Posts Tagged Hat

Is this really our first look at the Samsung Galaxy S4?

Alright, put on your skeptic’s hat. The above image is making the rounds with the claim that it is our first look at the Samsung Galaxy S4. If it is, it looks like we will finally see Samsung ditch the physical home button and possibly move toward Android’s virtual navigation buttons. We say possibly because there is always a chance that capacitive navigation buttons are present but simply not illuminated (we have seen this on previous Samsung handsets).

It also appears that Samsung is looking to squeeze a rumored 4.99-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display into the smallest frame possible by deploying a nearly bezel-less setup. Other reported specs include a 2GHz quad-core Exynos chipset, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP camera.

The design itself seems to return to the roots of the Samsung flagship franchise with a look that resembles that of the original Galaxy S more than the most recent device in the line, the Galaxy S3. While it’s probably a bit much to call that original design a classic, it would certainly be nice to see Samsung pay homage (if that’s the intention, anyway).

Now, we’re not saying this definitely is the real deal. We’re not saying it isn’t. Either way, it’s worth giving this particular image a good, hard look. If it does turn out to be genuine, it raises another intriguing question. Will we see the Galaxy S4 at CES as initially rumored?

[via SamMobile]

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Dropbox Acquires AudioGalaxy, Hints at a Cloud Based Music Service

audiogalaxy

Dropbox has been in the news since its inception and has had a huge role to play in making cloud storage more attractive to customers. It is after Dropbox that major companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple followed suit with their own cloud services. And now, the company has another feather in its hat as it has just acquired AudioGalaxy, which is a personal music streaming service that started off in 1998. This wasn’t an audio streaming site when it first started up (although it introduced music streaming and radio services shortly after). AudioGalaxy basically allowed users to remotely stream music from their computer with the help of their mobile device or a flash enabled browser. As a prerequisite, both devices needed to have the software on board. This obviously in some cases was against the law. But they mended their ways soon to make things more legal and open. So you might be wondering as to why Dropbox would be interested in this service. Well, the answer is pretty straight forward. Well, it doesn’t need a genius to guess that Dropbox could well be contemplating stepping into the cloud music arena.

Unfortunately for AudioGalaxy fans, it seems like Dropbox might want to pull the plug from the service for now. Its website states that it’s not accepting new users anymore. It is believed that the functionality will be restored sometime during the course of 2013. We’re of course merely speculating that Dropbox could bring up a cloud based music service, but that seems like the only viable option for Dropbox after having acquired AudioGalaxy. Let’s hope something good comes out of this, and having known Dropbox and the way it functions, we expect just that.

There are several big names in the cloud music industry, including Google Music, Amazon Cloud Player, Spotify, Grooveshark, iCloud to name a few. We’ve just recently learnt of a possible SkyDrive cloud music service which could very well see the light of the day. So the trend suggests that most cloud storage services have had no hesitancy in stepping to the cloud music arena. Some of these services have some limitations, mostly pertaining to geography. So if Dropbox manages to get this rumored new music player to most parts of the world, it should be an instant hit. Dropbox users are increasing in number since most new Android users these days are getting 25GB or 50GB of free Dropbox storage, which is a nice way to make new customers. While the cloud storage scene is still picking up steam, cloud music could prove to be a game changer for all. Let’s hope we get to see some competitive offering from Dropbox, which is if it plans on doing so with AudioGalaxy.

Source: AudioGalaxy Blog
Via: Android Police

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[Giveaway] Win One Of Five ‘Frankie Frost’ Collectible Android Figurines From Android Police And Dead Zebra

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We all love those little Android figurines that come from the mind of Andrew Bell, and with Christmas coming up, that can only mean one thing: a holiday Android! I’d like you all to meet Frankie Frost.

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Look at him, all frosty and cute – you know you want one. Or two. They’re on sale now for $10 a pop, so you can always head over to the Dead Zebra Shop and order one up.

Or you can try to win one here. We have five to give away, so here’s how to throw your hat in the ring.

