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3 years ago

HP announces SlateBook x2 Android tablet with detachable keyboard

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HP's second entry into the Android market is decidedly different from the Slate 7

Following in the footsteps of both ASUS with its Transformer series as well as other Windows OEMs with their convertible laptop/tablet hybrids, HP is announcing SlateBook x2 today. We're basically looking at a standard 10-inch Android tablet, but in the configuration of what HP is calling a "two-in-one device" that has a keyboard dock. As is usually the case, the tablet is completely contained as a stand-alone device, with a 1920x1200 IPS display, Tegra 4 processor and 64GB of storage. The SlateBook x2 is also shipping with Android 4.2.2, and what looks like very limited customizations from HP -- it even goes so far as to say this is "HP’s push to offer access to the Google experience". The docking station has a full keyboard and trackpad, along with a USB port, SDcard slot and an additional battery to charge the tablet.

Based on the information given to us right now the HP SlateBook x2 is expected to ship in August in both grey and white lid colors, and the pricing seems quite nice at $479.99. However this is a "starting price", and it isn't clear whether or not that includes the keyboard dock. The tablet market may be a bit different by the time this device hits store shelves, but it certainly seems like it will have a better shot at grabbing sales than the Slate 7 does. Stick around after the break for a promo video of the device by HP.

Source: HP

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3 years ago

Facebook open-sources its 'Buck' Android build tool

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Developers can now benefit from Facebook's trial and error building Android apps

Following lots of development time creating a new Android build tool to aid in development of its own Android apps, Facebook has decided to open-source it for other developers to use. Developed at a hack-a-thon last summer, the new build tool, named "Buck", was created to better address the needs of Facebook as it moved to making more native apps -- rather than just using WebViews -- for Android. The move to Buck from Ant in August of last year cut down build times for its apps dramatically, leaving no reason to continue using the old tools.

Because it improved the build times and overall development cycle for Facebook's project so notably, the engineers decided to also open-source it, making the entire code base available to check out from GitHub. According to Facebook, Buck will help most when developers are building apps with many small modules rather than just a few large ones. Development-minded folks among us can of course take a look at the tools themselves and see if it could work for their own project at the source link below.

Source: Facebook; GitHub

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3 years ago

Google I/O 2013 app updated with DashClock support, session feedback form

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Making it even easier for attendees to find and interact with sessions

On the eve of Google I/O 2013 kicking off in San Francisco, Google has just updated the official I/O 2013 app with a few tweaks to make following the conference a little easier. There's now a session feedback form for attendees to let Google know how a session went after the fact, as well as improved Maps functionality to let you navigate the expanses of the Moscone Center and find those sessions. The update also upped the resolution of speaker photos, and added DashClock widget support -- presumably to let you keep tabs on upcoming events.

We'll be awake bright and early tomorrow morning to cover the three hour long marathon of a keynote starting at 9am PT, so be sure to set a reminder from that Google I/O app so you don't miss a minute. We'll see you there.

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3 years ago

Verizon offering free Droid DNA promotion for limited time

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A quick way to save on a great device if you're going to order online

Verizon has just started running a promotion on its website offering a coupon code that knocks down the price of a Droid DNA to $0 on-contract, which is a substantial savings. Holding its spot as the flagship for the "Droid" brand on Verizon since November last year, the DNA has stayed at $199 on-contract since its release. All you have to do to get a coupon code for the device is provide your email address to Verizon at the source link below, where you'll then receive a code to apply at the online checkout for the savings. The promotion is only valid until May 21st, so you've got a week to make up your mind on this one. Even at 6 months old the DNA is still a great option on Verizon.

The fact that Verizon is running a promotion to sell a device that is over 6 months old now should come as no surprise to anyone at this point. Carriers (often inexplicably) go through phases of discounting and promoting devices that they want to push, especially when they get to be this far into their lifecycle. However it will be interesting to see whether or not the standard price of the DNA will drop following this promotion.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

The most important story you'll probably miss this week

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It's not a sexy issue, but kudos to the U.S. mobile operators for coming together against texting and driving

We'll get to those smiling faces up there in a minute. But, first, perhaps the timing could have been a little better. Tucked between a little overexposure of the NVIDIA Shield and the BlackBerry Live keynote -- and just a day before Google I/O kicks off -- the four major U.S. cell phone operators joined together to announce their support for the "It Can Wait" campaign, an initiative started by AT&T to keep drivers from texting while they're behind the wheel.

Sprint has had its own campaign, and it should be commended for that. But it's a combined effort that's needed, and, starting May 20, a combined effort is what we'll see. Millions of dollars in what essentially is advertising money is going into this. Sure, you'll see the brand names. Sprint. AT&T. Verizon. T-Mobile. And many others. But it's the message that's truly important.

No matter the phone, no matter the operating system -- and, really, no matter what sort of hands-free whiz-bang system you might have rigged up in your car, any time you take your eyes off the road, you're putting us all at risk. Everyone. You, driving the car. Your friends and family inside the car. Those of us in the cars around you. The kids playing on the street.

