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Samsung Releases S Pen SDK Version 2.2 With Hover Support, New Brush, And More

One of the highlights of Samsung's Galaxy Note II announcement at IFA yesterday was the increased functionality carried by the device's hallmark S Pen stylus. The Note II's version of the Pen, besides being "ergonomically designed for the perfect grip," allows users to quickly clip, crop, and edit screen content, adding further illustration and handwritten keyword recognition. The Pen now also features a unique "hover" functionality, whereby an app can recognize that the Pen is near the screen and react accordingly with contextual menus or other activities.

Looking to put the power of the S Pen to use in more than just Sammy's own apps, the manufacturer has posted the updated S Pen SDK version 2.2 with all of the Pen's new features.

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Galaxy SII 4G Coming To Boost Mobile's Lineup Promising "High-End Speed And Performance Without A Contract"

In a press release on behalf of Boost Mobile and Samsung Mobile today, it was announced that Boost's lineup is soon to be enhanced by the addition of the Galaxy SII 4G. The SII 4G, which initially debuted back in 2011, is just what you'd expect from a Galaxy SII variant: a 4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display, dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 8MP camera (with a 2MP front-shooter), and 16GB internal storage. Unlike its older counterpart, however, Boost's SII 4G will be shipping with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

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While a bit dated, the SII 4G is still a powerful device, and its addition to Boost Mobile's lineup will be great for Boost customers who want a capable device "without the stress of a contract." From the PR:

“Together with Samsung we continue to launch compelling device options from entry level to 4G-enabled smartphones to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” said Andre Smith, vice president-Boost Mobile.

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Sprint's Samsung Epic 4G Touch Receives Minor OTA Update To Build FH13

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.

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If an update prompt hasn't already hit your device, you can always check for the OTA manually by paying a quick visit to your phone's Settings menu and hitting About Phone followed by Software Update.

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Xiaomi Phone 2 Announced, Packs Quad-Core S4 CPU, 4.3" 720p Display, MIUI, And A $310 Price Tag

Chinese company Xiaomi (known for their popular ROM MIUI) has just announced a new phone, and this one looks to be every bit as impressive today as the original was when it was announced a year ago. The specs on the cleverly named Xiaomi Phone 2 stand out even in the world of quad-core superphones, and the company has managed to do so while maintaining a price point of just $310 USD.

  • 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 CPU (Adreno 320 GPU, 28nm)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB memory
  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • 4.3" 720p IPS display
  • 2,000mAh battery
  • 8MP rear camera, 2MP front
  • 10.2mm thick
  • MIUI ROM
  • $310 USD
  • Launching in China in October

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The company claims some ultra-impressive benchmark results (above left), and we're inclined to believe them.

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Documents Reveal That Apple Asked Samsung For Up To $30 Per Phone And $40 Per Tablet For Patent Licenses

As most of our readers are surely aware, the Apple vs Samsung case is still boiling, and over the course of nearly two weeks since the trial's beginning, document after document has revealed juicy details from both sides regarding previously unreleased designs, plans, and even sales figures. While so far we've avoided piecemeal coverage of the case's twists and turns, a new development (reported earlier this evening by The Verge) reveals something particularly interesting.

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We've known for some time that Apple attempted to sell Samsung on patent licensing back in 2010, but according to a document released today (and the testimony of Apple Exec Boris Teksler), Apple had proposed specific dollar figures per license – up to $30 per Phone and $40 per tablet, to which (according to Apple's slide deck) "Samsung should respond favorably." According to the proposal, Samsung would be responsible for a base rate of $30 per touchscreen phone (including phones running Android, Windows, Symbian, and Bada) and $40 per tablet (which would decrease to just $30 over two years).

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[Deal Alert] EA's Real Racing 2 On Sale For Just $0.99 (That's 80% Off) For A Limited Time

EA's Real Racing 2, a game that we covered at launch back in December, is the self-proclaimed "most hotly anticipated racing game ever made for Android." It is also on sale (for a limited time) for just $0.99, 80% off its normal $4.99 price tag. The sale comes in celebration of the announcement of Real Racing 3, the next entry in EA's extremely well-crafted racing series.

The game, for those who aren't familiar, brings intense racing action to your Android device with over 40 miles of track in 15 different, equally immersive locations. The game has an interesting control scheme, allowing players to rely on touch or tilt controls to steer, and offering several customizations to "tailor to your personal driving style."

Real Racing 2 offers players the chance to work their way up - from rookie to pro - in Career mode, or simply enjoy a one-off Quick Race with "highly skilled" AI drivers.

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[Updated: Here Are The Winners!] Book Giveaway: Take Your Apps To The Next Level With Android Wireless Application Development Volume 2

It seems like most books on developing for Android are geared towards beginners and those who are accustomed to developing for other platforms or using other languages, while fewer help you put that extra layer of polish and shine on your app. With hundreds of thousands of apps already on the market for you to compete with, that's exactly what you need: something to kick your app up a notch or two.

This contest is now over. Here are our winners, selected at random:
  1. Cassi
  2. Grant Shearer
  3. Corneliu
  4. Brandon White
  5. Aditya
  6. Kiran
  7. eugene downing
  8. Luke
  9. Misty Fowler
  10. Wam31

Congratulations, guys - all of you will be contacted for your information in the near future!

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Great Big War Game Hits The Play Store With More Missions, Online Play – Rubicon: "See What We Did There?"

Following up on the huge success of Great Little War Game, Rubicon Development has officially released the game's sequel: Great Big War Game.

Like its predecessor, GBWG is a 3D turn-based strategy game with a "unique comical style." Indeed, the series' art style is unique and fun, adding a lighthearted vibe to a game that encourages players to "spread mayhem and destruction." The game also has an easy-to-grasp control scheme, relying primarily on tap and swipe actions.

In GBWG, players can expect an even bigger single player campaign (with 50 missions) and new online multiplayer capability (with asynchronous play). With a player base of 2.5 Million (according to Rubicon), there should be no problem finding people to play against online, though the game also offers a pass-and-play mode.

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GAMEVIL Releases Illusia 2 – Save the Dream World With New Gameplay Modes, Characters, And More Customization Than Ever

Following up on the success of the self-billed "blockbuster casual platform action RPG" Illusia, GAMEVIL recently released Illusia 2 to the Play Store, promising a "thrilling storyline full of twists and turns," and "endless customizable options."

For those unfamiliar with the original game, Illusia is a side-scrolling RPG with heavy fantasy influence and a focus on quests, equipment upgrades, and overall immersive gameplay. Illusia 2, in keeping with the original, offers a rich, colorful art style, core RPG elements, and a compelling storyline. Illusia 2 follows Angela, Chris, and Ares as they work to restore peace to the Dream World, which is suffering from nightmares triggered by an unknown evil force.

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Verizon Announces Minor Software Update (v4.5.621) For Motorola Droid 2, Brings Various Improvements And Fixes

Last night, Verizon updated their Droid 2 support page to announce a new update (v4.5.621) is coming soon rolling out now. While it doesn't bring anything major (*cough* Android updates *cough*), it does bring a few significant bug fixes and improvements:

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Or, in non-image form:

Device Features
+ Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
+ A Google Security Patch has been added to improve security level.
+ Fixed issue where the device may power ON without user interaction.
+ Adjusted camera settings will be saved, even after the device is powered down.
+ Resolved possible device resets while playing music.

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