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3 years ago

Inevitable pink Galaxy Note 2 appears on Samsung Taiwan site

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If you're feeling a sense of déjà vu while reading that headline, we can't blame you. Samsung has a history of rolling out bright pink products ahead of Valentine's Day. Recall the pink Galaxy S2 of 2012, and the pink OG Galaxy Note that reared its head around the same time. And a little out of season, but nonetheless relevant, is the Korea-exclusive "Martian pink" Galaxy S3 we saw back in September.

Today they're joined by an all-new rose-tinted rectangle, in the form of the pink Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The pink slab has appeared over on Samsung's Taiwanese site, where it's shown alongside the standard white and grey versions. The exact shade looks a lot like the "Martian pink" of the Galaxy S3, and there's also a matching pink S-Pen, which is nice.

No word yet on whether Samsung will offer this color option outside of Asia. But pink versions of the S2 and the original Note eventually made it over to Europe, so we'd say the chances are looking pretty good -- even if the same can't be said for the phone itself.

Source: Samsung Taiwan; via: UnwiredView

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3 years ago

Chrome Beta for Android updated, actually pretty speedy now

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Google has once again updated the Chrome beta channel for Android, bringing the pre-release browser up to version 25.0.1364.74. The new update fixed compatibility issues with the Samsung Galaxy S2, while addressing the long-standing beta bug that caused the tap disambiguation popup to appear more often than it should. That's in addition to fixes for some other bugs.

But what we're noticing most in this beta update is the performance improvement brought by the latest Chrome graphics architecture. This was actually added in an earlier Chrome Beta release last Friday, but a bug which throttled scrolling speed on many pages prevented us from enjoying it. In this latest version it seems that's now been fixed, allowing us to get the most out of Chrome's new graphical goodness.

We should point out that this is still beta software, and performance on older devices like the Galaxy Nexus remains slow and laggy. The usual warning about software bugs alplies here, too. But if you're using a newer phone like the Nexus 4 and have been put off by the jankiness of earlier Crome betas, you may want to give this latest one a try. Hit the Google Play link above if you like to live on the edge when it comes to mobile web browser.

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3 years ago

The Simpsons: Tapped Out makes its second debut in Google Play

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Earlier in the week we saw the Dutch branch of EA launch The Simpsons: Tapped Out to a limited audience, and tonight it seems to be available for everyone else. Loosely based on the show that's been on TV forever, The Simpsons: Tapped Out is part Sim City mixed in, a dash of Farmville, and a tiny bit of Mafia Wars. Mix this all together and you have the makings of a decent game.

Progress your way through the missions to rebuild Springfield after a small "accident" down at the power plant, collecting XP, cash and donuts along the way. The gameplay is great on the Nexus 10, with smooth animations and no stuttering. I've been playing it a couple hours and have had a good time doing it.

The app is free (of course in-app purchases are there if you like) and various versions exist for multiple devices in Google Play. From the comments it looks very well supported on a myriad of different devices, and it installed and runs well on all the phones and tablets I've tried it on. Hit the Google Play link above and give it a shot. The game trailer is after the break.

Update: This release seems to have broken the earlier version available in Europe here. It's a shame the launch of an excellent game was ruined like this. All I can suggest is to keep trying, and if we hear anything from EA I'll let everyone know.

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3 years ago

Carbon (Twitter) update fixes bugs and adds Nexus 7 "support"

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Carbon (the Twitter client) has just received its first notable update since release in the Play Store, and it fixes a whole bucket of bugs. Notifications have been improved, fixing crashes and duplicate notifications. Several other crashes have been fixed related to avatar loading, deleting DMs, message long presses, account selection when tweeting and duplicate tweets. That's quite a few crashes being fixed for one update.

One other item that wasn't part of the changelog is "support" for the Nexus 7. We put support in quotes because although the app can now be downloaded on Nexus 7 devices, it's just the same phone UI as before. We reached out to the developer to ask why this was done and received this response pertaining to the Nexus 7 inclusion:

... it does [support the Nexus 7]. It's not a UI that we're designing exclusively for tablets, but the only reason it is now available on tablets is to avoid the 1-star reviews that it's been causing on Play Store. A full fledged tablet app with a UI designed from scratch for tablets is in the works.

The app will warn users at startup and informs users that the UI is not optimized for tablets yet.

We knew from before that the developer planned to release a separate tablet app that properly scales and takes advantage of larger screens in the near future. It's unfortunate that his hand has seemingly been forced into adding Nexus 7 support on the current version, which is obviously a suboptimal experience, just because of a barrage of 1-star reviews. 

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3 years ago

Samsung and EA make plans to bring more games to Samsung's App store

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Samsung and Electronic Arts have closed a revenue deal that will bring new games to Samsung's App Store, and put more money in game developer's pockets. The deal starts March 4, and participating developers will get 100-percent (as in all of it) of the profits from sales for the first six months, then Samsung will collect 10-percent for the next six months, and finally the fees return to the industry standard 20-percent the following year. This is a pretty big deal, from a pair of pretty big players in the industry.

