- Clash Of The Nexus Ninjas: Go on a 8-bit hunt for the Galaxy Nexus
- Google+ app update brings new photo views, allows you to start hangouts from phone
- Battery charged, Screen scratches [From the Forums]
- HTC says infringed patent 'a small UI experience,' already has workaround
- AT&T's bid for T-Mobile is officially dead
- Google announces welcome improvements to Google+ are coming before the New Year
- Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation from Gameloft now available in the Android Market
- Mobile Nations Live!
- This is how you unbox a Galaxy Nexus (hint: with Ninjas)
- Android App Review: SeekDroid
- Cincinnati Bell's Nexus S to receive Ice Cream Sandwich this week [updated]
- Eric Schmidt doesn't actually say Nexus tablet, everybody starts thinking it anyway
- Droid RAZR about to get bugfix update, including data and camera
- Vote now in the 2011 Android Central Awards!
- ASUS Transformer Prime back on Amazon, company expects 'normal inventory levels in January'
- HTC Congressional rumored for AT&T spring 2012
- Deal of the Day: Mobi Products Hard Shell Case & Holster Combo for the Samsung Epic 4G Touch
- Glu gets its own set of Sprint ID packs, throws in Guitar Hero and Deer Hunter
- Android Game Review: Stardash
- Monday Brief: December 19, 2011
- Fusion Garage might or might not be dead (is there a difference, though?)
- Tapatalk forum app updates for Ice Cream Sandwich
- The Week in Android News
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 05:04 PM PST
Just in case you never caught the prolougue for the game while watching the Galaxy Nexus unboxing video, Clash Of The Nexus Ninjas is a real game that is currently available in the Android Market. Based on the previous generation Nexus unboxing videos by Patrick Boivin, you get to play the red ninja who has to protect his new Galaxy Nexus from the likes of the black and white ninjas who have decided to join forces in an effort to steal your precious cargo.
You'll have to kick and punch your way through six action packed levels full of enemies and bosses but don't be afraid to unleash Nexus power. It's a power that is so awesome -- it can take out a multitude of ninjas at once. Clash Of The Nexus Ninjas is available now for free -- download link is past the break for you all.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 03:24 PM PST
We've gotten a sneak peek at some new features coming to Google+ as a whole, and the Android app just got itself a nice little update. Here's what's new:
Snag the update in the Market now, or at the links after the break.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 03:12 PM PST
We're off! Starting out another week at Android Central and it's already been a pretty jam packed day. If you happened to miss out on any of todays events make sure you get caught up either here on the blogs or in the Android Central forums.
If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 02:36 PM PST
The International Trade Commission has found that HTC products violate Apple patents, and the importation of devices will be banned starting in April of next year. We don't yet know which devices are covered under this order -- HTC isn't yet saying -- only that "Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found a violation of section 337 in this investigation and has issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting importation of infringing personal data and mobile communications devices and related software". It's a pretty broad statement, and we're not going to second guess at it until we hear the full details.
HTC gave Android Central the following statement (updated 6:20 EST):
While fans on one side will cheer, and fans on the other side will call foul, we all will lose. Justice really is blind, and when it comes to technology and innovation, it also seems pretty damn stupid.
More: All Things D
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 01:45 PM PST
That's it, folks. It's done. Kaput. Finished. First reported by The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press, AT&T has released a statement saying the deal is over.
AT&T has already set aside $4 billion (with a "b") in break-up fees, which they'll be paying to someone now. Big business is an expensive playground to play in.
Long live the Big 4.
Update: Sprint, an extremely vocal opponent of the merger, just issued the following statement:
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 01:24 PM PST
Google has some great new improvements in the works for Google+, and today they let us know we'll be getting them soon -- as in before New Year's Day. Starting to roll out in the "next few days", we'll be seeing changes to the way notifications look and feel, which posts are shown in your main stream, a new photo lightbox display, and changes to the way Google+ Pages are administered.
Notifications (that red box you see in the new Google bar) are being improved so that you'll have a preview of what's new instead of just a notice that it's there. A welcome change, especially if you reply to posts from folks who quickly hit the 500 comment limit.
