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4 years ago

Review: Incipio Feather Ultralight Hard Shell Case for the Samsung Galaxy Note


I have a real problem when it comes to buying cases for my Samsung Galaxy Note. I know I'm not the only one but I have a bad habit of putting on cases then taking them off a week or so later. Then, I'll buy another and repeat the whole process over again. Sadly though, naked devices have no protection against the accidental bumps, drops, scratches, dings and whatever else you can imagine bad happening in the run of a day. Luckily, I have found Incipio Feather Ultralight Hard Shell that offers a fine balance between offering protection, keeping things light and not adding a ton of bulk. Interested? Jump below for the full look at it and see if it's a right fit your usage.

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4 years ago

RIM outlines how Android developers can monetize on PlayBook OS 2.1 with in-app purchases


We're definitely in the middle of developer season right now across the Mobile Nations. While Google I/O might not kick off for another week, Android's competitors in the mobile space have all now shown off their latest wares and developer tools. One which Android developers may have so far overlooked, is the improved Android Runtime coming to BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1, of which the developer beta was recently released

Having learned all about the Android functionality back at Devcon Europe in Amsterdam, the potential extra revenue stream for Android developers was pretty impressive. After all, when is extra revenue not going to be impressive? But, that said, functionality in the current Android Runtime offering is quite limited. There is no access to the camera for example, and no ability to offer an in-app purchase model. Both of those are addressed in PlayBook OS 2.1, and RIM has taken to their developer blog to offer up the lowdown on how to make your in-app purchase models work with BlackBerry App World. 

Especially with BlackBerry 10 on the horizon, the door for Android developers over there appears to be opening ever further. RIM boasts great things about how much moolah their registered developers can make. There are some amazing Android developers out there who deserve every opportunity to be financially rewarded for their work. RIM just gave them another. 

If you're an Android Developer and this sounds like an opportunity for you, head on over to the source link below for the full rundown. There's a whole week to kill until I/O after all.

Source: Inside BlackBerry; More: Crackberry

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4 years ago

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean outed in Google Play Store listing, 'coming soon' to Galaxy Nexus


Well well well, what do we have here. It seems that a possibly careless listing on the part of Google has just outed the next version of Android. It's outed as version 4.1, as Jell... -- we're going out on a limb here and saying Jelly Bean -- and more specifically, that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will be the first phone to receive it. Wowzers. 

So, we've all been assuming for weeks upon weeks that we'd be hearing something about the next iteration of our favorite mobile platform. It isn't the biggest surprise in either name or version number, but it is a little surprising it has been outed in this way. 

So, are we going to see some sign of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean next week in San Francisco? As it stands, all signs would point to yes. Exciting times folks. 

Via XDA, Droid Life

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4 years ago

Google gives app developers a way to respond to reviews in Google Play Store


Google Play review trolls beware! Developers no longer have to remain silent when faced with flaming on their app listings.

Google today announced (along with a major redesign to its developer site) the ability for devs to respond to customer reviews on their apps in Google Play. This has been a long-requested feature, for the obvious reason. App reviews and star ratings mean life and death for an app. And while many customer reviews are helpful, you'll also see a number of reviews that don't make sense, or ding an app for something the developer has no control over. 

Ever seen the Stupid Market Comments account on Google+? This is what we're talking about.

"One star. Annoyed. Can't pass Level 17. Can anyone help me?"

Now, the developer can respond. 

OK, so flamers and trolls are the negative side of this. On a more positive note, developers will be able to actively address issues and answer questions. (Until now, that's been next to impossible.) And that's a definite bonus, said developer Saleh Esmaeili, who's bringing the popular Carbon Twitter client to Android.

"Many users leave feedback meant for app developers as app reviews, and some even report bugs while reviewing apps," Esmaeili told Android Central. "It will be a great opportunity to overcome the limitation and answer back right where it is asked."

And that's exactly what he'll be able to do. Developer responses will be posted publicly, on the app listings, right alongside the existing reviews. And if you leave a review on an app and the developer responds, you'll get an e-mail letting you know your comment was answered. You'll then be able to contact the developer directly if you have further questions. 

One catch: Google's initially rolling out the feature to developers who have a "Top Developer Badge," but that should cover a good many of the most popular apps out there.

All in all, it's an excellent addition to the selection and purchasing experience on Google Play.

More: Google Mobile Blog

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4 years ago

Google spruces up its Android developer site


Ever stumble across Google's Android Developer site only to be turned off by lists of classes and codes and scripts and other such non-earthly devices? Or are you a budding developer who longs for a simple, more elegant way of having the nuts and bolts presented to you?

Google's just launched a redesign of its Android Developers page, with three Ds in mind -- Design, Develop and Distribute. The implications of that alliteration should be obvious enough, and Google's calling the refresh "Streamlined, simplified and refocused. Give it a gander when you've got a minute.

