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4 years ago

Two new titles hit the Tegra Zone; Demolition Inc. and Jett Tailfin Racers

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There are two new games worth checking out in the Tegra Zone -- Demolition Inc. and Jett Tailfin Racers. Both look to offer hours of fun, with 3D graphics and effects you just won't see on any other mobile platform thanks to NVIDIA and their Tegra chips. 

Jett Tailfin Racers is an undersea racing game (we'll say it -- MarioKart style) where you race through courses filled with things like octopi and sharks who would love nothing more than to end your days, as well as power-ups and boosts. If you're rocking that Tegra 3, you'll also get the bonus of full 1080p graphics and textures, as well as extra animation effects. Jett Tailfin Racers has two huge points going for it, namely USB controller support and multi-player. Using controls that don't suck while playing with your friends across the LAN makes it pure win. 

Demolition Inc. is at the other end of the spectrum, and instead of cute racing fishies you take the role of Demolition worker Mike, who happens to be an alien. Fly above six different cities and cause as much mayhem and destruction as you can, using weapons tools like a tractor beam, anti-gravity ramps, and a giant wrecking ball to obliterate houses and other buildings. The THD version (specific for Tegra devices) includes controller support, weather effects, and three exclusive levels. The good news is that the standard version, playable by non-Tegra devices, is coming April 26.

You can get Jett Tailfin Racers for $2.99 in the Google Play store (NVIDIA Tegra devices running Android 2.2 or higher) and Demolition Inc. is $3.99 in the Play store (NVIDIA Tegra devices running Android 2.3 and higher) or grab either through the Tegra Zone app. Be sure to hit the break and checkout the gameplay trailers!

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4 years ago

Google's revenue up 24 percent over 2011; stock split announced

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Google this afternoon released its first-quarter 2012 earnings results. And as you can imagine, there are a lot of zeros in them. Specifically, revenue was at $10.65 billion for Q1 2012, 24 percent higher than in Q1 2011. Cash on hand at the end of March was $49.3 billion, and Google added about 600 jobs in Q1.

Additionally, Google announced what essentially is a stock split, creating a new class of non-voting capital stock that will be awarded via a dividend to existing stockholders in a one-to-one manner.

We'll be listening in on the conference call in a few minutes to see if there's any Android-specific news.

Source: Google Q1 2012 Earnings; Founders Letter

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4 years ago

'Flashify' lends a hand when Chrome hits an Adobe Flash roadblock

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Update: The name of the app is changing from "Another Browser" to "Flashify."

Here's one that's going to make life a little easier for you folks who want to use Chrome for Android  as your default browser but still need to visit the occasional site with Flash code. See, Chrome and Flash don't mix, since Flash mobile is going the way of the dinosaurs. But copying a current URL and switching over to a Flash-friendly browser does a hell of a job on a nerd's workflow. David Shellabarger (aka @GodsMoon) has rigged up a little app that makes things much easier. 

Flashify works thusly: Say you're visiting a site in Chrome but need some Flash content. Just hit the menu button, then choose Share, then choose it. You'll now get the dialog box you see above, from which you can choose another browser to open that same page in. Yeah, it's three steps. But it's also easier on the brain than any other method we've tried so far.

So props to David for banging this one out, and we've got your download link after the break.

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4 years ago

Sonic CD [Android Game Review]

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Oh, Sonic. How far you've come. Once upon a time you were Sega's champion, vying to be the most popular flagship character in history. Now you're reliving your best days, running around nimby-bimbly, on the most popular smartphone OS around. Good for you, Blue Blur.

There's not much to say about this one, except that it rocks. The gameplay is the same frantic zooming, running, jumping, and boss battling classic Sonic games taught us to love, and Sonic CD certainly delivers.

The controls are pretty tight, giving you only a virtual d-pad and jump button to work with, and I'm pleased to report that the d-pad is large enough on a tablet you shouldn't find your thumb wandering off very often. The jump button also serves as your spin dash button (for when you're stationary and pressing down on the d-pad), and, to borrow a phrase, it just works.

