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4 years ago

Daylight Saving Time and Android: Sit back and relax


Just a quick heads up that Daylight Saving Time struck most of us in the U.S. last night, meaning it's now an hour later than it should be. (An extra cup of coffee might be in order.) The good news for you, fair Android owner, is that your phone should have taken care of everything for you, provided that you're using date and time as provided by your network. 

Should something look wonky, go to getting>Date/time to check things out. But otherwise, your phone should have adjusted without a hitch.

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4 years ago

Android Developers - Have you considered porting your application to the BlackBerry PlayBook?


Before you get all bent out of shape about us talking about the BlackBerry PlayBook, keep in mind that after the recent update to BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, the PlayBook can now run Android applications. The update brought along an Android App Player which allowed Android apps to be repackaged, and submitted to App World for public downloading. For a while RIM even ran a promotion offering free BlackBerry PlayBook's to Android developers who ported their applications and submitted them to App World.

Owning a BlackBerry PlayBook I know that a few developers did take the opportunity to put their applications in App World, but not nearly as many as one would have expected. The process was really easy from RIM, they made it so your APK file could be easily repackaged into a BAR file which is read on the PlayBook. They weren't asking developers to rewrite their applications, or make huge changes, and still developers didn't jump all over it.

Personally I was left wondering why more big name applications didn't make their way over to the BlackBerry PlayBook. With a rather simple process, a free PlayBook, and an added audience of over one million users, it becomes even more alarming. So, if you are an Android developer we would love to know about your decision. Whether you have already ported, are still considering, or decided against it completely be sure to let us know how you reached your decision.

Source: CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - March 10, 2012


Mobile World Congress may be done for another year, but the pace of international Android news hasn't slowed in the past seven days. We've already seen the launch of the Sony Xperia S, the first flagship phone of 2012, and we've learned more about HTC's eagerly-awaited One series of phones. In addition, a couple of last year's high-end phones have had their prices drastically cut in preparation for the next wave of must-have Android devices.

Throw in a sprinkling of Ice Cream Sandwich update rumors, and you've got yourself a pretty full week of Android goodness (aside from that little bit of Apple news).

Check some highlights from past week's Android developments in Europe, Asia and beyond in the list below. And if you've got international news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special Features:


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4 years ago

Weather Here [Android app review]


Your Android smartphone is your go-to device to keep current on just about everything, so it's no wonder that weather applications have become so popular. There's an abundance of weather apps on the various Android markets out there, but many of us are looking for something simple, that sits in the app drawer waiting for you to need it versus something that's more in-your-face with widgets and animations. I think I just found the one I'm looking for. 

Weather Here does only one thing -- display the weather for where you're located. There's nothing to set up, it just checks to grab your location (it uses Wifi and cell tower location first, keeping the GPS off unless absolutely needed) then tells you the current weather, a forecast, and a local radar map. Using NOAA/National Weather Service data, it seems fairly accurate, and the application is fast to load and doesn't bog down your phone with fluff. If you like the fluff, I can understand and Weather Here probably isn't for you. Think of it as a no-nonsense approach to show weather data on your phone, but done well and great looking.

Just because it's lean, doesn't mean it's lacking in features. It's warm(ish) and windy here today, and I get a weather warning alert about wildfire dangers with just a tap. Tapping on any day in the forecast list gives me the details, and Menu>Radar shows me the animated precipitation radar map for my area. Again, with nothing to set-up -- just install, and go. The free version has mobile ads and a timed dialog when opening the radar screen, but the full version for $0.99 removes both. Add in no goofy permissions, and you have a hell of a nice, simple, app that does exactly what it says on the tin. Hit the break for a couple screenshots and download links.

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4 years ago

Put a little Ice Cream Sandwich in your computer with Roboto fonts


We're all frustrated at the wait for Ice Cream Sandwich on our phones and tablets, but maybe a little Roboto on your computer can help fill that void. The Android design team has popped out some official Roboto fonts that can be installed on just about any device that can display True Type fonts, and they look great on your desktop or laptop. Getting them is easy, just download them from the Android Design page, and install according to your OS specifications.

They'll give you a fresh, clean look that's easy to read and scales great. The best part is that they're absolutely free for use and "without restriction" for use in applications, so developers can use them in things like Web apps and desktop widgets. Sure beats the Comic Sans look. See the source link for downloads and the specimen book.

Source: Android Design; via +Android

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Do you let other people use your phone?


