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3 years ago

Google Now updated in the Google Play Store - Expands support for movies, sports and more

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For those of you making use of an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device and wondering when Google Now might be updated with some new features, we now know. The latest update has gone live in the Google Play Store and is ready for download. The changelog is more so an expansion of features that already existed, though there is a few new things as well:

For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean) devices, this update to Google Now includes:

  • Movies - see movie showtimes and more
  • Public alerts - receive emergency messages such as storm warnings and earthquake alerts
  • Add favorite sports teams to follow in real time (from Settings)
  • Support for Korea

As some may have noticed, sports team access was there previously but it was never active, so now it is. Also, Public Alerts used to come through Google Maps, they'll now also come through Google Now. it's a nice update, so be sure to grab it.

Source: Android

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3 years ago

IFA 2012 Podcast Special Day 1

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Audio-only stream below

Alex and Richard check in from IFA 2012 in Berlin, as Phil and Dan Rubino from WPCentral.com lend a hand. We've got the latest on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Samsung Galaxy Camera, and more from Sony!

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia TX hands-on preview

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It's been an epic wait for the Sony Xperia TX, first rumored back in January under the codename "Hayabusa." Today we finally saw Sony's late 2012 flagship in the flesh, and it's brought in a whole heap of welcome changes. First up is ICS out of the box, complete with on-screen buttons to satisfy Android purists. There's also a 13MP BSI rear camera, promising improvements over the 12MP sensor in the Xperia S, and a 4.6-inch 720p HD LCD display, which looks as good as any smartphone screen we've seen. There's a lot to dig into in the latest Sony flagship, and we've kicked things off with a quick hands-on preview video. We'll have more from the TX, and the other new members of the Xperia family, from IFA in Berlin later this week.

More from the day's developments in Germany at our IFA 2012 portal

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet S hands-on preview

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Sony announced its Xperia Tablet S today at IFA in Berlin, Germany, and we were on hand to take the new ICS-powered tab for a spin. At the new Sony booth, we found a slimmer, sleeker successor to last year's Tablet S, with a Tegra 3 CPU and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running the show. Sony's also re-vamped its tablet UI, incorporating elements from its smartphone UX, and building features like windows apps on top of ICS. We've also got a full complement of Sony Entertainment Network content, including PlayStation support and a new Walkman music player.

Check out some quick first impressions in the post above. We'll have more later this week as part of our continuing IFA 2012 coverage.

More from the day's developments in Germany at our IFA 2012 portal

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3 years ago

Falcon review - a sharp, customizable Twitter home screen widget

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Falcon is a really great homescreen widget for Twitter. It follows closely in line with the Android design guidelines while still having its own distinct style.  The widget is fully resizable and offers a handful of solid color choices and layouts. It still carries a beta tag, so Falcon is totally free, but still a work-in-progress.

The full complement of standard functions are available, including replying, retweeting (both native and quoted), favoriting, and sharing tweets via the system-wide menu. Conversations are threaded, though the tweets within the thread don’t have in-line reply/retweet/favorite controls, which is occasionally an issue.

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3 years ago

Watch the entire Samsung Mobile Unpacked event from IFA

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Perhaps you caught our coverage of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, or the Samsung Galaxy Camera, or our liveblog of the Unpacked straight from the source in Berlin. If you want to watch the entire event, though, here it is, in living color. Check it out after the break.

More: Our complete IFA 2012 coverage

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3 years ago

Hey, look - another Nexus 7 commercial

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Pretty much looks like my kids, actually.

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3 years ago

Cricket's Muve Music service will be bundled with all Android plans starting September 2nd

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Back in January, Cricket announced that its music service, Muve Music, surpassed 500,000 users. That number is about to increase as the wireless provider announced that the service will now come bundled with all of its Android plans.

The new package takes effect September 2nd, so any Android plan purchased from Cricket after that will come with Muze Music.  It's a pretty good deal, especially considering the fact that the cheapest plans start at $50/month.

If you're a Cricket customer and have been considering Muve Music but haven't yet pulled the trigger, a good time to try it out is after Sept. 2. Full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 9.1 stable builds going out with SimplyTapp NFC integration

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If you're looking to give CyanogenMod 9.1 a go, you'll find something new built into the ROM's. As noted on the CyanogenMod blog, CyanogenMod 9.1 compatible devices with NFC will bring integration with Tapp powered by SimplyTapp. The joint partnership was born back at the beginning of CyanogenMod 9 and is now being introduced to allow payments from your smartphone with just a tap:

  • To Sign-up – flash CM9.1 on your NFC capable device, and get the Tapp app
  • Costs – It is between $0 and $5 to get an NFC card. That all depends on the card or cards you select.
  • Cards supported – At the moment you can sign up for a Tapp Anywhere Card (like a gift card with a fixed balance), CyanogenMod Tapp Card (Reloadable), as well as various store cards (depending on location).
  • Security – Card credentials are stored in the cloud and enabled to the point-of-sale via standard security mechanisms. By evolving from the plastic card model, this keeps your credentials (aka payment information) secure, accessible by only you, and only when you need them.

Supported devices include Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S (4G), Samsung Galaxy S2 and pretty much any other devices supported by CyanogenMod 9.1 with NFC. Stable builds of CyanogenMod 9.1 are rolling out right now, so if you're interested in learning more about SimplyTapp or testing out CyanogenMod 9.1, you'll find the links below.