Lots of comments on the video have been more than vocal about how disappointing it is that the original music has been changed, but once you get over it, the background music is still pretty groovin', especially for a video game hero who is pushing 21 years old. (Speaking of the soundtrack, on the main menu, you can switch between Japanese and American soundtracks for Sonic CD.)

If you worry about getting bored with the main game, Sonic CD also has a Time Attack game, accessible from the first time you open the app up. Well, it's accessible in the sense that you can open it up and see the levels, but the levels are locked until you've cleared them in the main game. Pretty tricky on Sega's part!

There's also a super special extras menu, but even yours truly is curious as to what secrets it holds. Everything is initially locked, but you can see two of them: D.A. Garden and Visual Mode. What could these extras be? It's hard to say for sure, but I do​ know you'll have to play to find out!

What more can be said? If you're part of the generation that grew up playing Sonic, this is nostalgia reinvented for the mobile generation, and boy, is it good. Sure, at $4.99, Sonic CD might be a bit pricey, but compare that to what those old cartridges used to cost and you're saving a ton!

If you want to save the world as your favorite chili dog-eating, azure-colored spiny mammal, we've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Sony's SmartWatch now available in the US for $150

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Sony announced today that its SmartWatch, the first accessory in its line of "Smart Extras", is now available through its online store. SmartWatch connects to your Android-powered smartphone via Bluetooth and pushed incoming texts, emails, and call notifications to your wrist for fast and easy access. The SmartWatch will ship with Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, a weather widget, and a music player,  though it is compatible with a number of current Android apps. Sony says that developers will be able to create SmartWatch-specific apps designed for the device's 1.3-inch OLED display.

The dust and splash-proof SmartWatch will set you back $149.99, and it's available with your choice of pink, white, mint, grey, and blue wristbands. Right now the device's functionality might not justify its pricetag, but we're certainly excited to see what Sony and developers will do to make the SmartWatch a more essential accessory. Hit the source link to grab yours today directly from Sony.

Source: Sony

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4 years ago

Official UEFA Euro 2012 app for Android launches

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With the Euro 2012 soccer football championship kicking off in Poland and Ukraine early next month, UEFA has teamed up with European mobile network Orange to launch the official mobile app for the tournament. The UEFA Euro 2012 app for Android is now available on the Google Play store, and features breaking news, photos and social content, as well as fixture information and team stats.

When the championship begins, the app will deliver live results (complete with push notifications of major events, if you like) and video highlights from matches. There's also a section on travel advice for the two host nations, if you're thinking of heading out to Poland or Ukraine to see your team play.

The app's available for free on the Google Play Store for phones running Android 1.6 and above in Europe (sorry, North American fans). Hit the break for the usual Google Play linkage.

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4 years ago

Swiftkey, Google Wallet neck and neck for Webby Awards

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A couple of our favorite Android applications are head to head in the running for a win in the 16th annual Webby Awards. Google Wallet currently has a slight edge over keyboard app SwiftKey X. At the time of this writing, Google Wallet is up 42 percent to 39 percent -- a little interesting since the NFC payment app isn't all that widely adopted yet. Swiftkey, meanwhile, was our 2011 Editor's Choice pick for keyboards, and runner-up for the Reader's Choice.

"We're absolutely delighted to be recognized alongside some giants in the industry for our contribution to innovation in mobile," Joe Braidwood, SwiftKey's chief marketing officer, told Android Central in an e-mail. "It's a great nod to Android that two of their nominees in the innovation category -- SwiftKey and Google Wallet -- are apps designed solely for this platform.

"All we can do now is cross our fingers. We beat Google Wallet to win most innovative app at MWC's awards this year. With enough support from the fantastic Android Central community, maybe we can make it a second victory!"

SwiftKey and Google Wallet are joined in the Mobile & Apps Experimental & Innovation category by The Sound of Football, Moon Jump and Realizer, iPhone apps, all. (And all trailing by at least 20 percentage points.)

Vote: 16th annual Webby Awards (registration required)

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4 years ago

Vodafone UK Galaxy S II ICS update postponed, now expected tomorrow

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Despite earlier reports that it'd be landing sometime today, there's been no sign of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for Vodafone UK-branded Galaxy S II phones. The update, which first hit unbranded phones in Korea in mid-March, is now expected to arrive through Samsung's Kies software tomorrow, and in an OTA next Tuesday, April 17.