I'm as hypocritical as anyone. It's hard, I know. (And I work for a company that sells these whiz-bang hands-free devices. What the hell is my excuse, then?) And chances are you can glance down for a second, and nothing will happen.

Until it does.

The "It Can Wait" campaign focuses on texting, but the message, as is the name, is universal. Just a quick glimpse to see who that e-mail was from, even if you're not going to answer it. A peek at your favorite RSS feed, to make sure you didn't miss anything "important." A quick phone call -- hey, you're a good driver. No big deal.

That is my wife and our kids up there. Shannon, Mia and Isabella. I'm her husband. Their father. I owe it to them to avoid doing stupid things whenever possible. (Anyone who's been in a room with me for more than 5 minutes knows that's often easier said than done.) I owe it to them -- hell, I owe it to everyone around me -- to keep that damn phone in my pocket when I'm driving. And so do you. Looking at that picture above helps me remember that.

Let's not be naive, though. We're still going to see folks on their phones in the car. I'm still going to struggle with not stealing a quick glance. But not playing with your phone while you're behind the wheel is that important an issue. There's really no excuse for this sort of tragedy, given how easy it is to not pick up the phone in the car.

But I'm still working on it. I'll get better at it. And, most of all, I need to set that example for my kids. 

Thanks in advance, from myself, my wife and my children.

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3 years ago

BlackBerry 10 Android Runtime on track to support Android 4.2.2

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Update to Jelly Bean for the Android Runtime is still on track and scheduled to land in June

Back in February at BlackBerry Jam Europe we first heard talk of BlackBerry updating their Android Runtime environment from 2.3.3 Gingerbread, to 4.1 Jelly Bean. All has been quiet on that front since then, but today during the BlackBerry Jam keynote at BlackBerry Live, developers were presented with an updated roadmap that confirms the update is still planned, and is running on schedule. Only, it won't be Android 4.1 anymore that the Runtime will be based around, BlackBerry is going straight to 4.2.2. 

Until Google introduces a new version of Android -- quite possibly tomorrow during the Google I/O Keynote -- 4.2.2 is the latest build, and BlackBerry should be commended for that. With the update due to hit in June, there's a strong possibility that BlackBerry 10 devices will have access to 4.2.2 before a number of Android devices. OK, so it's not exactly the same, but impressive nevertheless. 

Android developers looking to move their apps to BlackBerry by way of re-packaging will benefit hugely from this. Apps designed around Gingerbread feel horribly outdated by current standards, and updating the Runtime to 4.2.2 will open the door to many more developers, with many more apps, and ultimately the BlackBerry 10 users should see a much improved experience. For more from BlackBerry Live, be sure to head over to CrackBerry for all the coverage you can handle. 

Source: BlackBerry via CrackBerry

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3 years ago

Keep up with Google I/O 2013 from home

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Won't be in sunny California for Google I/O? Don't worry, you can still keep up with all of the action

We're just a few short days away from Google's yearly developer conference, and while only a few thousand lucky individuals will be in attendance, everyone will have a chance to watch from afar. As you would expect, Google is dedicated to making video of every single session from the conference available online, and even live streams as much coverage as possible.

Watching the keynote

Of everything at Google I/O, what many are looking forward to most is the keynote. Although it's going to be hard to top skydiving with Google Glass onto the convention center, we'll all want to be watching it live to see what they can do this time. Luckily Google will be streaming the keynote live at 9am PT on May 15th. This is the only keynote of the conference and It's going to be a whopping 3 hours long, so be sure to plan your restroom breaks accordingly.

Following sessions

Google has posted a complete list of sessions that will be available, each falling into one of the broader "tracks" such as Android, Chrome, Google+ and Glass. Using the session browser, you can choose to follow specific tracks, or you can look more broadly at the entire show. If a session you're interested in isn't broadcasted live, Google plans to make recorded versions available on its official Google Developers Youtube channel as soon as possible.

Install the app

The official Google I/O app has just been updated for this year's conference, and it has a whole lot of useful information. Not only can you follow all of the session times and keep tabs on what's coming next with scheduled alerts, but you can also watch any of the live streamed sessions. The I/O 2013 app will be your guide to everything Google for all three days next week.

We'll be there too!

Don't forget that Phil and Jerry will be covering everything they can get their hands and eyes on at this year's I/O, with all of the top-notch analysis you've come to expect from Android Central.

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3 years ago

Adobe Connect Mobile adds support for Presenter, interactive tools

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View, present and interact with meetings all from your mobile device

Adobe is making a few useful updates to its Adobe Connect apps today that will improve the experience for those joining meetings from mobile devices. First up, users on phones and tablets can now both deploy and join webinars and meetings being conducted in the Adobe Presenter format, with additional features therein. Presentations can now be interactive for people viewing on a mobile device, letting them tap on questions and answers to give their input. Video conferencing has also been improved to let the users view both their own video feed as well as the person talking, on top of viewing paused feeds of everyone else in the meeting.

