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3 years ago

ASUS Padfone 2 announced - quad-core phone/tablet dockable with LTE

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This morning at events in Milan, Italy and Taipei, Taiwan, ASUS has announced its second-generation phone and tablet hybrid device, the Padfone 2. Like the original Padfone, it’s an Android phone which can slot into a tablet dock to deliver a full-blown tablet experience. Time time around, ASUS has boosted specs throughout the device, including an upgrade of the CPU to a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip. The device also packs 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a 4.7-inch, 720p IPS display, matching the specs of leading Android phones like the LG Optimus G.

Unlike the first-generation Padfone, the Padfone 2 fits inside its tablet dock without needing to be secured in place with a door. What’s more, the weight of the entire package has been reduced to 649 grams, down from 853 grams in the original. On-stage in Milan today, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih demonstrated the same seamless transition from phone to tablet UI, just as we saw from the original Padfone at Mobile World Congress.

On the software side, it’s running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with an upgrade to Jelly Bean promised in the future. Connectivity options include NFC and 4G LTE support, though no carriers were mentioned at today’s events.

The device will ship in Europe and Asia before the end of the year, in 32 and 64GB flavors, which will retail for €799 and €899 respectively with the tablet dock included. At this price, the new Padfone remains a niche product, but ASUS will be hoping that a focus on hardware specifications and a slimmed-down tablet chassis will help the Padfone 2 succeed where its predecessor stumbled.

Anyone tempted by ASUS’s latest Padfone iteration? Shout out in the comments! We've got more images after the break.

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3 years ago

Android 4.1.2 OTA rolling out to Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom

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Falling right into line with the Galaxy Nexus devices receiving an OTA, the Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom seems to be getting a 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update as well. Users in our forums are starting to report that their devices are pulling down the update and although these updates are usually on a staggered rollout, we would expect it to start showing up on all devices shortly.

We've seen the official 4.1.2 Jelly Bean changelog at this point -- with most improvements coming to the Nexus 7 -- but have yet to receive an official update page from Motorola. It will likely be put up once the OTA is a bit more widespread. If you're antsy, you can grab a direct download of the OTA file at the second source link. Before flashing, why not check out the forums and make sure you've got all the tips and tools you need.

Source: Android Central Forums; OTA download

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3 years ago

Alcatel One Touch 960c coming to Alltel for $199.99

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Yes, Alltel Wireless is still around. The small carrier that focuses on value and no-contract plans in specific regions has a new mid-range device in the Alcatel One Touch Ultra 960C (yes, that's the real name). The device has pretty unassuming specs and is what you'd expect for this price and target market:

  • 4.3-inch display
  • 1.4GHz processor
  • 5MP camera / 720P video
  • Front-facing camera
  • DLNA support
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread

The 960C will set you back $199.99 off contract, or $19.99 with a two year agreement, with Alltel plans starting at $45 per month for unlimited talk and text. A full press release for the device can be found after the break. The phone will be available starting Oct. 18.

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3 years ago

Grab all the medieval debauchery you can handle with The Bard's Tale, on sale now for only $2.99

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If you're looking for an epic action RPG to get into and have had your eye on The Bard's Tale, now is as good a time as any to pick it up. The game which, will keep you occupied for around 20-30 hours if you play through it all, is on sale right now in the Google Play Store for only $2.99 -- that's half price from it's original launch price of $5.95 in case you were wondering. You'll want to check your available device space however as this one comes in at over 3.5GB when all is said and downloaded.

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3 years ago

Nexus 7 vs. PlayBook, Android 4.1.2 OTA For Yakju [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

Google TV coming to Korea on LG Uplus IPTV

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It's Google TV, Gangnam style.

Google is making a pretty big step into the Korean market, partnering with LG Uplus (yes, they're an internet service provider too) to offer IPTV set top boxes with Google TV preloaded. The combination of an existing IPTV network with Google TV's offerings brings live TV, along with 50,000 on demand titles and the whole host of Google TV apps -- Search, YouTube, Google Play and of course the Chrome browser.

This is the first IPTV network to offer an integrated Google TV experience, and Korea is now the tenth country in the world with Google TV available. New and existing LG Uplus subscribers can get the new Google TV-equipped box starting today. The rest of us outside of Korea can wish for the day when IPTV becomes a reality.

