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29 Dec 12 What to Do With Your New Android


SEE ALSO: Top 20 Things Every First-Time Android User Should Know

Switching from an older Android requires a bit more prep, but it’s not impossible. Once you have a Google account, simply log in and sync accounts to receive your email and contacts. Some of your data, like photos and apps, will not transfer as easily, but there are a few ways to get around that.

The easiest way is to purchase the MyBackup Pro app. It’ll cost you $4, but the app backs up data and restores it to a new device.

If you’d rather start with a clean slate, without losing old photos, store all of your data in the cloud. Apps like Dropbox will back up data, but you can manually restore specific items to the new device.

Apps will need to be re-downloaded manually on a new device. Any apps purchased on a former Android will not need to be purchased again, but you will have to download those again, too.

Get Connected

The first thing to do before playing around with your new phone is to set up a Wi-Fi connection.

Hit the Menu button, and choose Settings. Then select Wireless Networks and connect to the proper Wi-Fi as you would anywhere with a computer.

You’ll also have the option to connect to mobile networks — those settings can be found in the same menu. Your phone runs on 3G or 4G mobile networks when there is not a Wi-Fi connection.

It’s important to connect your phone to Wi-Fi when it’s available, because running on mobile networks uses data. Each download will cost data, which can quickly run over when you first get a new phone and want to try new apps. Running over on data can be very expensive.

Apps on Apps on Apps

Now that you’re up and running, it’s time to dive into the Google Play Store and get the apps that will make your life easier and more efficient.

There are so many apps for every aspect of your life. It depends on whether you want something entertaining, educational, fun, informative, creative or navigational. Sifting through apps can feel overwhelming — trial and error is the best way to approach the task. You can always uninstall an app if you don’t want it.

If you plan on purchasing anything, you’ll need a credit card. Your information will be stored securely, so you’ll only need to enter this once. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend money — there are plenty of free apps that will help you just as effectively.

Your phone will already have built-in apps, which differ with every manufacturer. These are likely due for an update before you even log into the new device. You can update them all at once by opening the Play Store, tapping the Menu button and selecting “My Apps.”

The Google Play Store can be accessed and adjusted from your phone or a desktop when logged into your Google account. You can install, update or remove any app from your phone via the store.

Google’s native apps should already be built in the device. If you can’t function without these tools — which is likely why you went with Android — you won’t be disappointed with the mobile versions.

If you juggle more than one email address, Gmail will access multiple accounts in one device.

Google Maps is a seamless GPS system, plus the updated app gives offline maps, indoor navigation and recommendations for nearby places.

Social

Facebook’s native app favors Android devices. The app closely mirrors what you’d see on a desktop, making it easy to navigate. Like any other app, it has pre-fixed settings, so you might need to adjust, depending on your preferences.

After downloading and logging in to your account, hit the Menu button and select Settings. If you don’t want to use Facebook Chat from your phone, make sure Chat Availability is off. You can also adjust notifications so they only push the updates most important to you.

If you choose to sync your Facebook friends, they will automatically appear in your contact list if they share their phone number. When you agree to use the Facebook app, it shows your phone number on your profile. If you don’t want to share your number with friends, be sure to edit your contact info so that information is only available to you. The easiest way to do so is from a desktop.

Setup for Twitter is pretty straightforward. You can adjust syncing and push notifications, just like you did for Facebook, by going to Settings from the Menu button.

There are a couple options for Twitter aside from the native app. If you’re a list person, TweetDeck or Hootsuite might be better experiences.

If there is one good thing about Google+, it’s the syncing features that come with an Android device. If you don’t use the network as a social place, it can function as an automatic storage space. For example, if you take a photo with your phone, it will save to your Google+ account, even if you delete the photo from your device.

Of course, there are plenty of other social networks, so test them out and judge for yourself. If you don’t like one (or any app, for that matter) you can always uninstall it from the Google Play Store, just as you would update it.

Music

Your new Android replaces the need to carry multiple devices, including an MP3 player. If you’re gung-ho Google, the native Music app stores all of your files in the cloud, so you can easily switch from device to computer.

There is no native iTunes app, but that’s nothing a little hack can’t work around. DoubleTwist is worth the $5 pricetag if you cannot live without your iPod. Also, your iTunes library syncs over Wi-Fi — no wires required.