Update: Samsung and the 100% indie team has sent us a correction. Developers will receive 100% revenue from March 4, 2013 through September 3, 2013, 90% revenue share from September 4, 2013 through March 3, 2014, 80% revenue share from March 4, 2014 through March 3, 2015, and after March 4, 2015, Samsung Apps developers will begin receiving the industry-standard 70% revenue share. The part about this being a really good deal for developers is unchanged. 

The program is also focused towards indie games, and is designed to put those obscure titles on the same plane as well-known games like those in the Angry Birds series. Developers who participate aren't tied up in any sort of exclusivity deal, and are free to publish their games at other markets like Google Play or Amazon. They are also encouraged to bring existing games into the Samsung App market. 

Of course Samsung benefits as well here. Getting people tied into their "ecosystem" instead of Google's or Amazon's is no easy task. Samsung is now the top seller of smart phones in the world, but when everyone has a smart phone it's always good to have a secondary source of revenue. Eventually, smart phone ownership will reach its peak, and Samsung hopes their services will keep people interested in the brand, and keep the money flowing. Having a rich content catalog is one of the best ways to make that happen.

Source: Reuters

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3 years ago

Multi-window update rolling out to Canadian Galaxy Note 2s

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We heard just two days ago that Canadian models of the Galaxy Note 2 would be receiving their multi-window update today, and that seems to be going along as planned. Our own devices have started to pull down the update, all 230MB of it, to be installed and others are finding it arrive on their devices as well. This update will bring the much-anticipated multi-window feature, along with Chinese language support. The multi-window function let's the device run two apps side-by-side on the large screen, increasing the potential for multitasking.

The update arrived on other Note 2 devices -- and even Galaxy S3's -- in Europe and the U.S. late last year, so it's about time Canadian users got their opportunity to try out multi-window as well. Seeing the update on your own device yet? Let other users know in the forums.

More: Galaxy Note 2 Forums

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3 years ago

Quick contest: Win one of 20 Carbon (backup) unlock codes

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Carbon (the backup app) is a kick ass way to backup and restore apps and their precious data on your Android phone or tablet. It's simple, looks great, works even better, and doesn't need root or any fancy hocus-pocus to get it to work. We think it's the way Google should have done it. The free version works great, backing up all your data to the device, but the premium version takes things a step further by placing all your data in your Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.net account. Yay the cloud!

There's one thing that could make it better, and that's getting a free Carbon Premium code. Koush hooked us up with 20 of them to give away, and here's your chance. Comment on this post, telling everyone what data you need to back up, and sometime after midnight (Eastern time) we'll pick 20 winners. No muss, no fuss.

If you're not sure because you haven't tried Carbon backup just yet, now is the time. Hit the Google Play link above and see why everyone is loving this one.

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3 years ago

comScore: Android market share in US increases slightly in Q4 to 53.4-percent

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Research firm comScore has just released its quarterly U.S. smartphone market share numbers, and as expected Android is leading the charge. Comparing Q4 2012 numbers to those of Q3, Android saw a 0.9 percentage point increase in share to 53.4-percent of the total smartphone market. Apple held down the second place spot at 36.3-percent, up 2.0 percentage points. BlackBerry and Windows Phone held down third and fourth, both declining in their share of the market.

Breaking down the numbers from a manufacturer perspective, Apple is still in the lead with the aforementioned 36.3-percent, with Samsung in second at 21-percent, which is up 2.3 percentage points. The next three round out to HTC at 10.2-percent, Motorola at 9.1-percent and LG at 7.1-percent. Both HTC and Motorola lost market share in the quarter.

If you haven't yet speculated about which smartphone OEM will come out on top in 2013, be sure to let us know what you're thinking in this week's sidebar poll. You may have a better idea of which to vote for now after seeing these numbers. Stick around after the break to see chart breakdowns of the top spots in both categories.

Source: comScore

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3 years ago

The Valentine's Day contest is getting huge, lets make it even bigger

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A few days back we started up a great contest where you and your Valentine could win a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 7. We're loving the response and all the pictures of the happy couples. It's awesome to see the people who make Android Central what it is, and just how normal we all are. Looking through the contest thread and seeing folks from all walks of life, of every shape and color, united because we all use the same smartphone operating system makes us feel good inside. Really good.

So we're going to turn it up to 11.

