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4 years ago

Droid DNA vs. Galaxy Note 2-- It's Day 1, and I'm heading to work

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I'm carrying two of Verizon Wireless' best devices to date in my pocket, and sharing my thoughts, complaints, and gut reactions as I try to decide which will earn my money this holiday season. It's day one, and I'm heading to work...

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4 years ago

US Army launches SGT. STAR - a virtual assistant recruiter app

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The US Army understands the value of intelligence before commitment. Whether you think they do a good job at it or not, they know the best informed soldiers are the best overall soldiers. In that sprit, they have released SGT. STAR: Army's virtual guide -- a virtual assistant app to answer all the questions one might have before they enlist.

I've been playing with it for a few here, and they did a good job with it. It provides the correct answer to valid questions, responds with a touch of humor at the silly questions (I now know the Army is not the place to find hot chicks with guns, that's what online dating is for) and keeps a straight face while dismissing the ridiculous questions. Yes, I had to try.

We're not sure how valuable this will be in the quest to find good soldiers, but it certainly can't hurt. If you're thinking of enlisting and have some questions, or are just curious, grab it from the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

The Instagram - Twitter love affair looks like it's on the rocks

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You may have noticed that Instagram pictures in your Twitter stream look worse than usual lately, with portions of the images cropped out or improperly scaled. This isn't a new hipster filter -- it seems that Instagram has decided not to follow the rules and they have stopped using the "Twitter cards" integration. Twitter cards is the name for the fancy way Twitter has been rendering multimedia since their visual refresh, and when services (like Instagram) don't use it, things get a little ugly. Or uglier in this case.

Officially a part of Facebook, a few weeks back Instagram updated their web presence with a clear eye on keeping people engaged on their own site. Millions and millions use Instagram to share pictures, so it's a natural progression. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom stated at the LeWeb conference in Paris, 

We want to direct users to where the content lives originally. Where do you go to interact with [an Instagram] image? We want that to be instagram.com because that’s a better user experience.

The timing isn't all bad for Twitter either, who has been rumored to be building their own set of photo enhancements and filters. This would negate the need for any third party program to make pictures look horrible, as all the tools would be a part of Twitter. I can see this being a feature that only the "official" Twitter app can use, further locking folks into the official offering.

I've no idea how this will play out, but it's interesting to sit back and watch the drama unfold from an outsider position. I'll keep sharing my pictures on Google+ and watch these two slug it out.

Via: All Things D

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4 years ago

Google Voice, Authenticator, and Translate also updated today

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Google Search (AKA Google Now for folks with Jelly Bean) isn't the only app from Google to see an update today. While not as forwards facing and glamorous, Voice, Translate, and Authenticator were also bumped up a version.

Google Voice promises a couple much needed bug fixes, notably to fix the delay in SMS notifications and make inbox syncing actually work across devices. We sure would love a fancy new UI to match the rest of Google's apps, but we'll certainly take the bug fixes. Grab it from Google Play.

Google Translate also received two very welcome changes: the addition of Chinese, Japanese and Korean text recognition from the camera, and recognition of a few new languages for handwriting -- Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian, Welsh. The Asian language text recognition is a big deal folks. If Translate can successfully recognize the intricacy of something like Kanji or traditional Chinese, there's no telling what comes next. Install Google Translate from Google Play by clicking this handy link.

Finally, the Google Authenticator app has been updated with "bug fixes in the account setup flow" and small UI improvements. It's nice to see work going into an app as utilitarian as Authenticator, which really doesn't have to look good to work well. Grab the update or install it from Google Play.

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4 years ago

Google Search update brings new features to Google Now, including post to Google+

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Android's Google Search app just got a pretty good update, and that means we've got new features for Google Now as well.

Of note are improvements for travelers. If Google Now knows you're going somewhere (and there's a pretty good chance it will), it'll show you weather information for your destination. And if you're flying on United Airlines, you'll even be able to get to your boarding pass right from Google Now. (Of course, that might be the least of your worries on UA.)

Voice search is beefed up, too -- it can listen for a song playing in the background, find product info and post to Google+, all without typing a thing.

Hit the link above to get your update on.

Source: Google Android blog

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4 years ago

Dramatic point-and-click adventure Yesterday comes to Android

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Yesterday, a dark point-and-click adventure game, was launched on Google Play today. Players follow three different characters that are trying to piece together a series of grisly murders while staying alive themselves. Puzzles litter the path to solving the mystery, but there's a hint system if things get tricky. Though Yesterday looks like it's mostly very grim and gritty, apparently there's some solid humor in there too. 

Yesterday enjoyed solid reviews during its stay on iOS and PC, and though I haven't given it a shot yet, it looks like a refreshing, adult experience with a strong narrative. There's a free lite version linked above, or you can get the ad-free version in Google Play for $4.99. Anyone interested? What's your favorite point-and-click adventure game to date? 

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4 years ago

Hot in the forums: The impending EVO 4G LTE update

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If you've never spent time in a forum for a Sprint device, well, things can get a little a little rowdy. Such is the case for the HTC EVO 4G LTE, which never really got the respect it deserved. (Much of that probably should be placed on Sprint's shoulders, but we digress.)

Currently the hot topic is a rumored update. Is it Jelly Bean? Is it just some other maintenance release? And just when will said update ever see the light of day? These questions -- and more -- in our EVO 4G LTE forum.

