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4 years ago

Pocket Casts gets the best damned looking widget we've ever seen

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And we're not just saying that because it features the Greatest Android Podcast in the World. OK, maybe we are. Don't care.

Pocket Casts got an update and it now has a widget. And did we mention we're featured on it? Good deal. Download it now. And subscribe to our podcast. Do it today. Operators are standing by.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Sprint aims for the low end with the Sprint Force

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Four-inch Android smartphone shouldn't wow anybody, but at least it's cheap

Sprint this morning announced the Sprint Force, a 4-inch low-end smartphone of dubious origin. The Force is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a 1.5-GHz dual-core processor. The display is a mere 480x800 is resolution. It's got a 5-megapixel camera on the back with flash, and a 1MP shooter out front. It'll serve as an LTE hotspot for up to eight devices and features Sprint ID.

The Sprint Force is available for $49.99 on a two-year contract, after $50 rebate.

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4 years ago

Photosphere Installer: An easy way to flash Photosphere on rooted devices

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Yes, that's my LG Optimus Black, and yes, it is running Photosphere. It's the same Photosphere that distant relation the Nexus 4 is running too, not the LG version found on the Optimus G Pro. Where there's a will, there's usually a way in Android, and Photosphere is one of the headline new features in Android 4.2. We love it, as I'm sure many others do, and thanks to an app available in Google Play, rooted users can have it without any more effort than downloading and opening any other Android app. 

Root access with Busybox and Android 4.1 are the only requirements. Since CM10 counts as Android 4.1, anyone running this or other Jelly Bean based custom ROM's should be fine. Upon opening the installer app for the first time, you're presented with the two steps to installation -- downloading the files and then installing them. That simple. A nice touch though is the ability to backup/restore a camera, and you can tell the app to either keep or remove the actual camera app on the device. Once installed, a quick reboot later and you're presented with the Android 4.2 camera app complete with Photosphere, and the Android 4.2 Gallery app required to view them. 

Update: The dev just pinged us to say that an update has pushed out that should address a number of bugfixes.

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4 years ago

Reminder: Spring into TEGRA Contest Ends Tonight!

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Quick reminder for all...  The 'Spring into TEGRA' contest ends TONIGHT at 11:59 PM EST! Be sure to check out the contest details below and submit your entry for a chance to win one of TWO HTC One X+ devices!*

To enter, simply follow these three steps:

  1. Take a picture of yourself with your tired and worn out mobile device.
  2. Head over to the official contest thread.
  3. Post the picture, AND tell us why you absolutely NEED a new HTC One X+.

Head over to the official contest thread and get your entry in. You never know… with a little luck and creativity you may end up with a brand new device at your front door.

* Contest closes on March 1, 2013, at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be selected shortly thereafter via PM and e-mail. ONE entry per person. Contest open to all Android Central members.

Good luck!

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4 years ago

Amazon tablet app now finally available in some European countries

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For reasons not all that clear, tablet owners who wished to use the Amazon Mobile application outside of the United States have been squarely out of luck. More so, it's still disappointing that there has to be a separate tablet app at all. With this latest update to the application however, Amazon customers in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the UK can now take advantage of shopping from their Android tablets. 

The Amazon Mobile tablet app is compatible with tablets between 7 and 10-inches in size, and with screen resolutions from 1024x600 all the way up to 2560x1600. Android 4.0.3 and above is required, and you can grab a copy from the Play Store link above. 

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4 years ago

AT&T Sony Xperia TL Jelly Bean update now rolling out

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Following in the footsteps of its international cousin, the Sony Xperia T, AT&T's Xperia TL is now being updated to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. In addition to the underlying OS update and all the performance and feature improvements it brings, TL owners will get a new and improved camera app with "Superior Auto" mode, a redesigned home screen launcher and a new lock screen setup. (All features from Sony's latest handset, the Xperia Z.)

Based on our recent hands-on time with Jelly Bean on the Xperia T, we'd say TL owners will want to grab this update as soon as possible. There are no reports of the new firmware heading out over-the-air just yet, but it is available as a manual update through Sony's PC Companion app.