Right now we're at 38 pages full of entries. If (and when!) we hit 50 pages, we're going to double the prize. That means two entries will have a chance to win a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 7. In fact, if it can grow to 75 pages, we'll triple things, and give away three Nexus 4s and three Nexus 7s! A reminder of how this one works:

  • To enter this contest, you will need to post in this forum thread. <--------- Use that link right there. Don't use the comments in this post. (Those of you who do shall be mocked mercilessly.)
  • This is our first couples contest. It's going to require a picture of you and your significant other. Guy, gal, four-legged friend. Doesn't matter to us. We wanna see you with someone you care about. Or at least someone you bribed for a picture. (Or if all else fails, show us a pic of you and your beloved phone.)
  • Those who post pictures (again, do it in that forum thread) of you and your significant other get entered to win some great grand prizes: A 32GB Wifi Nexus 7 and a 16GB Nexus 4. Plus we'll throw in a couple of sweet LloydGear T-shirts for each set of winners.
  • Five runners-up will receive Lloyd T-shirts.

The contest ends February 15 at 8 am Eastern time. Be sure to get entered, and let's push this thing as far as we can.

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3 years ago

Fitness Month: RunKeeper for Android hits beta 3 with new look and new features

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Just in time for Mobile Nations Fitness Month, RunKeeper 3.0 beta for Android has landed. RunKeeper is a personal workout app designed to help you keep track of how you exercise, primarily using using GPS on your phone to track the pace and distance of each workout.

There’s a wide array of activities programmed in by default, including walking, running, cycling and even snowboarding and swimming, assuming your device is hardy enough to withstand the elements. Workout plans are also available, and there’s an interface to allow you to set up your own custom workouts if you like. That means you can tweak exactly how much activity you’re doing, and whether you want to rest, warm up or cool down.

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3 years ago

Stitcher Radio receives complete UI overhaul

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Stitcher Radio isn't a new app by any means, but it's been completely redesigned so extensively it might as well be considered new. It may have "radio" in the app name, but there's much more on offer here than just that. We took a look at Stitcher back in August and thought it was pretty good, and now it's just been thrust back to the top with a complete UI overhaul.

Hang around after the break and see everything the new Stitcher Radio has to offer.

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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR HD LTE Jelly Bean upgrade now rolling out

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Motorola's RAZR HD LTE -- that's the Canadian version of the DROID RAZR HD -- is now receiving its upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the manufacturer has announced.

As Moto's UI is pretty close to vanilla Android these days, most of the improvements in the RAZR HD LTE Jelly Bean upgrade are ones we're already familiar with -- namely Google Now, enhanced speech recognition and improved responsiveness thanks to "project butter." Motorola also notes that camera speed should be improved in the new Android 4.1-based firmware.

If you're rocking a RAZR HD LTE in Canada, be sure to head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to grab the new firmware, then hit the comments and let us know what you think.

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3 years ago

Android Central Forums are going to get a lot easier to get around in

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Android Central

Hey Folks! James here, your Community Manager here at Mobile Nations. I wanted to give you a quick heads-up on some changes coming to the Android Central Forums.

Late Thursday/early Friday we are going to do some revamping to the organization of the forums. This is something we've done recently on Windows Phone Central, iMore and webOS Nation. The changes were all well received… and now it's Android Central's turn!

The new and improved structure has been vetted by your editorial team, forums team, other key players at Mobile Nations, and most importantly, Lloyd. We're excited about the changes. The new layout will simplify navigating Android Central's massive amount of forums.

One of our goals is to make the forums index as clean and clear as possible, while still providing as many relevant sub-forums for users to dive into. Carrier specific device forums, rooting/ROM forums and the like will still be available for existing devices… and we'll even have a few new areas to explore.

This is just one of the first steps in the continual evolution of Android Central's forums. We are always working to get better for YOU, our readers and active members.

Keep an eye on the forums over the next little while. If you're not active in the forums, I encourage you to pop on over and get involved. We have an amazing community of friendly and knowledgeable members. In a nutshell it's the BEST damn Android community there is!

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3 years ago

Dropbox releases Sync API to application developers

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I think most of us are familiar with Dropbox. Around these parts we not only use it, but we rely on it every day by keeping some essential files in one easy to share place. Easy being the key -- you can get a file from any device with a web browser, or use one of the dedicated applications found on most desktop or mobile platforms. But Dropbox is more than a place to share files with your friends or coworkers, it's a piece of the cloud that's tied to you, where you can store just about any information for safekeeping. That's where today's news comes into play.

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3 years ago

Select ski slope runs now available on Google Maps

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Google is always adding neat bits of information to its Maps database, and today its adding select ski resorts to that list. Users viewing certain ski slopes around the U.S. and Canada will now see ski runs, gondola routes and more right from the regular Google Maps interface. Different runs and routes show up as soon as you zoom in to a certain point, and show as both blue and green lines labeled with the route name. Gondola routes show as red dashed lines as well.

The list of mapped ski slopes is pretty limited right now unfortunately, with 38 different resorts listed in the post. But just like when Google started to map the insides of buildings, parks and other (relatively) small areas, these features will take some time to populate. We wouldn't expect that list to stay small for very long.

Source: Google Lat Long

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