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4 years ago

Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 found to have OpenCL drivers


The researchers and ubergeeks over at Anandtech have discovered undocumented OpenCL drivers on both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. I know a few folks out there just got a little bit excited, but for the rest of us OpenCL needs a little explanation.

The chip in your modern Android smartphone has both a CPU and a GPU (there's other stuff, but we're going to ignore it for now) on board. The CPU handles all the heavy lifting and number crunching, while the GPU sits mostly idle, with all it's high-speed cores doing a whole lot of nothing unless you're running a graphically intensive app. 

OpenCL is a standard that puts all that untapped GPU power to use, allowing it to also crunch numbers and help the CPU along. Of course this is a simplified explanation, but it gets the general point across -- you can use the GPU to help do things faster, and use less battery to do it. It's a form of parallel computing that you find on new processors in modern desktop and laptop chips.

There's a few caveats here (isn't there always?) to keep in mind though. To start with, Renderscript is the parallel computing API officially supported in Android. OpenCL is likely there only because Qualcomm and ARM now officially support the API, not because anyone at Google requested it. Because of this, the drivers aren't likely to stay up to date or improved in any way. In fact, they could disappear in a future firmware update. 

Of course, that's not likely to stop tinkerers and hackers from trying to use them. If that sounds like you, you'll want to head to the source link where you can read a little more about exactly what was found, and some source code to check it out yourself.

Source: Anandrech

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4 years ago

MLS MatchDay updated for 2013 with new interface, tablet support


The 2013 MLS season kicks off in just three days, and the MLS MatchDay app has been updated right on time with a new interface and full tablet support. Last year's update was functional but certainly not easy to use or perfectly designed. For 2013, they've pulled out all the stops and gone with a complete redesign that should keep Android users happy for the whole season. The interface has taken on a holo design, shedding the legacy menu button and adding a slide-in panel to improve navigation. There are also now more granular notification settings, so you can see when lineups are available, to get condensed match stats, and breaking news alerts.

The new update also added tablet support, which takes advantage of the larger screen to display news articles in a newspaper-style format rather than a list, and offer more navigation options on individual team and match pages. Over and above the new interface, you can now watch matches directly on your devices with MLS Live, as well as see Goal of the Week videos.

Stick around after the break and see the new phone UI, along with a few comparisons to what the new app does on a 7-inch tablet. Then head to the Play Store link at the top of this post to get the app.

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4 years ago

Super Sync Sports makes Chrome sync between devices fun!


The latest Chrome Experiment out of Google shows off the power of sync between devices with a fun little game called "Super Sync Sports". Head to chrome.com/supersyncsports on your computer and g.co/super on your phone or tablet (Android 4.0 and above), enter the code to get them synced up and you're off to the races. Literally. You use your phone or tablet as a controller, with the computer display as just a portal to view the game. Select a character, and you can run, swim or bike against the computer or friends that you invite.

It's a fun game to play, especially with more than one device, but it what it really shows off is the power of Chrome to provide real-time syncing between devices using just a browser. When on Wifi, there isn't any perceptible lag between actions on the phone and the response on the screen, which is quite impressive considering that you're just using an HTML5 game in two browsers.

Google loves to do fun little experiments like this, and when they show it off to the public it's even better. Hopefully this means that it is planning to leverage these technologies in user-facing Chrome products in the future. Head to the source links to learn a bit more about how it works and to play the game for yourself.

Source: Google; More: Play Super Sync Sports

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 rumored to use multiple processor types


We're just a few weeks away from knowing for sure, but news from Taiwan today suggests that Samsung will be using multiple types of processors for the different Galaxy S4 variants worldwide. According to the Taipei Times, investor group JP Morgan said in a note to clients

Similar to its previous Galaxy S3, Samsung is expected to adopt multiple solutions for the application processors and baseband chips in its new Galaxy S4, which will be unveiled in New York on March 14

In addition, the brokerage firm says the US versions of the S4 will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600, while the rest of the world uses Samsung's own octa-core Exynos 5.

If this is the case, we have to wonder if global units will have full LTE support. It stands to reason that Qualcomm's new gear will support LTE as well as their current offerings do, so maybe Samsung wants to provide the best experience possible while they work on LTE support in-house.

Right now, everything is just a rumor. We'll know more on March 14.