Any Xperia TL owners out there? Hit the comments and let us know how you get on with this latest update.

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

Runtastic adds Timer to their app portfolio, not just a stopwatch

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Anyone into exercising apps will likely have heard of Runtastic. Their portfolio of exercise focused apps is quite, quite excellent combining superb functionality with excellent design. The latest app to join the collection is called Timer. But, it isn't just a stopwatch. 

Timer is customizable to assist you to break down your work outs into sections. You enter the duration you desire for preparation, rest periods and working out, along with the number of repetitions and sets. Timer then counts down through each portion, with the option of voice feedback to notify you when you have reached the end. Voice output currently is available in five languages. Users on Jelly Bean can also take advantage of a notification that contains a pause and stop button as well as a visual countdown clock. 

The app itself is a free download from the Google Play Store, but for a relatively small in-app purchase of £0.85/€0.99 you can create unlimited timers and remove the ads. It's another job well done from the Runtastic team, and we've captured a few in-app screenshots for you after the break.

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4 years ago

NVIDIA shows off previous PS3 only title Burn Zombie Burn! running on Project Shield

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NVIDIA just this week showed off some impressive screenshots and gameplay video of new Tegra 4 optimized games, and now we've got a look at one of them running on Project Shield. Burn Zombie Burn!, previously a PS3 only title, has been ported over directly by NVIDIA to run on Project Shield with a Tegra 4 processor, and seems to perform exceptionally well. On top of just the basic game port, the team has apparently enhanced the game further, with new graphical flourishes and improvements.

Not only do controls work great because of the relatively similar layout to a console controller, but everything seems to run graphics-wise without a hiccup as well. Check out the video above to see Project Shield in action with this title, and if you want more information you can see NVIDIA's blog post at the source link below.

Source: NVIDIA

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4 years ago

HTC user experience director on 'redefining' HTC Sense

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The release of the HTC One and Sense 5 is a significant milestone for HTC. Gone are the days of iterative development and evolving HTC's user interface, and we're going to see a complete redesign. Some folks will hate it, some folks will love it, and some will dismiss it without ever using it -- the Internet is a fickle beast. All of us here are in agreement that it certainly looks interesting, and will be well worth a close look. The only thing anyone can be sure of is that the HTC One will certainly usher in a new era of HTC design, both in the hardware and the software. 

Drew Bamford, Director of User Experience at HTC, has spent time with the new Sense 5. Probably more time than we can imagine. He took to the HTC blog today to talk a little about it, and the challenges of coming up with something new in an age when we've seen it all.

According to Bamford, research discovered three consistent things that needed considered before he and his team dove in and revamped Sense.

  • Most people don’t differentiate between apps and widgets.
  • Widgets aren’t widely used – weather, clock and music are the most used and after that, fewer than 10% of customers use any other widgets.
  • Most of you don’t modify your home screens much. In fact, after the first month of use, approximately 80% of you don’t change your home screens any more.

That meant a big overhaul was needed instead of the small polishing updates to Sense we've seen since the HTC Hero

It looks like they have accomplished just that. The BlinkFeed home screen borrows design elements from elsewhere and brings them to Sense 5 with a distinctive HTC look. Other changes, like the Zoe feature and a revolutionary new camera work with BlinkFeed to tie it all together in a way we've not seen before. Nobody can say how successful it will be, but we can get a little insight into just how the Sense team was inspired to build it. It's an interesting read, and even if you're not excited about the HTC One and Sense 5 you should give it a look. 

Source: HTC blog

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4 years ago

Where's the 'Wow!'? – Motorola purchase is a long-term plan, Google's CFO reminds

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This is the company that brought us Google Maps, driverless cars and Google Glass — see any of that in these phones?

Patrick Pichette said nothing shocking. Google's Chief Financial officer did not put his foot in his mouth. He didn't slam Motorola Mobility, the company Google acquired in 2012, as being lazy or incapable or inept or unable to make a quality smartphone that people would want to buy.

