05
Dec
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For the last few weeks, I’ve had the fortuitous opportunity to spend some time with the Microsoft Surface RT. I have a few thoughts I’d like to share about that experience.

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Productivity (Office vs. Drive)

Drive / document editing and creation at large on Android sucks. Office on the Surface RT blows it away. Not even close. Office RT still has its quirks, but Microsoft continues to show that it dominates the spreadsheet and document ecosystem for a reason: it’s had nearly 30 years of experience perfecting it.

05
Dec
GALAXY S III Product Image (8)_B

While the majority of Galaxy S III owners on U.S. carriers are still waiting to get the Android 4.1.1 update, those with unlocked handsets in Poland are already receiving the Android 4.1.2 OTA. This update brings more than just a Jelly Bean point release, though; it also comes with a host of new features:

  • Multi-Window (a la Note II)
  • Page Buddy
  • New Gallery app (also from the Note II)
  • Customizable Notification panel
  • Smart rotation
  • Swype-like keyboard
  • Paper Artist app
  • ...and more

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The update is rolling out in phases over the air right now, and is also being made available via Kies.

05
Dec
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Ever since Chameleon Launcher was released, users have been wanting to see a version designed for phones. Looks like that time is finally coming, as the Chameleon dev team has posted a call for 25 alpha/beta testers for the new project, requesting that they have specific phone models to test on:

HTC One X+
HTC One X
Samsung Galaxy Note® II
Samsung Galaxy Note™
Samsung Galaxy S3
Nexus 4
Galaxy Nexus
MOTOROLA RAZR HD LTE
LG OPTIMUS G
DROID DNA By HTC
MOTOROLA RAZR MAXX HD

It's pretty clear that they want to get this thing running on the current top dogs as quickly as possible - if you think you can provide valuable, well thought-out feedback, head to the source link to find out how to get in on the action.

05
Dec
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Getting your hands on Google's latest iconic Android handset seems to just get harder and harder as the holidays approach. Today, T-Mobile has the device back in stock yet again, however, the subsidized price is now bizarrely raised to $400 with a 2-year contract for existing customers. Um, T-Mobile...what?

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This is still $100 off the "Suggested retail" price, which hasn't changed, but it's still $50 more expensive than buying it from Google outright.

05
Dec
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If you have a 101 XS from Archos, it's time to furiously start hitting the "check updates" button, as the company just began pushing Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) to the device. This bumps the tablet up to version 4.1.0, and brings a couple other enhancements along for the ride, as well:

  • Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 firmware release
  • Archos Video: major upgrade with simplified video information retrieval and media indexing, new network shares infrastructure
  • Archos applications: future updates of Archos Video, Music, File Manager, System Monitor applications (embedded in the firmware) will be carried out through Google Play

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So there you go - if Jelly Bean is what you've been feening for, the wait is over.

04
Dec
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It's no secret that Amazon is trying to turn the Kindle Fire/HD into the device that the entire family shares for content consumption, but now they've built a service that makes it even more relevant as such. Dubbed FreeTime Unlimited, the all-you-can-eat plan is serving up hot bowls of children's content, ready to be consumed day or night.

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Among the unlimited content, you'll find books, games, educational software, movies, and TV shows - all just for kids.

04
Dec
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One of the biggest benefits of Android is, and always has been, the plethora of available software keyboards. Don't like stock? No problem - there's something out there that will make your typing experience suck less. But what works great on phones may not be so hot on a large-screen devices like a tablets, so there's basically a whole subset of keyboards - or at least keyboard layouts - in that arena.

04
Dec
9

Whenever the discussion of apps with bad UI comes up, Tasker - powerful as it may be - is always one of the first to be mentioned. Because, let's face it, it's pretty hideous. In the early days of Android, this wasn't much of an issue, as there was no standard UI. Or, you know, the Android Style Guide. In the past year or so, though, Google has really been pushing a the clean look of ICS+, Holo, and a consistent experience across applications.

04
Dec
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Offering a point-and-click adventure that asks players how far they will go to find out who John Yesterday is, Bulkypix has brought the aptly-titled Yesterday to the Play Store.

The game, which relies on "an innovative interface based on innumerable blow-ups," follows the story of three playable characters including Henry, a "young NGO volunteer," his friend Cooper, and John Yesterday himself as they try to solve a mystery surrounding a chain of murders in New York.

04
Dec
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Are you feeling particularly craft-y today? Then you will be interested to know that everyone's favorite handmade marketplace, Etsy has a new Android app. It's never been easier to browse for reasonably-priced knickknacks on your phone.

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The app feels properly designed for Android. Holo elements like the action bar, tabs, and scrolling are all implemented correctly. Although, it doesn't feel like a cookie cutter Holo app either. Oh, speaking of...  I wonder if I could find some Android cookie cutters on Etsy.

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