Google is adding a way to fine-tune what type of posts are shown in your main stream, with a slider for each user you've circled. This should allow better control, and it's a great idea that many have been asking for. Let's face it -- some users post a lot of content you just don't want to see. It will be interesting to see how they pull this one off.
The photo lightbox -- the page that's shown when you click a photo from your stream -- has been enhanced, with a new look as well as the way comments and options are presented to users. Since Google+ is a great way to share photos, making the way they are displayed to you and I is a pretty big deal. Looking forward to this one myself.
Finally, Google+ Pages, accounts for businesses and websites like +Android Central, have had tweaks that webmasters and managers will welcome. Up to 50 people will be able to administrate the account, a new notification system will help keep admins more in-the-loop about content, and new tools will be provided to see just who is interacting with your stream.
These look like great improvements, and several of them should trickle down to the Google+ mobile app -- like filtering your stream. The Google+ team looks to have had a busy fall, and we're about to see the results. Be sure to visit the link to check out a couple videos and learn more.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 01:14 PM PST
The next chapter in one of Gameloft's largest game franchises has finally been released to the Android Market. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation brings back the intense gameplay Modern Combat fans expect but adds a few new features to the mix as well:
If you dig war games, you can grab Modern Combat 3: Fall Nation in the Android Market right now. Looking at the reviews though, it seems there may be some issues with the Galaxy Nexus running the game so your milage may vary. It's available for $6.99 and you'll find the download link past the break.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 12:32 PM PST
The Mobile Nations Podcast brings together the heads of state of Android Central, CrackBerry, PreCentral, TiPb and WPCentral.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 12:03 PM PST
You've probably noticed, we don't spend much time on traditional unboxing videos around these parts, even when a phone kicks ass at the level of the Galaxy Nexus. There's only so many times you can look at a USB cable and cheap set of earbuds before things start to go a bit fuzzy, so we leave that to your imagination. But things would be different if we were ninjas.
How different? Make sure you have Adobe Flash installed (sorry iPad, U NO CAN PLAY) and hit the link to see. Just don't plan on doing anything else for at least an hour.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 11:49 AM PST
Keeping your phone safe and sound is a pretty big deal to all of us, I'd say. We cover our thin, svelte devices in cases, slap screen protectors on them, and make sure they're always in a pocket, purse, or holster. In the odd event you've misplaced your phone, or even worse, it was stolen, it feels like the sky is falling.
Important emails, financial information, texts, pictures, all of it is AWOL. You're freaking out, trying to retrace your steps, get your phone, and secure your information. It's no good for anyone. To alleviate some of the stress you feel in situations like this, I'd like to introduce y'all to SeekDroid.
SeekDroid is your one-stop shop for everything related to keeping your phone safe. It's a two-step process (installing the app, then controlling everything from the web), but once you see the total package, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Once you've installed the app, you have to sign up for SeekDroid's website with a username and a password. Make sure you never lose it, because if you forget your password, you need to uninstall the app, reinstall it, and sign up with a new name. There's no password recovery to speak of.
The app itself is pretty Plain Jane, nothing more than a settings menu. From here you can set SeekDroid as a device administrator, change your SeekDroid password, and enable a slew of security settings. This is where all the preliminary decisions get made, so make sure you choose wisely.
You can enable or disable call history retrieval, remote phone wiping, and remote SD card wiping, plus there's also SMS settings to control your phone in case you can't get to a computer.
First you set up your SMS pin, then select what options you're giving SeekDroid power over (similar to the web interface), but here, you'd text your phone your PIN and a keyword, like locate, to enable SMS location. You can also activate an alarm, lock your phone, wipe it, or wipe the SD card, all using SMS.
What else does SeekDroid have to offer? When you're on the web interface, quite a bit. You can locate your phone using GPS and get a pinpoint accurate location, conveniently placed on Google Maps for you. There's also the option to send an alarm to the device (with a custom message), and the alarm still sounds even if the phone is on silent.
