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3 years ago

Samsung 'Galaxy S Camera' rumored for IFA unveiling

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We're all familiar with Nikon's plans to launch an Android-powered camera in the next month, but it seems Samsung may also be bringing its smartphone software and hardware to a point-and-shoot, if the latest round of rumors are to be believed. Reports form GSMArena suggest that Samsung may be working on a point-and-shoot based on Galaxy S3 internals.

The "Galaxy S Camera," which the site's source claims to have seen first-hand, is said to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with an S3-class 4.8-inch SuperAMOLED display on the back, and a 16MP image sensor on the front, with 10X optical zoom and pop-out Xenon flash. Wifi and 3G/HSPA versions are rumored to be unveiled at IFA 2012 alongside the Galaxy Note 2.

The device is purportedly 1.5 to 2 times thicker than a Galaxy S3, which still makes it remarkably thin for a camera, and we have to wonder where the apparatus for that 10X zoom is being stored.

No direct evidence of the Galaxy S Camera's existence is offered, but the decision to offer an Android-based camera could be seen as a natural continuation of the company's earlier Wifi-connected camera offerings. What's more, Samsung's smartphones already have a wide range of software that could be useful on a point-and-shoot, such as on-device video and photo editing, not to mention Android's built-in sharing intents.

It certainly sounds plausible, but in the absence of evidence we'll have to take this one with a pinch of salt. Regardless, we'll be on the ground in Berlin later this week to bring you full coverage of whatever Samsung announces at IFA.

Source: GSMArena

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3 years ago

Google reacts to Samsung trial: Most claims 'don't relate' to core Android OS

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"We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that."

The dust is still setting following Friday's $1.049 billion ruling against Samsung in its patent trial with Apple., and now Google is weighing in with its own official statement  The short statement, sent to The Verge, distances Android itself from the patents Samsung was found to be infringing, saying most don't relate to the "core Android operating system." That's true of features like bounce-back scrolling in the original Galaxy S, but of course there are a few notable exceptions, such as tap-to-zoom. Google also brings into question the validity of other patents, saying they're being "re-examined by the U.S. Patent Office."

There's also a comment on the fast-moving nature of the mobile world, and Google says that all involved in the industry are "building upon ideas that have been around for decades." Of course, we already know Google's not much of a fan of software patents in general. The company's public policy director recently remarked that they're "not helpful to the marketplace."

Here's today's statement from Google in full.

The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims. Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office. The mobile industry is moving fast and all players — including newcomers — are building upon ideas that have been around for decades. We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that.

Source: The Verge, via: iMore

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3 years ago

Samsung officially unveils the Galaxy Player 5.8, pockets get ready to strain

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While the world -- including us -- will continue to question how successful a PMP can be in todays smartphone world, Samsung has gone ahead and introduced a new one. Following leaked information on the device just over a week ago, Samsung has made the Galaxy Player 5.8 official. And yes, the 5.8 does stand for 5.8-inch. This thing is huge. It also shares more than a hint of the same design language as Samsung's current flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S 3

That 5.8-inch display has a 960x540 resolution, which sounds pretty poor in comparison to the company's smartphone displays, but to keep something such as the Galaxy Player affordable, compromises must be made. Like the phones however, the Galaxy Player 5.8 runs Android 4.0 and the latest version of Touchwiz. On-board storage is either 16GB or 32GB with the option to also add a microSD card to squeeze even more of your music and movies onto this thing.

There's also a front facing VGA camera, and a pretty sizeable 2500mAh battery powering the whole show. Without a cellular radio to drain it, battery life shouldn't be too terrible.

There are still details not confirmed, such as whether the rumored dual-core 1GHz processor is inside but given the accuracy thus far of the earlier leak, it isn't too hard to believe. And, there isn't a release schedule as yet. Given the timing of this announcement though, we wouldn't be at all surprised to see this behemoth gracing the Samsung booth at IFA 2012 when it kicks off later this week. 

Source: Samsung Tomorrow (Translated)

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3 years ago

Nexus 7 now available in France, Germany and Spain

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Good news lands this morning of expanded European availability of the Google Nexus 7. The Asus made tablet is now available from Google Play in France, Germany and Spain. This is the first market expansion we've seen from the device since its initial launch in July, and while it may have taken some time, the end result is what's important. 

Pricing is set to match UK prices, so the two variants are priced at €199 for the 8GB model and €249 for the 16GB. Ordering one at the moment should see a Nexus 7 on your doorstep within 3-5 days. 

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Weather HD now available on Android

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One of the more popular weather apps on iOS, Weather HD, has finally come to Android. It provides all of the usual weather data you'd want -- current temperature / humidity / precipitation / wind, 7-day forecasts and a few other customizable odds and ends. What's nice about Weather HD is the interface. It's the simplicity of gray and white text on a nicely animated background image, which changes with the current weather conditions, that really helps set this apart from some of the cluttered and busy weather apps. Unfortunately, Weather HD doesn't include a widget, though we'd expect it to soon if they want to stay competitive with the other popular weather apps out there.