There are other great apps for music lovers on the go. Spotify is the best service for sharing and discovering music. You can send friends songs, albums and playlists. The free service features a nearly limitless music library, or you can upgrade to premium for an unlimited, ad-free experience.

Are you and Android user? Share any advice for first-timers in the comments below.

Images courtesy of iStockphoto, by_nicholas, Flickr, JD Hancock

Article source: http://mashable.com/2012/12/28/android-setup/

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29 Dec 12 How to Know When the Nexus 4 is Back in Stock


As we head into the New Year, Google’s latest Nexus smartphone, the Nexus 4, remains sold out completely through the Google Play Store with no return in sight. Those who still wish to buy it might be waiting a few weeks before it comes back into stock but that doesn’t mean that you’ll need to check the Play Store every day. Instead, there are three much easier methods of checking for Nexus 4 stock on the Google Play Store.

Read: Nexus 4 Launch Remains a Mess into 2013.

Since the November, the Nexus 4 has been extremely scarce. The 8GB sold out almost immediately after the device went on sale for a second time through Google’s Play Store and a few weeks after that, the 16GB Nexus 4 displayed the same bold sold out symbol which prohibits customers from ordering the device. The Nexus 4′s bumper case remains sold out as well.

Google has not yet said when the Nexus 4 might be relieved of its supply issues, leaving prospective buyers wondering when they might be able to get their hands on LG’s first Nexus smartphone.

For those who might be looking to order, checking the Google Play Store for availability might have already become a daily ritual. Personally, I used check it every day in the hopes that Google would finally be offering it again because I have no interest in paying exorbitant amounts of money for the Nexus 4 through site’s like Craigslist or eBay. One of the beautiful parts about the Nexus 4, after all, is its price tag.

Fortunately, I decided to cut that daily routine out and move on to greener pastures. What I mean is that there are easier ways to ensure that you’ll be ready to buy a Nexus 4 once the device comes back into stock.

Here now, we show you how to check for Nexus 4 stock through the Google Play Store not only in the U.S., but in other countries as well.

Article source: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/12/28/how-to-know-when-the-nexus-4-is-back-in-stock/

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27 Dec 12 Best Android Apps Of 2012, Announced By Google, Include Pinterest, Pocket …


If you got a new Android phone or tablet for Christmas, then get your downloading finger ready: Google has announced its picks for the best Android apps of 2012.

On a brief post on the Google Play blog, Google merchandising manager Tavares Ford introduced the company’s top 12 picks of 2012. We’ve got the list below, along with download links. Enjoy!

  1. Zappo’s (FREE) – The mobile app for the popular online storefront. Download the Zappos app here.
  2. Evernote (FREE) – The widely-used personal organizer also syncs across all of your devices. Download Evernote here.
  3. Pinterest (FREE) – This year’s hot new social network is a personal pinboard for anything that interests you. Download the Pinterest app here.
  4. Grimm’s Snow White (1.99) – An “interactive pop-up fairy tale book for children” combines a narrative with gameplay. Download Grimm’s Snow White here.
  5. Pocket (FREE) – The Instapaper competitor allows you to save online articles for offline reading later. Download Pocket here.
  6. Expedia (FREE) – The Android app version of the online travel booking website. Download the Expedia app here.
  7. Ancestry (FREE) – The app version of the service that lets you chart your family tree and find ancestors. Subscription required. Download Ancestry here.
  8. Fancy (FREE) – Shopping app which highlights odd, boutique, and luxury items that you can “fancy” and then buy. Download the Fancy app here.
  9. Mint (FREE) – Popular personal finance manager now available on Android. Download the Mint app here.
  10. Seriesguide Show Manager (FREE) – A television guide and social TV manager for small screen addicts. Download Seriesguide here.
  11. Pixlr Express (FREE) – A fully-featured image editor and enhancer from Autodesk. Download Pixlr Express here.
  12. TED – TED Talk videos at your fingertips. Download the TED app here.

You can view the entire list here, and for more of Google’s favorite movies, music, books and apps of the year, click here. And for HuffPost’s guide to making your Android phone run longer, check out the gallery below.

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  • Turn Down Your Brightness

    You like to shine, I know. But if you want to save battery, you have to turn it down a notch.

