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4 years ago

Get the Droid RAZR MAXX for $180 during Best Buy's June 29-30 sale


If you're in the market for a new Android phone, Best Buy will be putting the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX on sale for two-days (June 29 and 30) at just $180 with a new agreement. While other phones have come along that may have better specs or fancy new features, the RAZR MAXX has that 3300 mAh battery to keep running long after all other LTE phones have bit the dust. It's an impressive beast, and we still recommend it to folks on Verizon who need a dependable Android phone. 

Thanks, anon!


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4 years ago

Missed the Day 2 Keynote from Google I/O? Watch it back now


If, for some reason, you missed out on the livestream of the Google I/O Day 2 Keynote yesterday, fear not. The presentation has been uploaded in full, for you to enjoy at your leisure. Day 2 was pretty much all about Chrome. We saw some impressive stats on the Chrome Browser, our iOS friend being treated to Google Drive and Google Chrome, and another look at the Google Glass skydivers. Enjoy.

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4 years ago

GameStop to carry the Nexus 7 as well, starts accepting pre-orders


Ordering online is not something that everyone wants to do, for folks like myself the instant gratification of purchasing and taking home the same day is rather important. GameStop has announced that they will be selling the Nexus 7 in stores and they have began their pre-ordering process as well. To spice up the deal, and bring folks in they will be accepting trade ins on other tablets, and any trade ins that are done specifically towards the purchase of the Nexus 7 will gain you an extra 30% in store value. GameStop understands that Android tablets are becoming increasingly popular, and many gaming customers are looking towards the purchase of tablets for their on the go experience, and they hope to capitalize on this with offering the Nexus 7 in store instead of having customers have to wait to purchase it online. So, will you be ordering from Google Play, or looking for some old items to trade in and grabbing one from GameStop?

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4 years ago

Three UK customers can grab Android 4.0 for the Sony Xperia S


This post will be short and sweet and more than likely overshadowed by this weeks Google I/O news, however Sony Xperia S users on the Three network will be happy.

Three kindly dropped me an email today to confirm that their customers can now proactively download the Android Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Sony Xperia S. The update is via PC Companion only so users will not get a push notification which is odd, however Three are the first UK network to offer the update to the Xperia S. Good news!

Missed our Sony Xperia S review? You can catch up here.

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4 years ago

The Amazing Spider-Man now available from Google Play


Roll up, roll up. Get your daily super hero fix here. Well, sort of. If you are a Spider-Man fan or just a gamer on your Android device you will be pleased to hear that The Amazing Spider-Man is waiting for you to download it from Google Play.

It does come with a hefty price tag of £4.99 which isn't cheap but it sure looks fun. With 25 action packed levels will you be the one to save Manhattan from the evil Lizard?

• Explore the city through its five distinctive districts (Central Park, Business, Downtown, Pier and Residential)
• An exciting and enjoyable fighting system with melee, ranged, combo attacks and much more
• A wide selection of upgrades to customize your style, attacks and skills

It looks like Gameloft have given us another cracker. Sweet.

Download here

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4 years ago

Huawei set to kick off TV advertising for the Ascend P!


It looks like Huawei are going from strength to strength these days and it would appear that they are all set to start promoting the Ascend P1 Android smartphone on television.

The following video cropped up today on Huawei's YouTube channel and like many other smartphone commercials around at the moment it doesn't focus so much on the actual device but trys to portrait a message. The message here is quite clear:

The Ascend P1 is beauty meets brains -- proof that technology and good looks can go hand-in-hand.

I think Huawei are making a lot of sense here as the device certainly matches up to its image. With a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4460 Cortext-A9 processor, measuring 7.69mm thin and 64.8 mm long, combined with a 4.3-inch super AMOLED 960 x 540 touch screen with Corning® Gorilla® Glass, an 8-megapixel BSI rear-facing camera and Dolby Mobile 3.0 + 5.1 surround sound technology the Ascend P1 is not a phone to be sniffed at.

You can check out the new TV commercial below and if you didn't see our full review of the device you can do so here.

