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4 years ago

Official My Xbox Live app released on Android, reminds us it isn't Smartglass


Been hankering after some mobile Xbox Live action like your iOS and Windows Phone buddies? Hanker no more, today the official My Xbox Live application has made its debut on Android. 

We heard rumors way back in January that Microsoft were potentially readying themselves to bring Android into the Xbox Live party, after a suspiciously suggestive job advertisement was spotted. Seems there was something behind it, and that Microsoft employed that someone with Android development experience to create what we see today.

There's more than just a whiff of the Metro UI about it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But, we're not all about looks around here, what about the nuts and bolts of it. 

My Xbox Live for Android promises a pretty respectible feature set: 

  • View, manage, and message friends
  • View and compare your achievement progress with friends
  • Read and Edit your full LIVE profile (name, bio, motto)
  • See your 3-D Avatar and customize it while on-the-go
  • Access your recent activity and manage your Beacons
  • Stay connected to the Xbox LIVE community via Spotlight

Coming out of E3 there's actually plenty of reasons to be excited about Microsoft bringing cool new stuff to Android, including, of course, the forthcoming Xbox Smartglass. Just in case you were confused though, there's a little paragraph that comes with this just to clarify things: 

No, this is not Xbox SmartGlass that we unveiled last week at E3. This is a milestone update to the My Xbox LIVE app on iOS and the first release of the app on Android.

Yes, we do intend to bring Xbox SmartGlass to several platforms over time, but have no details to share right now.

So, if you're one of the legions of Xbox Live gamers, head on over to the Google Play store now and pick yourself up a copy. 

Download: My Xbox Live

Source: Major Nelson

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4 years ago

Update: Amazon jumped the gun; Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 not yet up for preorder


Update: Samsung just pinged us to say that Amazon put this page up in error, and that the Note 10.1 isn't yet available for preorder. And, sure enough, the page has been killed. (Samsung also points out the errors that many of you spotted in the specs as another clue that Amazon wasn't quite ready for this one to go live.) The good news is that Sammy's now well aware of how excited you all are for the Note 10.1, so there's that.

Original post follows.

Pop quiz: What's 10.1 inches in diagonal, looks like a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 but acts like a Galaxy Note? Oh, and it's available for preorder at Amazon U.S. If you answered the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, you'd be correct. And for bonus points, you'd know that it's up for preorder for $549.99.

Amazon says it'll ship in 3 to 5 weeks, but it wouldn't surprise us if that's just a ballpark and it shifts either way. In the meantime, be sure to check out our hands-on from Mobile World Congress back in February to see what you're getting yourself into.

Preorder the Galaxy Note 10.1 at Amazon; via Unwired View

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4 years ago

ASUS Transformer Prime sees a minor update, brings face unlock


ASUS is pushing a minor OTA update to Transformer Prime users, which brings the promised face unlock feature as well as a few bug fixes. According to ASUS' Facebook page, the update brings the system to ICS, and includes the following changes:

  • GPS dongle fix and local notification
  • Ethernet UI support to set Ethernet connect policy when screen off
  • Add system bar lock settings for showing/hiding system info
  • Enable face unlock feature
  • Support Bluetooth HDP
  • Third party app upgrades
  • Other bug fixes

We're hearing from users on both sides of the pond that the OTA is ready and waiting for them when they check, but if you're the unlucky sort like I am and never get OTA's on time, you can grab the files directly from ASUS here

We've heard that this update is rootable if you're into that sort of thing, but just in case I'm going to recommend that you run rootkeeper prior to updating just in case. Of course if you're not running stock software you won't be able to flash the update at all and will need to wait for updates from the folks who built your ROM. If you hit any snags, or need a bit of help, be sure to holler in the forums.

Source: ASUS on Facebook (1), (2)

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4 years ago

Huawei's Ascend P1 gets priced in Europe


If you're after a nicely balanced mid-to-high-end smartphone running the latest version of Android, you could do a lot worse than the Huawei Ascend P1. As we noted in our recent review of the device, Huawei's upped its game significantly with its latest phone for international markets. And with a release due in the next couple of months, pre-order prices are starting to appear across European retailers.

Ascend P1 prices at Amazon Germany and Unieuro Italy are set around the €450 mark (~£365, ~$565), placing it alongside HTC's One S in terms of unsubsidized prices (though these are, as always, subject to change in the run up to release). That makes sense considering the Ascend P1 comes close to that phone in terms of raw hardware specs, and it's clear the P1 is going to mark the start of Huawei's big play for the higher-end smartphone market. We'll be interested to see which European carriers the manufacturer's able to recruit to its cause this summer.

For more on the Huawei Ascend P1, check out our full review.