Our Android phones are pretty personal things, full of personal information. Some of us can be very protective, and don't much care for other folks getting too comfortable with them. Besides the risk of breakage, there's also a chance someone will see something you'd rather they didn't. For others, it's not a problem, family and friends can feel free to pick up your phone off the table and fire it up. And of course, many fall squarely in the middle and are OK with a select few folks touching our Androids.

I'm OK with someone picking up my tablet (just don't lose my page in the Nook app please), but my phone? Between us I don't even like it when my lovely wife uses it for more than a few minutes. I can't explain it, it's just my precious. What about you folks? Sound off in the poll.



Do you let other people use your Android phone?

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4 years ago

Get Google Play up and running on your Logitech Revue [How-To]


Ask anyone who has a Logitech Revue, and they'll tell you it can be a temperamental son-of-a-biscuit every now and then. Most of us still love the Google TV experience, but owning a Revue means you'll need to get familiar with work-arounds. Here's a simple one to get the Google play update running on your Revue if you got stuck in the "update available/updating" loop:

Pull the plug for 10 seconds.

In fact, pulling the plug and counting to 10 before you re-power your Revue solves a lot of problems. I found myself with the Market update waiting, and nothing I could do would fix it until I just powered the whole damn thing down. When it came back, I had the shiny new Google play service ready and waiting. If it would only work for Hulu plus...

Source: Android Central forums

Hat tip to ryanfoley613 for reminding us of the trick!

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4 years ago

Google Maps updated with simplified Navigation menus


Google Maps for Android has received a minor update today, bringing it up to version 6.4.0. The new version introduces some minor changes to Google Maps Navigation on ICS devices. Gone is the large, unwieldly vertical list activated by the menu key -- in its place is a more accessible grid-based setup. And as part of Google's ongoing war against the menu overflow key, those pesky three dots are no longer present in Maps Navigation in ICS -- they're replaced with a completely different menu key a few pixels above your virtual buttons.

In the unlikely event that you're not currently using Google Maps, we've got the Android Market Google Play Store link after the break. We've also got a screenshot of the new Navigation menu, if you're into that sort of thing.

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4 years ago

Google sneakers, M3U Playlists [From the Forums]


With the weekend now upon us all, looking back -- we've rocked out a bunch of content this week. If you missed out anything, get yourself caught up and be sure to check out the Android Central podcast at some point. If you're looking for more Android discussion, hit the threads below:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

Flying to SXSW? Get your Android device online at 35,000 feet free through March 16


Just a quick heads up for you folks flying to Austin, Texas, for SXSW -- GoGo Inflight Internet is free if you're flying on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines or Delta Air Lines to Austin from March 10-16. That means you can use the GoGo Android app to keep reading Android Central while you're at 35,000 feet. And that's a good thing.

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4 years ago

Solar System Explorer [Android App Review]


YouTube link for mobile viewing

It's not often I come across an app that both humbles me and causes me to have an existential crisis, so when I find one, I know it's a keeper. Solar System Explorer caused me to go through both of these things simultaneously, and apart from making you question your tiny, insignificant self in this grand universe, you're also treated to a gorgeous layout loaded with more information about our solar system than you probably knew existed.

First thing you'll notice when you open up Solar System Explorer is how great it looks. This is a seriously polished app, with beautiful 3D models of every planet in our solar system, the moons of each planet, and each satellite the United States has launched. There's full pinch-to-zoom on all of the models as well as swiping support so you can change your perspective, too.

You move from planet to planet (or moon to moon) using pictures along the bottom of the screen. All of our planets are there, ordered from closest to farthest from the sun, and on the very end, you can get to the satellites. When you pick a planet, the pictures at the bottom of the screen change, and if the planet has any moons, images of those moons appear so you can see models and read up on them, should you choose to.

Aside from all of that, there's also an incredible treasure trove of information at your fingertips, all of it a button push away. When you've got a heavenly body selected, you're shown its general information by default, but should you leave this screen, tapping the eyeball will take you back to it. The little bar graph looking button shows you stats for your planet, all in relation to Earth.

Finally, the upside down peace sign tells you information about the structure of your planet and the 3D model changes to reflect said information. It's really quite cool seeing Earth broken up into differently colored layers and an explanation about what's going on in this beautiful blue-green ball we call home. (Plus, it reminds me of elementary school science class.)

Solar System Explorer also gives you the opportunity to just admire the solar system by hiding the information panel and zooming in and out. The full-screen experience is quite incredible, and at times like these, I wonder why I didn't do more to become something like an astronaut or work for NASA. This might "just" be an Android app, but it certainly instills a sense of awe in me.

