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4 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winner: Vices

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This past week we asked to see your vices -- the things you do even though you know you shouldn't. We all have them, and we got to see a bunch of them in the contest thread. Our winner for the week is sushiguy732, who really likes his wine. He also likes his Samsung Fascinate, which he used to take this great picture. Nice work, sushiguy732. Be on the lookout for info about your prize!

Wine wasn't the only thing we overindulge in, and sushiguy wasn't the only one to submit a great photo. We've picked out or favorites (after the break) and you can see them all in the contest thread. We're kicking off another contest tomorrow, so keep those lenses clean!

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4 years ago

HTC One X and One S Wifi gotcha down? Give this a try

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Some folks are reporting that their shiny new HTC One X and One S phones are experiencing a rather irritating Wifi bug. The glitch in question results in the phones disconnecting from certain Wifi networks while idle, and being unable to reconnect until the phone is woken up.

Hopefully HTC will have a fix ready for customers soon -- we're hearing that it's no longer an issue in the recently-leaked One X 1.28 firmware -- but in the meantime there's a pretty easy work-around for both phones. Manually assigning your phone an IP address on your Wifi network, rather than using DHCP, seems to squish the issue. If you already know how to do that, then off you go, we'll wait. If not, we've got a full walkthrough after the break.

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4 years ago

Cogs [Android Game Review]

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Oh, Cogs. If ever I've had my noodle baked more from an Android game, I cannot say. In terms of sheer mind-bendingness, complexity, and demanding that the player stretch their imagination in many multiple directions, you take the cake. This is all aided, of course, by your incredible 3D models, which are some of the most gorgeous I've seen in any Android game. But enough fawning; let's get into the meat of what makes Cogs great.

For starters, lets just talk about the graphics. Not only does Cogs feature some insanely beautiful 3D designs, it does so without sacrificing performance. Animations chug along, buttery smooth, and with all the turning gears and cogs and steampunk goodness floating around, that's quite a feat to see.

So what's the point of Cogs, anyway? Well, there's one cog that spins all by its lonesome. It's your job to move tiles with other cogs on them in such a fashion that you make a cog on the other side (or sides) turn as well. It kind of makes you feel like a watchmaker, and watching the chain of cogs either come to life or grind to a halt based on your moves is strangely enchanting.

You're ranked on three things: moves used, time, and completion. (The last one seems a bit silly, honestly. You get a medal just for finishing?) Whenever you start a new puzzle, you're shown the optimal time and moves to finish in. Once the level starts, the timer starts counting down, and as you dwell, the color will shift from gold to silver to bronze.

The move counter acts much in the same manner, but consider this: you don't need to move single tiles at a time. If you want to move a whole row, tap the farthest tile and it'll shift everything in the row over one space, but it'll still only count as one move! You've earn yourself many a-more precious medal that way, trust me.

The levels get increasingly more difficult (duh), but as soon as the second or third level you're tasked with not only making a golden cog spin, but you've got to cross to planes to do it. To get around the potential issues with turning a 3D model, Cogs introduces the two-finger swipe. Place two fingers, swipe around, and you can see any side of the box-with-a-propeller on it. It's a cool mechanic that is implemented rather well and keeps Cogs both challenging and feeling fresh the whole time.

And that, in a nutshell, is Cogs. It's a beautiful exercise in excellent game design, a mind-bending puzzler, and overall, an excellent game on Android. If you're the puzzle-loving type, Cogs should be in your library, no doubt.

Cogs is $2.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: The alternative Android dictionary

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​One of our greatest features at Android Central is the Android Dictionary, an ever-evolving list of frequently used terms. But did you know there's a second, secret blogging dictionary? Here's a peek inside:

  • Benchmarks: A great way to confuse folks over which phone is "better" while simultaneously generating page views. Winning!
  • [Brackets]: Used to explain a headline that's not particularly good. Often used to point out that something is supposed to be [funny] or [humor] -- and chances are it's neither.
  • BREAKING NEWS!!!: The kind of news that just happened!!! And is important!!! Really important!!! So important all capital letters and exclamation marks are probably warranted!!! Also a great way to sex up a story without having to write a good headline.
  • Coming soon: We actually have no friggin' idea when it's coming. But if we say "coming soon," it makes it look like we know when it's coming. We're mysterious like that.
  • Developing ...: Putting this at the end of a post makes it look like we're doing important investigative work when really we're finishing an Angry Birds level or two.
  • Exclusive: Someone sent us something. We saved it, watermarked it and put it on a webpage, then spent the rest of the day crowing about it in IRC. (Alt. definition: Actual hard work put into an original story.)
  • Fragmentation: A story to be written quarterly reminding people you really don't understand how Android works as a platform.
  • Imminent: Really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really soon. Maybe. (See Coming soon.)
  • Nexus: Better.
  • Official: Used in headlines to point out that a story is different than the endless miles of published crap that has no chance of ever coming true.
  • Patent stories: A great way to show that 99 percent of us are not and never should be a lawyer.
  • Reached out: A flouncy way of saying you took 15 seconds out of your otherwise busy reblogging day to send a single e-mail. And, no, you didn't wait for a response before publishing.
  • Rooted: Better.
  • Stock: Better.
  • Tip @techmeme: A great way to let the tech community know you successfully rewrote a press release. Good job!
  • Unboxing: Wherein we pretend to be surprised to find a phone, earbuds, cable, charger and documentation inside a box from a carrier or manufacturer. Usually recorded on video and presented in grand fashion. May include schoolgirl-like giggling.
  • Watermark: A site's logo placed on top of its images to remind folks that they're visiting the site that they're visiting. A watermark's size should in no way be used to determine a site's importance. (But if you were to do so, the formula is W [HxW] x [number of writers2] x [number of improperly labeled exclusives])

