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3 years ago

HTC highlights BlinkFeed in new commercials, wants you to stop digging

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The HTC One has a lot going for it. There's the UltraPixel camera. It has a fantastic unibody aluminum design. Let's not forget the sillily-named but great-sounding BoomSound speakers. And so much more. And while all that is nice, HTC really wants you to know about the software, specifically they want you to know about BlinkFeed.

So HTC America's posted to YouTube a pair of new commercials (after the break) that highlight BlinkFeed. They both play off the same concept: BlinkFeed surfaces relevant content for you on its own, keeping you from having to dig for it yourself. Literally, digging. It's an interesting visual metaphor, watching that poor guy shovel a pile of dirt out of his not-an-HTC but-certainly-meant-to-represent-a-Samsung smartphone. While BlinkFeed might not be for everybody (though you should know that you can use BlinkFeed to keep up with Android Central and the rest of the Mobile Nations network), the excellent hardware of the HTC One isn't the only selling point HTC has to offer.

Though HTC is sure in both ads to point out that the One is "all-metal", surely another dig at Samsung. It's clear that HTC is targeting Samsung as their sole competitor here. Samsung's arguably-over-the-top TouchWiz Nature UX doesn't serve up nearly as much news and social information as cohesively BlinkFeed can, and the new Galaxy S4 is certainly much more on the all-plastic side in comparison to HTC's all-metal One.

HTC has retired their old "quietly brilliant" tagline as they've opted to be more aggressive in their advertising efforts. Money's tight for HTC, so even with a more assertive marketing campaign they can't hope to match what Samsung (and Apple) will be putting on the table. HTC's all-in with the One - but will it be enough? Simple, clever, and smartly-targeted commercials like this might do it - assuming HTC can afford to buy enough airtime to cut through the noise.

Source: HTC America (YouTube)

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3 years ago

Ask the AC editors: What do you expect from Google I/O 2013?

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It's the biggest, baddest, and most fun event of the year. See what your favorite folks from Android Central think we'll be seeing

Our favorite time of the year starts in just a few more days -- Wednesday, May 15 to be exact. We're talking about Google I/O of course. Not that we don't get excited by the happenings at Mobile World Congress, or CES, or even carrier and manufacturer events, but I/O is all Google all day (and night), and that's pretty important to any Android fan. In years past we've seen some awfully cool stuff, some were blockbusters and some, well, not-so-much. But we enjoyed seeing every single thing.

And there's more to Google I/O than the keynote extravaganza. Skydiving and announcements of the year's coming tech is pretty exciting, but you also get to sit in and hear the people who make Google and Android great talk shop with some of the best developers in the business. If you're a geeky type, it's like Nirvana. And even if you're not, it's still absolutely awesome to see the passion that everyone has for Google and Android. 

We're going to be there of course, and we'll tell you everything that's going on in and around the Moscone Center. It's going to be a blast, but just what do we expect to see? We're going to answer that one. Hit the break, see what we think, and when it's all said and done we can see just how right (or wrong) we were. 

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3 years ago

Live long and prosper: Star Trek movies on special offer in Google Play UK

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To celebrate the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie release, Google Play in the UK has a host of previous movies on special offer

If you're looking for some weekend watching, you could do worse than taking a look at the Google Play Store right now. In celebration at the release of the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie, Google is throwing a promotion on a host of previous Star Trek movies. If that's not enough, Google also sat down with Benedict Cumberbach, star of the new movie, for an exclusive interview. Because we're good to you, you'll find that interview down below after the break. 

The price cuts have been made to both rental and purchase prices. Rentals start at £2.49 with purchases down to just £3.99. Virtually the whole library is there, from Star Trek I through to Insurrection and the 2009 new Star Trek movie. Nemesis seems to have been excluded for whatever reason but for not a lot of money you can own the rest of the Star Trek back catalog. 

The U.S. doesn't seem to be included in the promotion, at least for purchases. Rental prices are showing up at $2.99 for most of the catalog, so while you're waiting to see Into Darkness, feast on some classic Trek movies this weekend. While you're at it, be sure to jump into the comments below and share your favorite Star Trek movie with us, and let us know if you're somewhere other than the UK that's seeing the promotion. My favorite is First Contact, for what it's worth. 

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Pudding Camera, 1-800 Flowers, GroundLink and more!

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Let's stick with the app picks for just a little while longer

So we gave something new a whirl last week in place of the standard "Apps of the Week" post -- we tried to expand out beyond just apps to highlight the best of Google Play. Well, we may not have planned that one out the best considering what we have coming up. As things are getting pretty heavy for the next few weeks (and lets be honest, the last few weeks too) with Google I/O and then CTIA, we think maybe we should stick with the tried and true app picks for just a little while longer until we can get a good system ready to expand.

