Headlines

3 years ago

Swype 3.0 beta is Honeycomb optimized, improves predictive text and layout

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Update 2: It's back, folks! Get to downloading.

Swype has announced the latest beta (version 3.0 for those keeping score at home) and one of the big changes that come along with it is a special WXGA version designed for Honeycomb tablets, which features a movable and resizeable keyboard layout. 

Other changes include the way word correction is handled when you stop swyping and revert to tapping out the letters -- you can now mix and match and still keep word autocorrect and prediction intact.  The pop-up for word choice when multiple guesses are presented gets an improvement, too, now an easier to read horizontal bar is presented versus that annoying dialog that used to jump up.  To top it all off, it looks like the predictive text engine itself has seen a big overhaul, and should work much better.

We know that Swype isn't for everyone, especially when it comes to using it on a tablet.  That's fine -- different choices are one of the main strengths of the Android platform, and Swype certainly is a different choice.  For the huge numbers of you who love Swype, keep an eye on the source link (currently down for maintenance) and give it a whirl.  Also, check out a short demo video showing it in action, after the break.

Update:  If you've been refreshing the beta download page at Swype, you've probably seen the latest update on the status of this.  If not, here's the latest from Swype:

BETA DELAYED BECAUSE:

a) We forgot to buy vowels

b) Our beta build server crashed

c) Upper management kept accelerating the beta schedule

d) All of above !#@$!&

No word on when to expect it, we'll tell you as soon as we hear something.

 

Source: Swype via MobileCrunch

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3 years ago

HTC Merge review

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The White Whale of Android smartphones finally emerges on a handful of regional carriers

There's something quite satifying about the HTC Merge on US Cellular. Maybe it's the sleek design. Maybe it's the excellent slider keyboard. Or maybe it's because it's our White Whale.

The HTC Merge (codenamed Lexikon) first made an appearance as a dual CDMA/GSM World Phone in early September 2010 when the FCC outed it, pictures and all. At the time, it was clearly branded for Verizon. And it was the Verizon version that we got an exclusive look at it just a month later. At that time, the Merge still had not been announced by Verizon.

And so days went by and turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Still no word on the Merge. Meanwhile, the Motorola Droid 2 (another horizontal slider released that fall) had already been revamped and gained a GSM radio, so it, too, would work outside the United States. Whether that's the reason the Verizon held back the Merge, we may never know. But on February 25, 2011 -- nearly five months after its inital FCC showing -- HTC announced that the Merge would be coming to "multiple carriers" in the spring.

It first saw release on Alltel and Cellular South. And, this June, on US Cellular. One thing those carriers have in common? They all piggyback on Verizon's network. That's not a coincidence. (And you actually can buy a Merge at a third-party retailer and actually use it on Verizon.)

And so we finally have the HTC Merge. This is its story.

HTC Merge Specs | HTC Merge ForumsHTC Merge Accessories

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3 years ago

Motorola Photon specs

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PRODUCTIVITY:

  • 3G/4G Handset – The latest arrival to America’s favorite 4G network
  • 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA®Tegra™2 Processor for quick downloads and app performance
  • 4.3” qHD touchscreen for cinematic viewing with kickstand
  • Built with Android 2.3, Gingerbread operating system
  • International GSM capabilities

Enterprise Security

  • 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot capability for up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices (additional fee required)
  • Corporate (MS Exchange ActiveSync) and personal (POP & IMAP) email access
  • Messaging – personal and business email, Google TalkTM instant message and text
  • messaging
  • Sprint ID offering an innovative way to personalize an Android smartphone with
  • apps, widgets, ringtones and more all in a single download
  • GPS navigation enabled

ENTERTAINMENT:

  • Dual cameras – 8 megapixel HD video capture camera and VGA front-facing camera
  • 720P HD Video capture and the ability to output HD video (1080P) via HDMI
  • Android Market™ for access to more than 200,000 applications, widgets and games available for download to customize the experience
  • HD Multimedia Dock* and Car Dock* for a truly unique handset experience
  • 16GB of on board memory, support for up to 32GB SD Card, for a total of up to 48GB
  • Ability to utilize the webtop application while connected to a Motorola accessory dock to open, view, edit and send Microsoft Office documents using cloud-based web apps through the full Mozilla Firefox browser
  • Bluetooth® 2.1
  • Wi-Fi® b/g/n

