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4 years ago

DroidDoodle: Bum-rushing Google IO

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It's a shame so many people couldn't get tickets.

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4 years ago

Harry Potter eBooks finally arrive, compatible with Google Play

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How is it the old saying goes -- the best things come to those who wait? The wait for the Harry Potter eBook series to go on sale has certainly been long. Originally we were expecting them back in October. But, for whatever reason that date slipped, and slipped, and now finally today is the day. The eBook store over on the Pottermore site has finally gone live, for Muggles across the world to get their electronic fix. 

As previously reported, the books are available to read in your Google Play Books application, right on your Android device. In fact, you can also purchase and read them in your Kindle application, right on your Android device. The only drawback remains, that you can only actually purchase anything from the Pottermore website. So how do you retrieve your fix of Hogwarts from there? Stick around, we've got you covered. 

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4 years ago

Here's a video of an elephant playing with a Samsung Galaxy Note

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Samsung's spent a lot of time and money marketing the Galaxy Note, its 5.3-inch phone-tablet hybrid device. It brought in director Bobby Farrelly to create last month's star-studded Super Bowl commercial, and poked fun iPhone users in a string of TV ads. And for its latest trick, it's sent the Note to Thailand to meet Peter the Elephant.

"Bigger is better" is Samsung's message here, and the video shows Peter using his trunk (and the stylus) to operate the Note's spacious 5.3-inch touchscreen. The ad agency behind the clip says the footage is all real, with no "trickery, post-production or hidden cuts", adding "he's just a very clever elephant."

If you've ever wanted to see a massive tusked beast making music, drawings and taking photos on a larger-than-average smartphone, then we've got a treat for you waiting after the break.

Source: YouTube; via: Pocket-Lint

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4 years ago

Check out the new Android Central forums app!

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As you're no doubt aware, the Android Central Forums are the friendliest and most helpful Android community around. And now there's an even easier way to check up on the latest discussion, post threads and manage your private messages when you're out and about.

Introducing the new Android Central Forums app! Based on the Tapatalk mobile forum browsing standard, the AC Forums app is the easiest way to enjoy the full forum experience on your Android phone. In addition to being able to read and post messages, you can also tag your favorite forums to make them easier to find, and search threads and posts from within the app.

If you're an AC forum regular, you need this on your phone. And if you're not, then registration is easy and free. We've got Google Play Store links after the break. If you've tried the new app, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments down below.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Beam UK pre-order prices emerge

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If you were watching our MWC coverage closely, you'll recall the Samsung Galaxy Beam, a quirky 4-inch Gingerbread device with a 15 lumen pico projector. That means you can fire images up to 50 feet away from the device, making it the ideal choice for buyers who want to screw with their pets, or hold impromptu Powerpoint presentations on-the-go.

In any case, the Galaxy Beam has shown up today on UK retailer Clove Technology, with a surprisingly high pre-order price tag of £454.80 including VAT, or £379 (~$600) excluding VAT. For your money, the Galaxy Beam also delivers a 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card. So you're mostly paying for that pico projector, and if you're after a mainstream smartphone there are certainly better deals to be had elsewhere.

There's no word on when (or even if) the Galaxy Beam will venture outside of European markets. But if you want to take a look at what it's capable of, you can check out our hands-on feature from Mobile World Congress after the break.

Source: Clove Technology

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4 years ago

Seesmic for Android updates with Instagram viewing, adds ads to the free version

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In a case of being careful what you wish for, Seesmic for Android got itself an update today that brings along some added functionality -- as well as the inclusion of in-app advertising.  But we'll get to that in a second.

First, the good: Seesmic -- which long has been my Twitter client of choice, even if I've strayed from time to time --has added the ability to view Instagram and Twitter photos directly in the timeline, and you can no natively add images to Twitter proper. It's removed support for Chatter, and fixed some bugs. Good stuff. 

And, yes, advertising has been added. But there's also a Premium version available. And for that $2.99, you'll get rid of the ads, plus a few more new features, such as the ability to combine views from different accounts. (Kinda like you can do in other Twitter apps.) For those of us who run multiple Twitter accounts, that should be three bucks well spent.