Source: Taipei Times

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE now available from U.S. Cellular


The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 isn't a new device, but the LTE version continues to find new homes. This time out, the news comes from U.S Cellular who today is making the 16GB version of the device available for purchase for $499.99, when paired with a data plan of 2GB or more. Not a small amount of money by any means, but if you want a 10-inch tablet with pen input, the Note 10.1 is still the way to go. The tablet is available to purchase both online and in retail stores.

Previously U.S. Cellular has offered the WiFi only Note 10.1 for sale, but adding the LTE version now brings the carriers LTE device portfolio up to 11. 

Picking one of these up? Be sure to jump into the comments below or into the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 forums

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Who brought the best devices to show us at MWC 2013?


While some notable big names in Android were mostly missing, Mobile World Congress 2013 still had a lot of Android to show off -- not counting what was in Phil's shoulder bag. We saw this years upcoming gear from Huawei, ZTE, ASUS, and more. Some of it looks absolutely fabulous, some not so much. But that's just our opinion, and we want to hear yours.

We've set up a poll so you can sound off and tell us what you liked best. Will it be the Fonepad from ASUS? How about the ZTE Grand Memo? Hit the break, or look for the poll in the sidebar to the right and let us know, then discuss it all in the comments.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus LTE III spotted in the wild in South Korea


At first glance you'd be forgiven for mistaking what we see here for an LG Optimus L7, but it is in fact reportedly the latest in the Optimus LTE line -- the imaginatively titled Optimus LTE III. Spied in South Korea, the LTE III is supposedly launching sometime later this year on the country's SK Telecom network. 

Like the L-Series devices, the LTE III is reported to carry some decent mid-range specs, such as a 1280x720 display, and dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 processor. Software is said to be Android 4.1.2, which is hardly a surprise given what we've seen in Barcelona this week. It also supposedly packs a decent sized 2540 mAh battery to keep things ticking along.

Will LG release this outside of its native South Korea? Possibly not, but it's a nice looking device all the same -- though the physical home button still draws its critics. It also seems to have a sweet looking flip case available for it too, similar in style to that which we saw for the Optimus G Pro at Mobile World Congress. 

via Unwired View

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4 years ago

Sony releases experimental Firefox OS ROM for Xperia E


Firefox OS has been on the horizon for a while now, and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona saw the first device partnerships announced for the fledgling mobile operating system. Though not showing any hardware in Barcelona, a press release was issued detailing Sony's plans to release a Firefox OS powered smartphone in 2014 in partnership with Telefonica. 

What we have here isn't quite a Sony Firefox phone, not by any stretch of the imagination. But, what it is, is a working experimental build of Firefox OS for the Xperia E. In line with their plans to develop devices carrying the software, Sony hopes that interested developers and early adopters will take a look and garner valuable feedback. 

The key thing to remember is that Sony has released this as an experimental developer ROM. It isn't meant to be a daily driver, although from the promo video we see here it looks reasonably functional, with even the camera app working properly. 

We know some of you kids like playing around with new stuff -- our own editor-in-chief Phil Nickinson played with an early, early build of Firefox OS -- so if you happen to have access to an Xperia E and try this out, be sure to share your experiences with us. 

Source: Sony Developer World

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4 years ago

Robo5: simple, fun and free puzzle game


Robo5 takes cool steampunk style and draws it in fun, cartoon artwork to provide hours of both casual and intense gameplay. The concept of the game is simple, but you can tell that's exactly what the developers were aiming to accomplish. It's hard to argue with the combination here, especially when it's free to play for a large set of levels and just $1.99 to unlock it all.

Hang with us after the break and see a little more about what makes Robo5 a fun game.

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4 years ago

Falcon Pro releasing new version of app to sidestep token limit


Twitter client Falcon Pro is attempting to step around Twitter's 100,000 token authorization limit by releasing a new version of the app with a separate application ID. Just a few days ago, the client had to stop authorizing new users because it hit the Twitter-imposed limitation, which users feared would stop development. Taking to its official Twitter account (naturally), the developer explained the situation, and how he intends to fix it -- at least for the time being.

The plan right now is to release a new version of Falcon Pro -- just the small step to 1.6.7 -- that has a new application ID, which would technically identify it to Twitter as a new client, with a fresh new set of 100,000 user tokens to assign. In order to do this, old user tokens have to all be revoked, and anyone opening a previously installed version will have to re-login. By wiping out old tokens and "starting over", Falcon Pro is hoping to stay active for a while longer.

