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2 years ago

Acer Iconia A100 mini-review

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Here's our long overdue look at the Acer Iconia a100, a 7-inch Android Honeycomb tablet. On one hand, it's a blessedly simple device. Take Honeycomb and the usual internals that we've come to know in Honeycomb devices, and scale it down.

Acer steps things up a bit on the hardware side by throwing in a bunch of ports -- you've got microUSB, microHDMI, a docking port, and a proprietary charger. There are dual speakers on one edge, which tends to make the audio output a little more directional than we'd like. There's also a capacitive home button that, in addition to taking you back to the home screen, lights up on notifications. (There's also a light in the power button.) A screen lock toggle switch rounds things out.

On the storage side, you've got around 6GB of internal memory, and the a100 will accept a microSD card for additional storage.

The hardware's nicely done, but the screen's been a bit of a deal-breaker for us, with a pretty horrendous viewing angle. As you'll see in the video after the break, it's as if the screen's being lit from one edge only -- turn it even just a tiny bit, and an entire section loses all color. It's pretty rough.

That major caveat aside, there's definitely a market for these smaller -- and less expensive -- Honeycomb tablets. And the a100 is just the beginning.

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2 years ago

Android 101: Clear your Android Market search history

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Tired of seeing the same apps you've already searched for show up over and over when you search the Android Market? You can easily clear your search history and get rid of the usual -- or incriminating -- list of apps.

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2 years ago

Sony Ericsson & EA offering 4 free downloads for the Xperia Play

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Have an Xperia Play that is in need of some new games? If so, Sony Ericsson & EA Games has you covered. Now you can get four of the hottest Xperia Play game titles for free.

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • Dead Space
  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
  • Need for Speed SHIFT

Sony Ericsson & EA Games has been working together to make more and more titles available for Xperia Play users and the titles listed above will be available for for free until January 15, 2012. You can jump on past the break for some of the demo video or if you'd rather just get to downloading you can hit the source link for more info.

Source: Get In The Game

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2 years ago

Samsung, Google officially postpone CTIA event [Update: Google explains why]

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Update: Google's explained why the delay. Works for us.

"We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs's passing."

Original: We've just gotten official word from Kim Titus, director of public relations for Samsung Telecommunications America, regarding the postponement of next week's event at CTIA. Here's the word:

"Samsung and Google have decided to postpone the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event during the CTIA in San Diego, previously scheduled for Oct. 11. Under the current circumstances, both parties have agreed that this is not the appropriate time for the announcement of a new product.  We would ask for the understanding of our clients and media for any inconvenience caused. We will announce a new date and venue in due course."

Needless to say, this is the first time we've seen something like this happen. As for what caused the postponement, well, it could be a lot of things. And we're really not going to speculate here. You guys have a blast in the comments, though.

More in the Nexus Prime/Nexus Galaxy forums

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2 years ago

Android App Review: Musicnotes Sheet Music Viewer

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It was way back in January when we first reported Musicnotes would be bringing their sheet music viewer over to Android and I'm happy to say that it has finally arrived. Meeting at the intersection of music and tech, the Musicnotes Sheet Music Viewer doesn't promise much, but for what it advertises, it does really well.

When you first boot up the app, you're given the option to sign in with your Musicnotes account. If you don't have one, you can register from this screen, but if you do, sign in. The app will automatically start syncing music you've purchased onto your device for your viewing pleasure. In the event you don't have anything (like me), you'll probably be given something for free, like Toccata and Fugue by J.S. Bach.

Once you've logged in, you'll notice there's five buttons at the bottom of the screen: My Sheet Music, Sync, Shop, Settings, and About. My Sheet Music is just what it sounds like; music you've already purchased and synced to your device.

The sync button allows you to decide what music you own to your device. This is done through flipping switches to on and off positions. Flip the switch to on and your music will be synced. And yes, the buttons and switches look like iPhone images.

The shop button is pretty cool, as it opens up the Musicnotes website in a browser within the app so you can browse and buy without ever having to get on a computer. From what searching I did, the website is both fast and functional, letting you search by instrument, song name, or keyword and letting you purchase as soon as you've found what you're after.