That's just a snippet of how things really work on the Internets. Hope you enjoyed this peek behind the curtain.

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid 2 v4.5.621 software update incoming

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For those of you with a Motorola Droid 2 in your hands, get ready for an update that should be hitting devices soon. As posted on the Verizon site, the change log for the v4.5.621 software update has been posted and here's what you can expect:

Device Features

  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System. + A Google Security Patch has been added to improve security level.
  • Fixed issue where the device may power ON without user interaction.
  • Adjusted camera settings will be saved, even after the device is powered down.
  • Resolved possible device resets while playing music.
  • Reduced Out of Memory errors.

Email, Messaging & Data

  • Improved ability to access and receive Gmail messages when the Mobile Hotspot is turned on.
  • Addressed error that replicated thumbnails in message threads.

Applications & Widgets

  • WAV files can be played from Visual Voice Mail.
  • Purchased ringtones are now able to be downloaded, saved and used where appropriate.

SD_Shadow from the Android Central forums has noted a few things about the update as well, such as the fact that it appears to break root and possibly even break SBF functions. If you're looking for more discussion, head on into the forums. If you've already got the update, drop a note in the comments and let us know how it's working for you.

Source: Verizon; Via: Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for April 14, 2012

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Tired of spending hours searching the market, only to end up closing it and having not installed anything new? Hit the break with us and let's check out some of our favorites from this past week together!

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4 years ago

Android eating up Apple in China with huge market share

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We've all seen this picture before right? Well, over in China this is quite literally what is happening in their mobile market. While 1-in-10 people in the worlds most populated country own an iOS device, Android definitely rules the roost. 

A Beijing based analytics firm, has said that Android has risen from 33.6% to a staggering 68.4% market share by the end of 2011. iOS in comparison lagged behind with just 5.7%, behind Symbian who still maintain an 18.7% share. 

So what does this all mean? Well, it obviously means there's a whole heap of Android devices being sold in China. We should also consider the importance of low-cost devices, from manufacturers such as Huawei, ZTE and the like that sell well in Asia. Symbian too still inhabits a lot of low end devices.

On a lighter note, the report also suggests that the concept of "mianzi" also factors into the equation. In English this translates to "reputation," with the iPhone in particular being seen as a status symbol. With the iPhone 4S looking the same as its predecessor, there is less reason to upgrade and enhance ones status further. Crazy. 

via Macworld

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4 years ago

HTC One V hands-on video and initial review

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It's hard to believe it's been more than two years since we first met the venerable HTC Legend. HTC's angular, aluminum clad beast wowed us way back at Mobile World Congress 2010, with its impressive build quality and the then cutting-edge Android 2.1. Fast-forward two years and we finally have a worthy successor to the Legend's chinny mantle -- the HTC One V.

While nowhere near as flashy -- or expensive -- as the high-end HTC One phones, the One V aims to spice up the entry-level market with a solid hardware and software foundation, and some high-end treats. Inside that angled aluminum unibody there's a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, ICS, Sense 4.0, Beats Audio and a 5MP ImageSense camera.

We've spent the past day or so getting to know the HTC One V, so join us after the break for some first impressions.

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4 years ago

From the Forums: Deploying in a month, what will be waiting for me when I get back?

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Casen writes in our Rumored Devices Forum,

I'm deploying in a month. What will be out when I return? When I get back around beginning 2013, what is your speculation of the phone I will be to get.

I'm feeling I will be able to get a phone with a 4.8 inch 720p screen, quad core, 1.5GB ram. It will have 64GB internal memory (because as nice as the cloud is, it does NOT work in all the places the military works.) It will have a SDcard slot, 3000 mAh minimum battery, and will feature actual stereo speakers (on the back in landscape mode) I honestly do not care about the thinness, but hopefully around the same thickness as a Droid Charge.

A small Bezel on top and bottom, (for holding) and a minimal Bezel on the sides. The camera won't have more than 10MP, but will be better engineered to not suck ass. The front-facing camera will be 5MP. Soft keys only on the screen, and there WILL be an actual camera button with 2 stages. Bootloader will be un encrypted (because that's the problem). Also, will be a Verizon device.

What are your hopes for an actual early 2013 device?