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Like the last time we gave away some little Android guys, we’ll keep this one simple.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[Giveaway] Win One Of Five ‘Frankie Frost’ Collectible Android Figurines From Android Police And Dead Zebra was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Elements Battle RPG released on Google Play today

Elements Battle

There seems to be no shortage of RPG (Role Playing Game) titles on Google Play, but some really are better than the rest. Popular game developer Game Insight is throwing its proverbial hat into the ring today with Elements Battle. The game is set up as a mix of puzzle gameplay and standard PRG gameplay, with over 100 quests available at launch. Elements Battle spans 5 expansive worlds to explore as well, and is surely a title that's capable of being built upon for many updates to come.

Elements Battle is available now in the Play Store, and its free to boot. Check it out at the Google Play link at the top of this post if you're interested in a download.

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Rhapsody Throws Its Hat Into The Song-Matching Ring, Launches The Aptly-Named Songmatch

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If you’re looking for yet another song-matching app (really, a SoundHound / Shazam alternative), Rhapsody’s got something you might be interested in – a new app called Songmatch.

Songmatch, thankfully, does not require a Rhapsody subscription, and is completely free. You can match songs against Rhapsody’s library of 16 million tracks, get artist info, track listings, and more.

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That may sound pretty basic at first glance, but it gets better if you’re a Rhapsody subscriber. You can immediately launch playback of the song or the album it’s on when a match is found, and Rhapsody creates a special Songmatch playlist in your account where every track you match is then saved.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Rhapsody Throws Its Hat Into The Song-Matching Ring, Launches The Aptly-Named Songmatch was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Verizon Offers To Buy Its Customers’ Privacy

Verizon Wireless is encouraging its customers to opt-in to a new program in its Precision Marketing portfolio, Verizon Selects. In exchange for all your mobile secrets (e.g., browsing history, location and app data) Verizon may offer a Verizon Selects coupon or some other yet-to-be-named goody which it says will  likely be from a popular retailer. If you own a tin foil hat: big brother is watching and this is the beginning! If you’re already posting everything online and don’t mind the occasional SPAM: this is your chance to cash in.

Here’s how Verizon says you can expect the program to work: Verizon Selects will use location, web browsing and mobile application usage data, as well as other information including customer demographic and interest data, to create specific insights. Verizon Selects analyzes this information about customers to see whether they fit into certain audiences Verizon or third party marketers are trying to reach. Depending on the results, participating customers will receive marketing messages or offers that may be of more interest to them than what they see or receive today. These messages could be delivered in various ways such as email, text, postal mail or online or mobile advertising. 

Source: Verizon Wireless

 

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Verizon Offers To Buy Its Customers’ Privacy

Verizon Wireless is encouraging its customers to opt-in to a new program in its Precision Marketing portfolio, Verizon Selects. In exchange for all your mobile secrets (e.g., browsing history, location and app data) Verizon may offer a Verizon Selects coupon or some other yet-to-be-named goody which it says will  likely be from a popular retailer. If you own a tin foil hat: big brother is watching and this is the beginning! If you’re already posting everything online and don’t mind the occasional SPAM: this is your chance to cash in.

Here’s how Verizon says you can expect the program to work: Verizon Selects will use location, web browsing and mobile application usage data, as well as other information including customer demographic and interest data, to create specific insights. Verizon Selects analyzes this information about customers to see whether they fit into certain audiences Verizon or third party marketers are trying to reach. Depending on the results, participating customers will receive marketing messages or offers that may be of more interest to them than what they see or receive today. These messages could be delivered in various ways such as email, text, postal mail or online or mobile advertising. 

Source: Verizon Wireless

 

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Verizon Offers To Buy Its Customers’ Privacy

Verizon Wireless is encouraging its customers to opt-in to a new program in its Precision Marketing portfolio, Verizon Selects. In exchange for all your mobile secrets (e.g., browsing history, location and app data) Verizon may offer a Verizon Selects coupon or some other yet-to-be-named goody which it says will  likely be from a popular retailer. If you own a tin foil hat: big brother is watching and this is the beginning! If you’re already posting everything online and don’t mind the occasional SPAM: this is your chance to cash in.

Here’s how Verizon says you can expect the program to work: Verizon Selects will use location, web browsing and mobile application usage data, as well as other information including customer demographic and interest data, to create specific insights. Verizon Selects analyzes this information about customers to see whether they fit into certain audiences Verizon or third party marketers are trying to reach. Depending on the results, participating customers will receive marketing messages or offers that may be of more interest to them than what they see or receive today. These messages could be delivered in various ways such as email, text, postal mail or online or mobile advertising. 

