Headlines

3 years ago

Swype reopens beta program for all!

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You read that right, folks. For those of you waiting to officially get in on the Swype keyboard, you'll wait no longer. The beta program has opened up to anyone able to type in a little user information. That means you can be up and running the official version of Swype in just a couple of minutes -- including the new and improved "micro" version -- without worry of being hassled by the man. Hit up the source link to get your Swype on. [Swype] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

SPB Mobile Shell for Android looking for a few brave beta testers

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It's been 10 long months since we saw SPB Mobile Shell for Android. That's right, the same SPB who used to make Windows Mobile usable. And long after we got a look at it at Mobile World Congress it's ... still not available. But you can now sign up for a private beta, and possible get a look at a whole 'nother UI for Android. Be sure to check out our hands-on from February, and there's all new video after the break. [SPB Mobile Shell for Android]

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3 years ago

WSJ reports smartphone apps can (and do) track user data

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But is this yet another case of Chicken Little crying
that the sky is falling?

The Wall Street Journal has come forward with a lengthy article about Android and iOS applications, and how they transmit your data to advertisement companies. They assembled a selection of 101 smartphone apps (50 Android apps, 50 iOS apps, and the WSJ's iPhone app -- they haven't seen fit to release an Android version just yet) and found that 56 of them transmit unique identifying data from your smartphone.  More specifically -- apps are transmitting the unique device ID, age, location, gender, time spent using the app and other possibly personal identifying data.  Yes, it's wallpaper-gate all over again.  Let's dissect this a bit, after the break. [WSJ.com]

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3 years ago

Swype now offers 'micro' build, says Evo users need to uninstall beta before latest OTA upgrade

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We know how sensitive some of you are regarding app size. It's OK. It's nothing to be ashamed of, and you're not alone. And the fine folks at Swype fully sympathize and are now offering a "micro" version of the Swype keyboard. It's fully functional, just with fewer languages supported, so you get a 2.5MB install instead of a 10MB install. To get the micro version, just open the Swype Installer on your phone and accept the update.

Also, Swype has (finally) offered some help to you Evo 4G users who had problems this week. See, the 3.70.651.1 OS update that dropped this week included the Swype keyboard. So if you already were running the beta, things quickly stopped working. As many of you figured out, you need to uninstall the beta, then reboot, and all should be well. [Swype forums]

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3 years ago

E*TRADE Mobile Pro now available for Android

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E*TRADE has finally released its Android application to the masses. Having only previously been available on other platforms such as iOS and BlackBerry, E*TRADE mobile Pro now has a home in the Android Market. Although I'm not much of a stock trader myself I certainly could be given how easy the app is to use. Not so sure I'd be successful at it so it's best I just let you all know the features rather than test them out myself.  Features included in the app:

  • Get free real-time quotes, news & charts.
  • Check the market and your device watch list.
  • Securely buy, sell, and place orders with just a few taps.    
  • Check your holdings, balances, and buying power in real time.

If you have an E*TRADE account and have been waiting for this app, you'll find the download link after the break. PS: If you make some money using the app, I expect my cut. Thanks Steve!

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3 years ago

Nexus S Gingerbread ported to Galaxy S -- not quite ready for prime time yet

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Whenever a new version of Android is released, one thing you can always count on is the developer community hacking it onto as many devices as they can.  Using the kernel and system image from the Nexus S, developer supercurio of XDA Developers was able to get a (mildly) working build of Gingerbread up and running on his Samsung Galaxy S

Although it's a rather crippled build -- and it'll cost you GPS, Wi-Fi, voice, and camera functionality -- it's definitely a step in the right direction.  Every good custom ROM starts with a buggy, near useless build -- these things don't happen overnight.

Check out a video of the Galaxy S running Gingerbread after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Dec. 18, 2010

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For all you who have been waiting for the Nexus S to come out for you to pick one up, the wait is over and now you probably want to load it up with some great applications. The market can be a bit difficult to navigate depending how much time you have to spare, so let us give you some ideas of what to load up on that new shiny device.

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3 years ago

Get the new Android Market on your new Nexus S

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For anyone who has tried the new Android Market client on their Nexus S and was disappointed at the odd visual glitches -- that and the fact that it reverted itself to the old market in just a few hours -- here's at least a partial fix.  Jury is still out on whether this one will be a bit more permanent or not, but it looks (and more importantly works) great.  None of that overlapping text and half images we were seeing with the last "new" Market version.

Hit the Nexus S forums and you can grab the apk file, just install it like any other application.  [XDA-Developers

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3 years ago

Android Quick app: Need for Speed: Shift

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Hear the words "Need for Speed," and two things come to mind: The classic line from "Top Gun," and a bad-ass racing game. And the latter has come to Android in the form of Need for Speed: Shift, from EA.

The premise is simple: Go fast. Turn left. Or right. Hit the brakes if you have to, but I'm gonna call you a wuss if you do.

We've spent a few minutes with the game, now in the Android Market for $4.99. Download the app and fire it up, and you're prompted to download the rest of the game data. That took just a couple minutes over Wifi.

You'll be introduced to a tutorial track first, where you're alone on the road. That's nice for getting a feel for the steering, and it took just a couple of laps to get the hang of things. You turn by tilting the phone left or right, and brake by pressing anywhere on the screen. (Again, you're a wuss.) You can change the difficulty and enable manual transmission, disable driving assist and braking, if you want.

You start out with two cars from which to choose -- a Volkswagen Golf GTI and Mazda RX-8. As is the norm with games like this, you can purchase other cars and upgrades for existing cars as you win races and earn cash.

The graphics are top-notch, as you'd expect from EA, and the soundtrack is as well. Depending on the device, you might well blow an eardrum. This one's well worth the $5 even if you're only a casual fan of racing games. We've got video of it in action, as well as download links, after the break.

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3 years ago

Google explains the wizardry that is Google Maps 5

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We're all loving the new version of Google Maps and its vector based graphics, and Google has spent the time to explain exactly what makes them better.  There some great detail about vector graphics, and how using them improves things like drawing roads or place labels as well as enabling the things like 3D tilt view, and explanation of how things used to work with the tiled graphics (360 billion tiles were needed to cover the earth!), and most importantly, explanation of how offline caching works -- places you frequent will have a lot of detail, while places you don't venture to as often won't  have as much, all done using about 100 times less data. 

I know a lot of us were expecting an offline version of Google Maps, and it looks like that isn't here just yet.  But Google did say they are continuing to work on the algorithms used to display the data, and we'll see even more improvements over time.  Check it out at the source link.  [Google Mobile Blog]

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