Hey, Casen! First off, thanks for doing what you do. As for the phone, a lot of what you're expecting is likely in the natural progression of smartphones. I'd certainly love to see 64GB of on-board storage (and for it to be economical to have), as well as the larger battery. But I'm also pretty well convinced that the major shift in 2012 going into 2013 is going to be interoperability among devices. Wifi Direct's likely to play a pretty big role in Android's plans for taking over living rooms as well as running what's in your pocket. And we're talking about beyond Google TV. And don't forget that we've still got Intel-based Android devices to look forward to later this year. 

Hardware is hardware. It'll always get better. It's where we imagine the software's at in 2013 that really has us excited.

Stay safe out there.

What do you expect to see in 2013? Leave a reply in Casen's thread here.

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - April 14, 2012

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With the HTC One series launch buzz beginning to settle down, the past seven days have been a little quieter than usual. Nevertheless, the steady stream of device updates and announcements has continued, even if the pace has been a little slower.

Sony Mobile is kicking off its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update project, with Scandinavian countries being the first to get a taste of ICS on the Xperia Ray, Xperia Arc S and Xperia Neo V. Meanwhile, long-suffering Galaxy S II owners in Vodafone UK finally got their ICS update, as did Nexus S users on Wind Mobile and Videotron in Canada.

There were also a couple of interesting new device announcements -- Vodafone and Huawei announced the Ascend G 300, a surprisingly high-specced entry-level phone, while Korea got a bright pink Galaxy Note.

And later in the week, HTC addressed reports that some One S phones were experiencing chipped edges on their ceramic coating -- owners of affected phones can return their handset for a refund, or have it replaced under warranty. The manufacturer also says it's making small changes to ensure the problem doesn't crop up again.

Special features:

News:

 

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Do you use, or want to use, the FM radio feature?

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Tonight's poll comes thanks to our lovable forums Admin Cory Streater, who brought up a great question on episode 93 of the Android Central podcast -- I wonder how many people really use the FM radio? None of us were any help (we can't ever agree on anything) but you guys sure can be. 

I get why people use it. It's subscription free, doesn't use data, and has a bigger selection of music that you could ever hope to have in your personal cloud or on the phone itself. Maybe the best reason I've ever heard is that it's great for listening to the news while on the treadmill at the gym. The other side of the coin -- wired headphones suck, radio stations suck, commercial music sucks, etc. People have just as many reasons why they don't use it as those who do use it.

I'm somewhere in the middle. I don't use it, but I do see the appeal. And not everything on the radio sucks. But asking you guys is a much better idea, so tell us all in the poll, and fire away in the comments to let us know why you voted the way you did.

 

Do you use the FM Radio app on your phone?

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4 years ago

Sprint LTE, HTC One X bugs [From the Forums]

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We're heading on into the weekend here at Android Central after a fairly busy week. If you happened to miss out on anything, the weekend is great time to get yourself caught up on the blogs, the Android Central podcast and even the forums:

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

Google Wallet updated with improvements and enhancements across the board

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Google Wallet has seen another update, and this time Google has made all sorts of improvements and enhancements to the app. Per the change log in the Google Play store:

  • Prepaid Card top up forms more flexible
  • Citi Mastercard management improvements
  • UI improvements
  • Privacy enhancements
  • Bug fixes
  • Updated Terms of Service

The most interesting, on the surface anyway, would be the UI improvements. They must be very subtle, because we're not really seeing any. It's the same fluid and simple UI that has been there for a while, and while we're not complaining, we just don't see any improvements. We're pretty sure that some of this change log is just leftover from the last update. It's OK, Google. We all slip.

We can certainly get on board with improvements, though. Bug fixes are always welcome, as are privacy enhancements. Anything to keep our money safer is a good thing. You'll also be faced with the new terms when you update, and we suggest you read them carefully. There's nothing there you wouldn't expect, but it's always wise to stay informed. 

All the ballyhoo aside, we expect the biggest thing behind this update are new privacy enhancements and bug fixes, and we're glad to see them. You'll find your update in the market, or you can hit the link after the break.

Thanks, Beezy!

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4 years ago

'HTC Wildfire C' appears in leaked press image

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Looks like HTC may be preparing to bolster its entry-level line up with a new member of the Wildfire family. The image above leaked out today on PocketNow, claiming to show the HTC Wildfire C, previously known by its codename "Golf. A list of purported specs appeared alongside the pic, claiming a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, 4GB of internal storage and a 5MP camera. On the software side, the device apparently runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 4. Again, no surprises there.

If the specs are accurate, it looks like this phone will be positioned below the HTC One V, which includes a slightly larger, higher-quality screen. And if the history of the Wildfire name is any indication, we'd carriers to offer the 'Wildfire C' for free on fairly low-cost contracts.

Source: PocketNow

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4 years ago

Android Central in the Sudan

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Oh, that Lloyd. Everybody's favorite Android Central mascot sure does get around. 

We've seen him in Kuwait. He sneaked into the iPad 2 launch. He crashed the BlackBerry PlayBook party. Invaded Minecraft. Plays beer pong. So, yeah. Dude gets around. And here he is in Khartoum, Sudan. Not quite sure what he's doing, but damned if he don't look good.

via @khalidhamdi

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