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4 years ago

Chameleon Launcher reaches v1.1 - Brings performance enhancements, UI refinements and major feature additions

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If you haven't gone all in with Chameleon Launcher it's quite understandable. While a beautiful next-level launcher it is, the entry price of $10 and somewhat limited feature set has made it a hard to justify purchase for some folks out there. The latest version may change some minds though as Chameleon has now reached v1.1 status and brings along with it performance enhancements, UI refinements and major feature additions. Some of which, have been long asked for by users:

  • Native Android Widget Support - Thats right, Chameleon widgets and native Android app widgets can now live side by side on your home screens. Android widgets in Chameleon work exactly as they would on the standard Android launcher, even while living inside our grid block containers. It’s almost like unicorns are real!
  • Chameleon Widget SDK 1.1 - One of the big, yet hidden features of v1.1 is the updates to the Widget SDK. There is a lot of plumbing that has been added that allows for access to local device data using Android Services. The Chameleon Widget API docs will be updated in the near future with details and examples. We have also published a design section on the make a widgets documentation site outlining how to handle CSS markup for your widgets, and handling widget resizing. You can find that here.
  • Twitter Widget - The Twitter widget has gotten the biggest boost out of all the widgets in this update. There are now inline options for reply, retweet and favorite. Retweeted tweets are also now displayed as per Twitters display guidelines. The cherry on the top of this enticing sunday is the ability to display your lists. Yummy.
  • Calendar Widget - For those who need to stay super organized, the calendar widget now supports an All Calendar view as well as an Events List view.

Overall, the update looks pretty pleasing. They've also gone ahead and corrected plenty of bugs in the system as well, including a major one wherein Chameleon tended to freeze upon start up. Whether or not the changes make it a more viable purchase remains to be seen but if nothing else, it shows support is still going strong and updates will keep on coming. If you've not checked out our hands-on review -- you can have a look at Chameleon right here.

Source: Chameleon

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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 receiving small update, still not Jelly Bean

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Users in our forums are reporting that their Verizon Galaxy SIII (S3) handsets are pulling down a moderately sized (62MB) OTA update. Unfortunately, this isn't the Jelly Bean update that most users are hoping for -- you're still on 4.0.4 for now -- but it does seem to be bringing some useful enhancements. The latest software version, VRALHE, brings the Enhanced Zooming feature to the browser, email and more. It also claims to fix an issue with device restarts, as well as enhance stability in Google Play.

All good and necessary updates, but let's hope the next OTA is to Android 4.1. Take a look at the support document for the update at the source link below, then head to the forums and let us know how the update process went for you.

Source: Verizon (PDF)Android Central Forums; Thanks, Christopher!

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4 years ago

Official Twitter app updated with large-screen improvements and bug fixes

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The official Twitter for Android app has been updated with a couple small but useful additions today. First off, the profile layout has been better designed to work on larger screens. As more and more people buy Android tablets, it's a good thing that Twitter is paying attention. We just hope they can continue this feature creep and add some more functionality to the app. Additionally, the changelog indicates there have been a few bug fixes in this update.

At this point, we don't see much reason to choose the official Twitter app considering how many great third party choices there are out there. But with the increasing restrictions on these other clients coming in the future, we're glad the official app is at least improving at some rate. Take a look at the update at the Google Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Change phone answering options, Who do you want a 'Nexus' built by? [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

Stock keyboard not cutting it on the Nexus 7? Why not try out the ASUS keyboard instead

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One of the greatest positives about the Android platform, is choice. Hardware, software, apps, theres something for everybody out there somewhere. Customizing your user experience to meet your every need is possible in so many different ways, including something that's used all the time. The keyboard. Like Twitter clients, there's a keyboard out there to suit everyone. 