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Dimensions: 2.6 inches x 5.0 inches x 0.5 inches (66.9mm x 126.9mm x 12.2mm)
  • Weight: 5.6 oz (158 grams)
  • Display: 4.3-inch qHD 540x960
  • Memory: 16GB eMMC ROM/1GB DDR2 RAM
  • Battery Specifications: 1700 mAh Lithium-ion battery
  • Talktime: CDMA: up to 10 hours; WDCDMA: up to 9.1 hours; GSM up to 10.4 hours
  • *Accessory docks sold separately

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S 4G and Galaxy Tab 10.1 now supported by ROM Manager

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It looks like you won't have to wait long for developers to get geared up for Samsung's latest beauties -- the Galaxy S 4G on T-Mobile and Galaxy Tab 10.1 (the I/O edition only for now) have both been given official support by ROM Manager.  We all know that once you make it easy to flash custom zip files to a device, people will start building those flashable zip files.  I was told to expect the retail version soon, along with a root method.

Of course, you do need to be rooted and aware of all the risks involved.  Once you're comfortable, and when your version is ready, you can download ROM Manager from the Market.  We've got the link after the break.

Source: @clockworkmod

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S II rumored for possible July launch on Verizon (Update: Yeah, not so much)

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Update: Hate to say we told you so, but ... yeah. Verizon got up with Engadget, saying this is all about the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and not the Galaxy S II. Move along, folks.

The Samsung Galaxy S II is now rumored for release on Verizon in July. That comes from an unnamed Verizon spokeswoman communicating with Computer World via e-mail. Words like "plan for" and "expected to" are also used, along with "no date yet."

In other words, maybe it'll be released in July. (And possibly as the Verizon Function.)

You'll have to forgive our skeptical tone, but until we see the official press release with the official date -- well, let's just say we've seen unofficial Verizon roadmaps miss the mark, the very drawn-out saga of the HTC ThunderBolt launch (not to mention the Droid Charge), the entire revamping of the Droid Bionic hardware -- and, of course, the near-killing off of the HTC Merge.

In the immortal words Boo-Boo Bera, the lesser known fictional cousin of Yankee Yogi Berra, "it ain't official till it's official, folks."

Source: Computer World; update: Engadget

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3 years ago

Droid X2 review

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Motorola's dual-core Droid X2 is a solid sequel to the 2010 best-seller

 

When the Motorola Droid X first hit Verizon Wireless last July, it was thrilling in a number of ways. Not only did it represent Verizon's commitment to a high end line of Android smartphones, but it also marked Motorola's next step in reclaiming its throne atop the mobile industry. As an early adopter, I grew to love the X, which I feel grew into one of the best smartphones on Verizon to date. So how does its successor, the Droid X2, live up to the original? Less than a year after the X's release, is the X2 as thrilling as its predecessor? Here, we'll look at how the X2 has improved on the foundation the X had laid, and whether or not these improvements are enough to get excited about.

Let's go, after the break.

Droid X2 SpecsDroid X2 ForumsDroid X2 Accessories

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3 years ago

HTC Sensation review (European version)

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There’s no escaping the blistering pace of technological progress when it comes to Android smartphones. Last year’s 1GHz monsters are already being left in the dust by a slew of new multicore devices from the likes of Motorola, Samsung and LG. The recent launch of the Sensation in Europe sees HTC arriving fashionably late to the dual-core party, with a phone that combines a 1.2GHz chip with a brand new version of HTC Sense, and a new, sharper 4.3-inch qHD display.

HTC has a track record of consistently producing high-quality hardware and software, and so the Sensation instantly shot to the top of many consumers wish lists when it was announced just a couple of months ago. But now that the hype has settled down a little, how does it perform in the real world? Join us after the jump to find out.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Black review

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New display technology in a ultra-slim form factor, the LG Optimus Black brings a high level of style to Android.  But is it the phone for you?

The LG Optimus Black is the latest offering from LG Electronics, bringing a stylish form factor, the new "Nova" display technology, and some unique features on top of Android 2.2.  If you're looking for the latest dual-core gigabyte of RAM monster phone, you're looking in the wrong place, but not all of us are looking for that.  One quick inspection of the phone will tell you -- LG wasn't trying to win a specifications race here, they have other models to fill that hole.  Instead, it feels as is they were focused on design, and try to bring a new level of elegance to the Android platform. 

The real question -- did they succeed?  That's a loaded question, as we all have differences of opinion when it comes to what looks and feels high-end.  Hit the break, and see what I think of the Optimus Black, and decide if it's something you will need a little alone time with and form your own opinion.

