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4 years ago

Q&A with Ubi - figuring out how Android fits into the home

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Ubi has recently reached their Kickstarter funding goal and are just about ready to begin putting their plug-in home computer into full production. This little Android-powered device sticks into a wall socket, connects to your home network over Wi-Fi, and is bristling with sensors. Combined with an Android app, you can get notifications relating to movement in the room, temperature, or issue commands directly to the device via voice. We wanted to follow up to talk about their challenges in making the project a success, the viability of Kickstarter as a funding model, and where Android fits in the larger scheme of home automation. 

Hi Leor, thanks for your time! The Ubi looks really promising. Can you tell us a little bit about your inspiration for it?

All three of us (Amin, Mahyar, and myself) are big tech enthusiasts and subscribe to the philosophy that technology is starting to gain pace at such a tremendous rate that it’ll completely change how we live our lives.  We were always throwing around ideas for different projects to work on, but around a year ago, we started to see some truly cool projects pop up on Kickstarter that inspired us.

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4 years ago

Punch Hero review - free swipe-based boxing for Android

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Punch Hero is a free to play boxing game by Gamevil that recently launched on Android after spending a few months on iOS. The goofy anime art style belies a heated fighting game with sharp controls that rely on timing, aggression, and precision.

Using a series of swipes and taps, players bob and weave around competitors, delivering precise blows while dodging and protecting their own body. Things get a little crazy once you start getting decked out with robot fists, explosive rage-powered super-moves, and outlandish hairdos. Of course, in-app purchases can always speed up your acquisition of these items. Most of your progress will be through the arcade mode, though there’s also a Zombie Mode, where you have to knock out as many undead boxers as possible before going down yourself.

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4 years ago

Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3 leaks out

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With all the Jelly Bean leaks happening for the International Samsung Galaxy S3 we were starting to wonder if and when it would leak for a U.S. carrier. Wonder no more though as an Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean build for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3 has now popped up. In order to get it loaded up, you'll need to be running a stock device and then flash the Jelly Bean build over top of it.

  • Download and install stock (if you are not already on stock rom) This is needed as a base. The update will otherwise fail
  • Download OTA
  • Apply zip in recovery menu
  • Enjoy Jelly Bean 4.1.1

There hasn't been a lot of user feedback as of yet, so like always, you'll have to proceed with some caution. If you do manage to get it loaded up though, drop by the Android Central Forums and let us know how things are running. All that said; if you're not sure about doing all of this it's best to wait or ask in the forums for some further clarification on to go about getting it done.

Source: XDA; via: Android Central Forums; Thanks, Zylograth!

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4 years ago

Motorola Atrix HD review

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I’ll start the review with what might come as a shocker to those that know me -- I love the Motorola Atrix HD. I love the way it feels, the way it runs, the changes Motorola has done with Ice Cream Sandwich in the non-Blur OS, and the overall design of the phone clicks with me. It’s not perfect, but then again, what phone ever released is? There's also the initial feel of the phone, which isn't a great experience because of the materials chosen. When the pros are weighed against the cons though, I’m left with a device I would not be afraid to recommend to anyone.

With the release of the RAZR and RAZR MAXX late last year, Motorola let everyone know that they think the age of thick and bulky Android smartphones is over. The Atrix2 and Bionic were the last of a dying breed, to be replaced with sleek devices made with exotic materials like Kevlar, weighing in at next to nothing. It’s a trend we’ve seen all the major Android OEMs follow, and while there’s something to be said for the sturdy feel of half-inch thick phone in your hands, we’re all pretty much on-board with the new thin styling. Click through the break, and see what I think about the Atrix HD.