Source: Amazon Germany; via: UnwiredView

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4 years ago

Updated HTC OpenSense SDK available with new APIs


HTC has released a brand new version of its OpenSense SDK (software development kit), featuring the new APIs that were announced at Mobile World Congress a few months back.  These new programming hooks allow third-party apps to better integrate with Sense 4.0 features like the lock screen and Beats Audio sound enhancements. (Update: the MediaLink HD API is still yet to come, HTC tells us.)

HTC says its intention is to allow app developers to add Sense-specific features with a minimal amount of time and effort. And to that end, it's included some sample code showing how devs can simply implement a check to see what the sound enhancer is doing, and act accordingly. The manufacturer's also added more code in its Developer Center, so app makers shouldn't have to look far to get to grips with other APIs.

Devs can find the updated SDK and sample code over at the source link. We look forward to seeing what they can cook up using HTC's new development tools.

Source: HTC Blog

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4 years ago

Adonit Jot Pro stylus review


The Adonit Jot Pro  is possibly the most unique stylus we have come across. If you are looking for a way to take notes and capture your handwriting on your Android phone or tablet - look no further.

The Adonit Jot Pro is unlike any other stylus on the market today. What makes the Jot Pro unique is that it uses a thin clear disk instead of a typical stylus nib on the end.

The clear disk rotates to provide an ideal writing angle –always giving you maximum contact on the screen.

The Jot Pro more closely resembles writing with a ballpoint pen than any other stylus. It takes some getting used to, but it is a unique and unparalleled experience.

Read on for our full Adonit Jot Pro stylus review!

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4 years ago

Listen to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World on Stitcher


Attention, people of the Internet! You already listed to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World. We know you do, because thousands and thousands of you download it every week. But we're also aware that more than a few of you are into Stitcher as your podcatcher. And that's awesome. Stitcher's an interesting podcatcher because it's compatible with the Chevy MyLink system. (Yes, that's the same one we demoed at GM's test facility last summer.)

And, in fact, so many of you are listening to the show on Stitcher that we're already No. 35 on the new Sticher List for all things technology. (That's right above "Transistors of Yesteryear" and right above "Arduino and Me," for those of you counting at home.) So if you're in the market for a new podcatcher, take a look at Stitcher and let's see how high we can get the show to go. Download links are below.

Download: Stitcher for Android; Android Central Podcast on Stitcher

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4 years ago

ZAGGsparq Contest Winners!


If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up during the week. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the winners!

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4 years ago

DC Comics [Android App Review]


If you’re a comic fan and you use an Android device, you’re definitely going to want to check out the DC Comics app. Now of course if you’re a Marvel-only guy/girl, this probably won’t be the app for you. But if you’re a fan of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, or any of the other characters from DC’s universe, I’d highly recommend this app.

The home screen displays three tabs up top that allow you to navigate through the app. The My Comics tab allows you to view all of the comics that you’ve purchased, see those that have been recently downloaded or viewed, and filtered by series and creator. The Featured tab is much like the featured apps in the Play Store; it displays a variety of titles, both free and paid, from different superheroes. In addition to the featured material, you can see the comics that were just added or narrow them down to free-only. The final tab, Store, allows you purchase any of the comics within the app. You can search for a particular title, browse by series, genre, creator, publisher, most popular or storyline and also browse the free section.

One thing that I like about the app is that when you are ready to purchase a comic, the transaction is handled through the Play Store, so you don’t have to give your credit card to the app. When you purchase a comic, it will download it straight to your device so that you can start reading. If you want to ensure that your space is sufficient, you can go into the settings, where there is an option to manage storage. That is the only place in the app where you can delete a comic from your device. I wish it was easier to delete content, maybe in a future update.

This is a great app if you’re a comic fan and obviously if you are favorable to the DC universe. It allows you to purchase and view comics right from your Android device. With The Dark Knight Rises hitting theaters in about a month, this is a good time to get acquainted with the source materials that Christopher Nolan has drawn from.

DC Comics is a free app from the Google Play Store. We've got download links and screenshots after the break.

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4 years ago

Amazon Kindle app updated for better tablet support


Android's Amazon Kindle app got a nice little update today, bringing a couple of welcome improvements to tablets. Here's the full changelog:

  • Tablet users: customize your reading experience with new margin and line spacing controls.
  • Tablet users: see two pages side-by-side in landscape mode.
  • Fixed a bug that required some users to re-register when returning to the app.
  • Several bug fixes.

It's been a little while since I've used the Amazon App on a tablet that's not the Kindle Fire. We really didn't have proper side-by-side pages, eh? Well, it's fixed now. get your download on.