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4 years ago

Miss the Google I/O 2012 Day 1 Keynote? Watch it now


If for whatever reason you happened to miss out on the Google I/O 2012 Day 1 Keynote, you can now sit back, relax and take it all in. Google has posted the video to YouTube so you have no reason to not set aside some time and get yourself caught up. You'll get to see Android 4.1 Jelly Bean announced along with the Google Nexus 7 tablet and finally, the Nexus Q.

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean's new notifications take center stage at Google I/O


The above was pulled from the documentation for Android long past, but truer words were never spoken. Notifications can make or break a platform, and Google came up with a winning plan in their notification shade. After a few hours with Jelly Bean, I'm here to tell you things just got better. A lot better.

Notifications in Android 4.1 are now dynamic, feature more information displayed in a delightfully tactful way, are customizable for creative developers, and worth having a second look at. Phil and Alex will tell you, I've become enamored with the new notification system. The information I want need is there for me to see, and if I choose to interact I can take things a step further. To me, the new notifications are by far the best part of the update!

Miss a call? Google Voice can give you a notification to tell you who it was, and a quick way to get back in touch  -- either via the telephone or with a message. Want to see more than a sender's name for a Gmail notification? The two-finger magic will expand it and you can preview the message, without marking it as read. Developers also have plenty of options, a quick look through the gallery after the break shows you what companies like Spotify or Pulse can do in the notification bar now. This is progress. 

Of course, eventually a developer will abuse this and get creative with the spam in your notification bar. Google has you covered. Long press on any notification and you'll see exactly which app posted it, and a simple tap takes you the app management screen where you can uninstall the offender. 

We said that Jelly Bean would probably prove to add a bit of polish and character to ICS versus be a new UI overhaul, and things like the new notifications are a wonderful example of how a mature operating system can be fleshed out and improved. We only hope OEM's don't take it all away. Hit the break to see a gallery of the presentation slides showing it all off.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 Guidebook available for free in Google Play Books


Read enough about the Google Nexus 7 yet? Just in case you haven't, and you need some light reading while waiting for your shiny new Nexus 7 to arrive, Google's got you covered. Downloadable for free, as we speak, is the official Nexus 7 Guidebook from Google. 

OK, so it's basically an instruction manual. But, there's a couple of really nice sections in there. There's a chunk on the new Google Now service -- and how to disable it -- and another section centered on the new notifications area in Jelly Bean. It's free, and worth a read just for  these two sections alone. To grab yourself a copy, fire up Google Play Books and go get it. 

Download: Google Nexus 7 Guidebook

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4 years ago

Hugo Barra on Nexus 7 first day pre-order numbers: 'It's Big!'


Little more than 24 hours has passed since the official unveiling of the Google Nexus 7, and the subsequent pre-orders becoming available in selected countries around the world. It's pretty much a given that it's bound to be a popular device within the Android community, but, how popular? 

The folks at Business Insider caught up with Hugo Barra last night at a press session at Google I/O, and asked the question a lot of people would be curious to know the answer to. How has the first days pre-sale gone? 

While Barra wouldn't disclose specifics -- hardly surprising -- but he did say they were really, really good. Pressed for a ballpark figure, he simply said, "it's big!" 

So, given Barra's position at Google, you'd be excused for thinking it's just a bit of positive PR. Well, we've some actual cause to believe him. 

Our contacts way up in Canada -- a guy called Chris, you might know him? -- have informed us that the 16GB Nexus 7 is no longer being accepted for pre-order. Seems for that, you now have to sign up to email alerts to let you know when they're available. 

So far, we've not heard any further reports of the pre-sale devices going off sale anywhere else in the world, but that's not to say they won't follow suit soon. If you want one at launch, it's looking like a pretty useful idea to pre-order as soon as you possibly can. 

Source: Business Insider

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4 years ago

How long before Google Now becomes your homescreen?


Let's just throw this out there. Google Now is pretty awesome. A little scary, maybe, which we talked about a bit in last night's Google I/O podcast, but awesome nonetheless. The ability to predict what it is you want to see in the form of widgets is some high-tech schtuff.

Right now it's just an app within Jelly Bean.

