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4 years ago

HTC Inspire case review: Seidio Innocase II Surface

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Seidio Innocase II surface on the HTC Inspire 4G

The Seidio Innocase II Surface for the HTC Inspire 4G is a great way to protect your HTC Inspire 4G or Desire HD.  Yes, this is one time when our friends across the pond have the same body and outer shell on their version of a phone as we do here in the states.  The case is made of Seidio's unique soft touch material that flexes when needed but is a sort of hard composite material.  I'm not sure exactly what material it's made of, but I know it's tough.  The case is very thin so it keeps the thin profile of the Inspire and adds very little bulk, but offers protection from bumps and dings.

The case cutouts line up very well with all the controls and ports, and wraps around the corners to give just enough of a lip so that the screen won't touch the table if you lay your phone face-down.  On the back, the case is just thick enough so that the camera lens cover won't get scratched.  The two-piece design is coated with a soft flocked material inside to keep your Inspire from getting scratched while putting it on. 

The locking "mechanism" on this one seems to have been improved compared to when I've used the same model case on other phones.  It's the same slide and lock system, but it seems stiffer, and almost difficult to remove.  This could be the shape of the Inspire itself at play, but whatever it is the Innocase II Surface isn't going to come apart in your pocket.  The only drawback I found is the cutout for the power button makes it a bit more difficult to turn the phone on and off, but the way the button itself sits far forward on the Inspire's body it's the only way it could have been done.  Seidio does provide a large area to place your finger, and it's probably a matter of getting used to things.

You can get the Seidio Innocase II Surface for the Inspire 4G for $27.95 from the Android Central store in amethyst, blue, black, or burgundy.

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4 years ago

Fuze Meeting video conferencing app for Android smartphones and tablets updated

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Fuze Meeting video conferencing app for Android smartphones and tablets updated

With the slew of new tablets hitting the market we're going to start seeing new case scenarios for those front and rear facing cameras. One of them being meetings and conferences on the go. In order to make that happen though, their needs to be a killer app to lead the way.

FuzeBox has set out to make that app a reality and as such have just released their updated Fuze Meeting service which delivers multi-party video conferencing to Android smartphones and tablets. The new update, not short on changes -- creates a virtual conference room with real-time, 720p multimedia sharing and annotation right on your device.

Given the latest upward swing in business users trading their laptops and PC's for tablets, FuzeBox is poised to deliver the best conferencing app available to meet the needs of those users. Be it in an enterprise environment, right down to the everyday user. If you're looking to learn more, you can hop on past the break for the full press release from FuzeBox.

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4 years ago

HTC confirms ThunderBolt camcorder audio problem, says fix is coming

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Find the latest HTC ThunderBolt accessories

HTC ThunderBolt audio

One issue that's been bugging HTC ThunderBolt owners is the inconsistent audio recording when using the camcorder on the phone. Sometimes sound is record, other times its muffled beyond recognition.

The good news is that HTC has confirmed to us that it's tracked down the problem, and a fix is in the works. That means a software update, of course, and these things can take time to be approved and pushed out. But good on HTC for tracking it down so quickly.

In the meantime, there are some supposed workarounds, from covering up one of the microphones to using a third-party video recorder. Anything else we should try? Hit up the forums for more, and we've got some video samples after the break. [Android Central Forums] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

HTC Pyramid pokes its dual-core head out once again

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HTC PyramidHTC Pyramid
HTC PyramidHTC Pyramid

Well, well, what have we here? More pics of the HTC Pyramid, eh? And indeed it's looking like a sexy beast, with a 4.3-inch qHD touchscreen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, an 8MP rear camera and VGA front-facing camera, 768MB of usable on-board memory, Android 2.3.2 and the latest version of HTC Sense (that'd be Version 3.0, the same one we saw unveiled at Mobile World Congress).

We're gonna need a moment here, cause that's some sexy hardware.

We're also dying to find out when and where this bad boy is coming. And if it's not coming to the United States, we're going to need to update our passports. More pics at the source, boys and girls. [XDA Developers]

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4 years ago

Thunderbolt owners: Are you keeping it? Or sending it packing?

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HTC-Thunderbolt

If you were one of the many that rushed out to grab a HTC Thunderbolt for yourself, your 14-day return policy is rapidly approaching as you probably know. We have seen some issues arise, along with some fixes, some battery life issues, and some ways to help the battery life, and at the end of the day, the experience seems different for each user. So, our forums members would love to know, will you be keeping your HTC Thunderbolt, or have you decided to wait and see what else will be coming? Be sure to hop in the forums to cast your vote and let us know why!

