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2 years ago

HTC teases 'dog translator' app

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Update: HTC has confirmed that this is in fact just a joke, and they're not working on voice control tech for dogs or humans.

Original: The Galaxy S III might be "designed for humans," but HTC has just published photographic evidence of what seems to be an attempt to court the canine smartphone market. The manufacturer posted the image above on its official Facebook page, showing the HTC One X chatting it up with an unusually smartphone literate dog.

OK, so HTC probably isn't going into the field of animal behaviorology anytime soon, which means this is likely a not-so-subtle hint that HTC is set to join LG, Samsung and Apple in launching its own voice assistant app (OK, a Siri clone). Based on the image above, it looks like HTC's app will be able to manage appointments (such as walkies) and other general queries, much like Apple and Samsung's offerings. The big question will be how well the app's voice recognition features actually work, as we found this to be a major sticking point for S Voice, the Galaxy S III's voice control effort.

In any case, we'll be interested to see what HTC comes up with in this area, and how much of its Sense UI it's able to augment with the new voice-controlled tech.

Source: HTC on Facebook

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2 years ago

AT&T: Just testing that Galaxy S II update; it'll be back 'very soon'

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So the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the AT&T Galaxy S II kinda went live. Then it kinda didn't. And we've seen that happen wtih so many Samsung updates that we've kinda grown numb to it. But that doesn't mean we don't care. Here's the official word from AT&T corporate PR, which is a step or five over customer service chats.

We plan for the upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for Galaxy S II customers to be live very soon.  Like with every OS update, we test it on our servers before we roll it out to customers.  We’re in the process of doing that with Android 4.0 (ICS) for Galaxy S II customers and hope to make that live soon.  We recommend customers wait to attempt the update.

So that's why you saw it, and now you don't. AT&T tells us it'll have more info at its consumer blog here once the update goes live. Hang in there, folks.

More: Galaxy S II forums

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2 years ago

Samsung brings iTunes and iOS data to Galaxy devices with Easy Phone Sync

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Samsung has announced that it's partnered with developer Mushroom Media to bring the company's Easy Phone Sync application to owners of Galaxy smartphones and tablets. As the name suggests, Easy Phone Sync is allows phones to transfer content from their PCs over a USB connection, with the particular focus being on importing music and other media from iTunes, and contacts and messages from iOS. The app, which will presumably be available for a fee at some point in the future, can be downloaded for free on Google Play if you've got a Galaxy device.

The app release and partnership with Mushroom Media is likely part of Samsung's plans to give iOS users an easy path from Apple's ecosystem to its own. Samsung has made no secret of its efforts to establish itself as a equal competitor to Apple, and the Korean manufacturer will be hoping to lure upgrading iPhone users to its Galaxy S III with apps like this. While Easy Phone Sync isn't anywhere near as polished as an Apple app, it's fast and functional enough to be of use to iOS converts making the switch to a Galaxy phone.

We've given Easy Phone Sync a quick test on the Galaxy S III, and it seems to work well enough. Inexplicably though, the phone app seems to run persistently in the background, leaving an unsightly notification in place at all times.  The phone all only serves to install a license key though, and after that it can be uninstalled. Regardless, persistent notifications are annoying, and make for a sub-par user experience -- on an officially-sanctioned app like this, there's no excuse.

You'll find today's presser from Samsung after the break, and download links below.

Download: Easy Phone Sync (Android), Easy Phone Sync (Mac, PC)

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2 years ago

Droid RAZR/RAZR MAXX get Ice Cream Sandwich!

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Last night was just the teaser. Today's the day, folks. After so many rumored dates have come and gone, Verizon has made it official that the Motorola Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX -- twins in every way except for battery size -- will get their update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich starting June 22. Today. The update also will turn on GSM world roaming capabilities, update a number of Moto's apps, improve mobile hotspot performance and Bluetooth audio, and you've got a new settings menu as well.

So be on the lookout for this one today, and be sure to hit up our Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX forums to spread the world. You can find the full details of the update at the link below.

Update: Not to confuse matters, but Motorola's just put out a post of its own, saying "A select number of DROID RAZR by Motorola and DROID RAZR MAXX by Motorola owners will start receiving the upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich this week as part of our standard upgrade process; broader deployments will come over the coming days."

So Verizon says it's starting today, Motorola says it's starting slowly this week.

