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4 years ago

Qualcomm announces its own SDK to give devs a leg up on Snapdragon

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Qualcomm this morning announced the Snapdragon SDK at its Uplinq conference, "giving developers and device makers the ability to differentiate their applications on devices by exposing a new set of value-added features." Kinda makes you wonder what they were doing with them before, but SDKs, in are opinion, are good things any day of the week.

So what kind of things can hardware manufacturers (who really should have access to all this stuff anyway -- Qualcomm's just making it easier) have at their disposal? Here's another handy bullet list.

  • facial processing, such as blink and smile detection, which makes it easier to take better pictures of people in groups;
  • burst capture, which leverages zero shutter lag to photograph a stream of images at once to select the best shot;
  • surround sound recording for better audio capture;
  • hardware echo cancellation for better real-time audio experiences;
  • sensor gestures (tap-left/tap-right, push/pull, face-up/face-down, tilt) that enable developers and device makers to push the envelope on new, differentiated user interfaces;
  • low power always on geofencing capabilities; and
  • indoor location that enables apps to continue providing accurate location information even when the user is indoors.

Some of these features should be plenty familiar, of course. Face-detection is nothing new, but Qualcomm's been giving it a big push in recent months. Same for burst photos, which you can find on just about any new phone. 

The SDK's in preview right now, with the full release coming later this year. We've got the full presser after the break.

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4 years ago

The best way to get your Google I/O news!

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It's just about time, folks. One more day and Google's annual developer conference kicks off Wednesday morning at Moscone West in San Francisco. But how to follow all the Google I/O news? (And there's going to be a lot. Let's break it down in handy bullet points.

And for those of you at Moscone West, be sure to say hi! It's gonna be a great week.

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4 years ago

Everything Everywhere trialing more 4G sites in the UK

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The future of 4G in the UK gets slightly closer with Everything Everywhere detailing a further trial of the new technology in Cumbria has now gone live.

I realize that in many parts of the world having LTE is not a new thing but in good old Blighty we are somewhat lagging behind.

Everything Everywhere have already conducted one successful trial of 4G in Cornwall where they not only achieved some impressive speeds but also provided a rural community with mobile broadband in an area which barely had any kind of broadband at all.

A faster network can only help improve the Android market share. Now we just have to wait for the government to give Everything Everywhere the go-ahead to roll out the service nationwide and have the LTE chips built into future handsets.

I had a meeting with the company last month where they explained that they are already installing the necessary hardware into current cell sites throughout the UK, ready for the 'big switch on' whenever that may be. Fingers crossed for the end of the year.

You can see today's press release after the break.

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4 years ago

Scope for Android enters beta, gets a major overhaul in the process

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Socialscope is something of an enigma in the mobile, social networking world. First arriving on BlackBerry, before progressing over to Android, the application has always required an invitation to use. As such, it has gained an air of notoriety. You can't get in, so you want in. Development work on the Android iteration has been ongoing since the initial release of Alphascope back in November. The last update brought a significant visual upgrade, but nothing like the latest efforts. Now rebranded simply as Scope, as the application progresses to beta things are a whole lot different. We've been on the inside for sometime now as various versions have been tested, so we're pleased to be able to finally give you our first impressions. 

First up is additional service support. Besides the already supported Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare, Tumblr is now supported as well. Instagram is still viewing only, although that is to be expected. Scope fits the bill for all though, be they social juggernauts or more casual users.

The main homescreen lists all your different services, providing each with a colorful icon with which to identify them. Scope is a joy to navigate, with a swipe-oriented approach to navigation and a gorgeous UI. The way the content is displayed is really well done. Photos are displayed big, and bold, and can almost take over your timeline at times. Think about the new Google+ app, turn the dial a little more, and we're somewhere close. 

And, that is a big positive for Scope. It breaks down all your social content into various sub-categories, allowing you to simply swipe between them. Besides breaking it down by service, content can be viewed by type. Scope will highlight any posts that are posting photos, or videos, or check-ins, breaking each off into their own category. 

Additionally to swiping between adjoining pages, tapping the blue button in the bottom right brings up a scrollable dock at the bottom of the screen. This allows quick switching between the various categories, just without the page swiping. There's definitely more than one way of achieving the same objective, but it's all so nicely done. It's pretty fast too, and very smooth. 

