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4 years ago

Spring cleaning: Win a Mophie Juice Pack for the Samsung Galaxy S3

Slowly but surely I'm starting to see the dust at the bottom of the mess that is my desk. Up for grabs today is a Mophie Juice Pack for the Samsung Galaxy S3. This thing'll protect your phone while it charges it up, basically giving you another battery cycle before you break down and plug it in.

If you're in it to win it, leave a comment on this post. We'll shut things down around midnight and scoop up a winner. Good luck!

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4 years ago

Mosaique: An elegant and fun puzzle game

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Simplistic gameplay and an infinite number of levels make a winning combination

It's hard to get the right mix of gameplay difficulty, simple rules and design in a puzzle game (or any game for that matter), but luckily we've found another that has struck that balance. The game is Mosaique, and it has put all of the components in the right places to make an excellent title. It has a simple design and premise that is easy to pick up but extremely hard to master, and with a gameplay model that gives an effectively infinite number of levels you won't get bored with it.

Mosaique was just released in the Play Store this morning, so hang around with us after the break and see what makes it such an enjoyable gaming experience.

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4 years ago

Walking through the new and improved Android Central app

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As you by no doubt  have heard, there's an all-new version of the Android Central App amongst us. And now we’re going to walk through it in all its awesomeness. It's got full access to the Android Central blogs, forums, wallpaper gallery, store, podcast, and videos. Our people have worked hard on this, and there are still plenty more features on the way. 

Have a question about how things work? Give us a few minutes of your time, and we'll walk you through it.

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4 years ago

Megapixels and Ultrapixels: The Galaxy S4 versus HTC One camera shootout

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We compare image quality on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 rear cameras

Though they're direct competitors, the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 are two very different smartphones. That's especially evident when you look at the way they handle photography. The Galaxy S4 packs a 13-megapixel shooter with f/2.2 aperture, improving upon the 8-megapixel, f/2.6 unit in last year's S3 with the potential to capture even more detailed images. The HTC One trades sheer megapixel count for larger (2-micron) pixels on the sensor itself, allowing for improved low-light capabilities when combined with its wide-angle f/2.0 lens.

That's the basic hardware at work, but specs only go so far. That's why we've prepared a few direct comparison shots from the European HTC One (on the latest 1.29 firmware) and the international Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505). Check 'em out after the break.

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4 years ago

Flipboard for Android hits version 2.0 with curated magazines, new sharing options

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Flipboard Editor for magazines also launched on the web

Popular news magazine app Flipboard has been updated to version 2.0 today, with new features focused on allowing users to create curated magazines of their favorite content. Articles and posts on Flipboard can now be added to users' own custom magazines to create a custom-built Pinterest-like arrangement of favorite articles, social posts and other content.

Each article on Flipboard now has a "plus" icon that can be used to add it to one of your own magazines, and magazines can be shared with friends through the app. It's also possible to "flip" other content into one of your magazines using Android sharing intents.

Flipboard has also launched the Flipboard Editor on the web to allow users to manage their magazines. Found at editor.flipboard.com, it's a simple web-based tool that provides an overview of everything you've curated.

In addition, the Flipboard team has announced that Financial Times content is now available through its app. FT blog and video content is available to all users, while FT.com subscribers will get access to all of the paper's content.

To grab the new version of Flipboard for Android, hit the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Huawei CEO speaks to press for the first time, denies espionage claims

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Huawei

Ren Zhengfei spoke to reporters for the first time since founding Huawei in 1988

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei denied allegations that its products represent a threat to U.S. national security. Speaking directly with the press for the first time today, Ren also denied any illicit ties to the Chinese government, a central part of U.S. concerns over the Chinese communications giant, according to reports from Reuters.

Last October a damning Congressional report concluded that Huawei and local competitor ZTE "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems." The panel behind the report also singled out Huawei for criticism, saying it'd received evidence of corruption, bribery and copyright infringement at the firm from industry experts and Huawei employees.

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4 years ago

BlueStacks announces Android-powered GamePop gaming console and subscription service

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Popular mobile game titles on your TV, using your phone as a controller

BlueStacks, which is best known for letting users run Android apps on Windows and Mac computers, is going in a completely different direction with the introduction of a new gaming console called GamePop. But the console is just half of the story -- GamePop also encompasses a monthly subscription service that lets users play as many games as they want on the console with no additional charges. The console itself is running Android, and can be connected to your TV and controlled from either your phone or a dedicated game controller. Outside of that, we don't have any details on the internals of the device, although the design certainly looks interesting.