Source: Verizon Wireless

 

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Leaked Sprint holiday ad outs BOGO offer on a trio of Samsung Galaxy smartphones

DNP Leaked Sprint holiday ad outs buy one get one offer on a trio of Samsung smartphones

After a couple of Sprint Black Friday leaks here and there, our anonymous tipster is going for a hat trick by revealing the Now Network’s pre-Christmas festivities. Running December 7th through 24th, the house of Hesse will be offering a buy one get one free special on the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II and Galaxy Victory. The temporary promo is available to new and eligible upgrading customers alike and requires a new two-year service agreement. Supplies are expected to be limited, so if you’re looking to score one of these snazzy doodads, we suggest that you start mapping out your nearest Sprint stores and put together a plan of attack.

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Lenovo launching P770 in China with Jelly Bean and massive battery

Lenovo P770

Lenovo isn't a name you hear thrown around when talking about smartphones very often. The only product most people in the U.S. have been exposed to is their tablet offering, the Ideatab, and even that's a stretch. One place where the company has managed to amass some mind and market share in mobile is China. Lenovo has just announced its latest offering, seen above, as the P770. The spec highlights are as follows:

  • 3500mAh battery
  • 4.5-inch qHD (540×960) screen
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Given the past experiences Lenovo had trying to break into Western markets, we doubt we'll see anything similar to this hit the states. Its still interesting to see another player throwing its hat in the ring in China, which is a huge developing smartphone market.

Source: Lenovo; Via: UnwiredView

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The USPTO needs to refine their patent system. But how? [OPINION]

If you think the United States Patent and Trademark Office is anything short of a complete mess in regards to tech patents, than you’re sorely mistaken. If you think everyone besides your favorite OEM is the culprit behind eroding tech innovation, than you should take off your fanboy hat. But I think the vast majority of tech enthusiasts can agree that the patent war movement – where thousands of very general protective patents are submitted, awarded, and litigated upon – is suffocating innovation.

But how can we change the patent system? We’ll always have huge corporations with tens of millions to spend on legal fees and patent submissions. The USPTO will always have a mile high stack of dozen page long patent applications to process, so complicated you would need an Adderall prescription to even understand the claims. And then of course there is the already long-running list of approved patents for which combing through would be a nightmare.

I’m no government policy expert, but I think it’s fair to say that something needs to change. Half of the patents being approved are nothing short of embarrassing. But identifying and diagnosing the problem are much different than finding and prescribing a remedy. That’s the hard part.

Any regular Joe can create a petition on Change.org, but the petition by Mike Winmill in regards to Apple and the USPTO caught my eye when it came across my news desk. Is the patent war topic finally hitting more mainstream consumer irritation, or has it simply become the focal point of tech fanboys beating the drum of their master? Let’s be honest, Phandroids, Apple isn’t the only company whose patents catch our eye (and again, can we blame them?).

In some regards, it’s hard to blame the manufacturers themselves. The tech landscape is incredibly competitive and to get ahead, you do what works. They’re investing hundreds of million in R&D so to spend some of those millions on patent protection seems reasonable. On the legal side, if your job is to protect intellectual property than you apply for anything and everything you could possibly be awarded: that’s what a good business person would do. So the sheer volume of patents coming in creates quite the labor for the USPTO whose job is to govern and make fair the competitive landscape. And based on the results, it doesn’t seem as if they’re doing a very good job.

I admit, I feel guilty pointing a finger when I’m:

  1. Not 100% sure of the entire process and system the USPTO employs
  2. Don’t have any direct input on how to improve said mysterious system

My only input comes from seeing some of the many approved patents and immediately thinking to myself, “How can someone patent that? That’s ridiculous! Stupid [insert company here]. Stupid USPTO.” I think that’s the same flow every tech fan finds themselves going through lately.

So let’s put the obvious aside:

  • We know companies are applying for patents by the thousands, often more general than anyone would like.
  • We know the USPTO is approving patents by the thousands, often more general than anyone would like.

But what specific measures, restrictions, laws, or systems would you put in place to directly improve the fairness of the US patent system while balancing the rights to protect intellectual property and still promote innovation and competition? This is your chance to sound off… make it count!

