Headlines

3 years ago

Words with Friends coming to Android (update: plan on playing your iOS friends)

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Words with Friends

Words with Friends -- the uber-popular Scrabble-esqe word game for the iOS -- is coming to Android, according to an e-mail tipster Jordan has sent us and others.

In the e-mail, Jordan asked about the prospects of an Android version of the game. The response he got from the developer:

"We've since hired a team to develop an Android Version. They're actively at work on it at the moment and are getting close to being done, so not too much longer!"

We've asked the developer -- which was purchased by Zynga earlier this month -- for any more details about the Android release. Will we be able to play (and beat) our iPhone brethren? When, exactly, will see the app? Will it be ad-supported? Stay tuned, folks.

More on Words with Friends in the Android Central Forums

Update: Just heard back from the Words with Friends folks, who had this to add:

"We are working on an Android version, but we're not ready to share much more beyond that. Our goal is that it will be compatible with the iOS version from day one."

Words with Friends e-mail

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3 years ago

Best Buy gives detail for Nexus S launch

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Samsung Nexus S

Best Buy has dropped info on Thursday's U.S. launch of the Samsung Nexus S. And they are as follows:

  • Stores open at 8 a.m. local time
  • Online sales nationwide start at 8 a.m. Eastern time.
  • There's a limit of two phones per customer; stores have a finite supply (natch)
  • Demo phones will be on hand. (Let's hope they're not the non-working dummy phones we're all too used to at Best Buy)
  • The Nexus S is unlocked.
  • Off-contract price is $529, plus tax.
  • On-contract price is $199 with a two-year T-Mobile plan. Add-a-line activation runs $249.99.

Best Buy also will have the usual upgrade checking in place, and they'll make sure you leave the store with the phone working (and likely with an accessory or two). So there you have it, folks. Just a couple of days to go. [Best Buy]

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3 years ago

Refill your Walgreens prescriptions with Walgreens Mobile app

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Walgreens Mobile app gets prescription barcode scanning.

Feeling a bit under the weather, have a Walgreens prescription you need filled, and wish that Android powered device of yours could magically fill said prescription?  Well, it can't produce any pills or nasal spray, but the Walgreens Mobile app can do the next best thing.  By simply scanning the prescription's barcode, you can alert the folks at the Walgreens pharmacy that you're out of pills, and need a fix.

If you don't roll with barcode scanning, you can also fill your prescriptions based on account history.  By entering either your account number, or prescription number, the Walgreens Mobile app will notify Walgreens pharmacists that your prescription is empty, and needs to be refilled.  And then once it's ready, you'll receive an SMS notification -- pretty slick.  Now to just get out of the same sick clothes you've been wearing for three days, comb your hair, and drive all the way to your nearest Walgreens -- something else the Walgreens Mobile app will assist you with.

The Walgreens Mobile app also features a flu shot & store locator, photo print ordering, and weekly ad fliers.  This is actually a pretty robust app for a retail/pharmacy chain, and I'd like to see this level of usability from other retailer apps. Download links are after the break.  [Walgreens]

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3 years ago

Samsung Captivate case review: Smartphone Experts Skin Case

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SPE Skin Case 1

If you’re looking for a way to protect your Samsung Captivate, but don’t want a case that adds bulk or weight, consider the Smartphone Experts Skin Case.

Available in three colors, the SPE Skin Case is a one-piece item that fits snuggly around the Captivate. It’s made of highly flexible material that can be bent and shaped, so no need to worry about breaking it.

Once it’s on your Captivate, it feels good in the hand and doesn’t add bulk in the pocket. The anti-dust coating ensures that the case and your phone stay clean.

I have enjoyed my time with this skin case because of the light, rubbery feel. Some of the Captivate cases feel alright at first, but then become more of a hindrance. Thus far, I have not felt the need to switch the case or take it off because it’s so unobtrusive; it allows you to focus on the phone and not the phone and the case, which is often what happens.

