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4 years ago

Weekend news roundup: December 2, 2012

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While we wind down and get ready for the start of another work week, let's have a look and see what we might have missed in the Android world. As usual, there's always something going on and it's usually pretty awesome. Read on!

The hardware we love

The software it runs

The editorial content you won't want to miss

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4 years ago

XBMC 12 beta 2 now available with official Android support

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The folks at XBMC have released the second beta for version 12 (Frodo) and we finally see official Android support. XBMC for Android has been "unofficially" available on and off, as the open-source project code is easily compiled and redistributed. Official support means the right people are working on it, with organized version control and bug tracking. 

In case you're not sure what XBMC is, think of it as the ultimate cross-platform digital media hub. Support for most fie types on most operating systems, compatibility with a multitude of remotes, and easy network streaming make XBMC a pretty big deal. Getting official support for Android is a pretty big milestone for the platform as a whole.

Remember, it's still in beta, and you're forewarned that the first load is ultra-slow. Also, right now XBMC doesn't work with Android 4.2, but we're told beta 3 corrects this and is "right around the corner". For more information and the download, hit the links below.

Source: XBMC; via XBMC for Android forums

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4 years ago

Canadian Samsung Galaxy S3 owners, your Jelly Bean OTA is ready

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With Samsung having already announced the release date as being December 3rd, it looks like they simply just couldn't wait to get it out the Samsung Galaxy S3 update to owners. Folks on Bell, Rogers, TELUS and Virgin have all reported the notification for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on their devices. The update comes in at a somewhat hefty 318MB but it's certainly worth the time it'll take to get it downloaded and installed. Have you got the update yet? If so, stop by the Android Central Galaxy S3 forums and let us know how things are working out for you.

Thanks, Mike!

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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Note 2 rooted

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The Verizon edition of the Galaxy Note 2 now has a root method.  As is par for the course with Samsung phones, you'll need to use ODIN and flash a rooted image file, but that's not nearly as difficult as it sounds. 

It's worth noting that this method introduces a couple bugs, namely a broken signal indicator (data still works, just the indicator is broken) and some folks say the phone isn't as smooth as it was with the factory image. 

These issues are both being worked on, and we imagine a rooted factory image will soon be available that keeps everything as it should be while just adding files needed for root

It's also worth mentioning that this is just root, not a custom recovery or a full bootloader unlock. Chances are someone with access will show up with files needed to rectify this, but in the meantime know that you won't be able to flash ROMs and kernels until some work-arounds are figured out.

In our own forums, DroidXcon is back and will soon have the newbie friendly version ready if you're a bit lost on some of the methods and commands used.

 We'll keep a close eye on this one, and let you know as things progress.

Source: XDA; via Android Central forums

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Nokia doing Android, disappearing keyboards, and other quick hits

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Good lord, it's December already. How did that happen? That means we've got about a month before CES in Las Vegas. For you new folks, CES is the first major event of the year, though it's definitely more focused on consumer electronics than mobile. But that doesn't mean there won't be more than enough to keep us busy.

We might still see a minor release or two this month, but more than likely we're done with the major phone announcements until 2013.

And now, for a few more quick thoughts on this fine Sunday morning ...

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4 years ago

From the experts: Debugging an Android application like a boss

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Remember how you can tap things and do a little voodoo to enable developer options in Android 4.2? Most of us still won't need to enable any of these other than USB debugging, but folks who are developers have some serious tools at their disposal in there. That's why we're fine with them being hidden for more normal users. Out of sight, out of mind, and the folks who need them know where to look.

One of those folks is Romain Guy. He's an extraordinary photographer, but he's also an Android engineer at Google who focuses on graphics and animation. In short, he knows what he's doing. Turns out he's a fan of the new Falcon Twitter client, and likes it enough to notice that there might be a hiccup or two in the timeline scrolling. Software engineers are regular people for the most part, but in our imaginations they grab a cable and a laptop to investigate anything that gets them curious. This time, out imaginations are correct.

Have an excellent read of just how he uses the developer tools available to track down the issue, and see just what developers have to go through sometimes to pump out awesome Android applications. Chances are you'll only understand part of it, but that will be enough to have a better appreciation of what these guys do.

Source: curious-creature.org

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4 years ago

Walmart Canada selling the Acer Iconia Tab A110 for $178

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Sure, it doesn't have the appeal of the Nexus 7 but the Acer Iconia Tab A110 does have some hardware additions the Nexus 7 lacks such as a microSD slot and an HDMI port. Acer started off selling the Iconia Tab A110 at a base price of $229.99 but if you're in Canada and looking for a great deal on one, your local Walmart will has them right now for only $178. For that money, you'll also get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Tegra 3 of course -- 8GB on board storage, 1GB of RAM, a 1024x600 display, a 3420mAh battery and finally a 2MP front facing camera. Impulse shopping at its best.

Source: Walmart Canada

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4 years ago

Stuff your stocking with Android Central!

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Christmas. Chanukah. Kwanza. Festivus. No matter what you celebrate, December tends to be the month for giving. That goes for us, too, believe it or not. We might occasionally seem like Grinches on the outside, but come the end of the year we come down from Mount Crumpit and descend into Whoville with nothing but the best of intentions to spread Android joy and cheer amongst all the good little boys and girls.

And that brings us to our little helper here on the left. See what she's holding? That'd be a $10 Google Play Gift Card. We've got a stack full of these guys, and every last one is for you. Now doesn't that sound special?