Eventually, Scope will become open to all, and it should take a place on everyones "to try" list. For an all in one social app, Scope is going to be hard to top. And, this is from an application still in beta. If you can snag an invitation, then do. Not just because everyone likes to be in on something closed off from the masses, but because it's a really impressive application. 

In the meantime, we've got a selection of screenshots for you after the break. And, if you've got an account, or, an invite, head on over to the Play Store now to download a copy. 

Download: Scope for Android

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean expectations, Hulu+ on the One X [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

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

Mobi Products Desktop Cradle for HTC One X [Accessory Review]

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Every good smartphone nowadays deserves to have a good docking solution available. It shouldn't be too hard to create either. As a functional item, they're pretty basic, but also incredibly useful at work, and at home.

 

The Mobi Products Desktop Cradle, is a third party charging dock for the HTC One X. As such, the charging contacts on the back aren't utilised, instead opting for a microUSB based charging solution. If you're the type of person that is forever docking and un-docking your One X throughout the day, this may not be for you. If, however, you go to work, and sit your phone besides your PC all day, then this could be for you.

As far as docks go, this one is pretty minimal in styling. The USB charging cable is fixed to the rear of the dock, and aside from the microUSB charger there is a simple blue LED on the top that indicates the dock is powered. This sits behind the phone too, so it isn't constantly catching your eye.

The One X sits really nicely in it too. It has the slightest of angles to it, so the phone isn't quite bolt upright, but isn't at an un-natural viewing angle either. All that is visible of the dock is the black front portion, everything else is hidden behind the phone. It works really nicely combined with a full screen clock application on the nightstand at home too. It sits at just the right angle for those blurry-eyed mornings when you roll over and just need to see the time.

Construction is solid, although bear in mind that as the phone is sat on a microUSB charger, if you knock the phone it is going to move about. The microUSB itself though is solidly fixed to the base of the charger.

So what about the not so good points? Well, if your One X is in a case, theres a higher than likely chance you're going to need to take that case off before docking your phone. 

And thats about that. If you're in the market for a reasonably priced, basic charging dock for your HTC One X, then definitely take a look at the Mobi Products Desktop Cradle.

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4 years ago

Box app updated with OneCloud features and 50 launch partners

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Box has updated their Android app, and while that's always worth knowing, this time the reason why they did it is the news. Box has announced that their OneCloud service is now ready for public consumption, and available to Android users. The premise is simple -- OneCloud is an easy way to use integrated applications to download, edit, and upload documents and files to your Box storage. There's fifty of those integrated applications, including popular apps like Dolphin and FetchNotes. As with any new service, we'll have to try it before we give out final impressions, but on the surface this looks to be great.

To help keep it great and make it even better, Box has introduced a OneCloud SDK for Android app developers, and will be on-hand at Google I/O to answer questions and get everyone on the same page, This looks to be an interesting take on cloud storage, and we're going to have a close look at it. 

Source: Box 

Download Box from Google Play. Thanks Eli, for the tip!

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4 years ago

From the Android Forums: What is Kies?

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delldude405 asks in the Samsung Galaxy S III forums,

Being new to the Samsung community, I notice that Samsung is doing their updates through Kies.

Could someone explain what this is, is it safe, and all that other jazz. I'm not one who can root because of security concerns but, is this like the Motorola feedback community (soak testers)?

Kies is a lot of things. It's a way to sync and backup your contacts and device data, it's a front end for transferring media like music and video between your computer and your phone, and as you've noticed, it's a method to update the device firmware on Samsung phones.

Using it is pretty easy. Install it on your computer (Windows or Mac), then plug your phone in with the provided USB data cable. Kies will find it, and present you with a fairly simple user interface full of things you can do with it. On Windows computers, Kies includes a set of universal device drivers so you don't have to fool with that, and it will automatically recognize your phone in case you have more than one. 

Most power users only use Kies for firmware updates, and even then only when it's required. Because all the features are available without Samsung's fancy front end, there's no real reason to install yet another software suite to your computer if you don't mind doing things the manual way. We're just glad users have a choice to use it or not to use it.

For an in-depth look at Kies, hit the break for a video from Samsung.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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4 years ago

Hulu Plus updated to include improved support for 7-inch tablets and high resolution displays

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Hulu Plus for Android has received an update, which now includes improved support for 7-inch tablets and high resolution displays. A couple of months ago, there was an update which expanded the app to more tablets, and this is continuing that trend. It's great to see the folks over at Hulu committed to bringing their service to as many devices as possible. 

