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3 years ago

Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean confirmed for the Motorola Xoom WiFi

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Just in case you needed any other sort of confirmation that the soak test happening for the Motorola Xoom WiFi in the U.S. was indeed Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, we managed to score the full and complete change log for you all:

Android 4.1.1, Jelly Bean Software Update for the Motorola XOOM™ WIFI in the U.S.

Introduction - We are pleased to announce a new software update for the Motorola XOOM™ WIFI in the US. This Android 4.1.1 (JRO03H) software update includes numerous enhancements. Upgrade today for peak performance.

Who Can Use This Release - ALL Motorola XOOM U.S. WIFI users.

After downloading and installing the software release, you will notice:

  • Improved User Interface and Response - Android 4.1.1, Jelly Bean, is the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet. Moving between home screens and switching between apps is effortless, like turning pages in a book. Jelly Bean makes your Android device even more responsive by boosting your device’s CPU instantly when you touch the screen, and turns it down when you don’t need it to improve battery life.
  • Expandable, Actionable Notifications - Now you can take action directly from the notifications shade. And because the notifications are expandable, you can get an even deeper look into the things that matter most, like multiple emails or photos on Google+.
  • Widgets work like magic - With Jelly Bean it’s now even easier to personalize your home screen. As you place widgets on the screen, everything else automatically moves to make room. When they’re too big, widgets resize on their own. Interacting with your favorite apps and customizing your home screen has never been easier. Seamlessly view and share photos - Just swipe over from camera to filmstrip view to instantly view the photos you just took, and quickly swipe away the ones you don’t like. Now sharing--and bragging--are a breeze.
  • A Smarter Keyboard - Android’s dictionaries are now more accurate, more relevant. The language model in Jelly Bean adapts over time, and the keyboard even guesses what the next word will be before you’ve started typing it.
  • Improved Text-to-Speech Capability - With improved text-to-speech capabilities, voice typing on Android is even better; it works even when you don’t have a data connection.
  • Accessibility - With Jelly Bean, blind users can use 'Gesture Mode' to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output. Jelly Bean also adds support for accessibility plugins to enable external Braille input and output devices via USB and Bluetooth.
  • Voice Search - Android lets you search the web with your voice, and it’s convenient for getting quick answers on the fly. It speaks back to you and is powered by the Knowledge Graph, bringing you a precise answer if it knows it, and precisely ranked search results, so you can always find out more.
  • A new look for Search - Android has search at its core. With Jelly Bean, a redesigned experience uses the power of the Knowledge Graph to show you search results in a richer way. It’s easier to quickly get answers and explore and browse search results.

Nothing in there is unexpected really, but it sure is nice to see it all laid out. Now we'll go back to waiting for it to fully appear on some devices considering this release is just for those involved in the soak test, if you happen to see it land on your Xoom, we wouldn't mind you dropping by the forums and saying so.
 

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3 years ago

Droid RAZR HD appears at the FCC, awaiting approval

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Motorola has been hard at work as of late putting together several devices but one that has yet to show up on carrier shelves, despite appearing all over the internet, is the Motorola XT926 or otherwise known as the Motorola RAZR HD. After numerous leaks though the device has now turned up in the hands of the FCC awaiting approval.

Of course, the letter of confidentiality covers up most of the information but the currently visible model number matches up accurately. Meaning, as long as testing goes well we'll soon see the device pass on through and eventually land into the hands of Verizon customers -- or so Motorola is hoping.

Source: FCC,Thanks, Paul!

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3 years ago

Loading your own media onto Nexus 7, Using NFC tags [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.

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

Motorola Xoom WiFi soak test set to arrive today for those who signed up

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If you're a Motorola Xoom WiFi owner who's been waiting for Motorola to roll out their previously mentioned software update, you'll want to check your emails. Emails being sent out to registered users of the Motorola feedback network confirm the update will be arriving today at some point:

Hello,

Thanks for signing up for the Motorola U.S. Wi-Fi Xoom software test. We had a very enthusiastic response to our call for participation, so we expect a good turnout. The software should be pushed to your phone later today. Thanks so much for your participation! We really appreciate your time and insights. We’ll start the push soon so please start your visit to the private community here. You’ll find additional important information in the Welcome message as soon as you sign in.

