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3 years ago

Q&A with Perfectly Clear's Athentech - making mobile photos better

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Perfectly Clear launched on Android recently, offering a whole bunch of different photo correction functions. You can find a full walk-through of the features in our review over here.  We talked to the developer, Athentech, a bit about mobile photography, processing power, and the technology needed to do make their app.

Thanks for your time! Perfectly Clear looks like it's been in the desktop software world for a while. Can you tell us about the product's transition to mobile?

Brad: Simon, it is my pleasure.  Thanks for your interest. We’ve actually been around in the “back-end” for quite some time.  We celebrated our 10th birthday last November!  We’ve been licensing our technology to companies around the world.  So we’re an “intel inside”, powering the automatic image correction for over 20 million printed images every day around the world and we’re installed in more than 105,000 photo kiosks.  So if you’ve ever printed a photo at any major retail chain, it’s likely your photo has been auto corrected by Perfectly Clear.

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3 years ago

Qmadix Metalix Snap-On Cover for Galaxy S3

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The Qmadix Metalix Snap-On Cover gives you some additional protection for your Galaxy S3 and adds a very handy feature.

 

There are lots of ways to both protect your Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) and also give it a distinguishing look with many of the newer cases on the market. The Qmadix Metalix Snap-On cover gives you an additional distinguishing feature – a kickstand on the back that works in both portrait and landscape modes.

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3 years ago

ICS for GSM Motorola RAZR and RAZR MAXX pushing out to 'select users'

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Broader release due "in the coming week", says Moto

Motorola is almost ready to flip the switch on its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the international (GSM) RAZR and RAZR MAXX. The manufacturer took to its European Facebook page to tell customers that the ICS update had begun rolling out "to select users," with a broader release scheduled for "the coming week." Basically, it's a soak test, similar to what Moto does with major updates in the U.S.

In addition to Android version 4.0.4, the RAZR ICS update brings a re-vamped lock screen and launcher, as well as visual changes throughout, bringing the UI closer to more recent Moto phones like the Atrix HD. Check out our hands-on report on the Verizon ICS update for more details.

It's been a long wait for ICS on the RAZR series. The Verizon 4G LTE versions got the update shortly after Google I/O, and GSM RAZR owners have been waiting patiently since their ICS update was confirmed in a promotional video in early July.

If you're among the lucky few to have had your GSM RAZR or RAZR MAXX updated to ICS, let us know how you're getting on down in the comments.

Source: Motorola Europe Facebook

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3 years ago

TwitPic review - how the mighty have fallen

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Twitpic, one of the venerable forerunners of image sharing on Twitter, now has its own dedicated mobile app. Of course, it might seem a little extraneous since most Twitter clients have folded in Twitpic sharing as an option, or have simply opted for Twitter’s own native image service. Twitpic has been around for ages, but what else can it offer at this point?

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3 years ago

Trello review - clean task management for individuals and groups

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Trello was launched on Android recently, offering yet another way in which folks could keep track of multiple projects and collaborate with others. There’s a set hierarchy where boards have lists, and lists have cards. Cards can be thought of as individual tasks as part of a particular project, while boards are larger categories encompassing multiple projects.

Cards can be assigned to individual users by e-mail (though only from the web, not from the app), complete with due dates, check lists, labels, attachments, and collaborators. Those cards can be moved, copied, subscribed to, voted on, or archived once complete. An activity stream of you and collaborators on any given board makes it easy to stay up to date on who’s been doing what, though you can also subscribe to individual cards to keep tabs on task progress.

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3 years ago

HTC announces Android 4.0.4 update for international One X

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HTC has announced that a new over-the-air update is now rolling out for the international HTC One X (that's the unlocked, HSPA+, Tegra 3 version). This is essentially the same update that the AT&T One X got a few days back, bringing the One X up to Android 4.0.4 (from 4.0.3), and introducing a number of Sense-specific enhancements, including a re-mapping of the 'recent apps' key. Other notables include a new tab-switching button in the browser, white balance adjustment and continuous autofocus in the camera app, and some HTC Media Link improvements in the OpenSense SDK.

HTC says the update will start to filter out to customers today, Aug. 10, so if you're rocking a One X outside of North America, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to see if your OTA is ready.

Here's HTC's full statement on today's update --

As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure customers are receiving software updates that improve their user experience, we are pleased to announce our next upgrade for the HTC One X will be released on August 10th.