As suggested by Kevin Krause… a related video worth watching (series link):


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Verizon-bound HTC DNA gets up close and personal in leaked press photo

DNP Verizon bound HTC DNA gets up close and personal in its latest press photo

HTC is throwing its hat into the phablet ring and it appears that its sleeping giant is set to awaken on Verizon’s network, but not before smiling for the cameras. Pictured above is a (presumably) leaked press shot of the highly anticipated Droid DNA, which is believed to be Big Red’s stateside rendition of the 5-inch Super LCD 3, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon-toting J Butterfly. While this device has generated quite a buzz, it remains to be seen if this Japanese behemoth’s red, white and blue counterpart will ship with identical hardware. Thankfully, all should be revealed soon, as Verizon and HTC have scheduled a get together later this month in the Big Apple and of course we’ll be on hand to bring you all of the gory details, no matter how difficult to handle.

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Verizon-bound HTC DNA gets up close and personal in leaked press photo originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 06 Nov 2012 17:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Green Throttle Throws Its Hat Into The TV + Game Controller + Smartphone Ring, We Try To Be Excited

atlascontroller

Hey, does the idea of another company making another proprietary game controller for games that require compatibility with said controller in order to work excite you? No? Me neither. But GreenThrottle, a new startup co-founded by Guitar Hero co-creator Charles Huang and two ex-Palm employees wants you to get excited.

Oh man, they’re having so much fun – how could this idea ever not be a success?

Sarcasm aside, GreenThrottle does have the benefit of a more serious team leading its gamepad project, but compared to every other controller / TV  gaming solution I’ve seen, this seems to bring nothing new to the table.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Green Throttle Throws Its Hat Into The TV + Game Controller + Smartphone Ring, We Try To Be Excited was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Best Buy offering pre-orders for Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X for $149.99 and $99.99 under contract

Best Buy offering preorders for Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X for $14999 and $9999 under contract

Nokia and HTC’s upcoming Windows Phone 8 flagships are still on the standard release path: announcement, federal approval and now, pre-order. Keeping device availability tucked firmly under its hat, Best Buy is now offering Nokia’s Lumia 920 and the HTC 8X for pre-sale, priced at $149.99 and $99.99, respectively. Early buyers have options, too: the Lumia 920 is kitted out in red, blue, yellow, black and white shells. Fashionistas with a flair for purple, however, will need to stick to HTC’s hardware. Unfortunately, you don’t get that much choice — Bust Buy’s pre-orders don’t balk at the devices’ AT&T exclusivity. The retailer doesn’t say when devices are going to ship, but we imagine early adopters won’t have to wait too long.

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Best Buy offering pre-orders for Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X for $149.99 and $99.99 under contract originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 21 Oct 2012 13:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink WPCentral, Verge  |  sourceBest Buy  | Email this | Comments

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HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE update to bring global roaming, Isis wallet

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE update to bring global roaming and Isis wallet

HTC’s Droid Incredible 4G LTE gave us a pleasant surprise by providing a capable Android phone that didn’t have to be supersized. It’s gone largely untouched since its mid-year introduction, though, which makes a new and imminent update all the more important. The upgrade’s biggest trick is support for Isis mobile payments that more officially throws Verizon’s hat into the NFC payment ring. Anyone living beyond Isis’ coverage will still want to check for the update when it’s ready — the patch switches on global roaming, allows remote technical support, makes Tango video chats useful and improves LTE connection quality. No matter what you’re looking for, Verizon’s tendency to start over-the-air updates within days of posting documentation leaves a likely short wait before the most recent Droid Incredible gets a breath of fresh air.

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HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE update to bring global roaming, Isis wallet originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Use LinkBuster to parse short URLs (Android app review)

LinkBuster

A couple weeks back I delicately expressed my concern about clicking shortened URLs on our Android phones. If you weren't paying attention, there's a nasty bug in some Samsung phones that can delete all user data if you click a malicious link — one that's easily hidden behind a URL shortener like bit.ly or goo.gl. I promised to make someone famous if they would create a great solution for all of us on Android.

Quite a few folks sent apps in, and while all of them worked as intended, I have to give the hat tip to JP2014 for the LinkBuster app. It does two things I'm crazy about — uses Android intents, and incorporates the Web of Trust service.

