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4 years ago

The one where CrackBerry Kevin buys a $200 Android app and gets a picture of an iPhone ...

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Oops. I did it again. Back in January at CES 2012 I got double-dog dared into buying the most expensive app in BlackBerry App World. I paid $500 for a clock widget. Stupid? You bet. But somebody has to take one for the team.

I didn't start today planning on buying the most expensive app in the Google Play store, but somehow between the booze, the crowd and the tension that's exactly what happened.

I was at a local watering hole taking in the quarter final Italy - England match at EURO2012. Scoreless at halftime, I figured I needed to download a Vuvuzela app for the second half of the game so I could cheer on Italy (I'm engaged to an Italian -- my life is a lot easier when they win).

I found a lot of free and/or cheap Vuvuzela apps in the Google Play store, but I also found the Vuvuzela World Cup Horn Plus for $200, which is the maximum price Google allows apps to be sold for. I was shocked to see Google Play tell me it had 50+ downloads, and there was one other rating in there, so my curiosity got to me. What magic and wonders could a $200 Vuvuzela app possess?

Surprisingly enough, the answer to that question is that the app features a picture of an iPhone holding a Vuvuzela! Hilarious. The developers really should be ashamed of themselves for this one. I also found the app crashed a lot, and though it looked like there was a menu for more options, it never opened.

A complete ripoff? I should say yes... but Italy did come through with a the victory in an overtime shootout, so I'm not going to complain on this one. Hit the video above to see it how it all went down. And to the developer who just made a whack of cash off me. ... I sure hope you put it to good use.

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4 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich update available again via Kies

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A quick heads up that the fine folks in our AT&T Galaxy S II forums are reporting that the phone's Ice Cream Sandwich update is available again from the Samsung Kies software. The update briefly went live last week only to disappear again; AT&T says it was just testing things. But now it appears to be ready and willing.

So fire up Kies, and hit the link below to see what everyone else is seeing.

More: AT&T Galaxy S II forums

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4 years ago

Official-looking pics of the T-Mobile-branded Galaxy Note

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We've seen the blurry-cam and unofficial pictures leak out of a Galaxy Note carrying T-Mobile branding, but the folks over at CellPhone Signal got their hands on what they're calling official images. Not a lot of other details have leaked out, but the few that have are pretty tasty -- the T-mobile version will come in Navy Blue, run Ice Cream Sandwich (as we saw in the previous leak), and have HSPA+ enabled on 850/1900 MHz bands along with standard AWS bands. T-Mobile is slowly shifting radio frequencies for HSPA+, and as a bonus it means it should work on AT&T once factory SIM unlocked with no rooting or fiddling

The also tell us to expect to see it for sale on July 11, so keep your eyes peeled for more info soon.

Source: CellPhone Signal

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Ion Review

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The Sony Xperia Ion is launching today on AT&T, more than 5 months after being announced - and with last year's version of Android. So is it still worth your time?

The hunt for an Android device is one that is never ending, and it ultimately comes down to an internal battle of when "enough is enough" and one device is good enough to last you for the term of your contract. Is there ever a perfect device for everyone? No.

The beauty of Android is that there is a ton of devices to chose from, some big and some small, some powerful and others just spec'd for the entry level consumers. Back at CES 2012 we first caught wind of the Sony Xperia Ion, and until recently the device was in a sort of black hole. Sony is finally ready to put this device in consumer hands and that means it's time for you to begin wondering if this could be your next device. There is no definite yes or no for everyone, but let's hit the break together and go through some of the good and bad and see just how this device stacks up.

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4 years ago

Pinterest for Android to be unveiled at Google IO?

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Pinterest has been the hot new service of 2012, but we're still lacking an official Pinterest Android application. It looks like that might finally change this week at the Google IO developer conference in San Francisco. Our eagle-eyed pals at Ausdroid spied Pinterest listed in the Sandbox attendees. And, sure enough, in the description line it says "Now available for Android." You can't actually download it yet, but that's a pretty good sign that we should see Pinterest for Android this week.

