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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 update enables multi-window support, we go hands-on

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Well that was quick. Just a couple of days after it emerged that Samsung had shipped many international Galaxy Note 2 devices without the much-touted "multi-window" ability, a new software update is going out that enables the feature. Multi-window allows Note 2 owners to long-press the back button and bring up a menu allowing them to split their screen between two fully-fledged Android applications. Essentially, it's full multitasking on a mobile device with two apps in view and usable at the same time, which is pretty awesome.

Right now, not all Android apps are supported, but the multi-window feature isn't just limited to Samsung apps like it is on the Note 10.1. Multi-window on the Note 2 supports a wide range of Google apps, including Gmail, YouTube, Chrome and Talk. Third-party offerings like the official Twitter app are supported too, though many others are not.

Today's update to version XXALIJ1 also comes with a new baseband version and Google Chrome.

If you've picked up a Galaxy Note 2 in the past week, you should see an update notification waiting for you this morning. If not, head to Settings > About device > Software update to get started. In the meantime, be sure to check out our quick hands-on demo video above.

More: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

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3 years ago

Android cleans up at 2012 Mobile Choice Awards in the UK

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The Mobile Choice Awards 2012 ceremony has been held tonight in Central London and looking at the results it would seem that Android is certainly coming out on top in the UK smartphone wars.

Clearly the nominations didn't include the just-launchd iPhone 5 but even so, the results represent and impressive showing for Android. The iPhone 4S gets pipped at the post and the UK's best-loved smartphone of 2012 is the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Naturally, Apple did win the tablet battle, and the iPad wins the consumers choice award. The Nexus 7 is a close second-however, proving the importance of good, budget-level tablets.

Other notable android entrants include the Sony Xperia U (runner-up, best design) and HTC One X (winner, best handset for social media). Check past the break for the full list.

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3 years ago

Google Gesture Search updated with tablet support

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Google has just updated its Gesture Search application with proper support for tablets, including the Nexus 7. If you haven't used the Gesture Search app before, its a pretty interesting concept. Similar to what Google has been offering on the mobile view of it's search page, Gesture Search lets you spell out words by writing on the screen one letter at a time, and then instantly returns search items. You can choose what sources to search -- such as contacts, browser bookmarks, apps and more.

In addition to tablet support, Gesture Search now offers compatibility with even more languages. Simplified Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish are now supported as of this latest update.

Gesture Search is useful for when you've only got one hand free and need to make a quick search, though it's not the most high-profile Google app around. Take a look at the Google Play Store link above and try it out for yourself.

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3 years ago

Ustream updated to support 7-inch tablets and better streaming

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A little something for all you 7-Inch tablet owners out there who've been missing out on Ustream. v2.0.3 of the Ustream app, which includes support for such device as the Nexus 7 has now arrived in the Google Play Store and is ready for download.

In addition to the new device support, Ustream has also included several streaming improvements and various other bug fixes. Oh, and in case you didn't already know. The Ustream app is a great way to take part in the Android Central podcast, when we're live.

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3 years ago

Plague Inc. game infects Google Play

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Plague Inc., an excellent and hugely popular epidemic simulation game, has found its way to Android. Players gently coax a variety of virus types across the globe. Your plague starts off as a modest cough, then mutates with new and insidious forms of transmission, deadlier symptoms, and greater resistance to medication.

Plague Inc. involves a lot of finesse, since you don't have much direct control over the virus, so must simply make calculated mutations, pay attention to pertinent world events, and adapt accordingly. It's harder than you think to wipe out the entire globe; airports shut down, governments are alerted, and before long, the whole world is banding together to find a cure. 

On the one hand, Plague Inc. is an incredibly morbid game, but on the other, I've always had a hard time putting it down. It's available for free with an unlockable full version with fast-forward enabled, so go ahead and check it out. 