You can also actually lock the phone, wipe it, or wipe the SD, barring you set those permissions earlier. The web portal is quite slick, well designed, and easy to use. I tested each of the options (except for wiping), and needless to say, they work like a charm.
If you're looking for peace of mind in the event your phone goes missing, SeekDroid is definitely where it's at. Yes, it costs $4.99, but for a one-time fee and the ability to track any Android device I install it on, I could not be more pleased. It's easy to set up on your phone, even easier to use the web interface, and that nets it a strong recommendation from me.
We've got pictures and download links after the break.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 10:55 AM PST
Update: Cincinatti Bell's given us an official update on the update, saying that we might not see things push this week, but instead through January. Also, as is the case with Nexus phones, expect the update from Google itself. Here's the full statement:
Original: While the Samsung Nexus S shown above on Cincinnati Bell has definitely been running the latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich update earlier than this week, that doesn't change the fact that the Ohio-based company should be officially pushing out the update starting today. Our sources tell us that the company has the latest version of Android
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 10:11 AM PST
So apparently Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said something about a tablet to an Italian newspaper. Next thing you know, we have a Nexus tablet coming in six months or something. And you know what? That could totally happen. And you know what else? It already has.
Here's what Schmidt actually said (more or less, thanks to Google Translate):
Someone want to point out where, in that sentence, the word "Nexus" is used?
Here's what probably happened: Someone asked Schmidt a question. Schmidt gave an answer that you'd totally expect from the company's executive chairman and former CEO. What else should he have said? "Oh, we're going to push some piece of shit that nobody's going to buy." Nobody would say that. Not even RIM. (OK, maybe RIM.)
Oh, but, yes, Schmdit did say "We ... plan to market." Cool. Wouldn't surprise us in the least. Because Google's already done that once. A year ago. It was called the Motorola Xoom. It came with an unlockable bootloader, was devoid of bloatware and was the first tablet to be pushed by el Goog.
No, it wouldn't surprise us in the least to see Google put its weight behind another tablet. And a tablet of the highest quality, to boot. And it'll be welcomed by us with open arms. But let's not go putting words in people's mouths just yet.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 09:36 AM PST
Some good news for those of you suffering with that little slice of sexy otherwise known as the Motorola Droid RAZR: An update's on the way (and we're told that a soak test has already begun) that's going to squash a few bugs, including that blasted SIM card error, and to improve the camera. Here's the list:
Good stuff. Look for the update to drop any time now.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 08:19 AM PST
The year's quickly coming to a close, and it's time to cast your vote in the 2011 Android Central Awards. We want your vote in the following categories:
This one's entirely up to you, folks. If you don't vote, you can't complain. Just like real life. So hit the link below and make sure your voice is heard. It just takes a couple minutes. (And, yes, you'll be getting Android Central's unabashed choices in the near future, too.) We'll be closing entries on Friday afternoon and announce the winners (and loser) next week! Vote now!
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 08:05 AM PST
ASUS this morning gave us an update on the availability of the popular and already hard-to-get Transformer Prime Android tablet. It's once again available on Amazon, which may be your best bet if you're looking to snag one by Christmas. And ASUS says it expects to have "normal inventory levels in January" for North America. In-store availability in the meantime, will likely fluctuate. It is the holidays, after all.
Here's the official line from ASUS:
As for Amazon, you can get the 64GB Tranformer Prime in champagne or amethyst gray for $599, and the 32GB version in those colors for $499 at the links below.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 07:49 AM PST
A few things we can promise you in 2012:
And with all of those completely unsurprising realizations out of the day, BGR says it has word of one Android smartphone coming next year, possibly dubbed the AT&T Congressional, and possibly coming in April. ICS and Beats are a given. As are fast processors, good (or at least better) cameras, and so on and so forth. Hardware is hardware.
