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3 years ago

Help improve weather prediction with mPing

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Here's a cool little crowd-sourced project from the National Severe Storms Laboratory and the University of Oklahoma. (Boomer Sooner!) The "Precipitation Near the Ground" project (aka W-PING) uses reports from civilians (that's you and me) to match against what radar sees. And as noted in the app description, radar doesn't see too well near the ground at long distances, and those snazzy automated sensors that can tell the difference between snow and rain and some dude spitting in the gutter are found only at airports.

That's where you and I come in. If it starts raining or snowing or whatever it does wherever you are (here in Florida it's either "build an ark" or "welcome to Hell"), fire up the app, let it detect where you are, then choose the closest description to what it is you're seeing, particularly with cold-weather storms.

Think of it as a cool way to give a little back to science, when science has given so much to you.

More: The Ping Project; via @jimcantore

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3 years ago

AT&T picks up the Lenovo IdeaTab A2107

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AT&T today announced that it'll carry the horribly named Lenovo IdeaTab A2107 Android tablet for $199. That's without a contract, by the way, which tells you someone's really trying to move these things.

We took a look at the A2107 back at the IFA conference in the fall of 2012, and note that, well, it's a low-resolution (1024x600) 7-inch tablet that has full access to Google Play.  This one's still running Android 4.0, which is kind of ridiculous when you think about it going up against the Nexus 7, which can be had with double the storage (32GB instead of 16GB), a more powerful processor and the same HSPA connectivity -- all for just $100 more.

If you're really a glutton for punishment, you can pick up the A2107 for $99 on contract, which is how AT&T's presenting it online by default. So careful if you start clicking around. As for us? Our money will be going elsewhere.

More: Lenovo IdeaPad A2107 at AT&T; Press release

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3 years ago

Keeping CES in perspective

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Didn't see what you're looking for in Las Vegas? Don't worry, the year's just starting

This tends to happen every year. We go to Las Vegas, cover the crap out of CES ... and then come the e-mails. "HTC didn't show anything at all!" "I wanted a new Samsung phone!" "Where the hell was Sprint?!?!" "CES was such a letdown, the rest of the year is gonna suck!"

More phones (and maybe even some good tablets) are coming, folks. Just like last year. Just like the year before. We tend to have short attention spans, and seeming shorter memories. Your favorite carrier and manufacturer should have plenty up its sleeves in the coming months. 

Let's take a look ...

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3 years ago

Every Android Central CES video in one convenient post

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As you might have noticed, CES 2013 is just about over for us. It's debatable whether it packed the same punch as in previous years, but to my eyes (and sore feet), there's no doubt that there was more than enough Android content to cover. As we all hop on airplanes and head back home, it's time to start looking back on the mayhem in Vegas. 

Four reporters. Countless stories. (Well, OK. You can count them all at our CES page if you want.) More photos than we know what to do with.

And then, of course, there are the videos, and that's what we're looking back on here. From NVIDIA's Project Glass gaming handheld thingy to an oven running Android (that's Alex filming it above) to a few new smartphones, it's all parked on our YouTube page (be sure to subscribe!) and after the break. If you can't go to CES, we're bringing CES to you!

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3 years ago

CES may be done, but 2013 is shaping up to be an impressive year

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As I sit writing this, the main action at CES is starting to wind down. The Mobile Nations crew are beginning to wrap up a hectic week's coverage, and look to set off on varying length journeys home. I didn't make the trip to Las Vegas. The guys on the frontline need all the support from the homefront we can provide, and if I've helped ease the load in such a hectic week, it's a week well spent. But I sit here reflecting -- I have visited Vegas, so I know reflecting out there must be tough -- on the weeks events. Has it been disappointing? Perhaps, to some, but not to me. After all, cool new stuff being unveiled for us to nerd out on is never disappointing, is it? 

No, CES 2013 has been far from disappointing. Having been in a position to see each and every piece of news, every device, every hands on, as it rolled in throughout the week, a bigger picture started emerging. 2013 is shaping up to be a pretty astounding year for Android. Why? I'm glad you asked.

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3 years ago

NVIDIA News Roundup from CES

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If the Tegra 4 processor, Project Shield and NVIDIA Grid caught your eye during CES, I wouldn't blame you. Having sat in the front row for the press conference prior to CES, I can attest to the fact that great things are coming from the company in the first half of 2013.

