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3 years ago

DashClock Widget for Android 4.2

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I've made no secret about my outright displeasure for the new lock screen widgets in Android 4.2. Clunky, for one, often lacking style for another. 

DashClock Widget is quickly changing my mind. It's the work of Roman Nurik, a Googler and Android design guy and was released this morning to Google Play and as open-source code.

The widget itself is devilishly simple. Add it to the Android 4.2 lock screen like you would any other widget. From there you add "extensions." At launch you've got extensions for weather, missed calls and texts, your next calendar appointment, unread e-mails and your next scheduled alarm. Chances are we should see additional extensions pretty quickly. (Here's hoping for some world clock love, which is the only thing I'm missing from the stock Android lock screen clock.) Want to get rid of an extension? Just swipe it away. Nice.

This one's free, it's open-source, and it's definitely worth a look. Hit the link above, and ease on past the break for a little hands-on action if you need more convincing.

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3 years ago

BlueStacks brings Android apps to Microsoft Surface Pro

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BlueStacks, which is a product that lets users run Android apps on Windows computers, is releasing a new version today that brings the functionality to Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface Pro. Until today, BlueStacks has only been available for Windows 7 and Mac OSX. The latest version of BlueStacks fully supports Windows 8 -- including new features like charms bar support and rotation support -- but is also optimized for the recently released Surface Pro.

BlueStacks has partnerships with several OEMs already, and users have made over 5 million downloads of the software directly from its website alone. The software is also free, which is fantastic for Windows 8 users looking to try out the experience of running Android apps on their PC's with full touch capabilities. You can get more information and grab a download at the source link below.

Source: BlueStacks

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3 years ago

LG confirms 5.5-inch 1080p display for Korean Optimus G Pro

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As has been rumored recently, the LG Optimus G Pro is indeed heading to South Korea, with a 5.5-inch display in tow. The device, which first appeared in Japan with a 5.0-inch screen, was reported to be heading to LG's home market with a refreshed spec sheet in the past week -- and we'd even seen some leaked photos to back up these claims.

LG's promotional site for the G Pro doesn't reveal much beyond the screen size and resolution, so we'll have to wait on confirmation of other changes like the larger battery and microSD support. However, the device in the image above certainly looks a lot like what we saw in last week's spy shots.

As for whether the Optimus G Pro will eventually extend its reach outside of Asia, that's something we'll likely find out at Mobile World Congress in a couple of weeks.

Source: LG; via: UnwiredView

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3 years ago

Three UK's 'Ultrafast' Galaxy S3 now available - DC-HSDPA now, LTE later

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As promised, Three UK has just launched its "Ultrafast" Galaxy S3 variant online and in stores. Coming in the familiar marble white and pebble blue color options, the new model is essentially a Galaxy S3 LTE (check out our review). That means its hardware supports DC-HSDPA (the fastest flavor of 3G) as well as 4G LTE. Three's putting both technologies under its "Ultrafast" banner, hence the naming of this device, and the carrier tells us an over-the-air update will switch on LTE by default when it launches its 4G network.

The Ultrafast Galaxy S3 sells for £449.99 on Pay As You Go, and it's also available on two-year £34-36 per month contracts, which include "All You Can Eat" data. If you're buying on contract, you'll need to stump up a £29 up-front fee.

Source: Ultrafast Galaxy S3 on Three

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3 years ago

Vertu announces $10,000 Android phone - titanium and sapphire on the outside, Ice Cream Sandwich within

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Vertu, perhaps best known as a purveyor of ridiculously expensive Symbian phones, has turned its attention to the Android smartphone market with a new device, dubbed the Vertu Ti. In keeping with what you'd expect from this kind of brand, the Ti is pegged as a luxury device, as is reflected by its €7,900 ($10,000) price tag.

On the inside, the Vertu Ti isn't all that remarkable -- there's an unnamed 1.7GHz dual-core processor running the show, an 8MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, as well as a 1.3MP front-facer, a 3.7-inch WVGA screen, 64GB of storage and pentaband DC-HSDPA connectivity. Even less remarkable is the year-old skinned Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich powering the software side of things.

But Vertu's banking on its build quality and unique materials to set it apart -- the chassis is constructed out of titanium, and the screen is fashioned from sapphire crystal -- apparently designed to be more durable than the average plastic phone. What's more, customers get access to Vertu's "concierge" call service to help out with things like "local advice and restaurant booking." (Think of it as a little like Google Now, except with humans.)

