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3 years ago

Google showing off 'next dimension' of Maps at event next week

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Press invites are going out for a Google Maps press event next Wednesday, June 6, where the company says it'll show off the "next dimension" of Maps. That'll be some sort of 3D offering then, we'd imagine. Right now the Google Maps web interface supports 3D features through WebGL, while the Android app can show 3D buildings and Street View images. So presumably whatever's next will be an expansion of these features, possibly bringing in elements of Google Earth, too.

Little solid information is presented with the invite, though attendees are promised a "behind-the-scenes look at Google Maps," as well as a demo of "some of the newest technology" and "upcoming features." These will apparently "help people get where they want to go -- both physically and virtually." So new 3D functionality is certainly a safe bet.

The event will take place just five days before the start of Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference), where Google's arch-rival is expected to unveil its own iOS maps solution. Right now Maps on iOS is powered by Google Maps, and recent reports have suggested Apple will look to re-vamp Maps with new 3D features, and a new non-Google back-end. (Thus depriving its foe of the associated ad revenue.)

The natural place for this kind of Google Maps announcement might've been the Google IO Developer Conference, which takes place in late June. But by strutting its 3D stuff a few weeks earlier, Google will be hoping to beat Apple to the punch. Whatever's shown off next week, you can bet Android will account for at least part of it, and so we'll be watching with interest next Wednesday.

Source: TNW

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3 years ago

Another huge win for Google as judge throws out the copyright claims by Oracle

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U.S. District Judge William Alsup made a key decision on Thursday in the Google v. Oracle case. He dismissed Oracle's claims that the APIs that Google used were copyrightable.

Just last week, a jury found that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents, which was a big win in itself. The copyright claims were one of the key issues though as Oracle was seeking $1 Billion dollars from the software giant for 37 Java APIs. Oracle has predictable promised to be appeal, but it looks like they've all but lost at this point.

This is a big win for Google, but as we've said before, it's a shame that these trials have to happen in the first place. Millions of dollars will continue to be poured into legal fees until the software patent issue is resolved.

Source: The Guardian

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3 years ago

US Cellular launches new prepaid plans

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Regional carrier US Cellular this morning announced some new prepaid plans that range from $35 a month to $65 a month and include a number of Android devices. 

The new plans are:

  • Nationwide unlimited voice, unlimited messaging, 2GB smartphone data - $65/month
  • Nationwide unlimited voice, unlimited messaging, 1GB feature data - $50/month
  • Nationwide 400 minutes voice, 400 text messages, 400 picture messages - $35/month

Devices compatible with the new plans include the Samsung Galaxy S II, Motorola Electrify, HTC Merge, Samsung Mezmerize, Huawei Ascend II, HTC Wildfire S and the Samsung Repp.

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3 years ago

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2012 comes to Android, start swinging today!

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Electronic Arts has released the popular golf game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2012 for Android, so if you've been itching to swing the club on your Android device, you can rest easy.

The cost of the game of the $4.99, but that comes with solid graphics and a slew of features including:

  • Playing on PGA courses such as St. Andrews and Pebble Beach
  • Choosing the golfer you play as and competing against other scores
  • Playing alongside other pros to see how your score stacks up
  • Customizing your own golfer to make them look however you want
  • Playing head-to-head against a friend (WiFi or Bluetooth)
  • Playing the Tiger Challenge, which is a bunch of mini-games to test various skills

So if you're an avid golfer, you're definitely going to want to check out this game to start testing your skills on your Android device. The game is available for all Android devices 2.1 and up. It is available for $4.99 from the Google Play Store. Please find links after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III gets a Flipboard update

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Galaxy S III owners starting up Flipboard this morning will notice a new update coming their way, bringing the social magazine app up to version 1.8.4 beta 1 -- the same beta version that started rolling out to testers a couple of days ago. According to the official list of changes, there isn't much new stuff in this initial update, just a couple of bug fixes. Crashes while editing the table of contents or changing the content cache settings should now be remedied, so that's good news if either of those glitches were giving you trouble.

To grab the latest update, which weighs just 2.5MB, simply fire up Flipboard and it should be pushed out automatically. 

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3 years ago

Three UK launches HTC Desire C, available on PAYG for £150

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British network Three is the first mobile operator to launch HTC's latest budget handset, the Desire C. Announced just a couple of weeks ago, the Desire C is the successor to HTC's budget-busting Wildfire range. It's got a 600MHz CPU, a 3.5-inch HVGA display and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. And being an HTC Sense 4 phone, it also ships with Beats Audio software enhancements. There's also a 5MP rear camera, though no front-facer, so video calling is out of the question. So it's not going to set the world alight, but the Desire C looks like a decent little budget handset.

Three's offering the Desire C for free on contracts starting at just £13 per month, or if you want to buy it outright, the PAYG price is an equally reasonable £150, when purchased with an initial £15 top-up. The network's selling the Desire C in black and white, and the phone is available to order online and in-store from today.

Source: Three UK; More: HTC Desire C gallery

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III kernel source released

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As required under the GPL, Samsung has released its kernel source code for the (international) Galaxy S III -- the Linux core upon which Android is based. The code's available right now from the Samsung open source repository, and while it won't be of much use to regular users, custom ROM makers will undoubtedly be pouring over the code in the days and weeks ahead. 

The emergence of kernel source for a newly-released device isn't surprising, but it is great to see code appearing online just a day or so after the official street date. Community developers now have plenty of time to get to grips with Samsung's kernel, which will hopefully result in better custom ROMs for Galaxy S III owners.

To grab the kernel source for yourself, hit the link below.

Source: Samsung Open Source

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3 years ago

No, Pandora's latest update doesn't refer to Jelly Bean or Key Lime Pie

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Oh, my, folks sure got themselves into a tizzy this afternoon, didn't they? See, the Android Pandora application got itself a sizable update today. And the third item in the changelog was (and still is) "Compatibility support for upcoming Android OS."