To make sure there's a good selection of games to choose from, BlueStacks has partnered with some of the biggest mobile developers out there right now. Names like Halfbrick, Glu Mobile, OutFit7, Intellijoy, Deemedya and many more are all on board to bring their titles over to GamePop. From the developer's perspective, they will receive 50-percent of the subscription price per user -- based on gameplay time -- for having games available on the platform. Additionally, BlueStacks will not take a cut of any in-app purchases if developers choose to have them in their games. Hopefully this generous revenue sharing model can help boost the number of games that come over to GamePop.

GamePop is available for pre-order starting today, and interestingly will be offered for free with a monthly subscription of $6.99 during the month of May. After the initial May pre-order period ends the console will have an up-front cost associated with it, however, which hasn't been specified. Given the quick rise in number of users of its desktop software to run Android apps, we have to think BlueStacks may be onto something. Does it have what it takes to challenge competitors like OUYA though? We'll have to see going forward. Stick around after the break to see a nice introductory video and a full press release for the device, and follow the source link if you're interested in pre-ordering a GamePop console.

More: GamePop

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4 years ago

Get your comic book fix with Marvel Unlimited, now available on Android

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13,000 Marvel comic books at your disposal on your Android smartphone or tablet for $9.99 per month

Comic book fans are sure to be excited for this one, for Marvel Unlimited has finally made its way to Android. Having been available on iOS for a couple of months now, it's our turn to dive into 70 years worth of content over 13,000 back issues. For anything more recent, you'll still likely need to turn to something like Comics by Comixology, but for the classics Marvel Unlimited should more than have you covered. 

Subscription rates stand at $9.99 per month, but until May 15 you can take advantage of a special discount on a yearly subscription: down to $59.88 from the regular price of $69.00. The Android app allows you to save up to six comic books to your device for offline reading, as well as being able to use your subscription to read content on your computer. 

Grab the app from the Play Store link above, and we'll kind of forgive you if you go quiet for a little while. But be sure to jump into the comments and let us know what you're reading. 

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4 years ago

OUYA gets $15 million in new funding

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OUYA and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers today announced that the Android gaming upstart has raised $15 million in funding. The money comes in part from NVIDIA, the Mayfield Fund, Shasta Ventures and Occam Partners. That's alongside the $8.5 million (give or take) pledged through Kickstarter in 2012.

OUYA's goal is to be a nimble, $99 Android gaming console, with frequent updates and the big-name titles you'd expect. 

“The message is clear, OUYA founder and CESO Julie Uhrman said in a news release. "People want OUYA. We first heard this from Kickstarter backers who provided more than $8 million to help us build OUYA, then from over 12,000 developers who have registered to make an OUYA game, next from retailers who are carrying OUYA online and soon on store shelves, and now from top pioneering investors.”

OUYAs are shipping to the early backers now and will hit stores in late June.

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4 years ago

How to get lock screen widgets on the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Lock screen widgets are easy to enable on the Galaxy S4, but there are a couple of extra settings to get to grips with

When you first pick up the Samsung Galaxy S4, it might appear that lock screen widgets aren't available. After all, the default lock screen is just a big clock widget with "life companion" or some other message up top. But as an Android 4.2 device, the S4 includes full support for lock screen widgets, it's just a case of enabling them in the phone's lock screen settings.

Head to Settings > My device > Lock screen and check "Multiple widgets." Once you've done that, you're able to swipe to the right and add more lock screen panels. There's the standard list of Google widgets as well as some new stuff from Samsung, including a new WatchON widget. This ties into the WatchON app, which is the Peel-powered universal remote included on the Galaxy S4, giving you an expandable universal remote right from your lock screen. Third-party offerings like Dashclock Widget should work just fine, too.

In stock Android, there's always a camera shortcut on the right-most lock screen panel. On the GS4 you can choose what goes here -- either a big, Nexus-style camera shortcut or a grid of favorite apps. Head to Settings > My device > Lock screen > Lock screen widgets > Favorite apps or Camera to configure this.

Like some of the other Samsung widgets, the main clock widget is customizable too. You can change or get rid of the message, have a dual clock if you're roaming overseas and customize the style and size of the on-screen fonts.

Check the quick video demo above to see lock screen widgets in action on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean update rolling out to Samsung Galaxy Note in Canada and the UK

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TELUS, Rogers and Bell Galaxy Notes get Android 4.1.2 update, as does the UK SIM-unlocked version

Just a few days after the AT&T model got its Jelly Bean update, other Samsung Galaxy Note variants are starting to see the update to Android 4.1.2. According to reports from MobileSyrup and XDA, the Canadian carrier-branded versions on TELUS, Rogers, and Bell all have updates waiting for them. Meanwhile on the Android Central forums, a number of OG Note owners in the UK report that their GSM unlocked Notes are getting a similar update.

