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4 years ago

Introducing the first annual Mobile Nations Community Awards!

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Be it Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore, Windows Phone Central or webOS Nation, you need only dive into any of our forums for a few minutes to realize what makes them so special is the amazing group of individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty every single day to make them a helpful, friendly and fun community to be part of.

With the introduction of the first annual Mobile Nations Community Awards, we are going to better acknowledge and reward the members and volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to our Mobile Nations community across our individual sites and give them the full recognition they truly deserve.

And there are so many people too recognize. Passionate members who share their expert knowledge freely, answering and troubleshooting the questions and issues of new users at all times of the day. We have many volunteer moderators, advisors and ambassadors, who not only keep the forums organized and under control, but also produce guides and tutorials to help device owners get the most out of their ownership experience. And then you have somebody like Cory Streater, our Android-loving Forums Administrator, who has put literally thousands of hours into the forums on all of our sites over the years behind the scenes, squashing bugs and adding new features that make the forums rock.

We have a lot of categories planned for the Community Awards. Next week we'll be following up with another post here and in each of the forums, opening up nominations and voting for some of the different categories. In the meantime, if you have any ideas for specific categories of awards you would like to see us acknowledge, be sure to let us know!

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4 years ago

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to launch on Android on December 6

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We've previously heard that GTA Vice City 10th Anniversary edition would be heading to our Android devices, but until now we didn't know when. The wait is almost at an end, with today's announcement from Rockstar Games that we can expect Vice City to drop on December 6. Following on from last years release of GTA III Anniversary edition, Vice City of course takes us back to the 1980's as Tommy Vercetti. 

The price of GTA Vice City is to be a reasonable $5, less than the price GTA III made at launch, although like its predecessor there is a potential compatibility issue. Rockstar has kindly listed the devices that will be compatible at launch, though thankfully this time round, it isn't quite so depressing. Many of the latest devices are to be supported immediately, including the new Nexus 4 and Nexus 10:

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4 years ago

µTorrent update adds WiFi only option, spares your data plan

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Although it's probably a long overdue addition for some, the folks from Bittorrent have now updated their Android torrent client µTorrent to offer a WiFi only download option. Previously, when using the app you ran the risk of  blowing through your entire data plan or racking up overage charges by leaving some torrents running, but no more. You'll now be able to set it to download over WiFi only and never really worry about it.

In addition to that change, there is also some unspecified stability improvements in this release.

Hit the Google Play Store link above to grab the latest version.

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4 years ago

Amazon's suite of apps on Verizon phones isn't a bad thing

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Once upon a time there was a leaked memo regarding Verizon beginning to load "a suite of Amazon apps preloaded on one dedicated home screen for all newly launched Android devices." Wit the launch of the HTC Droid DNA, we now now exactly what that entails. And the results are not nearly as scary as some had feared.

First off, the sentence in and of itself should have made things pretty clear. Apps. On one home screen. Nothing about replacing Google Play. Nothing about going solely with the Amazon Appstore. But we can't blame folks' ears from perking up a little bit. Verizon, after all, is the carrier that once swapped out Google's maps and search for Microsoft's Bing. That ended poorly.

More: Read our complete Droid DNA review

Fact of the matter here is that there's a nicely designed widget on one of the home screens that pushes to Amazon storefront, as well as apps such as Amazon MP3 and Kindle. No surprise there, and it's not like those apps had never been preloaded on any other devices before.

The really interesting thing is how it handles the suite of apps. Instead of pushing links to the Amazon Appstore, you're directed to Google Play. We're willing to put good money on that being a requirement from Google in order to pass compatibility testing -- and there's no reason why you can't install the Amazon Appstore later, if you so desire.

We've got a little video of the whole thing after the break.

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4 years ago

Creatorverse brings physics sandbox to Android

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Linden Lab, the folks behind the Second Life virtual world, have released their first creation for Android. Creatorverse isn't so much a game as it is a toy. Though there are simple, intuitive controls for placing virtual objects into a space, resizing, connecting, and coloring them, the breadth of mechanics that can be applied to them are truly boggling. Virtual magnetic fields, alterations in gravity and friction, levers, pivots, triggers, and many more tools are likely to keep tinkerers busy for a long time. Best of all, any creations, be they cute pieces of interactive art, explorations in physics, or even simple games, can all be shared online to other creators on all platforms. They can then download, experience, and tweak creations as they see fit. 