After the break you'll find the best apps from all different genres that the Android Central staff are using on a daily basis. They may not be the flashiest or the best of their kind, but they're what works for us and often that means they'll work for someone else too. Read along and see how we did this week.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 RC2 builds rolling out

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Second release candidate appears as CM 10.1.0 approaches

A quick heads-up for anyone running one of the recently-released CyanogenMod 10.1 RC1 builds. Release candidate 2 of the popular Android 4.2.2-based custom firmware is now rolling off the servers, and builds are available for a few dozen devices at the time of writing. These include the current crop of Nexuses, U.S. Galaxy S3 models, the original Galaxy S, international LG Optimus G and HTC One X (Tegra 3), first and second-gen Kindle Fire, various Galaxy Tab 2 models, the original RAZR, Droid RAZR and Bionic, and Sony's Xperia Z and Xperia V. As this is a jump from one release candidate to another, we can probably expect fixes for any outstanding issues or bugs. On Wednesday the CM team said it expected RC1 to be one of the last builds before CM 10.1 goes stable with a 10.1.0 release.

To see if RC2 is available for your device, check the official download repository at get.cm, linked below.

Source: CyanogenMod Downloads

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3 years ago

Iterate 46: Beck, Ohms, Urbanick, and Press

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Jordan Beck, Jay Ohms, and Chad Urbanick of TwentyFive Squares join Marc, Seth, Rene and Andrew Martonik of Android Central to talk about their outstanding Android RSS reader, Press. Also, life after Google Reader, platform exclusivity, and more!

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3 years ago

'Galaxy S4 Zoom' rumors point to a curious new kind of cameraphone

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Would Samsung really strap a 10X optical zoom and 16MP sensor to the back of a mid-range smartphone?

With the Galaxy S4 launch now mostly over and done with, Samsung rumormongers have turned their attention to the company's summer and fall product line-up. The most intriguing of these is a device rumored to go by the name 'Galaxy S4 Zoom.' Originally broken by SamMobile, initial reports suggested the 'Zoom' would be a mid-range handset with a 4.3-inch qHD SuperAMOLED screen on the front and a 16-megapixel camera strapped to the back. But that's not even the craziest part.

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3 years ago

Motorola XT1058 lands at the FCC, looks like the mystery XFON

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Could the XT1058 be the XFON we're all waiting to see? This sketch of the rear from the FCC makes us think so.

About a week ago, we got a fairly decent look at an AT&T branded phone from Motorola, labeled the XFON. It certainly resembles an earlier leak from Vietnam, but there was no information to go along with the pictures. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

That might have changed this evening, as the Motorola XT1058 has landed at the FCC, and a quick breeze through the documents tells us a little about what we're looking at. The phone will have Bluetooth 4.0, NFC capabilities, 802.11ac Wifi, and carriers AT&T's LTE bands. It doesn't take much imagination to connect this with the AT&T XFON we saw last week.

Other than what you're reading above, we don't know anything about this one. The timing is certainly convenient for a showing at Google I/O, but nobody can know exactly when -- or if -- we'll see this one. My gut tells me it's soon, though, and it's high time Motorola delivered another high-end GSM Android phone. If this is to debut at Google I/O, we should know in a few short days.

Source: FCC; via: Phone Scoop

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3 years ago

Android Central 133: Google I/O cometh

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Audio-only stream below

We're about to hit the road for San Francisco and Google I/O. So it's time for some predictions. Plus, we gab about the all-new Android Central app, rap on the Galaxy S4, and tackle some great voicemails. Join us!

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3 years ago

Verizon Motorola Xoom owners receiving Jelly Bean soak test invites

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It may be on the slow track, but the Xoom LTE is set to receive Jelly Bean nearly a year after its ICS update

As it tends to do shortly before releasing an official update, Motorola is sending out "soak test" invitations to owners of the Verizon Xoom LTE for an impending Jelly Bean update. The soak test is usually the final line of testing with a slightly wider number of users before an update is pushed out for general availability. While it doesn't guarantee an immediate release to everyone, it's a pretty good sign. The soak test invite refers to "Jelly Bean" nondescriptly, but we have to assume this will just be a bump to Android 4.1 rather than 4.2. 

We're not going to shun an update of any kind though, as a jump to Jelly Bean brings a whole bunch of welcomed improvements. If you're part of the Motorola Feedback Network, be sure to check your email and see if you've received an invite as well. Otherwise, keep an eye out for the official update to be hitting devices sooner rather than later.

Thanks, Dave!