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3 years ago

ASUS unveils the Padfone -- a tablet/phone hybrid

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While the U.S. is in holiday mode today, the rest of the world isn't taking the day off. And for manufacturer ASUS, today's a big one, with the announcement of the Padfone at the Computex conferencfe. One part Android phone, another part Android tablet, the Padfone docks inside the tablet itself. One phone, one tablet, one set of data -- no syncing. An interesting concept, indeed, from the manufacturer of the excellent EeePad Transformer tablet/keyboard combo. (Read our full review.)

Details are still a little light, being as this is far from a finished product, but you're looking at a 4.3-inch smartphone that powers the 10-inch tablet -- the larger won't work without the smaller. Should be an interesting little marriage. Check out the official videos after the break.

Source: ASUS; More: Engadget

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3 years ago

HTC Sensation hands-on video and initial review

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Since its announcement in April, the HTC Sensation has become one of the most anticipated phones of 2011 so far. Combining a sleek unibody design with a dual-core CPU and the shiny new HTC Sense 3.0, the Sensation emerged as a seriously desirable piece of hardware. But it isn't the only dual-core Android contender, and competition is tough among high-end smartphones, so the Sensation's success is not a foregone conclusion.

We've spent the past couple of days getting acquainted with HTC's next big thing, and you can check out our initial thoughts and hands-on video after the jump.

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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play hands-on and initial review

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The long-awaited Xperia Play from Sony Ericsson -- often referred to as the "PlayStation Phone" -- is finally hitting store shelves and some mailboxes, too. This phone has been rumored by the gaming community for the past few years, but really started getting some buzz Fall of 2010. From rumors, to leaks, devices in the wild, and weird Super Bowl commercials, this guy has been on a wild trip. But after all the hype and buzz around this gaming-phone, does it all finally come together and make the ultimate portable gaming-phone? You'll have to find out in our full review, but for now, hit the jump to read some initial hands-on impressions.

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3 years ago

Xperia Play video hands-on

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Fresh out of the retail box and into our hands. This is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, people. The phone hits Verizon's store shelves today. We know a lot of you guys and gals are super excited for this gaming device and we can't wait to hear what you have to say about the long awaited "PlayStation Phone."

The phone comes shipped with a pure Gingerbread experience -- no crazy skins. Inside the device is a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU and Adreno 205 GPU. As for the display, the Xperia Play rocks a 4-inch, 854 x 480 FWVGA screen. And the most notable addition, of course: the slide out control pad. 

Watch the video above to see what the Play is all about and be sure to check back in the next few days as we will have our full review. But for now, be sure to head into the Android Central Forums to see what other Android gamers are saying.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mini mini review

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We spend a lot of time here on Android Central obsessing over the latest high-end, high-spec, high-price handsets -- devices aimed at nerds like us who crave shiny new toys every few months. But in the real world, not everyone likes to blow hundreds of their local currency on a cell phone, even if they’re looking to dip their toe into the enticing world of smartphones. This means that competition among budget devices can be just as fierce as it is between the latest dual-core superphones.

The Galaxy Mini is Samsung’s contender in the budget arena -- it’s a low-cost device for folks making the switch from a feature phone, and as such, you can pick one up without breaking the bank. We tested the Three UK-branded version of the Galaxy Mini, which is available for £99 on Three’s Pay As You Go service with “all you can eat” data, or for free on-contract.

Join us after the jump to find out how the phone measures up.

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3 years ago

Droid X2 initial review

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Watch our Droid X2 video hands-on

 

Behold, the new Motorola Droid X2, nearly the same as the original Motorola Droid X. Really. OK, mostly. Quite a bit, actually. That's not to say it's not better, because it most definitely is. And that's not to say it's boring, because it most definitely is not.

The original Droid X (read our full review) is still one of our favorites of the past year. And Verizon has shown a penchant for not wanting to upset the apple cart by radically changing a successful phone -- see the Droid 2 and Incredible 2 as previous examples of that strategy. Will that be enough for you to pull the trigger on a new DX2? Let's discuss our initial thoughts after the break.

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3 years ago

Nexus S 4G review

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The Nexus S 4G is like the younger, faster brother of T-Mobile's Nexus S. It can do just about all of the same things, but is better at wind sprints, so it made the varsity team first. Otherwise, we're looking at the same beast on a different carrier.

How does that stack up for Sprint users, though? Is the Wimax-infused phone of yesteryear worth picking up? Or is it worth holding out for the newest phones on the horizon? (I'm looking at you, HTC EVO 3D.)

Buckle up, keep your hands, feet, and other objects inside the ride at all times, and join me after the break to find out.

Nexus S 4G SpecsNexus S 4G ForumsNexus S 4G Accessories

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