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4 years ago

Sony bringing native DUALSHOCK 3 controller support to Xperia phones

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Automatic setup and native support makes it easy to use a DUALSHOCK 3 controller for your favorite games

Sony looks to be adding system level support for their popular Playstation DUALSHOCK 3 controllers to Xperia phones. User will be able to wirelessly connect their controllers without root or any cumbersome set up routines, using only a USB OTG cable for the initial pairing. 

As you can see in the video (find it after the break) you plug your controller into the phone's USB port, turn it on, enter the device settings and enable the controller. After some data exchange over the wire, you're told to unplug the controller and can now use it via the device's Bluetooth connection. There's no word when we should expect to see this, or if it will even be ported back to older and current Xperia devices.

Of course, you'll need to use games that support a controller for the best experience, but the controller will also navigate through the UI, much like Logitech controllers currently do with various tablet devices. Add in a TV or monitor via the device's HDMI output, and it sounds like the making of a game console. Hit the break for the video.

Source: Xperia blog

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4 years ago

Twitter updated with 'Me' tab and HTC menu bar fix

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HTC phone owners can get a full-screen experience, and 'Me' tab wonkiness is fixed in latest update

The official Twitter app for Android, given a major visual overhaul last week, has been updated again today with a couple of important bug fixes. First off, the "Me" tab, which would occasionally fail to load, should now be fully functional at all times. And owners of HTC devices will welcome the fix for an issue which left them with a dead menu bar at the bottom of the screen. (That's not listed in the official changelog for the new ver. 4.0.1, but we've confirmed it on our own devices.)

HTC devices without a physical menu key -- including the HTC One -- must use an on-screen menu bar in certain apps, losing a portion of the screen in the process. Since last week's update the official Twitter client no longer used the legacy menu key, however the app still continued to show the (now non-functional) bar on HTC phones, much to the chagrin of users. As you can see in the photo above, that's no longer the case.

The changelog also lists UI improvements for Honeycomb devices, if anyone out there's still rocking an Android 3.x tablet.

To grab these latest fixes, hit the Google Play Store or use the handy link above.

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4 years ago

Tumblr for Android gets a new look, spiffy animations, and pictures that 'pop'

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The new interface and features make tumblr for Android a beautiful and functional application

Tumblr for Android got quite the update today, bringing an overhaul to the entire interface. Gone are the boring, scrolling lists and static squares of old, and the new interface is a bit of Path or Flipboard wrapped up inside a Holo design frame. It's all very well done, if I'm allowed to interject my own opinion here.

In addition to the overall design changes, tumblr has built in some snazzy animations. Pull to refresh or tap a button to post and you'll see things bouncing and popping up, making it a bit more engaging and fun to fiddle with. The way images inside posts are shown has been tweaked as well, and they now really stand out in the stream.

It's a really nice piece of work. If you're a tumblr user, you'll love it. If you're not a tumblr user, it may be enough to make you one. In either case, it's worth having a look if you appreciate great app design. Grab it from the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia ZL headed to Cincinnati Bell, available May 1

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The Xperia ZL from Sony will be available from Cincinnati Bell online and in stores by May 1 for $249.99 after rebate with a two-year equipment agreement.

Sony has already put the unlocked Xperia ZL for sale in the US via their website, but now we see a contract version with Cincinnati Bell. The 5-inch Mobile Bravia Engine equipped phone will be available by May 1, and cost just $250 (after mail-in rebate) with a two-year agreement.

It's the same Xperia ZL we see on the Sony store (though this version may be SIM locked) with the quad-core Snapdragon S4, 5-inch 1080p display, and 13MP Exmor RS rear camera that has everyone excited. It's also equipped with the same pentaband HSPA (bands 1,2,4,5 and 8) radio as the unlocked version, which means 3G 4G/HSPA+ service will work on just about every GSM carrier in the world. There's no word if LTE bands are still supported (1, 2, 4, 5 and 17) but we would be surprised if they were changed for this model. 

The Xperia ZL looks like a real stunner, and we're happy that Cincinnati Bell customers have this one to choose from. The full press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

Supposed Google Babel for Gmail screenshots leak

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Images show a revamp of Google Chat's interface, complete with emoticons and message bubbles. Could this be Google Babel?

The fine folks over at Techradar got their hands on a set of screen captures, supposedly of the web interface for the new Google unified messaging application "Babel". It appears to be a rewrite of the existing Google Chat for Gmail, with a new interface new sign in options, and new features inside the program. 

The screenshots also suggest photo sharing within the program, with a mandatory Google+ login, a feature to start a Google+ hangout right from chat. The Google+ emojis are also on board in a smaller size, and there are a bunch of new ones we haven't seen in a Google product before. It's clear that if this is legitimate, it's built around Google+ as one would expect.

We're not sure of anything on this. There are so many rumors and fakes going around, and anyone with a little skill could design some of these windows and images themselves -- and have. The imagery looks very similar to some other things we've seen -- both legit and admitted fakes. We eagerly await Google I/O to see just what is real and what isn't, but in the meantime we can all have a little bit of fun speculation about it all. Today's stuff looks pretty convincing. Hit the source link below and check it out.