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4 years ago

Bully Block - Take a stand against bullies

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Bully Block - Take a stand against bullies

If you're a parent with teenagers, then you'll likely know all too well that bullying amongst youths is something that is a severe issue and happens each and every single day. With bullying reaching new peaks as technology grows, so do the means of preventing it from happening. New apps are released daily in an effort to better assist in cyber bullying prevention and one of the latest to hit the market is Bully Block. While simple in its use Bully Block has some great features baked into it for Android smartphones.

  • Bully Capture - Bully Capture utilizes a stealth recorder to captures bullies within the act. When a bully approaches, the user pushes a button on the app and the cell phone will go into stealth mode and secretly record the bully. After the recording, the user can forward the audio as an email attachment or text message to the appropriate authorities. Additionally, Audio can be downloaded to the bully file to authenticate the bully’s voice for legal evidence.
  • Bully Blacklist - Bully Block has a unique blacklist feature that allows users to block all sms or mms messages from bullies. When the bully calls after being blacklisted, her or she will either hear a busy signal or pre-recorded message. All phone calls and text message from blocked list are automatically routed to the bully file thereby preventing any communication with the bully and storing numbers as evidence.
  • Bully File - Bully File captures all texts, pictures, and videos that the user copies to the file. The cyberbully incidents are logged on the user’s SD card to be used as evidence for parents, school administrators, HR departments, and law enforcement. The evidence collected in the bully file will provide enough info for law enforcement to charge bullies with crimes.
  • Instant Reporting - Bully Block allows the user to forward inappropriate texts, pics, or videos via text messaging or email. Teens can forward information to their parents or school officials in real time. Employees can forward information to their HR department.

Will Bully Block stop all bullying from happening? Not likely. But, prevention against it is a start in taking a stance. If you're interested in learning more, you can jump on past the break for the full press release or hit the source link for the full details. [Bully Block]

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4 years ago

SPB Shell 3D for Android: A very slick launcher that's just too expensive

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

It's been quite some time since we first saw what SPB Software was working on for Android, way back at Mobile World Congress in February 2010. But today, finally, we have SPB Shell 3D. It's a launcher replacement for Android, born from years of success on Windows Mobile, and we've been quite impressed with it in our several days of testing.

At it's heart, SPB Shell 3D is like any other launcher. You have a number of preconfigured home screens and widgets, and you can tweak things to your liking. SPB has designed Shell 3D with a number of slick animations, including the weather widget and world clock. And you can spin your way from one home screen to another with ease. It's pretty slick, and we could easily use SPB Shell 3D as our launcher.

Only real problem is the price. At $14.95, it's priced itself out of the consumer launcher market. There are just too many free and inexpensive options. On the other hand, SPB has made no secret that it's marketing its SPB UI Engine toward manufacturers, so don't be surprised if you see built in to upcoming phones.

SPB Shell 3D is available for Android smartphones running Android 2.1 and up, so long as they have an OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible graphic controller. If you can part with the cash, we've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Motorola Atrix update rolling out, brings it to 4.1.57

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Remember that pre-release software update Motorola put out a few days ago? Well, you can now grab that update over-the-air. The update brings the Motorola Atrix 4G to software version 4.1.57. Unfortunately, the update does not address any of the voice quality issues some users are experiencing with the Atrix 4G -- at least they're not included in the update notes from Motorola. 

Here is what's included in the update:

  • Fingerprint reader - Improved fingerprint reader performance
  • Battery- Improved battery performance for longer battery life
  • Screen - Display will turn off automatically now while charging directly on wall charger
  • Phone stability - Improved stability resulting in fewer occurrences of touch unresponsiveness and/or programs quitting unexpectedly.
  • Car dock - Improved performance of car dock and 3.5mm jack

Be sure to  keep on hitting that update button and check back with us to let us know if you hear any difference voice quality. The Android Central Forums and the comments section below is great for that! Thanks, @yval8957!

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4 years ago

Gingerbread ROM for the HTC Desire Z leaks out

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HTC Desire Z owner? If so, you've no doubt been holding out patiently for a Gingerbread release and today, you can finally have one in its unofficial form. A new HTC test ROM has leaked out for the device and is now available for download. While we can't go suggesting it for everyone, if you fancy testing out a leaked ROM then you'll certainly want to give this a look.

From what we've gathered so far it's a full blown HTC Sense ROM that appears to be running quite well for those who have been brave enough to load it up. Of course, if you're a T-Mobile G2 owner you'll also want to get caught up on your reading as G2 users have been testing this out as well. Hit the source link for the full details. [XDA]

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4 years ago

Android Central on Twitter

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Android Central on TwitterYou're following us on Twitter, right? Please don't tell us that out of our astounding 72,742 followers ... wait ... 72,748 -- you're not one of them? For shame.

Here's why you should be following us on Twitter: We're awesome. Plain and simple. Well, that and you get force fed the latest Android news, reviews, apps, all that stuff you're coming to the blog for in the first place. An who doesn't want that?

