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3 years ago

Clean Widgets receives complete overhaul in version 3.0 update

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Clean Widgets, a compilation of useful homescreen and lockscreen customizations, has received a quite notable update today to dramatically improve the look and experience of the app. The move up to a completely new point release -- version 3.0 -- brings a new design style that's cleaner with a new font and redone graphics all around. There's a new customization screen that lets you change the widget styles before placing it on the homescreen, offering very granular control. There are more improvements to be had under the hood as well, with a reduction in file size by almost 75-percent from the previous version.

There's a whole grouping of useful widgets included in the Clean Widgets app including clocks, battery monitors, toggle switches and more. Stick around after the break for a quick walkthrough of the app from the developer himself, and head to the Play Store link above if you're interested in picking up Clean Widgets for your own phone or tablet.

More: Lionfish Apps

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Which chip maker impressed you most at CES 2013?

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CES is over, we've all had a weekend to wind down and digest it all, and for mobile hardware junkies there is a lot to talk about. We saw what the big three mobile CPU builders will have to offer in 2013, and it's impressive on every front.

We started with NVIDIA, who took everything good about their current model Tegra chips and made it all one better with the Tegra 4. A quad-core A15, 72-core GPU, and LTE soft modem right on the chip shows NVIDIA is as serious in the mobile-space as they are on the desktop. 

Not to be outdone (and they certainly weren't) Qualcomm announced a pair of "superchips" that should make our phones scream on benchmarks, as well as handle the newest tech like 802.11ac.

Finally, Samsung wrapped thing up with the 8-core Exynos 5 Octa. Using what's called big.LITTLE processing, Samsung thinks they can manage the blazing speed from the quad-core A15 side by using the battery-friendly quad-core A7 side for those times when you don't have the need for speed, much like NVIDIA's Tegra "4+1" design. It will be a tricky balance, and we're excited to see how well Samsung can pull it off.

Even if you're not a big processor nerd, this kind of advancement is important. The hardware is what will decide how much developers can throw in the software, and we can expect better applications to run on our phones and tablets. If you are a big processor nerd, you're loving this. Which will impress you the most -- NVIDIA's addition of LTE to their domination of mobile gaming, Qualcomm's screaming speeds and support for new tech, or Samsung's foray into the battery saving world of big.LITTLE processing?

We want to hear from everyone. Which vendor showed the most, and more importantly, showed what you're looking for in your next phone or tablet on the hardware side. Answer the poll in the sidebar to the right or after the break and let us know what you think.

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3 years ago

Target and Radio Shack head to divorce court

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Well, you can't say they didn't give it a good run. A couple years after they first got hitched, Target and Radio Shack have called it quits in the mobile business, with their divorce taking effect April 8. That'll seemingly affect the 1,500 stores that have Target Mobile in place -- and that means a lot of Android phones in front of a lot of eyeballs. It sounds like prepaid and accessories might have been the sticking point. 

From Radio Shack's press release:

Since October 2012, RadioShack had been renegotiating the terms of the relationship with Target to establish an agreement that would be profitable to both companies. At that time, RadioShack executed a termination notice that would allow the company to exit the Target business if an agreement could not be reached.

We'll have counselors on hand for anyone who needs 'em.

Source: Press release

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3 years ago

Audiobooks.com launches new subscription plans starting at $14.95 a month

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Audiobooks.com is today launching two new, affordable subscription plans for their customers to stream and download audiobooks from the service. The cheapest option starts at $14.95 a month, and for that you get to choose one of over 25,000 titles to listen to on your Android device as well as your computer. For $22.95 a month that gets upped to two audiobooks every month to listen to. Audiobooks says that their customers listen to one or two books per month on average, and so these new subscription plans offer them the most value for money. Both are less than the $25 a month plan previously offered for all-you-can-eat audiobooks, but do offer a little more flexibility.

Before committing any of your money though, Audiobooks.com offers a free 7-day trial of the service, giving potential new customers the chance to test drive the service before signing up. Grab a copy of the Android app from the Play Store link above, and you can catch the full press release after the break. 

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3 years ago

Puzzle game Sand Slides launches on Android

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Sand Slides, an interesting puzzle game with a large iOS user base, is making the move to launch on Android today as well. In typical puzzle game fashion, the concept of Sand Slides is quick to pick up but hard to master. There are three containers at the top of the screen and three hoppers at the bottom, and your objective is to move the sand that collects at the top into the proper color-coded hopper. Sounds simple, but things pick up quickly and you have to start getting inventive with your swipes to keep the sand going in the right direction.

The game keeps you entertained with cool backgrounds and music, adding to the experience. If you're interested in a good puzzle time-waster game, head to the Play Store link above and check out Sand Slides for $0.99.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z goes up for pre-order in Slovakia at €605.99

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We don't have too many indications as to how much the newly announced Sony Xperia Z will cost, but one Slovakian retailer has pegged its pre-order price at €605.99. This is just a pre-order price at an online retailer MP3.sk, but we can assume that if a retailer is willing to put up a solid price that the final launch price will be close to it. The 5-inch 1080P display device has no expected release date on the site, but in the Sony booth at CES the rumblings were to expect availability in early March.

As we've seen in the past, unlocked pricing in Europe isn't a great indication of eventual pricing (if it comes here at all) for the U.S. market, but if you live in Europe this will give you an idea of what Sony is going to price the Xperia Z at. The device is a real treat to hold and use, so we can only hope that people can get their hands on one as soon as possible.