    Your super-bright Super AMOLED display might look pretty, but if the brightness is turned way up, you’re probably eating a lot of battery. Either turn on Automatic brightness, so that the screen dims in bright rooms when you don’t need a highly-illuminated display, or else slide your scale to the left to dim it manually.

    You’ll have to shine a different way — a good hair conditioner helps — if you want to save battery.

    emOn the GS3/em: Go into Settings, then Display, then Brightness.

  • Download A Battery-Monitoring App Like JuiceDefender

    Head into the Google Play Store and pick up one of many battery-saving apps. JuiceDefender (at left) is a particularly popular, if ugly, one. You can try out a free version and, if you like it, upgrade to the paid app later. That gives you more control over the ways in which JuiceDefender can conserve power.

    Another popular option is the aptly-named Easy Battery Saver, a href=”https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.easy.battery.saverfeature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5lYXN5LmJhdHRlcnkuc2F2ZXIiXQ..”which you can download here/a.

    JuiceDefender, meanwhile, a href=”http://www.juicedefender.com/”has an official website here/a, and you can a href=”https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.latedroid.juicedefenderreferrer=utm_source%3Dws%26utm_medium%3Dfwd%26utm_campaign%3Djd”download the freebie version here/a. WARNING: It will not prevent thieves from stealing your actual cups of juice (grape, orange, pineapple, etc.)

  • Turn Off Bluetooth + Wi-Fi

    Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are like the Stockton and Malone of connectivity options that deplete your battery life when you’re not even using them. Switch both off if you’re somewhere you know you won’t need either; you can probably go ahead and turn off Bluetooth for good, unless you’re using it daily.

    emOn the GS3/em: Hit the Settings app, switch Wi-Fi and Bluetooth into the “Off” position. You can also toggle these options from the Notifications menu, which you swipe down from the top of the screen.

  • Turn Off Location Settings

    Several of your Android apps, including your almighty Google Maps, use Location Services to pinpoint your position with precision. Turning these off might make your mapping experience a tad less accurate, but at least you’re not using Apple Maps. Am I right??

    Trade-offs.

    emOn the GS3/em: Go to Settings, then Location Services, and uncheck at least the first and third box if you want to save battery life.

  • Adjust Your Screen Timeout

    If your phone’s screen is on, but you aren’t around to use the phone, does it still drain your battery?

    Uh, yes, it does. Minimize your screen timeout as far down as you can take it to stop needlessly wasting power on illuminating a display you aren’t using. You should also make sure to manually lock your screen when you place your phone into your bag or pocket to ensure that you aren’t accidentally pushing buttons and butt-dialing your friends/ex-lovers when you don’t mean to.

    emOn the GS3/em: Go to Settings, then Display, then Screen Timeout. Mine is set for 30 seconds.

  • Ditch The Live Wallpaper

    The Android Live Wallpapers might be hypnotizing — and fun to show off to your iPhone-toting friends — but if you need to squeeze all you can out of your phone’s battery, it’s best to disable the Live Wallpaper. Choose a photo of your wife/kid/dog/favorite hamburger from your photo Gallery instead.

    On the GS3: Go to Settings, Wallpaper, and choose something from Gallery or static Wallpapers.

  • Examine Your Battery Usage And Kick Out Power-Sucking Apps

    a href=”http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2367542,00.asp”Via PCMag comes this analytical method/a: Android allows you to view the breakdown of which apps and processes are draining your battery, by percentages. You might be housing a power-sucking app without even realizing it, something running in the background without your knowledge. If you find that naughty little app, boot it off your phone and reap the rewards.

    emOn the GS3/em: Go to Settings, then Battery.

  • Enable Power Saving Mode

    This isn’t available on all Android smartphones, but if yours has it, Power Saving mode represents a super-quick way to toggle a bunch of settings that can conserve battery life.

    On the GS3: Go to Settings, and the Power Saving mode toggle is in between “Motion” and “Storage.” You can also individually change the settings, at left.

  • Remove Bloated Widgets You Aren’t Using

    a href=”http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2367542,00.asp”Also via PCMag/a: Your phone probably comes pre-loaded with a bunch of widgets that you never use; some of them contain animations and some automatically update throughout the day. If you’re not using your Yellow Pages search bar or app suggestion grid (at left), cut it free. There are better things to put on your homescreen, anyway.

    emOn the GS3/em: Long-touch the widget you want to remove and then drag it to the trashcan at the bottom right.

