Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Android Community

Android Community

Google Play Books gets updated, now comes with Maps integration and more

Posted: 25 Sep 2012 11:21 AM PDT

Today, Google updated its ereading app, Google Play Books, with a handful of new big features. The app now comes with Google Maps integration, translation support, and some advanced annotation tools. If you’ve been thinking about giving Google’s ereading app a try, there’s no better time to do so than now.

With Google Maps integration, Google Play Books will allow you to highlight unfamiliar locations and find out more about them right in the app. An info card with a Google Map will pop up, and you’ll have the option to get even more information by searching Google or Wikipedia. This is great for those reading a book that mentions a lot of foreign geographic locations.

Google also put in translation support, which means if you’re making your way through a book in a different language, you can easily highlight certain words or sentences, and translate them to any number of different languages. Students will no doubt get a kick out of this the next time they’re required to read a foreign book for one of their classes.

There’s also annotation support with today’s update. If you come across a word or a sentence that you find interesting, you can highlight it and come back to it later if need be. You can also take notes in the margins to help you better understand the material in a certain book. The best part is, notes and highlights get saved to the cloud, so they’ll automatically sync with all of your devices.

Google Play Books is a free download and the updated version is available now in the Google Play store. So…when are we getting audio books?

[via SlashGear]

Indestructible now available, is like a mobile version of Twisted Metal

Posted: 25 Sep 2012 10:56 AM PDT

If you’re a fan of the Twisted Metal series on the PlayStation (and who isn’t?), you might find Glu Mobile‘s latest Android game to be a delight. It’s called Indestructibles and it features vehicles with big guns attached to them. What more could you want? You just might want to grab this new game if you’re yearning for some Twisted Metal-like gaming on your Android device.

In the game, there’s absolutely zero racing involved; there’s only vehicles with weapons that go around shooting at other vehicles with weapons. You can play against three other people in real-time multiplayer mode and choose from several different game types, such as capture the flag, death match, and recover the charge.

On top of Glu Mobile claims to be “stunning high-quality graphics” and an “advanced physics engine”, Indestructibles comes with three arenas to battle in, and they’re all set in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s the perfect game with just the right amount of nonsense mixed in with the perfect amount of fun (then again, you can never have too much fun).

As usual with other Glu Mobile games, Indestructible is a completely free game, but users can buy in-game items using real money to give them a competitive edge against their opponents. However, be warned that taking the entirely-free route is difficult and it takes forever to get anywhere in the game. There’s also in-game ads, so don’t be surprised if you’re about shoot one of your opponents and a Galaxy S III ad pops up. However, if you’re looking for a miniature version of Twisted Medal that fits in your pocket, look no further than Indestructibles.

Indestructibles is available now in the Google Play store.

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HTC Droid Incredible X rumored to be Google’s “Nexus 5″

Posted: 25 Sep 2012 10:24 AM PDT

We’ve recently heard buzz on both the HTC Droid Incredible X and what might be Google’s next flagship phone. It’s certainly almost time for a new Nexus device, so it’s no wonder we’re hearing about it so much all of a sudden. The most recent rumor circulating around is that HTC‘s upcoming Droid Incredible X could be the next Nexus device.

The Droid Incredible X is a rumored 5-inch phablet that is said to be Google’s next flagship phone, which might be called the Nexus 5. The name would make sense, because it would be Google’s 5th Nexus device (previous devices being the Nexus One, Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus 7), and the name Nexus 5 would go along great with the Incredible X’s 5-inch display — the latter being the more believable reason since Google named its 7-inch tablet the Nexus 7.

Of course, HTC might not be the only Nexus partner this time around. Samsung is also rumored to bring an immediate successor of the Galaxy Nexus to the market, thanks to some leaked photo samples from the rumored Galaxy Nexus 2 that we heard about yesterday. LG and Sony are also said to be interested in joining the Nexus party.

The Droid Incredible X will feature a 5-inch 1080p display running a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. It’s also said to come with a 12 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front-facing camera, with 64 GB of internal storage. If Google did end up picking the Incredible X as their next flagship smartphone, it would be the first time a phablet would be chosen as a Nexus device.

Obviously — as with any rumor — take all this with a grain of salt. The Nexus rumors are hard to follow as it is, so there may definitely be some fiction within all these rumors. However, it’s about that time for a new Nexus smartphone to hit the market, so we shouldn’t be waiting too long to find out what Google comes up with.

