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4 years ago

Reviewing Humble Bundle 5: the overview

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Over the past week, we've been taking a look at each of the games available in the fifth iteration of the Humble Bundle. There are a lot of good new titles this time around -- and three old favorites that were just added in as a bonus -- so we wanted to give a wrap-up of the entire bundle. Facilitating all of these game downloads, installs and updates is a pivotal app that is worth mentioning as well -- the Humble Bundle for Android app.

Hang with us after the break for our final conclusions on the Humble Bundle 5.

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4 years ago

Mint Personal Finance updated with speed improvements, auto refresh

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The Mint.com app has received a solid update today with lots of background improvements and a couple of forward-facing fixes. One of the biggest improvements in this update is the ability to update in the background every 4 hours. While we'd prefer a customizable update schedule, background syncing is a big step in the right direction. The other improvements are all about speed -- Mint is claiming faster transaction downloads and overall load times, along with a quicker way to categorize transactions on the phone interface.

And the update wouldn't be complete without the nondescript "bugfixes" as well. You can grab a download of -- or update to -- the Mint Personal Finance app at the Play Store link above. 

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean pushing out for Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and 7

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After the initial Jelly Bean rollout for non-carrier branded devices, Veizon's Galaxy Tab 2 family is now getting its chance at some Jelly Bean goodness. This over the air update has been officially live for a few days, and it seems that a significant amount of users are finally getting the update pushed to their tablets. One of the biggest new features that comes packaged with this version of Android is Google Now, along with improved performance thanks to Project Butter. 7" Tab owners also get a new keyboard and updated softkeys, while those with a 10.1" Tab will now see lockscreen icons and an improved notification panel. For a full list of changes, see Verizon's official pages for the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

If you haven't already gotten the update notification manually, go to Settings in your tablet and tap on About Device, then System updates. You can't get this update while roaming, so connect to WiFi if needed. Is this update a huge improvement? Does it break anything? Let us know in the forums!

Thanks, mordoc!

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4 years ago

Conduit HD for Tegra devices review

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NVIDIA has been teaming up with game developers to make Tegra-optimized titles available for some time now, and today it is announcing another new release -- Conduit HD. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because it was first seen on the Wii console. But now it has come over to Android in its full glory, and is TegraZone exclusive at launch.

Hang with us after the break and see what Conduit HD is all about.

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4 years ago

Hands on with Chameleon Launcher for phones

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Whatever your own personal opinions on the birth of the Chameleon Launcher project, one thing remains the same. People are talking about it. As people talk, interest grows, and Chameleon certainly brought a whole new take to the custom launcher scene. Very much a widget-orientated UI, there's no denying that it could completely change the look and feel of your Android tablet. 

And that's the other thing of course. Initially Chameleon launched exclusively for Android tablets. Then, not all that long ago, we got a first glimpse at a phone version in early testing. Things have progressed well since then, and the finished product is here. Sort of. At the moment, Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers can snag a copy of the phone version of Chameleon, ahead of it going on general release soon. So, how well does it transition to the smaller screen? Let's find out. 

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4 years ago

HTC One versus LG Nexus 4

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They're two of the hottest Android phones around right now, so how do the HTC One and the Nexus 4 stack up?

When Google released the LG-made Nexus 4 late last year, it went toe-to-toe with the leading hardware of the time at a fraction of the price. Now we've got our hands on the HTC One, one of the first big flagship phones of 2013, so how does the Nexus stand up against this latest round of hardware?

We've been using the Nexus 4 since launch, and though we've only had the HTC One for a little under a week, there are more than a few areas where it's clear HTC has pulled ahead. But these things are never as simple as comparing spec numbers, so head past the break and check out our comparison video to find out more. We've also got more words and pictures if you're into that sort of thing.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 'floating touch,' 'smart pause' features caught on video ahead of launch

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In just eleven hours time Samsung will be taking the wraps off the Galaxy S4 at its big presentation at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. In the meantime, we're seeing more leakage of the upcoming handset, including these two Chinese demos of the handset showing a couple of new features.

First up is 'smart pause,' which uses the front-facing camera to detect when you're looking away from a video, pausing it accordingly. And secondly there's 'floating touch,' a feature previously rumored for the S4, and one we've already seen on the Sony Xperia Sola. Like the S Pen's hovering capabilities on the Galaxy Note 2, this detects your finger at a distance, bringing up extra info like folder previews in the gallery app.

So it seems two of the rumored Galaxy S4 features may indeed be headed our way later today. Check out the "smart pause" demo above. We've got the "floating touch" video embedded after the break.

Stay tuned to AC for full coverage of the day's events, live from New York.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 forums

Source: istevecom; via @Mitridatex

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4 years ago

LG buys well-placed Times Square ads ahead of Galaxy S4 event

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Samsung has been telling us for a couple weeks now to "be ready 4 the next Galaxy", and LG is taking advantage of the wording to upstage Samsung's own Times Square ads today. In a bit of playful advertising, LG has purchased billboard space directly above Samsung's with larger, brighter ads that claim "LG Optimus G is here 4 you now!" and "It'll take more than 4 to equal one Optimus G".

No matter where you stand on the merits of the Optimus vs. Galaxy camp, you have to admit that's some very clever and well-timed advertising by LG. We'll of course be live in New York later today -- 7 p.m. ET to be exact -- to see if what Samsung unveils will challenge LG's latest offerings.

