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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Octa WhaleTail & Vacuum Dock

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Walking through the various halls here at CES 2012 you sure stumble across a whole bunch of different stuff, some things get a bit repetitive but sometimes there are things that just jump right out at you. While cruising through one of the halls I noticed a bunch of tablets all propped up without anyone holding them and I was immediately intrigued, then I met Octa WhaleTail and Vacuum Dock. While it is not specifically an Android only accessory it certainly works well on Android tablets, and for those of you who like to watch movies, play games, type long messages or anything else that you don't want your tablet laying down for you will want to check this out.

The concept is quite simple, they wanted to make holding a tablet a more enjoyable experience for everyone so they designed a holder that suctions to the back that contours the hand very nicely. To get the back to stick on the device all you have to do is put it on there, give it a few pumps and it's on there, and rather firmly. Releasing the piece is pretty simple (once you get the hang of it), pull up slightly on the two tabs and then push them in, and off it comes. Also included is the WhaleTail which hooks onto the back of the Vacuum Dock which allows the tablet to be propped up and it also doubles as a security measure for when you are carrying your tablet around so it doesn't just fall right out of your hands. Hit the break with us for a few more images as well as a video walkthrough of the product in action!

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the LG Spectrum

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Read our LG Spectrum Review

Verizon announced the LG Spectrum here at CES, and we took some time to try it out. It's got a nice 4.5-inch 720p display, a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, and it's running Android 2.3. It feels a lot like Nitro HD, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not particularly new. The only real difference aside from running on Verizon instead of AT&T is that the Spectrum bumps up the RAM to 1 GB from 768 MB. 

LG was heavily pushing Verizon's streaming sports service, so you could catch live games on the go. They also emphasized their particular IPS display technology, which aims to cram in more pixels than the standard pentile layout, reduce battery drain, and ultimately improve sharpness and reduce eye strain. They've also added some mild software updates to the LG Spectrum's Android experience, namely being able to to drag and drop categories of apps from the full app screen to the home screen as a folder. Besides that, you'll recognize most of the other customizations - go ahead and take a look for yourself.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the SmartDock for the Xperia ion

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I wasn't kidding when I said that this year's CES is all about connecting your entire home. Here, we have Sony's solution for its forthcoming Xperia ion. The SmartDock is a souped-up HDMI dock that will connect your ion to your TV, charge it, or turn it into a mini-computer when a keyboard and mouse are attached. Oh, what will they think of next?

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the NFC-powered Xperia SmartTags

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Connecting the entire home has been an ongoing trend here at CES, and Sony has introduced an interesting concept to acheive that goal. Xperia SmartTags are NFC chips that you can stick throughout your home and program with different actions and settings. When you enter the room and tap your phone to the SmartTags, your phone will automatically adjust to the profile you created. Pretty cool concept. They'll be released in Q2 for about $25-$40 for four tags and will be compatible with all NFC-capable Xperia devices -- take a gander below the break to see what Sony has to say about them.

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4 years ago

A quick look at TripIt for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

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A few days ago TripIt announced that they would be launching their very popular travel application on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and we got lucky enough to get a hands-on demo of the application from them. Last night while at the ShowStoppers event here at CES 2012 the folks at TripIt took some time to walk us through the application, and as you can see they have done a really nice job with the application and design.

If you are unfamiliar with the service it is a travel planner, you forward your itinerary to them and they do the rest for you. Once the email is forwarded your itinerary will then show in the application, showing your flight information, hotel information, rental car and more. Having quick and easy access to this information on the go is priceless, and if you have yet to try it or would like to install it on your Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 be sure to hit the break for the market link.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note versus the HTC Titan

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

The Samsung Galaxy Note and the HTC Titan. Two great phones with great names. The Galaxy Note has emerged on AT&T this week at CES in Las Vegas, and we took our pal Dan from WPCentral to the Samsung booth to show him what a really big phone is like.

Sure, his HTC Titan's got an awesome name, and the 4.7-inch Titan is nothing to sneeze at. But damned if it didn't look downright diminutive next to the Galaxy Note. And then there's the Galaxy Note's Super AMOLED HD display. Even Dan had to admit it's beautiful.

So check out the video above, and check in on the comments on WPCentral's post to see how the trolling's going.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with Coby's line of Ice Cream Sandwich tablets

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Ice Cream Sandwich isn't just for the biggest players on the field, as Coby showed me today at CES with its upcoming line of affordable tablets. There are nine models total, and none are properly named yet, so it'll be best to speak to the line instead of the individual tablets. Hit the break to see what's what.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with Cobra JoyRide and Tag apps

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Vehicle security manufacturer Cobra brought along its Android fare to CES, and we took the JoyRide and Tag systems for a quick spin here at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

JoyRide is a slick little car-dock app that pairs with a 12-volt charger. At its heart, JoyRide is a highly customizable car app. You can set what you want to happen when you plug in your phone -- say, launch Google Maps Nav. Or when you unplug your phone -- say, record your current positions so you can find your car later. Or, you can tell it what to do when you press the lighted button on the 12-volt charger -- say, direct you to the nearest In and Out burger. It's slick stuff, and it's built using the Android Open Accessories protocol that Google announced last May at Google IO -- one of the first accessories we've seen to do so.

