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4 years ago

Android App Review: Cell Limit 0

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Hey folks. In keeping with New Year’s resolutions suggested by the staff at Android Central I thought it fitting to write a review of an app I have been using for about a month, ever since the Holiday rush started and roads were littered with shoppers talking and texting. Holiday traffic and cell phone use are two topics that are bound to clash and they have. I am a father of two great kids and husband to a great wife and I don’t want their lives compromised by me texting or emailing in the car.

This is where this simple but great app comes into play.  Sponsored by one of the local health networks in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, it is called Cell Limit 0. Why the name? Simply put, a text or email is not worth someone’s life.  The app is very simplistic in its use and powerful in its effectiveness. All it does is simply create an automated response to people who text you. In the upper right hand corner, you can see the toggle button is red as it is set to off.  When you activate this toggle, you can set it to whatever message you want to respond with as seen in second image by typing what you want (I use the default message shown) then hit “Set Message”.  Notice how the toggle is now green in the upper right of your screen? The auto responder is now set. Click it again to turn it off.

Even better, it has the website celllimit0.com, which takes you to their website. Fill out the form and they will mail you a magnet of a Stop Sign to promote no texting and driving.  This is not a game changing app, but for me I find myself using the phone a lot less than before.  The app does have some FC issues that require you to exit and start it back up, but I find that running it on Ice Cream Sandwich is less problematic then running it on CyanogenMod or stock Gingerbread. Download link is after the break, check it out in the market as it’s FREE!

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4 years ago

Android Central staff's best of CES 2012 picks

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Another CES has come and gone, and like the past couple of years there was a common trend -- Android was everywhere.  Our fellas on the floor in Vegas had their work cut out for them, and did a heck of a job covering the best of it all.  While they wind down (and get ready for MWC in Barcelona next month) the rest of us wanted to take a minute and talk about our favorites from CES 2012.  Hit the break, see what we liked the most, and discuss.

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4 years ago

Android developers making progress busting open the Nook Tablet

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It's not easy, and it's surely not pretty, but a handful of developers are making headway into breaking the Nook Tablet out of it's B&N jail and making it a full fledged Android tablet.  On paper, it's one of the best Android tablets for the price, but Barnes and Noble have locked the Nook Tablet up pretty tightly.  Because of the penchant for Android users to want instant results, the whole thing has turned into a drama-fueled mess of epic proportions, but in spite of all that we've seen a method discovered to bypass the bootloader security, a custom build of ClockworkMod recovery, and a booting port of CyanogenMod 9.

It's not ready for prime-time, and the discussion is pretty technical.  It involves things like bootstrap loaders hijacking the standard method to boot the darn thing.  The good news is that the fellows working on it seem to have all their ducks in a row, and with a little luck and a lot of patience we just may see this one unlocked and given the same treatment it's older brother the Nook Color received.  Visit the source links, and be sure to thank nemith and company for all their hard work.

Source: XDA-Developers (1), (2)Thanks, c0ldburn3r!

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4 years ago

Path for Android updates to fix ICS-Twitter authentication

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I've been desperately trying to convert from Foursquare to Path for bothering most of my social networks at once, but a pretty critical bug was keeping that from happening. But Path's just released an update that fixes Twitter authentication in Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as keeping push notifications from being delivered if, in fact, that's the way you want it.

For the uninitiated, Path is sort of mix of Foursquare and a much smaller Facebook. The idea is to have a tight-knit group of friends with which you share. Of course, adding the ability to share via Twitter, Facebook and, yes, Foursquare, opens it up to much more. The app itself is stunning, though it could use a little refresh for 720p displays.

If you haven't checked it out yet, we've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Rovio previews forthcoming update to Angry Birds Seasons

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Thats right, folks, Rovio is still pumping out updates to the Angry Birds franchise, as its latest video shows us. This time around in Seasons, we're celebrating Chinese New Year by smashing those little green pigs. The update is due to hit on Jan. 20, so if you're an Angry Birds fanatic thats just a few more days to wait.

If you've still not tried out Angry Birds Seasons and want to see what all the fuss is about, you'll find a handy download link after the break.