More: Motorola Xoom Forums

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3 years ago

Some Galaxy Tab 7.7 variants receiving Jelly Bean update

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Rollout starting in Asia via OTA or Kies, other markets to follow in due time

Samsung's mid-sized tablet offering from 2012, the Galaxy Tab 7.7, is seeing a Jelly Bean update start rolling out starting today in select markets. Users of the 3G version of the Tab 7.7 in Asia -- Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia so far -- have been updating their devices both OTA (Over The Air) and through the Samsung Kies desktop software to Android 4.1.2. There's no complete changelog for the update at this point as its rolling out slowly, but we all know the serious improvements in Jelly Bean such as Google Now and Project Butter will be on-board.

As for a timetable on the Verizon model of the Tab 7.7 receiving an update, we haven't got a clue. Additional time testing may put this one on the back burner for some time, especially considering the rollout has only started in one region at this point.

Source: SamMobile; More: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Forums

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3 years ago

Kickstarter OUYA shipments hit 65-percent, still ahead of schedule

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Shipments to international backers will continue ramping up over time to meet estimates

In its weekly update to early Kickstarter backers, OUYA has laid out encouraging numbers for the current status of the new consoles shipping out. To date, a full 65-percent of the consoles have been shipped, which is ahead of the projected schedule as has been the case since late April. 60-percent of the consoles shipped this week were to international backers, which will help get them caught up with shipments headed to North America, and OUYA says that international shipments are ramping up to meet estimates.

Limited Edition versions of the OUYA are a bit behind schedule, but every one is expected to have shipped by two weeks from today. It's a slow but steady progression -- one with a lot of learning experiences, no doubt -- getting this many consoles out to those who helped fund the initial Kickstarter process. Retail units of the console are still expected to hit shelves by late June.

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3 years ago

The Chrome developers are ready to take it up a notch at Google I/O

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What's in the boxes isn't nearly as important as what them being there means

Look at that pallet of swag. Some people think it may be a pile of Chrome devices to give to attendees, others think it's T-shirts and some are guessing it's box after box of fancy pens. Alex is certain that it's "so many bags of Doritos." I'm not particularly concerned about what it is (don't go to Google I/O for the swag), but what it means.

Chrome OS is due for some serious loving from Google. It's been progressing along nicely, but it's high time that it gets some of the special treatment we saw Android get way back when the Nexus One came out with Eclair. Remember how much better Android became -- and so quickly -- once Google started focusing on it? Yeah. Let's do that with Chrome. T-shirts and Chromebooks (or Doritos) will get us excited, but I'm really excited about what we'll see at the keynote and in the developer sessions. 

Just a few more days.

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3 years ago

HTC One CyanogenMod 10.1 nightlies now available

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Nightly builds to begin rolling out "relatively soon" for both GSM and Sprint models of the One

With both a post on its official Google+ page and new thread in the HTC One forums at XDA, CyanogenMod has announced that CM10.1 nightlies are beginning to roll out for all models of the HTC One. Whether you have a GSM model or one running on Sprint, you can expect the first builds to show up on the get.cm site "relatively soon". These things take time, so while you're waiting you can follow the instructions from the forum post to make sure your device is ready. If you're running a GSM model you'll of course have to unlock the device via HTCDev, as well as have all of the downloads ready to flash a custom recovery and push all of the files over.

We're sure there are a whole lot of you that are ready to get cracking on some custom ROMs for your own HTC One, but following the right process will always help you in the long run. If you're unsure, you can always consult the forums and ask some questions before you dive in.

Source: XDA; +CyanogenMod; More: HTC One Forums

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3 years ago

Android dominates Apple, Microsoft in smart mobile device shipments for Q1

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Even when counting laptops and tablets, Android powers 59-percent of all devices shipped in Q1

We often get glimpses into how well Android is performing in terms of shipments compared to other mobile competitors such as iOS and Windows Phone, but it turns out Android fares extremely favorably against mobile devices of all kinds. According to analysis by Canalys, of all "smart mobile devices" -- including smart phones, tablets and laptops -- shipped in Q1 2013, Android was the operating system of choice on 59.5-percent of them. That means that even when factoring in Apple laptops running Mac OS X and Windows-based laptops into Apple and Microsoft's numbers, Android is still a majority of all devices shipped. Canalys estimates that 183.7 million Android devices were shipped in the quarter, dramatically higher than apple's 59.6 million and Microsoft's 55.9 million.

As you would expect, things break down favorably in the manufacturer charts for Samsung, which supplied 82.2 million of those devices (keeping in mind they make Windows laptops also) even without sales of the Galaxy S4 being counted because it had not yet gone on sale in Q1. As if those crazy Android activation numbers we keep seeing weren't enough of an indication, it should be clear now that Android is genuinely dominating the mobile landscape.

Source: Canalys; Via: ZDNet

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