Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Skype rival Rebtel updated with tablet support – offers free VoIP calling

Posted: 13 Jun 2012 11:09 AM PDT

If you’re not a fan of Skype but would love to make cheap, and often times free VoIP (Voice over IP) calls on your Android phone or tablet we have just the app. Rebtel has just issued an update today adding more features and full Android tablet support to their services. More details on their free calling below.

Using the new Rebtel v2.0 you can now make high quality Rebtel to Rebtel user calls for free over Wi-Fi or 3G on smartphones and tablets. Skype is leading the mobile VoIP market but Rebtel is in close second so you’ll want to check it out. You can even make international calls completely free using Rebtel as long as both parties use their service. Sound like you could save some money?

Rebtel 2.0 was announced and released back in December but today has received a much awaited and needed update with Android tablet support. It seems to be compatible with all the tablets on my list (more than a few) and should have better compatibility with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich now. The update also solved a few 4G connection problems users were having so give it a try from the link below.

Rebtel Play Store Link


Magic Piano finally arrives for Android

Posted: 13 Jun 2012 10:45 AM PDT

Who wants to play some musical masterpieces on their Android phones and tablets? Today the popular Magic Piano by Smule has finally crossed the orchard of Apple’s and is available on Android. This game is actually quite excellent and will be loads of fun for any music or Piano fan.

With over 14 million users on iOS this will surely be another popular game for Android. The basis is extremely easy. You follow rays of light on your screen and play a Piano to enjoy the music. It’s all based on timing and rhythm and works great. The Developers, Smule, start you off easy with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but eventually you can get into Bruno Mars and Beethoven if you have the skills.

They have some of the top songs from the billboard charts available, over 200 currently and more are added daily, as well as a free song of the day so you don’t have to earn points or buy the songs you want to play. It’s like Guitar Hero, only easier (for me at least.) You can share your results with Android’s standard sharing features (unlike iOS) and compare with friends and family. I’m noticing my fingers are a little big at times and have a feeling it would be much easier on a tablet, but that’s just me. Go ahead and hit the link below to give it a try today. It’s free!

Magic Piano Play Store Link

magic unnamed


Apple’s Samsung Galaxy S III ban denied by Judge

Posted: 13 Jun 2012 10:03 AM PDT

Apple‘s plans to block the launch of Samsung’s highly popular Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone have apparently failed. Cheers, drinks on me! US Judge Lucy Koh reportedly wasn’t able to fit Apple’s demanding time frame into her schedule and thus denied the injunction, preventing the device from being banned before its launch later this month.

However, this is both good and bad news. For one the Samsung Galaxy S III will launch as planned. Starting with AT&T and T-Mobile on June 21st, then arriving later for Verizon. Devices will be shipped on time and most likely millions of people will be enjoying their phones very soon. The bad news — the Judge didn’t actually deny the injunction, she just wasn’t able to see the case in time. This means there still is a possibility that Apple will win and sales be halted, but by that time most of the people patiently waiting will already have one.

The trail will most definitely move forward and is set for sometime in July according to Reuters, but by then the launch will have already happened and the devices will be everywhere and in stores across this great nation. Hopefully once this trial finally gets underway the Judge will deny it again and leave Samsung to do their thing. We’ll have to wait and see.

[via The Verge]


Sony Xperia tipo dual jumps on multi-SIM bandwagon

Posted: 13 Jun 2012 03:26 AM PDT

Sony has unveiled a couple of new budget smartphone offerings called the tipo and the tipo dual. The tipo dual is Sony’s dual SIM card offering and other than that dual SIM card feature, the two phones have the same features. The dual version has a button on the side to switch between the two SIM cards. Both phones have a 3.2-inch screen.

The 3.2-inch screen has a resolution of 480 x 320 and the smartphones run Android 4.0 ICS. Under the hood is an 800 MHz processor, Bluetooth, and integrated Wi-Fi. The smartphones also have integrated GPS/aGPS, an FM tuner with RDS, and a standard 3.5 mm headphone port. The rear camera is a 3.2-megapixel unit that can record video.