If you're someone who has even a slight interest in our big, mysterious solar system, check this app out. It's great to just poke around in, but it's also chock full of such solid information, I don't see any reason why it couldn't be used as an educational tool, too.

Solar System Explorer is $1.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 8th Edition for Android


Oxford University Press -- the folks behind that big book full of words and defintions -- have just put out an android version of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 8th edition. It's geared toward those who are learing Englishi -- and let's face it, a goodly number of 'mericans might be able to take advantage of it, too.

It's got full-sentence pronunciations, more than 1,300 illustrations to explain words -- and more than 184,000 individual words, phrases and meanings.

The full presser and download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

Whole host of HTC One Series accessories up for pre-order in the UK


We've already had a look at some of the accessories coming with the new HTC One Series, including this sweet car dock, at MWC. Thankfully -- and unlike Samsung -- HTC are bringing a whole variety to market around the time the devices launch. British retailer Clove Technology will be stocking the range, and have put them up for pre-order on their website.

We won't list them all, needless to say there's plenty. Some such as the Media Link are universal. Each different phone has its own car dock, and a range of cases. The One X and One S are both getting a hard case with a built in stand that will set you back £19.99. There's also a desktop cradle with speakers for the One X that'll run you for £54.99

The car docks are where it's at though, as our hands on with the One X variant in Barcelona showed. That particular item is going for £44.99, which is the same price as the One S and One V car docks. 

Clove are claiming mid to late April on the whole range. Hit the source link below for the full list. 

Source: Clove Technology

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4 years ago

CEOs of the Big 4 set to hit the keynote stage at CTIA in May


Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! One of our favorite things from last spring's CTIA show was when the CEOs of Sprint, Verizon and AT&T took the stage together in the Day 1 keynote for a pretty candid discussion, made even more interesting because it was just days after AT&T had announced it intended to purchase T-Mobile. That caused T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm (above) to have to drop out of the panel, for obvious reasons. (And as you well know, the acquisition never happened.)

But the CTIA has announced that all four CEOs -- Sprint's Dan Hesse, Verizon's Dan Mead, AT&T's Ralph de la Vega (seen at right) and T-Mobile's Humm -- will again head up this spring's keynote on May 8, from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. And just like last year, CNBC business personality Jim Cramer will moderate the panel. 

If it's anything like last year's panel, this is going to be good, folks. And, of course, we'll be there in the Crescent City to bring it all to you live. 

More: CTIA

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Onkyo Android app


So I rearranged my living room over the past weekend and decided to retire my (gasp) 9-year-old receiver. Wasn't looking to spend a fortune, but surround sound is a must, Internet access is a plus. Ended up going with The Wirecutter's recommendation of the Onkyo TX-NR509. It's got a rear Ethernet port (if that's how you roll), or an optional Wifi dongle that plugs into the front USB port -- and an added bonus -- a companion Android application.

Let's really start off by saying that home audio is a pretty personal and finicky thing, and your setup will determine the usefulness of features. I've got an Xbox 360 and a Logitech Revue to handle most of my multimedia functions, so there's a good bit of what's the in Onkyo app -- specifically the music playback --  that I'll never use. You've pretty much got full remote capability, including switching inputs and sources. The app's layout's pretty intuitive, as are the settings. I'm not going to walk you through them as, again, your setup will vary from mine, and chances are you're a proper nerd and can do it yourself.

(I'll mention that the Onkyo has things like Internet radio and DLNA streaming, which is nice, but the on-screen UIs are so horrid that you'll likely not want to touch them.)

No, the one shining feature of the Onkyo Android app -- for me, anyway -- is the ability to change  the volume from another room. I've got kids. Two of 'em. The eldest is 5, and she can rock the Logitech Harmony One remote just fine to get her Dora on. But she's also going deaf, I'm convinced, because the TV will get louder and louder as she watches. Thanks to the Onkyo app, there's no more getting up from what I'm doing. No more arguing. I just turn the damn thing down, and no one's the wiser. (I can do the same thing with the Google TV Remote app, by the way.)

So that's what I'm rocking in the living room now, all connected like. (And it sounds good, too.) Onkyo says the app's compatible with all network AV receivers released since 2010, as well as the TX-8050 Network Stereo Receiver and the T-4070 Network Stereo Tuner. You may need to do a firmware update (mine took about 5 minutes) to get things going.

We've got screen shots and download links after the break.

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