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3 years ago

Android 3.0 SDK preview: 2D, 3D graphics and dual-core support in Honeycomb!

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Google just announced Android 3.0 Honeycomb and has released a preview of the SDK to go along with it. Here are the big points:

  • A new "holographic" user interface and interaction model -- what we've seen on the Motorola Xoom.
  • UI framework for creating great apps for larger screen devices.
  • High-performance 2D and 3D graphics.
  • Support for multicore processor architectures.
  • Rich multimedia: New multimedia features such as HTTP Live streaming support, a pluggable DRM framework, and easy media file transfer through MTP/PTP, give developers new ways to bring rich content to users.
  • New types of connectivity: New APIs for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP let applications offer audio streaming and headset control. Support for Bluetooth insecure socket connection lets applications connect to simple devices that may not have a user interface.
  • Enhancements for enterprise: New administrative policies, such as for encrypted storage and password expiration, help enterprise administrators manage devices more effectively.

That's quite the laundry list, indeed! We're going to dive into this. [Android Developers Blog]

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3 years ago

Slacker updated for better 4G streams, plus we've got subscriptions to give away!

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If you're a user of Slacker Radio, head on over to the Android Market and update the app. (This one deals with permissions, so it won't update automatically.) There are a handful of bugfixes, but the big one for us is that you'll now get higher bitrates and larger album art when streaming over a 4G network.

And speaking of Slacker Radio, we've got a handful of free subscriptions of varying lengths that we're giving away. Hit up this thread in the Android Central Forums to enter.

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3 years ago

MyTouch 4G case review: BodyGlove snap-on case

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The Body Glove Snap-on Case for the HTC myTouch 4G follows in the tradition of the other Body Glove snap-on cases. You've got a two-part hard case covered in a textured rubber. The two parts snap together, thus the name.

There are cutouts for the camera, camera button, volume rocker, power button and 3.5mm headphone jack, plus the microUSB port.

Putting the case on your phone is simple. You lay the phone in the larger, back half of the case, then snap on the front ring. It might take a little bit of tweaking, but once it's on, it's on. The inside of the case is lined in a soft felt as to not scratch the plastic.

The case comes with a rotatable belt-clip preinstalled, but you can swap it out with a little insert, giving the case a flat back. Fun fact: the belt clip folds out and turns the case into a handy tripod.

More pics are after the break. The Body Glove Snap-on Case for the myTouch 4G is available in the Android Central Store for $24.95.

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3 years ago

Xperia Play gets the what-for: Is heavy on Xperia, light on the Play

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Whoopsie. You know that Sony Ericsson Xperia Play/Playstation Phone/PSP Phone thingy everyone's expecting to see at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks? Well, there it is, in the hot little hands of Engadget for a full preview treatment.

The long and short of it is it looks like a (pretty sexy) Xperia device, with Playstation-type controls tucked into a horizontal slider. No great surprise there. The screen reportedly is pretty impressive, though Timescape running on a 1GHz processor was not. (Again, no great surprise there.)

Details also are light on how gaming will come into play, so we have that to look forward to on Feb. 13. Check out the preview video after the break, and hit up the source for the whole shebang. [Engadget]

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3 years ago

Android apps may theoretically find their way onto the BlackBerry Playbook

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A long time ago, in a podcast far, far away, CrackBerry's own Kevin Michaluk talked about the BlackBerry PlayBook (then only rumor) and how with its new QNX-based operating system, it could theoretically run Android applications via the Dalvik Virtual Machine. We say theoretically because it's not like PlayBook users will be running to the Android Market or anything out of the box -- it'd take RIM's blessing or some hackery to get the job done.

But it's looking more like that could be the case, with BGR reporting that "RIM is very much considering the Dalvik Virtual Machine." Long story short -- if they do so, we could well see Android apps hacked onto it in short order.