Using it is really easy. Install it from Google Play using the link above, and any time you click a URL you get the choice to open it in LinkBuster. If it's a link you trust, just choose your browser. But if it's a link that looks sketchy, or is shortened and you have no idea where it will take you, choose LinkBuster from the menu provided. 

One the LinkBuster app is opened, you get the full version of the URL as well as the Web of Trust rating for it. The Web of Trust is crowd sourced data from folks like you and me, and it's usually spot-on about the safety and validity of links. Cory turned me on to it last year, and I think it's a great tool. Having it incorporated this way is perfect — you use it when you have reason to question a link, and the rest of the time it's out of the way.

The web is a nasty place. Plenty of folks want to make things miserable for others, and we have to be on guard against it. Tools like LinkBuster can help. It's free, so give it a try!

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Engadget UK Giveaway: win a Samsung Galaxy Note II courtesy of MobiCity

Engadget UK Giveaway: win a Samsung Galaxy Note II courtesy of MobiCity

Samsung’s Galaxy Note II is one of the biggest phones this year, both figuratively, and literally. The OG Note stretched palms when it arrived last 12 months ago, with its 5.3-inch display, and it proved so popular that Samsung did it all over again — and a little bit more. Not only is it hot off the production presses, we’ve also got one to give away to a lucky UK reader, courtesy of the kind people at online retailer MobiCity. That’s where to send the thank you card if it’s your name out of the hat. And if it’s not? Well perhaps peruse their many SIM-free handset deals and treat yourself all the same. Want to know if you’re eligible to win? Head south for the rules, and then get involved!

The rules:

  • Leave a comment below. Any comment will do. Duplicate entries will be filtered out and discarded, so adding additional comments won’t increase your likelihood of winning.
  • This contest is open to all UK residents — aged 18 years or over! Sorry, we don’t make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.
  • Winners will be chosen randomly. One winner will receive one (1) new Samsung Galaxy Note II. Service does not come included with the prize.
  • If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen.
  • This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. Mobi-city and Engadget / AOL UK are not held liable to honor warranties or customer service.
  • The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
  • Entries can be submitted until 10th of October, 2012 at 23:59 GMT. Good luck!

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Engadget UK Giveaway: win a Samsung Galaxy Note II courtesy of MobiCity originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 08 Oct 2012 06:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gold plated iPhone 5 by Gold & Co.

Do you love the new Apple iPhone 5? If you do, you would already bought at least one, either pre ordered it, or waited in the queue for a few days. And if you lots of money in your bank account, I mean lots and lots of money to waste on useless things, here is something you would love to buy – a gold plated iPhone 5. Yes, I am not kidding here. UK’s Gold & Co. is here, again, with a gold plated all new iPhone 5.

Once you have ordered your 24 karat gold plated iPhone 5 for a few million dollars, you will have to go to the Collector’s Palace at the Dubai Mall. And this would be no problem for you since you will have a private jet. This is a very possibility because if you are spending millions of dollars just for a phone, you would probably have spent a few more million dollars to have a flying machine of your own for comfortable journeys around the world.

So, once you reach the mall, your gold plated iPhone 5 will be waiting for you there, all ready to add another feather to your hat. Now, if you are all ready to buy this rare piece of technology, and planning to upgrade your old gold plated iPhone 4S, you will have to wait a bit more longer since the company has not yet announced the pricing. The 24 karat gold plated iPhone 4S sold for 9.4 million USD, so you can expect this to be a bit more than that price tag.

A thought to the jobless mind, where do out dated gold plated iPhones go? Will they end up on Best Buy or some other online store? Or do they just find a new home at the bottom drawer of the desk? Well, if I buy one of these one day, I’ll make a high security room for keeping such high value jewelleries.

Source: CNET

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Retired Wizard Story review – sheep-nuking at its finest

Retired Wizard Story launched on Android recently, adding a proactive twist on the Plants vs. Zombies wave defense formula. Instead of sitting back and letting minions do all the defending. players don the robe and wizard’s hat to stop accidentally-enchanted sheep from escaping their pen and ruining their quiet, anonymous retirement. This is done by casting spells with taps, swipes, and dragging and dropping scrolls creates mystical circles of power.