Source: LG (BusinessWire); Via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 to have SwiftKey prediction software built-in

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The newest Galaxy from Samsung is expected to have SwiftKey typing prediction built into the software, according to a source of The Wall Street Journal. The next word and sentence prediction from SwiftKey is a welcome addition to the software, but probably shouldn't come as any surprise. The Galaxy Note 2 had the same prediction software built-in, and it would make sense that Samsung would continue those deals on to the latest flagship also.

If this is the case, we'll likely hear about it alongside any other new software improvements Samsung has up its sleeve for the Galaxy S4 announcement. We won't have to wait long to hear about it either, as Samsung is set to unveil the device at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday in New York. We'll be there covering it live, naturally.

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

Latest Samsung Galaxy S4 leak has high-res pictures, spec details

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It's less than 24 hours until we hear everything there is to know about the Galaxy S4 at Samsung's Unpacked event in New York, but that isn't a reason to stop the leakage. The same dual-SIM variant that leaked out a few days ago is back, with plenty of details and some very clear high-res pictures.

The specs, according to the Chinese site it168 (and translated by Engadget Chinese):

  • 8-core Exynos 5410 at 1.8GHz
  • PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU
  • 4.99-inch 1080p screen
  • 7.7mm thick, 138 grams
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB ROM
  • microSD slot
  • 2600mAh battery 

The unit is also said to have a cross-hatch textured plastic back cover, that has already cracked on this particular unit. We can't read too much into that, as the plastic on previous Galaxy S models has been pretty durable. In addition, the eye-tracking software and hover-selection feature is said to be included.

Is this what we'll see tomorrow evening? We have no idea, but doubt there would be too many complaints if it were the case. Hit the break for a picture of the back of the phone.

Source: it168; via Engadget

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4 years ago

HTC Sense 5's BlinkFeed now features Mobile Nations news

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If you're lucky enough to have an HTC One in your hands, or are grooving along with Sense 5 on your Droid DNA, BlinkFeed just got a little better now that Mobile Nations sites are included feeds. Fire it up, and look under Technology & Science > Smartphone, and you'll see our sister site WP Central, and Android Central there to deliver the news straight to your home screen. 

Even though very few people have actually used it, we know plenty of folks aren't feeling the whole BlinkFeed thing. But for anyone using it now, or who will use it soon, can now get a little more Lloyd in their life. 

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4 years ago

Cricket launches Engage LT for $199 contract-free

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Cricket announced today that its latest Muve Music phone, the Engage LT, is available today for $199.99 without a contract. The device is clearly lower-end, which makes sense when considering the price and customers Cricket is marketing towards. The Engage LT has a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 4-inch WVGA (480x800) display and 1900mAh battery. The device is running Android 4.0 and looks to have a generally stock interface. The Engage LT is also a Muve Music device, which means that users can have access to unlimited music as part of their phone plan.

Cricket's plans start at $50 for unlimited talk, text and 1GB of full-speed data. $60 gets you 2.5GB and $70 5GB of full-speed data if you're willing to pay a bit more. The plans are of course no-contract and the device is unsubsidized at $199. These phones may not appeal to the power users among us, but still hit a more price-conscious market segment that want or need a cheaper smart phone.

Source: Cricket; (2)

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4 years ago

Google is killing Google Reader on July 1, 2013

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As part of an annual "Spring Cleaning" post, Google casually has said that it is killing the Google Reader service effective July 1, 2013. Among the other Spring Cleaning casualties are some CalDAV API support cases, Google Building Maker, Google Cloud Connect and the Google Voice Blackberry app. The less-used services are pretty understandable cuts, but we're left a bit surprised by the quick cutoff of the Reader platform. Google's post had this much to say about it:

We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

Google Reader has become a platform for RSS aggregation for numerous apps and end-users alike and is a great option for reading lots of news feeds or keeping up on shows and podcasts. It's a big cut, and it will be interesting to see what (if anything) takes its place as a Google-operated RSS service. Apps like Google Currents can handle some of the news reading aspects, but power users know the best way to get some things done is with good ol' RSS.

Source: Official Google Blog

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4 years ago

We need you! Come work for Mobile Nations!

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Kevin has made himself Employee of the Month for six years straight and we’ve finally had enough. We need new blood to spice things up a bit. Before we start a bigger process of recruitment we want to reach out to you, our community, first.

We have two positions open right now that we need help filling and since we love our community SO MUCH we’re giving you the head start before reaching outside. Do you have what it takes to oust Kevin from the Employee of the Month plaque?

Are you the right person for the job or do you know someone that would be? Right now we are looking for a Medium to Senior PHP developer, ideally with Drupal experience, and a Junior to Medium Web Designer with CSS skills. 

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4 years ago

Apple's Phil Schiller can't stop talking about Android

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As the Samsung Galaxy S4, which is likely to be the most popular selling smart phone for the summer, is being announced tomorrow in New York, we find that Apple's senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller just can't help but talk about Android. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Schiller once again brings up the fragmentation argument, along with some dubious accusations about integration of services.

When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with. They don't work seamlessly together.

Something tells me Mr. Schiller has never used an Android device. 

Of course, company executives are going to talk smack every once in a while, especially on the eve of a major announcement from the competitors. And people reading it are going to overreact and say more outlandish things. It's pretty good entertainment, but I'm going to have to side with Rene over at iMore and say let the phones and tablets do the talking. There is room for more than one monopolistic evil giant in the mobile race.

Source: Wall Street Journal; via: iMore

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