The phone has 512 MB of RAM and 2.5 GB of storage with a microSD card slot for expansion. The phone has a 1500 mAh battery promising 24 hours of use per charge. The phones are 13 mm thick and weigh a bit more than 99 g. The tipo will come in white, red, and blue with the tipo dual coming in black or white only. Pricing and availability are unknown.

[via SlashGear]


Sony Xperia miro brings tight Facebook integration

Posted: 13 Jun 2012 03:09 AM PDT

Sony is showing off its new smartphone called the Xperia miro that will bring heavy Facebook integration and Android 4.0. The smartphone has a 3.5-inch touchscreen and a five-megapixel rear camera. One of the big features is the custom Xperia with Facebook software that enables easy sharing and liking right in the operating system.

The smartphone also offers a front camera for video calling and chats. The smartphone will support DLNA streaming and promises a big battery, implying long run time. However, Sony doesn’t specify the size of the battery. The smartphone also features Sony’s xLOUD audio technology.

The miro also has an illumination system that alerts you to new messages and other news rather than the traditional glowing LEDs we’re all used to. Sony hasn’t come clean with pricing and availability on the miro just yet. We do know there will be multiple colors, including black, black/pink, white, and white/gold. Judging by the feature set we would expect this to be a mid-range offering.

[via SlashGear]


Samsung announces TecTiles to bring NFC to the masses

Posted: 12 Jun 2012 09:00 PM PDT

While Samsung’s Galaxy S III is getting ready to hit the US in full stride on multiple carriers this month, they’ve also just announced their brand new TecTiles. What are TecTiles you ask? These are programmable NFC tags that will simplify your life using the built-in NFC chip to complete tasks with the swipe of your phone. Call your wife when you get in the car to head home from work, activate apps like navigation, change settings and more all with ease. Check out more on these programmable NFC TecTiles below.

Above was just a few ways users can enjoy NFC capabilities. Program a “Work” TecTile and simply tap your Galaxy S III (or NFC capable Sammy device) to the tile when you get to work and it will instantly set all your settings to work/silent/vibrate mode, maybe turn on WiFi, and even open your calender. The options, ideas, and tasks are limitless. Put a TecTile by your doorway so when you get home you can simply tap it to turn on and connect to your home WiFi. Neat right? We’ve seen these before with others but were given an opportunity to enjoy a few of these tricks on the new Galaxy S III and it worked flawlessly.

TecTiles Package_5.12 ETC-TT1G6NBSTD_4 ETC-TT1G6NBSTD_3 ETC-TT1G6NBSTD_1 Screen Shot 2012-06-12 at 1.25.21 PM

These appear to only be compatible with Samsung devices like the SGS III, the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S Blaze 4G, and the Nexus S for their NFC capabilities. Samsung has even launched a TecTile App in the Play Store for easy programming and other functions. Here’s a list of the many different ways to enjoy Samsung TecTiles.

Settings & Applications
• Change phone settings (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ringer/media volume, screen brightness, etc.)
• Launch an application
• Join a WiFi Network
• Show a message

Communication
• Make a call
• Send a text message
• Start a Google Talk conversation
• Share a contact or business card

Location & Web
• Show an address on a map
• Open a web page
• Foursquare or Facebook check-in

Social
• Automatic Facebook "Like"
• Update Facebook status
• Post a tweet or follow a contact on Twitter
• Connect on LinkedIn

Each pack of their TecTiles will cost just $14.99 and you’ll get five to a pack. The Samsung TecTiles app will be available for download on the Google Play Store, and TecTile packs will be available for purchase online or in-store at multiple carrier locations throughout the country.

[via Samsung Tectile]


T-Mobile Galaxy Note clears the FCC, demo units arrive at stores

Posted: 12 Jun 2012 04:28 PM PDT

T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy Note might finally become a reality here soon sometime this summer. We’ve seen a few leaks suggest it was coming, and even spotted it in the wild running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but now it has cleared the FCC and should hopefully be on the way to Magenta store shelves.

