4 years ago

Original Galaxy S 2.3.5 update reportedly pushing in the UK


Still using the original Samsung Galaxy S? We bet that there's quite a few of you out there still carrying around this venerable device, and in the UK at least Samsung have reportedly started pushing out an Android 2.3.5 update.

The changelog promises a whole batch of bug fixes, along with the usual performance improvements you might expect from an OS update, better battery life, and enhancements to the messaging app and to the camera. 

GSMarena is reporting though that this update could wipe your apps and your data, which sounds pretty messed up for a minor OS update. But take heed and make sure everything is backed up just in case. If you've seen the update hit us up in the comments and let us know how it went.

Source: GSMarena

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4 years ago

Android Game Review: Reflexions


YouTube link for mobile viewing

We've all been there: a maniacal evil genius has you in the thick of his trap, and the only way to escape his series of death beams is to reflect them away from you using whatever is at your disposal. Maybe it's a nickel, maybe you've got a lot of mirrors at your disposal. At any rate, we all know the only way we got out of the trap (and saved the day!) was through practice.

My tool of choice? Reflexions, by YoYo Games. What better way to brush up on your reflecting skills, kill some time, and work your brain into a frenzy as you try to collect the diamonds and advance to the next level? I can think of none.

In Reflexions, you're trying to arrange mirrors to bounce your energy ball around, pick up all the diamonds scattered throughout the level (while avoiding the red, mine-looking things), and then bounce your way to the exit portal. The diamonds aren't for fun, either. The exit portal doesn't activate until you've nabbed all the diamonds, so you can't try and skip them to make a sweet time completing a level.

Your motivation to complete levels in a timely fashion? That timer running in the background, of course. In addition to your time being checked, the game is also timing your number of moves (how many times you flip a mirror), and that factors into your overall rating. There's no scores here, just the familiar three-star system that all games are using these days.

If you're like me and think you only earned two stars because the star in the middle is the biggest, don't fret. The game fills the outer stars first, and you get the big star in the middle if you really maxed the level out and earned all three stars. Trust me, confused me, too.

Reflexions is also peppered with little achievements here and there (in-game only, no OpenFeint), like completing the tutorial, world 1, getting 20 stars in world 1, etc. The achievements run the gamut from incredibly simple to ridiculously difficult, and while it's nice to give the player a lot of easy ones at the start, it almost feels a little too much like "everyone is a winner" for my tastes. Still, the completionist in me appreciates the challenge.

With 40 levels in four worlds, oodles of achievements, and the fact Reflexions runs equally well on both tablets and phones, I'd behoove you to try it out. It's only $1.10 in the Android Market, but that's a special, introductory price, so I'd move on this sooner rather than later.

Dr. Evil Mr. Bad Guy is planning, so if you're ready to brush up on your reflecting skills, we've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Transform Ultra


Are you a Sprint customer looking for a new device but would rather not kill your savings on it? Well meet the Samsung Transform Ultra, a nice mid range sliding QWERTY device that is available for only $70 after rebate. Recently we have seen a huge amount of Samsung devices launch into the market, each of them rating rather well, and the Samsung Transform Ultra should not be left out of the positive recognition.

Touting a 3.5-inch display it may not be the largest in the fleet, but it size isn't everything, is it? The 1GHz processor does a great job powering this Gingerbread powered device, and included is 512MB of RAM and 2GB of internal memory, more than enough for most users. The back features a 3MP camera accompanied by a front facing VGA camera, all of which is powered by a 1500mAh battery which should give about 7 hours of continuous talk time. If you are in the market for a new mid-range QWERTY slider, be sure to hit the break and check out a hands-on video and some more images.

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4 years ago

Android Market app uninstall refund window still 15 minutes


We've gotten some clarification from Google regarding any changes to the app refund window in the Android Market after a couple of developers led us to believe it had been changed to 48 hours when asked to accept a new version of the Developer Distribution Agreement. The short version is there have been no changes. You still have 15 minutes to uninstall an application for an automatic refund.

The 48-hour window is for Google to refund the money to the developer. Also, you, as a user, technically have 48 hours to request a refund of an app from Google, though very few people do that for the obvious reason.

Hope that clears things up a bit.

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid XYBOARD 8.2 picture surfaces, Verizon LTE on board


And the winner for the worst device name goes to (drum roll please) the Motorola Droid XYBOARD.  Previous winner Sprint Samsung Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch will present the trophy.

All kidding aside, the 8.2-inch version of the Droid XYBOARD has been pictured at PocketNow, and as expected, there's a big old LTE logo on the back.  Also known as the Motorola Xoom 8.2 Media Edition, the Droid XYBOARD should launch with Android 3.2, a 1.2 GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage.  It should prove to be a capable device, eventually get upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, and the 8.2-inch size is sure to appeal to more than a few.  Rumors say to expect an official announcement soonish.