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3 years ago

A look at the Nexus history, Media purchasing alternatives to the Google Play Store [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

AT&T unveils holiday lineup in New York City, we go hands-on

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If you're looking for Android devices that are headed to AT&T in time for the holiday season, look no further. At their event hosted in New York City AT&T unveiled a massive amount of Android devices and offered us a first hand look at them all. The line up hits just about every category you can imagine be it low cost all the way up to the high end offerings. So what all did they bring? Check out the full list below and hit the links to get a hands on look at the devices individually:

As you can tell, that's a lot of Samsung and HTC love right there however, there is also the LG Optimus G that will making its way to AT&T as well. You can check out our previous hands on with that, if that's what you're holding out for. All of that said; anyone going to be picking any of these devices up? if so, which are you getting? If not, what are you holding out for?

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3 years ago

Google sets Q3 earnings call for Oct. 18

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Grab your calendars, folks. Google's just scheduled its third-quarter earnings call for Oct. 18, with a conference call set for 4:30 p.m. EDT. We'll bring the beer.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for AT&T hands on

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Rounding out Samsung and AT&T’s holiday portfolio is the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, the follow up to the tablet that started a war, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. There really isn’t anything new or exciting here—we first reviewed the 10.1 2 back in May and found that it was a fine follow up to the original, though since then we’ve been introduced to the more unique and more powerful Galaxy Note 10.1. We would have liked to see a more up-to-date tablet taking advantage of AT&T’s superfast LTE network, but to be fair, the 2 10.1 is nothing to sneeze at.

Again, (notice a trend?), pricing and availability is still forthcoming, but in the meantime you can read our full review here.  Some AT&T branded shots follow.

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3 years ago

First look at AT&T's take at the Samsung Galaxy Note 2

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New York seems to be the first stop for the US-bound Galaxy Note 2—we caught the first stateside glimpse last month at Pepcom’s Holiday Spectacular, and tonight we’re meeting AT&T version of the hotly anticipated device. Aside from AT&T’s logo and LTE connectivity, we’re dealing with the same exact device that our own Alex Dobie so eloquently reviewed just today. So dive right in to see what he liked and didn’t, and while we await final word on pricing and availability on Ma Bell, catch some shots of AT&T’s model after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera for AT&T hands-on

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AT&T had more than a few tricks up its sleeve at tonight’s holiday preview event, one of them being the unveiling of the Galaxy Camera, the Android-powered point-and-shoot camera we first met back at IFA in Berlin this year. It’ll be heading to the carrier’s shelves in time for the holiday season, though we currently don’t know when or for how much.

A quick refresher -- the Galaxy Camera is a full blown, honest-to-goodness camera packed with a 16 MP lens and 20X optical zoom, that just happens to have a 4.8-inch Jelly Bean-powered interface attached to its rear, fuelled by a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos CPU. The screen is gorgeous, the performance is fast, and this is by far the most unique Android device we've seen yet. Be sure to check out the in-depth hands on video after the break, where we spend some quality time with the AT&T-branded model. The Samsung Galaxy Camera is due to arrive on AT&T's network in time for the holidays.

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3 years ago

First look at AT&T's Sony Xperia TL

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Not to be outshone by HTC and Samsung, Sony was on hand at tonight's AT&T holiday unveliling with a flagship of its own, the Xperia TL. It'll be on AT&T shelves in time for the holidays, and Sony is playing to win. On-board we've got a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor (more than likely a Snapdragon S4 of sorts), a full gig of RAM, and Ice Cream Sandwich, with Jelly Bean "coming soon." Essentially, it's an Xperia T with AT&T LTE support.

The TL isn't quite as thin and light as some of its competitors, but what it lacks in sleekness it makes up for with a beautiful display -- this 4.6-inch Sony HD Reality Display packs a 720 x 1280 resolution, powered by Sony's Bravia Engine. It's a stunner, and lands itself in the upper echelon of smartphone displays. Colors are crisp and remarkably natural, with impresive brightness and remarkable viewing angles.

The TL flies, thanks to the Snapdragon S4 under the hood, and the 13 MP camera has some great editing features that Sony hopes will stand out among the crowd. We'll put it through its paces once we get a big closer to release date -- for now, enjoy some photos and video after the break. Stay tuned for more coverage of the TL's international cousin, the Xperia T.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Express hands on

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AT&T has set up shop high above New York’s Lower East Side tonight with its upcoming holiday lineup, including the just-announced Galaxy Express from Samsung. It’s an entry-level device that still manages to pack a punch, and AT&T says that the Express is an ideal choice for first-time smartphone owners. If the carrier keeps the price point low, it might just be onto a winner.