Here's how it's going to work: We're going to give away one card every day this month. We're not stopping at Christmas, oh, no. We're gonna keep going, straight on through Phil's birthday (there's a not so subtle hint) and into New Year's Eve the following day. That's one $10 Google Play Gift Card each day this month.

Plus, each daily winner is going to be eligible to win a free Nexus 4 from us.

Wanna know how to enter?

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Hootsuite, Clock Plus DayDream, Stickmount and more!

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It's the first day of December, and for some of us that means terrible, cold weather. When it's nasty outside, you're probably just better off staying in and downloading some great apps instead. We're here to help you out with that with this week's app picks.

Stick around after the break and see if we can give you another reason to stay in out of the cold.

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4 years ago

Review: Falcon Pro Twitter client

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It's a perilous time to be the developer of a Twitter client, with major changes to the service's API looming on the horizon. We've already seen one Android client shut down in large part because of it, and Windows Phone has seen one if its darlings leave the dance floor, too.

Then there's Falcon, which has quietly been improving for some time in an open beta at XDA Developers. Falcon (the app) actually started as Falcon (the widget) and finally emerged from the forums and is now available for purchase on Google Play as Falcon Pro for about $1.

How's it fare? Let's find out.

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4 years ago

Android Central 2012 Gift Guide: Jerry's holiday wish-list

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All of us here at Android Central are going to chime in and share what we're giving our loved ones for this holiday season, and I'm kicking it off today. I made a list, checked it twice, then lost it in the clutter on my desk and had a ball buying presents for friends and family. Besides the geek-tastic things you would expect a self-admitted nerd like me to come up with (thinkgeek.com is my homepage during the gift-giving season) I've also found some really fun and really cool stuff to share. Hit the break and have a look.

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4 years ago

ASUS Qube appears at the FCC

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An ASUS built wireless device has appeared at the FCC, and it's got the words Google TV all over it. The official FCC docs have it listed as the Qube WITH Google TV Dongle (opposed to the Qube WITHOUT Google TV Dongle I suppose) and show a device with no CPU or GPU, but wireless connectivity. It's pretty clear that this will plug into a TV or monitor and provide a wireless attachment point for another device.

Speculation around the Internet this evening covers everything from the Nexus Q revamp to an ASUS branded Google TV device, but that fact is we really don't know what this will turn out to be. If I had to take a guess (and I reckon I had better) I'd say this just might turn out to be a Miracast dongle that connects any number of devices to a big screen -- including a yet to be released ASUS Google TV product. as the O!Mobile Remote app in Google Play suggests.We'll know more soon, hopefully. 

Source: FCC; via Engadget

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 docking station coming in 'early December'

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We asked on episode 117 of the Android Central Podcast about when we would see a docking station for the Nexus 7.  An astute listener who is also one of those "people close to the matter" decided to toss us a bone and directed us to the Japanese ASUS site which has what appears to be a landscape audio dock for the 7-inch wonder coming at the beginning of December.

There's not a lot of info, but it says we can use the USB port, and it has a 3.5mm audio output -- which can only mean it's using the pogo pins for power and audio transmission. It will sell for 3,480 Japanese Yen (about $41 USD) sometime in early December.

A quick look at my calendar tells me it's almost early December now, so I'm sharpening my credit card. You can bet we'll be trying to get at least one of these when they are available. Hit the link below to see for yourself, and follow the break for the translated version of the website entry.

Source: ASUS Japan; Thanks, Anon!

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4 years ago

Falcon Pro for Twitter exits beta, now available from Google Play

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Falcon Pro (Beta) was my weekly app pick last week, and for good reason. Twitter clients aren't in short supply, but with Twitter's new rules, some of the better ones seen recently are starting to wind down development before being fully complete. Not so with Falcon Pro though, as work is now complete, the beta process is over and the app is available for download from the Google Play Store. 

The key differences between the finished article and the beta version will be features. In the beta, several of the key functionalities such as lists and search were disabled. Naturally, those are now turned on, and a couple of other goodies are packed in there too. One such addition is Tweetmarker support. This comes with a slight warning that it slows down refresh a little, but it's a nice addition to have all the same. 

And, let's not forget the UI. Falcon Pro is great to look at, scrolling is smooth, and the inclusion of an in-app web browser for viewing web links is well executed. We're going to spend a little time with the finished build, so look out for a full review in the coming days. But, if you're eager to take a look, head on over to the Play Store and grab a copy. It is a paid app, and pricing is set at £0.64/$1.03.

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4 years ago

How to score an Ingress invite

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Android users everywhere are all talking about Ingress. It's a cool location based MMO sci-fi game where you secure portals to help alter the course of human history. The back story is all at the Niantic Project website, and it's quite the puzzle itself to get it all sorted. The short version -- it's fun, it gets you exploring, and it's addictive.

It's also invite-only for now, and that's always a bummer. There's a couple ways to get an invite. The first way is to sign up for one at the Ingress portal site. They're metering them out, but that's where most people that are playing today got theirs. 

The second way is to jump on Google+ and add these four folks from Niantic to your circles:

Read what they post, because they are the people who can override things and hand out invites -- and they often do. Try to catch their eye with cool artwork or stories with an Ingress theme, and mark your post with the #ingressinvite hashtag, and maybe even mention them so your post gets seen.

Finally, you can get an invite from a friend who has scored a handful from the game. Word is that you can get invites to pass out once you reach a certain level (between 2 and 3) but nobody is 100-percent sure. 

What I am 100-percent sure of is that I don't have any. Instead of pummeling my inbox for one, try the tactics above. It's fun enough to work for.

More in the Ingress forums

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