No, when Pichette spoke today at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference (as relayed by The Verge), he simply reminded us of the truth. In fact, he didn't really say anything new. Motorola has current manufacturing obligations that must be met. (When companies don't do that, bad things happen.) And those current obligations, while serving some sort of purpose in the smartphone world (save for that pink RAZR MAXX HD, perhaps), simply aren't up to what folks in Mountain View would consider a "wow" product.

None of this should surprise anyone in the slightest.

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4 years ago

HTC Zoe Share site goes live to show off new HTC One camera feature

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HTC has been pushing the new camera features included in Sense 5, and one of the most interesting ones (pardon the pun) is HTC Zoe. It's honestly not the easiest thing to explain, and is best seen in its full form, which HTC is helping out with by putting up its "HTC Zoe Share" site today for all to see. The basic idea is to take multiple pictures and video clips at the same time, and then let the software stitch them, add filters, transitions and music. The end result is likely to make a more enjoyable piece of footage than what you'd normally get out of a smart phone camera.

Head to the source link below to see one of the headline Zoes from the HTC One launch event, which shows off what this feature is capable of. The entire piece is just 30 seconds (as Zoes will be), but tells a bit of a story in just a short time. We can only imagine what some real artists will be able to do with this once it hits consumer's hands.

Stick with us after the break to see our hands-on with the HTC One as well, where Phil makes his best attempt at explaining how to use the new Zoe feature.

Source: HTC Zoe Share; via HTC Source

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4 years ago

ZEN & TECH 53: Fitness month balance special

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Georgia and Rene finish up Mobile Nations Fitness Month by talking about balance. Exercise, nutrition, and sleep are great, but how do you fit them into your hectic work, school, and family life? Find out!

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4 years ago

Real Racing 3 hits the Play Store with new freemium model

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The much-awaited release of Real Racing 3 from EA has finally come, and it's sticking with the freemium model that has received much attention leading up to the release. The game certainly looks fantastic from a graphical standpoint, and the gameplay seems to be top notch like previous editions in the series as well. What's keeping people cautious is the new freemium model, which lets anyone play for free but will require in-app purchases to get in-game actions like car repairs finished faster. There's a store to buy in-game currency at different rates, or you can buy "Packs" at a discount that have different unlocks bundled together. It's certainly interesting, but probably won't appeal to those who would prefer to have a single purchase up-front to unlock everything.

The game is just a small download from the Play Store, but you should have some battery and a stable network connection available when you launch it to download all of the additional content. Even with no game saves, the entire package is weighing in at about 1.2GB.

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4 years ago

ASUS MeMo Pad Smart 10 review

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ASUS is looking to bring down the cost of owning a full-featured 10-inch tablet, but can it overcome the inherent issues with the form factor?

When it comes to 10-inch Android tablets, there's no doubt that ASUS has been leading the pack when it comes to features, build quality and choice of form factors. From the Google-sanctioned Nexus 7 to the highest end Transformer Pad Infinity, the manufacturer surely knows it's stuff. While other manufacturers seem to make Android tablets as an afterthought, ASUS puts a lot of weight behind its entire tablet lineup.

With this, the MeMo Pad Smart 10 (and smaller brother the 7-inch MeMo Pad), ASUS is hoping to offer the same appealing package of quality specs and build of its high-end devices, but cut back in just a few areas to make it more affordable. The MeMo Pad Smart 10 is retailing at just $299, which certainly sounds like a great deal, so stick around after the break and see how it holds up.

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4 years ago

OUYA ships to Kickstarter backers on March 28

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OUYA -- the $99 Android gaming console that started all kinds of fires on Kickstarter, eventually earning some $8.5 million in pledges -- today announced that consoles will begin shipping to backers on March 28. Production is well under way, the company said, with a full launch scheduled for June, when the console also will be available in stores.

OUYA has already shipped more than 1,200 developer consoles. (That's what you see here -- production units will look a little different.)

The company has also said that it plans to release a new version of the console each year.

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