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2 years ago

Android 201: Using Labs in Google Maps

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2 years ago

All three Galaxy S II's together is something to smile about

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As if the anticipation hadn't already reached fever-pitch for these oft-teased phones, it looks like we've finally gotten conclusive looks at each of the U.S. Samsung Galaxy S II variants.

Aside from the clickable button that's on the international version, it looks like the only physical differences between the US Galaxy S II's is the degree of roundness on the corners, with T-Mobile being crowned the roundest.

Also, I'm not sure if this is pure Photoshop fail or an indication of things to come, but the Sprint version carries Samsung branding on top whereas the other two have carrier branding on top and Samsung branding above the four capacitive buttons. Only time will tell, we suppose. The good news is that we should find out Monday, weather permitting Tuesday. You win this one, Irene.

Oh, and look! There's still no Verizon phone in the picture.  LTE SGS II in the works?

Source: PocketNow

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2 years ago

Bluetooth keyboard review: Logitech keyboard for Android 3.0 tablets

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

With tablets being all the rage these days, Bluetooth keyboards are rising in popularity. It's not that the on-screen keyboards are bad (well, some are), but having physicals key adds a whole level of familiarity, plus you don't have to try and balance a tablet on your lap or something.

The Logitech Bluetooth keyboard for Android 3.0 tablets seems specifically targeted at the Android crowd, and it works really well.

Pairing is a cinch, using the connect button located on the back of the keyboard, and once you're paired up, you're good to go. Typing is a breeze on the keyboard and works without a hitch. Hit some keys, letters pop up on the screen. Everything Most of it works as it should.

The only problem with Logitech's Android-centric keyboard are the Android function keys. Logitech was wise enough to include search, home, menu, and back keys, but their intended functions are murky, at best.

I'm not sure if the unit I got is defective or if the keys just aren't mapped correctly, but while most of the keys did something, it was usually not what you wanted. Back acted like home, search acted like menu, so on and so forth. It was an irritating little niggle that was the only smudge on an otherwise great keyboard experience.

Another cool feature is the keyboard carrying case that protects the keys. For transport, it folds up and becomes a carrying case for the keyboard, but once you're ready to get typing, the case folds into a triangular stand (with a ridge!) to hold your tablet in position on a table or desk. It should also be noted that the Logitech keyboard doesn't come with rechargeable batteries and runs on four AAA's.

More pictures of the keyboard and stand can be found after the break.

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2 years ago

EVO 3D getting another OTA update

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We've lauded HTC and Sprint before for the way updates are handled on the EVO 3D, and it's time to do so again. There's a little update coming over the air now. One addition is a widget, the other is ... something. (Update: Ooo! New radio.) But that the EVO 3D can continue to get minor updates without causing major trouble is a pretty big deal. Nicely done.

Source: EVO 3D forums; Thanks, Jonathan!

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: X-Men

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Whenever I think of X-Men, the first thing that comes to mind is the epic intro sequence for the animated series. (Seriously, go look it up if you've forgotten about it.) The second thing that comes to mind are the endless quarters I spent at the skating rink playing the X-Men arcade game with three of my less athletically-inclined friends. Having known an official X-Men port was in the Market, I finally took the plunge and tried it out.

Diving right into the gameplay, it's just as good as I remember it, sans physical joystick and arcade buttons. The replacements for those are all virtual, as you'd expect, and are prominently displayed on the bottom-left and right corners of the screen. I've heard some people complain the buttons are too close together on the phone version, but I didn't experience that and I definitely didn't see that issue on a tablet.

Performance-wise, the game performs well. Period. It's an old 1992 game, so it should run well, and it does. The cheesy opening video goes quickly, there weren't any force closes, and not one framerate skip or stutter to speak of. Simply put, it's just as good as the arcade version, except this one fits in your pocket (or backpack).

My only complaint is that the virtual joystick isn't quite as responsive as I'd like it to be, which caused me to get straight pwned a couple of times. I only really saw the issue when needing to do a quick 180, but still, when Sentinels are coming down on you from all sides, you need cat-like reflexes to put them in their place.

X-Men does support four-player multiplayer, as long as all the players are on the same Wifi network, so yes, you can relive your glory days all over again.

X-Men is 99 cents in the Android Market. Download links are after the break.

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2 years ago

FEMA's Android app is full of emergency preparedness goodness

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Just in time for Hurricane Irene to work its way up the East Coast, the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- you know 'em as FEMA -- has released an android app full of useful tips, checklists, contact numbers and the latest news for before, during and after a disaster. We're not just talking hurricanes here. We're talking all disasters, like earthquakes and floods and Verizon not getting a Galaxy S II.

We've got a handful of screenshots and download links after the break.

Source: FEMA

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2 years ago

Gameloft launches Android HD+ game subscription service

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Gameloft has today launched a subscription based service for their UK customers which will allow the download of a game a week for just £0.99. As an added bonus, on first signup they're offering an extra game free of charge. 

To activate a subscription, visit their website from your Android device and click on the "Club buy 99p" link next to one of the games. 

As yet there is no word on future availability of the service outside of the UK, but for those of us lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the offer who play a lot of mobile games, it's a pretty sweet deal. Modern Combat 3 for £0.99 possibly? 

Source: Gameloft

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2 years ago

Sonic CD headed to Android for the holidays

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Veteran games publisher SEGA has proven time and again that it's not afraid of dusting off an old classic for a re-release on modern systems. The latest to join that list is Sonic CD, with the recent news that SEGA will port the game on Android, iOS and other platforms in time for the holiday season.

Sonic CD was originally released on the SEGA CD back in 1993, but has traditionally been left out of SEGA compilations up until now. The game sees the company's spiky mascot travelling through time to correct the evil meddlings of Dr Eggman, saving all manner of furry critters along the way.

Also, SEGA says the re-release of Sonic CD will include the original Japanese soundtrack. For those of you wondering what that means... well, it means this.

Source: SEGA Blog

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2 years ago

Android Central Podcast Ep. 68

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Audio-only stream below

We catch up on a couple weeks worth of news -- and some of it's even Android-related. What Steve Jobs' stepping down from Apple means for Android, the twisted tale of the HP TouchPad, HTC's unlocking bootloaders (sort of), and Verizon's not getting a Galaxy S II. Listen in!

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2 years ago

Here comes Hurricane Irene: Charge 'em if you got 'em

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Here's a quick no-brainer or two from your hurricane-prone pals at Android Central for those of you in the path of Hurricane Irene, scheduled to make landfall along the North Carolina coast on Saturday before making its way up the east coast and basically ruining everybody's weekend:

  • Charge your phones. Now. Keep them charged. And once the storm starts, keep them off. You'll likely lose power at some point, and there's a good chance your local cell network will go down for a bit, even with generator backups.
  • Spare batteries. If you got 'em, make sure they're charged, too. If you still have time to get some, do it.
  • Car charger. Get one. That is all.
  • After the storm, text messages work best. Any carrier will tell you this, and we saw it again with that little shake the mid-Atlantic states got on Tuesday. If the network's up, it's going to be clogged, and calls might not go through. Text messages have a much better chance.
  • If you're worried about damage and don't have a traditional camera, use your phone to take a few pictures of your home and your belongings. It'll make insurance claims much easier, should it come to that.

Any tips you folks want to share? Let's hear 'em.

More: Latest on Irene from the National Hurricane Center
Image credit: LSU Earth Scan Labratory

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