Update: Looks like the pro unlock doesn't work on Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason. Let's hope that gets fixed ASAP.

Source: Seesmic; Download: Free, Premium

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4 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S II sees an ICS leak

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Those of you that have the original AT&T Galaxy S II can stop being jealous of your Skyrocket-toting cousins.  There's now a leak of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for your device, too.  Just like the leak for the AT&T Galaxy S II Skyrocket, this is likely not the final version of the software.  It's no surprise that we're seeing leaks for the AT&T phones, either, since they have already announced that they will receive an official Ice Cream Sandwich update. Nevertheless, the quickening pace of leaks suggests that the official ICS updates shouldn't be too far off.

Brave enough to flash this leaked ROM on your device?  Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Source: RootzWiki

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4 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Flowers

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It's springtime here at the Android Central offices, that means longer days, warmer temps, and a nice change in the scenery. Winter has past, and things are looking mighty floral. And let's be honest, everyone can see the beauty in a flower -- even a neckbeard. I know I can't be the only one, so I want to see who is with me. Grab your phone or tablet, and snap me a picture of some flowers from your yard or garden. Or even your coffee table -- we won't discriminate against flowers of the silk variety. Will pick out the best one, and send the winner a case of their choice from ShopAndroid. The rules are simple:

  • Use an Android device to take the picture.
  • Send it to pics@androidcentral.com, along with a name we can use and the model of Android you used to take it. We like knowing this kind of stuff.
  • If you send in more than one, or send me a link instead of an attachment, your entry gets filed in the trash folder, so don't do it. I hate it when I have to do that.
  • Get me the pictures before the end of the night on Friday.

The rain took my cherry blossoms. Console me with something beautiful from your neck of the woods.

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4 years ago

Samsung Epic 4G receives an update to fix force-close issues

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The Samsung Epic 4G is no stranger to updates, in fact it just received an update at the end of January, and now it's back with yet another one. This update looks like a small one on paper, but it definitely will be warmly welcomed by everyone. Unfortunately it appears as though the last update caused some issues with force closing when receiving a phone call, which can be quite an annoyance. They have fixed the issue along with enhancing the Sprint Connections Optimizer, so hopefully the signal should be a bit better now.  If you haven't already received the notification for the update be sure to hop into your settings and check manually.

You know the drill, let us know how the update goes for you, and any changes you may see besides those listed in the forums!

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Google IO 2012 tickets sell out in 28 minutes

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​Update 2: And general attendee tickets are gone, too. Registration was open for just 28 minutes, meaning tickets sold out more than twice as quickly as last year. Congrats to those who managed to score one!

​Update: Twenty minutes in, and academic tickets already appear to be sold out.

Original story: Grab your credit card and your Google account and head to google.com/io, because registration for the Google IO 2012 developer conference is now open! Last year's conference sold out in under an hour, so you'll want to hurry to get your ticket, if you're interested in seeing the latest and greatest from Google and its partners this Summer.

Last year we got our first look at the revamped Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Google's "Chromebook" laptops, as well as the first hints about the direction of Ice Cream Sandwich. This year we're expecting more tablet and smartphone goodness, along with more on Google's entertainment services, including Google TV and Google Play.

This year's IO has been extended from two to three days, and runs from June 27-29 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Tickets will cost $900 for general attendees, or $300 for academics, double last year's prices. We'll be there, of course, so keep watching our IO landing page for more news as the event approaches.

More: AC at Google IO, Google IO Registration

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4 years ago

LG Lucid hits Verizon March 29

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Here it is, folks, the LG Lucid. It's bringing its 4-inch self to Verizon this Thursday, March 29, for $79 on contract (and after $50 mail-in rebate). And for that you get an Android 2.3 device (with a promise of an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 5MP rear-facing camera. A fairly mid-range device on paper. We'll see how it holds up in actual use.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

BlueStacks enters beta-1, brings 450k Android apps to Windows

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After we got wind that Bluestacks was going to be releasing a beta soon, we could only wait with bated breath at what exciting new enhancements would be dropped on us come unveiling time. Finally, that time has arrived, and let us tell you, Bluestacks has made good on their promise to up the ante in terms of Android emulation.