There were a few reports that the 5.3-inch Note would arrive on Verizon as the Galaxy Journal but that is looking pretty doubtful about now. Apparently T-Mobile will be offering it at some point though and according to PocketNow it has just cleared the FCC. We’ve heard it could land as soon as July 11th, and that sounds about right given that it has now cleared the FCC.

samsung_galaxy_note_review_sg_35-580x490-540x4561 note-tmo-fcc Screen-Shot-2012-06-11-at-4.47.46-PM-1

Other details have also been revealed as of late that T-Mobile stores have already started receiving promotional material as well as actual T-Mobile Galaxy Note demo and dummy units according to leaks by TmoNews. Last week we reported on a possibly Galaxy Note 2 with a 5.5-inch screen in the pipes from Samsung, so T-Mobile better hurry if they plan to launch this thing in time for summer. We have a feeling they might wait until after the Galaxy S III launches on June 21st so they don’t steal any of its thunder with the Note, but we’ll have to wait and see. Would you take the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note over the flagship Galaxy S III on T-Mobile?

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Galaxy Note
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : September 01, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 5.30 Inch
  • Resolution : 800x1280
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.78 Inch
  • Width : 3.27 Inch
  • Depth : 0.38 Inch
  • Weight : 178 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 2500 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 390 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AMR
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
  • WMV
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU :
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 32.768 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Phandroid]


Google shows their inspiration and exploration of Android 4.0 ICS design [Video]

Posted: 12 Jun 2012 03:59 PM PDT

Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS is up for an award for the overall user experience in Android 4.0 ICS at the Parsons School of Design 2012 UX Awards. The team at AndroidDevelopers put together a neat little video showing off Android 4.0, as well as their inspiration and exploratory design and graphic elements of our favorite mobile OS.

The screenshot above is just one of many aspects of the video that caught my attention. I couldn’t help but wonder what ICS could have been, and what parts of this we still might see in the future with Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean and beyond. The entire video is awesome for Android fans but around the 2:10 mark they start showing us a look at their exploration and ideas as they designed Ice Cream Sandwich.

My image above came from the 2:30 mark where the Android Developers wanted to show some of the visual and motion graphics that were possible with Android 4.0 ICS, but for whatever reason didn’t make the cut. The way the icons fly out of the ground, bounce when in use and flow so smooth really is neat. I’d love to see this is future versions of Android.

We here at Android Community obviously love Ice Cream Sandwich, and I’m sure many of you do too. The simplistic design, smooth animations, and amazing multitasking are all about what makes Ice Cream Sandwich’s UX one of the best. Whether it wins or not, ICS is a winner in our book.

[via Droid-Life]


Samsung launches new Galaxy S III commercial – shows us its human side

Posted: 12 Jun 2012 02:25 PM PDT

Samsung’s brand new flagship Galaxy S III smartphone has been receiving its fair share of attention as of late. Being an all around amazing device it’s completely understandable. Yesterday they launched another TV commercial for the new smartphone, showing us yet again that the phone is “designed for humans” since apparently dogs use phones too.

Personally I think their tagline “designed for humans” is a bit goofy and off the wall, but maybe they just meant that it wasn’t designed for iSheep, but for humans — who knows. Their latest commercial does happen to show some impressive features that every owner, or “human” will enjoy. Things like Android Beam, taking tons of photos at weddings, and everything else we do and love with our smartphones.

What a heartfelt commercial right? It actually is quite a bit better than the first one, so I’ll give Sammy that. With Samsung’s Galaxy S III getting ready to launch in a huge way in a few weeks here in the US they’ll be ramping up the advertizing and marketing, so I have a feeling we’ll be seeing plenty more soon. At least they are actually showing capabilities of the device, instead of just having a crazy and chaotic commercial filled with actors and singers like The Darkness one they ran during the Super Bowl.

Do you guys like Samsung’s latest commercial?


Motorola DROID RAZR Android 4.0 ICS update still MIA

Posted: 12 Jun 2012 01:54 PM PDT

Verizon and Motorola’s extremely popular DROID RAZR is still awaiting the update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. We’ve seen multiple leaks, as well as various reports that the update would be coming soon. Remember the last one? CNET “confirmed” the update would arrive today June 12th, but sadly that didn’t pan out. Today Verizon has confirmed that it’s no where in our immediate future.

Best Buy seemed to know the update was coming in late May too and that never happened. So either Verizon keeps pulling and changing the update or things are just not going as planned for big red and Motorola. Today Verizon has confirmed on Twitter that the update would not be arriving today for the RAZR and RAZR MAXX, and that they have no date to announce at this time. Meaning it’s still at least a few weeks or longer away.