So, let's focus a little. In particular, on the Google Nexus 7. A pure, un-tampered, vanilla Jelly Bean experience straight from the depths of Mountain View itself. The stock Jelly Bean keyboard is OK, some would argue it's better than OK. For some of us though -- on the Nexus 7 in particular -- the stock keyboard is nothing but frustrating. But, that's cool, we can change it. And, it looks like there's an alternative built right into the Nexus 7 from ASUS, that's possibly worth a look before handing over some of your dollars to buy a replacement, such as the ever impressive SwiftKey. The one caveat -- you may need to be rooted to try it out. Now that's out of the way, click on past the break and we'll show you how to find it. 

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4 years ago

Read Google Play Magazines in Chrome with new web reader

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Google has just announced the availability of the magazines you purchase via Google Play in the Chrome browser with a new web reader. Until now, if you bought magazines, you could download them to your various Android devices, but if you were on a computer, you were essentially out of luck. Now, there is an option once you go to your issue that says 'read' directly under 'subscribe'.

It's nice to have the option to read them in a browser now and the user interface is done quite well. You have controls to view the contents of the issue to the left, zoom buttons above as well as a full screen toggle. If you have access to magazines in Google Play and you use Google Chrome, check it out by visiting the Play Store and go to 'My Magazines'.

Source: Google+

Google Play Store

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4 years ago

Weekly photo contest: Purple Haze (lens flare)

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Photo taken with the iPhone 5 by iMore.com's Leanna Lofte

A tricky subject in this weeks photo contest -- lens flare. Supposedly every camera ever made has a level of purple flare surrounding bright lights in the viewfinder, but looking through past photo contests I sure don't see much of it. I'll let the experts argue that one, and let you guys get all sorts of funky and show me some high quality lens flare in this weeks photos.

The real question is how to create this purple flare. You should get varying degrees of it by adjusting the angle between your camera lens and any bright light sources. Now we don't want anyone staring into the sun, but we do want to see folks get creative and force some flare into their pictures. It doesn't have to be purple, but bonus style points if you can pull it off.

The prize is worth it, as it turns out we still have a few of the series 3 Android mini-collectables left, We've got five of them for the five best pictures, so get into the forums and show us your stuff!

While I'm still working on a proper gallery, here's last week's winning panorama shot.

Taken by cguella with his Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Congrats cguella, check your inbox!

Enter this week's photo contest

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4 years ago

Intel reports Q3 revenue of $13.5 billion as they continue to progress in mobile

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Intel's Q3 earnings report has dropped today, bringing word of a $13.5 billion revunue for the quarter. While representing a dip year-on-year, the figures still beat the analyst estimates. A global downturn in PC sales can be held partly accountable for the drop, with CEO Paul Otellini saying in a statement; "Our third-quarter results reflected a continuing tough economic environment."

Intel is a new player to the Android world, but almost no details were spoken during their investor call of the chip giants venture into the mobile marketplace. They did, however, discuss briefly the overall progress being made, pointing to the recent launch of the 2.0GHz Motorola RAZR i -- see our review for more. Additionally, acknowledgement was paid to the transition the global computing market currently finds itself in. Furthermore, no mention was made of any OEM's that Intel may be working in partnership with for projects during 2013. Of course, we already know that Intel has a multi-year, multi-device partnership with Motorola.

We're sure we'll be hearing a lot more from Intel in these parts throughout 2013. For the full run down on todays earnings report, be sure to visit the source link below. 

Source: Intel

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4 years ago

Affordable Android-powered MG device targets young gamers

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A Wi-Fi-only Android device called the MG was announced for pre-order today. Apparently MG stands for More Game, or My Generation, or something. It isn't made by anybody you've heard of, but they're hoping the low pricetag, preloaded games, parental controls, and included $10 credit towards Google Play apps will rope in at least a few moms and dads.

The MG has a Gorilla glass-clad 4-inch 480 x 800 display, a 1880 mAh battery with 3.75 hours of playtime, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a single-core 1 GHz processor. Needless to say, hardcore gamers may be more interested in the Xperia Play, aged as it may be, since there are familiar hardware gaming controls included. It seems like MG is geared more towards to younger kids and their parents that want to monitor usage, though.