  • Change App Updating Settings

    By default, some of your downloaded apps will update automatically when a newer version is available. This can sap power and eat up your data plan without your knowledge, which I think we can agree is a bummer. Turn off auto-updating apps — you can do it manually in the Google Play Store — and choose to update over Wi-Fi only so that you can use data where it counts.

    emOn the GS3/em: Enter the Google Play Store, then press the “Menu” soft key next to the home button.

  • Go Into Airplane Mode If Your Signal Is Weak

    If your phone is only getting a bar or two of signal, and you don’t expect to be making or receiving any pressing calls or texts, turn on Airplane Mode. When a phone’s signal is straining to connect to a network, a href=”http://gigaom.com/mobile/when-will-lte-stop-sucking-your-battery/”especially 4G LTE/a, it uses up a lot of power. So if you find that your signal is weak in a given location and you need to conserve power, switching to Airplane Mode — which ends all connectivity — can save battery.

    emOn the GS3/em: Go to Settings, then under “Wireless and Network” touch “More Settings.” Airplane Mode is the first option. You can also pull down the Notifications bar and find Airplane Mode on that topmost strip of icons, all the way to the right.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/27/best-android-apps-2012-google_n_2370558.html

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27 Dec 12 Samsung Galaxy S III Accessories: What You Should Get Next


Now that you’re the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S III , it’s time to accessorize. The Galaxy S III is a great device out of the box, but it’s naked, a bit plasticky, and equipped only with the stock Samsung and Google apps with which it comes loaded. If you really want to make your S III your own, you’ll need to get some add-ons. Fortunately, we know all of the best cases, apps, and other products which can add a ton of functionality to your smartphone.

Cases
While the Galaxy S III doesn’t have nearly as many cases available as Apple’s iPhones do, it’s still one of the most popular Android smartphones with several dozen cases to choose from. Our list of cool Samsung Galaxy S III cases include rugged silicone sleeves, leather covers, and even aluminum shells to keep your phone safe and stylish. You can even get custom cases with photos or logos on them.

Apps
The Galaxy S III currently runs Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android, and features a powerful dual-core processor and a large amount of onboard memory. This means it can run nearly any Android app that’s not made specifically for a tablet. There are almost half a million apps on the Google Play Store, and it can be hard to find the ones you want. Our list of 10 must-have Android apps can get you started, and our lists of 100 top Android apps and 25 great Android games will get you working and playing on your new smartphone.

Headsets

Besides being smart, your smartphone is also a phone. However, holding up a device to your ear feels very 2004, and there are plenty of Bluetooth headsets available which let you talk to friends and listen to music with your Galaxy S III sitting in your pocket. We’ve put together a list of the 10 best Bluetooth headsets, including headphones and speakerphone add-ons, so you can get the right audio accessory for your smartphone.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413555,00.asp

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26 Dec 12 LG Nexus 4 Available In Google Play Store On 2/31/2013 – Auto-o


As we reach the end of 2012, the most difficult smartphone to come by is the LG Nexus 4. We had our bets up that it would be the iPhone 5 but it looks like Apple learned its lesson from past iPhone releases and were well prepared this time.

LG Nexus 4: when (if ever) will it be easily available on the Google Play Store?

Unfortunately we can’t say that about Google and their empty Play Store is proof of that. Not only is the LG Nexus 4 sold out but so is the Google Nexus 7 and some of the Nexus 10 models.

Now back to the LG Nexus 4, so when can we expect it to be back in stock? At this time both Google and LG are playing the blame game. Google is criticizing LG for the lack of stock while others are seeing Google’s lack of experience with selling hardware the real issue. At this time, all that has been officially said is that it will be back in a couple of weeks.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the Play Store though you will see that the shipping date keeps slipping, and now it is deep into February should you order one today. Personally, I would be on the lookout for the few units that happen to pop up in the Google Play Store every now and then. That is if you don’t mind waiting until next year. Check out the link below to see real-time updates of availability of the LG Nexus 4 over at the Google Play Store across 4 countries. It also has a history of previous times when it became available in case you’re good with numbers and can work out the pattern. If you can, do tell me your predictions as I am yet to get my hands on one!