Source: Pocketnow

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4 years ago

Galaxy Nexus in the UK, XAPush [From the Forums]


Another week stormed through and here we are -- heading into the weekend. Plenty of news happened this week, and more on the way for next. If you missed out on anything be sure to check the blogs and in the forums for anything you may need to get caught up on.

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

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4 years ago

Vscreens from Sony Ericsson brings your mobile photos to bigger screens


An interesting new application hit the Android Market today from Sony Ericsson which allows you to easily share content from your Android smartphone to a bigger screen via a web browser. 

Called vscreens, the app is currently in beta but despite being a Sony Ericsson product, they claim it should work with all Android smartphones running 2.1 and above. 

The idea is relatively simple. Download the free app from the Market (download links below) and install on your device. Then by visiting the vscreens website and scanning the displayed QR code, your phone automatically connects to the service allowing you to 'throw' your photos from your device to the browser. If both devices are on the same wifi network it is even possible to do the same with videos. 

Attention should be paid to the beta tag, and this is still in its very early stages. It's an interesting idea though, so it could be good to watch where Sony Ericsson go with it. If you try it out, hit us up in the comments and let us know how it went.

via TechCrunch

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4 years ago

The Woz gets his Galaxy Nexus (and a t-shirt) a bit early from Google


Steve Wozniak, considered by many to be the real brains behind Apple's early success in the desktop computer business and an all-around cool fellow, is seen leaving some mysterious Google campus building today.  Word is he received a Galaxy Nexus and an Ice Cream Sandwich T-shirt from the boys and girls in Mountain View, and it looks like he's ready to defend them from fans and press with a short right hook to the chin if need be.   Woz is Woz, so we'll know soon how much he likes his new toy.  I'm betting he gives it a big nerdly thumbs-up.  One more pic of the proud papa after the break.

Source: +Kirill Grouchnikov

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4 years ago

Courtroom roundup: Moto v Apple, B&N v Microsoft, Samsung's new Tab, and more software patents


What would a week in the mobile arena without legal drama be like?  We have no idea, and probably never will.  Today there's so much that we're just going to round it all up in one easy spot, then take a couple aspirin and chase the headache away.  Without further adieu:

Motorola v Apple

Motorola will likely win another injunction against Apple in Germany.  This time, it's a method describing how a mobile device synchronizes data with a server, and Moto seems pretty confident that iCloud and MobileMe violate their patents.  This time the patents in question aren't covered under a FRAND defense, so Apple and Moto may have to fight this one out -- a move which Apple feels will cost over 2.7 billion (with a B) dollars.  Read more at Phone Arena

BN v Microsoft

Barnes & Noble have filed more than 45 pages worth of links to prior art in their defense against Microsoft.  Things ranging from Mosaic, Netscape, Unix man pages, and even work shown by Microsoft themselves.  All these examples pre-date the patents Microsoft is using in their suit, and it looks like B&N is pretty damn serious about fighting back.  Take a few aspirin of your own and check out Groklaw for the full details.

Samsung's redesigned German Galaxy Tab

Samsung has skirted their way around the ban of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany.  A slight redesign where the metal bezel now wraps around the front of the device and is visible was all the German courts needed to allow the tablet to be sold.  Personally, I would have redesigned it with rotating spikes designed to maim and cripple competitors (yes, I just watched Mad Max again), but there's a reason I'm not in charge of anything.  I wonder how many millions were wasted on this one?  See PCMag for more details.

Google's unlock patent

Google was granted a patent on the pattern unlock method they use for Android smartphones.  And patents of ideas are still just as wrong as they ever were, even when it's Google getting them.  In addition, Google was granted a patent on the method to use lockscreen based gestures to control other phone functions (think gesture based app launching).  Could this mean Google has plans to add some new features to the lockscreen?  Hurry up Android 5.0!  Read more at 9 to 5 Google.

Is it happy hour yet?  Thanks everyone who tipped us about these!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus hands-on video and initial review


After months of speculation and hype, we finally have the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first device to ship with the brand new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. The phone recently went on sale in the UK, and we’re hoping to hear something (anything) out of Verizon about the Nexus’s US availability over the next week or so. We’ve already given you a first look at the device based on pre-release units at the recent Samsung Galaxy Note World Tour, but today we can bring you our initial thoughts on the GSM retail version that’s slowly becoming available across Europe.