The settings menu houses information like what account is signed into the app as well as when your music should sync (or resync). The most important settings are at the very bottom, called Paper Type and Page Change. Paper type is purely aesthetic, letting you choose between white, old, crumpled, rough, and recycled "paper" to view your music on. (Why you would ever want to read music off of crumpled paper is beyond me, but, I digress.)

The page change is the best option, letting you pick between swiping or tapping the screen to advance a page. Personally, the tapping makes more sense because it takes less time, but if you want to truly simulate turning a page, knock yourself out.

It'd be really killer if Musicnotes could eventually integrate a player into the app so you can play along with a MIDI recording of your music in real-time, and better yet would be if the music could listen to you play and turn the page accordingly, but none of those features were promised, so I'm not too torn up about it. Like someone said earlier today, pipe dreams are dreams, too.

The Musicnotes Sheet Music Viewer is free in the Android Market and requires you have Adobe AIR installed on your device to run. It's optimized for tablets but works one phones, too.

More screenshots and download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung Transform Ultra available now on Boost Mobile

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The Samsung Transform Ultra, the QWERTY slider we first met last month, is available now on Boost Mobile for $229.99. In case you've forgotten, the Transform Ultra has got some respectable guts under its hood:

  • Android 2.3
  • 1GHz processor
  • 3.5 inch HVGA Touchscreen 
  • Full QWERTY Keypad
  • 3MP rear camera with video
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi®, GPS and Wireless Web enabled
  • Front-facing VGA camera
  • Easy access to Gmail™ and Google Talk™
  • Bluetooth® capable
  • Speakerphone with voice-activated dialing
  • Supports microSD® cards up to 32GB (2GB card included)
  • Voice mail, caller ID, call waiting and three-way calling

You'll have to choose between Boost's $55/month unlimited Android plan and its $2/day unlimited daily plan for your Transform Ultra, but that doesn't seem too shabby for a contract-free Gingerbread device. Is anyone planning on hitting the source link to grab one today?

Source: Boost Mobile

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2 years ago

Android Central Podcast Ep. 73

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Audio-only stream below

Phil, Jerry Cory and Alex go live (and big) in London, wrap up the Great HTC Scandal of October 2011, and try to wade through the mess that is the pre-CTIA Nexus rumors. Listen in!

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2 years ago

Sprint to roll out LTE in mid-2012

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We're knee deep into Sprint's "Strategy/Network" update. The big (yet unsurprising) news is that, yes, it's moving to LTE. It'll be run on Sprint's 1900 MHz spectrum, with other spectrum to follow, including LightSquared's 1600MHz spectrum.

The first markets and devices are expected to be available in mid-2012.

Wimax devices, like the HTC EVO 4G, EVO 3D, Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, and others, will continue to be sold through 2012.

Sprint's Direct Connect service, which is replacing iDEN, launched last week. It's got broader coverage, and migrations are expected to be complete by mid-2013.

Developing ...

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2 years ago

Nexus Galaxy boot animation visualized on a Droid Bionic?

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

First Nexus Galaxy/Galaxy Nexus/Nexus Prime video, then screen shots and now, courtesy of P3Droid, is what is said to be the boot animation. It's running here on a Droid Bionic, so don't freak out if the phone looks familiar.

Source: Twitter

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2 years ago

T-Mobile's Galaxy S II gets benchmarked

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If you're one of the people who was worried about how the T-Mobile Galaxy S II would perform compared to the others, you can stop right about now.  T-Mobile had to go with a Qualcomm chip instead of the Exynos in order to use the HSPA+42 network, and most just assumed that it wouldn't match up.  As you can see, number-wise it sure does.

I'm not much for benchmarks, but if you hit the break and watch the video you'll notice everything is nice and smooth, just like we would want it to be.  I'll bet in real world use, you would never be able to tell the difference -- and that's the way it should be.  Nice job, Samsung!

Source: TMoNews

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