I know Qik and Skype have been all the rage lately, pushing out major updates and whatnot, but we shouldn't forget about our video chatting friends at Fring.
Fring is priding itself on another first in the video chat arena, introducing group video chat before its competitors. Group video chat supports up to four people simultaneously, and if this video is any indication, can lead to some pretty sweet spontaneous jam sessions.
A 17-year-old in Virginia is making headlines by being the first to create a digital record of every Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran buried in Arlington National Cemetery, a task aided in part by his new Motorola Xoom. Richard Gilleland III, a high school junior in Stafford, Va., began the project last year, and has maintained preserveandhonor.com, a digital directory of recently fallen soldiers, the only one of its kind. As today’s Los Angeles Times points out, Gilleland is now using his Motorola Xoom, which he received as a gift for his 17th birthday, to help with the ongoing project. Hard to think of a more honorable way of putting the Xoom to good use.
The HTC Roadshow isn’t all Sensations and Flyers. Some of HTC’s more mainstream devices were also hanging out inside the manufacturer’s big truck o’ phones last weekend -- namely the Desire S, Wildfire S and Incredible S. Of course we recently reviewed the Desire S, and so we used some of our time at the roadshow’s Manchester stop to check out the Wildfire S, which makes its UK debut today, along with its big brother the Incredible S.
We also got a sneak peek at the HTC ChaCha, one of HTC’s new “Facebook phones” which puts the social network at the heart of the phone’s hardware and software. Find out what we thought of all three devices after the jump.
While Verizon Thunderbolt users are waiting for Verizon to restore LTE to their devices today, lots of folks are in the forums discussing it. The good news is, Verizon is on the case -- the bad news, it's not back yet. Jump on into the forums if you feel like talking about the outage and more.
I use my phone for everything so I made the choice early on to spring for the extended battery. The additional hours it’s given me are well worth the few ounces it adds to my Incredible. Unfortunately, this limits what cases I can use.
I’m not much of a case guy. I don’t want a plastic cover to show off my favorite team, and I don’t have some overwhelming desire to have a blue, white, or green phone. I use a case because I want to protect the device. The problem is that once you move out of the fitted case market, the cases become “one-size-fits-all” monstrosities that claim to fit everything from the Samsung Juke to the Galaxy Tab.
The Smartphone Experts Top Case for the Droid Incredible (among other phones) is a welcome change from that norm. Instead of trying to make a single case for everything, they focused on a specific form factor (in this case, 3.7inch screens) and gave it just enough give to accommodate the extra battery without adding a ton of unnecessary bulk. The case is available in two additional colors (red or tan) but I settled on the standard black since I planned on clipping it to my belt.
The case is made out of high quality leather that’s soft to the touch. With an extended battery, the fit is a little snug, but after a few days the sides loosen up enough so that you can easily pull your phone out when needed without becoming so loose that you’re phone will fall out of it whenever the top isn’t secured. The top flap is secured by using magnets, which give the front a smooth appearance.
The back clip is made out of metal, and whatever they used is strong enough to resist warping or bending. This also means that it’s magnetic, allowing you to secure the top flap to it if you prefer to have the top of the case open for easy access. When I wore the case, I never fell off my belt, and the clip is positioned in such a way so that the case sits low and won’t bite into your side if you sit down while wearing it.
If you’re looking for a new case for your Incredible, the Top Case is an excellent choice. The build quality is top notch, and the leather gives it a professional look. For those of you with the HTC extended battery, it gives a near perfect fit without becoming so large that someone might mistake it for a man-purse. The Smartphone Experts Top Case for HTC Droid Incredible is on sale right now for just $24.95, so be sure to check it out. More pictures after the break.
If you're a fan of Slayer and have an Android phone, you're in luck. Sony Music has released the Slayer app for Android, and it's really good. And loud. And evil. You'll find everything you ever wanted to know about Slayer at your fingertips, including show information (with a quick link to buy tickets), the full discography, news, weblinks, and a fanwall for commenting and leaving photos. On the multimedia side, you have a well rounded list of tracks that play right from the app, as well as plenty of concert footage in the form of mobile optimized video.
Besides being a feast for the senses, the Slayer app has some social media functions as well. Not all death metal fans are anti-social, so the app gives quick ways to share via SMS or Twitter, and is integrated with Foursquare for concert venue check-ins.
Even if you're not a fan of Slayer -- and you really, really should be -- you have to appreciate the polish and thought that went into this one. It's done very well and would be a very nice format for other apps of this nature to follow. If you are a fan, the download link and a bunch of screenshots are after the break.
Although the rumblings of a forth coming update for the Motorola Xoom have been out there for a few days now, it's never actually been announced by Verizon in any sort of manner. Unless of course, you consider posting up the .pdf with the change log a quite unveiling. While we still don't have a date for when it's to be release -- it's coming at some point so we'll just have to wait it out. In the meantime, the changes are listed below:
Web Browsing and Data Access
Access and stay connected to Wi-Fi networks with added Proxy support.
SSL data transfer with websites is now supported.
WPA Pre-Shared Key pass-phrases are now supported when using the device as a Mobile Hotspot.
Supports Google Widevine DRM and HDCP.
Email and Messaging
POP3 HTML emails will display in their entirety.
Bluetooth® is now supported in Google TalkTM.
Additional Device Features
Encrypted passwords can be entered during power up.
Calendar events will remain up to date after an installed software update.
Application storage errors will not appear unless the device has reached maximum storage capacity.
Safely dock the MOTOROLA XOOM into the docking adapter without interruption. + Ability to add and use a Bluetooth mouse. + A shortcut key for the Bluetooth keyboard has been added. + View and import pictures from digital cameras with Picture Transfer Protocol.