Source: Techradar

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4 years ago

SuperBeam: Transfer files using Wifi Direct, NFC or QR codes

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A great file transfer tool for power users

As advanced as modern mobile devices are, getting files from one phone or tablet to another can still be problematic. Cloud storage apps like Dropbox can clog up your Internet connection. The BlueTooth-based Android Beam is slow, and can only be used for certain items. And S Beam, though faster, is restricted to Samsung devices.

Enter SuperBeam, an app that aims to take advantage of a range of wireless technologies to juggle files between Android phones. The heavy lifting is done over Wifi or Wifi Direct, with an NFC connection or QR code being used to get things going.

First up, both devices must be running the SuperBeam app. Next, select the file you want to send -- either in the gallery app, or a file manager Astro or OI -- and choose SuperBeam. The app will then ask you if the device you're sending to is on the same network. If so, it'll send your bits over that network; if not, a Wifi Direct connection will eventually be established between the two.

From there you've got a few options. The easiest is NFC -- hold the two devices back-to-back and press the screen on the sending device. Alternatively you can use the "SuperBeam Scanner" app from the app drawer and scan the QR code on the sending device's screen.

Transfer speeds will depend on the Wifi capabilities of the devices (and infrastructure) you're using, but we got solid transfer rates of up to 20Mbps between our Nexus 4 and HTC One on a 5GHz Wifi N network. SuperBeam isn't as simple as S Beam or Android Beam, but its ability to transfer just about anything between just about any device makes it more versatile for power users. It's available for free on the Google Play Store for phones and tablets running Android 4.0 and above.

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4 years ago

Marvel Comics app offering 700 free first issues: the sequel

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About a month ago, Marvel offered 700 free first issues through its Marvel Comics Play Store app. Not even the sum of Marvel's top superheroes could defend the comic giant's servers against the incredible beating that fans dispensed that day, during the struggle to grab as many free comics as possible. The result was an unusable app for most, with problems lasting beyond the free-download deadline.

Marvel issued an in-app message saying they were working on making things right, and have since come up with a new strategy to get those free comics to their fans. To minimize server strain, downloads will be offered to groups of users in waves. Head over to the registration page to sign up for the promotion. Starting April 11, Marvel will be sending emails to those that registered to let them start downloading any of the 700 free first issues being offered.

Sign ups end on April 9 at 11:59 p.m. EDT (as in midnight tomorrow night), so don't waste any time -- this offer might not be a trilogy.

comiXology sign up; Thanks Steve!

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4 years ago

T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S2 getting Jelly Bean update

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Android 4.1.2 update available through Kies application today

Good news for owners of the Samsung Galaxy S2 on T-Mobile USA -- your update to Jelly Bean is due to start rolling out today. The update weighs a hefty 756MB and is available through Samsung's Kies software utility, bringing the phone up to Android 4.1.2.

In addition to new TouchWiz bits, T-Mo S2 owners can look forward to smoother performance thanks to the "Project Butter" performance enhancements, Google Now predictive search capabilities and support for offline voice recognition. To see if your update is ready, fire up Kies on a PC or Mac, and connect your Galaxy S2.

Be sure to hit the comments and let us know if you've got the new firmware.

Source: T-Mobile; via: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Leaked Galaxy Mega 5.8 specs seem to confirm mid-range leanings

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5.8-inch qHD display, dual-core Exynos CPU

It's around a week since we first heard of the Samsung Galaxy Mega series -- supposedly two big-screened devices due to launch later this year. Now oft-reliable Samsung rumormonger SamMobile says it has more details on exactly what kind of hardware will be found within the 5.8-inch variant (GT-i9152), and unfortunately for those hoping for a Galaxy Note 2 successor, it's a rather mid-range affair.

The Galaxy Mega 5.8 is said to pack a dual-core Exynos CPU, a qHD (960x540) resolution LCD display, 1.5GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Other vital stats include a 2600mAh battery and dimensions of 164x83.8x9.7mm; on the software side it's TouchWiz'd Jelly Bean running the show.

With the exception of the screen, that's pretty close to the internals of the original Galaxy Note, which is nothing to sniff at. But we're unconvinced by the prospect of qHD on a screen of that size. As reported last week, the Mega 5.8 will supposedly come in single and dual-SIM variants.

No word yet on how the rumored Galaxy Mega 6.3 will compare, but our money is on similarly middling specs.

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

Facebook Home cobbled together from leaked ROM

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'Chat heads' feature missing from this developer build; full official app available for free on Friday

MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien has thrown together a trio of files with which you can get a half-working version of Facebook Home onto your phone -- five days before it'll be available to everyone as a free download.

