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4 years ago

Contest Winners: ShopAndroid Daily winners and Perfect Keyboard Pro!

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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 shortly. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to th'e winners!

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4 years ago

AT&T HTC One X benchmarked again

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The AT&T version of the HTC One X has been hitting the benchmark apps the past couple of days, and a friend of a friend of a friend was kind enough to send in a few results. On Sunday we saw a few benchmark results from our forums appear, and with one of them, the Vellamo browser benchmark, being built by Qualcomm there was some speculation that it would naturally score higher. We have to agree with that, as any company would want to stack the deck if at all possible -- that's how this sort of thing goes.

Now we have results from AndEbench, Antutu, and CF-Bench to compare. You can see them after the break, but the important thing is that they all appear exactly as we expect them to. New high-spec processor scores higher than last generation's high-spec processor. Tossing out the Vellamo results (they may or may not be biased, so they have to be dismissed), we can see that the Qualcomm S4 is still a great performer, but not the score-doubling monster that Qualcomm's browser benchmark makes it out to be.

I'm still not impressed by benchmarks. They depend far too much on software (especially in Android because of the Dalvik machine) and are easy to manipulate -- either by users or the folks writing the benchmark apps. Will the AT&T version of the One X be a good phone? I'm pretty sure it will be. Will it be as good at the International version with NVIDIA's Tegra 3? Maybe, we'll have to put them side-by-side and compare before we give the final word. As for the specs-on-paper battle, I'm staying out of it because I'm not a big enough hardware-geek to know or care. I'll leave that to the experts, and judge the phones on how they work in my hands. Hit the break to see all the results.

Thanks, Anon!

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4 years ago

Google amps up Play Store visibility, adds link to Google toolbars

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Looks like Google is getting more serious about their Google Play Store advertising. If you're browsing pages through Google you'll now start to see a Google Play Store link in the toolbar. Interestingly enough though it's not appearing on Google's homepage, only on the various other links such as Google+, Documents, Maps and Gmail will you see the new advertising. Though, one does have to wonder -- is it advertising or is that some folks are still confused over the switch?

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Samsung Rugby Smart review

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The Samsung Rugby Smart is not a "superphone." It doesn't pretend to be one, isn't marketed as one, and we're not about to call it one. What it is is a very solid offering from AT&T and Samsung that fills the rugged, life-proof niche.  We've seen plenty of rugged phones get released that run Android, but so far most have been less that stellar offerings. That's where the Rugby Smart shines, as it's a good Android smartphone that can take a bit of abuse. Hit the break and read more, and see some abuse for yourself.

 


A very solid-feeling, and solid-looking phone. The Rugby Smart won't wow a seasoned Android veteran with its specifications, but it's tops in durability. Dustproof, dirtproof, shock resistant, temperature resistant, and waterproof. It does it all while still being a decent performer.


A phone launching in 2012 and still running Gingerbread will always get a ding here. The Qualcomm Scorpion CPU won't play the latest 3D games as well as some others, though it runs most things decently. When minimum hardware specs increase, this phone may be left behind with 2011 internals.



Know what you're looking for. If you need a rugged life-proof phone, this is the one to get. It's head and shoulders above other ruggedized phones, and you'll enjoy having a real smartphone that won't be ruined by how you treat it. If that's not what you need, maybe look up the chain a little at the Galaxy S II or Skyrocket.

Inside this review

More info

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4 years ago

Huawei Ascend P1 pegged for April release in China

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Back during CES 2012 we spent sometime with Huawei's flagship device, the Ascend P1. Shortly after that, there was speculation it would land in China available in late March but it seems that date may have now been pushed to mid-April with other regions getting the device later on. As a reminder, here is what folks will be waiting for:

  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD (960 x 540)
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 8MP rear camera with 1080p recording
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera with 720p recording
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB ROM
  • Quadband (GSM/GPRS/EDGE)
  • Pentaband (UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA)

In our hands-on with the device, it was remarkably fast and the screen was brilliantly crisp. However, with the date reportedly slipping it's hard to say now when the Ascend P1 will hit the US and by the time it does, it'll be going up against a multitude of other handsets arriving.