Just as Verizon states, details will be on Verizon.com/support once made available and that usually means the update is a matter of days away. As soon as we see any support documents show up we’ll be sure and let everyone know. For now feel free to try some of the leaks linked to below if you don’t want to wait.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : DROID RAZR
    Manufactuer : Motorola
    Carrier : Verizon
    Announced Date : October 18, 2011
    Release Date : November 03, 2011
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.3 Inch
  • Resolution :
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Advanced qHD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.15 Inch
  • Width : 2.71 Inch
  • Depth : 0.27 Inch
  • Weight : 127 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1780 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : 8.9 hours
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : OMAP 4430
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1000 MB
    Internal Storage : 16.384 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1700
  • 1900
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Droid-Life]


US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S III up for pre-order today

Posted: 12 Jun 2012 12:49 PM PDT

Yup, all you regional carrier folks that are enjoying those new blazing fast 4G LTE services from US Cellular have an awesome phone available to pre-order starting today. US Cellular announced last week that their Galaxy S III pre-orders would start today, and now the page is live with both the 16 and 32GB flavors.

US Cellular is offering both the Marble White and Pebble Blue colors, although the 32GB model only will come in White. Prices start as $199 with a $100 mail in rebate, then the 32GB model is $249 with the same MIR. USCC announced these prices last week but we are still waiting for any off-contract pricing to become available. Most likely it will be priced around $599 for users wanting to take that route.

For now the only official word from US Cellular is the phones will be available and start shipping sometime in early July, so we don’t have a definitive date on that yet. If you are located in one of USCC’s 4G LTE networks you’ll surely want to pick up this new flagship smartphone from Samsung. Check out our review and additional coverage below.

[via US Cellular]


Nextbook Premium tablets bring ICS on a budget

Posted: 12 Jun 2012 12:05 PM PDT

A new line of budget friendly Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablets have hit the shelves. These are from the somewhat well known tablet brand Nextbook, although I’d hardly call them premium. Offering 7, 8, and 10.1-inch Ice Cream Sandwich tablets all priced under $300, if you’re on a budget they might be worth a quick look.

The two probably worth mentioning the most is the new Nextbook Premium 8SE and Premium 10SE. The 8-inch model offers a decent sized screen (although only 800 x 480 resolution) a single-core 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage for only $229. It might not be the cheapest we’ve seen but it is larger than many 7-inch budget tablets. Once NVIDIA’s KAI quad-core $200 platform becomes available these will be overpriced paperweights though. Just a thought.

Secondly, after watching their promotional video (on the right) found here, the slideshow presentation of Android 4.0 ICS shows the stock UI, TouchWiz, some Honeycomb, Transformer UI, and even an iPad at the 1:01 minute mark — so I’m not sure what exactly the deal is here. Either way these are budget tablets that might make a good gift. For more details on their 7, 8, and 10-inch models hit the links provided above.

Screen Shot 2012-06-12 at 11.29.59 AM Screen Shot 2012-06-12 at 11.29.12 AM

[via SlashGear]


Max Payne Mobile for Android launching this Thursday

Posted: 12 Jun 2012 11:09 AM PDT

The extremely popular shooter by Rockstar Games should hopefully be available in just a few days starting on Thursday, June 14th. Hopefully this time around the game actually launches on time because the last release date was almost 2 months ago. Max Payne will finally be landing on Android come Thursday so be ready for some hardcore revenge.

Rockstar Games confirmed Thursdays launch on their official blog giving us some additional screenshots and a full list of compatible devices (including tablets like the original Transformer) and more. The original release date was late April but that came and went without a word from Rockstar.

They’ve confirmed it will launch for the low price of just $2.99 for Android phones and tablets, and since they delayed it so long I’m hoping it will be a smooth, buggy free launch. Rockstar released their hugely popular Grand Theft Auto III for Android which did extremely well, and we have a feeling Max Payne will do the same. Just like GTA III we also expect an NVIDIA Tegra Zone launch and are happy to announce Max Payne will offer gamepad support for select USB controllers.

Stay tuned for more details and expect a full Android Community game review coming soon.

[via DroidGamers]


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