But what if it weren't. What if Google Now was your homescreen, giving you all that information you currently have to build manually with widgets and app icons, based of your search history. A scary proposition, but an intriguing one, too.

We'll talk more about this in the coming weeks, for sure. 

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4 years ago

Hands-on with 3D buildings in Google Earth at Google I/O 2012


Google Earth 7.0 has been released, introducing 3D maps for a selection of major cities around the world. Based upon 3D telemetry and textures taken from aerial photography, Earth 7.0 conjures a virtual city right onto your smartphone or tablet screen. What this means is you can now fire up Google Earth and zoom around any of the supported cities, which include San Francisco, Boston, Charlotte and Rome. There's also a dedicated tour mode which will give you a virtual fly-by view of major landmarks, including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco.

As you might expect, the new 3D mapping capabilities require a fair amount of graphical power and bandwidth to use, though we demo'd the new Google Earth on the 18-month-old Motorola Xoom, and the app remained fairly smooth and speedy.

Check out our hands-on video above. Google Earth 7.0 is available to download now from the Google Play Store. For 3D building support, you'll need to be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later.

Download: Google Earth

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4 years ago

Google app updates continue as Currents and Drive step up for their turn


The mid-I/O Google app updates continues, this time round it's the turn of Google Currents and Google Drive. Both have updates waiting for them right now in the Google Play Store. So, what's new? 

In the case of Google Currents, the biggest change is that finally, it fits into the Android 4.x design guidelines. That pesky menu, it's up top where it ought to be. You might also notice, that it's got a new, less colorful logo too. The full changelog for Currents reads a little like this: 

  • User interface - updated to Android standards
  • Top navigation bar - auto hide, touch to show
  • Library/trending toggle - moved to navigation bar
  • Performance enhancements
  • Bug fixes

Sweet, so, what about Google Drive? Well, an update was to be expected, after the cloud service was heavily featured in todays Chrome based Keynote. One of the biggest new features available in Drive on Android, is the ability to upload, and download, all file types to and from your Drive. Pretty much a standard requirement for cloud storage. The changelog for Drive reads as follows: 

  • Quickly find files that have been recently opened, edited or shared with you
  • Upload/Download all file types to/from your Google Drive
  • Selecting contacts to share with is easier
  • Faster navigation of folders when syncing in the background
  • Choose text alignment in the documents editor

Add these two the lengthy list of Google apps that received updates yesterday, and we've been pretty well spoiled. Some may be more significant than others, but updates are updates nonetheless. Head on over to Google Play and snag yourselves a copy of these two. 

Download: Google Drive, Google Currents

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4 years ago

Google+ SDK for Android and iOS is coming, along with a handful of APIs


Google has made it clear at Google I/O -- they love Google+ and are going full steam ahead with the social platform. We don't blame them, as we think with the right nurturing it can stand out among the rest. What's been sorely missing is options for third party applications to integrate with G+ as the do with Facebook and Twitter. Google has made that one step closer to reality today with the announcement of the upcoming Google+ API for Android and iOS. Based on the platform notes, supported out-of-the-box are Google+ sign-in, a share plug-in to share your app content to the G+ stream,  +1 button integration, Google+ history functions, and a personalization feature, which will allow developers to pull in public G+ content and use it in their app. 

It's not exactly perfect, but it's very close to what everyone was asking for. Now we just need to see the SDK and some apps built with it.

Source: Google+ Developers

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4 years ago

HTC on Jelly Bean updates


So you just got that shiny, new HTC One X or One S (or One V outside the U.S.), and suddenly it's no longer running the latest version of Android. That's no good. Neither is it HTC's fault, but still.

So what does the Taiwanese manufacturer have planned in the way of updates for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean? Here's the official word:

"We are excited about Android Jelly Bean and are planning to support it across a variety of our devices.  We are reviewing the software to determine our upgrade plans and schedule, so please stay tuned for more updates on specific device upgrade plans."

Nothing surprising there. It's a pretty safe bet that we'll see the HTC One line get updates. But after that? And how long will it take?

News at 11, folks.

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