Voda pointed the finger at Samsung in a statement released today to explain the latest delays --

Unfortunately Samsung have told us this morning that they are unable to make the update available to you as planned.

The new plan from Samsung is that the update will be available via KIES tomorrow, 13th April, and via Over The Air update on Tuesday 17th April. If this moves at all, we’ll of course let you know.

I know a lot of you, like us, will be disappointed at this last minute change of plan and we continue to challenge Samsung to make this available to you as quickly as possible.

The Ice Cream Sandwich roll-out for Galaxy S II phones in the UK has been anything but smooth. Three and O2 customers got the update pretty swiftly, but other networks have dragged their heals.

Surprisingly, owners of unlocked devices, usually first with updates, have been left to languish on Gingerbread while network-branded phones get the new software through Kies. Once the Vodafone update's out of the way, hopefully Samsung will be able to push out ICS to long-suffering unbranded customers.

Source: Eurodroid

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4 years ago

Leaked internal screen suggests April 20 launch for Rogers HTC One X

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Here's some (potential) good news for Canadian smartphone buyers watching developments in Europe with eager eyes. Rogers may be launching the LTE version of the HTC One X -- that's the one known internationally as the HTC One XL -- as early as next Friday. A leaked internal screen obtained by MobileSyrup ​shows a release date of April 20 for HTC's Snapdragon S4-powered, 4.7-inch LTE-guzzling beast. An imminent release shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, as pre-orders are currently being taken, with prices starting at C$169.99 on the standard 3-year Canadian contract.

The quad-core HSPA+ version of the One X is out now in Europe, and the dual-core LTE version is expected to arrive stateside early next month. To get an idea of what to expect, be sure to check out our full review of the European version.

Source: MobileSyrup

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4 years ago

White Motorola Motoluxe launches at Tesco in the UK

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Motorola Mobility sends word that from today, the white version of its "style-focused" Motoluxe handset will be heading to UK supermarket chain Tesco, both online and in bric-and-mortar stores. The Motoluxe, which combines a 4-inch screen, an 800MHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, an 8MP camera and a PhilBlur'd Android 2.3 Gingerbread, launched on UK networks in black last month. As far as we're aware, Tesco is the only carrier currently offering the white Motoluxe at subsidized prices.

Moto says that Tesco Mobile, which runs on O2's network, will offer the 'luxe in white for free on 24-month contracts starting at £20 per month -- that'll get you 250 minutes, 5000 texts and 500MB. The £20 price point about matches the prices the major networks are asking for the black version -- T-Mobile UK's contract prices for the Motoluxe start at £21 per month.

As we discovered during our CES hands-on, the Motoluxe is a decent, if unremarkable entry-level handset, and you could certainly do worse if you're shopping around for a free phone on a £20 per month tariff. We've got Moto's full press release after the break.

More: Tesco Mobile

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4 years ago

LG Viper available for preorder today for $99, officially in stores April 22

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As promised, the Sprint LG Viper 4G LTE is available for preorder today for $99. (That's on a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.) In exchange for that Benjamin you'll get a 4-inch NOVA display, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 5MP camera, NFC radio and Sprint ID, plus eventual 4G LTE data on Sprint's fledgling 4G LTE network. Plus, you'll get 50GB of online storage from Box.

Sprint's website says it'll "do our best to get it to you before Sunday, April 22," which suggests that'll be the official in-store date. So, who's in?

Update: Sprint's just made it official, saying it'll definitely be in stores on Sunday, and that preorders may arrive as early as April 20.

Preorder: Sprint.com; more: Press release

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4 years ago

Open letter to HTC regarding EVO 4G LTE design gets a response

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One of the hottest threads in our EVO 4G LTE forum is Starfleet Captain's open letter to HTC regarding design choices on the E4GLTE. As you'll recall, it went a little something like this:

Dear HTC,

As a customer and consumer, I want to thank you for the excellent phones that you continue to make every year. My very first HTC—made smartphone was the Windows Mobile 6.1 device called, the Touch Diamond on Sprint. Since then, I was in line before Dawn to pick up the HTC Evo 4G on the day it was released, and a year later, the HTC Evo 3D. I want you to know that I have greatly enjoyed these best in class devices over the years.