Source: Rovio

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4 years ago

ITC Judge rules in favor of Motorola in Apple patent dispute

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The ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) appointed by the International Trade Commission in the case of Apple v. Motorola has determined that Motorola Mobility does not violate three Apple-held patents.  A statement issued today by Motorola also says the following from Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility:

We are pleased with today’s favorable outcome for Motorola Mobility.  Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to develop technology and build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We are proud to leverage this broad and deep portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience.

The patents (collectively referred to as multitouch patents) in dispute covered ways to interact with the screen, including tapping, sliding and pinching with one or more fingers, and Apple claimed that Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq, BackFlip, Devour and Charm specifically were in violation.

Details are still a bit sparse, and this is best left for a legal expert to break down, but we wanted to share this breaking news with you guys.  The full press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX coming to Verizon Jan. 26

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We went hands-on with the Droid RAZR MAXX at CES 2012 and well -- it's a Droid RAZR with a 3300 mAh battery taking place of the original 1780 mAh power source and while that's impressive in its own right, the most impressive point is that it doesn't add any extra bulk. That said; If you skipped out on the original Droid RAZR due to battery concerns, come Jan. 26 you can pick up the Droid RAZR MAXX from Verizon Wireless for $299 with a two-year contract.

Source: Motorola; Thanks, Thomas!

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4 years ago

CrackBerry Kevin buys a $500 clock widget

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and we just had to share this one.  BlackBerry fanatic, Mobile Nations chief media officer, and all around wild-and-crazy guy  CrackBerry Kevin bought one of the most expensive apps in BlackBerry's app catalouge -- a $500 bit 'o code that places a clock on the homescreen.  Yes, it's a $500 clock widget. 

Nobody is telling whether or not there was any Campari involved, but it's certainly possible.  I'll let Kevin tell his side of the story himself.

Source: CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Wiping battery stats doesn't improve battery life, says Google engineer

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You there! Android hacker! Stop screwing around with your battery stats!

OK, if you're not part of the small subset of rooted users who likes to mess around with things they shouldn't, you can probably skip the rest of this story and read something more interesting below. But if you have fiddled with battery stats on your phone, or used any of the rooted "battery calibration" apps in the Android Market, which do the same thing, it's time to stop. Google engineer Diane Hackborn has taken to Google+ to dispel the myth that wiping battery stats can improve your battery life, or the efficiency with which your phone charges.

This file [batterystats.bin] is used to maintain, across reboots, low-level data about the kinds of operations the device and your apps are doing between battery changes. That is, it is solely used to compute the blame for battery usage shown in the "Battery Use" UI in settings. That is, it has deeply significant things like "app X held a wake lock for 2 minutes" and "the screen was on at 60% brightness for 10 minutes."

It has no impact on the current battery level shown to you. It has no impact on your battery life.

So there you have it. If you want better battery life, you're better off trying more basic techniques like keeping tabs on screen brightness or anything that might be running in the background. Or, y'know, buy a bigger battery...

More: +Diane Hackborn

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4 years ago

CES 2012 - Samsung's Smart Window is pretty amazing

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[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

No, it's not exactly Android related but it's too freaking cool not to post it! Soon, we shall be living in the world of Minority Report, and this "Smart Window" technology Samsung has at CES 2012 is going to help us get there. Ashley Esqueda checks out what's happening over at the Samsung booth and gives a little demo of the window.

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4 years ago

OnStar's RemoteLink App slings remote directions to your car, keeps tabs on fuel

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When Chevy finally launched the Volt plug-in hybrid electric car, they also kicked out an app with in-car communications and monitoring subsidiary OnStar to integrate owners' mobile phones with the vehicle. Similar to the MyFord Mobile app that Ford put out to integrate with their own Focus Electric, OnStar RemoteLink being shown off at CES 2012 hooks into the OnStar system onboard the vehicle, allowing the owner to remotely monitor the fuel levels, and in the case of the Volt, also check in on how the battery is charging, plus set off-peak charging schedule. RemoteLink also can plan routing on the phone and send it remotely to the car, saving you time the time of generally tedious address inputting when in the car. OnStar RemoteLink is available for both iPhone and Android phones and is compatible with most 2010-and-newer GM vehicles with OnStar.