Article source: http://www.autoomobile.com/news/lg-nexus-4-play-store-availability/10010511/

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25 Dec 12 Samsung Galaxy Camera Review: Android Meets Point-and-Shoot Camera


PHOTO: Samsung's Galaxy Camera brings the connectivity and sharing features of Android to a point-and-shoot camera.

A couple of years ago, if you went digging through a purse or a backpack, you’d likely find a point-and-shoot camera. Now you’ll find that most people instead use the cameras built into their smartphones. Not only have camera phones improved, they let you instantly share photos with family and friends.

Samsung has a new idea — to bring together the best of the standalone camera and the smartphone. Its new Galaxy Camera is what you’d get if a point-and-shoot camera were crossed with an Android phone — it promises to take better photos than most phones but has built in sharing capabilities. But can it do it all? Is it the best of both worlds?

WATCH: Samsung Galaxy Camera Video Review

A Camera with a Big Touch Screen
The Galaxy Camera looks like a regular camera from the front, but flip it around and it looks like a big-screen Android phone. It has a 4.8-inch HD Super Clear Touch display, which looks and acts very much like Samsung’s Galaxy S 3 phone. It is powered by Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean. You can navigate through the operating system just as you would on a phone. Yes, you can surf the Web, even check your email and download and use apps from the Google Play Store thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi radio and the built-in LTE. (There are Verizon and ATT versions of the camera — more on the pricing soon.)


PHOTO: Samsung's Galaxy Camera brings the connectivity and sharing features of Android to a point-and-shoot camera.

PHOTO: Samsung's Galaxy Camera brings the connectivity and sharing features of Android to a point-and-shoot camera.













You can’t text message or make calls on the camera (that’s not a complaint — holding a camera up to your ear doesn’t look all that cool) but you can easily snap photos and upload them to Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or other sites. And snapping pics and sharing them is really a cinch. While Wi-Fi-enabled cameras are a dime a dozen, the Android operating system is easy to navigate, especially when it comes to adjusting settings and selecting photos to share. If you’re an Instagram fan, this is the ultimate Instagram camera. And your shots will look better than most of the others in your feed.

A Good Camera with Great Features
That’s because 16.3-megapixel camera has a 21x optical zoom and takes very good still shots. Shots in natural lighting were well balanced, and while low-light performance wasn’t spectacular, it was acceptable for the specs. However, the photos I took were not as good as shots I take with a $600 Canon DSLR (I’ve got the Canon T2i) or a micro-four-thirds camera. They were better than photos taken with the iPhone 5 or Galaxy S 3, but about the same as what you get from an average point-and-shoot.

However, where the camera does stand out as a camera is in its “smart” shooting features. Samsung has matched the hardware with some interesting software features, including a “best photo” mode that will select the best of eight shots for you. There is also a “continuous shot” mode, which captures a series of moving photos. While some of the images I took of my cousins playing football suffered from motion blur, others were clear.

You can also shoot 1080p video and take still shots while you are shooting. Oh, and you can apply Samsung’s own filters and effects, in case you don’t want to use a third-party app. Samsung has brought most of its great Android photo features to the camera. On top of that, there’s an “Expert” mode for those photographers who want more manual controls for adjusting aperture, ISO, shutter speed and more.

A Camera With Battery and Size Sacrifices
With all those features come some major sacrifices. First, the camera is bulky for what it is. Yes, it has a 21x zoom lens, but the camera is almost an inch thick, 5 inches wide and weighs 11 ounces. That doesn’t make it large, but it’s much larger than the average point-and-shoot. It’s closer in size to micro-four-thirds or mirrorless cameras like the Olympus E-PL5 or Panasonic GX1, which take noticeably better photos.

Article source: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/samsung-galaxy-camera-review-android-meets-point-shoot/story?id=18055760

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25 Dec 12 How to Set Up Your Nexus 7


If you got a new 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet for the holidays, you’re in for a treat as you now are in possession of an extremely useful tool for things like reading, gaming and video watching. If you don’t know what to do after you get the Nexus 7 out of the box, we’re here to show you how to set up your new tablet and get it ready to go for the days to come.

Here, we’ll walk you through setting up the Nexus 7 and tell you how to turning on security and parental controls, offer some tips on using the Nexus 7 and show you some apps that will help get you started.