We’ll have a full review in due course, but here’s a little spoiler: this is a phone we think you’ll want to buy. Read on to find out why.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Exhibit II 4G


A few weeks ago T-Mobile announced their first no-contract 4G device, the Samsung Exhibit II 4G which is an upgrade of the not so old Samsung Exhibit 4G. T-Mobile took to some pretty agressive pricing to help move this device pricing it at only $199 without a contract, or $29 if you wished to sign a contract for some odd reason. Most of the time we associate a low cost device with a low quality device, but Samsung has done an exceptional job with this device.

The overall build quality is extremely nice, the device has a 3.7-inch WVGA display which is rather vibrant and displays colors beautifully. On the back you have a 3MP camera so if you were looking to replace your point and shoot, this may not do it for you, but it also includes a front facing camera which is great for video chatting with the family. Powered by a 1GHz processor the device moves fluently, and the TouchWiz that is running over Android 2.3.5 gives you the most current Gingerbread version, even on a device with such a low price point.

Pair this low cost device with a low cost monthly plan and you could have yourself a beautiful piece of Samsung hardware running a recent version of Android. Hit the break for a quick hands on video as well as some more shots of the device.

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4 years ago

Android Market refund window apparently expands to 48 hours (update: Or not?)


Update: We're being told by one developer that actually this wording is unchanged, and the 15-minute window still applies, it's just that Google has that long to refund the money. We're seeking clarification from Google, and watching our hope wane.

Google caused a fairly big stink nearly a year ago when it changed the window to uninstall and refund a purchased application to just 15 minutes -- a far cry shorter than 24-hour window we'd previously enjoyed.

But according to a new version of the developer distribution agreement being pushed out today, that window has been expanded, and expanded to a full two days. Here's the line from Section 3.4:

Products that cannot be previewed by the buyer (such as applications): You authorize Google to give the buyer a full refund of the Product price if the buyer requests the refund within 48 hours after purchase.

Good on Google for changing this one. While we don't want anyone abusing the refunds process, 15 minutes was absolutely too short a time to try out an application.

By the way, if you're a developer, make sure you log in to your developer portal to accept the new agreement. Wouldn't want your app yanked unnecessarily.

Thanks, Joe and Nick!

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Motorola Admiral


Sure looks extremely similar to a BlackBerry device, doesn't it? Well, the Motorola Admiral is far from a BlackBerry device, in fact it is an Android 2.3.4 powered device that offers a 3.1-inch display and a physical QWERTY on the bottom. For someone like myself who began their smartphone days with a BlackBerry device the form factor is very comforting, and the keyboard is the best I have felt to date on any Android device. Very similar in size and shape to the Motorola Droid Pro, the biggest difference on this one is the display.

Unlike the Droid Pro, this 3.1-inch display offers a 640x480 resolution, making the display a lot crisper, and worth using. While 3.1-inch is small in comparison to most of the 4-inch displays we are used to seeing, the combination of this sized display and the keyboard makes for a near perfect (to me atleast) form factor.

Software wise this is running Android 2.3.4 with the usual PhilBlur on top of it, but the 1.2GHz processor allows the software to move quite smoothly. The 5MP camera on the back also supports video capture of up to 720P, which is more than enough for a camera on your cell phone.

Priced at only $99 on a new contract, if you are looking to replace your old BlackBerry device with something new, or looking to regain that form factor, the Motorola Admiral is something you won't want to pass up. Hit the break for a video tour, and some additional pictures!

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung DoubleTime


It's been a while since we have seen a Froyo-powered device launch, but that doesn't mean that we should immediately write it off by any means. Samsung has brought the DoubleTime to the table with a new form factor, and for its intended purpose it does quite well. With the flip up QWERTY keyboard it is rather easy to tell that this device is aimed towards those who will be using it for heavy messaging, likely the teen crowd. Sure, most devices are launching with Gingerbread, and now we are starting to see Ice Cream Sandwich devices rolling out, but the Samsung DoubleTime performs quite well with Froyo.

The 3.2-inch 320x480 on the front is a bit small for my large fingers, but once the device is flipped open the inside screen was rather easy to navigate with the directional pad. The keys are spaced out well, even though the whole phone is rather tiny, it is quite comfortable to type on. The physical verse capacitive buttons on the front is going to come down to personal preference, for me I like the you can click and feel the click, verse tap and hope you hit the right place. If you are looking for a spec'd out gamers device, this is not for you, but if you are looking for something for your teenage child, or an entry level Android device that will allow you to easily send messages on the go you will definitely want to check this out. Hit the break for a quick hands on video and a few more pictures.

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4 years ago

Android Central Podcast Ep. 79: Galaxy Nexus, Kindle Fire and Google Music


Audio-only stream below

Phil, Cory, Alex and Mickey take on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus -- which might or might not be available where you live -- the new Amazon Kindle Fire, and Google's new Google Music store. Plus, more of your questions. Listen in!

(P.S.: No video recording this week. Hope you caught us live!)

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