Source: Unwiredview

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4 years ago

Ustream app hits 2.5 million downloads, version 2.0 is released

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The folks from Ustream are celebrating today with their app having now hit 2.5 Million downloads. To ensure everyone else can get in on the celebrations, they've gone ahead and released Ustream v2.0 to the masses bringing along some improvements and requested features including a fresh new UI and more:

  • Quick Broadcast widget - Go live right on the spot using the new Quick Broadcast widget. You can easily place it on your Android home screen, and simply tap it whenever you see something interesting. It will go live instantly, broadcasting to an unlimited audience using the camera of your device. Please sign in and select your channel before your first broadcast.
  • Premium Membership, Ad-Free, In-App Billing support - The Ustream Android app has always been free to download for the community. To maintain its development, the app is supported by unobtrusive banner ads appearing at the bottom of some screens. Enjoy Ad-Free experience at any time by purchasing Premium Membership – either in the app using Google Wallet or on the Ustream website. Your Membership benefits will work on all your Android (and even iOS) devices, but you get even more at ustream.tv.
  • Korean localization - In addition to English and Japanese, the Ustream Android app supports Korean language starting from version 2.0.

The ad-free option is pretty sweet if you're going to be going with a premium membership. That means if you're using the Ustream app to listen to the world's greatest Android podcast each Thursday night, you'll not have to deal with audio ads nor any ads in the app itself now. The update to v2.0 is available on the Google Play Store and you'll find the download beyond the break.

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4 years ago

Nvidia CEO hints Kepler GPU is headed for mobile

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Nvidia launched a next-gen desktop graphics card last week called the GTX 680, and its heart, the Kepler GPU, is bound for the mobile world according to a congratulatory e-mail from CEO Jen-Hsun Huang to employees.

Today is just the beginning of Kepler. Because of its super energy-efficient architecture, we will extend GPUs into datacenters, to super thin notebooks, to superphones. Not to mention bring joy and delight to millions of gamers around the world. 

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4 years ago

'HTC Wind' sighted - a dual-SIM One S lookalike for China

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An as yet unannounced HTC phone for the Chinese market has found its way onto Taiwanese forum ePrice. The T328w is said to launch as the "HTC Wind", offering mid-range hardware and dual-SIM support. This is a feature which is particularly useful in developing countries, as users often move in and out of different networks' coverage areas.

Internally, you've got respectable list of specs -- a 1GHz single-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, a 4-inch Super LCD WVGA screen and a 5MP rear camera with LED flash. On the software side, the Wind delivers Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and version "4a" of HTC Sense -- presumably some derivative of what's launching on the One X and One S in the weeks ahead.

Price-wise, you're looking at 1999 Chinese yuan, which is around $315, so you're getting a reasonable amount of smartphone for your money. It's unlikely we'll see this device launched in the U.S. or internationally, though the Wind's 900/2100MHz HSPA bands mean it'd work in Europe. In any case, the HTC Wind looks like a solid budget smartphone.

Source: ePrice; via: Unwired View

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4 years ago

Carbon for Android gets a video sneak peek

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I'm still looking for my perfect Twitter client. This might well be it. Carbon for Android -- a longtime favorite on webOS and more recently on Windows Phone -- now has a video sneak preview to go along with the stills we saw a couple months ago. And it's looking downright gorgeous.

(And note the cameo appearance from webOS Nation's own Derek Kessler!)

Source; +Carbon for Android

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4 years ago

Update: Microsoft decides to make good after getting smoked in its own game

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Update: And just as we suspected, Microsoft's decided to do the right thing. Ben Rudolph (aka @BenThePCGuy) just tweeted the following:

Hey @sahaskatta , @Microsoftstore & I want to make things right. So I've got a laptop & phone (& apology) for you. Email me!

Wish it hadn't taken a public shaming, though.

Original: We've always watched Microsoft's "Smoked by Windows Phone" competition with a bit of amusement. On one hand, Microsoft hit a stroke of marketing genius here. (And lord knows it's had enough experiences in the opposite direction.) Put a Windows Phone up against anything else to see which can perform a specific task more quickly, and film it for posterity.

We've used Windows Phone. It absolutely can do some specific tasks pretty darn quickly -- often enough more quickly than other phones, and catching folks getting "Smoked" is YouTube gold. But it's also always been a bit of a techie carnival sideshow, albeit a popular one, as we saw for ourselves at Mobile World Congress. (No, I didn't actually get smoked, because I didn't belly up to that midway game.)

That brings us to today's tale. Skatter Tech's Sahas Katta writes that his Galaxy Nexus, armed with a couple weather widgets on the home screen, indeed was able to beat Windows Phone at its own game -- "bring up the weather of two different cities," Katta says. He had an ace in the hole: An option mod that bypasses the Ice Cream Sandwich lock screen and goes straight to the home screen when he presses the power button. The Windows Phone competition didn't have that, and finished "a split second later."