Weather HD is available in the Google Play Store at the link above. It'll set you back 99 cents, or is free with advertisements.

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3 years ago

Latest Dropbox beta adds 2-step verification

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Many of us use Dropbox in varying capacities (see what I did there?), and when we do, we often use it as crucial backup storage for data that's important to us. If it wasn't important, we probably wouldn't bother backing it up now would we? If you take your security seriously, and by now we hope you all do, you should be jumping for joy that Dropbox has added 2-step verification sign in to its latest betas.

The latest Dropbox beta follows the same principle that Google's 2-step verification does. In order to access your account you need two things: 1) something you know -- your password and 2) something you have -- your phone. And there's really no reason not to take security into your own hands and add that second level in order to help prevent the worst from happening. If you haven't already, go pick up the Dropbox app from the Google Play Store at the link above, and if you're interested in setting up 2-step verification for your account, see us after the break for a better in-depth explanation

Source: Dropbox forums; via The Verge

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Verdict fatigue; Motorola sends pigs into the air; how to really hate a device

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I'm supposed to take this more personally, I've been told. I'm supposed to hate Apple and what it's litigious self with every fiber of my being. I'm supposed to cry in my beer for Samsung, for HTC, for anyone who's ever had an injunction handed down. I'm suppose to hate the player, as well as the game.

That's just not me. I don't set my hair on fire, especially about things over which I have no control.

Here's what I do hate, in no particular order:

  • I hate that patent litigation has become the focus of the past several months. (It almost makes me long for the bad old, sky-is-falling days of Carrier IQ.)
  • I hate that instead of writing and talking about phones and tablets, we have to concentrate on lawsuits about phones and tablets.
  • I hate that it takes the focus away from the developers, without whom none of this would matter anyway.
  • Most of all, I hate that it's come this far.

That patents should be granted for software certainly should be debated. That patents are granted far too easily hardly is up for debate. Let's hope by this time next year we'll be talking about new and innovative products, and not this mess. I'm sick and tired of patents.

If you've yet to do so, check out the podcast I did with Rene Ritchie from iMore.com on Saturday.

And now, for some more good (and bad) from the past week in Android.

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3 years ago

Hisense preparing sub-$100 Google TV box, promises to show it at IFA

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The success of the Vizio Co-Star has proved that Google TV still has life in it, especially when the price is right. Jumping on the sub-$100 bandwagon now is Hisense, a Chinese OEM that has partnered with Google to produce a new budget Google TV set-top box. 

In a statement, Mickey Kim, Google TV parner manager said of the collaboration: 

Hisense adds even more innovation to the growing list of Google TV-powered devices available around the world. We're working closely with partners like Hisense to bring services from Google and multiple other providers to your TV with an experience tailored for the living room.

Better yet, the box is ready to be shown off to the world and is promised to be on display during next weeks IFA show in Berlin. Hopefully that means that unlike the Vizio offering, the Hisense box will ship in Europe. Android Central will be on the ground from the show all week, so keep it locked to the site and our IFA portal for all the best. 

Source: PC World

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3 years ago

LG confirms display specs of upcoming device, as well as claiming 'longer battery life'

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The tale of the forthcoming LG 'Optimus G' superphone continues, only this time, it's the Korean OEM that is telling it. Following up from the recent leaked prototype of the device, LG has released a statement today confirming certain details that had previously been leaked, and new details of the gapless display it shall house. 

As it happens, the Snapdragon S4 Pro powered device will definitely have a 1280x768 True HD IPS+ display, coming in at 320ppi. Theres some science that goes along with it, but the rub of it is -- it's better than AMOLED and consumes less power.

The gapless display is an in-house technology developed with LG Innotek. Its G2 Touch Hybrid display will be bound for the device, and is "a unibody unit that eliminates the gap between the glass and the LCD panel as found in traditional touchscreens." Sounds a little like the display on the HTC One X, which is by no means a bad thing.

LG is also promising greater battery capacity, without compromising on size or weight and the powerplant has been designed by LG Chem. It promises to run 60% more efficiently than similarly sized batteries, meaning more power for longer. 

The 'Optimus G' is  certainly shaping up to be a full in-house affair, with several different arms of LG getting involved to create a device that they say will be a "game-changer" for them. They're sure trying to create some pre-launch buzz, whether it lives up to it though, only time will tell. 

Source: LG Newsroom

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3 years ago

Supcase slim-fit leather case for the Nexus 7

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Next up in our quest for the perfect Nexus 7 case is the Supcase Slim Fit Leather Case, which has garnered a bit of an Amazon following for its affordable price. It's also available in nine colors -- pink, black, green, red, white, deep blue, deep pink, purple and sapphire blue. 

