Headlines

4 years ago

nullDC now running (slow frame rate) Dreamcast games

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Yesterday we posted a video of drk|Raziel's nullDC emulator running the Dreamcast bios. Today he posted on his blog two new videos of some Dreamcast classics running on the emulator: Power Stone, Crazy Taxi, and Dead or Alive 2. While the frame rate is still super slow, we are definitely excited to see this project evolve. Now where is Sonic? Videos embedded after the break. Thanks, Bl!

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4 years ago

Android Market update not so welcome for Xperia X10 users

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SE Xperia X10

Life is rough for the Xperia X10.  When released (overseas, anyway), it was top-of-the-line hardware, chained to an outdated version of Android, and we still have no idea if it supports multitouch.  The custom overlay (TimeScape) is beautiful, but it really hampers performance.  We all want to love it, but it's hard.  It just got harder since Google has updated the Android Market. 

Seems like the new and improved version of the Market wont run on the X10, with users waiting forever as it fails to load.  Sony Ericsson was quick to address the issue via their Facebook page, telling users to uninstall the updates for the Android Market.  But, as we all know, the Market auto-updates -- leading some users into an endless loop, and no Android Market on their expensive phone.  I've reached out to SE, but short of keeping the updates for the Market uninstalled, I have no advice to offer to help.  This one needs addressed -- if not from SE, then from Google, who may be able to halt the updates for the affected devices. 

If we hear anything that may help, we'll be sure to let you know.  Thanks for the heads up, Conan!

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4 years ago

Google acquires mobile payments company Zetawire

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 Nexus S with new Maps

Although they are a small, Toronto-based firm, the news of Google acquiring mobile payments startup Zetawire could mean a lot in the upcoming months. It was revealed yesterday by tech analysts at the 451 Group that Google had acquired the small company quite some time ago and that the purchase had gone unnoticed until now. 

So what is Google's interest in a small, mobile payments company that seemingly only has one patent to their name?  Well, that's pretty much it. That one patent which Zetawire owns “a payment system, an advertising system, and an identity management system” fits right into Google's interests. Especially when you start considering the Near Field Communication chip in the Google Nexus S.

Combine NFC with Zetawire's technology and you have a pretty awesome jump start on the market of mobile advertising and payments and most importantly, tracking of it's usage. Not that Google is new to any of that just, they can now offer it in better ways. [451Group via Techcrunch]

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4 years ago

Android Voice Search gets personal with personalized voice recognition

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Google Voice Search oldGoogle Voice Search New
The old Voice Search options (left) and new options (right)

Voice search on Android is pretty good. And it's about to get better. Google's updated the app and given us the option for personalized recognition. The premise is simple: Voice Search remembers words that you search for (and the sound of your voice doing so) and associates them with your Google account. It's an opt-in service, so it's not automatically recording your voice without your knowledge. You'll get the option to turn on personalized recognition when you first fire up voice search. And from there on out, it's all transparent. The goal? To understand you better and make searches faster and more accurate.

The update and personalized recognition are only available on Android 2.2 and up, and for English in the U.S. Google says it plans on supporting other nations and languages in the future. You can update in the market, and we've got download links after the break. [Google Mobile Blog]

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4 years ago

Skype updated, now installs to SD card

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Skype for Android

If you're keeping an eye on your storage space and move as many apps as possible to the SD card, note that the Skype Android app has been updated for that very reason. You're not going to save too much space -- its less than 1 megabyte -- but every little bit helps, right? Download link's after the break if you need it. (And, yes, you have to have Froyo to move apps to the SD card. That hasn't changed.) Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

NookColor getting Froyo and Android Market -- officially -- in January [updated: Erm, not so much]

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Barnes & Noble NookGood news for those of you looking longingly at your Barnes & Noble NookColor and wishing that the Android-based e-reader could one day legitimately run Android apps. An update to Android 2.2 Froyo is coming, and it's bringing with it the traditional Android home screens and access to the Android Market.