Source: Verizon, update changelog (pdf)

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2 years ago

LevelUp Studio introduces Peti, a free puzzle game for Android

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Most folks will know the name of LevelUp Studio from their Plume and Beautiful Widgets apps but they've gone ahead and ventured into a new area with their latest release. Yup, gaming is now on the developers list and as such they've now unveiled a pretty fun and free puzzle game called Peti.

Peti (People for Ethical Treatment of Invaders) will place you in a new world wherein you must save aliens that fall to Earth and send them back to their mother, all in an effort to keep her happy so that she doesn't destroy all of humanity.

Overall, the game will feel familiar you to you as it takes on a retro style much like Tetris or Dr. Mario but given that it adds plenty of new twists, achievements and special powers to make it more than a "drop and place" puzzle game, it's certainly one to check out.

The graphics and characters are fun, the game itself is challenging plus, it's free. For a first run at gaming, I'd say LevelUp Studio did quite well. Grab the download, check out the game trailer below and let us know what you all think of Peti in the comments.

Download Peti

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2 years ago

Review: Incipio Feather Ultralight Hard Shell Case for the Samsung Galaxy Note

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I have a real problem when it comes to buying cases for my Samsung Galaxy Note. I know I'm not the only one but I have a bad habit of putting on cases then taking them off a week or so later. Then, I'll buy another and repeat the whole process over again. Sadly though, naked devices have no protection against the accidental bumps, drops, scratches, dings and whatever else you can imagine bad happening in the run of a day. Luckily, I have found Incipio Feather Ultralight Hard Shell that offers a fine balance between offering protection, keeping things light and not adding a ton of bulk. Interested? Jump below for the full look at it and see if it's a right fit your usage.

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2 years ago

Top 10 things you need to know about your Galaxy S3

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III USB host video walkthrough

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​How to connect flash drives, hard drives, keyboards and mice to the Samsung Galaxy S III using USB host

Here's a lesser-known feature of the new Galaxy S III -- the ability to connect all manner of USB peripherals to Samsung's latest flagship phone, from mass storage to input devices. You'll need a USB OTG (on-the-go) cable to be able to connect all this stuff into the Galaxy S III or any other USB host-supporting phone.

Like the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note before it, the S III supports full USB host capabilities, meaning if you've got the right connector you can go completely nuts and plug all sorts of stuff into the phone. In our video, we tried USB memory sticks, full-sized SD card readers, USB hubs, hard drives, keyboards and mice. All of them worked. At one point we even had a hub plugged into the S III, allowing keyboard and mouse support simultaneously.

While we don't imagine many people will be using this feature every day, it's certainly impressive to see a smartphone able to handle such a wide range of USB gadgets, including full-sized desktop peripherals. Check out our video demo of USB host on the Samsung Galaxy S III above, and be sure to share your own experiences down in the comments if you've tinkered with this sort of thing yourself.

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2 years ago

AT&T gives another update on Galaxy S III availability

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Like every other U.S. carrier (except perhaps Verizon, which hasn't really given a launch date yet, other than to say preorders will ship around July 9 or 10), AT&T's found itself in a pickle with the Galaxy S III. There just aren't enough to go around. We've finally gotten an official statement from the carrier, which reads thusly:

Manufacturer supply constraints of the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy S III have caused a delay to expected pre-order shipments. Customers who were previously quoted a delivery date of June 21st should now expect their device to arrive no later than Monday, June 25th. We currently estimate future pre-orders to arrive within 10 business days based on available supply. Impacted customers will receive both an SMS and email notifying them of this change.

So, if you've preordered and were given a June 21 date, look for it by Monday. (And it wouldn't surprise us in the slightest to see phones hitting doorsteps before then, as some folks in our forums are expecting.) If you preorder today, chances are it'll take longer, but AT&T's now saying online that it should ship within 10 business days.

You'll note that there's no mention of in-store availability. We're pressing on that, but it's easy, folks. Call the store before you go. Use this link to find your local contact info.

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2 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich update available for AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II

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If you happen to be holding an AT&T branded Samsung Galaxy S II in your hands, you will want to locate the nearest USB cable, plug your device in and fire up Kies as quickly as you can. The long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update is finally hitting the AT&T branded devices, and this is currently only available through the companion software, Kies. While exact information about the update and the changes that it brings is not currently available, we do know it brings some great updates for the device. Delay no more, go grab your cable, launch Kies, and get updated! After the update be sure to hop into the forums and let us know any issues or changes you find, and how your experience with the update goes!

Source: Galaxy S II forums; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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