Source: Official Google TV Blog

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3 years ago

Sprint's LG Optimus G first impressions

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The unapologetic first impressions after 10 minutes of use

From time to time we review phones here at AC. Some of us are really good at it, with a fine eye for detail, some of us have used so many phones, we have an excellent idea of how they compare to each other, and some of us think a bit differently and look at things normal people wouldn't think to. That's how we roll, and I think it makes for a great mix, especially when more than one of us get to look at the same phone. 

I'm holding Sprint's LG Optimus G (coming November 11) in my grubby claws, and after 10 minutes of sitting in my chair and toying with it I've got a couple things to say -- both good and bad,

The good

  • This thing is fast. It's the first phone running stock software that's faster than anything else out there. Faster than the Galaxy S3, faster than the Galaxy Nexus running 4.1.2, and faster than the One X with HTC's UI-focused multitasking.
  • The screen. Yes, it's as good as the One X, and that's saying a lot.
  • The back "glass". I can't describe it any better than Phil can, but when you hold it you know it feels like glass but isn't really glass. And it survives a four foot drop-test on the hardwood floor (don't look Sprint) with nary a scratch or ding.
  • The notification icons tell you how many unread you have with a red bubble. A subtle, yet meaningful touch that Google totally needs to steal.

The bad

  • The fake chrome ring around the edge isn't flush, and you feel it when you rub your thumb across it. Or not. See here for more.
  • Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean coming soon doesn't cut it with me.
  • The ultra colorful UI. Tone that down a bit, please. 
  • I'm rubbing my thumb across that trim ring again, so I had to mention it twice.
  • 78 kbps 3G speeds from Sprint

I've put all my other toys away and will be using the G exclusively, look for more soon.

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3 years ago

TuneIn Radio Pro updated with holo design

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One of the most popular radio apps on Android, TuneIn Radio Pro, has been updated with a proper holo design. Since the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, Google has been engaged in getting developers on board with a design language that helps unify the user experience across apps. This "holo" design has been implemented in many of Google's own apps, and now many headline developers have implemented it as well.

Bits of polish show in a swipe across stations to choose available streaming qualities, pull to refresh and a proper blue / white / gray design. Beyond just looking better, the design change in TuneIn Radio Pro offers better usability. Swiping between UI panes feels more natural, and gives users access to "related", "twitter", "favorites", "options" and "recent" right from the main "now playing" screen.

We've got a few side-by-side comparison screenshots of the old (left) and new (right) design after the break. If you like what you see, you can buy the Pro version of the app at the Google Play Store link above for 99 cents.

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3 years ago

ESPN ScoreCenter app updated with Galaxy S3 DLNA sharing

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The ESPN ScoreCenter app has just been updated with a pretty handy feature for Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) owners. With the latest update -- version 2.3.2 -- users that have a Galaxy S3 and a Smart TV (any DLNA compatible device, really) can push ESPN video from the phone to the TV over the local Wi-Fi network.

This is functionality we usually only see for specific boxes, or with specific manufacturer tie-in, so it's interesting to see ESPN integrate it at the app level -- and see it work with any DLNA device to boot. Hopefully future updates will expand functionality past the Galaxy S3 as well.

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3 years ago

Sprint's Optimus G lands Nov. 11 for $199; preorders start Nov. 1

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Hot on the heels of AT&T's announcement today, Sprint has given word that its LG Optimus G will be available on Nov. 11, for $199 on contract. Preorders start Nov. 1.

We took a gander at the Sprint version last week at CTIA. And as you'll recall, it's a bit different than AT&T's Optimus G (as well as the global version). Will it stand up to full scrutiny? Only The Shadow Jerry Hildenbrand knows.

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3 years ago

Open webOS running on the Nook Color

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You're seeing that right -- it's Open webOS running on our old friend the Nook Color. Yes, it's incomplete, and it's laggy, but it's also a pretty damned beautiful sight if you're a fan of open hardware and open source software.

Ping-Hsun Chen, a savvy fellow from Taiwan, got the desktop version of Open webOS up and running using the same methods we're used to seeing for Ubuntu distributions. It's running more as a layer on top of Android than it is natively, but it's still a huge first step and paves the way for all sorts of fun hackery getting Open webOS on any device that has been running Ubuntu -- like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the Transformer. 