As Android fans, I think we all have a bit of a tinkerer's mindset. That said, an open, creative sandbox like this is well-suited to us. I can definitely see the use of Creatorverse for getting kids interested in engineering; the rules and interface are accessible, but deep and potentially inspiring. I've only been playing around with Creatorverse for a little while, but I can already tell that it's going to be keeping a permanent spot on my Android device. 

What do you guys think? Any Little Big Planet fans in the house? How about Second Life? 

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4 years ago

Verizon Droid DNA review

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You got something against large, high-resolution displays and the most powerful processor we've used thus far? What's wrong with you?!?!?!

The Verizon Droid DNA has too many pixels, they said. It'll run too slow. The battery's too small, they said. It'll never last. The screen's too big, they said. It'll be too unwieldy. There's not enough on-board storage, says everybody.

Poppycock. (OK, except for that last one.)

After keeping HTC on the sidelines for most of 2012, Verizon's ending the year with a powerhouse of an Android smartphone in the Droid DNA. All the usual boxes are checked here. Powerful processor. High-resolution display. (The highest we've tested, actually). Great camera. Verizon's fast LTE data.

So what has everybody so worried, and are their concerns really valid? Or is it just the usual "SMARTPHONE SKY IS FALLING!!!" jitters before anyone's actually used the device?

Let's rap, shall we? Read on for the full Android Central Verizon Droid DNA review.

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4 years ago

ForeverMap 2 brings offline-ready OpenStreetMaps to Google Play

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After hanging out on the Barnes & Noble Nook since the summer, Skobbler's ForeverMap 2 has found its way to the Google Play store. Like a few other non-Google solutions ForeverMap 2 taps into OpenStreetMap for its data, which is created thanks to the collective contributions of users. The core app costs $0.99, and you can download locally-stored maps for individual cities for $0.99, single states for $1.99, whole countries for $2.99, continents for $5.99 each, or a full global map for $9.99. Though that sounds like a fair bit to ask, users get one country for free out of the box. All of the usual services are there, including turn-by-turn directions, points of interest search, and address lookup. 

Skobbler is pushing ForeverMap 2 as a Google Maps alternative, which is a pretty hard sell considering the high quality of Android's built-in navigation and local search apps. Offline access is always handy, especially if you're visiting someplace outside your data coverage, but it that alone enough? What would it take for you to switch to something other than Google Maps? Does ForeverMap 2 look like it could fit the bill, or are there other third-party maps applications that you're already comfortable with? 

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4 years ago

TELUS One X+ on-contract pricing tipped at $129

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The HTC One X+ is already available in Europe, the U.S. and parts of Asia, but has yet to make its debut in Canada. That may be about to change, as leaked promotional materials for the TELUS version appears to show subsidized pricing for the Canadian carrier. The image, obtained by MobileSyrup, indicates that it'll go on sale for C$129.99 on a three-year contract. No details on unsubsidized pricing was offered.

The One X+ is a re-vamped version of HTC's earlier premium handset. With a redesigned chassis furnished in soft-touch plastic, a faster quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, 64GB of storage and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box. In North America, the phone also includes 4G LTE connectivity.

For more on the HTC One X+, check out our full review of the European version.

Source: MobileSyrup

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4 years ago

EE, Vodafone customers to get Tube Wifi access

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Update: Both EE and Vodafone have now confirmed that they'll offer Wifi on the Tube in 2013.

Original story: British mobile operators EE and Vodafone are said to be in talks to allow their customers free access to Virgin Media's Wifi network on the London Underground, according to reports. A tweet from the official EE Twitter account, which has since been deleted, said, "Travel on the tube? From early 2013, EE customers will be able to get WiFi access on the London Underground at no extra cost. Details soon."

Virgin Media's Underground Wifi network is currently open to all users for free, however the company is due to begin charging for access in the near future. Presumably that's when deals with mobile operators might also kick in. Virgin and EE already collaborate on on mobile services in the UK, including the Virgin Media mobile network, which runs on EE, and on-board Wifi access on Virgin Trains.

UK tech blog Pocket-Lint reports that the two are in talks to over access to Virgin Media's Tube Wifi network, which currently covers some 72 Underground stations. What's more, Vodafone is said to be in similar negotiations with Virgin to bring access to its customers, too.

Neither company is officially commenting on the deals, but the "early 2013" timeframe suggested in EE's deleted tweet indicates an agreement well may be close.

