If you haven't hit the Android Market yet today, then you may not be aware the Google+ team has pushed out the latest release. While no new features have been added, it is noted to contain several stability improvements and bug fixes and that sounds like something everyone should be interested in. Looking for the download? You'll find it past the break.
The folks from MoboTap have now released the latest version of Dolphin Browser HD bumping it up to v7.4.0. Aside from the usual bug fixes typically inlcuded with all updates, this release actually introduces a new feature called Dolphin Sonar that allows you to issue voice commands to help navigate the web. Once installed, you can open up Dolphin, give your device a shake then tell it what you want to do.
"Our Gesture-based browsing function was a game-changer in terms of the way people browse on their mobile devices, and Sonar is the logical next step," said Yongzhi Yang, CEO of MoboTap, makers of Dolphin Browser. "Just as sonar is used by dolphins to navigate, Dolphin Sonar interprets sound to get you where you want to be online. We are continuously thinking of new ways to heighten our users' mobile browsing experience with new and innovative features."
Having given it a quick run through, it fairs quite well when issued commands. I'm not so sure I would use it all the time but I suppose that's the good thing about it -- you don't have to but in case you want to, it's there. You can find the full press release and download link past the break.
Today at the 27th annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference Sprint announced that they will begin offering a free application to ease the use of Android phones for people who are blind or have low vision. The app, written by developers at Code Factory, is free in the Sprint area of the Android Market for Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile customers.
The application normally sells for $99 US, and is for anyone who has trouble reading the small print on a smartphone. It's simple user interface and voice guided instructions help users make and receive calls, texts and mail messages, as well as access things like their contacts, calendar, and even browse the web.
We're hard on the carriers here sometimes. Sometimes they deserve it. But I want to take a moment and say on behalf of all of us at Android Central that we applaud Sprint for what they're doing here. The people that will find this application useful may not be able to afford a hundred dollar Android app, and offering it for free is a nice way to give back to customers. Nice work Sprint.
It's available in both English and Spanish, free for Sprint customers with Android phones running 2.1 or higher. Download links are below, and a short video and the press release are after the break.
It's the same Galaxy S II you've grown to love, complete with a 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1.2 Ghz dual-core Exynos processor, and 16 GB internal storage. It's shipping with Gingerbread, and US Cellular hasn't made its Android 4.0-update plans clear as of yet, though we're hoping they'll keep on top of it.
Those of you who've been patiently waiting can grab yours today at the source link, or sit tight and head into a US Cellular retail location tomorrow.
One of the highlights yesterday in Barcelona was Eric Schmidt's keynote address. Schmidt always entertains, and as former CEO and current chairman at Google we're usually listening when he speaks. At Mobile World Congress this year, Schmidt was focused on one thing -- the digital divide. We did get to see a nifty demonstration of Chrome for Android Beta from Android Product Director Hugo Barra, but for the most part it's an hour of hearing Schmidt's thoughts on how to bring connectivity to areas of the world that don't have it, and why that matters.
It's worth a look. There's no hidden gems about Jellybean or some secret-stealth project the folks at Mountain View might be working on, but it's a look at what drives Schmidt, and in turn Google, to go forward. You can find it embedded after the break.
Awwwwww, the Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 is a cute little bugger. It's a little bizarre going from a world of 5-inch-plus smartphones down to the diminutive Galaxy Mini 2, but darned if it doesn't feel kinda nice in the hand, kinda like you're holding a little child by the hand, waiting to show it through the big, brave world. No, really. Because in when you're comparing it to the high-resolution, quad-core monsters out there, you sort of want to keep the Galaxy Mini 2 close, where it's safe. Its 3.7-inch HVGA (320x480) display isn't really the sort of thing we'd want to give a seasoned smartphone user, and you're not going to be outputting any video with that 800 MHz processor. But if you remember that this merely is an entry level Android 2.3 smartphone, it could stand to serve you well.
We've got more pics and hands-on video after the break.
The GSMA -- the group that puts on the fine Mobile World Congress we've been attending all week -- has released 17th annual Global Mobile Awards for this year's show. Of note for you Android fans out there are:
Angry Birds Rio (Rovio), best mobile app for consumers
WhatsApp (WhatsApp), best overall mobile app
SwiftKey (TouchType), best innovative mobile app
Google Maps for Android (Google), best consumer mobile service
Galaxy S II (Samsung), best smartphone
Samsung, device manufacturer of the year
We have absolutely no idea how one of last year's top smartphones -- the Galaxy S II -- won an award this year, especially with the likes of HTC, Sony, LG, Nokia, ZTE and Fujitsu all bringing new products to Barcelona. OK, OK. Yeah. It's last year's phones. We get that. But we're also under an avalanche of this year's phones. We know what we liked. We wanna see what everyone else like from the show, too.
The judges' comment was "A phenomenal success around the world, this has outperformed all its Android rivals and demonstrated the maturity of the ecosystem." We wouldn't argue against that. But that was last year. It's also worth noting that the categories have changed a bit. In 2011, the iPhone 4 won Best Mobile Device (never mind that Apple is nowhere to be seen around here), and HTC was Device Manufacturer of the year.
You can check out the full list for yourself at the link below.
HTC held one of the biggest events at Mobile World Congress this year when they introduced the One series. It's not hard to understand, they certainly look good, and from what we've seen they blow us away with speed and usability. Even Sense has been trimmed and now looks, and in our opinion runs, much better. I think most Android fans are looking forward to seeing them be released.
What most of us didn't get to see was the presentation and show they put on in Barcelona. We missed them demo the .7 second shutter on the new camera hardware. We missed when Peter Chou told us about the new way they are integrating Beats Audio. And the info about micro-arc oxidation would have been great to sit in on. That's why we're pumped to see that HTC has posted a five-minute video with highlights of their event.
It's not as fun as being there, but it will have to do. And it makes us want to see these phones on the shelves even more.
Day two of Mobile World Congress is in the bag, and it was another day filled with news from Barcelona about great Android-powered gadgets. I can't be the only one the sees phones and tablets and bugdroids in my sleep, and for an Android fan it's a good problem to have -- I'm certainly not complaining. We've seen something for just about everyone, from the small to the gigantic, and in every sort of style imaginable. It can get a bit overwhelming though, and that's why I'm here to help. I spend my day immersed in what's happening in Ciutat Comtal because you might not have time to.
The Samsung Galaxy Note has been out for a couple of weeks now, and it seems people either love it or hate it. With a size fitting in somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet, the 5.3-inch device even comes with a stylus, which we thought went out of style years ago. There are advantages to the size of the Note, and one example of that is Bell's Mobile TV app. The ample screen size makes streaming media convenient, while still being a device portable enough to slide in a pocket or purse.
And what could be more convenient than winning a free Samsung Galaxy Note from Bell Mobility?! Nothing, I say, because winning is awesome. So if you'd like to enter to win a free Samsung Galaxy Nexus from Bell, and you live in Canada, drop your comment in the forums telling us why you want to win a Samsung Galaxy Note. Yes, sorry folks, the contest is open to Canadians only this time. Contest ends Sunday at midnight. Good luck!
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