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ASUS Now Pushing Jelly Bean (4.1.1) To The Transformer Pad 300 In North America

perfection-tf300

Yesterday, ASUS North America teased some Jelly Bean goodies on its Facebook page. At the time, we had no idea they would begin pushing a Jelly Bean update less than 12 hour later. But they have.

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Announced on its Facebook this morning, ASUS has started pushing the Jelly Bean update (Android 4.1.1) to the Transformer Pad 300, making it the first 10″ ASUS tablet to receive the update. The TF300 getting updated to Jelly Bean isn’t much of a shocker, but the fact hat ASUS was able to perform such a quick turnaround and get the update out is nothing short of impressive.

Official Android Police t-shirts are now on sale, with over 25 designs to call yours.

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ASUS Now Pushing Jelly Bean (4.1.1) To The Transformer Pad 300 In North America was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Review: TaleTeller Kickstarts Creative Storytelling and Lets You Record the Results

TaleTeller  
Developer: Limited Liability Company “Krasnodymov Production”  
Price: $0.99   Download

TaleTeller is a personal storytelling app that allows children (or Adults) to create and share their own stories. It works as a sort of visual prompter where the user narrates a creative story by incorporating a set of symbols that TaleTeller provides. The story can be as wild as your mind can imagine or a simple twist on a familiar fairytale with just enough changes to add in the required pictographs.

Each story uses eight symbols such as: glasses, a hat, an octopus, a deck of cards, a mime, a clock and a crown. TaleTeller will provide a different set of symbols every time and the app will record your story so it can be played back or even sent to another device.

Of course the whole point of telling a story is to share it with others. The app makes it easy. Social media is already integrated so your TaleTeller recordings can quickly be shared through Facebook or Twitter with the click of a button. Your stories can also be shared via email.  (more…)

Finish reading “TaleTeller Kickstarts Creative Storytelling and Lets You Record the Results” and see screenshots for the app on AppCraver.com.

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Jump Magic Free Ready to Leap onto iOS

Jump Magic FREE Game HD – “The Endless Platform Runner Adventure!”  
Developer: Simon Crack  
Price: free   Download

FreeMagicTricks4u.com, the popular go to site for free magic tricks, have announced the release of their first iOS game Jump Magic Free, “The Endless Platform Runner Adventure!”. Jump Magic Free is unlike any other jumping game you will have seen before. It’s challenging, totally addictive and sports stunning HD graphics – just watch out for the Evil Bunny. The aim? Leap, float and fly from hat to hat at high speed, collecting stars and magical power-ups as you go.

- How far can you get without running into the dreaded Evil Rabbit?
- Will you break your friends high score?
- Levels get fast and frantic – can you handle it?

(more…)

Finish reading “Jump Magic Free Ready to Leap onto iOS” and see screenshots for the app on AppCraver.com.

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Original Final Fantasy now available in Google Play

Original Final Fantasy now available in Google Play

Final Fantasy III on Google PlayBlack mages, it's time to put on your robe and wizard hat. The original Final Fantasy is now on sale in Google Play, offering the same turn-based combat and high fantasy as the classic with fresh graphics. 

Final Fantasy isn't quite as aggressive as Final Fantasy III was with pricing, but $6.99 may still be more than you're used to paying. Of course, when it comes to nostalgia, sometimes money is no object. Any old-school gamers excited to get back into the first Final Fantasy?

Download: Final Fantasy ($6.99)

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Google updates YouTube, Nexus Q and Play Movies & TV apps in one fell swoop

Google updates YouTube, Nexus Q and Play Movies & TV apps in one fell swoop

As software updates go, this Mountain View hat trick scores low on the excitement scale. Starting today, a trio of version bumps are slated to rollout, bringing minor bug fixes to Play Movies & TV and YouTube, while also giving owners of older, non-ICS handsets the ability to control that latter app remotely. Additionally, tweaks have been made to improve the Nexus Q’s guest mode, which should come in handy as support for that odd peripheral has now been bolstered to include devices running Gingerbread and up. Sure, this trine of refreshed Google apps won’t necessarily set your pulses racing, nor will it satisfy your Jelly Bean cravings. But, hey, you take what you can get.