That's right, none of that hackery required -- and hackery that's as liable to give you a third eye as it is access to Android apps. The word is that the update's coming in January and in addition to the Market and homescreens will bring pinch-to-zoom to the browser. There's also the requisite battery and performance improvements you supposedly get with just about every update.

With the prospect of an official update and traditional Android features, the $250 NookColor is starting to look like an affordable and attractive Android tablet. [SmartphoneMag via Engadget]

Update: Bad news folks. Barnes and Noble PR got in touch with the authors of the original piece at Engadget, and while the Nook Color will be adding apps to it's own market, there is no plan to add the official Android Market to the device. Back to the hackery, I guess.

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4 years ago

Xperia X10 goes buy-one-get-one on AT&T

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Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

If you're in the mood for a year-old smartphone that's struggling to get to Android 2.1, know that the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is available as buy-one-get-one free until Jan. 1, 2011. At that point it'll be about a year old -- we had our first hands-on at CES in January 2010 -- and it's been plagued by a lack of updates ever since. But you can't beat BOGO, even on the X10. [via Twitter]

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4 years ago

Android Quick App: YouMail Visual Voicemail

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You ever get a call from someone you really don't feel like talking to at the moment and decide that you'll just let it go to voicemail and wait and see if they leave a message? I know I do. In fact, I really dislike talking on the phone so I tend to do it a lot. That habit of mine used to make checking my voicemail rather annoying as well. Especially after letting 5-6 messages build in there.

So instead of actually, you know answering calls I decided I'd switch to a visual voicemail service and make it a lot easier on myself. I decided to go with YouMail. Read on after the break for a quick run down of what YouMail is all about.

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4 years ago

New 'StrictMode' Gingerbread API helps developers write better, faster apps

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strictmode

There's a lot of new, behind-the-scenes goodness going on in Gingerbread, and not all of it was made with the end user in mind.  One of the new APIs, "StrictMode," is built for Android application developers to use as a debugging tool.  It monitors code as it's executed, detecting things that can slow an application down.

It specifically was designed to target disk reads and writes, and network activity, which as Android software engineer Brad Fitzpatrick points out can cause stuttering animation and UI elements that don't respond to input as fast as we would like.  Having an easy to use tool like this means that developers can find spots in their code that might contribute to a bottleneck and take care of the issue before the app goes out for testing.

While the changes that come with Gingerbread don't appear very big on the surface, all these little things add up.  We've went over all the "showcase" changes, but these smaller additions are just as important.  Gingerbread is shaping up to have great potential, and I can't wait to get my hands greasy with it. [Android Developers Blog]

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4 years ago

Southwest Airlines app for Android now available

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Just in time for for some holiday travelers, Southwest Airlines has released their Android application to the masses. Given how hectic traveling is to begin with any application that's sole purpose is to make it easier is fine by us. Southwest has included some great features into the app including their rapid rewards program for frequent Southwest fliers. The full feature list is below:

  • Manage air reservations
  • Manage rental car reservations
  • Check in for flights
  • Check flight status
  • Review flight schedules
  • Access your Rapid Rewards account
  • Access helpful contact information

The latest version available is v1.4 which, is actually an updated version from the initial launch so if you're running a previous version be sure to update. It's available now for free from the Android Market. Download link can be found after the break. Thanks Quincy!

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4 years ago

Words with Friends coming to Android (update: plan on playing your iOS friends)

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Words with Friends

Words with Friends -- the uber-popular Scrabble-esqe word game for the iOS -- is coming to Android, according to an e-mail tipster Jordan has sent us and others.

In the e-mail, Jordan asked about the prospects of an Android version of the game. The response he got from the developer:

"We've since hired a team to develop an Android Version. They're actively at work on it at the moment and are getting close to being done, so not too much longer!"

We've asked the developer -- which was purchased by Zynga earlier this month -- for any more details about the Android release. Will we be able to play (and beat) our iPhone brethren? When, exactly, will see the app? Will it be ad-supported? Stay tuned, folks.