Then there's the Tag system. It's a smart key fob that will help you keep track of your keys, laptop, children or pets -- anything you attach it to. Separate the two, and you're alerted either on the phone, or the fob, depending on which one you lost. The companion app is nicely done and full of features, and it all costs about $60. Money well spent.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Acer Iconia Tab A510

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Lurking inside the Nvidia booth here at CES are some high-profile devices not getting much fanfare, one such being the Acer Iconia Tab A510. Its purpose at the booth is to show off just how powerful the Tegra 3 processor truly is, but we couldn't help giving it the ole fashioned shakedown. Hit the break for full impressions.

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4 years ago

Android App Review: The Soup

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Fans of the hit E! show The Soup will definitely want to check out the free Android app of the same name. If you're not familiar with it, the show features Joel McHale (who many know from Community), as he observes the best in pop culture.

The app is a great companion to the show. Once opened, you'll see the welcome page which consists of Joel McHale staring at you as a TV screen displays various options, such as Latest, Clips and Hall of Fame. Clicking on any of those will bring you to the main section of the app which contains all of the content. The tabs at the top are Clips, Latest, Hall of Fame and More. Clips contains some of the best scenes from recent shows, Latest has the newest clips available and Hall of Fame aggregates the best of. In the More tab, you can view the upcoming schedule, read about Joel McHale, share the app with friends, rate it and give feedback.

The Soup app is perfect for the dedicated fans of the hit E! show. It's a free app in the Android Market. Please find more screenshots and links to it after the break.

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4 years ago

Google Search receives update for devices running 2.2 or 2.3

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Google has released an update for their Google Search app for devices running Android 2.2 and Android 2.3.

The update brings several enhancements, including:

  • Faster, smoother performance with an updated UI
  • Suggestions for your search grouped by type
  • Country-specific suggestions and search results for all countries
  • Long press to remove history items

If you don't have the updated Search app, please follow the links after the break to get it. If you don't have a device running 2.2 or 2.3, don't worry, there will be an update later on for more versions.

Source: Google+

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4 years ago

Official Vimeo app finally comes to Android

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Vimeo, the popular video sharing site, has finally launched an Android app. The app brings a nice experience that allows you experience the best of Vimeo on your mobile device.

Here are the features:

  • Watch and manage all your existing Vimeo videos and download them to your camera roll
  • Quickly search for videos on vimeo.com
  • Easily upload your raw footage in HD
  • Pause and resume uploads
  • Replace existing videos
  • Edit title, description, tags, privacy and credits
  • Share with Facebook, Twitter, Email or SMS
  • Add your clips to your Groups, Channels and Albums
  • Stats on daily plays, likes and comments

The official Vimeo app requires Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and is also compatible with tablets. The free app is available in the Android Market. Please follow the links after the break if you're interested.

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4 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus has 32GB of internal storage

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An early Sprint LTE landing page listed the Sprint Galaxy Nexus as having 16GB of internal storage, compared to the 32GB offered by the Verizion version. Sprint got in touch with us today, however, to confirm that its version of the Galaxy Nexus will ship with a full 32GB, just like Verizon's. So that's that.

We got to play with the Sprint Galaxy Nexus at a CES gathering last night. Check out our hands-on coverage for more info (spoiler alert: it's a Galaxy Nexus, on Sprint).

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4 years ago

Sony Ericsson MWC invite suggests more Xperia phones to come next month

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After CES, the next big event in the smartphone and tablet world is Mobile World Congress, which runs during the last week of February in Barcelona. Today Sony Ericsson began sending out invites for its MWC 2012 press conference. The invite says that SE will reveal more about its Xperia "portfolio and strategy" at its press conference, suggesting that we'll likely see more of its 2012 line-up. We'll be there, of course, bringing you full coverage of whatever's on show.

In related news, a Tweet from Orange UK's Conor Maples confirms that the network will carry Sony's new flagship phone the Xperia S. Rival networks O2 and Three have already declared their intention to offer the device, as we reported yesterday.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 10.1 receive FIPS security certification

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In the business sector, security has always been a concern but even more so now as businesses are allowing their employees to bring their own devices to work. Samsung who previously announced the Samsung Galaxy Note and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 as being SAFE compatible, now have the pleasure of being able to say those devices are also FIPS certified.

“Earlier this year, Samsung took a huge step forward in setting a high security standard for smartphones and tablets by launching SAFE. The FIPS certification takes Samsung’s B2B-readiness to an even higher level and ensures our devices are now equipped for use in U.S. government agencies and other regulated industries,” said Tim Wagner, Vice President and General Manager of B2B Sales for Samsung Mobile.

FIPS is a federally issued, U.S. information security standard certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In order for a device to be FIPS certified, it has to meet some pretty hefty guidelines so Samsung getting these devices certified means government agencies and regulated industries, such as financial and health-care institutions can make use of them.

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