At this point, there isn't any confirmation of it being Android 4.1 Jelly Bean but all signs point towards that, especially now that Google has begun the push of Jelly Bean to the Nexus S variants out there. For those of you not on the Motorola feedback network, you'll have to hold out a bit longer to see this update.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 10.1 bares all in pre-release unboxing

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After a hiatus of a few months, during which it's been re-tooled on the inside and outside, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 looks to finally be upon us. As such, we've got the first proper pre-release leak today, in the form of an early unboxing report from South Korean site The Brave Post.

Superficially, it's the same Note 10.1 that we first saw at Mobile World Congress back in February -- a Galaxy Tab with Wacom stylus support. But under the hood and around the back, there are a few changes to be found on the final shipping Note 10.1 hardware. First up (and most obvious) is the inclusion of a slot for the S Pen, something lacking on the Note 10.1 prototypes we've previously seen. And the tablet's spec sheet has been freshened up for the third quarter of the year -- it's now sporting a quad-core Exynos chip at 1.4GHz (same as the Galaxy S3), along with 2GB of RAM (up from 1GB). Screen resolution is an unremarkable 1280x800 pixels, but apparently image quality is impressive regardless. The tablet's rear houses a 5MP camera, which is backed up by a single LED flash. If you're concerned about the Note's general heft, then you'll be relieved to hear that it weighs in at 580 grams (compared to the new iPad's 652 grams).

Software wise, the Galaxy Note 10.1 looks to be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, though that's not specifically confirmed anywhere in the report. We'd be surprised, though, if Samsung had managed to cram Jelly Bean onto there in the couple of weeks since the code dropped. As ever, Android comes liberally decorated with the latest version of TouchWiz for tablets, which seems to have been updated with a few Galaxy S3-style widgets, including AccuWeather.

The most interesting inclusion is phone support, allowing you to text from the Note 10.1 or use it as a giant speakerphone. It's unclear how this works at this stage, though -- whether the device connects to other phones over Bluetooth, or if it makes calls using whichever SIM card is directly plugged in, like some earlier Galaxy Tabs.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is expected to make its debut at a special Samsung Electronics U.S. event on Aug. 15, though Samsung's not saying for sure what'll be announced there. We also imagine it'll rear its head at the IFA show in Berlin a couple of weeks later. We'll be at both, naturally.

Source: The Brave Post; via: The Verge

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3 years ago

Leaked shot shows Verizon Galaxy Nexus getting yet another ICS OTA

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We've received a screenshot from Verizon's systems, showing an OTA in the works for the Galaxy Nexus. According to our tipster, the IMM76Q build is still Ice Cream Sandwich, but looks to have a newer baseband and software version. Any other changes would be pure speculation, but we expect them to be bug fixes and enhancements. 

If the IMM76Q tag looks familiar, that's because it's been rumored for about a month. A lone user at XDA reported seeing the update prompt, and users in the Verizon Galaxy Nexus forums say they've been told by Samsung and Verizon that it will address the signal drop issues that plague some users in certain areas.  

We know that everyone is champing at the bit to get Jelly Bean on their Verizon Galaxy Nexus, but we're not too surprised at this news. It makes sense for Big Red to get their ducks in a row and address radio issues before they push out a new platform version, potentially full of newer bugs. We'll all keep our eyes and ears open, and hope the update makes headway against the connection issues.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

LG's Q Voice expanding to English, coming the first half of next year

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LG is getting into the natural voice computing game with Q Voice, and they say it will be coming to English speakers in the first half of 2013. Using the Wernicke engine, Q Voice uses "reasoning with a probabilistic model to find the best answer", matching the context of the text in addition to using a standard database of correct replies. This should help the Q Voice app act more naturally, no matter what language the user is speaking.

In addition to standard voice to text and searching, Q Voice will be able to control device settings, and basically "perform any function [with] the appropriate procedure". We take that to mean that any intent that can be preformed in software can also be performed by Q Voice, which may lead to a very interesting app indeed. Of course, LG has programmed the ability to have a witty, emotional response when faced with a question it can't answer. The example given asks Q Voice what it had for lunch, and the reply is "I ate 220 volts. It was fresh and exciting". 