The Galaxy Note Jelly Bean update brings the new Google Search app with Google Now and improved responsiveness through the "Project Butter" performance enhancements, in addition to a new UI and a selection of newer software features from the Galaxy S3.

If you've updated your Galaxy Note to Jelly Bean, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: Android Central forums, ​MobileSyrup, XDA

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4 years ago

ITV Player for Android exclusive to Samsung devices until Aug. 31

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Samsung announces deal to bring the UK TV streaming app exclusively to its devices

Samsung has announced that it's scored exclusive rights to the ITV Player app for Android until Aug. 31, giving users of its phones and tablets access to the British broadcaster's streaming content. The ITV Player app allows Brits to stream the past 30 days of TV content from ITV, ITV 2, ITV 3, ITV 4 and CITV, and so until September the only way to do that on Android will be on a Samsung device.

The strangest part of the deal is that the ITV Player app itself isn't new at all. The app debuted back in mid-2011 for all devices running Android 2.2 and up, though the Samsung deal seems to have put an end to that. A quick glance over its Play Store listing reveals that as of the latest update on May 7 it's "incompatible" with non-Samsung phones and tablets. 

Samsung says the new app is optimized for the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S III, Galaxy SII, Galaxy Note II, OG Note and Galaxy Note 10.1. The Google Play Store listing shows compatibility for a wide range of other Samsung devices, including the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Tab 7 Plu,s and even the Galaxy Camera.

ITV Player for Android is available from Google Play (linked above) and Samsung Apps on supported devices.

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Where do you store your contacts?

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Keeping track of the names and numbers can be quite the task. How do you tackle it?

Your contacts, and keeping the list of them safe and sound, is a pretty big deal for some of us. I've got a couple thousand, and that's after paring things down to just the people I might want to get in touch with one day. I'm sure a lot of you have even more. 

A smart phone is a convenient place and method to keep track of them all. And, just like everything else, there are several different places to store them. Most of us here will probably use Google to store the email addresses and phone numbers of the people we want to talk to, but that's certainly not a requirement. You can store all that data on your phone's memory, or even on your SIM card -- provided you keep the number reasonable.

So, we're curious. Tell us where you keep your contacts, and be sure to hit the comments to tell us why, or any interesting tales of woe that you may have. There's a poll over to the right, and you can also find it after the break. Let us know!

A quick look at last week's poll results:

What's your Android keyboard of choice?

SwiftKey is the big winner, with more users than the rest combined. We understand why, because that word prediction is so good it's scary!

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4 years ago

Google I/O app updated for 2013, new features abound

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Attendees and folks watching from home can keep track of all the happenings at this years Google developer conference

Google I/O 2013 is just six days away, and to help everyone get ready the folks at Mountain View have pushed a mighty big update to the Google I/O app. What began as a way to show off Android fragments and best UI practices has turned into quite the portal for anyone interested in Google I/O, whether you're attending or not. A quick look at the change log.

  • NEW! Scan attendee badges via NFC
  • NEW! Schedule changes are immediately synchronized between devices
  • NEW! Lock screen widget for viewing your agenda on the go
  • NEW! Vector-based maps with session info
  • NEW! Dedicated HDMI video output for livestreams
  • NEW! Automatic WiFi setup for attendees
  • NEW! Off-site attendee mode for livestream-only viewers
  • Use Google+ for login
  • Support for viewing Office Hours sessions
  • Improved support for devices with RTL locales

Upon installing the app using your Google+ account credentials, you're asked if you'll be attending. This way the app knows whether or not to set up your Wifi access and let you choose your event schedule in the agenda view. 

The whole UI is now very Google Now-like, with cards and swiping taking center stage, and is optimized for phones, 7-inch tablets and 10-inch tablets. Developer Advocate Roman Nurik has a great overview of the style and design changes and improvements on his Google+ page, be sure to check that out if you're into design.

If you're attending I/O this year, be sure to look for us. If you're watching from home, we'll have all the coverage you could ask for. Six more days!

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4 years ago

Google Earth updated with Street View, better search and directions, new interface

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Check out the world without ever leaving your chair, Street View has come to Google Earth

The Google Earth application has received a major update today, and with version 7.1.1 comes a trio of great changes. The most obvious, and definitely the coolest, is that you can now zoom the whole way down to Street View to check out the world at street level. Long a staple on Google Maps for Android and the web, this is a nice addition.

Besides Street View, Google has improved the search functionality, made directions allowing you to see a 3D view of transit, walking, bike and driving directions. Another major change comes to the UI, which now offers a slide-out panel from the left side much like the Google+ app. 

Google Earth has come a long way, and it's nice to see an app that can take advantage of today's high-powered phones and their processing muscle. If you've never tried it, or if it's been a while since you had a look, grab it from the Google Play link above.

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