Small improvements to the experience such as presentation backgrounds and new graphics are also small but useful changes that make Adobe Connect users on mobile feel like they're getting a complete experience. While you may not be using Adobe Connect Mobile on a daily basis, those in the education and enterprise markets will want to give this a look.

More: Adobe

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3 years ago

Pinterest for Android updated with notifications, mentions and more

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Receive notifications, mention friends and search more easily in latest Pinterest update

Social sharing service Pinterest has updated its mobile app with a few new features this afternoon. The new Pinterest version 1.5 lets you send a pin to a friend, mention friends in comments (like many social networks) and receive push notifications when someone likes, comments on repins your items -- a feature added to the web-based Pinterest a few weeks back. In-app searching has also been improved with search term suggestion.

You can grab the latest version of Pinterest from the Google Play link above. Alternatively, hit the Play Store app to get updated if you've already installed an earlier version.

Pinterest has also been updated to version 2.4 on iOS devices.

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3 years ago

Another glimpse at the Nexus 4 in white, this time on video

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An extensive new white Nexus 4 sighting leaves us with just as many questions as it answers

We know based on previous pictures that at least in some capacity LG has made the Nexus 4 with a white casing, and this is probably the most extensive look at the device we have to date. At a conference in Dubai, the folks at TechView found a white model of the Nexus 4 sitting on display at a Qualcomm booth of all places. The device looks basically identical to previous leaks to our eyes, with a "crystal reflective process" back plate, the same silver plastic band around the screen and black bezels on the front of the device. The device is running just Android 4.2 (rather than 4.2.2 like other Nexus 4s), but other than that nothing on the video stands out to us as setting this device apart.

Interestingly, more still photos of the white Nexus 4 surfaced from the same show in a forums post on The Verge, which also give us a good look at the device. One thing that these show us is the FCC ID printed on the back, which is identical to that of the current Nexus 4. Could this be little more than just a white color option to refresh the Nexus 4 several months after its launch? Google I/O may be a good time for Google to let us know for certain.

Stick around after the break to see the video in full, and follow the source link if you're interested in seeing a few more random stills of the device.

Source: TechView.me; The Verge Forums

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3 years ago

Boulder Dash-XL: Blast from the past gaming

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Staying true to the original along with a little modern gameplay and flair

Boulder Dash has been around since the early 80's, and a new and improved version has finally made the jump over to Android for everyone to enjoy all over again. Retro game reboots are awesome, and they're even better when done properly -- and Boulder Dash-XL is a great example. It has walked that line of sticking true to the original concept while also making things fresh by bringing good controls over to mobile and adding new graphics, soundtracks and game types.

Ready for a little blast from the past? Stick around with us after the break and see how Boulder Dash-XL pays homage to the original title from the 80's.

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3 years ago

How many times can you open and close NVIDIA Shield before it breaks?

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That's a big display, and a hinge that's a big point of failure — but the good news is it should last a while

Stating the obvious here, but you're going to be opening and closing NVIDIA Shield a lot. You don't have a choice. To use it, you've got to flip open that 5-inch display, exposing the controls underneath and giving you a screen to work with. And that opening-and-closing mechanism also was one area NVIDIA focused on since we first saw a prototype in January. The hinge has been made more robust, NVIDIA told us at its headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.

But just how many times can you open and shut this thing before it gives out?

More: Hands-on with new NVIDIA Shield

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3 years ago

Apple looks to add Samsung Galaxy S4 to patent infringement suit

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Apple says Samsung's new flagship smartphone "is an infringing device"

Apple will move to have the Galaxy S4 added to its patent infringement case against Samsung, court documents reveal. In documents filed with the U.S. District Court in California and published by The Verge, Apple says it has examined the handset and "concluded that it is an infringing device." As such, it will add the GS4 to its list of infringing products, but remove one of the existing 22 so as to abide by the court's request that it limit the number of claims and devices.

The list currently includes such phones as the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Note 2, Note 10.1, U.S. Galaxy S2 models and the Galaxy S3.

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3 years ago

BlackBerry Messenger announced for Android!

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Today at BlackBerry Live 2013, the quintessential BlackBerry Messenger was announced as coming to Android this summer! It's going to be totally free, which is a welcome surprise. 

CEO Thorsten Heins announced his company's goal to make BBM the standard in cross-platform messaging and that they'll be bringing their long-standing device-exclusive service to iOS and Android. In the long run, they intend to include advanced features like groups, screen sharing, and the recently-announced Channels to the other platforms. Keep an eye out for this one in Google Play over the next couple of months, and expect it to displace a lot of the current messaging platforms out there. 

Any of you guys know folks that still use BBM? Any ex-BlackBerry-owners that miss BBM?

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3 years ago

BlackBerry announces new Android support in enterprise management suite

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The better part of the CrackBerry crew are at BlackBerry Live 2013 this week, and there was a bit of news for Android fans amid the general session. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.1 was announced, which includes support for Android devices. That means your IT guy can roll out apps and lock down BlackBerry devices throughout the company just as easily as it can with any Android devices. 

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