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4 years ago

Weather HD now available on Android

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One of the more popular weather apps on iOS, Weather HD, has finally come to Android. It provides all of the usual weather data you'd want -- current temperature / humidity / precipitation / wind, 7-day forecasts and a few other customizable odds and ends. What's nice about Weather HD is the interface. It's the simplicity of gray and white text on a nicely animated background image, which changes with the current weather conditions, that really helps set this apart from some of the cluttered and busy weather apps. Unfortunately, Weather HD doesn't include a widget, though we'd expect it to soon if they want to stay competitive with the other popular weather apps out there.

Weather HD is available in the Google Play Store at the link above. It'll set you back 99 cents, or is free with advertisements.

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4 years ago

Latest Dropbox beta adds 2-step verification

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Many of us use Dropbox in varying capacities (see what I did there?), and when we do, we often use it as crucial backup storage for data that's important to us. If it wasn't important, we probably wouldn't bother backing it up now would we? If you take your security seriously, and by now we hope you all do, you should be jumping for joy that Dropbox has added 2-step verification sign in to its latest betas.

The latest Dropbox beta follows the same principle that Google's 2-step verification does. In order to access your account you need two things: 1) something you know -- your password and 2) something you have -- your phone. And there's really no reason not to take security into your own hands and add that second level in order to help prevent the worst from happening. If you haven't already, go pick up the Dropbox app from the Google Play Store at the link above, and if you're interested in setting up 2-step verification for your account, see us after the break for a better in-depth explanation

Source: Dropbox forums; via The Verge

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Verdict fatigue; Motorola sends pigs into the air; how to really hate a device

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I'm supposed to take this more personally, I've been told. I'm supposed to hate Apple and what it's litigious self with every fiber of my being. I'm supposed to cry in my beer for Samsung, for HTC, for anyone who's ever had an injunction handed down. I'm suppose to hate the player, as well as the game.

That's just not me. I don't set my hair on fire, especially about things over which I have no control.

Here's what I do hate, in no particular order:

  • I hate that patent litigation has become the focus of the past several months. (It almost makes me long for the bad old, sky-is-falling days of Carrier IQ.)
  • I hate that instead of writing and talking about phones and tablets, we have to concentrate on lawsuits about phones and tablets.
  • I hate that it takes the focus away from the developers, without whom none of this would matter anyway.
  • Most of all, I hate that it's come this far.

That patents should be granted for software certainly should be debated. That patents are granted far too easily hardly is up for debate. Let's hope by this time next year we'll be talking about new and innovative products, and not this mess. I'm sick and tired of patents.

If you've yet to do so, check out the podcast I did with Rene Ritchie from iMore.com on Saturday.

And now, for some more good (and bad) from the past week in Android.

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4 years ago

Hisense preparing sub-$100 Google TV box, promises to show it at IFA

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The success of the Vizio Co-Star has proved that Google TV still has life in it, especially when the price is right. Jumping on the sub-$100 bandwagon now is Hisense, a Chinese OEM that has partnered with Google to produce a new budget Google TV set-top box. 

In a statement, Mickey Kim, Google TV parner manager said of the collaboration: 

Hisense adds even more innovation to the growing list of Google TV-powered devices available around the world. We're working closely with partners like Hisense to bring services from Google and multiple other providers to your TV with an experience tailored for the living room.

Better yet, the box is ready to be shown off to the world and is promised to be on display during next weeks IFA show in Berlin. Hopefully that means that unlike the Vizio offering, the Hisense box will ship in Europe. Android Central will be on the ground from the show all week, so keep it locked to the site and our IFA portal for all the best. 

Source: PC World

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4 years ago

LG confirms display specs of upcoming device, as well as claiming 'longer battery life'

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The tale of the forthcoming LG 'Optimus G' superphone continues, only this time, it's the Korean OEM that is telling it. Following up from the recent leaked prototype of the device, LG has released a statement today confirming certain details that had previously been leaked, and new details of the gapless display it shall house. 

As it happens, the Snapdragon S4 Pro powered device will definitely have a 1280x768 True HD IPS+ display, coming in at 320ppi. Theres some science that goes along with it, but the rub of it is -- it's better than AMOLED and consumes less power.

The gapless display is an in-house technology developed with LG Innotek. Its G2 Touch Hybrid display will be bound for the device, and is "a unibody unit that eliminates the gap between the glass and the LCD panel as found in traditional touchscreens." Sounds a little like the display on the HTC One X, which is by no means a bad thing.

LG is also promising greater battery capacity, without compromising on size or weight and the powerplant has been designed by LG Chem. It promises to run 60% more efficiently than similarly sized batteries, meaning more power for longer. 

The 'Optimus G' is  certainly shaping up to be a full in-house affair, with several different arms of LG getting involved to create a device that they say will be a "game-changer" for them. They're sure trying to create some pre-launch buzz, whether it lives up to it though, only time will tell. 

Source: LG Newsroom

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4 years ago

Supcase slim-fit leather case for the Nexus 7

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Next up in our quest for the perfect Nexus 7 case is the Supcase Slim Fit Leather Case, which has garnered a bit of an Amazon following for its affordable price. It's also available in nine colors -- pink, black, green, red, white, deep blue, deep pink, purple and sapphire blue. 

And after even just a few minutes, we can confidently say this one's worth taking a look at.

Read on for some more thoughts.