The Express packs a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED display, larger than what we’re used to seeing on “budget” devices, with a modest 480 x 800 resolution. Its quality is noticeably lower than the rest of Samsung’s portfolio, yet it manages to impress, with the same bold "pop" and high-contrast colors we've come to expect from AMOLED. Sacrifices must be made, and this one isn't as drastic as we feared.

Underneath the hood you’ve got a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor (AT&T hasn’t given specifics, but we’ll venture to guess we’re dealing with a Snapdragon S4 here), 1GB of RAM, and Touchwiz-skinned Ice Cream Sandwich. The Express’s performance is impressive, and not just in terms of budget devices -- everything here is snappy, smooth, and confident, a testament to the processor and a byproduct of the lower-res screen. The 2,000 mAh battery should be able to handle a solid day of usage, based on what we’ve seen from similarly-equipped Galaxy devices.

The Express feels great in the hand and lacks a certain bulk and girth that often accompany lower-end devices. It’s light and trim and retains the refinement and eye-catching style present on the GS3. In fact, calling it a mini-GS3 wouldn’t be too far off. If you simply can’t stomach forking over $200 for a shiny flagship device, the Express could be a viable alternative. We’ll keep our ears to the ground for pricing and release dates—for now, check out some hands-on after the break.

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3 years ago

First look at AT&T's Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro

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AT&T and Samsung are in store for a fairly busy holiday season, and Ma Bell is here in New York showing off what the two companies have put together this year. With the Note 2 on the top end and the Galaxy Express bringing up the rear, we’ve got the Galaxy Rugby Pro sitting pretty in between, offering some budget-friendly specs along with ruggedized features aimed at those who use their phone more as a tool than a fashion piece.

The Rugby Pro is the follow up to the Rugby Smart, and bumps up its specs just enough to keep it relevant. We’ve got a 4-inch Super AMOLED display at 480 x 800 that looks considerably better than the larger, less dense Galaxy Express. It’s definitely clear though that Samsung didn’t put its best foot forward with either of these displays, opting for more a more affordable, less gush-worthy experience.

Other than Android 4.0, LTE connectivity, and its 5-megapixel camera, internal specs are few and far between here, with AT&T opting to tout the Rugby Pro’s muscle rather than its brain. The Rugby Pro is waterproof, shock resistant, and dust proof, and can be submersed in one meter of water for up to a half hour. The Pro also supports EAS corporate email and push-to-talk functionality.

Its main competitor is the Motorola Defy Pro, another ruggedized smartphone, and I’ll give the Rugby Pro the one-up in this head-to-head, mostly due to its TouchWiz interface. While it’s not nearly as fluid or smooth as the rest of Samsung’s lineup, familiar aspects are here, and we’ve grown quite fond of Samsung’s UI as of late. The Rugby Pro also has ICS, compared to the Defy Pro’s Gingerbread, and it’s ligther and a bit more stylish that Moto’s offering.

If you’re looking for the hottest and sexiest phone out there, run far far away from the Rugby Pro, as its aesthetic qualities are severely lacking. But if you’re the type to abuse your phone and you’re not in the position to replace $600 phones every couple of months (who is?), this is definitely worth a look. And look away, at the photos and hands-on video after the break.

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3 years ago

SlingPlayer for Android updated, higher video quality for ICS+ phones

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Hey SlingBox users, good news! Your SlingPlayer app was recently updated. While the changes aren't breathtaking, they are very welcome, as are most updates.

If you're using SlingPlayer on your phone you'll be greeted with an updated look to the app and a new program guide.  However the biggest update comes if your device is running  ICS or Jelly Bean, as you'll be happy to see higher quality video with this update. Nexus 7 users have received an optimized interface with the new update and a common update for both is the ability to set reminders for upcoming shows.

source: Google Play - SlingPlayer for Phones & Tablets

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