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3 years ago

Onkyo updates app for 2013 receivers

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Using your phone to control your home entertainment center has garnered the attention of just about every smartphone manufacturer this year. But it's not a new concept -- component manufacturers have had their own apps for some time now. I've got an Onkyo receiver at home, and the official Onkyo app was updated this week to work with the 2013 line of receivers.

Check out our full look at the Onkyo app to see all the fun you can have ("Daddy, why did the piercing scream of my cartoon suddenly go on mute?"), and hit up the app if you've got a compatible reciever. 

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3 years ago

Tweedle for Twitter: Flying under the radar

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There's no shortage of great Twitter clients out there -- we've highlighted dozens on the site -- but that doesn't mean we're going to stop showing off the best ones we find, such as Tweedle for Twitter. This client has been around for some time now, but may not be at the top of user's minds when asked to name the Top 5 clients available on Android. That doesn't mean it's a bad app though -- far from it, it recently pushed over the 500,000 user install mark on Google Play.

Tweedle for Twitter offers a smooth and modern interface with the opportunity to granularly control notifications, syncing and the entire color scheme of the app. Hang around after the break to learn a little more about Tweedle.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet Z officially torn down, tablet parts found within

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If you've ever wondered what's lurking inside Sony's thin and rather stylish Xperia Tablet Z, then company's ready to satisfy your morbid curiosity with an official teardown video. In it, a Sony-certified tablet gutter cracks into the Tablet Z to reveal an assortment of tablet parts, including tiny PCBs and a rather large battery pack. There's also the rather surprising revelation that the back of the waterproof slate is held on with little more than glue and tape.

Those interested in seeing what goes into making an Android tablet can check out the video above. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is due for release in the West starting in May.

More: Sony Xperia Tablet Z hands-on

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3 years ago

Android Central 128: It's getting hot in here

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Audio-only stream below

Things get a little heated as Phil, Jerry and Alex catch up on the Galaxy S4, HTC One and all the changes Google's making us go through. And like with any growing pains, things get a little testy. In happier news, we're finally catching up on e-mails and voicemails. Join us!

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3 years ago

Garnet red and 'La Fleur' Galaxy S3 Mini now available from Carphone Warehouse

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UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's begun stocking the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini in limited edition "garnet red" and "La Fleur" color options. We've seen both options before on the full-sized S3 -- the red was a prominent color offered by AT&T in the U.S., while the floral design has been spotted in renders, but hasn't seen as widespread a release.

With the UK Galaxy S4 launch just a month away, now might seem like an odd time to hop aboard the Galaxy S3 train -- but if you're looking for something in a smaller form factor, you could certainly do worse than the S3 Mini. Carphone is offering the S3 Mini on contracts starting from £12.50 per month for the first six months, then £25 thereafter. The SIM-free price stands at £269.99

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

First Sony Xperia Z firmware update hitting some devices in Europe

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It seems Sony's Xperia Z is in the midsts of its first official firmware update. Xperia Z owners in Europe are reporting receiving the update to version 10.1.A.1.434 through the Sony PC companion app, however it seems the update isn't rolling out for everyone just yet, and it's not yet available directly on the device as an over-the-air update either. For our part, we haven't received any update on the unlocked UK model we've been using.

There's also no firm information on exactly what's new in this update, though there's speculation it might address the recently discovered "sleep of death" issue causing Sony Xperia Zs to randomly die. According to XDA forum reports, the latest firmware doesn't fix the slow camera start-up times we pointed out in our Xperia Z review, which is unfortunate.

If you've got an Xperia Z in Europe, be sure to hit the comments and let us know if you're seeing this latest firmware update.

More: Sony Xperia Z review

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

Google Play books now live in Mexico

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Google Play Libros han llegado a Mexico!

Google has expanded the Play Store south of the border, and now Google Play Books is available in Mexico. Mexicans can now access thousands of titles, including both Mexican favorites and international staples. If you're a book lover, be sure to check them out from your phone's Google Play app, or on the web.

You'll need the Google Play Books application if your phone doesn't already have it installed, and you can get it from the Google Play link above.

Thanks, Spook!

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3 years ago

Google reportedly working on an entry into the smart watch market

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Making a "smart watch" type of device seems to be the new hot thing, and Google is reportedly eyeing its own entry into the quickly expanding market. According to a source of Financial Times, the watch is coming not from Google's famous X Labs that produced Project Glass, but rather from the Android division directly. Long-rumored upcoming smart watches from the likes of Apple and Samsung, along with actual devices like the Pebble watch are creating a market that could be ripe for a killer entry from Google. 

There's no indication as to when (or even if) the Android-powered watch would be coming to market, again according to FT's sources. We have to think that Google would want to get Glass out into the market first before trying to reinvent mobile computing once again. but Google is certainly capable of running multiple projects at once.

Would you be interested in a smart watch from Google running Android? Or would it depend on the functionality and form factor? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

Source: Financial Times; Via: The Verge

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3 years ago

Google Play gift cards now redeemable in Canada

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Google is in the process of activating their gift card program in Canada, and codes are now redeemable via the web for a number of users. We gave it a shot ourselves, and as you can see Rene was able to access the page to redeem a card with no trickery involved.

If you're in Canada, and want to give it a try yourself, click here and see what happens. If you're not seeing it yet, we imagine you will soon. We've no word on just when the cards themselves will be on Canadian shelves, but it can't be that far out.