When using the device in accessibility mode, menus will no longer prompt with sounds.
Rather large update that fixes quite a few issues really. Hopefully we'll see a roll out soon since it's been quite a while since Xoom owners have felt the update love.
We've taken TuneIn Radio for a spin in the past and walked away quite pleased with its free offering. Now it's decided to step up its Android game by making available TuneIn Radio Pro -- a new, updated and paid version of TuneIn Radio. So what's new? They've gone ahead and added the ability to record the streaming audio content to your device -- something that was previously only available on other platforms.
Now when Lady Gaga visits your favorite talk radio station to talk about her crazy outfits and ramble some nonsense about bacon, you can record the interview along with the live performance right on your device for playback at a later time.
TuneIn Radio Pro is available now in the Amazon Appstore for only 99 cents and later this week will make the transition over to the Android Market. Certainly worth checking out if you have a need for such a service, if not then you can continue to the use the free version as it remains unchanged.
IDC and Appcelerator have released the findings of their survey of nearly 2,800 developers concerning interest in working on various mobile platforms. Unsurprisingly, Android and Apple's iOS were well ahead of all others. Android phones had 85 percent and Android tablets saw 71 percent of developers being "very interested" in developing for each platform. iOS was still king by a slight margin with 91 percent for the iPhone and 86 percent for the iPad. Windows Phone 7 grabbed the number five spot at just 29 percent, barely beating out BlackBerry at 27 percent.
While both Android and iOS saw slight dips in developer interest in the latest survey, Android took a slightly larger hit. Still, only six percentage points separate Android phones from the iPhone. Tablets are a different story as developers seem uncertain which tablet to focus on. The current front-runners are the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom, but no single Android tablet has really broken through in the minds of mainstream consumers. In addition, Android tablet sales have yet to take off like Android phones did back in 2010.
The biggest issue in the minds of developers interested in Android development is fragmentation of the platform. Having multiple versions of the OS on devices along with all of the different hardware and custom software running on devices simply makes it harder to develop (bug-free) applications for the platform as opposed to the one-size-fits-all approach of Apple.
Still, it is clear Google needs to find a way to solve this issue if it wants Android to be the number one choice for developers in the long run. As for Microsoft, RIM, and HP, well, they have a lot of work to do if they want to become the clear number 3 choice behind iOS and Android. Check out another graph showing interest in each mobile platform after the break.
Now that we've got a proper native Google Docs Android app, it's time to take it for a spin. Here's the thing: It's a native app, all right. But if you're looking for an experience that's far and away better than editing Google Docs on the mobile site, you're going to come away disappointed. It definitely borrows from the mobile side of things.
But that's not to say it's horrible. On the contrary. It's relatively fast (your data connection will affect that, obviously), and the app's pretty intuitive to navigate. And, more important, it lets you search through all of your docs, making for easy reading and editing.
The optical character recognition -- where your phone takes a picture of a piece of paper and turns the text into a Google doc -- works surprisingly well. Our first test was flawless. Our second test -- the one you see in the video above -- didn't go quite as well. Your mileage may vary.
Peep our hands-on video above, and hit up the download link after the break if you're ready to give it a try.
T-Mobile is so confident in its HSPA+ network that it is willing to bet anyone in the Seattle area $1,000 that its Samsung Galaxy S 4G is faster than an iPhone (Verizon and AT&T, both). Bring your iPhone (any generation will do) into a participating Seattle-area T-Mobile store this weekend and play a good ol’ fashioned game of “best out of three,” in which you can pit your iPhone against the Galaxy S 4G. Using a “third party” speedtest app, T-Mobile will test its network against yours, and it is confident that it will reign supreme. If you happen to pull off an upset and beat T-Mobile at its game, the carrier will give you a cool $1K. If not, T-Mobile will give you $300 to trade in that slow iPhone for that blazing new Galaxy S 4G.
Participating locations are listed in the shot above. Check out the official press release detailing T-Mobile’s Speed Challenge at the source link, and if you’re in or around Seattle this weekend and still holding on to your iPhone, stop in and try your odds.
The Viewdle SocialCamera, that nifty little facial recognition app we first saw back at CTIA, is now available for download. The concept is really cool and from what we saw back in March, it works like a charm. Simply take a photo with your camera and Viewdle will recognize the faces in the picture and automatically tag them for Facebook, Flickr, MMS, or e-mail.
Viewdle does need to learn the faces you frequently snap, but once you’ve told it who’s who, it delivers on its promise. Check out the demo above and grab the newly released beta version for free directly from Viewdle or in the Android Market. Download links are after the break.
If you've had a hankering for the new Samsung Galaxy Prevail on Boost Mobile but have been dying to know when you can get it (last we'd heard was "sometime in May") , Boost's website now says it'll be available starting April 29. That's this Friday, folks. The Galaxy Prevail is a mid-level phone, with specs as follows:
2MP camera with video
Wireless Web enabled
Speakerphone with voice-activated dialing
Telenav navigation, free and unlimited
Supports microSD™ cards up to 32GB (2GB card included)
Voice mail, caller ID, call waiting and three-way calling
It's finally here, folks. Google has released an official Google Docs Android application. Official and proper access to all of your Google Docs, in any of your Google accounts. Filter, search, star, rename, edit, read, upload new content from your phone, open docs directly in gmail -- it's all there.
But, wait, there's more. You can take a photo of a physical document with your phone's camera, and it scans it into a proper Google Doc. This. Is. Awesome. Download links are after the break, and hit the source for more info.
We got a plain white box with our Droid Incredible 2 review unit, but here's a good look at what you'll get when you get yours starting tomorrow. It's your basic Verizon retail box, that's for sure. And yours won't come with the Android Central watermark, though it'd be pretty cool if it did.
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