might have to struggle a little bit with the sheer amount of information coming at you -- but that's something we noted with the phone version as well. It's not a knock against the app, it's just that if you happen to be a blogger with a few hundred feeds, things can get a little confusing.

But back to the stunning part. The graphics and transitions on a dual-core Honeycomb tablet are pretty darn smooth, and the home screen widgets showcase some of our favorite parts of the Android 3.0 framework.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with Words with Friends for Android (and it's coming this month!)

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Youtube link for mobile veiewing

The wait is nearly over, folks. Words with Friends is coming to Android this month. We got a look at it with the developer at Google's Honeycomb event, and gameplay is as impressive as you'd expect it to be.

You can play cross-platform, so you can show your iPhone-loving peeps who's boss. It's also going to be available on Android Honeycomb tablets just as soon as they're released. It'll be a free, ad-supported game, though a premium ad-free version is possible, too.

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3 years ago

Touchtype launches SwiftKey for tablets

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The much acclaimed SwiftKey by Touchtype is coming to Android tablets, the company announced. It's sporting a completely overhauled interface specifically designed for use on tablets, and we must say it looks pretty darn cool. The keyboard is broken up into three sections, with letters on the left, numbers in the middle, and letters on the right. Touchtype says it's designed specifically for typing "with your thumbs". Hit the source link for the full presser, and a video preview of SwiftKey for tablets in action after the break! [SwiftKey]

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3 years ago

In-app purchasing comes to Android apps

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In app billing

We heard a lot of news at today's event at Google, and one thing many have been waiting for is in-app purchases.  These will allow for things like buying songs, upgrading to premium versions of apps, add extra levels or content, and provide a way to use virtual currency.

Disney Mobile showed off several things today, including in-app purchasing to buy a song for their upcoming Tap Tap Revenge for Android application, and it looks to be integrated really well and should provide a seamless way for end users to enhance their applications, as well as provide developers with a way to generate more income.  We all know that happy, well fed developers make for a robust Marketplace and happy users, so we can't wait to see it!

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3 years ago

Android Market having a hiccup

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Android Market

It's not just you -- the Android Market seems to be stalled.  We're getting reports of users unable to download, and it's pretty widespread.  We have no idea if this has something to do with changes surrounding tomorrow's Honeycomb event in San Jose, but we'll know the answer to that one soon enough, join us while we live blog it from the floor.

For now though, it doesn't look like you're going to have much luck until somebody gets a new hampster to run the wheel. [Android Central forums] Thanks Christopher!

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3 years ago

New Firefox 4 beta for Android released

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Firefox for Android

Mozilla just released a new beta for Firefox for Android, aimed at improving the browsers speed and performance. The list of changes are as follows:

  • Now faster than stock Android browser
  • Nearly three times faster on Kraken JavaScript benchmark tests
  • Twice as fast on SunSpider JavaScript benchmark tests
  • Reduced installation memory usage
  • Stability improvements
  • Fixed keyboard bugs
  • Improved zooming readability 

It's definitely a work in progress, but we're getting closer and closer to the final product. Hit the break for a video of some of the beta's highlighted features. [Mozilla Firefox Blog]

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