ZOMG! A new, unannounced version of Android?!?!? Jelly Bean, perhaps?!?!? Key Lime Pie?!?!? Licorice?!?!? Meringue?!?!? Newton?!?!?

Not so much. As we suspected, it's just a bit of future-proofing, and isn't referring to any specific and as-yet-unannounced version of Android. In fact, that's exactly what Pandora told us.

"That line just refers to some minor code cleanup that had hard-coded functionality to the current version of Android - Ice Cream Sandwich. This update just future-proofs the Pandora app for the upcoming versions of Android." 

Now, that's not to say there's nothing of note in this update. More and better settings? Sweet. Better and easier sign-up? Excellent. Plus a host of other fixes, including the removal of the "change network state" permission, which should help the tinfoil-hat types sleep better at night.

But no new version of Android was tipped tonight, folks. That'll have to come another day.

Download: Pandora for Android

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3 years ago

Orange San Diego hands-on and first impressions

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Intel arrives to the party on a carrier branded, middle of the road Android smartphone. But is it any good?

Down in jolly old London Town this morning, Orange UK threw a little breakfast soiree in a venue 31 floors up. The purpose? To officially unveil their latest own-brand Android smartphone, until now known as the Santa Clara. Traditionally, Orange has piggy-backed onto a device from the likes of ZTE, offering a budget device geared towards the low end of the market. They're also not usually the sort of devices that warrant gathering members of the press in the center of London at breakfast time. With their latest offering -- launching as the San Diego, so keeping to the city name tradition -- the carrier is going about things a little different. There is something to shout about -- Intel Inside.

More: Orange San Diego hands-on video and photo gallery

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3 years ago

Dual Core vs. Quad Core, 4.0.4 OTA has arrived [From the Forums]

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We're getting all settled in for another Android Central podcast tonight, while you're waiting though you can check out some posts from earlier today or jump on into the Android Central forums for some discussion. Just make sure you come back in time for the podcast Mmmkay?

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

N.O.V.A. 3 now available for Android!

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Android fans of the N.O.V.A. series, you now know what you'll be doing for the next few days. N.O.V.A. 3 has now landed in the Google Play Store and is ready for download. That is, if you have a compatible device and 2GB of additional storage you're looking to fill -- yes, it's a massive game with massive graphics and gameplay but it's finally here:

  • An epic storyline: Humanity finally returns to Earth after years of exile! Fight in 10 immersive levels across the galaxy, from a war-torn Earth to a frozen Volterite city.
  • Multiple weapons and powers: Run, shoot, drive vehicles, and pilot a mech to defeat hordes of enemies.
  • Join 12-player battles in 6 multiplayer modes (Capture the Point, Free-for-All, Capture the Flag, etc.) on 6 different maps.
  • For the first time, multiple allies can jump inside the same vehicle and spread destruction on the battlefield.
  • Discover the new FPS benchmark for graphics and gameplay (real-time shadow & lights, particle system, ragdoll physics, etc.)

You'll have to hit the Google Play link below to grab the download and check compatibility as Gameloft makes no mention of it in the listing. Like a lot of hotly anticipated games, this one does have a price tag attached to it so be prepared to hand over $6.99 if you're grabbing this one. Want to see it in action before you download? Game trailer is below for you all.

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3 years ago

Facebook for Android gets performance and bug fixes in minor update

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If you're using the official Facebook application for Android, you'll want to head to Google Play and grab the latest version, as it's just been updated with "improved performance and various bug fixes." No word on exactly what these entail, but anything that brings a better, faster Facebooking experience on our phones has to be a good thing.

If you've noticed any changes in the latest version, be sure to drop by the comments and let us know. And if you've yet to install the official Facebook app, you can find it on Google Play over at this here Internet hyperlink.

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3 years ago

Reminder: Win a tablet or smartphone with SwiftKey and Mobile Nations

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Just a quick reminder, boys and girls, that you've got a little less than a week left to enter to win a device of your choice (up to $800 worth) just for taking a little survey from keyboard-maker Swiftkey. 

Head over to swiftkey.net/survey to begin, complete the survey. If you're one of the lucky three (yes, three) winners, you could get your hands on your dream phone or tablet, even if it doesn't run Android. In fact, even if you don't currently own a device that supports their kick-ass keyboard, SwiftKey still wants to hear from you, and you could still be a winner.

The survey is open internationally for smartphone and tablet owners aged 18 and over, and it runs until midnight on Wednesday, June 6.  Be sure to check SwiftKey's site for the full terms and conditions.

Head over to SwiftKey's survey page to get started!

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Elite review

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Green, eco-friendly, and price conscious, the LG Optimus is certainly a budget phone - But is it for you?

When I found out I'd get to do the LG Optimus Elite review, I was happy, to say the least. Most folks write these phones off as bottom-feeders, budget phone lowbies that have no place in our elitist, Android society. To those folks, I must say, I disagree.

For starters, this guy is pretty eco-friendly. More than 50 percent of its plastic case is made with recycled plastic, and in a society of excess and waste, that's commendable right off the bat. It's small, light, and inexpensive. And let me tell you, it's made for ​somebody.

Enough soapboxing for now. There's a review to be written (and subsequently read), so join us after the break to see how the latest phone to don the Optimus moniker handles.

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3 years ago

EVO 4G LTE in Sprint stores this Saturday

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Finally. Sprint's given us word that the HTC EVO 4G LTE will make its debut in retail stores nationwide this Saturday, June 2, in "most retail channels." Regular store hours apply, and the price is still $199. Until then, be sure to check out our EVO 4G LTE review, and swing by the forums if you have any questions.

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