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Google updates YouTube, Nexus Q and Play Movies & TV apps in one fell swoop originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 25 Jul 2012 20:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Droid-Life  |  sourceGoogle Play, (2), (3)  | Email this | Comments

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Apple’s earnings call is a sign that the lawsuits can never stop

The Garden of Good and Evil

Apple had its quarterly earnings call today, and while looking through the news a thought hit. The financials are proof positive that the lawsuits against Android OEMs and partners can never stop. I'll admit that it sounds like I'm wearing a tinfoil hat, but if you read through the data you'll find one thing that can't be ignored — Apple makes all of their money on mobile. Apple sells very few (relatively) laptops and desktops when compared to any of their competitors, sales of the iPod are waning, yet they keep making billions from the iPhone and iPad.

Don't be fooled by the images you see online, with rooms full of MacBooks. That's part of the tech bubble effect, and if you were to put 100 "real" people with a laptop in a room, 95 of them would be running Windows. Or 96 if you count Bootcamp. Apple surely enjoys a high profit margin on the OS X hardware they sell, but it's a niche product. That's unlikely to change in the near future. Apple's money and popularity comes from their mobile offerings — even Steve thought so.

Back to the original thought here — Apple can't let its hold on the mobile market slip away. Android may have a higher smartphone market share and are slowly creeping up in the tablet arena, but sales of the iPhone and iPad keep growing as well each quarter. Apple has to keep it that way, and they see how easy it would be to lose their spot in the hearts and minds of the public.

Google, and to a lesser (but not to be ignored) extent Microsoft, is slowly gaining ground on the content side. In the U.S., you can get books, magazines, movies, TV shows, music and applications for your Android products right from Google Play. It's really easy, your purchases instantly sync across multiple devices, and things are competitively priced. The real difference between Google Play and iTunes is in the content — Apple just has more. As this gap grows smaller and smaller (and it will, Google wants your money bad enough to spend their money), there will be a point where new users will look at device features and capabilities for the deciding factor. Long-time users of either platform are less likely to switch over, as your content doesn't follow you from iOS to Android (or vice versa), but new users who aren't invested have a choice. At one point, iTunes was Apple's cash cow — the amount and quality of the content was what many users used to make their purchasing decision — but that will change. Even Apple can't keep Hollywood studios and music labels from wanting those Googlebucks, and eventually other countries will cave and licenses will be negotiated. It may cost Google everything it has in its war chest, but it will happen.

When the content is equal, and users look at what the device they are going to spend $700 on, features and ease-of-use become the deciding factor. Folks on the Internet will argue mindlessly about lag or quibble over pixels, but the general public sees things like widgets and pop-up video players on big screens and they are impressed. Fanboy arguments aside, looking at a Galaxy S III beside an iPhone 4S, the iOS simplistic beauty is lost on many consumers. Lost to giant weather widgets and saturated 4.8-inch SAMOLED screens. The more features Apple can have stripped away from Android devices, the better the iPhone and iPad look — and operate.

We hate (as in hate) the smartphone wars and software patent mess that goes on across the global courts. We would love to see innovators battle each other only with innovation, because we all win with awesome new features on both platforms. But that's just never going to happen. Apple can't let it happen, and when the "next big thing" comes along to take on Android (and it will) Google can't let it happen. Money makes the world go 'round.

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Major Mayhem Brings Cover-Based Shooting To The 2D World, Courtesy Of Adult Swim

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Most of you will know Adult Swim from the “no kids allowed” programming shown late night on Cartoon Network, but the quirky pseudo-station has been tossing its hat into the game development ring for some time. The latest entry in their Android stable is Major Mayhem, a 2D gallery shooter (with 3D graphics) that’s a blend of gameplay mechanics from the likes of Metal Slug and Time Crisis. And all the sense and subtlety of a thrown brick – in a good way.

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The game has the titular character roaming through side-scrolling environments, with the player controlling his aiming and liberal use of munitions.

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Nokia N9 updated to MeeGo PR1.3, boasts 1,000 improvements

Nokia N9 updated to MeeGo PR13, boasts 1,000 improvements

MeeGo isn’t quite dead, and Nokia N9 users are getting another update pushed to their phone to prove it. PR1.3, a firmware refresh that’s been in the works at least since 1.2 was released a few months ago, has finally been made official. But this is no simple bug fix — the latest version of MeeGo offers an impressive 1,000 “quality improvements, including mail, Facebook and Twitter.” According to Nokia’s official support page, the update will also provide several network and connectivity enhancements. The 203MB OTA download is now beginning to roll out, starting with unbranded devices and branching out from there. Continue past the break for the full statement from Nokia.