[via AndroidGuys]

Some Samsung handsets vulnerable to factory wipe hack

Posted: 25 Sep 2012 09:43 AM PDT

It looks like there’s bad news on the Samsung front today, as it’s been discovered by security researchers that a single line of malicious code can factory wipe a handful of Samsung smartphones. This means that clicking on a link can automatically trigger your phone to wipe itself with no warning and no way to stop it. The exploit was detailed at the Ekoparty security conference using a simple USSD code. It can be sent from a website or be pushed to the phone with NFC, as well as be triggered by a QR code.

The exploit seems to be only affecting devices running Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. The list of phones that have been confirmed vulnerable so far by various users include the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Beam, S Advance, Galaxy Ace, and the Galaxy S II. Although the user can see the factory wipe taking place, hitting back on the phone or pushing any other button will not stop the reset.

TeamAndIRC confirmed on Twitter that the exploit doesn’t work on AT&T’s Galaxy S III, as well as the European model of the S III. They say the firmware was patched last week before the hack showed up.

It’s said that the hack can wipe the SIM card as well, rendering it completely useless from there on out. It's also possible to push Samsung devices straight to a website running the malicious code using a WAP-push SMS message. To protect yourself from experiencing the hack, it would be best to disable automatic site loading in your QR and/or NFC reader apps. Obviously, don’t click on links that you don’t trust, period.

We have yet to hear from Samsung with an official comment.

[via SlashGear]

Opera Mini updates with Smart Page for social and news updates

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 02:57 PM PDT

Android users are given the excellent luxury of choosing whatever browser they want, and they have many to choose from, including Dolphin, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Over the weekend, Opera Mini was updated and it now includes a new feature called “Smart Page” that aggregates social media updates and news from your most frequently visited websites.

Smart Page works by creating feeds for your favorite websites and suggesting others based on your surfing habits. We’re not sure exactly how your surfing habits are recorded and whether or not they’re used for other purposes besides the Smart Page feature, but getting suggestions on websites based on what you’ve been searching could be useful for some users.

Opera Mini also updated with the usual speed improvements and bugfixes. However, their pre-processing system that they’ve had implemented on their servers for a while claim to lower loading times for websites, and they’ve made improvements to it in this update, but our guess is that some of the other browsers out on the market are still superior when it comes to loading speeds — Opera has never been a front runner when it comes to this.

While the Smart Page feature isn’t ground-breaking by any means, Opera is going in the right direction at least. Other mobile browsers like Dolphin or Google Chrome are still the popular favorite, so Opera is going to have to do something pretty substantial in order to win a majority of Android users.

Opera Mini 7.5 is a free download and it’s available now in the Google Play store.

Apex Launcher updates with new features, fixes force-closing issues

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 02:07 PM PDT

Apex Launcher updated today to version 1.3, bringing with it some new features, including a brand-new force-closing feature where the launcher would force close every time it opened. Okay, that’s not really a feature, but it was a problem that arose in the 1.3 update. Apex Launcher has since been updated to 1.3.1 to fix this issue.

Apex Launcher has long been the go-to launcher for many Android users, and its constant support from the developers make it a good choice if you’re looking for something that keeps up with the times. This new Apex Launcher update comes with a plethora of new features, improvements, and enhancements, like automatic re-sizing of widgets and the option to switch to the tablet UI.

A lot of the changes and new features are Jelly Bean-based, so if you’re stuck on Ice Cream Sandwich, getting the latest Apex Launcher update will allow you to experience some of the hyped Jelly Bean features that everyone is talking about. It’s also a great app if you’re simply looking for a change on your boring Android home screen.

Apex Launcher is available in the Google Play store as a free download. You can also purchase the Pro version for $3.99. The Pro version includes a few exclusive features, like multiple configurable drawer tabs and more gestures than the free version.

[via Android Police]

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 2 camera image samples leak

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 01:58 PM PDT

Google’s Nexus series is bound for a refresh soon, and rumors have already been churning. The Optimus Nexus is just one rumored device that may be the next phone in the Nexus lineup, but there’s also the Galaxy Nexus 2 by Samsung. Alleged image samples from the Galaxy Nexus 2 camera have supposedly been leaked.

A couple of images that have been uploaded to Picasa have some interesting information in the EXIF data. A device named GT-i9260 shows up under “Model”. For anyone familiar with how Samsung codenames their devices, the Galaxy Nexus has the codename GT-i9250, which could easily mean that GT-i9260 is the immediate successor to the Galaxy Nexus.