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4 years ago

Mobile Nations 18: Apple vs. Samsung special verdict edition

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Phil Nickinson of Android Central and Rene Ritchie of iMore talk Apple vs. Samsung and the U.S. court verdict that saw Apple awarded over $1 billion in damages. This is a Mobile Nations special!

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week - Banana Republic, Bit.Trip Beat, Elixir 2 and more!

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We've got a roundup of fine app picks for this week. Some shopping, a little productivity, a few games and some reading are all on the agenda. So on this Saturday night, kick up your feet, have a nice beverage of your choice and download some new apps, will ya?

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4 years ago

LG E973 Optimus G leaks out and it 'really flies'

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We've already heard rumors of a forthcoming 'superphone' from LG, and indeed the Korean OEM has recently started their own teaser campaign to carry it a little further. The so-called Optimus G is set to be a Snapdragon S4 Pro toting, 2GB of RAM housing behemoth, and the folks at AndroidMX claim to have got their hands on it. 

The LG E973 as described by its label, is a 4.7-inch device with a 1280x768 IPS display, the Adreno 320 GPU, Android 4.0.4 and yes, that 2GB of RAM and the mighty quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro. Having had the chance to play with it, the androidmx guys simply say that it "really flies." We can only imagine. It is worth noting that what we see here apparently isn't final hardware or software, so there is still a possibility LG will change it up some before release -- Jelly Bean, maybe? 

The speculation is that we will see the Optimus G unveiled officially at next weeks IFA show in Berlin, Germany. We're not so sure, however. While LG will be present at the show, they have previously informed us that they will not be showcasing any new smartphones in Berlin. Given the prototype nature of what we see here, we're likely to have to wait a little longer.

Source: AndroidMX (translated) via Pocketnow

 

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4 years ago

Here comes Hurricane Isaac: Charge 'em if you got 'em

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Some 364 days ago, we talked a little bit about how your smartphone can help you prepare for natural disasters. (At least for the ones that you have time to prepare for.) That was Hurricane Irene. Now, we've got another I-storm (excuse the pun) headed for United States, with Isaac. (And, yes, more specifically, the Gulf Coast and your's truly.)

Here are some of the tips we brought you last year, updated with some new ones.

  • Charge your phones. Now. Keep them charged. And once the storm starts, keep them off. You'll likely lose power at some point, and there's a good chance your local cell network will go down for a bit, even with generator backups.
  • Spare batteries. If you got 'em, make sure they're charged, too. If you still have time to get some, do it.
  • Car charger. Get one. Get a couple, actually.
  • After the storm, text messages may work best. If the network's up, it's going to be clogged, and calls might not go through. Text messages have a much better chance.
  • If you're worried about damage and don't have a traditional camera, use your phone to take a few pictures of your home and your belongings. It'll make insurance claims much easier, should it come to that.
  • While you still have power and internet access, be it on your phone or broadbad, take advantage of features like instant uploading on Google+ Dropbox to make sure those pictures get somewhere that can't be destroyed by the storm. Better to be safe than sorry in that case.
  • If you just have to use Instagram during a storm, don't use a damn filter. Folks wanna see what's happening, and filters don't help that.
  • Use apps like Evernote to help keep track of your emergency supplies. 
  • Before the storm, use those gas-finder apps to track down the cheapest petrol. That won't help you with the lines, but it may save you a few bucks.
  • See if your phone can serve as an FM radio, if you don't have any others around. (That's not out of the question in 2012.
  • Apps from FEMA and the Red Cross can help you find shelters and other emergency information.

Those are but a few ways your phone can get you through this. Have a tip you'd like to share? Let's hear 'em in the comments! And good luck, everyone. Stay safe.

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4 years ago

Facebook Messenger update brings emoji and better photo sharing

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Anyone who uses the Facebook Messenger app knows it's actually a pretty good experience, which is a stark contrast from their main app. Today, Facebook continues to polish its Messenger service with a new update out in the Google Play Store. This latest update brings support for "emoji" -- those fun and sometimes bothersome looking smilies, better photo sharing straight from the app and a few UI cleanups. Tapping the plus sign on the left side of the text input box gives you a menu with common emoji used and gives options to choose a photo, take a photo or do an image search. Previously, the only way to share a photo was from another application via Android's built-in sharing system. Additionally, you can now link directly to the timeline of the person you're chatting with from the top of the chat window. All together, it's a nice little update that brings a lot of good functionality.

For someone who uses the Facebook Messenger app daily, these are welcome additions. If someone's on the fence and crazy for emoji, maybe this update will push them over to using the service. Hit the link above to get your update or check it out for the first time.

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4 years ago

From iPhone to S3, Jelly Bean for the T-Mobile S3 [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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4 years ago

Apple v. Samsung v. Apple: It's almost over, only, not really

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According to Alyssa Milano on Twitter, it's almost over. The jury has reached some sort of verdict in Apple's federal patent infringement suit against Samsung, and presumably in Samsung's countersuit against Apple. 

Only, it's not over. Whoever loses will appeal. We'll update you with more from Alyssa Milano just as soon as we have it.

Update: We're still waiting to hear more from Alyssa Milano, but you've seen the news. A lot of Samsung's phones were found to have infringed on some of Apple's patents. A lot of Samsung's phones were found to violate trade dress, essentially meaning they ripped off the iPhone.

And Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion. 

Samsung, which had countersued Apple, didn't win a damn thing. Nothing. Zero.

We'll talk some more on this over the weekend. It's been a bad day for Samsung, to be sure. But this is far from over. Appeals will happen. The patent debate will continue.

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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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