With that in mind, I've wrapped up all of the NVIDIA news in one place. Hit the quick links below for the best NVIDIA news and announcements from CES 2013:

For more on NVIDIA, be sure to keep it locked @AndroidCentral and @MobileNations. However, I also encourage you to follow @nvidiategra and @nvidia… and keeping an eye on the NVIDIA Blog may not be a bad idea either :)

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3 years ago

Lenovo: Watching CES, and the American smartphone market, from the sidelines

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The outside of a glass cube is the closest most Americans will ever get to the stunning Lenovo IdeaPhone K900

Tucked away deep inside the Venetian Hotel and Casino, at the end of an endless maze of slot machines and miles from the show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Lenovo has set up its makeshift CES headquarters. It's a curious choice, as if Lenovo has opted to watch CES from the sidelines-- it's off the beaten path, and the luxurious spread of food and beverages stationed at the door is set up as if to beckon reporters inside to take a look and a bite. 

Watching from the sidelines is not a new strategy for Lenovo, particularly when it comes to smartphones-- while the company's laptop line is one of the most successful here in the States, its tablets have found a warmer welcome outside of America. Here, its IdeaTab Android tablets have failed to make the splash that others like the Galaxy line and the Nexus 7 and 10 have easily done. Take for example the IdeaTab S2110, a device that sports a study design, speedy Snapdragon-powered performance, and a unique bundled dock that can charge the tablet from a built-in battery of its own. It's a fantastic product, one of the best convertibles on the market today thanks to Lenovo's extensive knowledge of how to build a laptop, yet most Americans have never heard of it. And Lenovo seems fine with that.

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3 years ago

Upcoming Dead Trigger 2 demoed on NVIDIA Project Shield

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We've all been drooling over the NVIDIA Project Shield device, and though its biggest feature will be streaming in games from your PC, there are some very excellent Android games that will take advantage of the fancy new Tegra 4 chip and run well on the Shield, including a mobile version of the first-person mech shooter Hawken, and a sequel to everybody's favorite zombie run-and-gun, Dead Trigger 2.

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3 years ago

Zmart Remote lets you control pretty much anything with your phone

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Viatek is launching a new hardware and software combination that can act as a universal remote for a wide variety of devices, using your phone as the controller. The basic premise of Zmart Remote is that you use a combination of an Android (or iOS) app and a hardware dongle that plugs into your phone's headphone jack to program and control most anything around your house. In the same way most high-end universal remotes work, Zmart Remote has a configuration utility that lets you control TVs, Blu-ray players, DVRs and many more by entering the proper codes and settings for each. For other devices that aren't usually controlled remotely -- like light switches, fans and coffee makers -- Viatek makes a Zmart Switch to interface with them directly.

Viatek says that its software can currently interface with some 200,000 products from 95-percent of consumer electronic brands in the category. The app is free, but doesn't do much unless you purchase the accessory dongle, which is $19.99. At the fraction of the price of a good universal remote, it could be worth a look.

More: Zmart Remote

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3 years ago

Chrome Beta channel now available for Android

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Good news everyone! The Chrome Beta channel for Android kicks off today with version 25.0.1364.8. Like the Beta channel for the computer, it's a preview of features and fixes that has already passed the development channel and is running through the final testing before it makes its way into the final version. That means it's a great way to try out things that may be broken, but still allow the software to work as a whole. Today's release comes with the following bugs:

  • Performance is sluggish, noticeably on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S
  • Frequent freeze on devices with specific versions of Qualcomm GPU driver
  • Text autosizing may break formatting on some sites
  • 164632 - Editing bookmark feature is broken
  • 165244 - Text position handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 163439 - Clicking on links in yahoo.com not navigating on Nexus 7
  • 166233 - Unable to submit comments on Facebook posts in desktop version of Facebook
  • 165244 - Text handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 167351 - Youtube video controls are lost after returning from fullscreen video mode
  • 162486 - iframe scrolling broken

Scary, but you get used to it if you run the Beta channel on the desktop. On the plus side, Chrome 25 brings huge improvements in HTML5 support and JavaScript performance, so it's worth it to many.

To get on the Beta track, you'll need to directly click this link, as it's not publicised or available via search in Google Play. It installs along side your current version of Chrome for Android, so you always have a fail-safe. Grab it, and have fun!