Source: Android Developers site

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4 years ago

Top 10 things you need to know about your Galaxy S3

4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III USB host video walkthrough


​How to connect flash drives, hard drives, keyboards and mice to the Samsung Galaxy S III using USB host

Here's a lesser-known feature of the new Galaxy S III -- the ability to connect all manner of USB peripherals to Samsung's latest flagship phone, from mass storage to input devices. You'll need a USB OTG (on-the-go) cable to be able to connect all this stuff into the Galaxy S III or any other USB host-supporting phone.

Like the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note before it, the S III supports full USB host capabilities, meaning if you've got the right connector you can go completely nuts and plug all sorts of stuff into the phone. In our video, we tried USB memory sticks, full-sized SD card readers, USB hubs, hard drives, keyboards and mice. All of them worked. At one point we even had a hub plugged into the S III, allowing keyboard and mouse support simultaneously.

While we don't imagine many people will be using this feature every day, it's certainly impressive to see a smartphone able to handle such a wide range of USB gadgets, including full-sized desktop peripherals. Check out our video demo of USB host on the Samsung Galaxy S III above, and be sure to share your own experiences down in the comments if you've tinkered with this sort of thing yourself.

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4 years ago

Dolphin Engine beta released, touted as highest performing HTML5 mobile browser


Dolphin Browser HD has long been a favorite on Android with its speed and huge feature list, and it's about to get even better. With the release in beta of the new Dolphin Engine comes the claims that it is the highest performing HTML5 mobile browser out there. Indeed, Dolphin Engine scores higher than both Chrome Beta, and the stock ICS browser as well as Firefox. Impressive. 

So where does all this performance come from? Dolphin Engine is an improved webkit version with extensive canvas enhancement and some pretty serious behind the scenes nuts and bolts that gives it that added boost.  We could nerd out on technology all we want, but for most of us, numbers will tell enough of the story. 

Dolphin Engine's HTML5 rendering is 5 - 10x faster than the stock Android browser, and at times 100% faster than Chrome Beta. Double impressive. With HTML5 the future of the web, Dolphin is certainly shaping up to be a formidable foe in the mobile browser stakes.

For the full rundown on the new Dolphin Engine beta, and to download for yourselves hit the source link below. The usual caveats apply though, it is still in beta, so expect some bugs along the way. 

Source: Dolphin Browser

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4 years ago

Google Translate updated with tablet and copying improvements


Having an app like Google Translate on your phone can be indispensable when you're traveling, and the latest update to Google's multilingual app adds a few improvements that should make it easier to use. The latest version 2.4.2 includes quick navigation between conversation, history and favorites modes on tablets (phones have had this feature for a while), in addition to easier copying of translations (there's now a button for that).

Other additions include text-to-speech options for your original text, and handwriting recognition options for more languages, though no word on which languages specifically.

If you've already got Google Translate installed, be sure to head by the Play Store to grab the latest update. Alternatively, you can install via the web interface.

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4 years ago

AT&T gives another update on Galaxy S III availability


Like every other U.S. carrier (except perhaps Verizon, which hasn't really given a launch date yet, other than to say preorders will ship around July 9 or 10), AT&T's found itself in a pickle with the Galaxy S III. There just aren't enough to go around. We've finally gotten an official statement from the carrier, which reads thusly:

Manufacturer supply constraints of the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy S III have caused a delay to expected pre-order shipments. Customers who were previously quoted a delivery date of June 21st should now expect their device to arrive no later than Monday, June 25th. We currently estimate future pre-orders to arrive within 10 business days based on available supply. Impacted customers will receive both an SMS and email notifying them of this change.

So, if you've preordered and were given a June 21 date, look for it by Monday. (And it wouldn't surprise us in the slightest to see phones hitting doorsteps before then, as some folks in our forums are expecting.) If you preorder today, chances are it'll take longer, but AT&T's now saying online that it should ship within 10 business days.

You'll note that there's no mention of in-store availability. We're pressing on that, but it's easy, folks. Call the store before you go. Use this link to find your local contact info.

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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich update available for AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II


If you happen to be holding an AT&T branded Samsung Galaxy S II in your hands, you will want to locate the nearest USB cable, plug your device in and fire up Kies as quickly as you can. The long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update is finally hitting the AT&T branded devices, and this is currently only available through the companion software, Kies. While exact information about the update and the changes that it brings is not currently available, we do know it brings some great updates for the device. Delay no more, go grab your cable, launch Kies, and get updated! After the update be sure to hop into the forums and let us know any issues or changes you find, and how your experience with the update goes!