After reading through the press releases from your company and Sprint for your new upcoming device, the HTC Evo 4G LTE, as well as the many first impression reviews on the web, I can only conclude that you have another blockbuster winning device on your hands. I, for one, as has become a yearly tradition it seems, plan on being in line on the morning of the release of this excellent smartphone. That being said, many consumers in the Android community seem to take issue with a design decision on this device. ...

A dozens pages of replies later, and Starfleet Captain has returned to share a response he got from HTC. Will it assuage the angry masses? Will it cause you to break down in tears of joy? Only one way to find out.

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4 years ago

Galaxy Tab 2 release dates and pricing emerge

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7-inch for $250 on April 22, 10.1-inch for $450 on May 13

As you may remember, we got our first look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 at MWC in late February. The slightly awkwardly-named tablets build on last year's Galaxy Tab designs with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a fresh design, in an attempt to steer clear of any legal shenanigans.

Today the first information on U.S. pricing and availability for both devices has become available. Pre-orders for the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 are due to begin later today, with the device itself going on sale next Sunday, April 22. At $250, the 7-incher's price is competitive, and for your money you'll get Android 4.0 with TouchWiz on a 1024x600 PLS TFT display (that's Samsung's version of IPS). Internally it's powered by a solid but unremarkable 1GHz dual-core CPU, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

The 10.1-inch Tab 2 will appear three weeks later on May 13, with pre-orders starting May 4. Prices start at $450 for the 16GB version, and internals are the similar to the 7-inch variant, with the only differences being the aforementioned 16GB of storage and a bump in screen resolution, up to 1280x800.

While the Tab 2 10.1 is a relatively run-of-the-mill Android slate, the 7.0 version's low price point marks it as a potential competitor for the rumored Google-branded, ASUS-made tablet. This is said to be on track for a July release, but has yet to be officially confirmed by either company.

Source: Electronista; via: Phone Arena

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4 years ago

HTC on One S MAO chipping issue: 'immediate fix' for those affected

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HTC to implement "small changes" to prevent future problems

HTC has issued an official response to the recent reports that some black One S phones, which feature a micro-arc oxidation coating, have been experiencing issues with the ceramic coating chipping off the chassis. Following on from yesterday's statement acknowledging the problem, HTC today restates its commitment to the MAO coating, which it says is proven to be of similar hardness to ceramic. The manufacturer adds that customers affected by severe chipping can return the phone to the place of purchase, or have the phone fixed under warranty.

The full statement, sent to ​The Verge, reads --

HTC is committed to delivering a high quality product and great experience for all our customers. There have been a few, isolated reports of this issue. The finish on the One S was laboratory tested as being at a hardness similar to ceramic. While that's hard, it doesn't mean it's impossible to damage. Regardless, HTC takes quality very seriously and are providing all customers with an immediate fix and we are implementing some small changes to ensure customers do not experience this issue in the future.

So that's that. Anyone suffering with unsightly scratches and chips can get a replacement, and hopefully the changes brought in by HTC will prevent any future occurrences.

Source: The Verge

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Your opinion of Ice Cream Sandwich

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Since a few phones and tablets have been upgraded to (or shipped with) Ice Cream Sandwich, now is a good time to ask those who are using it what they think. We know, most devices don't have it yet (don't worry, you'll get to express your displeasure as well) but it's pinging the website enough to get a fair idea from enough folks to see how El Goog did with the latest version.

I bounce back and forth between devices with ICS and one or two without it. I'm probably in a unique position where I can really tell what's better (to me, anyway) and what's not after close inspection, but first impressions matter as well. Even if your first trip into Androidland has you running ICS, don't be afraid to vote! My vote? I really like it. Other than no persistent menu button (which I'm going to have to deal with on my own terms -- it ain't coming back) I think everything else is either a great improvement, or the beginnings of one. Some of it took some time to get used to, mainly the people app and the phone app, but it's starting to feel like old hat and I'm digging it.

But I know what I think. It's time to find out what you think -- tell us in tonight's poll!

 

What are your impressions of Ice Cream Sandwich?

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