Source: Pocket-Lint

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4 years ago

Verizon launches the Droid DNA by HTC

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As was promised at the launch event a week ago today, Verizon has released the latest handset in its Droid series, the Droid DNA by HTC. The phone is available to order right now on VerizonWireless.com, where it'll run you $199 on a two-year contact, or $599 if you want to buy the device outright.

We'll have a full review coming up soon, but we don't think we're spoiling much when we say the DNA is one of the most impressive phones in Big Red's line-up. Packing a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP ImageSense camera and Retina-beating 1080p SuperLCD3 display, it certainly trounces just about everything else in terms of hardware specs. And on the software side, you're running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so you're not missing out on newer Android features like Google Now and "Project Butter" performance enhancements.

Anyone planning on picking up a launch day Droid DNA? Shout out in the comments!

More: Verizon Wireless

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4 years ago

HSPA+ 42 data speeds, Nexus 10 back in stock [From the Forums]

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While you get yourself caught up on the blog posts from today, don't forget that in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about as well. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got over 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

Verizon expands 4G LTE coverage in New York

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Verizon continues its expansive 4G LTE rollout today with improvements to its network in several markets in New York. Users in these areas may or may not already have LTE coverage, but Verizon is promising that it is expanding the network in these areas. The markets receiving updates are below:

  • Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Greene County, New York
  • Utica-Rome, New York
  • Binghamton, New York

The Verizon LTE train keeps chugging along, covering more and more markets. At this point we're not surprised that they're focusing on enhancing current markets, given that nearly all major areas already have some kind of LTE coverage.

Source: Verizon; (2); (3); (4)

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4 years ago

Pixel wars: HTC One X versus Droid DNA

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Click the image above to enlarge.

When the HTC One X arrived earlier in the year, it easily took the smartphone display crown, blowing us away with its high pixel density and super-clear zero-air-gap screen. Fast forward six months and we already have a successor in waiting, in the form of Verizon's Droid DNA. The DNA rocks a 1080p SuperLCD 3 screen versus the One X's 720p SuperLCD 2, and that means it boasts a whopping 440 ppi (pixels per inch) compared to the One X's 312.

It shouldn't be surprising to hear that the Droid DNA produces incredibly crisp images -- after all, it matches the pixel count of the average HDTV.  But the One X's screen is impressive in its own right, despite packing less than half as many pixels in total. As you can see in our close-up shot above, the differences between the Droid DNA and One X are noticeable but subtle -- when viewed up-close, icons, text and other on-screen elements do appear crisper. The perceived difference isn't anywhere near as great as going from WVGA to 720p, though.

Pixels aside, the two phones are pretty closely matched in color quality and brightness, too. The Droid DNA's screen is ever so slightly cooler and a little darker than the One X at maximum brightness, though these aren't differences you'll  notice unless you've got both devices sitting side by side. For general day-to-day use, both of these screens look stunningly good.

You'll be able to see for yourself when the HTC Droid DNA goes on sale tomorrow -- stay tuned for our full review. In the meantime, be sure to sound off in the comments, and stop by our Droid DNA forums for more great discussion.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile improving coverage, lighting up 1900MHz in 10 metro areas

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T-Mobile is announcing 10 new markets that are being added to its list of 1900MHz HSPA+ areas, as part of its vision to eventually move to the frequency completely. Joining the current set of enhanced coverage cities -- Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Washington D.C. -- users in the following locations will experience improved coverage and speeds, and should start seeing HSPA+ speeds on unlocked AT&T-compatible devices:

  • Phoenix, AZ: including Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Paradise Valley, Surprise and Ahwatukee
  • Mesa, AZ: including Chandler and Gilbert
  • Tucson, AZ: including South Tucson, Marana, and Vail
  • Silicon Valley: including Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Santa Clara, San Jose
  • Oakland, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Stockton, CA
  • Modesto, CA
  • Miami, FL: including Coral Gables and Miami Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL: including Hollywood

Users in these areas may have already seen 1900MHz HSPA+ coverage before this date, but now T-Mobile feels there are enough towers supporting the service that it has launched it officially. Our own Chris Parsons notes that it has been off-and-on operational in Arizona before this point.

T-Mobile also notes that it is working to expand the same 1900MHz HSPA+ coverage in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, the New York metro area, Philadelphia, San Diego and Seattle, and users may start seeing faster service as they work to roll it out officially.

This is a very important move for the carrier as it attempts to lure customers away from AT&T -- especially those with the iPhone -- and offer them a full-speed experience with their current handset. As we move through 2013, we'll see even more markets go live with 1900MHz HSPA+.

Source: T-Mobile

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