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4 years ago

Comcast releases Xfinity TV Player for Android

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We've been waiting on this one for a while now, but thankfully Comcast has finally decided to release an Xfinity streaming app for the most popular mobile OS on the planet. With Xfinity TV Player for Android you can stream thousands of on-demand movies and television shows from Comcast, right to your Android phone or tablet. The only catch (you knew there would be one) is you have to be a Comcast customer and have to be paying the monthly subscription for the premium channels you want to stream content from.

The biggest plus here is the tablet availability. Other on-demand streaming apps (hello HBOGo) are a little late with the tablet support, but Xfinity says it's compatible with any Android device running 2.3 or higher, and we've verified it works on the Transformer Prime and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The app itself is free and available in the Google Play store, and will stream with any data connection. If you've been waiting, go grab it!

Download Xfinity TV Player from Google Play

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

 

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for May 26, 2012

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Looking for some new applications to fill your long weekend? With so many applications in the Android market it becomes overwhelming to find something new or exactly what you are looking for, but we do our best to share with you some of our favorites. You have a favorite that you don't see on this list? Be sure to drop a note in the comments or head into the forums to let us know about your favorites, and why they are the best!

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4 years ago

Lenovo Thinkpad update to Ice Cream Sandwich starting to appear in Europe

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True to their word of a Q2 release, Lenovo has started to push out the Ice Cream Sandwich update for their Thinkpad tablet. Owners across the UK and Western Europe are the first to see it, with the OTA update rolling out now. US owners shouldn't have to wait much longer either, with US certification pegged for June 8, with a full global release a month or so after that. 

via The Verge

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III heading to T-Mobile U.S. on June 20?

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The Samsung Galaxy S III is still real hot news, and quite rightly so. As we approach the impending international launch -- starting May 29 in case you forgot -- the big release date questions are still coming from eager Android fans in the US. According to a rumor posted by TmoNews, ​for T-Mobile at least, the wait might not be too much longer. 

Apparently, the Pebble Blue variant of the Galaxy S III, in both 16GB and 32GB form, will be available from June 20. The 16GB Ceramic White version will then follow on July 11. This follows on from the leaked June 20 graphics showing availability north of the border in Canada. (And this latest leak also pegs the Galaxy Note for July 11, so there's that.)

Big disclaimer though folks as usual, this is a huge old scoop of rumor. Nothing short of what we'd expect with such a massive launch as this one. But Samsung did show off an enormous "U.S. in June" slide at the London keynote, so there is a possibility of there being something behind this one. 

Source: TmoNews thanks junglejunkie! 

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4 years ago

Sprint EVO 4G LTE car dock unboxing and hands-on [From the forums]

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If you're on the fence about buying the official car dock for the Sprint EVO 4G LTE, you've got to check out this excellent unboxing and hands-on from Alex800 in our EVO 4G LTE forums. Take note, aspiring Android Central writers. This is how it's done. Hit the link below for the full thread.

More: Sprint EVO 4G LTE car dock

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - May 26, 2012

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It's the calm before the storm, ladies and gents -- in just a few days, the Samsung Galaxy S III launch will be upon us. Until then, the barrage of phone launches, software updates and rumors and reviews continues. This week we reviewed Samsung's Galaxy S Advance on Three, the manufacturer's latest mid-range Android offering. And we also heard rumors about when the Galaxy S III might be arriving on Canadian and Australian shores. And in other Galaxy S III news, UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse revealed that it'd offer the device a day early to pre-order customers, from 7pm on May 29.

Elsewhere, the Sony Xperia P, Xperia U and Xperia Sola finally saw international release. And we learned that German consumers will soon be able to get their hands on the HTC One XL -- that's the Snapdragon S4-powered, LTE-guzzling version of the HTC One X.

Finally, some disappointing news for Xperia Play owners around the world, as it emerged that Sony's PlayStation-certified device won't be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, on account of game compatibility issues. However, Sony's assured us that other 2011 Xperia updates are scheduled to roll out within the next week.

We're in for a crazy week of Galaxy S III coverage in just a few days, so keep watching AC for all the latest. In the meantime, here's a rundown of some of the top international Android stories from the past seven days.

(Keep watching this weekend for our upcoming review of the Sony Xperia U)

Special features:

News:

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4 years ago

Incipio NGP semi-rigid case for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus [accessory review]

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The NGP Semi-Rigid Soft Shell Case protects your Samsung Galaxy Nexus inside a semi-rigid polymer shell. Featuring custom-cut holes, you'll have access to your Samsung Galaxy Nexus camera and all the other functions. The case provides full coverage and maintains a low-profile, and can stay in place while charging or connected to your computer.