The primary update will include an upgrade to Android version 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), in addition to an improved Sense experience which will: enable the ability to map menu function to the 'recent app' key (improving visual presentation in non ICS apps like Facebook); improve tab management in the browser with a dedicated tab switching button and enhance camera capabilities such as white balance and continuous autofocus.  Furthermore, customers can expect enhancements to memory, platform stability and the overall browsing experience. Other improvements include a Single Sign-On for Facebook allowing user access across applications and browsers and upgrades to Beats audio, which reflect our dedication to providing an authentic sound experience.

From a developer perspective, we are expanding SDK support for Media Link and providing a framework for video call applications to achieve improved performance and quality.

If you're updating your One X today, hit the comments and let us know how you're liking the new version.

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3 years ago

Android Central Podcast 105: Keep your stuff safe, Ouya gets Kickstarted

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Audio-only stream below

This week we talk about Android and protecting your passwords, Ouya graduates from Kickstarer with more than $8.5 million pledged, plus more of your e-mails and voicemails. Welcome to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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3 years ago

Google mobile search gets a Google Now-style makeover

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Google's continuing to transform its search product into a knowledge engine, as evidenced by the new Google Search app on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and its Google Now features. Today some of that functionality is starting to bleed over into the company's mobile search offering, with the launch of rich "interactive answers" to mobile search queries.

Google mobile search now supports quick answers to a variety of queries, including flight numbers, weather, finance, currency conversion, unit conversion, dictionary definitions, local time lookup, and holiday and sunrise times. All of this stuff is presented in attractive framed boxes clearly cut from the same cloth as the latest Google Search apps for Android and iOS. In some cases, the answer boxes even provide some form of interactivity -- for example, there's a weather slider you can move to view weather information for certain times of day, and the unit conversion box lets you edit fields and convert measurements of any kind.

All of this highlights the next step in the evolution of Google Search, in which it's changing from a tool you use to find pages with answers, to a web app that'll directly give you information you're looking for.  Increasingly, web search results fall into the background as an alternative to the information Google directly serves up.

To try out the new Google mobile search features, just head on over to google.com in your favorite mobile browser.

Source: Google Inside Search blog

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3 years ago

Remainder of ICS updates complete before end of August, says HTC

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... But that's not necessarily when you'll get them

HTC has taken to its official Facebook page to answer fans' questions about Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates for previously announced devices, such as the Desire S and Thunderbolt. In a statement repeated across several posts, HTC said --

"We're still working on getting the updates ready. We expect to have updates issues [sic] by the end of August for all devices that have been announced."

That's good news for anyone still waiting on an ICS update for an HTC device, though it's a bitter bill for Desire HD owners to swallow after their update was canned last month.

It's also worth remembering that even if HTC's finished with its updates before the end of August, that doesn't mean that's when they'll start rolling out to handsets. Mobile carriers still need to test and sign off these updates, a process which in the past has taken months to complete.

So it's a promising development, just don't expect a torrent of updates to drop in the next couple of weeks.

Source: HTC on Facebook; via: Android Police

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 stable released, dev focus now on CM10

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Following yesterday's premature release on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the stable version of CyanogenMod 9 is now officially official. That means you can go download the Android 4.0-based custom ROM for supporting devices, without having to worry about stability issues with nightlies, beta builds or release candidates -- this is the fully final, fully-supported version of CM9.

In a post on the official CyanogenMod 9, the team said that excluding major bug fixes, the CM9 stable release marks the end of their ICS development efforts. From now on they'll focus on the Jelly Bean-based CyanogenMod 10, in addition to maintaining CM7 for older devices. In addition, the focus of nightly builds will now switch to CM10.

The team says today's stable release should be available for most supported devices, with "stragglers" catching up over the next few days. At the time of writing, builds are still in the process of baking, and so only a dozen or so are available right now.

To check if CM9 stable is available for your phone, check the get.cm link below. Now, bring on CM10 and Jelly Bean!

Source: CyanogenMod; Download: get.cm

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3 years ago

Google, U.S. carriers and PayPal join mobile payments standards comittee

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The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) announced that it has formed what they are calling the Mobile Payments Committee -- a group of companies working together to create common standards and advance the current mobile payment situation in the U.S. Notable partners include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, as well as other industry partners like Google and ISIS

While the companies are all focusing on competing products, they realize the benefit that comes with getting merchants on board working with regulators to get some standard rules in place. According to ETA CEO Jason Oxman, "The idea behind the committee is to get all the players around the table, ask everyone to take off their company hats and put on their industry hats, and talk about what issues need to be resolved."