Captivate owners: if you’re looking for a simple, protective layer to fit around your phone, consider the SPE Skin Case, available from the Android Central Store for $9.95

SPE Skin Case 4    SPE Skin Case 5

SPE Skin Case 6    SPE Skin Case 7

SPE Skin Case 9    SPE Skin Case 8

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3 years ago

Smartphone coasters, comparing the Nexus S and did you get a CR-48? [From the forums]

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Android Forums at Android Central

Hey, folks, hope you all had a great weekend out there. It's Monday again and we figured we'd better get this week off to a good start, so we won't waste too much time talking. We closed down some of the contests in the forums to make way for some new ones. Winners will be announced shortly but be sure to check out the latest posted in the forums.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

Android Market has been enabled on the NookColor

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NookColor

The Android Market can now be accessed from the Barnes & Noble NookColor. Once it was rooted last month, it was only a matter of time before the community was able to enable the tablet/e-reader to access all Android apps. 

If you have a NookColor and are interested in doing this, do note that it is complicated and can possibly brick your device. 

Before you begin, here are the prerequisites that you need:

  • Your NookColor must be rooted 
  • You need adb (Android Debug Bridge) working
  • You must have a Gmail account

If you have all these completed and still would like to try this, follow the source link for more instructions. There is a large community who have taken to working with the NookColor, so you should find all you need over there. Great news for NookColor owners who have been pining to use apps on that 7-inch screen. Good luck! [Nook Devs]

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3 years ago

Bell Samsung Galaxy S phones dying - bad hardware, or bad hacks?

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Galaxy S i9000M

The Samsung Galaxy S i9000M (aka the Vibrant) from Bell Mobility seems to be having a high rate of failure with the internal SD storage.  Starting back in September, some folks started seeing their internal SD card become unreadable, unmountable, or just plain invisible to the kernel.  There seems to be a few things in common here -- most of the affected users are running Froyo, most of them have also applied some flavor of "lag fix," and the only sure-fire way to fix it is to ship the phone back to Samsung.

There's a lot of theories, ranging from bad hardware, inferior components, and unsafe hacks.  After reading for half the day, I think it's a combination of all three.  It certainly seems like folks who have upgraded to Froyo but haven't mucked around with their file system aren't seeing many issues, and those that have used some sort of lag fix are seeing the most.  Of course Samsung didn't use hardware that did not meet their specs, but they also didn't use the absolute best available -- that's not very kind to the bottom line.  SD media doesn't take repartitioning very well, and it's likely that the hours spent applying and removing various lag fix schemes has caused early failure for many.  Add in the ever-present bad piece of hardware, and you have the makings of a mess.  And since the only real fix is to send it in and spend time without your phone, my advice is to stop messing with the file system -- inflated Quadrant scores just aren't worth it. Thanks Gregg for bringing this to our attention!

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3 years ago

More on the Android Market's redesign (plus: proper landscape design!)

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Android Market redesign

If you really want to get into the nuts and bolts of the Android Market's redesign -- coming soon to a smartphone near you -- check out Kirill Grouchnikov's "Pushing Pixels" blog. In today's post, the Android user interface engineer talks about the redesign, why things look the way they do -- and how it was done.

And of particular interest is the transition and design of the Android Market when viewed in landscape (horizontal) mode. We're not too proud to say that we didn't even notice at first, because we didn't bother to try the new market in landscape -- the old market was, shall we say, severely lacking in that respect.

Anyhoo, check out Kirill's blog if you want to see the ins and outs of the whole thing. [Pushing Pixels]

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3 years ago

Apple gets proper Google Latitude; stalk your friends from Android

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Not sure how many of  you out there are making use of Google Latitude but if you are, you may find a few more people that now want to stalk follow your every move. Yes, the iPhone crowd has today, been given a proper Google Latitude application for iOS. As noted by the good folks over at TiPB, the application did make an early appearance in the iTunes app store as it seemingly got caught up in all the Nexus S and Gingerbread news but was then quickly pulled again. It has finally returned and is available now for download. Has Google finally broken the iOS barrier? First Google Voice, now this. [TiPB]

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3 years ago

Creative ZiiO pays a visit to the FCC

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At this rate, 2011 is shaping up to be the year of the tablet -- and Creative is on board with the ZiiO. But before any device hits the market, the FCC needs to make sure it checks out (lucky FCC, they see everything early). 

