Android Central

By this point, we're pretty sure that Huawei's CES cat is well and truly out of the bag. We know they're going to unveil a Windows Phone 8 device, but we also know that they're taking 2 super-sized Android phones to Las Vegas with them too — the 5 inch Ascend D2 and the 6.1 inch Ascend Mate. We're also pretty sure by this point that we know what each device actually looks like. Having executives showing them off in brand stores kind of helps on that front. 

Android Central @ CES

The serial tipsters @evleaks are back with some leaked press renders of each of the devices along with some spec information. They claim that the Ascend Mate's 6.1 inch screen will be at 720p resolution, with the whole device being powered by a 3800mAh battery.

The D2, that we see pictured here, sits well with the leaked photos we've previously seen. Pushing things along is said to be a quad-core 1.5GHz — likely in house produced — processor, a 1080p display and a 13MP camera. This backs up specs we've previously heard mentioned, and given @evleaks record there stands a good chance of it checking out. And, while a render isn't exactly a reliable source of software information, it looks here like we'll be seeing Jelly Bean on the D2. We'd expect nothing less from a device to be shown off at CES, but it's reasurring at least.

CES is right around the corner, and we'll be on the ground in Las Vegas throughout, so keep it locked to Android Central for all the best the show has to offer. 

Source: @evleaks (Unwired View) 




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Nova Launcher

Popular homescreen replacement Nova Launcher has just hit version 2.0 with a whole bunch of notable feature adds and improvements. The free version gets most of the improvements including custom wallpaper cropping, increased maximum desktop grid size and an infinitely scrolling app drawer setting. There's also a fix to force wallpaper scrolling on U.S. Galaxy SII (S2) variants, as well as a setting to force the phone to keep the launcher locked in memory.

As for the paid "Prime" version, users can now set custom icon sizes and use their swipe actions on any homescreen, rather than just on the main one. You can give the new features a try by downloading Nova Launcher at the Google Play Store link above.




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Android Central

It's time to get up close and personal with the Android Central editors. You get a taste of the apps we're trying on a week-by-week basis, but what about those that actually stay on our phones for the long haul? Given, all of the authors here have wide and varied preferences, but hopefully this series will give you guys an idea of which apps have serious staying power. 

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Most popular stories of 2012

It's time for a quick look back at the year that was. Frankly, we don't remember most of it. Apparently a year ago or so we were in Las Vegas for CES. Then Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. Then London for the Samsung Galaxy S3. Then New Orleans for CTIA. And San Francisco for Google IO. And Seoul for the LG Optimus G. And San Diego for MobileCON. And any number of other singletons in between. So, yeah. It was a busy year.

After the break we've got a look at some of our most popular stories of 2012. Not necessarily the most important. Not necessarily our favorites. But in terms of page views (we now have to get a second set of hands to count those on, by the way), this is what you guys and gals — our dear readers — were peeping over the past 12 months. Of course, it's a little biased toward older stories, but there are some rather recent ones tucked away in there, too. Enjoy!

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It’s only been a few months since Apple and HTC announced their cross-licensing patent agreement, but HTC seems confident that things will turn around in 2013. In an interview with the Economic Observer of China, Ray Yam, president of HTC China, said HTC will be pushing forward with new innovations in …


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Notification Weather

The release of Android 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean brought several improvements to the handling and functionality of notifications. With expandable, actionable and prioritized notifications, developers can manage their apps and take control of what goes on when a notification is presented to the user. Notification Weather, as the name implies, takes advantage of the new notification options in Jelly Bean to elegantly present the weather to you when you drop down the pane.

It seems like everyone's got a favorite weather app loaded on their device already, so does Notification Weather have what it takes to become your new favorite? Read on past the break and see what this one has to offer.

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Phil Nickinson

As we close out the year, it's time to take a look back at things. I've never been all that keen on "year's best" lists for applications, though that doesn't mean they don't necessarily serve a purpose. There are so many good apps, so many updates. Instead, I think it's a little more fun to take a look at how each one of us uses our phones and tablets. 

Are they travel companions? I, for one, remember all too well navigating the backwoods (or what seemed like the backwoods) or Louisiana and Mississippi and Georgia and Florida during my school-age years, playing soccer. We did it with maps. On paper. That didn't move. Or update. That any of us made it back alive is a miracle.

What about bedside readers? Does your tablet even make it out of the boudoir? Does it spend as much time (or more) in the bathroom as you do?

I'm always fascinated to read about how folks use their technology, and inevitably I learn a trick or two that I'll want to try as well. So let's walk through what I used in 2012, and how I used it. In the coming days, you'll hear from the other names and faces behind Android Central and see just what it is we use on a daily basis. Want to get in on the fun yourself? Hit up this forum thread and share your stash with the world.

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Apps of the Week

It's Saturday, and that means it's time for the Android Central app picks. We've got another smattering of random apps, games and utilities for your enjoyment here this week. This is our last roundup of app picks for 2012, but fear not, we're coming back stronger than ever in 2013 with more apps for you to check out. See how we did wrapping up 2012 after the break.

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Kindle deals

If you got a Kindle device this year for the holidays, don't forget about the Kindle Store Daily Deals. There are always plenty of books for just $1.99, and they change daily. It's a great way to build your library on the cheap.

You need a Kindle or Kindle Fire to buy them, but once purchased they are in your Amazon account and can be read on any device with a Kindle app. With WhisperSync taking care of your bookmarks, you'll be hard pressed to find a better reading solution anywhere. To find them, just open the Kindle store from your tablet and look for the Daily Deals link on the right. 

You'll always find deals and specials in the music and video store as well, but the Kindle deals are a solid perk for having one of Amazon's tablets. Take advantage of it if you like to read and have a Kindle device. I just picked up William Alexander's The $64 Tomato, and plan on spending the evening enjoying the warm indoors with it.




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Subway Time for Android

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week released its "Subway Time" app for iOS, which gives real-time updates for trains in and and around New York City. Need to know how soon a certain train will be at a certain station? That's the app to have. 

Only, we use Android around these here parts. And MTA's not making an app for us. But what it is doing is making the data freely available to anyone — and we've already seen our first "unofficial" app released in beta. Subway Time for Android, released by The Holodeck, taps into that MTA data and brings a fairly functional app to Android. There are bugs. There are layout issues. But those can be fixed. That we're seeing the app ported over in just a matter of days is proof positive that we're on the right side here, folks. So break out those MTA cards and let's give this guy a go.

More: MTA Developer Resources; Thanks for the tip, @EladKatz!




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