And even more fun is that you get to interact with us directly, and we get to meet a few of you, too. Ask us a question, and we're likely to answer it, provided we've had our morning coffee. So be sure to hit us up. We're @androidcentral, of course.

But, wait, there's more. If you're really hard-core, check out @ac_forums for new threads from our Android Forums. Again, that's a pretty heavy feed, so consider yourselves warned.

And if you're looking for the hottest new Android cases, batteries, chargers, cables and other accessories, check out @shop_ac, the feed from the Android Central Store.

That's it, folks. Follow away!

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4 years ago

Having 3G problems on your ThunderBolt? A fix is just a few settings away

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ThunderBolt eHPRD settings

We'd hoped to give Verizon's network a couple more days to settle before breaking this one on you, but these are drastic times, folks. See, more than a few of you have had issues with getting 3G data on the HTC ThunderBolt when you're in a non-4G area. Nope, doesn't make much sense. But landle in the Android Central Forums has done a nice job explaining how the TB uses the eHPRD 3G network to speed the handoff between 3G and 4G data. Problem is, it ain't working for a lot of people.

Good news is there's a fix -- no hard resets (which until now had been the recommended fix), human sacrifice or other unpleasantness. Here's what you need to do:

  • Go to the ThunderBolt's phone dialer. Enter ##778# and hit Send.
  • You'll get a pop-up labeled EPST, with the choice to "View Mode" or "Edit Mode." You want "Edit Mode."
  • You'll be asked for a password. It's 000000.
  • Now flip down to "Modem Settings," and then choose "Rev. A."
  • Change the setting from eHRPD to "Enable," hit OK, then press the Menu button on the phone and tap "Commit Modifications."

That's it. You're done. The phone will reboot (don't worry, you're not losing any data here), and things should, you know, actually work. As landale points out, you'll want to change this setting back once Verizon gets its network sorted out. But in the meantime, enjoy your, erm, new 3G! [Android Central Forums] Thanks, landale!

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4 years ago

Angry Birds Rio now available for free from the Android Market

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Rio

It was just yesterday that Rovio announced their new version of Angry Birds would be coming to the Android Market. Well, we didn't have to wait very long as Angry Birds Rio is now available for free (ad-supported, actually). 

If you're been craving Angry Birds Rio but were unable to claim it from Amazon's Appstore, follow the app links after the break. 

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4 years ago

Leaked Verizon roadmap points to likely releases in April, May

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Verizon

We're all waiting and waiting (and waiting some more) for the slew of phones we know are coming to Verizon this spring, but that don't yet have dates. We might now have a better idea thanks to a leaked roadmap. Here's the breakdown:

Of course, this all depends on the authenticity of the leaked roadmap. And as we all know all too well, release dates may change. But regardless, it's a good reminder of the armada of Android that Verizon's about to float. [Phandroid]

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4 years ago

MMO Eve Online demoed running on Tegra 2 phones and tablets

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Eve Online demoed on Android

CCP Games, makers of the popular sci-fi MMO Eve Online, showed of parts of the game running on an unnamed Android Tegra 2-powered phone and tablet this weekend at the annual Eve Fanfest. While playing the full game (POS bashing shown above) is probably out of the question thanks to hardware limitations, CCP did show off a tech demo of the game's ship fitter interface running. Other features that could be supported if the project ends up getting released include market trading and managing skill queues. Importantly, CCP stated that any mobile version of Eve would exist side-by-side with the full game so additional features like being able to access in-game chat and mail wouldn't be out of the question. 

As a current player of Eve Online (bonus points if you can find my Hyperion in the image above!), this news has me excited perhaps a bit more than many of our readers. But having having a game like Eve running on Android helps prove the gaming strength of the platform as powerful gaming chips like the Tegra 2 become ever more common. And it is also worth noting that CCP appears to have no plans to bring this app to iOS - perhaps due to Apple's somewhat unclear stance on in-app subscription services.

Before anyone gets too excited about touching their internet spaceships, it should be noted that CCP has a nebulous-at-best record with regards to delivering on promised new features. Walking-in-stations was announced back in 2006 and still has yet to hit New Eden's massive server, so it is possible this tech demo will never see a general release. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go get my gate camp on. [Gamasutra via Massively]

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4 years ago

Rogers Nexus S dummy units arriving in stores

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Although we've known this was coming for quite some time -- and despite nobody having an official launch date -- the Samsung Nexus S will be hitting Canadian carriers any day now. Google has updated their Nexus S pages, and now dummy devices have started to arrive at some Rogers locations. Oddly, though, the units are said to be arriving with no information to accompany them. We're guessing we'll just wake up one day and they'll all of a sudden be available. Thanks, you know who!

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