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4 years ago

Best Buy's Insignia Flex reportedly priced under $259

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Will buyers bite at a Best Buy tablet? At between $239 and $259, it could be a sweet purchase for a mid-range device, if the latest reports from Reuters are to be believed. The news agency sites "a source familiar with the matter" in a report published today.

According to details revealed on the Insignia Products Facebook page earlier this week, the retailer’s Insignia Flex Android tablet will be on the shelves on November 11. Specs include a 9.7-inch, dual-core 1GHz slate running Android 4.0 with ten hours of battery life.

The Insignia branding is Best Buy’s house brand, aimed at competing in the discount electronics range.

Source: Reuters, Insignia Products

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4 years ago

Sprint Optimus G benchmarks and hardware testing

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It's no secret that I dislike benchmark applications on Android. I've got technical reasons that involve native code and virtual machines, but the fact remains that plenty of folks do like them, and I'm here to deliver what you guys want to see. I've put away my dislike for a moment today, because the Sprint Optimus G just blows the doors off of everything else and it deserves a look.

The quad-core APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro, high-speed RAM and Nand, and Adreno 320 GPU mean the Optimus G is a well-oiled killing machine when it comes to performance. In every benchmark we ran, it handily beats everything out there -- even while running less than optimal stock software.

We didn't stop at benchmarks. This was also a perfect opportunity to check the hardware performance as well, so you'll see some numbers and graphs for Wifi, GPS, and multitouch, too. Spoiler -- you'll be pleased. 

Hit the break and check it out.

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4 years ago

PSA: Remove all of the protective plastic before you complain

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Remember the one where Jerry said he was bothered about the fake chrome trim on the Sprint Optimus G, and how it didn't seem to sit flush?

Yeah. Always remove the plastic before you complain. 

That's all it was. With the protective plastic gone, things are smooth and fit nicely. Crow is delicious!

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4 years ago

Jawbone Jambox review

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The Jawbone Jambox is a popular stand-alone Bluetooth speaker with sharp style, heavy bass, and relatively rich app environment. Audio from the jawbone Jambox is pretty solid, and especially heavy on the bass. I didn't have any issues with distortion, even at higher volumes, The lack of hardware playback controls, like pause and play, is a pretty serious downer. The Big Jambox has the full selection of hardware buttons, but costs an extra hundred bucks.

Need more? We got more. Read on!

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4 years ago

Starbucks updates app to follow holo design guidelines

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They just keep coming. More and more developers have been publishing updates to their apps recently that apply the latest Android design guidelines. Starbucks joins the list today with an update to their app that brings a pretty noticeable UI redesign.

The new design follows the "holo" design language -- destroying the legacy menu button (which makes Galaxy Nexus uers happy) and replacing it with an overflow settings button. Tabs across the top of the app offer a cleaner look to navigation, and Starbucks simply changed the color scheme from default blue to a dark shade of green. The map of nearby stores is cleaner, and the entire UI seems to have received little bits of polish.

If you haven't given the Starbucks app a try yet, it's really worth a look. The app is free at the Google Play Store link above. If you're just curious about the new UI, we've got a few screenshots comparing the old (left) and (new) designs after the break.

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4 years ago

'It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' now available for Android

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It's that time of year when we see a few Halloween apps, and that list wouldn't be complete without a Charlie Brown storybook app. "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is coming to the Play Store in the form of an interactive storybook, narrated by Peter Robbins -- the original voice of Charlie Brown. The app incorporates remastered animations and original voice material from the original 1966 TV special. Surely this storybook recreation will do the original some justice.

Accompanying this storybook app is an interactive game, The Great Pumpkin Festival. With this app, you can create your own avatar with plenty of costumes and customizations, carve pumpkins, vote on other people's creations and complete achievements to get new costumes for your avatar.

For just over $5.00, this Charlie Brown classic can be yours at the Google Play Store link above. If you're content with a smaller bit of the experience, The Great Pumpkin Festival is available free on the Play Store as well.

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