Is there room for yet another Voice assistant app on the market? Of course there is, as long as it brings something new and different to the table. We'll withhold any judgment until we've had a try with this one.

Source: LG  Newsroom (Korean)

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3 years ago

Word Lens review - great translations for single words

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How well can an Android device translate text locally and in real-time?

Word Lens arrived on Android last month, promising the uncanny ability to translate text from a live camera feed from your device. The demo video would have you believe that simply pointing your phone's camera at a sign would magically recreate that sign on your display with fully translated text. 

For $4.99, users get two-way translation between English and one language of choice: Spanish, French, or Italian. Anything beyond the first costs an extra $4.99 After the camera focuses on the text you're aiming to translate, a pause button allows users to capture the translated text with each word linked so that you can tap them and see compare it to the translation.

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3 years ago

Plex for Android gets updated, adds remote control features for ease of use

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Although I'm sure many folks are waiting to see what XBMC on Android will fully offer, there is some pretty good options that already exist in the Google Play Store for streaming content around. One I like to use is Plex and a few days ago, it got a nice healthy update that brought one of the most requested features to Android as well as quite a few bug fixes:

  • Android devices can now be remote controlled.
  • Network logging for troubleshooting
  • Media Info displayed at top of screen when playback controls are visible.
  • Experimental Transcode method (Quicksilver)
  • FIX an issue where sometimes Plex would get stuck on 'Loading'
  • FIX playback issues on some ICS devices (e.g. HTC One)
  • FIX an issue where hints in setup screens were not appearing on some devices
  • FIX weird seekbar skipping behavior

The remote control feature is of course, what I was referring to feature wise as it allows you to control various Android devices running Plex from another Android device. Now, I can sit with a tablet connected to the TV and control it with my phone which, makes for a great experience overall.

The other big change in the app comes by way of Quicksilver transcoding. It's a new experimental encoding method that Plex is trying out that is specifically tuned for Kindle Fire users to offer better streaming to those devices. As it stands, it's not enabled by default so if you're a Kindle Fire user, you'll need to enable it in the settings. The update is live now, and available for purchase in the Google Play Store.

Source: Plex, Download: Plex for Android

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3 years ago

Keeping ideas synced while on the go using my Android device

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Lately I have been looking for various ways to refine how I work, the goal is to have things synced to be able to access from various places. Since I am not always at the computer, or the same computer for that matter, it can be difficult to keep my ideas with me all the time, and even more difficult to continue on an idea that I may have already started. Dropbox has proven to be a great tool for me, I can upload things that I want to be able to access later, and then download them elsewhere, and I have been looking for a tool to compliment that well on Android. When I was using the iPhone 4 there were many note applications that synced directly to Dropbox, but I haven't found any that worked well for me on Android, as most of them require you to save, then upload and that isn't what I was ultimately looking for. Let's hit the break to see how I was able to solve this issue, and what you can download to do the same.

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3 years ago

UNO & Friends to give classic card game major social overhaul

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Gameloft has just announced a new version of UNO for Android that will launch simultaneously alongside iOS, Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, and Facebook iterations. UNO & Friends will be, as you might expect, all about multiplayer; the new game will allow players from all of the above platforms to play against one another. Though Gameloft is being shy about screenshots right now, I don't suspect the gameplay will differ much from the original Android game (pictured above).

Odds are you've played the original UNO card game at some point, but if not, it's pretty simple - everybody is trying to discard all of the cards from their hand until there are no more to draw from the deck. Cards that are played have to be the same number or the same color as the previous play, though there are lots of action cards that can change the active color, force opponents to draw more cards, and all sorts of other nasty tricks. It's a lot like Crazy Eights. 

Gameloft promises Android and iOS versions to and Facebook to be available "later this year" while the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita versions will come out in spring 2013. 

Any big UNO fans out three? Have any buddies with an iPhone you'd like to trounce?

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3 years ago

How to replace icons on the Home screen dock on the Galaxy S3

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Moving the icons you want into your Galaxy S3 homescreen dock is a great way to configure your device in a way that makes sense for you.

The Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) is highly configurable. In many ways, the new TouchWiz interface simplifies using the device. In other ways, TouchWiz can make seemingly simple tasks a bit more complicated.

Here's how to swap out the apps that are in the homescreen dock on your Samsung Galaxy S3.

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3 years ago

How high is 'unbelievably high' piracy? Dead Trigger dev's not saying

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This morning Madfinger Games took to Facebook to explain why it lowered Dead Trigger from 99 cents to free. The reasoning? Rampant piracy. "Unbelievably high" piracy, actually. "The piracy rate is soooo giant," the developer continued.

One thing, though: We have absolutely no idea what that means. 

There always will be piracy. It's unfortunate, but the fact remains that so long as applications can be stolen, they will be stolen. We wish that wasn't the case. How many people stole the 99-cent Dead Trigger? Raise your hands if you dare. Was it 10 instances? One hundred? One thousand? Dead Trigger is currently in the 100,000 to 500,000 download range on its Google Play listing. We've e-mailed Madfinger Games in hopes of getting some more details on this. If 1,000 instances of piracy were noted, that's just 1 percent of the minimum total downloads. We've got an e-mail in to Madfinger seeking some details. 

Here's Madfinger's complete statement on moving Dead Trigger to free:

Regarding price drop. HERE is our statement. The main reason: piracy rate on Android devices, that was unbelievably high. At first we intend to make this game available for as many people as possible - that's why it was for as little as buck. - It was much less than 8$ for SHADOWGUN but on the other hand we didn't dare to provide it for free, since we hadn't got XP with free-to-play format so far. - However, even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide DEAD TRIGGER for free. Anyway - DEAD TRIGGER is not FREEMIUM, it always was and still remains FREE-TO-PLAY, that means, all players are able to play it without IAP! We stand up for this statement, because all members of our team are playing (and enjoying) DEAD TRIGGER without IAP.

This is important just as it's important in the television industry, where piracy also is a real issue (though more self-inflicted, we'd argue). The vast majority of Android users out there, we presume, don't download pirated apps. 

Anyway. Kudos to Madfinger for making a great game even greater by making it free -- not that 99 cents should have kept anyone away. But let's hope the next time the piracy card is played, we see some numbers to back it up.

Source: Facebook

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3 years ago

Minecraft creator sued for patent infringement in Android game

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Uniloc, a patent protection company specializing in anti-piracy technologies, is suing Mojang, developer of Minecraft, for infringing on an Android-related patent called "System and Method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data". It's basically a system for authenticating license data. The lawsuit reads:

Mojang is directly infringing one or more claims of the ’067 patent in this judicial district and elsewhere in Texas, including at least claim 107, without the consent or authorization of Uniloc, by or through making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing Android based applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application, including, but not limited to, Mindcraft.

(You'd think they could at least get the game's name right.) You can see the full lawsuit over here. Notch, the beloved creator of Minecraft, is vocally against software patents. After getting handed the lawsuit, he wrote up am astute blog post linked below and tweeted: 

Ric Richardson, the founder of Australia-based Uniloc, begs to differ

It amazes me that people complain about paying a royalty for a technology that stops up to a third of a software companies sales from being lost to piracy. What are you saying? "Its all right to steal from Uniloc as long as it helps stop pirates stealing from me? ... I had to spend $40,000 back in 1992 to protect my idea. It was not frivolous for me... it was the difference between having a deposit for a house and having a patent.

Uniloc is requesting a jury trial and that Mojang pay in both previous damages and in future royalties. Hopefully Mojang can get away with simply changing the supposedly infringing lines of code. Let's just hope that these Uniloc guys don't start taking their litigations to other app developers.

Do you guys agree with Notch that software patents are obtrusive to innovation, or is there a legitimate use for them?

Source: The Word of Notch

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3 years ago

Samsung Spare Battery Charging System review

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Your Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) might get you though a full day of use on one charge – but it might not.

When most people get a smartphone with the capabilities and beautiful screen of the Galaxy S3, they tend to use it…a lot.  Even though the Galaxy S3 comes with a rather large 2100mAh battery, the size of the screen and the use of LTE can still drain the device before the day is done.

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