And after even just a few minutes, we can confidently say this one's worth taking a look at.

Read on for some more thoughts.

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations 18: Apple vs. Samsung special verdict edition

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Phil Nickinson of Android Central and Rene Ritchie of iMore talk Apple vs. Samsung and the U.S. court verdict that saw Apple awarded over $1 billion in damages. This is a Mobile Nations special!

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week - Banana Republic, Bit.Trip Beat, Elixir 2 and more!

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We've got a roundup of fine app picks for this week. Some shopping, a little productivity, a few games and some reading are all on the agenda. So on this Saturday night, kick up your feet, have a nice beverage of your choice and download some new apps, will ya?

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3 years ago

LG E973 Optimus G leaks out and it 'really flies'

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We've already heard rumors of a forthcoming 'superphone' from LG, and indeed the Korean OEM has recently started their own teaser campaign to carry it a little further. The so-called Optimus G is set to be a Snapdragon S4 Pro toting, 2GB of RAM housing behemoth, and the folks at AndroidMX claim to have got their hands on it. 

The LG E973 as described by its label, is a 4.7-inch device with a 1280x768 IPS display, the Adreno 320 GPU, Android 4.0.4 and yes, that 2GB of RAM and the mighty quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro. Having had the chance to play with it, the androidmx guys simply say that it "really flies." We can only imagine. It is worth noting that what we see here apparently isn't final hardware or software, so there is still a possibility LG will change it up some before release -- Jelly Bean, maybe? 

The speculation is that we will see the Optimus G unveiled officially at next weeks IFA show in Berlin, Germany. We're not so sure, however. While LG will be present at the show, they have previously informed us that they will not be showcasing any new smartphones in Berlin. Given the prototype nature of what we see here, we're likely to have to wait a little longer.

Source: AndroidMX (translated) via Pocketnow

 

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3 years ago

Here comes Hurricane Isaac: Charge 'em if you got 'em

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Some 364 days ago, we talked a little bit about how your smartphone can help you prepare for natural disasters. (At least for the ones that you have time to prepare for.) That was Hurricane Irene. Now, we've got another I-storm (excuse the pun) headed for United States, with Isaac. (And, yes, more specifically, the Gulf Coast and your's truly.)

Here are some of the tips we brought you last year, updated with some new ones.

  • Charge your phones. Now. Keep them charged. And once the storm starts, keep them off. You'll likely lose power at some point, and there's a good chance your local cell network will go down for a bit, even with generator backups.
  • Spare batteries. If you got 'em, make sure they're charged, too. If you still have time to get some, do it.
  • Car charger. Get one. Get a couple, actually.
  • After the storm, text messages may work best. If the network's up, it's going to be clogged, and calls might not go through. Text messages have a much better chance.
  • If you're worried about damage and don't have a traditional camera, use your phone to take a few pictures of your home and your belongings. It'll make insurance claims much easier, should it come to that.
  • While you still have power and internet access, be it on your phone or broadbad, take advantage of features like instant uploading on Google+ Dropbox to make sure those pictures get somewhere that can't be destroyed by the storm. Better to be safe than sorry in that case.
  • If you just have to use Instagram during a storm, don't use a damn filter. Folks wanna see what's happening, and filters don't help that.
  • Use apps like Evernote to help keep track of your emergency supplies. 
  • Before the storm, use those gas-finder apps to track down the cheapest petrol. That won't help you with the lines, but it may save you a few bucks.
  • See if your phone can serve as an FM radio, if you don't have any others around. (That's not out of the question in 2012.
  • Apps from FEMA and the Red Cross can help you find shelters and other emergency information.

Those are but a few ways your phone can get you through this. Have a tip you'd like to share? Let's hear 'em in the comments! And good luck, everyone. Stay safe.

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3 years ago

Facebook Messenger update brings emoji and better photo sharing

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Anyone who uses the Facebook Messenger app knows it's actually a pretty good experience, which is a stark contrast from their main app. Today, Facebook continues to polish its Messenger service with a new update out in the Google Play Store. This latest update brings support for "emoji" -- those fun and sometimes bothersome looking smilies, better photo sharing straight from the app and a few UI cleanups. Tapping the plus sign on the left side of the text input box gives you a menu with common emoji used and gives options to choose a photo, take a photo or do an image search. Previously, the only way to share a photo was from another application via Android's built-in sharing system. Additionally, you can now link directly to the timeline of the person you're chatting with from the top of the chat window. All together, it's a nice little update that brings a lot of good functionality.

For someone who uses the Facebook Messenger app daily, these are welcome additions. If someone's on the fence and crazy for emoji, maybe this update will push them over to using the service. Hit the link above to get your update or check it out for the first time.

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