The price has also been raised -- to $1.95 (€1.49) from $0.99 previously -- to hopefully slow down how long it takes to hit the limit again. The last version hit the 100,000 token limit with less than 50,000 official paid Google Play downloads though, which is disconcerting. We know that a "token" is not a user, and those with multiple devices and accounts occupy multiple tokens, but the average tokens per user is likely well under 2.

For now, Falcon Pro v1.6.6 is still a comical $132.12 in the Play Store, with a reminder in the description not to buy it because there are no tokens left. The developer plans to release the 1.6.7 update to the Play Store tonight, and we'll have to see how long it takes to hit the limit again.

Source: @Falcon_Pro (Twitter); Via: AusDroid

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4 years ago

Android 101: Adding your own custom sounds to Android events


The first thing most people do when getting a new phone is change the ringtone. Depending on which Android device you own, your options for different alarms, notifications, and ringtones will vary. Perhaps you aren’t happy with the sounds that came preinstalled on your phone, or you’ve been using the stock sounds and are ready for a change. You’ve got some ringtones on your computer, and want to use them on your phone. How do you get the files from your computer, to your phone? Do you have to put them in any specific place for them to be selectable in the Android menu, and will they be listed in the same place as the sounds that came with your phone? Does it matter what kind of sound files you use? You can find the answers to these questions, and more, after the break.

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4 years ago

Chrome for Android gets major update as ver. 25 graduates from beta


The stable version of Chrome for Android has received a major upgrade, from version 18 all the way up to 25 -- the version that was in beta until recently. Major changes include significantly improved scrolling performance, improved JavaScript and HTML5 processing speed and speedier pinch-to-zoom.

The new build is rolling out right now, so hit fire up the Play Store to update your devices. Alternatively, if you've yet to try Chrome for Android, you can pick it up using the Google Play link to the right.

When you're done updating, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

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4 years ago

Reminder: Spring into TEGRA Contest Ending Soon!


Quick reminder for all that the 'Spring into TEGRA' contest is ending real soon (March 1st at 11:59 PM EST). Be sure to check out the contest details below and submit your entry for a chance to win one of TWO HTC One X+ devices!*

To enter, simply follow these three steps:

  1. Take a picture of yourself with your tired and worn out mobile device.
  2. Head over to the official contest thread.
  3. Post the picture, AND tell us why you absolutely NEED a new HTC One X+.

That's all there really is to it! Head over to the official contest thread and get your entry in. You never know… with a little luck and creativity (hint, hint!) you may end up with a brand new device at your front door.

* Contest closes on March 1, 2013, at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be selected shortly thereafter via PM and e-mail. ONE entry per person. Contest open to all Android Central members.

Good luck!

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4 years ago

Adobe Photoshop Touch: No longer just for tablets


Adobe has taken their excellent Photoshop Touch application for tablets, and shrunk things down to fit on the smaller screen. Available as a separate download -- with it's own $4.99 price tag -- The app offers the same great features the tablet edition does, which are essentially the core features of the desktop version. The app includes the ability to work with layers, filters, and brushes all bundled into an intuitive, gesture-based interface. In addition, the application is integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud, giving users 2GB of free storage to sync projects between the tablet app, the phone app, and the desktop. 

I use the tablet version of Photoshop Touch frequently, transferring images taken with my phone to Dropbox, then importing them into my tablet. The app is really well done, and takes mobile image editing to the next level. I'm not sure how well this will translate to my phone -- I'm currently using the Nexus 4 -- but folks with a Note 2 or even the original Note have another great use for the S Pen. You can find Adobe's press release after the break, and the download link from Google Play above.

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4 years ago

EE rolls out 4G LTE in nine more UK towns and cities


Sole UK 4G LTE carrier EE (Everything Everywhere) has announced that it's switched on 4G coverage in a further nine towns and cities across the country. From today, EE customers in Barnsley, Chorley, Coventry, Newport, Preston, Rotherham, Telford, Walsall and Watford will be able to pick up LTE reception on supporting devices. Four months after it first rolled out 4G, EE's total market count stands at 37.

The network plans to have 4G coverage in 65 towns and cities by the end of June, by which time it may face competition from the other mobile operators. Following the recent wrap-up of the 4G spectrum auction, Three, O2 and Vodafone will be looking to roll out their own LTE services in late spring and early summer.

Source: EE Newsroom

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