More on Words with Friends in the Android Central Forums

Update: Just heard back from the Words with Friends folks, who had this to add:

"We are working on an Android version, but we're not ready to share much more beyond that. Our goal is that it will be compatible with the iOS version from day one."

Words with Friends e-mail

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4 years ago

Best Buy gives detail for Nexus S launch

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Samsung Nexus S

Best Buy has dropped info on Thursday's U.S. launch of the Samsung Nexus S. And they are as follows:

  • Stores open at 8 a.m. local time
  • Online sales nationwide start at 8 a.m. Eastern time.
  • There's a limit of two phones per customer; stores have a finite supply (natch)
  • Demo phones will be on hand. (Let's hope they're not the non-working dummy phones we're all too used to at Best Buy)
  • The Nexus S is unlocked.
  • Off-contract price is $529, plus tax.
  • On-contract price is $199 with a two-year T-Mobile plan. Add-a-line activation runs $249.99.

Best Buy also will have the usual upgrade checking in place, and they'll make sure you leave the store with the phone working (and likely with an accessory or two). So there you have it, folks. Just a couple of days to go. [Best Buy]

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4 years ago

Refill your Walgreens prescriptions with Walgreens Mobile app

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Walgreens Mobile app gets prescription barcode scanning.

Feeling a bit under the weather, have a Walgreens prescription you need filled, and wish that Android powered device of yours could magically fill said prescription?  Well, it can't produce any pills or nasal spray, but the Walgreens Mobile app can do the next best thing.  By simply scanning the prescription's barcode, you can alert the folks at the Walgreens pharmacy that you're out of pills, and need a fix.

If you don't roll with barcode scanning, you can also fill your prescriptions based on account history.  By entering either your account number, or prescription number, the Walgreens Mobile app will notify Walgreens pharmacists that your prescription is empty, and needs to be refilled.  And then once it's ready, you'll receive an SMS notification -- pretty slick.  Now to just get out of the same sick clothes you've been wearing for three days, comb your hair, and drive all the way to your nearest Walgreens -- something else the Walgreens Mobile app will assist you with.

The Walgreens Mobile app also features a flu shot & store locator, photo print ordering, and weekly ad fliers.  This is actually a pretty robust app for a retail/pharmacy chain, and I'd like to see this level of usability from other retailer apps. Download links are after the break.  [Walgreens]

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4 years ago

Samsung Captivate case review: Smartphone Experts Skin Case

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SPE Skin Case 1

If you’re looking for a way to protect your Samsung Captivate, but don’t want a case that adds bulk or weight, consider the Smartphone Experts Skin Case.

Available in three colors, the SPE Skin Case is a one-piece item that fits snuggly around the Captivate. It’s made of highly flexible material that can be bent and shaped, so no need to worry about breaking it.

Once it’s on your Captivate, it feels good in the hand and doesn’t add bulk in the pocket. The anti-dust coating ensures that the case and your phone stay clean.

I have enjoyed my time with this skin case because of the light, rubbery feel. Some of the Captivate cases feel alright at first, but then become more of a hindrance. Thus far, I have not felt the need to switch the case or take it off because it’s so unobtrusive; it allows you to focus on the phone and not the phone and the case, which is often what happens.

Captivate owners: if you’re looking for a simple, protective layer to fit around your phone, consider the SPE Skin Case, available from the Android Central Store for $9.95

SPE Skin Case 4    SPE Skin Case 5

SPE Skin Case 6    SPE Skin Case 7

SPE Skin Case 9    SPE Skin Case 8

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4 years ago

Smartphone coasters, comparing the Nexus S and did you get a CR-48? [From the forums]

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Android Forums at Android Central

Hey, folks, hope you all had a great weekend out there. It's Monday again and we figured we'd better get this week off to a good start, so we won't waste too much time talking. We closed down some of the contests in the forums to make way for some new ones. Winners will be announced shortly but be sure to check out the latest posted in the forums.

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

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