The Nexus 7 set up process should only take 15 to 30 minutes, so those that are fortunate enough to have received the Nexus 7 will be able get it set up and ready to go before traveling this holiday season.

google-nexus-7-review-7-620x580

Learn how to set up the Nexus 7.

In addition to setting up the Nexus 7, we suggest taking a look at some of the great Nexus 7 cases out there to help protect your new device. Some of them will even act as a stand for the tablet which will ensure a fantastic video watching experience with an app like Netflix or content found through the Google Play Store.

Nexus 7 Setup

When you turn your Nexus 7 on for the first time, the device will take you to a Welcome screen where you’ll want to change to your language of choice. This is an option that you can change later but unless you’re master of several languages, you’ll just want to choose a default one right off the bat.

The device will then ask you for Google account information. If you already have a Gmail account, you’ll simply want to enter in your information. If you don’t have an account, this is a great time to set one up.

The Nexus 7 will ask if you want to backup your device to Google’s servers. We highly recommend this as it will make restoring app data, bookmarks, WiFi passwords, and other settings to the Nexus 7 easier if you reset it or switch to a new device down the road.

Automatic-Nexus-7-backup-620x620

Next, it will ask if you want to enable Location Services. By turning it on, it will enable Google Location Services and Standalone GPS Services to let the Nexus 7 deliver location-based results for Google Now and for Google searches.

Nexus-7-Location-services-620x566

Finally, you’ll want to connect to a Wi-Fi network. Connect to a WiFi network when prompted and the device will scan for your home network. At that point, simply enter the password, if you have one, and the device will be Wi-Fi-enabled.

Nexus 7 Security

Now is a fantastic time to take some steps to protect your Nexus 7 tablet. This way, others won’t be able to use your personal information or the apps and content that you’ve downloaded to your tablet device.

With Android, Google gives you several options that will allow you to protect your Nexus 7 and your data from harm. In order to change security settings, you’ll want to head into the Nexus 7′s Settings, scroll down and tap Security under the Personal section. Here, you’ll be presented with five possible security options to protect your device from others.

Screenshot_2012-12-23-20-08-19

Setting up a PIN or password for your Nexus 7 is a smart idea.

Slide provides no security and allows users to simply slide to unlock. The second is Face Unlock which allows you to unlock the phone with your face. It’s not a fool-proof system though so we don’t recommend it. The other three options are the recommended.

The first, pattern, allows you to set up a swiping pattern to protect your device. You will have to connect at least four dots and once that’s done, you’ll repeat the pattern and the device will be locked and will only be able to be opened by using that pattern.

Article source: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/12/24/how-to-set-up-your-nexus-7/

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25 Dec 12 Galaxy Camera Review: Android Meets Camera


PHOTO: Samsung's Galaxy Camera brings the connectivity and sharing features of Android to a point-and-shoot camera.

A couple of years ago, if you went digging through a purse or a backpack, you’d likely find a point-and-shoot camera. Now you’ll find that most people instead use the cameras built into their smartphones. Not only have camera phones improved, they let you instantly share photos with family and friends.

Samsung has a new idea — to bring together the best of the standalone camera and the smartphone. Its new Galaxy Camera is what you’d get if a point-and-shoot camera were crossed with an Android phone — it promises to take better photos than most phones but has built in sharing capabilities. But can it do it all? Is it the best of both worlds?

WATCH: Samsung Galaxy Camera Video Review

A Camera with a Big Touch Screen
The Galaxy Camera looks like a regular camera from the front, but flip it around and it looks like a big-screen Android phone. It has a 4.8-inch HD Super Clear Touch display, which looks and acts very much like Samsung’s Galaxy S 3 phone. It is powered by Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean. You can navigate through the operating system just as you would on a phone. Yes, you can surf the Web, even check your email and download and use apps from the Google Play Store thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi radio and the built-in LTE. (There are Verizon and ATT versions of the camera — more on the pricing soon.)


PHOTO: Samsung's Galaxy Camera brings the connectivity and sharing features of Android to a point-and-shoot camera.

PHOTO: Samsung's Galaxy Camera brings the connectivity and sharing features of Android to a point-and-shoot camera.