Download: Amazon Kindle for Android

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4 years ago

Rebtel brings free, high-quality VoIP calling to Android tablets


If you're looking for VoIP services, there is a few options out there and one of those options is Rebtel. Previously having built their Android app only for phones, Rebtel today announced they'll be rolling out v2.0 of their free calling app that will now support tablets in addition to smartphones and as such they've ensured to pack it full of features:

  • Optimized Tablet Experience - Inspired by Rebtel 2.0 for Android smartphones, the new Android tablet app features optimized high-resolution graphics and takes full advantage of the larger tablet screen real estate to give the user an immersive Rebtel experience.
  • Free Rebtel to Rebtel Calls - Rebtel 2.0 for Android tablets incorporates free calling between users running any one of Rebtel’s apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android smartphones, PC, or starting today, Android tablets. Calls are seamlessly connected using Wi-Fi or 3G (applicable to 3G-enabled Android tablets only).
  • Low-Cost Calls to Any Phone - Users of the Rebtel Android tablet app are not limited to our free Rebtel to Rebtel calls. Browse through your native tablet address book, select any contact with a number and get talking at rates up to 98 percent lower than an average carrier, and up to 60 percent lower than current Skype Out rates.
  • Native Address Book Integration - No more syncing issues that mess up your address book. Rebtel for Android tablets seamlessly integrates with the regular native Android address book, providing a clear view of which contacts are available to call for free, and which contacts can be reached at very affordable rates.
  • Low-Cost SMS - Prefer texting over talking? Send low-cost international text messages to friends in more than 196 countries with an average cost savings of up to 60 percent when compared to your regular carrier. If you want to ensure your friend can reply without being charged, tick the Collect Reply box and include a link in your message that lets your friend reply via a mobile web page while you pick up the tab.

I've not used Rebtel in the past but do use Skype a lot so I'm going to give this one a full go to see how it works out in comparison, if you're looking for a solution as well this may be it. If you're looking for more info, you'll find it below for your browsing pleasure along with a download link.

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4 years ago

Entry-level Sony Xperia Tipo announced


Hot on the heels of the Xperia Miro, which emerged on Facebook last night, Sony Mobile has announced the Xperia Tipo, a new entry-level smartphone running Android 4.0 on a 3.2-inch screen. Like the Miro, the Xperia Tipo rocks an 800MHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, and comes in four colors -- black, white, red and blue. Other notable features listed by Sony include a 3.2MP camera, 1500mAh battery "with more than 24 hours of usage time." In terms of internal storage, you've got 2.5GB media space and 766MB for apps. That's way, way less than we'd like, but at least it's expandable via a microSD card slot.

So it's a decidedly low-end smartphone, though it should be interesting to see at which price point this device emerges. Sony's already done a pretty good job with its slightly-more-expensive budget offering, the Xperia U. If the Tipo can push things closer to the £100 mark, it might be worth a look.

Both Xperia Miro and Xperia Tipo are due for launch in Europe sometime in the third quarter of the year. Full presser's after the break.

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4 years ago

Pre-order the Acer Iconia A700 tablet today - 1080p, Tegra 3, 32GB for $450


Acer has announced that the Iconia Tab A700 will be available for pre-order today online and at "national electronics retailers" across the US. The 10-incher comes in two models, black or silver, both checking in with 32GB of storage. In addition, this is one of the first devices we've seen to officially support 64GB microSD cards (many others will, but don't "officially" support them) for a grand total of 96GB of storage. You'll likely be using that storage for a video or two, as the A700 is sporting a 1080p display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, 800:1 contrast ratio and a 178 degree viewing angle. Underneath, NVIDIA's Tegra 3 and 1GB of RAM should deliver the content very well.

We had a look at the A700 back at Mobile World Congress, and were rather impressed with both the screen and how thin and portable the tablet felt. If you've been waiting for the 1080p tablets to come, you might want to have a look at this one. In the meantime, we've got a slew of images and the press release after the break.

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4 years ago

Swiftkey gets the XKCD treatment


Swiftkey -- the Android Central 2011 Editor's Choice for third-party keyboard -- today has received an honor most of us can only dream of, having been immortalized as an XKCD comic by the genius Randall Munroe. The comic actually centers on the Swiftkey 3 beta, the shining feature of which is the ability to type without worrying about hitting that pesky space bar. The prediction engine takes care of that for you, going as far as completing sentences that you never started in the first place. And, as you can see, hilarity ensues.

Swiftkey's also asking what your default sentence is. Just hit the middle of the three prediction keys and see what you get. You'll need to actually be using Swiftkey, of course. (And if you're just getting started, expect to see "I am a beautiful person." You can share your result here.

Source: XKCD; download the Swiftkey 3 beta

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4 years ago

Samsung TecTiles brings new rewritable NFC tags solution


Looks like it's time for NFC tags to hit the big time. Samsung tonight announced TecTiles, its own rewritable NFC tag solution. 

For those of you new to the game, NFC stands for "Near Field Communication" -- think of it as very short-range wireless data transfers where you literally tap your phone against something to initiate the transfer. NFC tags are little stickers that, when touched by an NFC-enabled device, can then cause an action to happen. 

We got the opportunity to give them a spin last week in New York City and, guess what -- they're rewritable NFC tags. But they're going to be pretty darn handy.

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