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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Dec. 18, 2010

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For all you who have been waiting for the Nexus S to come out for you to pick one up, the wait is over and now you probably want to load it up with some great applications. The market can be a bit difficult to navigate depending how much time you have to spare, so let us give you some ideas of what to load up on that new shiny device.

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3 years ago

How to flash AOSP Gingerbread to the Nexus One [Updated with video]

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Now that the Android 2.3 code has been made available as part of the Android Open Source Project, we knew it would just be a matter of time before we get it on devices other than the Nexus S. First up is the Nexus One, thanks to developer extraordinaire Chris Soyars. He's packaged it up flashable .zip file. But note that it's missing all of the Google apps, and this is not an official build from Google or anything. But you know us. We just had to flash it. We've got full instructions in the forums. Check it out! [Android 2.3 on the Nexus One]

Update: We hear a few people have gotten Google Apps to load up, but this is still far from ready for prime time. Video's after the break.

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3 years ago

Nexus S users -- how's your WiFi strength?

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OK, folks, we're looking for input here -- how is the WiFi performance on your Nexus S?  I noticed today while fooling around in my living room that I'm not getting the best throughput while on WiFi from my Nexus S.  I'm not the only one that seems to have noticed, SPE Senior Editor-in-Chief Dieter (check out his hands-on here) says his experience is mixed, but it does seem weak, and Engadget's Mobile Editor Chris Ziegler has seen what he calls "miserable wifi signal strength" on his unit as well. 

I won't go quite that far, and I'm not into the miserable range here, but there's enough difference to warrant some testing -- so that's what I did.  We already found out that Samsung and Google are using a low-power WiFi chip on the Nexus S, is it possible that it's a little too low-power?  Maybe phones like the Nexus One, or the Motorola Droid and their extra-strong WiFi radio have spoiled us, but we're really interested in your feedback.  Grab the WiFi Analyzer app from the market (link after the break) and share what you got in the Nexus S forums

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3 years ago

Droid 2 Global maintenance update set to arrive soon, fixes Global calling issues

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Proud owner of a Droid 2 Global but seeing some bugs? If so, Verizon has some bug fixes for you on the way. As noted in the image above which was taken from a .PDF off of the Verizon website, it looks like Big Red will be rolling out the update at some point in time soon. When installed, you should find yourself sitting at v2.4.330.  As for the bugs it fixes, the .PDF notes the following:

Improvements:

  • Device now prepends 011 to Country Code to send SMS messages.
  • Device no longer indicates “No Service” after powering up.
  • Device no longer resets when changing from Global Mode to GSM/UMTS communication.
  • Device now refreshes the user interface display when switching from GSM/UMTS to Global Mode.
  • Eliminated the blank screen when dialing the call forwarding string *71.

Other improvements:

  • Improved audio during voice calls.
  • Reduced user interface lock-ups.

Maybe after the update, Global users won't have so much trouble using their device, you know -- globally. Feel free to discuss the update potential here. [Android Central Forums, Droid Life]

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3 years ago

Get the new Android Market on your new Nexus S

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For anyone who has tried the new Android Market client on their Nexus S and was disappointed at the odd visual glitches -- that and the fact that it reverted itself to the old market in just a few hours -- here's at least a partial fix.  Jury is still out on whether this one will be a bit more permanent or not, but it looks (and more importantly works) great.  None of that overlapping text and half images we were seeing with the last "new" Market version.

Hit the Nexus S forums and you can grab the apk file, just install it like any other application.  [XDA-Developers

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3 years ago

Android Quick app: Need for Speed: Shift

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Hear the words "Need for Speed," and two things come to mind: The classic line from "Top Gun," and a bad-ass racing game. And the latter has come to Android in the form of Need for Speed: Shift, from EA.

The premise is simple: Go fast. Turn left. Or right. Hit the brakes if you have to, but I'm gonna call you a wuss if you do.

We've spent a few minutes with the game, now in the Android Market for $4.99. Download the app and fire it up, and you're prompted to download the rest of the game data. That took just a couple minutes over Wifi.

You'll be introduced to a tutorial track first, where you're alone on the road. That's nice for getting a feel for the steering, and it took just a couple of laps to get the hang of things. You turn by tilting the phone left or right, and brake by pressing anywhere on the screen. (Again, you're a wuss.) You can change the difficulty and enable manual transmission, disable driving assist and braking, if you want.

You start out with two cars from which to choose -- a Volkswagen Golf GTI and Mazda RX-8. As is the norm with games like this, you can purchase other cars and upgrades for existing cars as you win races and earn cash.

The graphics are top-notch, as you'd expect from EA, and the soundtrack is as well. Depending on the device, you might well blow an eardrum. This one's well worth the $5 even if you're only a casual fan of racing games. We've got video of it in action, as well as download links, after the break.

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3 years ago

Gingerbread ROMs, Pixelated MMS images and Screen cap apps [from the forums]

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The weekend is upon us once again and after last nights most epic Android Central podcast we're ready for it. The news of today has got to be the fact that the Android 2.3 source code is now pushed to the Android Open Source Project. As such, this will allow many the great ROM builders out there get started on their delicious goodies for us. Jump into the forums with us today and let's talk some more about it.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

Google explains the wizardry that is Google Maps 5

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We're all loving the new version of Google Maps and its vector based graphics, and Google has spent the time to explain exactly what makes them better.  There some great detail about vector graphics, and how using them improves things like drawing roads or place labels as well as enabling the things like 3D tilt view, and explanation of how things used to work with the tiled graphics (360 billion tiles were needed to cover the earth!), and most importantly, explanation of how offline caching works -- places you frequent will have a lot of detail, while places you don't venture to as often won't  have as much, all done using about 100 times less data. 

I know a lot of us were expecting an offline version of Google Maps, and it looks like that isn't here just yet.  But Google did say they are continuing to work on the algorithms used to display the data, and we'll see even more improvements over time.  Check it out at the source link.  [Google Mobile Blog]

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3 years ago

Dungeon Defenders: Bringing the Unreal engine to Android

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We've been patiently waiting to hear some more news about Dungeon Defenders: First Wave since we first caught wind of it back in September. Here we are now, December and the wait is finally over. Dungeon Defenders: First Wave; the first game using the Unreal Engine 3 will be hitting Android devices on December 23. Pricing is where we would like it to be as well. When released Dungeon Defenders will be available for only $2.99. You'll want to note the basics you need for this game to run though.

Basic Requirements:

  • 512 MB RAM
  • GPU capable of OpenGL ES 2.0
  • Android 2.1 Eclair
  • 800 Mhz CPU or greater recommended
  • SD card with at least 400 MB free storage

3D graphics, online and offline campaign modes, co-op game play. You can hit the break for the full press release and video but to break it down we'll just say you better believe we're excited to get our hands on this. [DroidGamers]

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3 years ago

Samsung Canada pulling Froyo update

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It looks like Samsung is aware of all the Bell Samsung Vibrant's getting bricked, and they're pretty sure it has something to do with the Froyo update.  As a result, they have pulled Froyo from Kies, and we assume will be digging through trying to find the problem.  In the meantime, if you're one of the unlucky ones who had problems with Froyo on your Bell Vibrant, give Samsung a holler at 800-751-4078 , or sh.support@samsung.com.  [Samsung Canada on Facebook]

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