We'll be honest here, we doubt anyone reading this will actually stump up the $10,000 to purchase a Vertu Ti, but the fact that this kind of manufacturer is embracing Android goes to show the wide appeal of the OS. If you've got ten grand to burn, the Vertu Ti is available for sale now at the manufacturer's website.

Source: Vertu; via: BBC

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3 years ago

Android 4.2.2 rolling out to Nexus 10 and 7, GSM Galaxy Nexus [Updated]

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Over-the-air updates to Android 4.2.2 are rolling out now to the current crop of Nexus devices. Reports first started trickling in on Reddit about the GSM Galaxy Nexus having its update waiting. And more recently, news from Android Police, XDA and elsewhere indicates that Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 users are getting these updates, so it looks like we're in the midsts of the 4.2.2 roll-out.

No news on the Nexus 4, interestingly enough, but we'd assume if the rest of the Nexuses are getting it, the N4 will be on that train too. We're of course not sure what all this update has in it, but we're not expecting much more than bug fixes considering it's just a x.x.1 jump. After updating our own Galaxy Nexus to 4.2.2, there don't seem to be any immediately-noticeable changes.

So have at it folks, start checking your devices for that update. If you're into manually updating (advanced users only), we've got direct OTA package links for the Gnex and Nexus 10 after the break.

Source: AndroidPolice; Reddit; Thanks, Karl!

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3 years ago

Google Now widget possibly leaks out on Google support page

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There's not a lot to look at, but the minimalism is part of what makes is great. We're talking about Google Now, and the fact that reference to a widget has appeared on a Google support page answers the prayers of many an Android fan. There isn't a lot of documentation, but very little is needed. Place the widget on your homescreen just like you would any other, and a click on one of the sections will open the relevant parts in Google Now. We assume that the widget will be populated based on your Google Now card preferences.

There's no word on when we'll see this, or if it will be part of an OS update or an update available via Google Play. We're guessing the latter, which makes it readily available for carrier phones that might be, shall we say, an OS version or two behind. We'll just have to wait to get the full details.

Update: Looks like Google's pulled that support page.

Source: Google. Thanks, @mattatwar1!

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3 years ago

LG announces Optimus L series II device family

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We've heard about a refresh of the LG Optimus L-style phones coming, and LG just made things official. There aren't many surprises here, as all three of the phones look to be mid-range devices, and based on dual-SIM specification, we assume they are destined for central and eastern Europe. 

First out of the gate will be the Optimus L7II, which debuts in Russia this week. It's a 4.3-inch (WVGA; IPS) Jelly Bean powered phone, with 768MB of RAM and an 8MP camera. The dual-SIM specification already mentioned is on board, and it's all powered by a healthy 2460mAh battery. On the software side, the L series II devices include LG's unique features like QSlide and QuickTranslator. 

Releasing at a later date, the Optimus L5II will be a 4.0-inch version with a 1700mAh battery, and the Optimus L3II will feature a 3.2-inch display and a 1540mAh battery. We'll know more about these soon, as LG plans to display the new L series II devices at Mobile World Congress later this month.

You can find LG's full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Verizon's Droid DNA to be updated with bug fixes

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Verizon's HTC-built Droid DNA will soon be receiving a software update with a few important bug fixes, as the carrier has just posted word on its Droid DNA software support page. The new version 2.04.605.2 710RD comes with a sizeable changelog, including references to fixes for the mobile hotspot function, headset audio quality and Bluetooth --

  • User can load videos on HuluPlus
  • Improvements to Hotspot connectivity have been made
  • Improvements to Audio Quality for wired headsets and earpieces have been made
  • Bluetooth connectivity and volume level for specific models have been improved
  • Enhanced reliability and stability of the Contacts List have been made
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity has been improved
  • Improvements to default browser for zooming capability have been made
  • Incoming messages display with the correct timestamp
  • Enhanced Recent Apps functionality has been improved

We've had first-hand experience of mobile hotspot jankiness on the DNA, so hopefully this update will provide relief for this and other lingering issues with the phone. If previous Verizon updates are any indication, this new DNA firmware should start pushing out in the days ahead. When it does, the update file will weigh in at 103.5MB.

Source: Verizon Wireless

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3 years ago

Google Play Movies is in the mood for love with a big Valentine's Day sale

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If you're a hopeless romantic or a film buff, Google Play has a big Valentine's Day sale going on. Rentals start at just $1.99, and the list is chock full of favorites both old and new. While Star Wars is notably absent from the list, Mrs. Hildenbrand informs me that The Notebook and City of Angels are perfect substitutes, and ones we will be watching this week.