Source: MP3.sk; Via: Android Portal

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3 years ago

Tapatalk HD exits beta, goes on sale for 99 cents today only

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Tapatalk HD is exiting Beta today, launching officially on the Play Store for a promotional price of just $0.99 for today only. The tablet-optimized "HD" version of the Tapatalk app has been a long time coming, finally hitting the Play Store with a Beta tag behind it in December. Well it only took a few weeks since then for Tapatalk HD to shed the Beta tag for a full release. This tablet-optimized version of the Tapatalk phone app does a good job taking advantage of the extra screen real estate available, with a split pane view and photo gallery views. There are lots of customizations in look-and-feel to be had as well, so you can really make this app look the way you want.

Tapatalk HD will be $0.99 for today only, and will jump up to $4.99 after that. You can grab a download at the Google Play Store link above if you're interested.

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3 years ago

Official Lloyd Gear Screen Protectors

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Available for a number of Android devices, ShopAndroid.com is the only place to get the official Lloyd Gear Screen Protector. Available in packs of three (and currently at reduced prices), the official Lloyd Gear Screen Protector helps protect your Android device from dirt, scratches and glare. It's easy to remove and won't leave a residue behind. (The same can't always be said about Lloyd himself.)

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3 years ago

How to share Photo Sphere pics on Google Maps

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Deep links and even embedding panoramas can be done, but it takes a few steps

I might have mentioned once or twice how Photo Sphere is one of my favorite features of Android 4.2 on the Nexus 4. And I might have slightly bemoaned how the only real ways to view someone's Photo Sphere pictures are on Google+, either in a desktop browser or Android's Google+ app. (And I might have mentioned all that in a single post, yesterday.)

Google Maps also got a nod, and I think it's going to be my go-to method for sharing Photo Sphere pics for a couple reasons.

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 launches on Virgin Mobile UK

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First it was O2 UK, then Three, and now two months after the original Nexus 4 launch date, the phone's headed to Virgin Mobile UK. The provider, which offers service through EE's 3G/HSPA network, is giving away the Nexus 4 for free on 24-month contracts starting at £31 p.m. -- that'll get you 200 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB. For data-heavy users, there are other options available, such as a £34 p.m. deal that provides 2500 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data -- although you'll pay £99 up-front for the handset if you choose this package.

Virgin Broadband + TV customers get handset insurance included for free, as well as free calls and texts to Virgin Mobile numbers.

With the Nexus 4 still sold out in the UK Google Play devices store, mobile operators' stores are the only sure-fire way to get hold of the coveted handset. Nevertheless, at this stage we'd advise you to think long and hard about whether a 24-month contract with no prospect of 4G LTE service is really worth your cash.

Source: Virgin Mobile UK

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3 years ago

Samsung Canada announces Galaxy Note 2 multi-window support

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That Android 4.1.2 update to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that has been making the rounds across T-Mobile U.S. and elsewhere over the last couple of weeks is finally finding its way to Canadians. The big feature here is split-screen multi-window support, which helps GNote 2 owners to be extra productive. Positions can be switched around, and videos can be popped out from the multi-window view so you can make use of the gigantic screen when you need it. Many of those on the west coast will also be happy to hear about the inclusion of simplified Chinese language support. 

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3 years ago

Carbon backup app hits beta for the week

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From the developer behind the needs-no-introduction Rom Manager comes a new backup solution that not only syncs apps between devices -- it brings the app data long for the ride as well. Carbon (yes, it's called Carbon) uses Android's built-in backup feature and has several syncing options (or will at some point), but right now Google Drive's the way to go for cloud syncing. The gist is you can back up apps and app data from one device, and restore it on other. No muss, no fuss, mostly. But do remember that this is beta, so things are missing/wonky.

Carbon needs root access in this beta form (which will only work for a week, Koush says), but the finalized version should work on non-rooted devices, so long as they're running Android 4.0 and up. Hit the link below for more and to download the beta.

Source: +Koush

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3 years ago

From the mail bag: Is Android affected by the recent Java security issues?

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Russ8611 writes, 

Hello Androidcentral! I was just curious if any of you guys feel like reporting on the Java vulnerability and let us know how it affects Android as a platform. I know most people say they don't need Java on their computers, but isn't Java needed by Android, especially by developers? Thanks!!!

That's a nasty mess, isn't it?

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3 years ago

Samsung ships 100 million Galaxy S devices worldwide

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Galaxy S2, S3 shipments stand at 40 million each

Samsung has announced that its Galaxy S line of Android phones has shifted a total of 100 million units “on the supply side” to date. Meanwhile, the manufacturer’s leading Galaxy S3 smartphone has reportedly moved some 40 million units, as has its predecessor, the Galaxy S2.

Samsung broke the news through a Flickr post, in which it also revealed that the Galaxy S3 is currently selling at a rate of around 190,000 per day. (Our last update on Galaxy S3 numbers came in early November, when Samsung had moved 30 million units.)

The history of the series stretches back just over two and a half years, to the launch of the original Galaxy S in May 2010. Since then, Samsung has gone on to dominate the Android market, and in many countries its devices account for the majority of smartphone sales.

Desirable specs, broad international availability and aggressive marketing have seen the Galaxy S3 emerge as one of the biggest-selling handsets of the year, going toe-to-toe with Apple’s iPhone 5 in recent months.

As we move further into 2013, all eyes will be on the eventual successor to the Galaxy S3, though at present Samsung remains tight-lipped about any possible Galaxy S4 device.

Source: Flickr

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