And don't forget that we'll be at Google IO all week, so bookmark this page for all the updates! Here we go, folks!

Via Ausdroid

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4 years ago

Sprint updates coverage map tool, reminds everyone that they don't have LTE yet

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Sprint has updated their coverage map tool with a nifty new feature that allows you to filter 4G coverage by device. This is needed, because Sprint now (or will soon) uses two different types of 4G tech, and not everyone out there understands or knows the difference. The concept is solid -- pick your device or log in to your Sprint profile, and 4G coverage will be filtered for either WiMax or LTE, depending on your phone. Damn good idea, and it's done nicely.

The problem is that this went live with no LTE network in service yet. It's another reminder that your 4G LTE phone won't be seeing any 4G LTE speed just yet, and you're left struggling with Sprint's 3G service. I can't help but think this should have been held back until a couple orange dots were there to populate the maps.

Sprint, we love you. You were pioneers of digital communication, and for a long time the de-facto standard for cellular service here in the US. That's probably why it stings to see the current shape of your network -- we remember when you were on top. We know you're working on things and spending money to bring yourselves back to your former glory, but please stop reminding us that you're not there just yet. If you're curious to see the new interface, and are OK with seeing where your new LTE phone won't be connecting to any LTE network, hit the link and have a look.

Sprint Nationwide Coverage ; via Sprint Community forums

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for June 23, 2012

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We both know why you are here right now. You want some apps, right? Odds are whatever I am saying here you are skipping anyways to check out what we got below, so let's just hit the break and check them out!

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4 years ago

Three US Galaxy S IIIs released, three Galaxy S IIIs rooted

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We've seen Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile release their variant of the Galaxy S III so far, and all three have been rooted. Nobody really expected it to take very long, but it's still nice to know it is done, and the devices are now ready to reach their maximum potential.

Of course, you don't have to root your phone, and we don't blame you if you take a pass. The methods aren't abnormally difficult or different, but they're a bit more complicated than simply clicking a button. Then there's that pesky issue of voiding your warranty to think about. It's something to consider before you jump in. If you're ready to give it a go, the links are below.

Root your US Galaxy S III: AT&T;  Sprint; T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - June 23, 2012

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It's been an unusually quiet week for international Android news, with much of the buzz in the past seven days focusing on the U.S. Galaxy S III launch and Google IO expectations (we'll be there, by the way!) But in amongst all the hype surrounding Samsung's new flagship and Jelly Bean and Nexus 7 rumors, we got the chance to go hands-on with LG's latest and greatest, the Optimus 4X HD. The 4X sees LG upping the ante considerably, and building on last year's offerings with a fantastic IPS screen and a speedy quad-core CPU. You'll want to go check out our initial review and hands-on video if you haven't already.

We also posted our exhaustive walkthrough of the TouchWiz Nature UX -- that's the latest version of Samsung's TouchWiz UI that you'll find on the new Galaxy S III. If there's anything at all you want to know about the S III's software, that's the place to find out.

Elsewhere, T-Mobile UK joined the list of UK carriers lowering European roaming rates on their customers in time for the summer, meaning significantly cheaper data rates for Brits traveling to the continent over the next few months. And LG hopped on the voice control bandwagon in its native South Korea, with the news of "Quick Voice", its own take on Samsung's S Voice and Apple's Siri.

And Canadians wanting to get their Samsung phones updated to Ice Cream Sandwich got some good news this week -- TELUS's Galaxy S II is on track to receive it on July 13, while Rogers' Galaxy S II LTE can be updated to ICS right now through Kies.

Be sure to keep watching AC over the next week -- we'll have at least two new device reviews for you, in addition to all the Google IO coverage you could want. In the meantime, check out some of the past seven days' highlights --

Special Features:

News:

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4 years ago

Judge dismisses Apple and Motorola's patent squabbles

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Judge Posner has thrown out the entire case in the on-again, off-again Apple versus Motorola dispute. Citing that neither side was able to produce any real damages, both sides have been sent packing. The case has been in jeopardy for several weeks now, and Posner has previously dismissed the jury trial that was requested. The trial that started way back in 2010, long before Google came into the picture, is finally finished.

