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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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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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