Source: CM Blog, Download CM 9.1

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3 years ago

Qmadix Snap-On Cover and holster review - two kickstands and modern style

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The Qmadix snap-on cover is a slim snap-on case with a sharp style and a kickstand that supports your device in either landscape or portrait orientation. It comes with a snug-fitting slide-out holster that has a nice felt interior to protect the screen and a lockable clip to use it as a kickstand as well.

The open front face limits a lot of the protection the Qmadix snap-on case has to offer. Sure, the rear is fine, but the corners are a bit of a toss-up, and the top and bottom are completely open. that said, the major utility you’re getting from the Qmadix shell are a cool look and a kickstand (unless, for some reason, you’re really interested in keeping the rear of your device in pristine condition).

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3 years ago

Audiobooks.com launches new Android app, offers all you can eat for a small fee

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If you dig audio books over their other physical and digital counterparts, then you might be interested to know audiobooks.com has now launched a new app for their customers. The app is available as a free download from the Google Play Store but in order to make full use of it, you'll need to sign up for a subscription.

Luckily, Audiobooks gives you a free trial to start off with offering an 'all you can eat' selection of audio books for 7 days wherein after that time, you'll be liable to pay $25/mnth. You can stream audio books from the app, your computer and more importantly there is a no hassle cancelation policy that goes along with it. Don't like it, cancel any time.

Learn more about Audiobooks.com

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3 years ago

Google Maps updated to v6.11.1, runs short on changelog information

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The latest Google Maps update has now appeared in the Google Play Store and shows the app has been bumped up to v6.11.1. After the last update, many HTC Rezound users had issues and were forced to downgrade to an earlier version so this might be a fix for that given Google hasn't really posted a changelog for it as of yet. In fact, it looks like they simply reworded the last one:

  • See borders of cities, postal codes, and more highlighted on search.
  • Browse a day-by-day display of where you've been using location history.
  • Improved transit information layer and added the ability to browse by mode of transportation.

If you happened to have any issues with the older build, go ahead and give this one a shot and see if there is any changes. We'll keep an eye on the changelog and see if Google adjusts it in anyway and update if necessary.

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3 years ago

Samsung officially announces the Galaxy Camera

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We're live at Samsung Unpacked from Berlin, Germany, where Samsung has officially unveiled their latest smart device, the Samsung Galaxy Camera powered by Android. 

Spec wise we're looking at a 4.8 inch HD SuperLCD display, Touchwiz Nature UX based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Cellular data is also on board in 3G and 4G varieties -- a data plan will be required, as well as WiFi connectivity, with a big push around sharing your content. The Galaxy Camera also has WiFi Direct capabilities, allowing local sharing with other Galaxy Cameras and compatible smartphones. 

But, the Galaxy Camera isn't just an Android device. It's a camera. On that front, we're looking at a 21x optical zoom, and a 23mm wide angle lens. 

Samsung has built in some interesting looking software too centered around editing and managing all your captured content. Best Group Pose for example, allows you to take continuous shots, and the camera will recognise the faces in the pictures, and then let the user choose their favorites to compile the best overall shot. Samsung have promised 35 built in editing features. 

Once editing is out of the way, Samsung has included on-device management tools to keep everything organized. Images can be searched for by time and location, and automatic cloud backup is also built in. Additionally, the Galaxy Camera  through its Smart Content Manager can create and manage folders, and will offer suggestions on which photos you should delete based on overall image quality. 

The Galaxy Camera will be released to market during Q4 2012, although pricing hasn't yet been announced. Additionally there will be a choice of two colors available for the Galaxy Camera, white and black. Keep it locked to AC for continuing coverage of the event, and hands on reports with the device. 

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera gallery

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You've seen our hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Camera, you've read through the specs, now here's some more, boys and girls.

We've got a whole bunch of images of the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Camera for you after the break.

Who do you love?. 

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 hands-on

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We get our first official look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 live at IFA in Berlin!

So, its official. We're live in Berlin at Samsung Unpacked where the next generation Galaxy Note has just been announced. The 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 2 is a definite bump on last years original, and we know there's a lot of you guys out there that have been waiting on this one. We've had a little time to play with the device and see what's what. 

The Note 2 has a 5.5 inch HD SuperAMOLED 16:9 display at 1280x720, a 1.6GHz Exynos quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16, 32 or 64GB of storage. Powering the whole show is a pretty sizeable 3100mAh battery, and we also get NFC and Samsung's latest Touchwix Nature UX based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. At only 9.4mm thick and weighing in at 180g the Note 2 doesn't feel as large in the hand as its massive screen would possibly lead you to believe. The overall design of the Note 2 lends very much from the smaller Galaxy S 3, which in turn sets it apart from the 2011 Galaxy Note. 

The Note 2 will be available in a choice of two colors, Marble White and Titanium Grey, and is pegged for a Q4 2012 launch date. There is also support for 4G LTE as well as 3G/HSPA+.

It feels pretty good in the hand, but lets not forget that this is a big phone. A really big phone. As with the original, you aren't likely to be one handing the Note 2 all that often. The key component once again is the inclusion of the S-Pen. For the Note 2, the S-Pen has been redesigned a little. It's now taller and thicker, has a textured button on the side and a rubber tip on the end now which creates a subtly different interaction with the screen from its predecessor.

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