There still are a lot of ifs involved. But we've been fairly impressed with the PlayBook (never mind its lack of notifications and messaging clients), and running any Android app on it would be quite the feat. [BGR via CrackBerry]

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3 years ago

Xperia Arc shown off in lengthy video

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Sony announced the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc at this year's CES 2011. And while we were there to cover it all live, we even managed to spend some time with the Arc. You can watch our hands-on video here. But if you were hankering for some more Arc beauty, the folks from HDBlog.it managed to shoot a ridiculous amount of footage of this Android up-close. They were even cool enough to make an English version for us less bilingual people. Videos after the break. [HDBlog.it]

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3 years ago

IRS launches the IRS2Go app for Android; check refunds, tax information and more

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No one likes filing their taxes. Sure, if you're getting a big refund check then you might enjoy some of the process. ie: Cashing your check. But in general, no one really likes to do them, we just have to do them. The IRS knows that and as such has created a new app that is now available to make the whole situation a little bit better for everyone.

About 70 percent of the 142 million individual tax returns were filed electronically last year, so an app to help only makes sense. The IRS2Go app allows you to get up-to-date tax information and even track your refund check status all from right inside the app. If you're looking for more info, the press release and download are available after the break. [IRS]

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3 years ago

Google 'not happy' with app sales; in-app payments, other billing coming

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Android platform group manager Eric Chu, speaking Tuesday at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco, said that Google is "not happy" with the number of paid applications being downloaded through the Android Market, especially given that 300,000 devices are being activated every day. He also today that in-app payments were coming to the Android Maket and that developers should "stay tuned" for more information. It seems that Google will be giving developers several different payment options including carrier billing and the standard Google Checkout. He also mentioned that other payment services were being looked into, so don't be surprised if PayPal gets support as well. 

Chu also assured the fears of users on older versions of Android by saying that majority of current devices would be compatible. About 85 percent of devices are on Android 2.x right now, so it seems likely that any user with Android 2.1 Eclair or above will be good to go. Google had originally wanted to get in-app payments deployed last year, but developers were too "busy with their Christmas applications" to give Google enough feedback.

In-app payments offer an alternative for developers looking to make money from their apps rather than having to charge for the initial download or rely on ad revenue. This should help attract more developers to the Android platform and ensure that we see even more high-quality apps -- especially games -- land in the Market. [SF Gate, TechCrunch

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3 years ago

Samsung announces four new phones - Galaxy Ace, Fit, Gio, Mini

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From left, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Fit, Galaxy Gio, Galaxy Mini

Samsung today unveiled four new phones to its international Galaxy line. None of the phones is currently slated for a U.S. release, but they will be showed at Mobile World Congress next month in Barcelona. The phones are:

  • Galaxy Ace:  The Ace sports a 3.5-inch HVGA screen (320x480) running Android 2.2 with an 800MHz processor and 5MP camera with flash. It's available in Russia now, and later in Europe, India and China.
  • Galaxy Fit: The fit has a 3.31-inch QVGA (240x320) screen with Android 2.2, a 5MP camera, 600MHz processor. It's available in February in Russia, with India, Europe and South America coming later.
  • Galaxy Gio: The Gio rocks a 3.2-inch HVGA (320x480) screen with Android 2.2, a 3MP camera and an 800MHz processor. Coming to Russia, Europe, India and China.
  • Galaxy Mini: The Mini has a svelte 3.14-inch QVGA (320x240) touchscreen with a 600MHz processor, 3MP camera and Android 2.2. Available in Russia, coming to Europe, China and India.

So what you have are some mid-level phones here, and that's actually a market Samsung's largely ignored over the past year with the rollout of the Galaxy S line. We'll get our hands on these guys in a few weeks at MWC, so stay tuned. [Korea IT Times]

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3 years ago

Kongregate Arcade returns to the Android Market after minor changes

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After Kongregate Arcade was removed from the Android Market many had wondered if and when we'd ever see the app return. Given that Google felt like it was more of an app store within an app store, something that violates the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement we knew Kongregate was going to have to give a little in order for them to be able to return.

As it turns out the removal of the ability to dump Flash games to the SD storage was what Google wanted to see removed. Kongregate is now back in the Android Marketplace and has begun using a different means of storing games on your device. It is now using your browser cache as an alternative to the previously used SD storage. No telling if that will sit well with Google as of yet but just in case, grab the download link after the break. [JoyStiq]

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