The Creative ZiiO will rock a 10-inch screen, with a 1024 x 600 screen resolution. It'll be running Android 2.1, the current manual suggests that it will be a pretty basic tablet. Oh well, that's why we have hackers, right?  [FCC via CrunchGear]

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3 years ago

Gingerbread brings the ext4 file system to new devices

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Nexus S

In an almost overlooked note on the Android Developers Blog, Tim Bray lets us know that starting with the Nexus S and Gingerbread, some Android devices will be moving from the YAFFS file system to the ext4 file system.  This is going to bring a big boost in input and output file operations, and explains some of the amazing speed improvements we're already seeing on the Nexus S.

Two things to mention here -- the increase in speed comes with a cost, and not all current (or new) devices will see this change.  The lifespan of the media will be reduced by using the ext4 file system, but modern solid state memory should still last for quite a few years, so I don't see a serious problem with it.  The other issue is which phones will see this boost.  I've a gut feeling that this is reserved for only new devices with big internal memory space, like the Nexus S, that have a controller that can use it.  I wouldn't count on your current phone to get this change -- at least officially -- but hopefully manufacturers will make sure their new devices meet the needed specs.

Not sure what exactly an ext4 file system is, or want to talk about these changes and what they might mean to Android?  Get in the Gingerbread forums and suss it all out.  Feed your geek. [Android Developer blog via Thunk.org] Thanks Sean!

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3 years ago

nullDC coming to Android; bios boot gets video

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Dreamcast on Android

Android users may soon be able to play their favorite Dreamcast games on their phones as nullDC, the open-source emulator, is at an early alpha build for the platform.

drk|Raziel has been hard at work on this project and it looks to be making significant progress. He posted a video recently showcasing the booting of the bios on a Samsung Captivate (see the video after the break). This is a big step in bringing Dreamcast to Android; games are reportedly coming soon.

For all you Sega fans, it appears as if you will be able to play Dreamcast games on your Android-powered mobile device. [drk | Raziel's blog]

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3 years ago

Android phones use the most data, blame the cameras

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 HTC Evo 4G's 8MP Camera

Those huge activation numbers Andy Rubin recently mentioned highlight both a blessing and a curse for carriers these days. Reuters has revealed the curse by announcing that, on average, Android users consume the most mobile data compared to all other smartphone users. They place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Android phones' "better cameras and video recorders, and software for editing the footage." ZING. These days, Android phones are typically launching with 5 or 8 megapixel cameras (like the HTC Evo 4G, shown above) and people are taking advantage of the increased resolution when shooting pictures or video.

As carriers like Verizon continue to push heavily for their customers to upgrade their feature phones to smartphones alongside pricey data plans, they must be aware of the increased strain of those phones on their networks. Anyone with an iPhone can tell you endless tales of woe with AT&T, which can largely be attributed to their 3G network simply not being robust enough when the iPhone 3G was launched back in 2008.

So, is it possible that Android users on other networks could see this same problem in the future? One solution are the "4G" data-centric networks Verizon and Sprint are using, which will likely attract the power users who consume the most data, leaving less strain on 3G networks for the average user. Still, there is only so much bandwidth to go around so this issue is far from resolved. [Reuters via BGR]

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Mach LU3000 to be available in South Korea soon

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LG Optimus Mach

The LG Optimus Mach LU3000, another device in LG's Optimus Line, will hit the South Korean market soon.

The Mach represents a unique device because LG has teamed up with Ennio Morricone, the legendary composer, to record original music for the phone. Consumers can now enjoy music and theme songs from Morricone, something no other device can claim. 

The Optimus Mach sports: Android 2.2 (Froyo), 1 GHz TI OMAP 3630 processor, HDMI-out, 5 MP camera, 3.8-inch WVGA touchscreen.

It will be available in both black and white and will be released soon. See a video showing off the device after the break. [Press release (in Korean) via Unwiredview]

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3 years ago

Root Explorer updated, brings some welcome features

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Root Explorer update 1 Root Explorer update 2

If you're not using Root Explorer on your rooted Android phone or tablet, you should be.  It's an easy way to work with the files on your device, using a graphical interface that so many of us are used to.  To make a good thing even better, while updating things to work with Gingerbread (thanks to the release of the SDK), Speed Software has added a couple changes to make things even better -- support for the upload dialog in the Dropbox app, and displaying the correct icon for installed applications instead of the generic icon it has used until now. With these changes, Root Explorer is now the only file browser I need on my rooted phones, and is the best $3.95 I've ever spent.  There are a couple more screenshots, and a download link after the break.

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