But the app isn't the only thing OnStar had to show off at CES. Also on display was a new media system in their Volt show car that linked two Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets for backseat users with the car's Verizon LTE connection and the center stack up front. By integrating LTE with the power of the Android tablets, OnStar was able to build a system where the driver can pull up a movie from the home computer and stream it back to the tablets attached to the back of the front seats to placate a squad of rambunctious youngsters, start a Skype video call between the kids and grandma, or presumably just put up Angry Birds to keep them entranced in avian demolition for a few hours.

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4 years ago

The Sun newspaper hits Android, as long as you're on Gingerbread

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British tabloid newspaper The Sun has decided to head down the digital route, with the arrival of its very own subscription-based Android application. 

The premise is quite promising if you're a regular Sun reader. All the "news", less of the paper. The first month's subscription will set you back just £0.69, which is low enough to tempt those more sceptical readers to give it a whirl. After this, though, the subscription rate will rise to £4.99 per month. And of course you don't need to head down to the local store every morning or tip the paperboy. The most obvious downfall, besides the fact that you're reading The Sun, is the lack of Honeycomb and ICS support. Newspapers would look pretty sweet on a shiny new Transformer Prime don't you think?

For those Android Central readers outside of the UK, The Sun is one of the biggest tabloid newspapers in the country and is owned by one Rupert "find me on Twitter" Murdoch. We're not saying that installing this app will mean that The Sun will be listening in on your voicemails, not at all. But just in case -- good morning, Mr Murdoch, we hope you're well.

Download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Are you ready for some football? Get EA Sports' Madden NFL 12 for just a buck in the Android Market

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Get the latest of one of the most popular sports video game franchise ever, Madden NFL '12, for your Android device for just 99 cents from EA Sports.  The game was built for Android 2.1 or higher, and has optimized versions for both Tablets and the Xperia Play with it's built-in control pad.  You can choose to play as any of the 32 NFL teams, and different game-play modes allow for complete micro-management of every bit of action on the field.

It's Madden NFL 12, done right, for a buck.  Grab it using the handy link after the break.

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4 years ago

Android App Review: Nordstrom

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The official Nordstrom app lets you browse the store's collections and purchase clothes right from your Android device. When the app opens, you'll see the main menu which can be filtered by Department or Brand. If you select the Department filter, you'll get a list of different shopping departments: Women, Men, Juniors, Designer Collections, Baby & Kids, Shoes, Handbags & Accessories, Jewelry & Watches, Beauty & Fragrance, At Home & Gifts, Sale and Weddings. Brands will bring up every different brand that is carried by Nordstrom, or too long to spew out here.

There is always a menu that you can access via the action bar or menu button. Options are Your Style, Shop, Wish List, Events and Bag. Your Style allows you to browse various styles handpicked by Nordtrom.  Shop brings you right back to the area of the app where you can shop, Wish List saves everything that you would like to place onto your wish list, Events displays upcoming things to do at your local store and Bag is simply your cart.

You can purchase items directly from the app and either have it shipped to you or schedule an in-store pick-up.

Overall, the official Nordstrom app is very nicely done. Fans of the department store will find it to be a good experience and I'm sure will find that they're shopping more because they can do it anywhere. If you like Nordstrom or just want to check out a good shopping app, please find links to the free app after the break.

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4 years ago

VMWare co-founder Diane Greene named to Google board of directors

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Google has named Dianne Greene to its Board of Directors and Audit committee as of January 12.  Greene co-founded VMware in 1998 and served as CEO and president until 2008. She also serves on the board of Intuit since 2006.  Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, had the following to say about the appointment:

Diane is a special person who combines a sharp business acumen with a brilliant technical mind.  We know she will be a great contributor and we are grateful to have her insight.

Greene's qualifications include Master of Science degrees from UC Berkeley and MIT, as well as a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Vermont.

See the press release after the break.

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