You can’t text message or make calls on the camera (that’s not a complaint — holding a camera up to your ear doesn’t look all that cool) but you can easily snap photos and upload them to Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or other sites. And snapping pics and sharing them is really a cinch. While Wi-Fi-enabled cameras are a dime a dozen, the Android operating system is easy to navigate, especially when it comes to adjusting settings and selecting photos to share. If you’re an Instagram fan, this is the ultimate Instagram camera. And your shots will look better than most of the others in your feed.

A Good Camera with Great Features
That’s because 16.3-megapixel camera has a 21x optical zoom and takes very good still shots. Shots in natural lighting were well balanced, and while low-light performance wasn’t spectacular, it was acceptable for the specs. However, the photos I took were not as good as shots I take with a $600 Canon DSLR (I’ve got the Canon T2i) or a micro-four-thirds camera. They were better than photos taken with the iPhone 5 or Galaxy S 3, but about the same as what you get from an average point-and-shoot.

However, where the camera does stand out as a camera is in its “smart” shooting features. Samsung has matched the hardware with some interesting software features, including a “best photo” mode that will select the best of eight shots for you. There is also a “continuous shot” mode, which captures a series of moving photos. While some of the images I took of my cousins playing football suffered from motion blur, others were clear.

You can also shoot 1080p video and take still shots while you are shooting. Oh, and you can apply Samsung’s own filters and effects, in case you don’t want to use a third-party app. Samsung has brought most of its great Android photo features to the camera. On top of that, there’s an “Expert” mode for those photographers who want more manual controls for adjusting aperture, ISO, shutter speed and more.

A Camera With Battery and Size Sacrifices
With all those features come some major sacrifices. First, the camera is bulky for what it is. Yes, it has a 21x zoom lens, but the camera is almost an inch thick, 5 inches wide and weighs 11 ounces. That doesn’t make it large, but it’s much larger than the average point-and-shoot. It’s closer in size to micro-four-thirds or mirrorless cameras like the Olympus E-PL5 or Panasonic GX1, which take noticeably better photos.

Article source: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/samsung-galaxy-camera-review-android-meets-point-shoot/story?id=18055760

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24 Dec 12 ‘Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP’ out now on Google Play for $1.99


Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP, the unique indie adventure game that blends beautiful pixel art with an atmospheric soundtrack from Jim Guthrie, is available now on the Google Play Store. It’s not the first time the game has been playable on Android devices — a beta version came out as part of a Humble Android Bundle last month. If you missed that, however, or wanted to wait for a more stable release, you can now pick up Sword and Sworcery for a sale price of $1.99. We’d certainly recommend it for any Android users yet to play the game in any of its previous iOS, PC, or Mac incarnations, which have also been placed on sale for the holidays alongside the soundtrack and remix album.

Article source: http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/23/3797146/sword-and-sworcery-now-available-on-android

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22 Dec 12 Sega launches Sonic Jump on Google Play Store


Sonic fans take note, because Sega has just released a new game called Sonic Jump on the Google Play Store. One look at the title and you’re likely to know right away what kind of game this is – it’s a vertical platformer in the vein of Doodle Jump, a game that was extremely popular a while back. Here we’ve got the same basic premise, only this time, it features everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog and his friends.

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In Sonic Jump, players are tasked with jumping as high as they can before missing a platform. You’ll be collecting rings as you go (of course), which can then be used to unlock new characters. Of course, if you don’t want to go to the trouble of collecting all of those rings by yourself, you can always take the easy route and acquire them through in-app purchases.

In this initial release, players will be able to take control of Sonic, Knuckles, or Tails and play through an impressive 48 levels in the game’s story mode. Classic Sonic levels like Green Hill Zone have been remade for Sonic Jump, with Sega also developing new levels specifically for this title. If you’re up for it, there’s even an arcade mode that goes until you lose, along with an accompanying leaderboard that lets you see how far your friends made it in the mode.

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Sonic Jump is available right now on the Google Play Store [download link] for $1.99. Sega says it will soon be adding more characters for free (that we’re assuming you then unlock in-game with the rings you’ve collected), so at least Sega will be attempting to keep people playing with steady content updates. Judging from the screenshots, it looks like a pretty polished game, so it might be worth a look for the more hardcore Sonic fans roaming around out there.

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Article source: http://androidcommunity.com/sega-launches-sonic-jump-on-google-play-store-20121221/

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