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4 years ago

Heroes of Order and Chaos brings lane defense to Android

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Gameloft's much-anticipated lane defense game, Heroes of Order and Chaos, launched this morning on Google Play. The Dota clone is free to play with plenty of in-app purchases, and a very familiar gameplay style.

Two teams of five players each have to join waves of AI troops to take out enemy towers and ultimately a base at the end while the opposition tries to do the same. Maps are broken up into multiple lanes, and players pick signature heroes with highly-specialized abilities to do their part. Matches can be played against others online or with simple bots locally. Over the course of every game, heroes level up, unlock new abilities and weapons by slaying opponents. Between matches, you can develop specialized talents for particular roles of characters, such as fighter, mage, support, or guardian, as per your play style and unlocked heroes. 

I've been playing Dota 2 on PC off and on, and the formula is proven and polished. It will be interesting to see if Heroes of Order and Chaos can reach the same level of high-end competitiveness. I've only played a little bit of the iOS version, but so far it has yet to disappoint - so long as you can deal with the usual prodding to upgrade through IAPs. So, who's in?

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4 years ago

The best Android phone you can buy, as of December 2012 (International edition)

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A lot has changed since we published our last round-up of the best Android phones available, and awarded the top prize to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. At the time, the Gnex outshone the competition thanks to the blistering performance and innovative features delivered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

But that was five long months ago. Since then, screen sizes, resolutions and core counts have continued to rise. There’s a new Nexus, and Android OEMs have had the chance to get their own Jelly Bean-based devices out into the wild. And this time around, it makes more sense to split things up and cover the U.S market separately (look for our U.S. round-up in the days ahead). In this article we’re going to focus on the best international Android phones, and recommend one unlocked world phone for Europe, Asia and beyond.

Join us after the break to find out more about our top four devices, and learn which gets our recommendation for international buyers.

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4 years ago

The Nexus 4 Yellow Box of Death

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That's what the kids are calling it, anyway. Looks like a new set of shipping notices has been sent out. But the wait continues. We're hashing it all out in our Nexus 4 forums

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4 years ago

Samsung opens their first 'Mobile Store' in Paris, France

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Samsung has continued their seemingly endless quest for Global domination with this, the opening of their first "Samsung Mobile Store" in Paris, France. The concept of a brand store isn't totally new to Samsung, London has one for example, but unlike the British store this one is concentrated solely on Samsung's mobile products. That doesn't just mean Android either, lest we forget the ATIV range of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices. 

The store itself looks like a pretty nice place to shop. It doesn't look much like an Apple Store -- thankfully -- but similar service can be expected. Samsung will have a number of 'consultants' on hand to guide consumers through everything Samsung Mobile. 

It's not all just about the adults though. The store has a dedicated childrens area where the young ones get to experience their own hands on with Samsung's mobile devices, but in a less boring, more kid friendly kind of way with drawing and writing games to keep them amused. 

The store has already opened to the public, and can be found at 5 Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris. If you happen to stop by whilst in the neighborhood be sure to hit us up in the comments and tell us how you found it. Visit the source link below for more images of the store. 

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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4 years ago

Droid DNA down to $149.99 on Amazon Wireless

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A quick heads-up -- Amazon Wireless is now offering HTC's Droid DNA for $149.99 with a two-year service plan. That's a $50 saving compared to Verizon's own list price of $199.99 -- not a heap of cash, but every little helps with a major purchase like a new smartphone.

The Droid DNA is the first "full HD" smartphone to hit the U.S. market, with a whopping 5-inch screen packing in 1920x1080 pixels. It's powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, with 2GB of RAM, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and HTC's Sense 4+ UI.

For more on the DNA, be sure to check out our full review.

More: Droid DNA on Amazon Wireless

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4 years ago

Eric Schmidt talks Apple, Android, patents and Google Play

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Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt recently sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss all manner of things relating to to Google, its competition, its products and its future.

Topics of discussion included Apple, Android, the ongoing patent wars and other legal troubles, Google Play and Google Fiber.

Rather than paraphrase the entire interview, we've got a few half-dozen quick hits on some key areas after the break.

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4 years ago

XKCD is Enlightened [#Ingress]

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Always figured them for more of the Resistance crowd. Go figure. (And be sure to check out our Ingress forums!)

Source: XKCD

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4 years ago

TomTom navigation updated, now supports 200+ devices

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When TomTom for Android first appeared a couple of months back, support was limited to a few devices with WVGA displays, a move which excluded many of the most popular handsets. Today the app has been updated to version 1.1, bringing with it support for more devices, including those with higher-resolution screens.

The new version also includes the ability to save map data to the SD card rather than the app storage partition, and a redesigned driving view, which TomTom says is designed to make key information clearer and easier to read.

As devices go, we can confirm the latest version supports the Nexus 4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S3 LTE, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X+, RAZR i, Xperia T, RAZR/RAZR MAXX, Optimus 4X HD, HTC One X and One S, among others. TomTom says that more than 200 devices are now compatible with the app. Tablet support still seems to be a non-starter in this version, however, as the app refused to install on our Nexus 7 or various flavors of Galaxy Tab.

The update is live now on Google Play. Prices vary depending on where you live and which region you're buying, but typically each pack will set you back around £30 or $50.

Source: Google Play, Engadget

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