Source: Galaxy S II forums; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Android 4.0 rolling out for the Sony Xperia S


The word on the street -- and straight from the horse's mouth -- this morning is that those nice folk at Sony Mobile are rolling out the Android 4.0 update to their recently released flagship device, the Xperia S. The update, in addition to being Ice Cream Sandwich, also brings some additional tweaks to the Walkman, Movies, and Album features on the device.

Of course this will be most welcomed by existing Xperia S owners but it may also give sales a boost. While many consumers do not know the difference between the different versions of Android, some will and this may well influence them when purchasing a new device.

Sony promised the update to Ice Cream Sandwich when the device was announced and they have stayed true to their word. It seems that gone are they days of Sony (or what was Ericsson) failing to keep up to date with software versions.

Good on ya, Sony. Check out the full feature video after the break.

Source: Sony

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4 years ago

SwiftKey updated to version 3 and packed full of features; developers also announce SwiftKey Healthcare


The folks at TouchType have made SwiftKey 3 official, and available today in Google Play. Many of us have been keeping an eye on the beta version, so we know just how well this Android keyboard works and the great features it has. If you're not part of the beta testing group, here's what to expect --

  • Smart Space –  adding to SwiftKey's already cutting edge correction, Smart Space detects mistyped or omitted spaces across strings of poorly typed words in real-time.
  • Two new themes – a new theme, 'Cobalt', to match SwiftKey's new look and feel, and an Ice Cream Sandwich-styled 'Holo' theme, as voted for by SwiftKey's VIP community.
  • An enhanced UI – a much larger space bar and smart punctuation key help improve accuracy and make it quick and easy to access common punctuation.
  • Additional languages – SwiftKey 3 now offers support for an additional seven languages, bringing the total up to 42. The new languages are Korean, Estonian, Farsi, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Serbian.
  • A dedicated comma key, and the <123> key in the bottom-left corner.
  • Refined Smart Punctuation pop-up for better, more consistent behaviour.
  • Improved Smart Space functionality for easier email addresses and URL entry.
  • Reduced lag on some devices for a more responsive experience.
  • Reintroduction of the long-press duration setting by popular request.
  • Further improved prediction algorithms for even more accurate next word suggestions.
  • Updated gestures for easier shortcuts.
  • Several bug fixes.

That's quite the impressive change log! SwiftKey has always been a favorite (they won one of our 2011 Editor's Choice awards), and it's amazing prediction engine really does make typing easier. Rich downloadable language dictionaries, combined with personalization through social media and your e-mail make it accurate -- so accurate it's scary sometimes. As a special, the app will be on sale for a limited time for just $1.99. Well worth the two bucks in our opinion.

Speaking of personalization, TouchType has also announced SwiftKey Healthcare, which uses the prediction technology to take faster and more accurate notes on tablet devices. TouchType's initial trials indicate that healthcare professionals will save up to half the amount of time they currently spend typing, and it's a great step into the enterprise space for the SwiftKey team. Hit the break for a short product video and a smattering of screenshots from the new build.

Android apps by TouchType LTD. on Google Play; More info: SwiftKey

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4 years ago

Amazon expanding its Android appstore to Europe, developer portal updated and accepting apps now


Amazon has announced that they will be opening their appstore to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain this summer, with a "global" expansion planned to follow. There's no firm date as of yet, but they have changed the developer agreement and are already accepting submissions for apps to be distributed in the listed countries, so it can't be too far off. 

This is a pretty big deal, both for customers and developers. End users get access to more content for their devices, and the folks who write the apps have a broader customer base to solicit. It's good for business, and for many, Android apps are their business.

Hopefully Amazon will start offering more of their services on both sides of the pond, and other companies (hello, Google!) can work out the issues and follow suit.

Source: Amazon


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4 years ago

T-Mobile confirms previously leaked Galaxy S III pricing


T-Mobile has reached out to us to confirm the previously leaked pricing for the Galaxy S III, and now it's officially official -- this puppy's expensive.

Starting tomorrow, T-Mobile will offer the Samsung Galaxy S III in 16GB or 32GB memory options paired with T-Mobile’s Value or Classic service plans.

Available with a qualifying Value voice and data plan with a two year service agreement, the Galaxy S III will cost an out-of-pocket down payment of $229.99 (16GB) or $279.99 (32GB) with 20 equal monthly payments of $20 per month via T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan (EIP).

Also offered with a qualifying Classic voice and data plan, the Galaxy S III will cost $279.99 (16GB) after a $50 mail-in-rebate card or $329.99 (32GB) after a $50 mail-in-rebate card with a two-year service agreement.

Folks on the Value plan will be shelling out $230 (16 GB) or $280 (32 GB) plus $20 a month for 20 months, and folks on the classic plan will be facing a $280 (16 GB) or $330 (32 GB) price tag after the $50 mail-in rebate card.


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