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3 years ago

Samsung isn't forgetting about devices for emerging markets

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Samsung may be spending tens of millions of dollars to put on events for the unveiling of the Galaxy S4, but it hasn't forgotten about making devices targeted at emerging markets. We see a lot of new Samsung devices come through that are targeted at the mid range -- such as the Galaxy S3 Mini -- but the Korean manufacturer is also targeting the hyper low-end of emerging markets such as India and Indonesia. In areas where the landscape until recently has been dominated by feature phones, Samsung has gained considerable market share with devices that cost about $100 unlocked. The Wall Street Journal points out that Samsung's market share in Indonesia has risen from 2-percent in 2010 to over 50-percent last quarter.

While there is still a huge untapped market of feature phone users trying to make the move to smart phones, some are worried that Samsung's race to meet the low-end demands will cut into profits. Analysts calculate Samsung's operating margin on these low-end devices at about 12-percent, or less than half of what it is for high-end devices. It's hard to fault Samsung for trying to grab every piece of the market, however. In many cases these consumers are either buying a cheap phone or no phone at all, so choosing to not offer a low-end device to them is a completely lost sale. And with a company the size of Samsung, there's hardly a fight for resources to push into a new market.

Samsung is likely smart to push into emerging markets, if for no other reason than to get consumers acquainted with their smart phones for future purchases. Building up both market share, but also mind share, is extremely important for the long-term viability of sales in a market. They may be buying just $100 entry-level smart phones today, but in a couple of years there's a good chance that the same group of consumers will be ready for the higher end device -- and Samsung will be waiting there to sell them one.

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

Verizon Messages now offers texting via tablets and computers

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Verizon is updating its own messaging app today to support cross-platform syncing of SMS and MMS messages using your Verizon phone number. Users taking advantage of the Verizon Messages app on their Android phone can now carry on continuous conversations between the phone, their Android (or iOS) tablet and on the web from their computer. The apps send and receive regular SMS or MMS messages that appear as though they're coming to and from your own Verizon phone number. Messages stay saved and synced for 90 days on Verizon's end, but can also be exported and saved to external storage on your devices.

The new apps not only keep conversations synced between all of your devices, but also provide a central repository for all of the pictures, links and other attachments you receive. The new update has also added the ability to set an auto-reply for when you're busy and to optionally show your location to friends you're talking to.

If you're interested in trying out the new Verizon Messages service, you can download the app for your phone or tablet form the Play Store link above. The web interface can be found at the source link below, or under your "My Verizon" account.

Source: Verizon; More: Verizon Messages

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3 years ago

Ravensword: Shadowlands now available in Google Play; this is what a mobile RPG should look like

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Ravensword: Shadowlands, Crescent Moon Games third in the Ravensword series, is now available in Google Play. I'll tell you up front -- it's not cheap. The game checks in at $6.99, but after just a few minutes playing it I know a lot of folks will think it's worth every penny. 

Ravensword: Shadowlands is an evolution of the RPG / adventure game genre, bringing character skills, plenty of items to hunt for, and a decent storyline. The kicker is that it also has some of the most impressive visuals we've ever seen. Running through the world, both above ground and in dungeons, comes to life because of incredible 3D details. It's a very "Elder Scrolls" look and feel. Mounted combat, multiple weapon choices, enchantments and quests make the gameplay exciting, and it's all very playable. In addition, if you're using a Tegra 3 device like the Nexus 7, you'll also have some superb bloom effects, real-time shadows, and life-like ragdoll physics. 

There is no way we can give this a full review in just one day, but we wanted to let everyone know it's now available. We'll revisit after we've had a chance to hack and slash our way through a little more. For now, hit the break to see the gameplay trailer, and the Google Play link above will direct you to the download. 

More: TegraZone

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3 years ago

The Da Vinci Code free in the Play Store; Inferno prolouge and first chapter as a bonus

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Many times we get asked where good free books can be found for Android. Not only is this one free, but it also comes with some extra content. Dan Brown's runaway hit The Da Vinci Code can now be downloaded from Google Play Books for free until March 24 for your phone or tablet. Packaged with this e-copy are the prologue and first chapter from Brown's upcoming novel Inferno, available May 14.

As the fastest selling adult hardcover of all time, and second best in sales only to Harry Potter in 2004, this book has been hard to avoid - but if you've managed to do so, or just want to relive the mystery while getting a sneak peak at Inferno, make sure to hit that download link by the 24th.

Download

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 Bumpers in stock in the U.S. Google Play Store

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Perhaps one of the most sought after accessories on Google Play, the bumper case for Google's Nexus 4 is back in stock. Ever since the launch of the Nexus 4, Google has had problems getting these bumpers out to customers. Even those who ordered on launch day were told to expect delays up to 3 weeks. Since then, the availability of the bumpers has gone from back in stock, to out of stock, and even to "no longer available for sale." This forced Nexus 4 owners to either buy 3rd party bumpers, or pay incredibly inflated prices on sites like eBay.

While a tad expensive, the official bumper definitely has a fit and finish that compliments the Nexus 4 nicely. For a better look, check out our full review.

Hopefully Google has gotten their supply problems under control like they did with the phone itself. I wouldn't risk it though - if you've been waiting for one of these, order now.

Source: Google Play Store; thanks, Michael!

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3 years ago

The Greatest Android Podcast in the World returns tonight

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We're back, baby! After a couple of busy weeks and a schedule change or two, we're back to our regularly scheduled time and place tonight. There will be plenty of talk about phones, and CPUs, and Zoes, and life companions, as well as some discussion of what Google's been up to recently -- both good and bad.

So join Phil and the gang -- and, of course, the chat room -- live tonight at 1 a.m. GMT / 9 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT for the live broadcast. You should be there. You will be there. You must be there. After all, you are what makes it the Greatest Android Podcast in the World.

Not at a computer? Pick up the free UStream Viewer from Google Play [link] and search for Mobile Nations a little before the show (it won't appear until we go live). We'll see you there!

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