No, what we're really interested in for 2012 is what HTC does with Ice Cream Sandwich. Will we see the same old Sense (or, more likely, a new version of Sense) laid atop the Android framework? Will they combine UI features? That's the big question for 2012, folks. Hardware comes and goes. Very quickly.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 07:37 AM PST
The Dec. 19 Deal of the Day brings us the Mobi Products Hard Shell Case & Holster Combo for Samsung Epic 4G Touch. The holster features a locking swivel belt clip which allows you to carry your Samsung Epic 4G Touch at any angle. It's using a face-in design to protect the display. And, best of all, it's available today only for just $9.95 -- that' 67 percent off! Get yours while supplies last.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 07:25 AM PST
If you're a fan of Glu's stable of games on Android and are rocking a Sprint phone and are into the Sprint ID thing (that's a lot of qualifies, we know), Glu's now got its own Sprint ID pack. With it you get:
You can snag them on your phone, or hit the link below for more.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 06:57 AM PST
For anyone who grew up with a big, chunky original Game Boy or played old NES and SNES games, Stardash was made for you. Designed in 8-bit of the highest quality, Stardash aims to tug at your nostalgic heartstrings while giving everyone the same challenges and satisfaction found in the oldest of oldies.
Gameplay is about as straightforward as it gets. You've got left and right arrows and a jump button, nothing more. This game checks the frills at the door and gives you one task: dash. So dash you do, traversing increasingly difficult terrain and jumping over chasms while also making sure to jump on any enemies you see. (Historical records dictate this is the most efficient way to kill them.)
Throughout your adventures you'll also come across coins to pick up, although this is par the course for sidescrolling adventures of this sort. If you're lucky (or smart), you'll also find the optimal "high road" to get across the level, thus enabling you to reach the coveted 100-point balloon at the end of the level.
Aesthetically, you're getting just what you'd expect from a game carrying on the legacy Mario and friends. It's monochromatic, pixelated, and has upbeat, friendly sounding 8-bit music to accompany the visual. The buttons are large and cartoonish, but look like the buttons from the controllers of years past. If you weren't playing this on a high-powered phone, you could almost imagine you're back in the 80s.
There are tons of levels and secrets to enjoy (40 levels and four unlockable temples) as well as achievements out the wazoo thanks to OpenFeint support. It's as social as old-school gaming gets, and gives a nice nod to things like the whistles, what with the keys for temples and all.
Other than that, there isn't much to say. Stardash is awesome. You want it. You need it. Take a walk down memory lane and enjoy the trip or see what you young whippersnappers have been missing these days, with those super photorealistic things you've been playing on those HD moving picture boxes.
Stardash is $1.99 in the Android Market. We've got download links after the break.
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 05:30 AM PST
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 05:15 AM PST
News spread like a single spark in a mostly uncaring world this weekend over the possible death of a manufacturer that never really manufactuered much of anything. Fusion Garage's website went down on Saturday, Engadget noticed. As of Monday morning, it's slowly come back to life. Sort of. It's currently a mishmash of a single shiny landing page, broken links and security warnings.
And then there's the part that Fusion Garage was the company that had teamed up with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to build the $200 CrunchPad, only to not ever really do it and get itself in a huge legal pissing match with the Silicon Valley bigwig. Meanwhile, the CrunchPad became the Joojoo and died a quiet death in November 2010.
Fusion Garage came back in 2011 with a wacky staged press conference, complete with recorded audience sounds, where it introduced the Grid 10 and Grid 4 devices, which featured a crazy UI over an aging verison of Android. Unofficial sales numbers are said to be in the several. Fusion Garage's purchase page says "We are running out of stock. Thank you."
Responses to the news of Fusion Garage's demise reportedly have ranged from "Hunh?" to "Who?"
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 04:33 AM PST
Tapatalk is one of the more popular ways to use the Android Central Forums from your smartphone. One problem though -- it wasn't playing nicely with Ice Cream Sandwich. But we've been working with the developer for a couple weeks now and can happily report that the app was just updated to fix the crashes in Android 4.0. So now you can browse and post in the Best Android Forums Anywhere™ from the Best Android Smartphone Yet™. Huzzah!
We've got download links after the break. And be sure to check out Android Central on it.
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 06:32 PM PST
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