Here's the full changelog:

  • Improved support for 7” Tablets
  • Improved support for high-resolution screens
  • Ability to sign up for free 1-week trials within the app
  • Compatibility with various ICS devices
  • Various bug fixes and optimizations

To get the update or the app if you haven't checked it out yet, please follow the links after the break.

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4 years ago

Double din car radio's can run Android too

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One of the best things about software being open-sourced is that it can be used in a variety of ways, and that is something we have definitely seen with Android. From appearing on devices, to smart style watches, kitchen appliances and now car radios, the possibilities are pretty endless. Double din car radios have become increasingly popular, and as of late we have seen them begin to run various applications like Pandora and others, but never really seen a whole operating system running on one.

Well, meet the Adayo AN6B01, a double din car radio that runs Android 2.2 as well. Featuring a 6.2-inch 800x480 resolution display, this unit packs a Cortex A8 1GHz processor as well to power the software, and also has access to Google Applications, so you will be able to access the market. Coming in at $650, justifying this purchase may take a little doing. This price is smack in the middle of most double dins, and while you may sacrifice a name brand you gain the Android portion. Pretty sweet unit for you Android and car fanatics, will you be picking one up?

Source: FlightInstrument

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4 years ago

July 5 weighs in as potential Droid Incredible 4G LTE release date

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Here we go again, right? A leaked shot shows a date, we all get our hopes up and then they are crushed when it changes.  Well, according to an internal Verizon document the Droid Incredible 4G LTE is gearing up to be in our hands on July 5. The device was officially announced back in May, and perhaps you'll recall our hands-on with it at CTIA, and Verizon initially stated that it would be available "in the coming weeks," and, well, more than a few weeks have passed since then. Keeping it mind that the all new Verizon plans kick in starting on June 28, having the device launch shortly after is a good way to get those customers back in to renew their contracts. The pricing currently shows at the $199 price point, a bit higher than we had hoped, but hopefully Verizon will add a rebate or something to bring that price down to the $99 - $150 range. Now we sit and wait, hoping that July 5 is the day.

Source: Droid-Life

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4 years ago

Google I/O 2012 is this week - here's what we expect to see

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Google I/O kicks off Wednesday morning at Moscone West in San Francisco, and we're all looking forward to a giant bucket of awesome getting dumped on our heads from the good folks from Mountain View. It's the biggest show of the year for Android lovers, one where we see what may be coming up, what is under development, and how it all works together. Because Android and Chrome have grown so popular, and other platforms like Google TV are seeing growth as well, I/O has been bumped to three days instead of the two day events we've seen in the past. We still get our two big keynotes (some of the best in the industry) but we get another full day to meet with developers and designers, as well as dive into the developer sessions. We think it's going to be a great conference, and we'll be there to keep you abreast on everything Google and Android. Hit the break and let's talk about what we expect to see at Moscone West.

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4 years ago

Case-Mate Barely There Case for HTC One X/XL

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The HTC ONE X  is a beautifully designed phone. The polycarbonate body feels like it is tough – but I do worry about scratches and how it would weather a drop.

While it certainly seems well built and sturdy, I would not be very happy if  I dropped the HTC ONE X– either on the face of the device or on the back with the protruding camera.

A good case makes me feel better about the investment in the phone and it is good insurance against the unforeseen. However, these new HTC devices are pretty big and I don’t want to add to the size. The HTC One X is also incredibly thin and I wouldn’t want to compromise that feel either.

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4 years ago

Official Wimbledon app hits Google Play

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Attention tennis fans. I'm sure you haven't failed to remember that today sees the start of the Wimbledon tennis championship in London. If you fancy keeping up with all the news and gossip from the tournament you will be pleased to know that the official Wimbledon app is now available to download for free.

The tournament runs from today through July 8, and the eyes of the world will be on Southwest London. Why not keep your eyes on it too, all from your Android smartphone?

Key features of the app include:

  • LIVE scores.
  • Results.
  • Schedule of play.
  • Draws.
  • News.
  • Player profiles.
  • On demand video previews, highlights, features, interviews and golden moments
  • Photos.
  • Live @ Wimbledon Radio – 3 channels: Daily coverage of The Championships and two channels dedicated to Centre Court and No.1 Court commentary of live match play.
  • Find It – lets spectators locate facilities around the grounds at Wimbledon.

More information and download Wimbledon here

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