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4 years ago

Organ Trail review - pioneering the zombie apocalypse wasteland

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Following a successful round of funding on Kickstarter, Organ Trail launched on Google Play earlier this month. The game takes the classic Oregon Trail game from 1974, but instead of leading a drawn wagon full of pioneers across America, you’re driving a station wagon full of zombie apocalypse survivors across a wasteland. Aside from the usual commodity handling and dealing with dysentery, Organ Trail hosts a few real-time game elements, including shooting down undead while trying to scavenge for supplies at a decrepit mall, or sideswiping roving biker bandits while on the road. To top it all off, Organ Trail stays true to the old-school esthetic with blocky graphics and 8-bit soundtrack. 

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4 years ago

Parks & Rec, BSG, Friday Night Lights and more hit Amazon Prime Instant - so say we all!

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Amazon this morning announced that it's penned a deal with NBCUniversal to add Parks and Recreation, Friday Night Lights, Heroes and Battlestar Galactica (and that mythical "and more, it says) to Amazon Prime Instant Video. That means if you have an Amazon Prim account, you can watch as much as you want for free, or until your family leaves you. Your call.

Source: Amazon

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4 years ago

Carphone Warehouse Bank Holiday deals sees Xoom 2 Media Edition dropped to £150

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It's Bank Holiday weekend time in the UK, and as we Brits gear up for the last 3-day weekend of the summer, news drops of some deals for holiday shopping at Carphone Warehouse.

First up is the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition. While it may come out of the box running Honeycomb, the 8.2-inch tablet is still a pretty capable performer. If you're in the market for a cheap tablet mainly dedicated to consuming media content, the price might entice you towards the Xoom 2 ME -- £149.99. Only a shade cheaper than a Nexus 7, and way behind on software, but definitely priced to move. 

Additionally, Carphone Warehouse is offering some great deals on entry-level handsets for the holiday weekend too. The newly released Sony Xperia Tipo -- see our hands on -- can be had free on a new 2-year contract for as little as £7.50 per month. Crazy.

Pre-pay gets a look in too, with devices from Samsung and LG being offered below £50. The Samsung Galaxy Y and the LG Optimus L3 can both be had for just £49.95. The L3 is also exclusively available in pink too, if you're into that sort of thing. At these prices, both are potential winners with parents buying for their kids, or even for someone who just wants a cheap Android phone, no fuss. If any of these catch your eye, then head on down to your local branch over the holiday weekend. 

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4 years ago

LG teases 'second-generation' quad-core phone with Snapdragon S4 Pro

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LG has all but confirmed rumors that it's working on a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro-powered LTE smartphone, with the launch of a new campaign of Korean language teaser videos. The first video, which is pretty impenetrable if you don't speak Korean, indicates that the new Optimus smartphone will indeed run a quad-core S4 Pro chip, which LG touts as being much faster than the quad-core competition. Also touched upon is the S4 Pro's advanced Adreno 320 GPU, which delivers faster graphics performance than the current crop of chips, including the Adreno 225 GPU used in dual-core S4 chips.

There's nothing to show of the actual phone yet, but LG is clearly hoping to make a splash with this quad-core beast in the fourth quarter, and we'll be watching with keen interest.

Source: LG (Korean), via: The Verge

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4 years ago

Android Central Podcast 107: Getting giddy over IFA; Galaxy Note 10.1 redux

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Audio-only stream below

It's the return of the Greatest Android Podcast in the World! This week, Phil and Alex get giddy over IFA, we take another look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (hint: people are hating it for the wrong reasons), and we go over all the new Nexus nonsense. Plus, more of your e-mails and voicemails. Join us!

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4 years ago

Yet another Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean build leaks as Unpacked event looms

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Owners of the international Samsung Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) shouldn't have too much longer to wait for their Jelly Bean update. As we exclusively revealed on Tuesday, the Android 4.1 update is due to land next week, shortly after the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin, Germany. But if you can't wait that long, there's yet another leaked build doing the rounds this morning. This version, dubbed XXDLH7, has been leaked as an over-the-air (OTA) update package for the UK unlocked S3, from the last public ICS build (XXBLG8 system with XXLH1 baseband).