The full opinion and order is embedded after the break (courtesy Chris Ziegler of The Verge), but the tl;dr version is that there will be no injunctions, neither Apple nor Motorola sees any money from each other, and we, the consumers, finally win one. Hooray!

Source: The Verge

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4 years ago

Nexus only from now on, Offline Google Maps [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. 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.

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

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4 years ago

D3O Flex protective cover for the HTC One S [case review]

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Looking for a case that will help your HTC One S take all sorts of abuse, and manages to not look like a big black box around your phone? The D3O Flex protective case may be what you're looking for. At first glance is appears to be a standard TPU case (our model here has a trendy blue and white pattern, but there are other colors available), with precision cut outs for ports and camera, and those fancy blocks of vinyl over the buttons that allow to work them while covered. But the 3DO goes a step further with the secret orange goo that provides an extra layer of impact protection. They say it has "intelligent" molecules that flow freely until they lock together on impact and absorb the force. It sounds like some complicated science they're trying to put in layman's terms, but we know for sure the stuff works. And we know it's there between the rest of the layers because there's a tell-tale orange stripe inside the case. Technology is neat!

For the time when you're not trying to break your One S, the case is a pretty nice looking affair that really does keep everything well protected. The cutouts are very precise and allow easy access to the USB port, and stay out of the way of the camera and flash so you won't see any shadows or odd objects in your pictures. The button blocks are a little hard to push, but that's the situation with pretty much all TPU cases, so I'm not going to fault this one.

A lot of phones go through our hands, and a lot of cases do as well. I'm pretty impressed with this one, and preliminary tests of tossing my One S around the room seem to agree that it offers nice impact protection. Just don't go beating it with a mallet. To get one of your own, visit your local T-Mobile store or their website.  We've got a handful of pictures after the break.

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4 years ago

Mozilla teases 'something BIG' coming for Android next week with Firefox

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The folks at Mozilla have taken to Twitter to tease us all about a big​ BIG update in Firefox for Android next week. The details are sparse (as they should be in any teasers worth their salt) only promising something fast, smart, and safe. Firefox development for Android has been steady, but slow, with small and frequent updates to their beta builds. This has many Android users less than interested in their offering, but the old adage "good things come to those who wait" comes to mind when talking about Mozilla. 

We're excited any time a big player makes a splash in the Android pool, but Mozilla is pretty near and dear to our hearts. All of us want to see something spectacular, and the furry-necked part of me wants to see them hit it out of the park and blow everyone away, smack dab in the middle of Google I/O. We're watching things closely here, and you'll know just as soon as we do.

Source: @Firefox

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4 years ago

Samsung files patent for folders and icon stacks on mobile devices

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The folks over at Patent Bolt have unearthed a new filing from Samsung, one that describes a new method of dealing with icon stacks and folders on mobile devices. A look through the slides and description can be summed up pretty easily -- icon stacks will be drawn in a parallelogram shape versus a circle or square, have an accordion style animation when expanded, and use vertical scrolling to navigate through. This should be enough to keep from getting sued sometime in the future, but never say never.

In the end it's a new level of eye-candy to perform a simple function. If we ever see it on Android phones and tablets (and that's a big if -- patents are filed and not used all the time), it will be a new way for Samsung to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. We just hope they allow us to shut it off.

Source: Patent Bolt

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4 years ago

HTC rolls entire Internet with super secret not real dog voice app

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Yes. You fell for it, too. Every last one of you. HTC today managed to troll pretty much everybody (OK, everybody who fell for it) with a cutesy little picture on Facebook about a super secret dog voice translation app. An app that doesn't exist.

HTC's been showcasing pets for a week now. But we played along, too. (My instructions were "Have fun with it.") So we'll raise a glass to the boys and girls in Bellevue and say "Well done, folks." Thanks for making us chuckle on a Friday afternoon. And to add one into the mix, there's my dog, Ben, as a puppy. Awwwwwwwww. Isn't that cute.

Repeat: There is no super secret HTC voice translation app.

Yet.

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