Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

22
Aug
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In a post to Google's Mobile Ads blog today, YouTube Group Project Manager Phil Farhi announced that those pre-video, skippable advertisements you've seen on YouTube (they're officially called TrueView in-stream video ads) are quick on their way to mobile devices.

Fahri cites greater ROI as the primary benefit of multi-platform ad exposure through YouTube and its associated mobile experiences, also noting that "today, most of us watch video on our smartphones and tablets, as well as our PCs." This consumption-oriented behavior pattern's spread across multiple platforms effectively opens the door for what Fahri calls "multi-screen campaigns," which not only expose viewers to an advertiser's campaign across multiple devices, but also – and perhaps more importantly – improves brand recall.

22
Aug
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The phone with the name everyone loves to hate – Sprint's Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch – began receiving a minor (and I mean minor) software update over the air today.

The OTA, which carries software build D710.10S.FH13 (for reference compare to the E4GT's Ice Cream Sandwich build D710.10.S.FF18), brings just one thing to the table: battery life enhancement.

Just how enhanced users should expect their battery life to be is unclear as yet, but being able to squeeze just a bit more life out of your handset is never a bad thing.

21
Aug
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It looks like another one of HTC's handsets (besides the Thunderbolt) has gotten a Sense-ified Ice Cream Sandwich ROM of its own – today, XDA user nitsuj17 posted a ROM for the Droid Incredible 2 (aka vivow) allegedly based on another leaked RUU from HTC. Readers may remember the Incredible 2 as being among devices officially slated by HTC to receive Ice Cream Sandwich "by the end of August," so this leak's timing isn't too hard to figure out.

21
Aug
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Despite the fact that we're pretty sure to see the unveiling of Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 at IFA this year, there are undoubtedly still some folks out there still looking to get their hands on the original. If you're among them, you're in luck – Amazon Wireless is offering the AT&T-connected, 5.3" Super AMOLED display-toting Galaxy Note for just $159.99 (a cool $40 off AT&T's price for those keeping count). We haven't seen a deal this good on the AT&T Note since way back in February, meaning those still waiting for a discount would be well advised to check this out.

21
Aug
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Since hearing earlier this month that HTC's Desire S, Thunderbolt, and other select handsets would receive ICS updates "by the end of August," we have heard nary a peep from the Taiwanese manufacturer. Today though, thanks to an alleged leaked RUU, we have a stock Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 build for the Thunderbolt (aka Mecha).

According to Administrator's post at TeamBAMF's forums, the ROM, based on a leaked RUU (and carrying build number 7.00.605.2), is said to be fully functional and fully stock, but it's worth noting that the ROM is deodexed and rooted, meaning those wishing to retain root are in luck, but if you – for one reason or another – want a strictly stock, non-rooted experience, you'll have to wait.

19
Aug
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Jetpack Joyride, a game that's already seen huge success on iOS, finally came to Android today. The game – which ranks with Temple Run in terms of interest and demand from Android users – comes to us from Halfbrick Studios, the minds behind the insanely popular Fruit Ninja, and delivers the same action-packed, stylistically awesome experience as its iOS counterpart.

The game invites players to "take to the skies on a one-way trip to adventure," following the story of Barry Steakfries, who breaks into a secret lab to free experimental jetpacks from evil scientists, causing plenty of mayhem in the process.

17
Aug
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After dropping source code for the Wi-Fi Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus (along with the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Tab 10.1) just last week, Samsung is once again providing eager developers with something to play with over the weekend, releasing kernel source code for T-Mobile's variants of both the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 to their Opensource download center.

Both packages carry source code for their respective devices' Ice Cream Sandwich-powered kernels.

16
Aug
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In a post to its official blog that's sure to excite users across the globe, Google has just announced that Voice Search is now available in thirteen new languages. The list of newly included languages, which range from Basque to Swedish, brings the total number of supported tongues up to 42.

In the post, Product Manager Bertrand Damiba explains just what it takes to add a new language to Voice Search – first and foremost, Google must collect "hundreds of thousands of utterances" from volunteers to bring speech recognition up to par.

15
Aug
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One of the most common complaints against Google's Play Store is the lack of certain content or functionality in countries outside the US. Google has been making progress in expanding access to other corners of the globe, though. You may remember, for example, that Play Books hit France just last month after Play Movies opened for the French in March and for Spain in June.

Today, Google (finally) brought Play Movie rentals to Germany, much to the delight of German users who have been asking for more Play content for quite some time.

15
Aug
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Despite Verizon's best efforts to keep their own variant of the Galaxy SIII locked down, ingenious users haven't been deterred in rooting, flashing custom ROMs, and even bypassing the device's locked bootloader to use custom kernels. The fact remained, however, that VZW's SIII had a locked bootloader which, in general, is a hassle for developers and tweakers hoping to customize the SIII to its fullest potential. It was this fact that made Samsung's promised Developer Edition SIII appealing to many.

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