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3 years ago

Samsung Captivate review

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AT&T gets serious with Samsung's Galaxy S

Finally (finally!), AT&T has a competitive Android smartphone with the launch of the Samsung Captivate. It's as simple as that. Moreover, it's arguably the first smartphone AT&T has carried that could pose a real threat to the iPhone, laying waste to a conspiracy theory that the carrier would forever shun Android in favor of its Apple cash cow.

The Captivate, of course, is AT&T's version of the Samsung Galaxy S, a phone first announced at the CTIA trade show in March 2010 (watch the presentation here). Its shining features: A 1GHz "Hummingbird" processor, 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, and an all-new Touchwiz 3.0 user interface. The other U.S. carriers (as well as others worldwide) also have Galaxy S-class phones coming out, including the T-Moble Vibrant, Samsung Fascinate and Sprint Epic 4G.

Where does the Captivate stand out (and stand apart from its cousins)? And is it really poised to knock the iPhone from its perch as the only smartphone on AT&T really worth considering? Answers to all that (and more!) after the break.

(For more from the Galaxy S class, read our T-Mobile Vibrant review)

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3 years ago

Google to provide copy protection to Android Market applications [updated]

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Google has announced that it will be rolling out a copy protection mechanism for Android Market applications when used with phones running Android 1.5 or higher.  It works kind of like this:

  • Google sets up a special licensing server, which keeps record of application purchases.
  • Developers can use libraries provided by Google that query this server each time the application is started.
  • The server then tells the application if the user has a valid license to use the application.

Relax everyone.  Google already has this info, it's how it (and you) keeps track of apps you've purchased for re-installation or updating.  All Google has done is allow applications to ping the new server to get a "yes" or "no" on whether or not the user has really paid for the app.  This is a good thing for developers and users alike -- at least until someone finds a way around it.  It also means a new SDK is in the works, as this will be out "in the next few months."  Developers can check out the new Licensing Your Applications portion of the Android Developer Guide, and the Android Market Help Center to learn a bit more.  [Android Developers Blog]

Update: There's a new post on the Android Developers Blog with some clarification and highlights.  Hit the link to see them, here's a quick overview:  It's secure, using public/private keys.  Nobody is going to get your details.  User applications don't talk to the licensing server, the Market handles it all on the back end.  Tools are in place to allow developers handle times when a user may be off line.  This should alleviate some fears, and answer some questions.

Update #2: The original blog post has been updated.  These tools are available for use now, and the old way will be phased out over the coming months.  Maybe the guys in the Android Dev Ecosystem read Android Central :)

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3 years ago

Dell Streak $299 after contract; $549 outright; Aero is $99 on contract

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Dell has announced the prices for the much anticipated Streak and Aero Android phones.  The 5-inch Streak will be $299.99 with an eligible two-year AT&T agreement, and $549.99 if bought outright.  It's normal-sized little brother, the Aero, will run you $99.99 with contract, and only $299.99 off contract. 

For the Streak, you will need to sign up for the pre-sale opportunity, which gives you a spot in line, free shipping and a $0.99 cent Plantronics Bluetooth headset.  Those who register will receive a special purchase link sometime on July 27, and if you don't use it before July 28, the deal disappears.  No such deal for the Aero, which will be available at the Dell website on Aug. 9.  [Dell]

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3 years ago

Root your Droid X the easy way

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Now that you can root your phone without fear of prosecution (not that we were ever really worried about that), you've really got no excuse not to try the latest method on the Droid X. (If you want the "hard" method, click here.) Released by the lads and lassies at All Droid, it's as simple as plugging in your phone, running the app and clicking the appropriate button. Boom. [All Droid via Droid-Life]

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3 years ago

Cincinnati Bell offering Samsung Behold II

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Regional and smaller carriers are jumping on the Android train left and right it seems, and Cincinnati Bell is no exception, as it is now offering the venerable Samsung Behold II for $129.99 after rebate and with two-year agreement.  While the fact that the Behold II is possibly outdated and not nearly as desirable as it once was can't be ignored, Cinci Bell offering a selection of Android devices like the Behold II and the Blaze is a good thing indeed. [Cincinnati Bell via Android Central forums]

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3 years ago

Custom ringtones and notifications

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One of the most personal things about your phone is what ringtone (and with Android) what notification sound you have. Using a program called RingDroid, it is possible to create custom ringtones and notification sounds from music you already own directly on your Android phone. Follow these steps and you will be rocking in no time:

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3 years ago

Clicker brings check-ins for couch potatoes to Android

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Clicker.com has announced their Android application -- social media all about video, feature films, and television.  The premise is that you can friend people, check out their viewing habits, and share yours with them.  They've set up a huge internet portal at clicker.com, which connects in to your Facebook and/or Twitter account, and their Android app can do the same thing.  An iOS app is in the works (on behalf of Android and our commenters, FIRST!) so it sounds like this social hub should take off.  I'm no big movie buff, but you can find me on Clicker as gbhilden (six-character minimum FTL), holler at me if you decide to try.

Read the long press release after the break!

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3 years ago

Screen wars! AMOLED vs. S-LCD vs. LCD vs. Super AMOLED

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HTC recently announced it was going to start outfitting certain handsets with SLCD screens rather than AMOLED, due to short supply of the latter. The SLCD screens may be easier more plentiful, but do they look as nice? The people over at Howard Forums put them to a test in a video comparison, with a Nexus One sporting an AMOLED screen, an HTC Desire with S-LCD, a Motorola Milestone with regular LCD and a Samsung Wave with Super-AMOLED. 

The conclusions:

All the displays were really good, they all had decent colour and respectable viewing angles. The super AMOLED was noticeably less reflective than the others and was blacker with the best viewing angles. Super LCD had similar detail in the rock face video and had a superior horizontal viewing angle compared to a regular AMOLED display. The AMOLED had slightly better blacks (you can't tell from the video - sorry) and slightly better vertical viewing angles. Both Super LCD and AMOLED were very reflective.

Can't wait to get our hands on some. Check out video of the test after the break. [HowardForums via Slashgear]

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3 years ago

Samsung Captivate vs. iPhone 4

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I know everyone and their cousin gets tired of the iPhone vs. Android fanboy slugfest, but that's not what we're about this time.  Allyson, one of our pals over at TiPb, took some time to compare the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate against her iPhone 4.  Frankly, it's a refreshing break from the Mobile OS wars.  She makes plenty of good points, talks about the faults on both sides, and turned out something that was a great read. 

I agree with a lot of her commentary, disagree with some, but can't take serious issue with any of it.  Go have a look before the internet is completely taken over by Cupertino death grip videos.

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3 years ago

Dell Streak won't be certified for T-Mobile, will get Android 2.2 later this year

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First, the good: Dell has confirmed that its 5-inch Streak mini-tablet will get Android 2.2 later this year through an over-the-air update. It will, however, still launch with Android 1.6. It will be available in black at launch, and in cherry red later.

Now, the not so good: Despite previous reports, it won't support T-Mobile's 3G network. In fact, Dell says the Streak "will not be certified for T-Mobile operation overall." That's not necessarily to say it won't work on EDGE, it's just that nobody will be responsible if you fry a few brain cells in the process.

Also, the presale window is still coming "this week." Accessories will be part of it, as will free next-day shipping and a 99-cent Plantronics Bluetooth headset. As soon as the presale goes live, we'll let you know. Oh, and Dell's made a video showing off the Streak, running Android 2.1, no less. Check it out after the break. [Dell] Thanks, wondercoolguy!

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