Watching the movies you rent or buy is easy. You can use your phone, tablet, or Google TV box with the Google Play Movies app, or visit www.play.google.com/movies from any computer with a modern Internet browser. What can't be helped is that not everyone has access to Google Play Movies. If they aren't available in your country, other avenues exist that can show Hollywood how much you support their world distribution licensing. 

Check out what's available from the Google Play app on your Android device, or via the web right here. And be sure to enter our Valentine's Day contest to win a Nexus 4 or Nexus 7 to watch movies on for next year's Valentine's Day sale!

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3 years ago

Motorola Atrix HD tops user satisfaction poll, 4 of top 5 devices run Android

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In a recent device satisfaction survey, OnDevice Research asked 320,000 smart phone users in the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Indonesia how satisfied they were with their current device. Of the 93,825 users asked in the United States, the Motorola Atrix HD came out on top -- followed (in order) by the RAZR M, the HTC Rezound, the Note 2, and finally the iPhone 5. 

These results are a bit surprising. I spent some time with the Atrix HD and loved it, but would never have expected it to top phones like the Note 2 or iPhone 5, which have a huge following. I'm not suggesting the survey is flawed. I'm suggesting that we're now at a point where most smart phones offer the same compelling features, and price can play an important factor in how happy we are with the phone in our hands.

You can easily join in the speculation with me. Hit the source link and have a read, then try to make sense of it all in the comments.

Source: On Device Research

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3 years ago

Motorola makes Platinum Droid RAZR M officially official

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We saw a new color of the Motorola Droid RAZR M pop up for sale on best Buy's website last week, and now Motorola is confirming its existence. The device is the same internally as the original colors of the RAZR M, but externally it's got a shiny new coat of platinum (c'mon, it's silver) paint. The front is still black, but the sides and buttons have been changed.

You can pick up the new color of the Droid RAZR M for $49.99 with a 2-year Verizon contract, and it seems to be a Best Buy exclusive at least for now. Motorola says that "quantities are limited," so check the source links if you're interested in picking one of these up.

Source: Motorola; Best Buy

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3 years ago

Sonos update bringing favorites improvements, new widget for Android app

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Sonos is rolling out an update to both its hardware setups and mobile apps to enable new features today. The first part of the update will come to the Sonos base station itself, and will improve the handling of favorites. Users will now be able to add tracks, albums and radio stations to favorites no matter the source. The new favorites can now be accessed from any Sonos Controller in the music menu as well.

An update for the Android (and iOS) Sonos Controller app is on the way to take advantage of the new features also. The Android version will receive a new widget that lets users control tracks and playback without launching the app itself, as well as show album art and metadata. The app will also receive universal search available from anywhere in the interface.

Both the system and app updates are expected to start rolling out tomorrow, so be on the lookout if you're a Sonos user.

Source: Sonos

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 wireless charger finally available for $59.99

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Google has finally put the Nexus 4's official wireless charger on sale for $59.99, with a five-charger limit. The charger uses the Qi wireless technology, which juices up your phone without having to actually plug in the device. So you put it down to charge, pick it up and go.

The tech specs list a 4-hour charging time (for a full charge, we reckon) and a 5Vdc/1.0A output. The picture here looks a little wonky, but it's got a micro USB connection to the included power adapter, which Google says is for the U.S. and Canada only. It's not currently available in the UK.

Source: Google Play
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations fitness month week 2: Nutrition!

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Leave a comment below telling us your Fitness Month goals and be entered to win a Withings Wireless Scale!

It's February and you know what that means? Mobile Nations Fitness Month! That's when we all get together to get in shape, share tips and tricks and recipes for success, review amazing apps and accessories, give away great prizes, and have a ton of fun! This year we're doing it a little differently, though. We're doing weekly themes, and that means every week you'll have new and exciting challenges, and new chances to win!

Week 2: Nutrition!

You know the old saying, you are what you eat? It's a cliche because it's true. Food is what gets us going and makes us run. Eating the right foods can improve the way we look and feel, how we handle stress and how we make it through the day. Food is our fuel, and we want to make sure we give our bodies and minds the best fuel possible.

As part of fitness month, we'll be reviewing a bunch of great apps and accessories that can help motivate, track, and train us to eat better and smarter.We'll also be doing THREE cool contests!

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