We've played with it for a few minutes now, and it'll basically give you the look and feel of Facebook Home. But it doesn't quite match the performance (at least on our Nexus 4) that we saw on the HTC First, nor on the Galaxy Note 2 we used it on at Facebook's launch event lasts week. It's also lacking the "chat heads" messaging -- that's a huge part of Facebook Home. There's also no Google Search bar in the app drawer. That's consistent with the installed version of Facebook Home we used on a Galaxy Note 2 at Facebook HQ, but it's different than what you'll find on the HTC First. (Edit: Ah. There's a toggle for that in the settings, it seems.)

So, again, this is a dev version off a leaked ROM -- not the official release. If you're just dying to see what all the fuss is about (and, again, Facebook Home looks really nice), Paul's got full instructions at the link below.

Update: Looks like Facebook might have killed things on its end, as our Coverfeed has gone blank.

Source: MoDaCo

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4 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Win - a mid-ranger that's almost a Galaxy S3

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Quad-core processor, 4.7-inch WVGA screen, 5-megapixel camera

Another day, another mid-range Samsung phone. Today sees the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Win -- a middling Android handset that looks like a cross between a Galaxy S3 and a Galaxy S4. The internals are decidedly less high-end than either of those handsets. There's a 4.7-inch WVGA (800x480) LCD TFT screen on the front, a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU inside, coupled with 1GB of RAM. On the software side, it's running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Sammy's TouchWiz UI. Around the back there's a 5-megapixel rear camera.

Connectivity is limited to plain old HSPA speeds -- 7.2Mbps down, 5.76Mbps up -- suggesting that the Galaxy Win might be intended for emerging markets. It'll also be offered with dual-SIM capabilities, a common feature for smartphones in emerging markets. So while it might not check all the boxes for Western consumers, that's not necessarily the target audience here.

No details on pricing or availability for the Galaxy Win just yet. We'll update this post with release info as it becomes available.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z may be headed to T-Mobile USA

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Sony flagship currently being tested, ac​cording to reports

It looks like the Xperia ZL might not be the only high-end Sony phone headed to the U.S. this spring, as fresh images and reports from TmoNews suggest its international counterpart, the Xperia Z, may be coming to T-Mobile USA. The site reports "via three separate sources" that the Xperia Z, codenamed 'Yuga,' is currently in testing on T-Mobile, and offers the image above as evidence.

That's no guarantee that it'll ever see the light of day -- carriers often test devices before deciding not to release them. But at least now there seems to be a non-zero chance of T-Mo finally getting a high-end Sony phone to call its own.

The Xperia Z packs a 5-inch, 1080p display, and is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, with 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS rear camera. It's also water and dust-resistant, unlike the Xperia ZL. In our review of the device last month, we praised its performance and build quality, but raised some concerns over its less than ergonomic design and slightly buggy camera software.

T-Mo fans, hit the comments and let us know if you'd be interested in a magenta Xperia Z.

More: Sony Xperia Z review

Source: TmoNews

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4 years ago

Skala View comes to Android, helps designers make better looking apps

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Skala Preview and Skala View are brilliant pieces of software from the brilliant piece of software makers at Bjango. It's not an app combo for everyone, but for Android app designers and developers who have long been seeking a way to preview pixel- and color-perfect versions of their app designs on Android devices, it's a miracle. Now Fair warning: Marc Edwards, who runs Bjango, is also my co-host on the Iterate podcast so some may think I'm predisposed to give his stuff a defacto recommendation. Far from it. It just means I was fortunate to have known about it in advance.

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4 years ago

HTC unaudited Q1 results see profits slip to just $2.83 million

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Poorest quarter yet for the Taiwanese manufacturer

HTC's financial woes continue, with today's unaudited results for the first quarter of 2013 painting a picture of a barely profitable company. Net income after tax slipped to just NT$85 million ($2.83 million), down from NT$4.464 billion ($150 million) it earned during the first quarter of 2012.

HTC's total revenues for Q1 2013 were NT$42.8 billion ($1.42 billion). Unaudited operating income was NT$43 million ($1.43 million), while net income before tax was NT$103 million ($3.43 million). Unaudited earnings per share (EPS) were NT$0.10 ($0.003).

Today's announcement follows delays in getting the new HTC One handset out onto the market. Camera component shortages led to the UK, German and Taiwanese launches slipping from mid-to-late March, while wider availability -- including the crucial U.S. launch -- was pushed back to mid-April. HTC's pinning its hopes for revival on its new high-end smartphone, with reports suggesting CEO Peter Chou may have told execs he'll resign if the device isn't a success.

We'd argue that even if the HTC One had launched on time, the difference to HTC's balance sheet wouldn't have been fully reflected until later into the second quarter. But with Samsung's Galaxy S4 due in multiple countries by late April, every extra day on store shelves is crucial, and the delays represent more bad news for a company that's been in decline for some time now.

HTC will be hoping that the next round of financials show the turnaround it's been expecting off the back of its new handset. As we said in our HTC One review, the phone itself is certainly up to the task. Now it's up to HTC's marketers to get the message out to smartphone buyers.

Source: HTC

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