The photos are nothing to write home about since they don’t really show off the camera’s abilities, but it does say a lot about where the Galaxy Nexus 2 is in the manufacturing process. The photos confirm that a successor to the Galaxy Nexus is at least real. Whether or not its a finished product or just a prototype, though, is a mystery.

Recent rumors have pegged the Galaxy Nexus 2 to get upgrades across the board with an improved camera, a bigger battery, double the RAM (2GB), and a faster processor that will either be dual- or quad-core. However, it’s said that the rumored phone will stick with the same 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display as the Galaxy Nexus.

[via SlashGear]

Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour coming this Fall

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 01:01 PM PDT

Gameloft‘s Modern Combat series is an epic first-person shooter that has some awesome 3D graphics that are simply stunning for a mobile game. When we saw Modern Combat 3, we had no idea how the developers could ever top it, but it looks like they’re attempting to do that, with their upcoming sequel, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour. Details about the upcoming game were leaked out today.

A trailer and a few images were shown at a private Gameloft press event at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. The trailer features a news report that discusses the kidnapping of fictional US president Burke. There’s also a quick bio of Edward Page, who is an ex-US Ranger and member of the K.P.R. Alliance who was featured in the previous installment of Modern Combat. He’s been pinpointed as the suspect in MC4.

We then see a few seconds of gameplay showing a city square with two helicopters crossing paths, with a voiceover saying, “Walk away with blood on your hands.” We’re sure this game will be a doozy and hopefully we’ll get even more details on it soon before it launches, like better screenshots and higher-quality trailer.

The end of the trailer shows that Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour will be available on Android and iOS sometime in the “Autumn”, which could either mean tomorrow or even a couple months from now. Either way, all first-person shooter junkies should be on the lookout for this new sequel to hit any time now.

[via Pocket Gamer]

Apple wants an extra $707 million in damages from Samsung

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 12:29 PM PDT

As if a whopping $1 billion isn’t enough for Apple, the Cupertino-based company is asking Samsung for almost 75% more in damages on top of the $1 billion. In a motion filed on Friday, Apple requested that Judge Lucy Koh require Samsung to pay an additional $707 million in damages against Apple. This would bring the total amount that Samsung would owe to over $1.7 billion.

On top of the additional charges that Apple wants to bring upon Samsung, they have requested that a permanent sales ban be put on 26 Samsung smartphones and tablets, which is detailed in its entirety in the 43-page motion document. Don’t feel obligated to read through all 43 pages; we’re sure Apple is just being greedy at this point.

In response to Apple’s motion, Samsung has requested a new trial with a different jury or — if not that — then at least a reduction in the proposed damage costs made my Apple. Then again, even if Samsung is rewarded all of the reductions that it asked for, it’ll only total up to around $35 million off, which is chump change compared to the $1.05 billion they already owe Apple.

The two companies are scheduled to face off again in court on December 6, where a final decision will be made. At that point, we’ll hear what the judge has to say about Apple’s request for more money from damages. Whether or not Apple gets their way this time around, Samsung will still have to cough up a pretty penny — $1 billion definitely isn’t pocket change.

[via SlashGear]

T-Mobile updating network and speeding up 4G

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 11:52 AM PDT

T-Mobile loves its unlimited plans and they’re one of the few carriers that still have them around. However, while providing unlimited data is certainly a boon, T-Mobile is currently working on improving and restructuring their network, making their 4G speeds even faster and providing coverage in more places.

The carrier is promising the fastest speeds yet (not counting LTE), thanks to an enhanced 1900 MHz 4G HSPA+ spectrum from AT&T. To lure in those that are sick of not having unlimited data, T-Mobile can’t only say they provide true unlimited data, but they have to prove they can provide it with efficiency and aplomb. They’re hoping these upgrades will do the trick.

The upgrade is a significant chunk of T-Mobile’s $4 billion plan to improve and restructure their network across the US. And what’s perhaps even more important, is that all unlocked international devices (as well as AT&T devices) will work on T-Mobile’s network now, which means a lot more devices can get T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ speeds that are mighty quick.

It’s said that Las Vegas is one of the first cities to get T-mobile’s improved network updates — with 75% of the city’s coverage already being worked on. T-Mobile plans to go to other Western cities like Seattle and Los Angeles, while also hitting up the East coast in cities like Washington D.C. and the New York metro area within the coming months.

[via SlashGear]

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