We agree. In the end only the companies who can offer what consumers want in a safe and easy to use way will survive, so it's important to get all the rules and standards put in place while the technology is still in the early stages. We don't see any of the participants willing to drop their offerings in favor of another, but hopefully a set of common goals can be used to get mobile payment technology into the public's hands where the best product can win. Waiting until one or more of the partners have pulled ahead will only make it harder to adopt legislation that's fair to all parties.

The Mobile Payment Committee will hold its first meeting in late August, with regular monthly meetings to follow. We've been crowing for some standardization for a while now, so we think this is great news. The full press release is after the break.

Via  MobileBurn

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3 years ago

Taiwan Central Bank Governor asks state to help HTC

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HTC is having a bit of a rough patch on the financial side, and Taiwan's Central Bank Governor Perng Fai-nan has asked the government to step in and offer an assist, saying the smartphone manufacturer's financial status is "of vital importance to the islands' gross domestic product" according to the Commercial Times.

At a meeting with the cabinet, Perng reportedly said the decline of HTC is a leading factor for Taiwan's slowing exports, and he thinks the government should step in and offer some help. Exports form Taiwan for the month of July are down 11.6-percent from the same time last year, and have declined for five straight months. 

According to an unnamed government official, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is already discussing measures to assist. Regardless of how you feel about bail-outs or government assistance, we certainly don't want to see HTC go away any time soon. Choice is one of Android's greatest strengths, and plenty of us are enamored with HTC's offerings.

Source: Commercial Times (Chinese); via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

So what don't you like about the GS3? Nexus 7 Benchmarks [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.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

Latest Tweet Lanes update brings direct messages, notifications coming soon

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While much of the Android world still waits on Carbon making its long awaited appearance, its continued absence leaves  room for others to try and capitalise. One such Twitter client is Tweet Lanes, which unlike Carbon is conducting its beta testing in public. It still isn't finished yet, but developer Chris Lacy has been working his socks off and is producing a really nice application. 

We reviewed Tweet Lanes a few weeks ago when it first started making the headlines, but what a difference a few weeks can make. Our conclusions were that Tweet Lanes is a new twist on Twitter, but definitely still a work in progress. Since that review much has changed, with the most significant visual change being the addition of a much welcomed dark theme. Additionally the developer has been working on supporting the Nexus 7, and adding the features that were lacking when it first arrived. It's also much faster, and much less bug prone than those early builds, testament to the devs hard work over the last few weeks. 

The latest update to be pushed to the Play Store brings yet more additional features, notably the inclusion of direct messages. Along with notifications, DM access was the big thing missing from Tweet Lanes which possibly prevented its use as a main Twitter client. They're here now though, and according to the developer, notifications are next. Chris Lacy is one of those developers who really engages with the community, constantly posting updates and early access to new builds from his Twitter account. This latest build was released to users willing to test well in advance of pushing it to the Play Store, and the feedback prompted a number of bug fixes before the official update was pushed out. 

The latest build doesn't just bring DM access either. There's now a really nice pinch-to-zoom functionality in the image viewer, further layout optimizations, and a heap of bug fixes. Full details of the changelog can be found at the source link below. If you're using Tweet Lanes though and you like it, definitely give the developer a follow on Twitter and join in with the early testing. 

Source: Tweet Lanes, More: Chris Lacy (Twitter)

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3 years ago

OTA Update Center brings over-the-air updates to any ROM developer

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Nothing pleases Android fans more than a notice that they have an update. Millions of words have been spent on countless blogs and forums discussing OTAs (or the lack of them) and we get a little giddy when we see the notice that one is available. The folks at the OTA Update Center have worked out the supporting infrastructure and methods to offer a free OTA service to any ROM developer, so that hackers and modders can enjoy that fuzzy feeling an update brings as well.

It' not really anything new -- hackers and ROM devs have been doing custom ROM OTAs since the days of the HTC Hero, and we see similar services offered from ROM Manager and Goo.im Manager. The OTA Update Center will work in a similar fashion, where an app will be installed into the system that communicates with the servers to pass out OTA updates to anyone using the ROM. For the end-user, it's a simple and impressive way to keep the OS on your phone up-to-date.

The real difference here is to the developers. They no longer need to host files or insert framework for an FOTA system into their ROM, and instead can use the supplied tool with a few edits. This will get everything up and running with  minimum of extra code, and provide a sort of standard that all developers can follow. We like standards. Developers like standards. Users like things that "just work", and standards allow that to happen easier.

If you're an end user, you'll have to wait and see if your ROM development team decides to use the OTA Update Center. If you're a developer, you should check out the source links and think about giving it a try. Be sure to give us a shout if you incorporate this into your ROM, we'd love to give it a look!

Source: OTA Update Center, via XDA-Developers

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