Source: Google Chrome Releases

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Space updated with 'Pig Dipper' levels

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Angry Birds Space gets a content update this afternoon. The Pig Dipper update brings 30 new aquatic-themed levels to the popular game, extending its life and keeping players hooked like only Rovio can. The new levels require a bit of a strategy change, as you're now fighting gravity and buoyancy at the same time. 

You can have a crack at the new levels by updating via the Google Play app on your phone or tablet, or if you haven't been sucked into this one yet and want to give it a try, use the link above to the free version. An ad-free version is also available for a buck, and you can get it here. Just watch out for the mermaid -- we hear she is tough.

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3 years ago

Highlights from the Mobile Nations 2013 CES Experience

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It's hard to believe it has come and gone already, but the 2013 CES Experience is over. Right from the start, we had some great events and evenings planned for the crew… keep reading for some of the highlights...

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3 years ago

Ford announces OpenXC SDK; Android apps can now easily access sensor data

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Inside any new car are a plethora of sensors and microprocessors, crunching away at data to control the various systems in the vehicle. Announced today at CES 2103,  Ford's new OpenXC platform will allow Android developers to have an easy way to gather that data and put it to work.

Billed as a combination of Arduino and Android, OpenXC uses tools people already know to help design after-market accessories and software. Right now there are parts and an SDK component that allow developers to plug into the OBD-II port and send signals via USB or Bluetooth that any Android device running software with the OpenXC library can read and understand. This is all done over a CAN bus to stay isolated from the vehicle electronics, so your $20,000 car won't be damaged, 

There has always been expensive and OEM solutions for folks who want to access vehicle data, but with today's news Ford is making it accessible to folks without a giant bucket of money to spend. It will be interesting to see what folks can come up with using Ford's new tools. See the full press release after the break, and hit the link below for more information.

More: OpenXC

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3 years ago

Sprint prepares 2013 Inaugural site for the estimated 700k attendees

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image of the US Capitol inaugural platform via Senate.gov

Sprint is beefing up things on the National Mall to prepare for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. When you inject an extra million or so people into an already congested city like Washington, DC, cell service tends to suffer. Cram seven or eight hundred thousand of those people onto the National Mall and it just won't work without massive planning and equipment.

That (the planning and equipment) is exactly was Sprint is in the process of doing right now on the Mall. They are deploying COWs (Cell sites On Wheels) in places like the Air and Space Museum (fitting, I think) and Installing in-building repeaters at the Capital Hilton, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, and The Mayflower Renaissance to help carry the voice and data load. 

They've been at work since April of last year, and have boosted voice capacity by 25-percent and data capacity by 37-percent for the National Mall area already. This should go a long way towards making sure DC public safety officials can do their job, as well as making sure everyone can post pictures of the event online.

Things get a little crazy here in DC for the Presidential Inauguration. It' great to see Sprint has a bit of foresight and is doing what they can to make it as pleasant as possible. Hit the break to see their full press release.

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3 years ago

Archos 101 Titanium hands-on (updated with official announcement)

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Archos brought a slew of tablets to its CES booth this year, and we managed to get our hands on the lot of them. Here's the 101 Titanium, a distant cousin of the 101XS that we reviewed earlier this year. This iteration is part of Archos' Elements line, and therefore receives some of the goodies associated with the brand, such as a much-improved build quality and finish. This thing is solid, much more so than the 101XS, though fails to match the ultra-premium look and feel of the 97 Titanium with its Retina-quality display. 

Archos was tight lipped on details about these tablets, but based on what else we've seen from Archos here at CES, we should go ahead and count on a minor boost in terms of both processing power and internal storage, just like what happened on the 97 Platinum and the FamilyPad2. Jelly Bean is onboard here, an improvement from the 101XS, and I was pretty pleased with the responsiveness and speed of the tablet. 

To my naked eye, the 10.1-inch display isn't any better than the 101XS, so we can go ahead and guess that this, too, packs a 1280 x 800 resolution. However, I didn't notice that blue, washed-out hue that bugged me so much about the 101XS, so that's more than welcome news.

Archos isn't spilling the beans on pricing or availability, but I'd gladly pay a bit more for this device than the 101XS based on how solid and well-built it appears. This is a premium tablet, and proves once again that the French manufacturer is playing for keeps.

A hands-on gallery and video follow the break.

UPDATE: This morning, Archos formally introduced the new additions to its Titanium line, including the 101 Titanium. Our suspicions were confirmed, as the 101 will feature a 1.6 GHz dual-core CPU, quad-core graphics, and an impoved IPS display. The full press release has been added after the break.

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