 

NGP stands for "Next Generation Polymer" - a semi-rigid dense polymer.  The NGP material is malleable enough to slip around and snugly hold your Galaxy Nexus, but firm enough to withstand impacts and scrapes. Because of the flexible nature, the case is easy to put on and remove.

The touch screen of your Samsung Galaxy Nexus is left exposed for easy access or the use of a screen protector.  The NGP wraps the front edges of this device, acting as a bumper and giving it added protection with a little extra lift.  If you're looking for a case that looks good and offers great protection, the Incipio NGP makes a great choice. Enjoy this review from Raul, and look out for more great videos!

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4 years ago

Bell rolling out Android 4.0 to the HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Raider 4G

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Although it's coming later than expected for Bell users, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for both the HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Raider 4G LTE is now rolling out. Previously, Bell delayed the updates until "June" so having them arrive now is certainly a good thing to have happen. Have either device? Go ahead and check for software updates if you haven't already got the notification -- it may be there waiting for you. That said; we're not sure how exactly Bell is rolling them out but they are indeed out there so you'll seemingly just have to keep checking until they pop up for ya.

Thanks, Robert!

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4 years ago

HTC One X leak performance, What keeps you on Android? [From the Forums]

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We've steamrolled through plenty of content this week despite the fact we skipped the Android Central podcast. Missed out on something? Get yourself get up here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums. On that note, stay safe this long weekend folks and enjoy your Memorial Day:

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

Android A to Z: End of life

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End of life is a term none of us ever want to hear. We envision it means the death of our phone, and we should just throw it away and get a newer model. After all, it's at the end of its life, right? Not really. End of life means something different to carriers and manufacturers than it does to enthusiasts like us. The easy way to look at it is that when the folks in suits get together and decide that a phone isn't going to make enough money so it's worthwhile to keep producing it, it has reached the end of its life. That may mean a refreshed, newer model (like the Droid RAZR MAXX), or a shift to a newer model with new, and arguably better, features like the EVO 3D. We have to remember that the folks who make these phones do it so they can make money, and like any good business they want to maximize their profits.

But what does end of life mean in the real world? First off, it means that once the current stock sitting on the shelves is sold there won't be any more new ones to replace them with. There may be refurbished units floating around, but no more new phones of that model are being made. It doesn't mean that the phone is done getting updates, but don't expect too many new features to come along -- things are in maintenance mode and bug fixes and security patches are the only things that will be addressed. It also doesn't mean your warranty is affected in any way. Even if you were to buy a brand new phone that has already reached the end of life status, you'll still get the full manufacturers warranty.

Most importantly, it doesn't mean that the phone is going to stop doing anything it already does today. The HTC EVO 4G is a great example. It was a huge hit for HTC and Sprint, and actually stayed in production longer than any of us would have thought. Some places are still selling them new (although they're getting harder to find), and those EVO 4G's sold new today are every bit as good, and have the same warranty from HTC, as the ones sold in 2010. Sprint still offers customer service, and it's still one heck of a phone. 

Don't be put off by the words end of life. While we wouldn't recommend you search out a new phone that's already been discontinued, they still perform as they should and you'll find lots of folks who still love them. 

Check out the complete Android Dictionary

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4 years ago

Sprint and HTC hope a free case makes up for EVO's customs delay

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So there's this:

HTC and Sprint want to thank you for your patience as we know you have been anticipating the arrival of your new HTC EVO 4G LTE. Please accept this phone accessory as a small token of our appreciation and thanks.

We're not ones to turn down a free case. But how about you guys?

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Chameleon skin for Android tablets

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Canadian design firm Teknision recently announced Chameleon, which promises to be an interesting twist on Android tablet home screens. Besides having streamlined, resizeable widgets that span a bunch of third-party apps like Netflix, Twitter. Spotify, Flickr, and others, Chameleon's signature trait is its ability to automatically change modes based on its surroundings -- hence the name. By setting up certain rules, you can set up Chameleon to shift to a different home screen layout depending on the time of day, GPS location, or which Wi-Fi network you're connected to. In short, it's a smarter version of "scenes" that you might find in various manufacturer UIs.