So Katta and his Galaxy Nexus won, right? Nope. the Santa Clara (Calif.) Microsoft store decided, after some gnashing of teeth, followed by some quick thinking, that it had to be to cities in different states. Oh. Good bye $1,000 custom laptop, hello "Smoked" pic of shame.

We're willing to bet Microsoft makes good here after this PR gaffe, and that some store employees might have seen better days. And let's hope Microsoft does it on camera, and posts it alongside its other "Smoked" videos.

Source: Skatter Tech, via WPCentral; more: Smoked by Windows Phone

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4 years ago

Reminder: Google IO 2012 registration kicks off tomorrow morning

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Heads up -- registration for Google IO 2012 will begin tomorrow, March 27, at 7 a.m. PDT. And if previous years are any indication, it'll probably end well before 8 a.m. Last year's tickets sold out in under an hour, so if you want to take part in Google's big developer conference in San Francisco this June, you'll need punctuality, luck and a few hundred bucks to spare.

A general attendee ticket will set you back $900 -- up from $450 last year --, while academics (students and faculty) will be able to purchase tickets for $300 -- up from $150. Google's got a few rules to follow, too -- only one ticket can be purchased per person, and it's up to Google to approve any ticket transfers. You'll also need access to Google+ and Google Wallet to register.

There's no shortage of rumors surrounding possible hardware that Google and its partners may be showing off (and perhaps giving away), but IO is about more than the swag. It's the place to meet developers and Googlers, and learn about the future direction of Android and other Google products, as well as how they all work under the hood. There's also the big official party, a giant wall of candy and bugdroids around every corner.

The conference runs from on June 27-29 at Moscone West in SOMA. We'll be there, of course, so keep watching our Google IO landing page for more developments as the event approaches.

More: Android Central at Google IO

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4 years ago

U.S. Army deploys their own Android app store

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The U.S. Army recently launched a "prototype" (i.e. beta) version of their own civilian-facing mobile app store for Android and iOS. The Army Software Marketplace offers over a dozen training applications to be used on smartphones or tablets, with plenty more on the way. You can browse through apps on their mobile website, or download the Marketplace as a packaged app. App entries come complete with screenshots, descriptions, and download links, though there's no section to submit reviews. CIO Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence explained the Army's approach to creating this app.

"The Apps Marketplace is at the center of Army efforts to radically reduce the time to deliver applications across the force. This prototype is a first step in establishing and exercising new submission and approval processes that will eventually enable Army members, organizations and third-party developers to release applications for Army-wide distribution."

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4 years ago

Motorola RAZR MAXX XT910 launches in China

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Motorola has announced that the RAZR MAXX XT910 -- that's the international version of the Droid RAZR MAXX -- has gone on sale today across China. As you'll remember from our review, the RAZR MAXX is essentially the same phone as the original RAZR, right down to the software build numbers.

The key difference is it's packing a ginormous 3300mAh battery. And as 4G services haven't yet launched in China, there'll be no LTE radio in this version, meaning battery life should be even better than the Verizon 4G model. (Moto's boasting up to 21 hours of talk time on a single charge.)

China recently overtook the U.S. as the world's largest smartphone market, so the launch of any leading smartphone over there is a big deal. We're still eager to see this model launched in other territories, though. Moto brought the RAZR to the UK and Europe late last year, but it's yet to reveal any European plans for the MAXX.

Chinese buyers can pick up the Motorola RAZR MAXX at "authorized Motorola resellers" from today.

Source: Motorola Media Center

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4 years ago

HTC One X and S go up for pre-order at Vodafone UK

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As the HTC One X's European release approaches, we're seeing Euro carriers ramp up their promotion of the device. Vodafone UK is now listing the One X in white and grey, and offering both for free on two-year contracts of £41 or more per month. That'll get you the phone, 900 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data. If you're looking for a lower monthly bill, it's also possible to bag a One X for as little as £26 per month, though you'll pay £299 up-front for the privilege.

The One X's little brother, the HTC One S, is also up for pre-order, and free from £36 per month (that's with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB). There's no word on Pay As You Go prices, as Voda typically limits its PAYG offerings to low-end devices.

While rival networks aren't revealing their price plans for the One X or One S just yet, Three, O2, Orange and T-Mobile all offer registration links, where customers can sign up for more info as it's available. Retailer listings suggest the One X will sell for just under £500 SIM-free, while the One S is expected to cost around £450.

Source: Vodafone UK

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