No word on just what's changed from any of the previous three leaked Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean builds, but considering how close we are to the expected launch date, we imagine things should be pretty stable in this version. Rumors even abound that today's leaked build is the final Jelly Bean OTA, though we haven't been able to confirm this.

If you can wait, we'd recommend you sit tight until next Wednesday, where all should be revealed at Samsung's Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin. If not -- and if you're familiar with manually installing OTA packages -- then hit one of the source links below to grab your update.

Source: XDA, SamMobile

More: Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update coming next week

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4 years ago

Samsung sheds light on Galaxy S3 design process in new video

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If you watched Samsung's unveiling of the Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) at Earl's Court, London back in May, you'll know that the manufacturer made quite a bit of fuss about its new nature-inspired design language. And today, Samsung has created a short video presentation showing how its design team went about incorporating this "inspired by nature" theme into its latest flagship smartphone. In bringing its latest flagship to life, Sammy says it drew inspiration from  the gentle, curved lines found in the natural world.

In the five-minute video, Samsung designers and execs explain -- in broad terms, and with a fair amount of flowery language --how the S3 differs from other Samsung smartphones. One designer remarks that the overall shape of the phone was inspired by pebbles on the beach, while the company's VP of mobile design says it wanted a more emotional connection between phone and user.

Elsewhere in the video, we get down to the technical details involved in creating a curved design without subtle imperfections, as well as the challenges involved in bringing the S3's software to life.

We know not everyone around these parts is a huge fan of the Galaxy S3's physical design, or some of the design decisions it's made in the TouchWiz Nature UX, but whatever your opinion of the phone, this video is worth a look. It's a chance to take a peek behind the scenes, and understand how the S3 came to become the phone we're now familiar with.

You'll find Samsung's full Galaxy S3 design story video embedded after the break.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow (Korean)

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4 years ago

South Korean court rules on Apple v. Samsung patent infringement

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Just in case you can't get enough Apple vs. Samsung news, the Seoul District Court has now laid out a split decision for both parties involved. Both Apple and Samsung have been found guilty of infringing on each others patents.

As part of the decision, Apple will no longer be allowed to offer their infringing products in South Korea that include the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 as well as the first two generations of the iPad. Something that shouldn't bother Apple all that much, given those devices are no longer sale anyhow. In addition to that, Apple will be required to pay a sum of about $35,000 to Samsung.

While that may sound like a small win for Samsung, they're not off the hook entirely either. Samsung will have to stop selling the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1 due to the decided infringement of Apple's elastic scrolling patent, but the court ruled they didn't copy Apple designs or violate their trade dress. Like Apple, Samsung will have to fork over damages as well to the tune of about $22,000.

This isn't likely to be the end though, as the courts differ in South Korea. Either side could technically file an appeal through the appeals court and keeping it going even further, all the way to the South Korea Supreme Court if they wanted to push it.

Source: WSJ, Bloomberg via: iMore

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4 years ago

Android-powered Nikon Coolpix S800c eyes late September shipping date

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We're eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Android-powered Nikon Coolpix S800c 16-megapixel point-and-shoot camera. Thus far, the only pre-seller we've found is New York's B&H Photo (if you've got one you prefer, let us know in the comments), which is matching Nikon's list price of $349 outright. (No two-year contracts for this Wifi-only device. Huzzah!)

What we've been missing so far is any sort of sales date. B&H is now showing Sept. 28 as the expected date of availability.   So, we wait a month and a half, we suppose. 

More: B&H

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4 years ago

Words With Friends rolls out v5.0 with a new look and plenty of bug fixes

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If you're still among the crowd addicted to Words With Friends you've got an update waiting for you. Available for download in the Google Play Store right now, users who update will find plenty of bug fixes in this release along with a new UI.

Overall the app looks better and feels smoother plus, the chat interface has been revamped. Looks like a great update so far but we'll leave that for you all to decide, give it a go and let us know if it's working better for you.

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4 years ago

Custom keyboard mapping, Changing lock screen options [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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