With further refinement, and better hardware, we can see this becoming a viable alternative for folks who want to give Open webOS a try on a cheap device. It's the kind of innovation we all here at Mobile Nations love to see, and you can bet we're all keeping a close eye on this one. Derek and the crew over at webOS Nation are pretty excited about it, and you can bet the WN forums will be jumping. Head over and join in the fun!

Source: Penk; via webOS Nation

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3 years ago

Google opens new Google Play Developer Console to all

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If you'll recall back to Google I/O 2012, a new Google Play Developer Console was previewed, showing what Google intended for the future. Since then, Google has teamed up with specific developers to try it out and give feedback, and now it has released the new Dev Console to everyone.

The new console is designed to be bright, clean and easy to use. Features like good universal search -- a Google product staple -- and the ability to track user ratings over time are great additions that help developers improve their apps. Additionally, this latest version improves the publishing workflow, offers support for more languages and has automated language translations.

Take a look at the source link below for more information, the second link for a gallery of screenshots of the new UI, and stick around after the break for the video demonstration from Google I/O (jump to 31:30 in to see the Dev Console part).

Source: Android Developers Blog; Google+

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: What feature is most important?

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With the holiday season creeping up on the western world, it's the time of year when many folks are looking at buying a new phone. A quick look at the numbers tells us that a whole bunch of those folks will be looking at Android phones, and that includes all of us.

A big consideration when spending a bunch of money and possibly attaching yourself to a carrier for two or more years is the feature list of a new phone. Hardware specs and software versions move at an amazing rate, and it's hard to decide which one might be perfect for you -- especially knowing that in a month or two newer and better phones will be coming.

When I buy a new phone I look at the software version first. I need to make sure it supports the software I want to use, and decide how well it may support future versions. Others feel that they can better future-proof themselves by going for the best CPU, or the most RAM. And plenty of folks are concerned with things like removable storage, or giant batteries that offer long life. 

As always, the best way to find out what people think is to just ask, so that's what we're doing this week. Look to the sidebar, or jump past the break and tell us what feature matters the most to you.

Before we go, last week's results follow:

Which OEM do you want to see make the next Nexus?

  • HTC -- 36.86-percent
  • Samsung -- 27.49-percent
  • Motorola -- 24.55-percent
  • LG -- 4.9-percent
  • Other -- 6.2-percent

It appears that very few people are thrilled about the evidence of LG making the next Nexus phone. Hopefully, all of the OEMs offer something for everyone and we all can buy what suits our needs.

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3 years ago

Star Command gameplay video showcases awesome strategic space combat

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The fine folks at Warballoon have released a hefty 13-minute gameplay sample of their upcoming spaceship simulation title, Star Command. The video shows off nostalgic 16-bit-style graphics and broad, compelling mechanics, all set to the hilarious commentary of some of the dev team members. 

Throughout Star Command, you hire new crew members with varying skills in science, engineering, and combat. Over time, you put them on missions to improve their skills and unlock new perks, as well as upgrade the ship's various rooms. Completing missions requires some light role-playing through various dialog options, tactical combat when your ship gets boarded, and finely-honed reflex-driven mini-games for ship-to-ship combat. I missed these guys showing off gameplay at PAX East last year and I've been kicking myself ever since. 

A lot of my friends have been playing FTL lately, but Star Command looks so good that I've been holding off just in case I get burned out on the space sim thing before Warballoon's game launches. Star Command will be available on Android, iOS, Mac, and PC, though there aren't any details on price or release date. Considering how polished everything is looking, I would be surprised if it didn't land before the holidays. As for price? Well, this might be one of those "shut up and take my money" situations. 

Hit up Star Command's home page for more screenshots and info. 

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3 years ago

T-Mobile improving its 4G network in Kansas City, more cities to follow

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T-Mobile announced today that it has improved its 4G network in Kansas City and will continue this initiative in more markets later this year.

Anyone on T-Mobile who lives in Kansas City right now will be pleased to know that they will soon see better signal strength and improved data and voice coverage. In addition, unlocked devices should see higher speeds.

Some specific locations that they mentioned were:

  • Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Westport
  • Power and Light Districts
  • The Legends
  • Jackson, Johnson and Wyandotte Counties

It's always great news to hear carriers improving their network, let's hope that there is a discernable difference. If you live in the Kansas City area and have seen improvement, sign out in the comments!

Source: T-Mobile

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