Using their new "Layercake" technology, Bluestacks allows any​ Android app to run without issue on x86-based PCs. Games like Angry Birds Space run flawlessly, and hardware acceleration is not enabled, but works like a charm.

While this might seem like purely a novel concept at first, there's some far-reaching implications as far as pricing structures go. Angry Birds Space is roughly $8 or so for the PC version, but you can get the Android version for free and run it in BlueStacks.

The Sims: 3 for Android is about a third of the price of its PC counterpart, and you can run the Android version in BlueStacks as well. It's hard to tell this early if Android apps can eat into a PC version's market share, but the potential is there.

BlueStacks beta-1 is an exponential improvement over the initial alpha that launched a while back, and we're glad to see such powerful features in its latest iteration. If you're interested in the nitty-gritty of it, we've got an official beta demo and​ press release after the break.

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4 years ago

O2-branded Galaxy S II's get ICS update, unlocked UK models left waiting

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Owners of O2-branded Samsung Galaxy S II phones should now be able to update to the latest version of Android, the network has announced. Writing on its official Twitter feed, O2 says the update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for its Galaxy S II users is now available through Samsung's Kies software. O2 is the second British network to release the update, joining Three, which launched its ICS build last week. T-Mobile UK and Orange are promising the update in April, while Vodafone says it's still testing its version.

However, in a bizarre (and frustrating) turn of events, unlocked Galaxy S II owners in the UK have been left waiting for their update. After informing customers that ICS for unbranded UK phones would be landing last Monday, March 19, Samsung now says it's not able to offer any estimated release date. In a post on its UK Facebook page, the manufacturer assures increasingly impatient users that it's going as fast as it can --

Samsung UK is working hard to bring Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to our Galaxy S II customers. We are unable to confirm exact dates as the software testing and approval process is subject to several variables, but we are working as quickly as we can. Thank you for your patience.

This development is a reversal of the usual Android update situation. Generally, when a new version is released, unlocked phones are the first to get it, while carrier-branded phones have to wait around a month for additional testing to be carried out. We're not sure exactly what's holding up the ICS release for unbranded British devices, as the update has already landed in many other countries, including Poland, Hungary, Sweden, and Korea.

Impatient Galaxy S II owners can always change their CSC code and apply another region's ICS update directly through the ODIN utility. Or for those feeling brave, there's also the option to root and install an ICS ROM directly through a custom recovery. (If you don't know what any of that means, you're probably better off sticking it out on Gingerbread until Samsung releases the official update package.)

As ever, Galaxy S II phones in the U.S. have a little longer to wait for their updates, on account of the hardware differences from carrier to carrier. Leaked builds for certain devices have started to appear over the past few days, though, which is a good sign.

Galaxy S II users, be sure to shout out in the comments and let us know if you've received your ICS update yet.

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4 years ago

Angry Birds Rio updated, brings another 12 bonus levels of bird catapulting fun

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It isn't all about Angry Birds Space right now it seems. Rovio have pushed out an update to Angry Birds Rio bringing with it 12 new bonus levels. 

The new levels are unlocked via in game achievements. To unlock the bonus levels for an episode, you need to finish all the levels and or collect all the fruit. 

Further still, a statement in the Google Play Store listing from Rovio says that "this is not the final update for Angry Birds Rio, so stay tuned." Like it or not, Rovio are one of the best out there at giving us new content. Download links can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

Temple Run for Android now available from Google Play

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Everyone waiting for Temple Run to appear for Android, you're in luck as it's landed in the Google Play store. Stolen idols, evil monkeys, coins and everything else is there, waiting for you to grab your phone or tablet and give it a go.

45 million folks with iDevices are playing it, and they all can't be wrong. Hit the break for the download link, and be on the lookout for our full review.

More: Imagni Studios

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