Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

29
May
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Ask a few JRPG fans about their favorite games of all time and you're bound to hear some of them wax nostalgic for Dragon Quest VIII. After selling nearly 5 million copies worldwide, Square Enix is bringing the Playstation 2 hit to Android. Prepare to set out on the road with Yangus, Jessica, and Angelo on an epic quest to lift the curse that threatens your kingdom. However, in typical Square Enix style, your journey isn't going to be cheap.

28
May
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Update Wednesday continues with yet another new apk. This time we're being treated to a regular version bump for Chrome Beta. The changelog isn't as dramatic as we've seen in previous updates to the browser, but it's hard to turn down improvements and bug fixes. The focus seems to be a little more on fine-tuning the experience as we should see smarter suggestions for text entry and improved text rendering on non-mobile optimized web sites.

20
May
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Hunting down good libraries can be a pretty tedious chore for developers. Sometimes we know what we want, but can't find the right keywords for a search. Other times we're already familiar with one option but want to find alternatives that might work better for our project. And sometimes, we just need a little inspiration. Take a look at The Android Arsenal, a large categorized directory of Android-oriented projects that can go a long way toward speeding up your development.

20
May
2014-05-18 16_38_58-Gimbal Beacons Breaking Bluetooth on Android on Vimeo

It's no secret that Bluetooth has been a problem child for Android, plagued with poor audio quality and connectivity issues. I've already covered a handful of common problems in a previous post, but another issue has been emerging in the last few months that threatens to virtually kill all Bluetooth operation on a device in the right conditions. The culprit is a nasty little oversight in the Bluetooth Low-Energy code added with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

17
May
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If you were tempted to pick up a refurbished Galaxy Note 10.1 during the deal we posted earlier this week, but the 16GB internal storage left you wanting, an even more enticing offer just appeared on eBay. For just $11 more, you can score a model with 32GB built-in!

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 11.17.47 AM

Specs:

  • 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 Super LCD display (~299 ppi)
  • Exynos 5 Octa (1.9 GHz Quadcore + 1.3 GHz Quadcore)
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage + MicroSD expandable storage
  • Wi-Fi
  • 8MP rear camera / 2MP front camera
  • S-Pen Stylus

These are manufacturer refurbished units and should operate as if they are fresh off the factory floor, but they may have "light signs of use." This is a pretty remarkable deal for a 2014 model (released Oct 2013), especially since $415 is the lowest price available for a matching refurbished unit on Amazon.

16
May
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Blackberry may be having a rough time of it with flagging sales performance and complications with a certain carrier partner, but that hasn't stopped the company from courting app developers. In an effort to bring in more talent from the much larger and flourishing Android ecosystem, the Blackberry 10.3 SDK has bumped the Android runtime support up from API Level 17 to API level 18 (a.k.a. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean).

16
May
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Android fosters a wide and varied app ecosystem, enabling companies both large and small to produce compelling software. The ability to write an app and easily distribute it to most of the world has given rise to independent developers like Chris Lacy, the man behind Action Launcher, Tweet Lanes, and most recently, Link Bubble. Chris took some time to answer a few questions and tell us a little about his experiences developing apps for Android.

15
May
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If you've got a printer in your home or office, there's a pretty good chance it's made by Epson. Since the announcement of KitKat's new printer support, you might have also been looking forward to being able to send a document straight from your Android device to your Epson printer. Good news: that dream is now a reality. The manufacturer just announced that it has released a plugin to enable native printing support on Android KitKat.

15
May
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Yesterday, Google began rolling out a small update to the Newsstand app, bumping it up from 3.2 to 3.2.1. While the version number suggests this was only a bug fix -and it mostly is- there were still a couple of interesting additions discovered during a teardown.

Onboarding Walkthrough

Google is adding a helpful walkthrough for people who are new to Newsstand. Until now, the app has lacked a proper "onboarding" step for the first time an app is run.

14
May
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If you happen to own an Atrix HD from AT&T, get ready for something you haven't seen in a very long time: a firmware update. Unfortunately, this is only a "security enhancement" and not an upgrade to the Android operating system. Motorola hasn't specified exactly what this update is supposed to fix, but it's almost certainly a patch for the Heartbleed bug that was widely reported last month.

The last update to the Atrix HD shipped out at the end of 2012, which brought it from 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean).

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