Update: We’ll give a hat tip out to our commenters, who clued us in on a forum thread that discusses many of these “quality improvements.” It appears that a large number of them are indeed bug fixes. Some of the actual boosts involve camera feature enhancements, higher volume, NFC fixes, better video decoding and more precise copy and paste [thanks BertrandsBox!] We also initially experienced sluggish behavior on the new update, but a factory reset seemed to resolve the concern.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Continue reading Nokia N9 updated to MeeGo PR1.3, boasts 1,000 improvements

Nokia N9 updated to MeeGo PR1.3, boasts 1,000 improvements originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 03 Jul 2012 21:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony announces Xperia Tipo and Xperia Tipo Dual, outs HSPA Xperia Ion

After announcing the new Xperia Miro on Facebook early this morning, Sony had some more rabbits to pull out of their hat in the form of the Xperia Tipo and Xperia Tipo Dual. The duo of entry level handsets features Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by an 800MHz Qualcomm processor.  Both handsets sports a 3.2-inch scratch-resistant display, 3.2MP camera, and a 1500mAh battery promising over 24 hours of use. The Tipo Dual gets the added benefit of dual SIM support.

The Tipo is designed to be a user’s first smarthphone and will ship with a complete set-up guide and data usage management software to help accustom new owners to such luxury. The Tipo and Tipo Dual will be available in red, white, black, and blue.

Also outed but without much of a formal announcement was an HSPA version of the Sony Xperia Ion for the international market. The original Ion features LTE support for AT&T’s network and still hasn’t seen a release after first being announced at CES back in January. The HSPA version carries identical specs including a 4.6-inch 720p display and dual-core processor. Unlike it’s newly announced younger siblings, the Ion still appears to be headed for shelves rocking Android 2.3 out of the box. It’s definitely a device worthy of Ice Cream Sandwich, however.

[via Sony]


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Sid Meier’s Civilization And Pirates! Heading To Android Thanks To 2K Games/GREE Partnership

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Android users who are fans of Sid Meier’s classic games Pirates! and Civilization now have something to look forward to – it appears hat GREE and 2K Games have teamed up to bring the beloved sim/strategy games to the mobile world.

The companies’ statement indicated that the games would be available as "social titles on select global markets," evidently starting with Japan.

“Creating social mobile games based on the  Sid Meier’s Pirates! and  Sid Meier’s Civilization franchises are our way to connect with Japanese fans in a fun and innovative way,” said Fabien Siouffi, Vice President Online and Social at Take-Two Asia.

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Samsung Music Hub takes on Spotify and Google Music

There’s a lot of choices for cloud music out there, and as promised, Samsung is throwing its hat into the ring. But only if you’ve got a Galaxy S III, and only in Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the UK. Try to contain your excitement, folks. Samsung will expand the Music Hub service to more devices and more countries soon.

The service itself is a lot like Spotify: users will have access to 19 million music tracks at the onset, for a flat fee of £9.99/€9.99. But you’ll also be able to upload your own songs and access them via the web and mobile apps, a la Google (Play) Music. Premium accounts for slightly more will bump available storage up to a whopping 100GB, or roughly 20,000-30,000 songs. Music Hub will integrate with both iTunes and Samsung’s line of Smart TVs.

Versions of the Music Hub app will appear on all Samsung Android phones and tablets after the Galaxy S III, and back-ported apps for the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note are already on the way. What about people who want to enjoy Music Hub (say, because they bought Samsung TV or just don’t like the selection on Spotify) but don’t have a Samsung device? At present, only mobile users are being granted access.

What say you, Android users? I can say from personal experience that Spotify is an excellent subscription service, and Google Music is amazing for cloud storage – which, by the way, is free. The fact that Samsung is limiting itself to just one device at the moment doesn’t bode well for the continued survival of the service. The Australian site lists access from one device – and only one device – at $9.99 a month, with up to four devices costing $12.99 – again, only compatible with Samsung mobile products (plus PCs). The Australian Music Hub is also offering one free month of service to all current Samsung owners.


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