The build that I played with here in Ottawa was still very much in development, and all of the apps being shown were canned, but the animations and transitions were definitely slick. Teknision is hoping to get outside developers interested in making their own Chameleon widgets with HTML5, but the current sampling that they cooked up with publicly available APIs is pretty sweet. It sounded like it will be a ways off before we'll see these widgets coexisting peacefully with other home screen widgets, so be prepared for an all-or-nothing affair. 

Teknision previously worked on the BlackBerry PlayBook operating system which, say what you will about the app ecosystem, was very nicely designed. Most of the time, these guys work behind the scenes with partners, so it's really interesting to see them step into the limelight a bit and pump out something that's entirely their own. Here's hoping it pays off and they consider doing more slick custom work on Android. 

Chameleon is due out this August, and Teknision is using Kickstarter predominantly to handle preorders and speed up the release. Right now, they're at $31k out of a $50k goal, which is due in 20 days. You can pitch in $5 to get Chameleon before it goes public, and if you're really jazzed about the project, you can help out by providing Android tablet diagnostic information to ensure compatibility. Check out our hands-on video, a few screenshots, and their pitch below that. Any takers?

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4 years ago

First fifty Galaxy S III owners to win Olympic tickets

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An email from the Samsung store at Westfield Stratford City, London has just arrived in our inbox, with details of the Galaxy S III launch event on the evening of next Tuesday, May 29. As we've already reported, Samsung's kicking things off a little early for pre-order customers at its branded store at the London shopping center. Invites are being sent out for 5pm, with the first sales taking place an hour later at 6, assuming you've pre-ordered your S III.

And to sweeten the deal, the first 50 Galaxy S III's sold at the Samsung store will win free tickets to this summer's London games. Being the official phone of the Olympics, it's not surprising to see a little cross-promotion from Samsung. (Earlier in the week we reported on limited "Olympic editions" of the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Y being sold through O2 UK.)

Anyone planning on heading down to Stratford for the Galaxy S III launch next Tuesday? Shout out in the comments!

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4 years ago

BBM will not be heading to Android, still need to buy a BlackBerry for it

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For a long old time now, we've heard various tales of the jewel in the BlackBerry crown, BlackBerry Messenger, breaking free and heading over to Android. We've seen "screenshots", just as we've seen the rumors get dismissed. It seems now though that we can finally lay the whole thing to bed. BBM will not be coming to Android. 

The final installment reads a little like this. A new report from the WSJ claims that RIM was indeed testing BBM on other platforms, cunningly disguised as "SMS 2.0." Then enters new CEO Thorsten Heins, who apparently has taken the option completely off the table. Sources familiar with the matter told the WSJ "it was not up for discussion." 

So there we have it. Anyone disappointed? Maybe not. The world remains as it always was -- if you really want BBM, you sure as gosh darn it don't buy an Android phone. 

Source: WSJ via Crackberry

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4 years ago

BlueStacks beta-1 [Android App Review]

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BlueStacks has been around for a while. We first saw it in an early alpha, that while usable, wasn't ready for prime time. After lots of toiling and hard work (I assume), we finally saw BlueStacks enter beta, and boy, was this ever a different program.

So what exactly does BlueStacks let you do? It lets you run Android applications right on your PC, just as though you were using an Android phone or tablet. It manages to pull this off using some sort of black voodoo neckbeard magic​ "Layercake" technology the guys have developed, and man oh man, do I like it.

Getting BlueStacks going is simply a breeze. Once you've got it all installed, you simply open it up and there's a list of preinstalled apps. You have access to a couple of different app stores to download other apps you might want, and to top it all off, you can install apk's directly into BlueStacks, right off of your computer's hard drive.

(There's also an app syncing tool that lets you sync apps from your phone to your computer's client, which skirts the whole apk issue, but just know that it's there if you need it.)

When you've finally got an app loaded up in BlueStacks, there's always a bit of experimenting to see what button or mouse click controls what. For something like Angry Birds Space, it's all pretty straightforward; use your mouse like you'd use your finger.

For something more complex (and visually demanding) like Shadowgun, you've just got to mess around. For the most part, mouse clicks transfer pretty well, and more often than not, arrow keys will move your character. The few times I ran Shadowgun, it was either kind of stuttery or buttery smooth, so your mileage can definitely vary.

Overall, BlueStacks is pretty darn cool, especially if you've ever wanted to get the Android experience on your computer. Its uses might seem a bit novel right now, but as prices for games in the mobile space continue to come in lower than their desktop counterparts, BlueStacks looks like it could offer some market disruption.

You can download the BlueStacks Windows component from the BlueStacks website at no cost. We've got video after the break.

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